Chapter 7-08
NONCONFORMING USES AND STRUCTURES

Sections:

7-08-010    Applicability

7-08-020    Special permit required

7-08-030    Variance required

7-08-040    Nonconforming single-family and two-family residential structures

7-08-050    Non-use for two (2) or more years

7-08-060    Reconstruction after catastrophe or demolition

7-08-070    Reversion to nonconformity

7-08-010 Applicability.

A.    This bylaw shall not apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a building or special permit issued, before the first publication of notice of the public hearing required by MGL C. 40A, § 5 at which this bylaw or any relevant part thereof was adopted. Such prior, lawfully existing nonconforming uses and structures may continue; provided, that no modification of the use or structure is accomplished except as authorized hereunder.

B.    Construction or operations under a building or special permit shall conform to any subsequent amendment of this bylaw unless the use or construction is commenced within a period of not less than six (6) months after the issuance of the permit and, in cases involving construction, unless construction is continued through to completion as continuously and expeditiously as is reasonable.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-08-020 Special permit required.

A.    The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a special permit to change a nonconforming use in accordance with this section only if it determines that such change or extension is a similar or less detrimental use, and in making such determination the Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider whether the proposed use is different in character or in its effect on the neighborhood or on the property in the vicinity.

B.    The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a special permit to reconstruct, extend, alter, or change a nonconforming structure in accordance with this section only if it determines that such reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood, and in making such determination the Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider whether the proposed use is different in character or in its effect on the neighborhood or on property in the vicinity.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28; 4-22-19 ATM, Art. 32.)

7-08-030 Variance required.

Except as provided in Section 7-08-020, the reconstruction, extension or structural change of a nonconforming structure in such a manner as to increase an existing nonconformity or create a new nonconformity shall require a variance; provided, however, that the extension of an exterior wall at or along the same nonconforming distance within a required setback may be approved by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-08-040 Nonconforming single-family and two-family residential structures.

A.    Nonconforming single-family and two-family residential structures may be reconstructed, extended, altered, or structurally changed as a matter of right if such proposed reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change does not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure and there is no change in use of the structure, in which case the Building Inspector may issue a building permit and an application to the Zoning Board of Appeals need not be made. The following circumstances shall not be deemed to increase the nonconforming nature of said structure:

(1)    Alteration to a structure located on a lot with nonconforming area; provided, that the structure and any alterations thereto comply with all current setbacks, and building coverage requirements.

(2)    Alteration of a structure on a lot with nonconforming area in the Groundwater Protection Overlay District; provided, that the structure and any alterations thereto comply with all current setback and building height requirements of the underlying district and impervious cover does not increase by more than fifteen percent (15%) over existing conditions.

(3)    Alteration to a structure located on a lot with nonconforming frontage; provided, that the structure and any alterations thereto comply with all current setbacks, and building coverage requirements.

(4)    Alteration to a structure which encroaches upon one (1) or more required yard or setback area, where the alteration will comply with all current setbacks, and building coverage requirements.

(5)    When an existing residence does not meet the minimum required side yard setback, an attached or accessory structure may be constructed on the same line as the existing residence.

(6)    The gross floor area of the proposed reconstruction, extension or alteration does not exceed eighty (80) percent of the existing gross floor area.

(7)    Alteration to a structure which is located in an area on the lot that does not comply with minimum lot width provided that any alterations thereto comply with all current setbacks and building coverage.

    For any proposed reconstruction, extension, or alteration other than as provided under subsection (A) of this section, application shall be made to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a determination whether such reconstruction, extension, or alteration will increase the nonconforming nature of said structure. If the Zoning Board of Appeals determines that such reconstruction, extension, or alteration will increase the nonconforming nature of said structure, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a special permit to allow such reconstruction, extension, or alteration; provided, that it determines that the proposed modification will not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood. In the event that the Zoning Board of Appeals determines that such reconstruction, extension, or alteration will not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure, the property owner may apply for a building permit without a special permit.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-08-050 Non-use for two (2) or more years.

A nonconforming use or structure that has not been used for a period of two (2) or more years shall lose its protected status and be subject to all of the provisions of this bylaw.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-08-060 Reconstruction after catastrophe or demolition.

A.    A nonconforming structure may be reconstructed after a catastrophe or after demolition in accordance with the following provisions:

(1)    Reconstruction of said premises shall commence within two (2) years after such catastrophe or demolition, except that the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant an extension of time where strict adherence to this section would cause undue hardship or because construction has not commenced within two (2) years due to circumstances beyond the proponent’s control.

(2)    Building(s) as reconstructed shall be located on the same footprint as the original nonconforming structure, and shall be only as great in volume or area as the original nonconforming structure.

(3)    In the event that the proposed reconstruction would (a) cause the structure to exceed the volume or area of the original nonconforming structure or (b) exceed applicable requirements for yards, setback, and/or height or (c) cause the structure to be located other than on the original footprint, a special permit shall be required from the Zoning Board of Appeals prior to such demolition, except as provided in subsection (A)(4) of this section.

(4)    Structures destroyed by catastrophe may be rebuilt in a different location on the same lot as long as the new location meets all applicable dimensional requirements of this bylaw for the zoning district in which the structure is located.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-08-070 Reversion to nonconformity.

No nonconforming use shall, if changed to a conforming use, revert to a nonconforming use.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)