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Town of Salem, NH
Rockingham County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Applicability of section. The following regulations shall govern the erection and alteration of buildings or structures and the use of land in the Residential District, except that they shall not apply to existing buildings or structures nor to the existing use of any building or structure but shall apply to any alteration of a building or structure for use for a purpose or in a manner substantially different from the use to which it was put before alteration. However, no building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use shall be occupied for a greater portion of the year than such building or structure was occupied as a prior nonconforming use unless minimum lot size, setbacks, frontage, building line, and all other dimensional requirements for this district are met or a variance is granted by the Board of Adjustment. In either case, the requirements for septic systems, as stated in Chapter 391, Article I, of the Salem Code, shall be met. Additionally, no building permits or variances shall be granted that would be likely to result in an increase of the portion of the year during which a building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use will be occupied if such increased occupation will affect adversely public health standards, water quality, sewage treatment requirements or the water quality of any lake, stream or surface water system. The restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, minimum frontage, and minimum width at the building line, shall not apply to lots shown in a plat approved by the Salem Planning Board prior to the adoption of this chapter until January 1, 1981, except that if two or more lots are contiguous and are held in identical ownership and none of the lots are improved by a house, then the restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, shall apply forthwith. Discontinuance of a nonconforming use for whatever reason for 12 consecutive months shall subject such property to all of the requirements of this section.
[Amended by the 1986 Town Meeting]
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted in the Residential District:
(1) 
One-family and two-family dwellings.
(2) 
Private garages, gardens and orchards incidental to residential use.
(3) 
Churches, parish houses, convents, public and parochial schools, municipal buildings and libraries, including structures and uses normally incidental thereto.
(4) 
Casual sales, such as garage sales, may be authorized by the Selectmen on such terms and conditions as they may impose. However, no person shall be granted permission to conduct such sales for more than 36 hours in any calendar year. Neither shall any person be granted permission to conduct such sales on more than three calendar days in any calendar year.
(5) 
Family day-care homes, as defined in RSA 170-E:2, if licensed by the State of New Hampshire to operate as such under RSA 170-E.
(6) 
In-law unit within a single-family dwelling.
C. 
Restrictions. The following restrictions shall govern permitted and all other uses in the Residential District:
(1) 
Zoning dimensions: see § 490-202.
(2) 
When applicable, regulations and restrictions in the following sections shall be met:
(a) 
Off-street parking and loading: § 490-701.
(b) 
Open space preservation: § 490-704.
(c) 
Home occupations: § 490-709.
(d) 
Accessory apartments: § 490-801.
(e) 
In-law apartments: § 490-802.
(f) 
Obstructed view: § 490-803.
(g) 
Proximity to water bodies: § 490-804.
D. 
Exception. The Board of Adjustment shall grant the following exceptions in the Residential District upon finding that the specified conditions exist:
[Amended by the 1995 Town Meeting]
(1) 
The use of land for parks, playgrounds of a nonprofit type, other private schools and hospitals, if the Board of Adjustment shall find that all restrictions of this section are met, or an exception or variance therefor granted, and that such land is reasonably adapted to the use, and either that the use will so alleviate the burden of similar facilities in the Town or that such use will be advantageous to the health, morals, and general welfare of such numbers of persons in such degree as will outweigh any diminution of property values created thereby.
(2) 
Relief from any of the provisions of this section shall be granted for a specified temporary period of time if the Board of Adjustment shall find either:
(a) 
That a public emergency exists or is threatened of so serious a character as to outweigh any diminution of surrounding property values, or any fire or health dangers or any overcrowding of land or public facilities occasioned by such relief; or
(b) 
That such relief from any such provisions for one year would be reasonably necessary for the ultimate use or development of land in a permitted and desirable way, other than as a one-family dwelling, and that such relief would be outweighed by the advantages available from such ultimate use of the land.
E. 
Variances. In granting variances, the following shall be generally considered contrary to the spirit of this chapter in the Residential District:
(1) 
The use of land for the keeping of livestock and poultry, but not domestic pets.
(2) 
The use of land for mobile homes, mobile home developments, trailers or trailer parks.
F. 
Contiguous lots in single ownership. See § 490-105.
A. 
