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This online version of the Zoning Ordinance has not been checked for accuracy. Neither the Town of Wilton nor the Zoning Board can be responsible for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of any errors in the online text. The official text of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance is available in printed form at the Wilton town offices, and as a PDF file on the Town of Wilton web site.

This is the 2016 version of the Zoning Ordinance, including all amendments up to and including those passed by Town Meeting in March, 2016, but not any amendments passed in 2017 or later.

17.0 Non-conforming Uses and Buildings

17.1 Non-conforming Uses.
17.2 Sub-standard Lots of Record.
17.3 Special Exceptions.
17.4 Status of Variances and Special Exceptions.

17.1 Non conforming Buildings, Structures, and Uses. (Amended March, 2007, March 2015)

  1. Any non-conforming building, structure, or use of land or buildings may continue in existence.
  2. A non-conforming use of a building, structure, or land may not be changed to a different non-conforming use of the same building, structure, or land.
  3. A non-conforming use may not be re-established after discontinuance for more than one (1) year.
  4. A non-conforming building or structure may be rebuilt on the same footprint and with the same dimensions (including height), unless it has, for more than one (1) year, been unusable for its current purpose by reason of deterioration, destruction, demolition, neglect, accident, condemnation, or any other reason. (Amended March 2016)
  5. A non-conforming building or structure may not be extended or enlarged.

17.2 Sub-standard Lots of Record.

Where a lot of record at the time of the effective date of this Ordinance has less area and/or frontage than herein required in the District in which it is located:

  1. The lot may be used for a single family dwelling if permitted in that district subject to New Hampshire Water Supply and Pollution Control Division approval and subject to all district regulations applicable to lots within the district wherein the lot is located with the exception of lot size and/or frontage.
  2. The lot may be used for any non-residential use permitted in the district in which it is located in compliance with maximum density requirements, setbacks, and New Hampshire DES Water Supply and Pollution Control Division regulations.

17.3 Special Exceptions. (Amended March 2000.)

When the dimensions of a lot or the placement of existing structures on a lot are such that there is no reasonable placement of a proposed new structure on that lot which conforms with the lot setback requirements, the Zoning Board of Adjustment may grant a special exception to permit reduced setbacks, provided that:

  1. The lot dimensions or existing structures which result in the difficulty must have been in existence prior to the adoption of the setback requirements that are to be reduced.
  2. The setback to be reduced must be a lot line setback. Setbacks from wetland may not be reduced by a special exception under this section, nor may tower setbacks as specified in the Wireless Communications Overlay District, Section 15.3.5.
  3. The proposed structure and its proposed placement must be in keeping with the existing development of the neighborhood.
  4. The special exception must specifically identify the permitted location of the proposed structure, as shown on a site plan, which is to become part of the record of the decision.
  5. The Zoning Board may restrict the dimensions of the proposed structure so as to balance the reasonable use of the property with the spirit of the zoning ordinance.

(See also Section 4.4.)

17.4 Status of Variances and Special Exceptions. (Amended March 1992.)

A building or use permitted by a variance or special exception granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the same status as a non-conforming building or use, and shall be subject to the restrictions of this section.

Furthermore, if construction has not begun or the use has not commenced within two (2) years of the granting of the variance or special exception, or March 10, 1992, whichever is later, then the variance or special exception shall expire. All rights conferred by a variance or special exception shall be void upon expiration. Upon application, extensions of time in which to exercise the rights accorded by the variance or special exception may be granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment for good cause shown beyond the reasonable control or contemplation of the applicant and not prejudicial to the intent and spirit of the Zoning Ordinance. If the variance or special exception is not exercised within the time period provided, then the application shall be deemed withdrawn without prejudice upon the expiration of the time period.