It is the intent of this article to carefully restrict nonconforming uses and structures and the expansion or alteration of nonconforming uses and structures. An essential element of this article is to preclude any change of use unless it is a continuation of the use and substantially the same character of use which legally existed at the date the original use commenced. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to permit the continuation of a use that was not a permitted use according to the zoning district dimensional regulations at the time it was commenced or the continuation of any structure that was not constructed according to the zoning district requirements at the time it was constructed. Further, nothing herein contained shall be deemed to diminish or negate any variances that have been granted to any property.
A nonconforming use shall not be extended or increased except with the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals and upon such reasonable restrictions as it may prescribe depending upon the nature and history of the use and the effect of such extensions on neighboring properties, including but not limited to traffic, noise, property devaluation, drainage, sewage, odors and other such deleterious effects of such extension.
A nonconforming structure or use may not be altered, rebuilt or resumed, except in conformity with the regulations for the zoning district in which it is located, if:
In any district, whenever a nonconforming use of land, premises, building or structure or any part or portion thereof has been discontinued or abandoned for a continuous period of six months, such nonconforming use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and all future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this article. Discontinuance of the active and continuous operation of such nonconforming use or a part or portion thereof for such period of six months is hereby construed and considered to be an abandonment of such nonconforming use, regardless of any reservation of an intent not to abandon the same or of an intent to resume active operations.
Actual abandonment of use is deemed to have occurred by the removal of any building or structure in which the use has been conducted. Abandonment shall also be deemed to have occurred if substantial machinery, equipment, fixtures or other evidence of the nonconforming use is removed and not replaced within a period of six months.
A nonconforming building or structure damaged or destroyed by fire or other causes may be restored, repaired or rebuilt within a period of six months. For good cause the Commissioner of Public Works may allow a maximum of two successive additional periods, not exceeding three months each, to rebuild upon the same location, upon the same foundation size and up to its same height and square footage that existed prior to its damage or destruction.
No nonconforming use shall be extended to displace a conforming use.
Except as provided by this article, a nonconforming building or structure may not be reconstructed or structurally altered during its life except with the approval of the Board of Appeals.
[Amended 8-2-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001]
A nonconforming building or structure may be altered or extended so long as the alteration or extension meets the dimensional regulations, excluding minimum habitable floor area, of the zoning district which are in effect at the time of the extension or alteration without the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A dwelling, accessory building and/or garage may be erected on any nonconforming lot in existence on the effective date of this article (except in an industrial or commercial district), provided that the present setback, side line, rear line and building area restrictions are met. In the event that these restrictions cannot be met, the Zoning Board of Appeals may vary the application of this article to permit the erection of a dwelling or garage on said lots after giving consideration, among other things, to the suitability of structural design on said lot, availability of additional land, adequacy of space for sewage disposal, parking and the fire hazard potential, if any.
Whenever the boundaries of the districts shall be changed so as to transfer an area from one district to another district of a different classification, the foregoing provisions shall also apply to any nonconforming uses existing therein.
This article of the Town of Webster Zoning Chapter shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.