Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Ordinance (2023)

3.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this Ordinance, certain terms are defined as provided in this section.

3.1.1 Accessory building.

A building subordinate to the permitted main building on a lot, which is used for purposes incidental to and customarily or habitually associated with the use of the main building. (Amended March 2009)

3.1.1-a Accessory Use.

A use of a lot or building which is occasioned by and subordinate to the permitted primary use of that lot or building, and is customarily or habitually associated with it. (Adopted March 2005); (Amended March 2009)

3.1.2 Aircraft

Airborne conveyance, mechanical or otherwise, intended to transport one or more persons. (Amended March 2021.)

3.1.3 Aquifer.

Land areas determined to overlay water saturated stratified drift deposits of sands and/or gravels capable of yielding private and public potable water supplies.

3.1.4 Buffer.

An area within a lot or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of natural existing vegetation or created by the use of trees, shrubs, fences and/or berms designed to limit continuously the view of and/or sound from the site to adjacent sites or properties. (Amended March 1991.)

3.1.5 Building.

A structure having a roof or cover and forming a shelter for persons, animals or property.

3.1.6 Dwelling.

A building containing one or more dwelling units used for non-transient occupancy. The term "dwelling" includes but is not restricted to private homes, apartment buildings, condominiums and town houses. (See also "Hotel" and "Rooming House".)

  1. Single Family Dwelling. A building containing one dwelling unit.
  2. Duplex or Two-Family Dwelling. A building containing two (2) dwelling units attached, designed or arranged as separate housekeeping units within the dwelling.
  3. Multi-Family Dwelling. A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units attached, designed or arranged as separate housekeeping units within the dwelling.

3.1.7 Dwelling Unit.

One or more living or sleeping rooms arranged for the use of one or more individuals living as a single family housekeeping unit, with cooking, living, sanitary and sleeping facilities. (See also "Lodging Unit".)

3.1.8 Family.

A group of individuals, whether or not related, living together in a dwelling unit in a structured relationship constituting an organized housekeeping unit. (Amended March 2018)

3.1.9 Floodplain.

A land area adjacent to a river, stream, lake or other watercourse subject to flooding during periods of high water and runoff including but not limited to those areas generally identified on the Town of Wilton, NH, Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps and the Flood Insurance Rate Maps prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration.

3.1.10 Frontage.

The continuous length of a lot bordering on the public right-of-way providing the principal route of access to a lot, subdivision or other type of development.

3.1.11 Hazardous or Toxic Materials or Liquids.

Materials or liquids that pose a threat to the environment, whether in use, storage or transit, including without exception hazardous waste identified and listed in accordance with Section 3001 of the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, and any amendments thereto.

3.1.12 Home Occupation.

A business operated in a building that is incidental and subordinate to the use of the building or lot for residential purposes in compliance with the criteria established for home occupations in section 5.3.1 or 6.6.1 of this Ordinance. (Adopted March 1998)

3.1.13 Hospital.

A building providing twenty-four (24) hour in-patient services for the diagnosis, treatment and care of human ailments.

3.1.14 Hotel.

A building or buildings containing one or more dwelling units or lodging units intended or used primarily for transient occupancy, together with any common cooking, dining, living or sanitary facilities for the shared use of the occupants. The term "hotel" includes, but is not restricted to, inns, motels, motor inns, tourist homes and tourist courts. (See also "Dwelling" and "Rooming House".)

3.1.14-a Junk.

Old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber debris, waste, or junked, dismantled, or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof, iron, steel, and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material. (Adopted March 2009)

3.1.14-b Junkyard.

or Automotive recycling (salvage) yard — An establishment or place of business which is maintained, operated, or used for storing, keeping, buying or selling junk, or for the maintenance or operation of an automotive recycling (salvage) yard, and includes garbage dumps and sanitary fills. The word does not include any motor vehicle dealers registered with the director of motor vehicles under RSA 261:104 and controlled under RSA 236:126. (Adopted March 2009)

3.1.15 Lodging Unit.

One or more living or sleeping rooms arranged for occupancy by a single family, but sharing common cooking, dining, living or sanitary facilities with other lodging units. (See also "Dwelling Unit".)

3.1.16 Lot or Parcel.

A single area of land defined by metes and bounds or boundary lines as shown in a recorded deed or on a recorded plan. (Amended March 1992.)

3.1.17 Lot, Building.

A lot having the minimum area and frontage to meet the requirements of this ordinance.

3.1.18 Lot Line.

A line dividing one lot from another.

  1. Front lot line. The lot line dividing the lot from a street right-of-way and providing the principal route of access to the lot or subdivision.
  2. Rear lot line. The lot line opposite to the front lot line.
  3. Side lot line. Any lot line not a front or rear lot line.

