Town of milan zoning ordinance

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Amended March 2007


Zoning Ordinance, Town of Milan, New Hampshire
Article Page

5.02 Septic System 7

5.03 Uses Permitted 8

5.04 Uses Not Permitted 8

5.05 Set Backs 8

5.06 Frontage 9

5.07 Junk Cars 9

5.08 Existing Mobile Home Parks 9

5.09 Uses Permitted by Special Exception 9

5.10 Travel Trailers 10

5.11 Home Occupations 10

5.12 Open Space Cluster Development 10




8.01 Enforcement 19

8.02 Building Permit 19

8.03 Enforcement and Penalty 21

9.01 Zoning Board of Adjustment 21

9.02 Appeal 22

9.03 Fees 22






This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the "Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Milan, New Hampshire".


The Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Milan is intended to regulate land use within the town. It is designed to take into account the impacts of land uses and promote uses of land for the protection of the environment, the natural resources, historic buildings and sites, and the rural qualities of Milan. It is designed to promote the health, safety, prosperity, convenience, and general welfare of all residents. The Ordinance is also intended to minimize the impact of potentially incompatible uses with particular consideration given to the character of the area as well as an effort to conserve the value of buildings, to promote good civic design and the wise and efficient expenditures of public funds. Pursuant to the authority granted by Chapter 674, Sections 16-23, New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated 1955, as amended this,Ordinance is enacted by the voters of the Town of Milan.


3.01 A pre-existing lawful use of land or structures may be continued although such use does not conform to the provisions of this Ordinance. If such non-conforming use is discontinued and/or abandoned for more than three (3) years, then any subsequent use of the land or structures shall only be a conforming use. No addition to a non-conforming structure or addition to conforming structures for the expansion of a nonconforming use is allowed.

3.02 A non-conforming use may be changed only to a use permitted in the district in which it is located. When it is changed to a conforming use, no buildings or land shall be permitted to revert to a non-conforming use.

3.03 A non-conforming use, which has been damaged or destroyed by fire, accident, or other causes, may be repaired or reconstructed to its condition prior to such damage or destruction, provided such work is undertaken and completed within one (1) year after such damage or destruction. The Selectmen may extend the time frame for one additional year based on a written request by the owner.


Abandon means the cessation of a use as indicated by the visible or otherwise apparent inattention of an owner to discontinue a use of a structure or lot; the removal of the characteristic equipment or furnishing used in the performance of the use without its replacement by similar equipment or furnishings; or the replacement of a use or structure by a different use or structure. For the purposes of this ordinance, abandon and discontinue have equivalent meanings.

Alteration means any structural change to a building and changes of present design or use where compatible and consistent with the existing uses.

Building means any combination of material, whether portable or affixed to the ground used for the sheltering, housing, or the enclosure of person, animals, property, or material of any kind. Such buildings shall include open porches, open breezeways, and any other roofed areas.

Open Space Cluster Development means a purely residential subdivision of a tract of land where, instead of subdividing the entire tract into lots meeting the minimum lot size otherwise required by this ordinance, a similar number of residential buildings is clustered on lots or building sites of reduced dimensions, with the remaining land conserved as open space. An open space cluster development must meet the standards contained in Article V, Section 5.12.

Commercial Use means any use involving in part or in whole the sale of merchandise, materials or services, but not including customary home occupations (as defined elsewhere in this section).

Common Land means all land in a development set aside for the common use of two (2) or more owners of land in such development whether or not the title thereof is vested in the developer, the Town, the owner of lots or in an association of owners or a non-profit agency for the purpose of open space or recreation.

Condominium means a building, or group of buildings, in which units are owned individually, and the structure, common areas and facilities are owned by all the owners on a proportional, undivided basis.

Home Occupations means an industry or occupation carried on exclusively by a resident of the premises, entirely within the building and employing not more than three (3) people, providing such use is secondary to the use of the premises for dwelling purposes, and also providing that such use does not constitute a public hazard or nuisance.

Driveway shall mean an area located on a lot, tract or parcel of land, and built for access to a garage or off-street parking space, serving not more than two dwelling units, except in the case of cluster single-family and multi-family developments in which up to four dwellings may be served by a driveway.

