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Thread: Does underground drainage count as part of a use?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
    Sep 2005
    New York's beautiful Hudson Valley

    Does underground drainage count as part of a use?

    Most of the time, my job is pretty straightforward. But, once in a while I get stuck on interpretations. It doesn't help that our zoning could use a MAJOR overhaul.

    Can anyone give me some advice on my latest conundrum?

    We have an applicant with a split property - half commercial half residential. Our zoning allows the least restrictive zoning (in this case commercial) to be extended up to 30 feet into the more restrictive zoned area (in this case residential) provided that there is access on the commercial half. The applicant is proposing a commercial use with a parking lot that extends about 25 feet into the residentially-zoned portion of the property - shouldn't be a problem, right? BUT he has an underground drainage system that will take up the rest of the lot. Of course, you are allowed drainage in the residential zone, but this particular system is tied to the parking lot or the commercial use. So my question is: does the stormwater system count as part of the commercial use and if so, is it permitted in the residentially-zoned portion of the property?

    Thanks so very much!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Oct 2005
    If the problem is only that it is below ground as yourself the question "if it were above ground would you allow it" if you still wouldn't is it because it's taking drainage from the commercial property? Sounds like you might want to rezone that lot into the commercial zone (which is not spot zoning if your master plan can show it). I have seen a property in a town that is split almost 50/50, parking and drainage and open space is in the R zone and the building is in the C zone. Works fine and I believe the zone was later extended to accomodate the "out" parcel.

  3. #3

    May 1997
    Williston, VT
    Drainage off a commercial parking lot is a commercial use.

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