Planning Board Proposed Zoning Amendments for 2017 Town Meeting.

Intent of Conversions:

 The Planning Board has proposed an intent statement for section 4.46 Conversion. ( See Bold Type)

4.46  Conversions.  If a use is permitted in Table 4.1, then a conversion of all or part of a single building to that use may be allowed.  Any conversion requiring a Site Plan Review as noted in Table 4.1 must meet all of the criteria of section 12.10 as well as all of the following criteria:

A.        Structures less than five years old or structures which were not served by wiring, heating, and plumbing (including sanitary facilities) during the previous five years shall not be converted to any use other than a single dwelling.

B.        If applicable, the proposal must conform to the standards contained in the Site Plan Review Regulations;

C.        The building is served by a driveway that conforms to the standards contained in Section 4.53;

D.        The building is served by adequate off-street parking and loading meeting the standards set forth in Article VII;

E.         The building is served by a septic system that meets both local and state standards;

F.         In the conversion of a residential building to a non-residential use, 40% of the floor area of the building shall be retained for residential use.

G.        No more than 6 units shall be permitted in any building.

 The intent of Section 4.46 is to encourage the ongoing viability of Lyme’s older buildings by allowing for their conversion to other uses.

 

Sign Regulations:

Due to a US Supreme Court ruling in "Reed, ET AL. V. Town of Gilbert AZ. The planning Board has had to eliminate sections of the sign ordinance that related to the content of the signs. Below is the revised version of the Sign Regulations:

ARTICLE VI:  SIGN REGULATIONS

6.10  APPLICABILITY

The purpose and intent of this section is to provide control of the erection, installation, and maintenance of signs for the purpose of aesthetic values and for safety, convenience, comfort, propriety, and the general welfare.  All signs placed, erected, or established subsequent to the adoption of this ordinance shall conform to the requirements herein.

For the purpose of this Article the word "sign" does not include Town street or traffic signs or warnings or State approved directional signs;.  These regulations shall not apply to non‑illuminated signs and window posters that are displayed from within a building.

6.11  Non-conforming Signs.

  Any sign existing prior to the adoption of this Ordinance on March 14, 1989 and not conforming to the terms of this Ordinance shall be allowed to continue.  Nothing herein shall prevent the replacement of a non-conforming sign so long as the replacement does not result in a new or increased violation.

6.13  Site Plan Review.

  All signs to be erected in conjunction with a new site plan or a change in site plan shall be subject to Site Plan Review.

6.20  GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

6.21  Permitted Signs.

            A.        On‑Premises Signs: Allowed in all districts as described herein.

            B.        Off-Premises Signs:  Except for State approved signs, off‑premises signs may be permitted by the ZBA by special exception. There shall be no more than two Town approved signs to any premises, and there shall be no more than one sign on any one lot.  No off-premises sign shall be located within 50 feet of another such sign.

6.22  Size of Sign.

            A.        On‑Premises Signs.  The total area of on‑premises signs on any lot shall be limited to 16 square feet per side for signs in commercial/industrial district and three square feet per side for signs in residential districts.  The total sign area may be increased during Site Plan Review.

              B.        Off-Premises Signs.  The area of an off-premises sign shall not exceed six square feet.

             C.        Increase in Sign Area.  If a sign is located at least 100 feet from the road right of way, the maximum area of the sign may be increased by 25%.  If the sign is located at least 200 feet from the road right of way, the maximum area of the sign may be increased by 50%.

6.23  Illumination.

  Signs may be illuminated only by continuous indirect white light with the light sources so placed that they will not constitute a hazard to driving or be a nuisance to neighboring properties. Signs in commercial districts may be illuminated one hour after the last business in the building in which the business is located closes for the night, but not later than midnight.

6.24  Lighting & Movement.

  No flashing or moving signs or signs with visible moving parts or intermittent lighting to create the visual effect of movement are permitted.  Neon and tubular signs are permitted when they are located within the building and are seen through a window.

6.25  Construction & Location.

  Signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be maintained in good condition and repair.  No signs shall be located more than 20 feet above ground level.  No sign shall extend above the roof or parapet line of any building on the premises, nor more than 4 inches out from and parallel to the wall to which it is attached.  No sign shall be placed upon or supported by a tree, rock, or other natural object.  Any motor vehicle primarily used to display a sign will be subject to any and all regulations as contained in this article.  No sign shall be located within side and rear set back areas as provided in Table 5.1.  There is no road setback.

6.26  Pole Signs.

  Only one Pole Sign may be erected upon any premises.

6.27  Restrictions as to Location.

  No sign other than official street signs or traffic directions shall be erected or maintained within the road right‑of‑way.  No sign shall be placed in such a position as to endanger motor vehicle or pedestrian traffic or obscure or otherwise cause confusion with official street or highway signs or signals.

Dwelling Unit Definition

The Board noted that there are two different definitions for dwelling unit in the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Regulations. The Board has written the following definition to replace both.

Dwelling Unit: “A room or rooms providing independent living facilities for one or more persons, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation that is established for regular occupancy.”

Agritourism:

Changes to the state law now allow Agritourism as defined in (RSA 21:34-a). The Planning Board has proposed the following to make the Zoning Ordinance consistent with the new state law.