Dwelling means a building or portion thereof designed for residential occupancy including single family, two family and multi-family, but not including hotels, motels, or rented rooms in boarding houses or similar uses. Only one dwelling is allowed per lot.

Dwelling. Single Family means a residential building that contains one dwelling unit, including a manufactured house, designed for or occupied by one family.
Dwelling. Two Family means a residential building designed for or occupied by two families living independently of each other in individual dwelling units.

Dwelling. Multi-Family means a residential building designed for or occupied by three or more families with the number of families in residence not exceeding the number of dwelling units provided.

Dwelling Unit means one or more rooms physically arranged so as to create an independent housekeeping establishment for occupancy by one family with separate toilets and facilities for cooking and sleeping.

Farm means husbandry, agricultural, forestry and all horticultural uses, including related facilities and including roadside stands for sale of farm products, greenhouses, horse stables and/or nurseries.

Frontage means the distance along the line dividing a lot from either:

a) A public highway, excepting limited access highways as defined by RSA 230:44 and Class VI highways; or

b) A street/road shown on an approved and recorded subdivision plan.

Height is the vertical distance between the mean finished grade at the structure and the highest point of the roof of the structure.

Junkyard means any business and any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another business or not, which has stored or deposited two (2) or more unregistered motor vehicles which are not longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways, wrecked, scrapped, ruined, or dismantled motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, old iron, metal, glass, cordage, paper, batteries, rags, brass, copper, rope, rubber, debris, waste, tires, old metals, bottles, cotton or woolen mill waste, unfinished cloth, other waste or discarded or second hand material. Farm trucks, tractors, and related farm equipment are not included.

Lot means a parcel tract or area of land established by plat, subdivision or as otherwise permitted by law, which is occupied by or designed to be occupied by one (1) principal building (except as otherwise specified herein) and its accessory buildings or uses customarily incident to it, together with such open spaces and yards as are required by this Ordinance.

Lot Line. Front is any lot line that coincides with a line of a street or a right-of-way.

Lot Line. Rear is the lot line most distant from the front line, except that in the case of a comer lot, the owner shall have the option of choosing which of the lot lines shall be the rear lot line.

Lot Line. Side is any lot line not a front or rear lot line.

Manufactured Housing is a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which exceeds either 8 body feet in width or 40 body feet in length, built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities.

Manufactured Home Park is any tract of land on which two (2) or more manufactured homes are parked and occupied for living purposes.
Multi-Family Dwellings is a residential building designed for and occupied by three (3) or more families, regardless of the type of ownership, such as, but not limited to, condominiums, apartments or other common wall or row-type housing units of the same type. The number of families shall not exceed the number of single-family dwelling units provided.

Non-Conforming Use is a use which lawfully exists at the time this Ordinance becomes effective but which does not conform with the regulations for the district in which it is located.

Riparian Land means land that is traversed or bounded by a natural watercourse.
Setback. Front is the depth of the front yard as measured from the street right-of-way to the front line of the building. Setback. Side is the depth between the side of the principal building or accessory building and the nearest side lot line.
Setback Rear The depth of the rear yard shall be measured from the rear lot line to the rear line of the closest building

Special Exception means a use of a building, structure, or lot which may be permitted under this ordinance only upon formal application to the Board of Adjustment and subject to the approval of that Board as provided in Section 5.10.

Street/Road shall mean a state highway, or a town highway, street, road, avenue, land and/or other way including a private roadway, which exists for vehicular travel, exclusive of a driveway serving not more than two adjacent lots or sites, except as provided in the above definition of driveway. The word "street/road" shall include the entire right-of-way.

Structure means a combination of material for occupancy or use, such as a building, bridge, trestle, tower, framework, tank, tunnel, tent, stadium, platform, shelter, pier, bin, sign, fences and retaining walls over six (6) feet in height, swimming pools, sports courts, or the like.

Swimming pool means a pool constructed for swimming either in the ground or above ground, not including kid's or children's pools.

Travel Trailer means a vehicular type portable structure without permanent foundation, which can be towed, hauled, or driven and primarily designed as temporary living accommodations for recreation, camping, and travel use.

Variance means a departure from the terms of this Ordinance as the Board of Adjustment, upon appeal in specific cases, is empowered to authorize under the terms of Article IX of this Ordinance and applicable state statutes.

