It is the purpose of this article to limit the injurious impact of nonconforming uses or structures on adjacent properties within a particular district and on the community as a whole, while recognizing that alterations, continuations and extensions of nonconforming uses or structures may not be contrary to the public interest or the general purpose of this Zoning Law when failure to allow such alteration, continuation or extension would itself lead to neighborhood or district deterioration. It is further the purpose of this article to prescribe those standards which are to be applied by the Town in determining the reasonableness of a proposal to alter, continue or extend a nonconforming use. The following are regulations which shall apply to the alteration, continuation or extension of nonconforming uses.
Any use that becomes nonconforming as a result of the adoption of this chapter shall be deemed permitted for the extent of the continuation of said nonconforming use. A nonconforming use may be permitted to expand after the adoption of this chapter, provided that the total area utilized for the expansion of the nonconforming use may not exceed 50% of the area legally utilized as of the date the use became nonconforming.
Normal maintenance and repair of a nonconforming use is allowed, as well as minor additions, alterations and interior renovations that do not structurally alter the building or area or result in the increased use of the building or area, or otherwise create more incompatibility with the surrounding permitted uses.
[Amended 3-25-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
All changes and additions to nonconforming uses or proposals for expansion, reconstruction or reestablishment of such uses, excepting those identified in § 50-24 above, shall be considered special uses subject to the specific procedures and review criteria contained in Article VII of this chapter, and permits for alterations, changes in use or additions of one sort or another to a nonconforming use shall be granted only after a determination by the Planning Board that the special use criteria of Article VII of this chapter have been complied with and that the following additional conditions have been or will be satisfied:
Storage of materials. There shall be no increase in the amount of materials, supplies or products that is stored outside a nonconforming facility, excepting those types of uses outlined in Subsection B.
Screening. Where the nonconforming activity is one which necessarily results in the storage of quantities of material, supplies or products outside (such as a sawmill, farm machinery sales operation or similar operation), the use may only be expanded if a solid fence of wood or planting strip of dense evergreen nursery material not less than six feet in height is present on all sides of the immediate area used for outside storage. Stored material shall not exceed the height of the screening and in no event nine feet.
Yards and setbacks. No addition, change or expansion of a nonconforming use shall create further nonconformity by violation of yard, setback and height regulations of the district in which the use is located.
Parking and traffic. In no case will a change, addition or expansion of a nonconforming use be allowed which would result in the diversion of traffic or relocation of a driveway on the site to any point nearer a residential property or result in violation of any of the parking and unloading requirements of this chapter. If the total number of parking spaces for the site is to be increased more than 25% over those available as of the date the use became nonconforming, the entire parking area shall be screened from nearby residential areas. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Town from requiring additional parking where such action would reduce or eliminate an existing or potential parking problem.
Extension onto other properties of record in the same ownership. The use may only be expanded or extended onto a new property of record if that property is immediately abutting to the existing location, the properties were both under the same ownership as of the date the use became nonconforming and the owner has clearly exhausted the alternatives available for expansion on the existing property.
Prohibited expansions. Uses which are prohibited as a new use in all districts within the Town shall not be expanded or extended.
If any nonconforming structure or use is damaged or destroyed as a result of a casualty, it may be restored or reconstructed within 24 months of the date of the occurrence, subject to the conditions set forth in § 50-25.
A nonconforming use which has been abandoned may, pursuant to special use procedures, be reestablished within a period of 12 months from the date that the abandonment had occurred. Thereafter, the use shall not be reestablished and any future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. A nonconforming use shall be considered abandoned when, among other circumstances:
The intent of the owner to discontinue the use is apparent by the posting of signs, boarding of windows or failure to pay taxes or assessments due, or similar actions or lack thereof;
The equipment or furnishing used in furtherance of the nonconforming use have been removed from the premises;
The nonconforming use has been replaced by a conforming use or changed to a special use by permit of the Planning Board; or
The building is not occupied for a period of one year.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue, upon request, a certificate of nonconformance to any owner of a nonconforming structure or use.
A single-family dwelling may be erected on any existing lot of record as of the adoption of this chapter, provided that the proposed construction will be in conformance with the front yard requirement and no side or rear yard is reduced to less than 50% of the requirement for the district in which the lot is located.