Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A structure or use not otherwise conforming to the provisions of this chapter, lawfully existing at the time of its passage or amendment, shall be considered nonconforming, and it shall be permitted to continue.
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a nonconforming structure from being maintained, repaired or improved; provided, however, there is no expansion of building size.
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the regulation of nuisances.
If a lawful nonconforming use of any land, structure or building is abandoned, it shall not be reestablished. Abandonment of a nonconforming use shall consist of some overt act, or failure to act, which would lead one to believe that the owner of the nonconforming use neither claims nor retains any interest in continuing the nonconforming use unless the owner can demonstrate an intent not to abandon the use. An involuntary interruption of a nonconforming use, such as by fire and natural catastrophe, does not establish the intent to abandon the nonconforming use. However, if any nonconforming use is halted for a period of one year, the owner of the nonconforming use shall be presumed to have abandoned the nonconforming use, unless such presumption is rebutted by the presentation of sufficient evidence of intent not to abandon the use.
For the purpose of this chapter, one or more of the following actions shall indicate an intention to abandon a lawful nonconforming use:
Removal of equipment, machinery, fixtures or inventory from the premises.
Leaving the property to the elements.
Use of the property for a conforming use.
Substitution of a different nonconforming use for that existing at the time of adoption of this chapter.
Voluntary demolition of the structure.
Lapse of or failure to apply for licenses or permits necessary to the continuance of such nonconforming use.
Failure to appeal the denial of a permit to continue the prior use.
If a lawful nonconforming use is destroyed by accident or by an act of God to the extent of 75% of its fair market value, or it is demolished in any lawful manner, it shall not be rebuilt unless it conforms to the provisions of this chapter. If such use is damaged to an extent less than 75% of its fair market value, it may be restored provided the location and the total floor area are not increased or altered. Nothing shall prevent the performance of normal maintenance work on a lawful nonconforming use.
A lawful nonconforming use shall not be extended or enlarged. The extension of a use to a portion of a building which portion was arranged or designed for such nonconforming use at the time of passage of this amendment shall not be deemed the extension of a nonconforming use.
A nonconforming use of land (where no building is involved) shall not be expanded or extended.
A lawful nonconforming use shall not be changed to another lawful nonconforming use but may be changed to a conforming use. A lawful nonconforming use, if changed to a conforming use, may not thereafter be changed back to a lawful nonconforming use.
No additional tanks or pumps shall be added to a lawful nonconforming filling station.