Applicability of section. The following regulations shall govern the erection and alteration of buildings or structures and the use of land in the Rural Districts, except that they shall not apply to existing buildings or structures nor to the existing use of any building or structure but shall apply to any alteration of a building or structure for use for a purpose or in a manner substantially different from the use to which it was put before alteration. However, no building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use shall be occupied for a greater portion of the year than such building or structure was occupied as a prior nonconforming use unless minimum lot size, setbacks, frontage, building line, and all other dimensional requirements for this district are met or a variance is granted by the Board of Adjustment. In either case, the requirements for septic systems, as stated in Chapter 391, Article I, of the Salem Code, shall be met. Additionally, no building permits or variances shall be granted that would be likely to result in an increase of the portion of the year during which a building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use will be occupied if such increased occupation will affect adversely public health standards, water quality, sewage treatment requirements or the water quality of any lake, stream or surface water system. The restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, minimum frontage, and setbacks, and § 490-804, Proximity to water bodies, shall not apply to lots shown in a plat approved by the Salem Planning Board prior to the adoption of this chapter until January 1, 1981, except that if two or more lots are contiguous and are held in identical ownership and none of the lots are improved by a house, then the restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, shall apply forthwith. Discontinuance of a nonconforming use for whatever reason for 12 consecutive months shall subject such property to all of the requirements of this section.
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted in the Rural District:
(1) 
Any use permitted in the Residential District.
(2) 
Farming and agriculture activities, as defined and restricted by RSA 21:34-a; forestry; the keeping of cows, goats, sheep, horses, and other domestic noncommercial livestock (excluding the keeping of pigs); and greenhouses and nurseries as defined in RSA 433:21, provided that no such use shall be allowed on a lot less than five acres in size.
[Amended by the 1993 and 2009 Town Meetings]
C. 
Restrictions. The following restrictions shall govern uses under this section in the Rural Districts:
(1) 
Zoning dimensions: see § 490-202.
(2) 
When applicable, regulations and restrictions in the following sections shall be met:
(a) 
Off-street parking: § 490-701.
(b) 
Open space preservation regulations: § 490-704.
(c) 
Home occupations: § 490-709.
(d) 
Accessory apartments: § 490-801.
(e) 
In-law use: § 490-802.
(f) 
Obstructed view: § 490-803.
(g) 
Proximity to water bodies: § 490-804.
D. 
Exceptions. The Board of Adjustment shall grant the following exceptions in the Rural District upon finding that the specified conditions exist:
(1) 
The uses of land for the purposes specified in § 490-301D(1), if the Board of Adjustment shall find that the conditions specified in the respective sections are met.
(2) 
Relief from any of the provisions of this section shall be granted for a specified temporary period of time if the Board of Adjustment shall find either:
(a) 
That a public emergency exists or is threatened of so serious a character as to outweigh any diminution of surrounding property values, any fire, health or aesthetic dangers or any overcrowding of land or of public facilities occasioned by such relief; or
(b) 
That such relief from any such provisions for such temporary period not exceeding one year would be reasonably necessary for the ultimate use or development of land in a permitted or desirable way, and that any disadvantage of such relief would be outweighed by the advantages available from such ultimate use of the land.
(3) 
Golf courses and ancillary structures such as clubhouses, driving ranges, equipment sheds and other buildings necessary for the normal operation of golf courses if and to the extent that the Board of Adjustment shall find that such relief will not create a fire, sanitation, odor, health or traffic hazard, and that such relief would tend to promote more advantageous use of land in the immediate area, and that such relief would not seriously diminish the value of surrounding property, and that such relief would not be contrary to the spirit of this chapter.
[Added by the 1990 Town Meeting]
E. 
Variances. In granting or denying variances in the Rural Districts, the Board of Adjustment shall consider:
(1) 
That variances which will or may require disproportionate expenditures of public funds during the period in which the residential and commercial districts are being developed are not in the spirit of this chapter nor generally in the public interest.
(2) 
The use of land for commercial or domestic piggeries shall be considered contrary to the spirit of this chapter.
F. 
Contiguous lots in single ownership. See § 490-105.
A. 
Applicability of section. The following regulations shall govern the erection and alteration of buildings or structures and the use of land in the Rural Districts, except that they shall not apply to existing buildings or structures nor to the existing use of any building or structure but shall apply to any alteration of a building or structure for use for a purpose or in a manner substantially different from the use to which it was put before alteration. However, no building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use shall be occupied for a greater portion of the year than such building or structure was occupied as a prior nonconforming use unless minimum lot size, setbacks, frontage, building line, and all other dimensional requirements for this district are met or a variance is granted by the Board of Adjustment. In either case, the requirements for septic systems, as stated in Chapter 391, Article I, of the Salem Code, shall be met. Additionally, no building permits or variances shall be granted that would be likely to result in an increase of the portion of the year during which a building or structure qualifying as a nonconforming use will be occupied if such increased occupation will affect adversely public health standards, water quality, sewage treatment requirements or the water quality of any lake, stream or surface water system. The restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, setbacks, and minimum width at the building line, and § 490-804, Proximity to water bodies, shall not apply to lots shown in a plat approved by the Salem Planning Board prior to the adoption of this chapter until January 1, 1981, except that if two or more lots are contiguous and are held in identical ownership and none of the lots are improved by a house, then the restrictions of § 490-202, minimum lot size, shall apply forthwith. Discontinuance of a nonconforming use for whatever reason for 12 consecutive months shall subject such property to all of the requirements of this section.
