Town of Antrim, NH
Article XVI - Non-Conforming Uses, Structures And Lots
(Adopted March 14, 1998)
ARTICLE XVI - NON-CONFORMING USES, STRUCTURES AND LOTS
(Adopted March 14, 1998)

A.      Intent and Standards

Within the districts established by this Ordinance or amendments that may later be adopted, there may exist lots, structures and uses of land and structures which were lawful before this Ordinance was passed or amended, but which would be prohibited under the terms of this Ordinance or future amendments.

It is the intent of this Ordinance to permit non-conformities to continue until they are removed. Such uses are declared by this Ordinance to be incompatible with permitted uses in the districts involved. Non-conformities may be enlarged and expanded as determined by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

A non-conforming use of a structure, a non-conforming use of land, or non-conforming use of a structure and land shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this Ordinance by:

1.      The addition of other uses, if such additions are of a nature which would be prohibited generally in the district.

2.      Attachment of additional signs to a building.

3.      The placement of additional signs or display devices on the land outside the building.

Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to require a change in the plans, construction, or designated use of any building on which actual construction was lawfully begun prior to the effective date of adoption or amendment to this Ordinance and upon which actual building construction has been continuously carried on. Actual construction is defined to include the placing of construction materials in permanent position and fastened in a permanent manner, and demolition, elimination, and removal of an existing structure in connection with such construction, provided that the actual construction work shall be continuously carried on until the completion of the building involved.

B.      Non-Conforming Uses of Land

A pre-existing lot of record (as defined in Article III) which meets all requirements of the Zoning Ordinance except for lot size and frontage may be used for any permitted uses in the district. Where the lawful use of land exists that is no longer permissible under the terms of this Ordinance as enacted or amended, such use may be continued, subject to the following provisions:

1.      No such non-conforming use shall be expanded, occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of this Ordinance, except as specified by Article XIX.B.3 (Variance Provisions) of this Ordinance.

2.      No such non-conforming use shall be moved to any other portion of the lot occupied by such use at the effective date of this Ordinance.

3.      If any such non-conforming use of land ceases for a period of more than twelve (12) consecutive months, any subsequent uses of such land shall conform to the regulations for the district in which such land is located.

C.      Non-Conforming Structures

Where a lawful structure exists that could not be built under the terms of this Ordinance, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

1.      An existing structure which is non-conforming to this Ordinance, or that section or part of the structure which is determined to be non-conforming to this Ordinance, may be enlarged or extended upon granting of a Variance by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Where only a section or part of a structure is determined to be non-conforming, the remainder of the structure may be enlarged, extended, reconstructed or altered without a Variance if that change is determined to be conforming to this Ordinance.

2.      Should such structure be destroyed by any means, it may be rebuilt provided the use and intensity of use is no more objectionable or no greater than existed prior to destruction. Application for permit to rebuild a non-conforming structure shall be filed within twelve (12) months of the date of destruction; otherwise it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance unless a Variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

3.      Should such structure be moved for any reason, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which it is located after it is moved.

D.      Non-Conforming Uses of Structures

If a lawful use of a structure or of a structure and premises in combination exists that would not be allowed in the district, the lawful use may be continued subject to the following provisions:

1.      An existing structure devoted to a use not permitted in the district in which it is located may be enlarged, extended, constructed, reconstructed, or structurally altered upon granting of a Variance by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

2.      Any non-conforming use may be extended throughout any parts of a building, but no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside such building.

3.      If no structural alterations are made, any non-conforming use of a structure, or structure and premises, may be changed to another non-conforming use provided that the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall find that the proposed use is equally or more appropriate to the district than the existing non-conforming use. In permitting such change, the Zoning Board of Adjustment may require additional conditions and safeguards.

4.      Once a non-conforming use is superseded by a permitted use, the non-conforming use shall not be resumed.

5.      When a non-conforming use of a structure, or structure and premise in combination, is discontinued or abandoned for twelve (12) consecutive months, it shall not be used except in conformance with the regulations of the district in which it is located.

6.      Where non-conforming use status applied to a structure and premises in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the non-conforming status.

E.      Repairs and Maintenance

On any building, devoted in whole or in part to any non-conforming use, work may be done on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of non-bearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing without the requirement of a building permit.

Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety, upon order of such official.

F.      Uses Granted Under Special Exception Provisions

Any use for which a Special Exception is granted shall be deemed a conforming use until it is discontinued or unless the use is changed to a permitted use.

Updated 12/2/03