For the purpose of regulating the use of land and the location and construction of buildings, the Town, after adopting the provisions of this ordinance, shall be considered as one district with the following regulations and restrictions.

5.01 Permits

It shall be unlawful to erect or alter any building or structure or alter the use of any building or structure without first obtaining a building permit.

5.02 Sewage Disposal Systems

All land uses in the Town of Milan shall comply with the NH Department of Environmental Services subdivision and sewage disposal design rules and have all necessary permits.

5.03 Uses Permitted

1. Farms

2. Single family dwellings

3.Open Space Cluster Development, as set forth in Section 5.12.

4. Excavations, as provided for in RSA 155-E, as amended.

5. Home occupations, as provided for in Section 5.11.

5.04 Uses Not Permitted

1. Nuclear Power Plants

2. Woodchip Power Plants

3. Commercial Waste Sites and Landfill Operations

4. Tire Dumps

5. Manufactured Housing Parks

6. Junk Yards

5.05 Set Backs

Distance: There shall be observed the following setbacks in the construction of new buildings or in the relocation of existing ones:

1. Minimum distance between any building and the edge of a right-of-way shall be twenty-five (25) feet.

2. Buildings shall be set back at least twenty (20) feet from side and rear of lot lines.

5.06 Frontage

Each lot shall have a minimum frontage of no less than two hundred (200) feet on a public or private road or right-of- way.

5.07 Junk Cars

Not more than two (2) unregistered vehicles shall be allowed on any particular owners land exposed to public view form any road or street, excluding farm trucks, tractors, or related machinery. For the purpose of this ordinance, a vehicle shall be defined as a wheeled article, with or without a motor, manufactured for the expressed purpose of use on public highways either commercially or by private individuals, to include cars, trucks, vans, SUV's , motorcycles, motor homes, buses, tractor trucks, and all trailers made to be hauled by tractor trucks whether flatbed, covered or tanker.

5.08 Existing Manufactured Housing Parks

Manufactured housing parks existing at the time of the passage of this ordinance are allowed to continue. Expansion of existing manufactured housing parks is not permitted.

5.09 Uses Permitted by Special Exception

1. The following uses are permitted by Special Exception:

a) Dwellings, two family

b) Dwellings, Mulit-family with a maximum of 4 dwelling units.

c) Bulk storage tanks of petroleum products for resale use, including gas and diesel pumps, not exceeding 10,000 gallons per tank or 40,000 gallons per one acre site.

d) Any usage not specifically prohibited by this ordinance.

2. Special Exceptions can only be granted by the Board of Adjustment pursuant to RSA 674:33 as amended. The Board of Adjustment prior to granting any special exception shall determine that the following conditions are met:

a) The proposal is consistent with the spirit of this ordinance and the goals and objectives of the Milan Master Plan.

b) The site is appropriate for the proposed use or structure;

c) The proposal is not detrimental, injurious, or offensive to the neighborhood;

d) There will not be undue nuisance or serious hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

e) The proposal maintains or enhances historical buildings or sites; and

f) Adequate and appropriate facilities and utilities will be provided to insure the proper operation of the proposed use or structure.
5.10 Travel Trailers

No person shall park or occupy any trailer on the premises of any occupied dwelling or on any lot which is not part of the premises of any occupied dwelling, except as follows:

a) The parking of one (1) travel trailer in a private garage building or in a yard is permitted providing said trailer is not occupied and the trailer belongs to the owner or lessee of the land it occupies.

b) The temporary use of a trailer by a person engaged in adjoining construction work or for whom a dwelling is being built provided that such use is shown to be a temporary expedient, may be permitted by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall grant such permission for a period not to exceed six (6) months excepting that he/she may review at his/her discretion such permission at the expiration of said six (6)months.

c) Any property owner or lessee may accommodate 1 (one) trailer of a nonpaying guest for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days in any one (1) year.

d) A travel trailer may be permanently placed on a lot without any dwelling for seasonal use only, but not year around use, provided the lot meets the minimum lot size requirements of Article VII and has a NH Department of Environmental Services approved septic system and water supply.