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted in the Recreational District:
(1) 
One-family dwellings.
(2) 
Private garage, municipal buildings, gardens and orchards incidental to residential use.
(3) 
Family day-care homes, as defined in RSA 170-E:1, X(a),[1] if licensed by the State of New Hampshire to operate as such under RSA 170-E.
[1]
Editor's Note: See RSA 170-E:2, IV(a).
(4) 
Churches, parish houses and convents.
[Amended by the 1986 Town Meeting.]
(5) 
In-law unit within a year-round single-family dwelling.
[Added by the 2000 Town Meeting]
C. 
Restrictions. The following restrictions shall govern permitted and all other uses in the Recreational District:
(1) 
Zoning dimensions: see § 490-202.
(2) 
Sewage drainage disposal facilities, whether through septic tanks, dry wells, leaching fields, or public systems, adequate for the use intended, shall be available.
(3) 
When applicable, regulations and restrictions in the following sections shall be met:
(a) 
Off-street parking: § 490-701.
(b) 
Home occupations: § 490-709.
(c) 
In-law use: § 490-802.
(d) 
Obstructed view: § 490-803.
(e) 
Proximity to water bodies: § 490-804.
D. 
Exceptions. The Board of Adjustment shall grant the following exceptions in the Recreational District upon finding that the specified conditions exist:
(1) 
The use of land for such commercial activities common to recreation areas, such as public bathing beaches, children's camps, sales and service establishments, boat rental agencies, marinas, boat clubs, picnic grounds and parking areas, if the Board of Adjustment shall find that all other restrictions of this section are met, or a variance or exception therefor granted, and that the land is adapted to such use and either that there is a public need for such use or that the facilities would be enjoyed by a sufficient number of persons in such degree as to outweigh any diminution in value of surrounding properties.
(2) 
Relief from any of the provisions of this section for a specified temporary period of time not to exceed one year, if the Board of Adjustment shall find either:
(a) 
That a public emergency exists or is threatened of so serious a character as to outweigh any diminution of surrounding property values or any fire, health or traffic dangers or any overcrowding of land or of public facilities occasioned by such relief; or
(b) 
That such relief from any of the provisions of this section for such temporary period would be reasonable, necessary, or desirable for the ultimate use or development of land in a permitted or desirable way, and that any temporary disadvantages to surrounding properties resulting from such relief would be outweighed by the advantages available from such ultimate use of the land.
E. 
Variances. In granting or denying variances in the Recreational District, the Board of Adjustment shall consider:
(1) 
That much of the land in the Recreational District has been developed and used without regard to problems or public interest, including but not limited to water pollution and sanitation, resulting from such development and use.
(2) 
That dangers of serious contamination of bodies of water, which are great Town assets, and dangers of contamination of private water supplies have resulted.
(3) 
That the protection of such bodies of water and such water supplies is in the public interest and in the spirit of this chapter.
(4) 
That continuation of the practice of development of small lots in the Recreational District is generally contrary to the public interest and to the spirit of this chapter.
(5) 
The use of land for mobile homes, mobile home developments and trailers or trailer parks is considered contrary to the spirit of this chapter.
F. 
Contiguous lots in single ownership. See § 490-105.
A. 
Permitted uses. In the Garden Apartment R-A District, a building may be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, designed or used, and a lot or premises may be used, for any of the following purposes and for no other:
(1) 
Any use permitted by right in the Residential District, in accordance with the requirements of said district.
(2) 
A dwelling for two or more families, provided that the entire lot occupied by such dwelling shall be maintained in single ownership throughout the life of the building.
(3) 
A professional office or studio other than accessory to a use otherwise permitted, provided that the number of such offices or studios on any lot shall not exceed one for each 25 dwelling units or major fraction thereof on the lot, and provided further that such office or studio shall be located only on the street floor of any building and shall have access provided thereto from other than a public hall.
(4) 
Any accessory use permitted in the Residential District shall be permitted in the R-A District.
B. 
Restrictions.