3.1.19 Lot of Record.

Land designated as a separate and distinct parcel in a legally-recorded deed filed in the record of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. (Amended March 1992.)

3.1.20 Manufactured Housing.

Any structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is 8 body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is 320 square feet or more, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to required utilities, NH RSA 674:31. Manufactured housing does not include pre-site built housing.

3.1.21 Manufactured Housing Park.

A land area occupied or designed for occupancy by two or more manufactured homes in use for living purposes.

3.1.21-a Mean High Water Level.

The line on the shore, running parallel to the water body, that defines the high level of the water body, established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear, natural line impressed on the immediate bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter or debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas. Where the mean high water level is not easily discernable, the mean high water level may be determined by the NH Department of Environmental Services. (Adopted March 2020)

3.1.22 Non-conforming Building or Structure or Use.

A building or structure, or a use of any building, structure, or land, which, in whole or in part, does not conform to the regulations of the district in which the building, structure, or use is located, but which did conform to the regulations, if any, in effect at the time the building, structure, or use came into existence, or was permitted by variance, and which has remained in existence since that time with no interruption of more than one (1) year. (Amended March, 2007)


(Deleted). (March, 2007)

3.1.23-a Off Premise Sign.

A sign that directs attention to an activity which is not related to the premises where such sign is located or to which it is affixed. (Adopted March 2016)

3.1.24 Perennial Stream.

Any stream with a minimum drainage area of one (1) square mile, 640 acres.

3.1.25 Pre-site Built Housing.

Any structure designed primarily for residential occupancy which is wholly or in substantial part made, fabricated, formed or assembled in off-site manufacturing facilities in conformance with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development minimum property standards and local building codes, for installation, or assembly and installation, on the building site, NH RSA 674:31-a. Pre-site built housing does not include manufactured housing.

3.1.26 Public Right-of-Way.

Either a town, state and federal highways and the land on either side as covered by statutes, OR: a private road which is depicted on a subdivision plan approved by the Wilton Planning Board, is designed and constructed to town road standards, is offered to the Town of Wilton for acceptance as a town road (whether or not it is accepted), is guaranteed to remain open in perpetuity to public use for access to the property in the subdivision, and whose permanent maintenance is governed by covenants approved as part of the subdivision approval. (Amended March, 2009)

3.1.27 Rooming House.

A building containing one or more lodging units used primarily for rental to non-transient occupants, together with any common cooking, dining, living or sanitary facilities for the shared use of the occupants. The term "rooming house" includes, but is not restricted to, boarding houses, lodging houses and dormitories. See also "Hotel" and "Dwelling".

3.1.28 School.

A learning center having an academic curriculum approved for attendance purposes by the State Department of Education.

3.1.29 Setback.

The minimum distance between two (2) points prescribed by the Ordinance.

3.1.30 Sign.

Any lettering, word, numeral, pictorial representation, emblem, trademark, device, banner, pennant or other figure of similar character located outdoors and being a structure or any part thereof, or attached to, painted on, or in any other manner represented on a building or other structure, and used to announce, direct, attract, advertise or promote.

3.1.31 Structure.

Any construction, erection, assemblage or other combination of materials upon the land which is made in such a manner as to imply that it will remain in position indefinitely or which in fact remains on the land for a period of time in excess of thirty (30) days. Structures do not include driveways, fences, stonewalls, mailboxes, culverts, and drainage measures approved by the Planning Board as part of a subdivision or site plan. (Amended March 2003.)

3.1.32 Town Zoning Maps.

Maps of the Town of Wilton that shows the boundaries of the zoning districts or zoning overlay districts. Maps shall be adopted by the Planning Board after conducting a properly noticed public hearing, with official copies residing in the Town Clerk’s office. Approved maps shall depict districts, overlay districts and their boundaries as approved in the zoning ordinance text by voters at Town Meeting. (Amended March, 2007)

3.1.32-a Trip.

A single vehicle movement to or from a specifiec location, or between two specified points. A "round trip" counts as two trips. (Amended March 2005.)

3.1.33 Yard, Front.

That portion of the lot nearer to the front lot line than the principal building.

3.1.34 Wetlands.

An area that is defined from time to time by RSA 482-A:2, X and which shall, unless RSA 482-A:2, X indicates otherwise, include land that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances, does support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands shall be delineated as set forth time to time in the rules adopted under RSA 482-A. (Adopted March 2002, Amended March 2020)

3.1.34-a Water body.

Any pond, lake, river, stream or similar area up to its Mean High Water Level. (Adopted March 2020)