Shoreland Zoning Ordinance

SHORELAND ZONING ORDINANCE

Section 12. Non-Conformance

A. Purpose:

It is the intent of this Ordinance to promote land use conformities, except that non-conforming conditions that existed before the effective date of this Ordinance or amendments thereto shall be allowed to continue, subject to the requirements set forth in section 12. Except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, a non-conforming condition shall not be permitted to become more non-conforming.

B. General:

  1. Transfer of ownership: Non-conforming structures, lots, and uses may be transferred, and the new owner may continue the non-conforming use or continue to use the nonconforming structure or lot, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance.
  2. Repair and Maintenance: This Ordinance allows, without a permit, the normal upkeep and maintenance of non-conforming uses and structures including repairs or renovations which do not involve expansion of the non-conforming use or structure, and such other changes in a non-conforming use or structure as federal, state, or local building and safety codes may require.

C. Non-conforming Structures:

  1. Expansions: All new principal and accessory structures, excluding functionally water-dependent uses, must meet the water body, tributary stream, or wetland setback requirements contained in Section 15.B.1.A non-conforming structure may be added to or expanded after obtaining a permit from the Weld Planning Board, if such addition or expansion does not increase the non-conformity of the structure and is in accordance with subparagraphs a and b below.
    • a. Expansion of any portion of a structure within 25 feet of the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland is prohibited, even if the expansion will not increase nonconformity with the water body, tributary stream or wetland setback requirement. Expansion of an accessory structure that is located closer to the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland than the principal structure is prohibited, even if the expansion will not increase nonconformity with the water body, tributary stream, or wetland setback requirement.
    • b. Notwithstanding paragraph a, above, if a legally existing nonconforming principal structure is entirely located less than 25 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland, that structure may be expanded as follows, as long as all other applicable municipal land use standards are met and the expansion is not prohibited by Section 12.C.1.
      • (i ) The maximum total footprint for the principal structure may not be expanded to a size greater than 800 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of the principal structure may not be made greater than 15 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater.
    • c. All other legally existing nonconforming principal and accessory structures that do not meet the water body, tributary stream, or wetland setback requirements may be expanded or altered as follows, as long as other applicable municipal land use standards are met and the expansion is not prohibited by Section 12.C.1 or Section 12.C.1.a, above
      • (i) For structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,000 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 20 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater.
      • (ii) For structures located less than 100 feet from the normal high-water line of a great pond, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,500 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed on January 1, 1989, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 25 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater. Any portion of those structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland must meet the footprint and height limits in Section 12.C.1.b.(i) and Section 12.C.1.c.(i), above.
      • (iii) In addition to the limitations in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), for structures that are legally nonconforming due to their location within the Resource Protection District when located at less than 250 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body or the upland edge of a wetland, the maximum combined total footprint for all structures may not be expanded to a size greater than 1,500 square feet or 30% larger than the footprint that existed at the time the Resource Protection District was established on the lot, whichever is greater. The maximum height of any structure may not be made greater than 25 feet or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater, except that any portion of those structures located less than 75 feet from the normal high-water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland must meet the footprint and height limits in Section 12.C.1.b.(i) and Section 12.C.1.c.(i), above.
    • d. An approved plan for expansion of a nonconforming structure must be recorded by the applicant with the registry of deeds, within 90 days of approval. The recorded plan must show the existing and proposed footprint of the non-conforming structure, the existing and proposed structure height, the footprint of any other structures on the parcel, the shoreland zone boundary and evidence of approval by the municipal review authority.
  2. Foundations: Whenever a new, enlarged, or replacement foundation is constructed under a nonconforming structure the structure and new foundation must be placed such that the setback requirement is met to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Planning Board, basing its decision on the criteria specified in subsection 12.C 7. Relocation, below.
  3. Expansions of non-conforming structures shall be subject to the State Plumbing Laws (Title 30-A, M.R.S.A. Section 4221, Subsection 3) requiring documentation of wastewater disposal capabilities.
  4. Remodeling, such as, but not limited to enclosing a porch, deck, or other attached structure to increase the enclosed living area of a structure may not be done without a permit from the Weld Planning Board and may be denied if the additional room may overload existing wastewater disposal capabilities.
  5. Discontinuance: Discontinuance of the use of a legally existing non-conforming structure for a period of 5 years or more shall constitute abandonment of the structure. Thereafter, use of the structure shall only be commenced after the structure is brought into compliance with this Ordinance, or a variance is obtained.
  6. Relocation: A non-conforming structure may be relocated within the boundaries of the parcelon which the structure is located provided that the site of relocation conforms to all setback requirements to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Planning Board, and provided that the applicant demonstrates that the present subsurface sewage disposal system meets the requirements of the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Rules (Rules), or that a new system can be installed in compliance with the law and said Rules. In no case shall a structure be relocated in a manner that causes the structure to be more non-conforming.