(1) 
Zoning dimensions: see § 490-202. Additionally:
(a) 
No lot shall have an average depth of less than 150 feet. The lot shall contain not less than 3,500 square feet for each dwelling unit on each lot.
(b) 
There shall be a front yard with a minimum depth of 40 feet; side yards with no buildings erected nearer than 30 feet to any side lot line; and a rear yard with a depth of not less than 30 feet. However, cornices or cantilevered roofs may project not more than two feet, and belt courses, windowsills, and other ornamental features may project not more than six inches into a required yard. Paved terraces, steps and walks (other than such as are needed for access to the buildings on the lot) shall not project within 25 feet of a street or four feet of a property line.
(c) 
Chimneys, flues, towers, bulkheads, spires and other decorative features shall be exempt from the provisions of § 490-202, maximum height, provided that they occupy not more than 20% of the area of the roof of the building of which they are a part.
(2) 
No building shall exceed a length of 160 feet.
(3) 
A minimum distance of 40 feet shall be maintained between all buildings on the same lot.
(4) 
Any swimming pools provided on the lot shall conform to the Town of Salem Swimming Pool Ordinance.
(5) 
Open space. Except as otherwise required, usable open space shall be provided on the same lot with dwellings containing three or more dwelling units. Not less than 400 square feet for each dwelling unit on said lot shall be provided. On any lot containing 15 or more dwelling units, such usable open space shall be devoted to improved and landscaped play and sitting areas for the use of the residents thereof. The design, layout, and equipment of such play and sitting areas shall be subject to approval by the Planning Board.
(6) 
Outer courts. The minimum width of an outer court shall be 20 feet, and the depth thereof shall not exceed its width.
(7) 
Inner courts. An inner court is permitted if the minimum dimension of such court is equal to not less than 1/2 times the average height of all surrounding walls in the case of nonresidential buildings and not less than 1 1/2 times such height, but not less than 60 feet, in the case of residential buildings. The height of walls surrounding an inner court shall be measured from finished grade, at the base thereto, to the top of such walls, except that in the case of roofs with a slope exceeding five inches vertical to 12 inches horizontal, the height shall be measured to the mean point between the top of the said wall and the highest point of the roof.
(8) 
Off-street parking requirements. For dwellings for three or more families, there shall be provided garage space or paved off-street parking space, or both, sufficient in area for the parking at one time of not fewer than 1 1/2 times as many passenger vehicles as there are dwelling units on the lot. Parking in front yards, within 10 feet of any side or rear lot line or within 15 feet of any wall or portion thereof of a three-or-more-family dwelling, which wall contains legal windows, other than a legal bathroom or kitchen window, with a sill height of less than eight feet above the level of said parking space, is prohibited. If provided in the open, all required parking spaces shall be individually identified by means of pavement markings.
(9) 
The restrictions for proximity to water bodies in § 490-804 shall be met.
C. 
Exceptions. Any special exception use permitted in the Residential District, upon approval of the Board of Adjustment.
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 3:4.1, District boundaries, which appeared at the beginning of this section, was repealed by the 2012 Town Meeting. See now § 490-103.
[Amended by the 1982 Town Meeting]
A. 
Applicability of section. The following regulations shall govern the construction and alteration of buildings and structures and the use of land in the Manufactured Housing Park District; except, however, that these regulations shall not apply to an existing building, structure or land if such existing building or structure or existing use of any building, structure or land was a lawful use under the governing provisions of prior zoning ordinances, nor to an alteration thereof for a use or for any purpose or in any manner which is not substantially different from that to which it was put before alteration. However, in the event of discontinuance of a nonconforming use for whatever reason for 12 consecutive months, then the following regulations shall govern the erection and alteration of buildings and structures and the use of land in the Manufactured Housing Park District.
B. 
Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted in the Manufactured Housing Park District:
(1) 
Any use permitted in the Residential District.
(2) 
Manufactured housing.
C. 
Restrictions. The following shall govern permitted and all other uses in the Manufactured Housing Park District:
(1) 
Zoning dimensions: see § 490-202.
(2) 
The restrictions for proximity to water bodies in § 490-804 shall be met.
D. 
Exceptions. The Board of Adjustment shall grant the following exceptions in the Manufactured Housing Park District upon finding that the specified conditions exist:
(1) 
The use of land for the purpose specified in § 490-301D, if the Board of Adjustment shall find that the conditions specified in the respective sections are met.
E. 
Variances. In granting variances, the following shall be generally considered contrary to the spirit of this chapter in the Manufactured Housing Park District:
(1) 
The use of land for livestock and poultry.
(2) 
The addition to manufactured housing of living quarters.