Add the following definition to Article II

Agritourism: which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm.

Amend section 4.51 as follows:

4.51 Agricultural Use:

A. The Right to Farm.

  The right to farm is a traditional right of fundamental importance to the Town of Lyme to those who are now farming in the Town and to those who may want to farm in the future.  In order to safeguard and protect these basic interests, the right to farm, comprising all generally accepted agricultural practices, is expressly recognized and allowed as a permitted use, excepting any practices which utilize, process, or dispose of toxic quantities of substances which may pose a threat to groundwater quality, which shall be prohibited.

B. Agritourism; Existing Agricultural Uses   Any new establishment, re-establishment after disuse, or significant expansion of a farm stand, retail operation, or other use involving on-site transactions with the public, including agritourism as defined in RSA 21:34-a, shall be subject to Site Plan Review.

Amend table 4.1 by adding a third row under agriculture for Agritourism that allows Agritourism in all districts subject to Site Plan Review.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Change the existing definition of “Dwelling, Single” to:

DWELLING, SINGLE.  A residential building which may include an attached or detached accessory dwelling unit as allowed under section 4.42.

Add the following two definitions to Section II:

Accessory Dwelling Unit Attached. An “attached Accessory dwelling unit “ is a residential living unit that is within or attached to a single family dwelling, and provides independent living facilities for one or more persons, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel of land as the principal dwelling unit it accompanies.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Detached. A “detached Accessory dwelling unit “ is a residential living unit that is detached from a single family dwelling, and provides independent living facilities for one or more persons, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel of land as the principal dwelling unit it accompanies.

Change section 4.42 to:

4.42 Accessory uses

  1.  Customary accessory uses are permitted uses which are incidental to the principal use, including single dwelling uses in conjunction with permitted business use
  2. A single detached accessory dwelling unit may be added to a lot with an existing or proposed residence if:
    1. only one detached accessory dwelling unit is permitted;
    2. both units share an access to a town or private road;
    3. both units are located less than 100 feet apart or share the same wastewater disposal system;
    4. there shall be a suitable area for a replacement wastewater disposal system(s);
    5. the gross floor area of the accessory unit does not exceed 750 square feet;
    6. the subdivision of the lot to separate the two residences is prohibited through the grant of a zoning easement to the Town of Lyme; and
    7. this shall not be considered a multi-dwelling conversion.
    8. One of the units is owner-occupied;
    9.  The principal structure is a single-family dwelling;
    10.  The accessory dwelling unit does not have more than two bedrooms;
    11. Parking adequate for the accessory dwelling unit is provided on site pursuant to Article VII; and
    12. The accessory dwelling unit is designed as follows:
  1. Location of entrances. Only one entrance may be located on the street side(s) of the accessory building, unless the accessory building contained additional entrances before the accessory dwelling unit was created.  An exception to this requirement is: entrances that do not have access from the ground such as entrances from balconies or decks; in which case, an additional entrance may be located on the street side.
  2. Exterior stairs. Fire escapes or exterior stairs for access to an upper-level accessory dwelling unit must not be located on the street side(s).
  3. Building setbacks. A detached accessory dwelling unit must be located at least ten feet behind the street side(s) of principal dwelling, unless the detached accessory dwelling is in an existing detached structure and does not meet this standard.
  1. A single attached accessory dwelling unit may be added to a lot with an existing or proposed residence if:
  1. There shall be a suitable wastewater disposal system to accommodate the additional bedroom(s);
  2. The subdivision of the principal unit from the accessory unit may not occur by the creation of a condominium or other method of transfer;
  3. This development is not considered a multi-dwelling conversion.
  4. An accessory dwelling unit may be located on a lot only if one of the units is owner-occupied, and if the principal structure is a single-family dwelling.
  5. The accessory dwelling unit does not have more than two bedrooms;
  6. Parking adequate for the accessory dwelling unit must be provided on site pursuant to Article VII.
  7. An accessory dwelling unit must be designed as follows:
  1. Location of entrances. Only one entrance may be located on the street side(s) of the principal dwelling, unless the principal dwelling contained additional entrances before the accessory dwelling unit was created.  An exception to this requirement is: entrances that do not have access from the ground such as entrances from balconies or decks; in which case, an additional entrance may be located on the street side(s).
  2. Exterior stairs. Fire escapes or exterior stairs for access to an upper-level accessory dwelling unit must not be located on the street side(s).

 

Agricultural Uses

Add the following definition to Article II

Agritourism. Agritourism which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm.

Amend section 4.51 as follows:

4.51 Agricultural Uses:

  1. The Right to Farm. The right to farm is a traditional right of fundamental importance to the Town of Lyme to those who are now farming in the Town and to those who may want to farm in the future.  In order to safeguard and protect these basic interests, the right to farm, comprising all generally accepted agricultural practices, is expressly recognized and allowed as a permitted use, excepting any practices which utilize, process, or dispose of toxic quantities of substances which may pose a threat to groundwater quality, which shall be prohibited.

 

  1. Agritourism. Agrotourism as defined in article II and RSA 21:34-a is allowed, subject to site plan review on any property in the Town of Lyme where the primary use of the property is for Agriculture.

Amend table 4.1 by adding a third row under agriculture for Agritourism that allows Agritourism in all districts subject to Site Plan Review.