    In determining whether the building relocation meets the setback to the greatest practical extent, the Planning Board shall consider the size of the lot, the slope of the land, the potential for soil erosion, the location of other structures on the property and on adjacent properties, the location of the septic system and other on-site soils suitable for septic systems, and the type and amount of vegetation to be removed to accomplish the relocation.

    When it is necessary to remove vegetation within the water or wetland setback area in order to relocate a structure, the Planning Board shall require replanting of native vegetation to compensate for the destroyed vegetation in accordance with Section 15.W. In addition, the area from which the relocated structure was removed must be replanted with vegetation. Replanting shall be required as follows:
    • a. Trees removed in order to relocate a structure must be replanted with at least one native tree, three (3) feet in height, for every tree removed. If more than five trees are planted, no one species of tree shall make up more than 50% of the number of trees planted. Replaced trees must be planted no further from the water or wetland than the trees that were removed.

      Other woody and herbaceous vegetation, and ground cover, that are removed or destroyed in order to relocate a structure must be re-established. An area at least the same size as the area where vegetation and/or ground cover was disturbed, damaged, or removed must be reestablished within the setback area. The vegetation and/or ground cover must consist of similar native vegetation and/or ground cover that was disturbed, destroyed or removed.
    • b. Where feasible, when a structure is relocated on a parcel the original location of the structure shall be replanted with vegetation which may consist of grasses, shrubs, trees, or a combination thereof. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the relocation of a non-conforming structure to a separate conforming lot on which the structure and use will be conforming, provided that all necessary permits are obtained.
  7. Reconstruction or Replacement: Any non-conforming structure which is located less than the required setback from a water body, tributary stream, or a wetland and which is removed, or damaged or destroyed, regardless of cause by more than 50% of the market value of the structure before such damage, destruction or removal, may be reconstructed or replaced within eighteen (18) months of the date of said damage, destruction, or removal, and provided that such reconstruction or replacement is in compliance with the water body, tributary stream or wetland setback requirement to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Weld Planning Board in accordance with the purposes of this Ordinance. In no case shall a structure be reconstructed or replaced so as to increase its non-conformity. If the reconstructed or replacement structure is less than the required setback it shall not be any larger than the original structure, except as allowed pursuant to Section 12.C.1 above, as determined by the non-conforming footprint of the reconstructed or replaced structure at its new location. If the total footprint of the original structure can be relocated or reconstructed beyond the required setback area, no portion of the relocated or reconstructed structure shall be replaced or constructed at less than the setback requirement for a new structure. When it is necessary to remove vegetation in order to replace or reconstruct a structure, vegetation shall be replanted in accordance with Section 12.C.2 above.

    Any non-conforming structure which is located less than the required setback from a water body, tributary stream, or wetland and which is removed by 50% or less of the market value, or damaged or destroyed by 50% or less of the market value of the structure, excluding normal maintenance and repair, may be reconstructed in place with the proper permits from the Weld Planning Board within one year of such damage, destruction, or removal.