5.11 Home Occupation

A home occupation is permitted if it conforms to all of the following requirements:

1. It shall be carried out only by residents of the premises and involved only a service provided or product produced by these residents.

2. It shall be operated entirely within a principal living unit and/or accessory structure.

3. It shall be dearly secondary to the use of the premises for dwelling purposes and will not alter the general character of the neighborhood or reduce the value of any surrounding property.

4. It shall result in no external evidence of the enterprise except for a permitted sign and shall not have an adverse effect on the environment or the surrounding property as a result of noise, odors, smoke, dust, lights, pollution of soil, water or air, increases traffic or in parking requirements, or as a result of other nuisances.

5. Any activity that exceeds these standards is subject to the Special Exception requirement applicable to general business activity.
5.12 Open Space Cluster Development

  1. Objective .Open space cluster development is intended to enable and encourage flexibility of design in residential subdivisions in the Town of Milan. By allowing reduced lot sizes, areas shall be developed so as to promote the most appropriate use of land: facilitate economical and efficient provision of public services: allow land use patterns which preserve vegetation and wildlife habitat, outstanding natural and geologic features, and prevent soil erosion: preserve the natural and scenic qualities of the open land in the Town for conservation and recreation: all in accordance with the objectives of the Master Plan.

  1. Type of Review. An open space cluster development shall be a permitted use throughout the Town of Milan. Such a development shall require subdivision approval by the Planning Board under the Milan Subdivision Regulations, regardless of whether any lot lines are created, or what form of ownership is contemplated. The Selectmen or Building Inspector may issue permits after the Planning Board has approved the final plat. Following subdivision approval, the use of the land within the open space cluster development shall conform to the requirements of this Ordinance and to the terms and conditions of the subdivision application and approval, unless subsequently amended by the Planning Board.

  1. Area and Dimensional Requirements. The minimum overall tract size shall be 12 acres. No building shall be located closer than 50 feet from the right-of-way line of any exterior street, nor 30 feet from any other exterior tract boundary. There shall be no minimum frontage requirement: provided, however, that all lots or building sites shall have adequate street access which conforms to the requirements of the subdivision regulations. No occupied building shall be located less than 50 feet from any other ocupied building, however the Planning Board may reduce this requirement if it believes doing so will enable the enhancement of the size or quality of the open space parcel as set forth in paragraph E and F. Building locations, or building envelopes representing the sitingnlimits for each building, shall be shown on the subdivision plan, and shall be considered conditions of approval. The above requirements shall supersede inconsistent area and dimension requirements elsewhere in this ordinance.

  1. Density. The overall maximum number of residential buildings in an open space development shall be determined by first determining the number of lots which would be permitted for a conventional development on the same tract under the provisions of the Ordinance and the Milan Subdivision Regulations: provided, however, that the Planning Board may at its discretion grant a density bonus of no more than 20% if it finds that the proposed open space parcel, as set forth in paragraphs E and F, provides a public benefit of exceptional quality. Two-family and multi-family dwellings shall be allowed only if the applicant first obtains a Special Exception, as provided under Section 5.09.

  1. Open Space. A minimum of 65 percent of the overall tract shall be permanently conserved as open space, free of any structures, roads, pavement, or parking areas, and devoted solely to agriculture, forestry, conservation, or recreation. A conservation easement deed, incorporating these restrictions, plus any additional use restrictions material to the public benefit evaluation as set forth below, shall be executed from the landowner to the Town of Milan, or Conservation Organization and recorded at the Registry of Deeds prior to any construction. The deed shall be reviewed by the Town’s attorney at the applicant’s expense. So long as the conservation easement to the Town is adequate, no particular legal relationship between the ownership of the open space parcel and the ownership of the developed units, by ways of covenants, ownership association, or otherwise, shall be required.

  1. Open Space Evaluation. The Planning Board shall evaluate the layout of any proposed open space development, in light of the natural features of the tract and its environment, to assure that the designated open space parcel provides a public benefit. The Board shall not approve the layout if there exists a clearly feasible alternative which would yield a significantly improves open space public beenfit, yet still meet the applicant’s permitted development objectives. A “public benefit” means that the open space meets one or more of the following:

  1. Is larger and more contiguous, rather than smaller and more fragmented:

  1. Conserves outstanding or sensitive natural features located on the tract.

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