    In determining whether the building reconstruction or replacement meets the setback to the greatest practical extent, the Planning Board shall consider in addition to the criteria in paragraph 2 above, the physical condition and type of foundation present, if any.
  8. Change of Use of a Non-Conforming Structure
    • a. The use of a non-conforming structure may not be changed to another kind of use (for example, from residential to home occupation or commercial use) or in intensity of commercial use unless the new use will have no greater adverse impact on the water body, tributary stream or wetland, or on the subject or adjacent properties and resources than the existing use.

      In determining that no greater adverse impact will occur, the Planning Board shall require written documentation from the applicant regarding the probable effects on public health and safety, erosion and sedimentation, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, vegetative cover, visual and actual points of public access to waters, natural beauty, floodplain management, archaeological and historic resources and other functionally water-dependent uses.
    • b. A non-conforming seasonal structure may not be changed in use to a year round structure (seasonal conversion) unless a permit for seasonal conversion from the Licensed Plumbing Inspector (LPI) is attached to the application form submitted to the Planning Board.

      This includes, but not limited to, a 100′ setback of the septic system from any body of water.
    • c. Any person changing or converting the use of a permit granted by the Weld Planning Board will be in violation. The unapproved use will cease until the applicant receives a valid permit for the new use. If the new use is not allowed under the Weld Shoreland Zoning Ordinance the use will cease permanently. Failure to cease will result in a penalty fee to the Town of Weld of $1,000.

D. Non-Conforming Uses

  1. Expansions: Expansions of non-conforming uses are prohibited, except that non-conforming residential uses may, after obtaining a permit from the Planning Board, be expanded within existing residential structures or within expansions of such structures as permitted in Section 12.C.1.
  2. Resumption Prohibited: A lot, building or structure in or on which a non-conforming use is discontinued for a period exceeding one year, or which is superseded by a conforming use, may not again be devoted to a non-conforming use. In the case of a residential structure, this time limit shall be extended to five (5) years.
  3. Change of Use: An existing non-conforming use may be changed to another non-conforming use provided that the proposed use has no greater adverse impact on the subject and adjacent properties and resources than the former use as determined by the Planning Board, using the criteria listed in Section 12.C.9 above.

E. Non-Conforming Lots

  1. Non-conforming lots: A non-conforming lot of record as of the effective date of this Ordinance, March 6, 1993 may bebuilt upon it without the need for a variance provided that such lot is in separate ownership and not contiguous with any other lot in the same ownership and that all provisions of this Ordinance except lot area, lot width and shore frontage can be met. Variances relating to other requirements not involving lot area, lot width or shore frontage shall be obtained by action of the Board of Appeals.
  2. Contiguous Built Lots: For the purpose of erecting a structure, two (2) or more contiguous lots or parcels in single or joint ownership of record at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance may be considered one lot for the purposes of this Ordinance if all or part of the lots do not meet the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance, even if a principal use of structure exists on each lot. The merger of the two lots shall be recorded in the registry of deeds before building is begun. If two (2) or more principal uses or structures exist on a single lot of record, the lot shall not be divided in a manner that creates a non-conforming lot or causes a non-conforming lot to become more non-conforming.
  3. Contiguous Lots, Vacant or Partially Built: If two or more contiguous lots or parcels are in single or joint ownership of record at the time or since the adoption or amendment of this Ordinance, if any of these lots do not individually meet the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance or subsequent amendments, and if one or more of the lots are vacant or contain no principal structure the lots shall be combined to the extant necessary to meet the dimensional requirements.

    This provision shall not apply to 2 or more contiguous lots, at least one of which is non-conforming, owned by the same person or persons on the effective date of this Ordinance, March 6, 1993 and recorded in the registry of deeds if the lot is served by a public sewer or can accommodate a subsurface sewage disposal system in conformance with the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; and
    • a. Each lot contains at least 100 feet of shore frontage and at least 20,000 square feet of lot area; or
    • b. Any lots that do not meet the frontage and lot size requirements of Section 12.E. 3.a are reconfigured or combined so that each new lot contains at least 100 feet of shore frontage and 20,000 square feet of lot area.

Shoreland Zoning Ordinance
Amended March 2017