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Sebago Maine Town Seal
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Shoreland Ordinance Section 12
Non-conformance
A.  Purpose

It is the intent of this Ordinance to promote land use conformities, except that non-conforming conditions that existed before the effective date of this Ordinance or amendments thereto shall be allowed to continue, subject to the requirements set forth in Section 12.  Except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, a non-conforming condition shall not be permitted to become more non-conforming.

         B.  General

         1.      Transfer of Ownership:   
Non-conforming structures, lots, and uses may be transferred, and the new owner may continue the non-conforming use or continue to use the non-conforming structure or lot, subject to the provisions of the Ordinance.
         2.      Repair and Maintenance:
This Ordinance allows the normal upkeep and maintenance of non-conforming uses   
 and structures including repairs or renovations that do not involve expansion of the non-
 conforming use or structure, and such other changes in a non-conforming use or  
 structure as federal, state, or local building and safety codes may require.

        C.  Non-Conforming Structures

        1.      Expansions:
A non-conforming structure may be added to or expanded after obtaining a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer (or the same permitting authority as that for a new structure), if such addition or expansion does not increase the non-conformity of the structure and is in accordance with subparagraphs (a) and (b) below.
                
  • After January 1,1989 if any portion of a structure is less than the required setback from the normal high-water line of a water body or tributary stream or the upland edge of a wetland, that portion of the structure shall not be expanded, as measured in floor area or volume, by 30% or more, during the lifetime of the structure.  If a replacement structure conforms with the requirements of Section 12(C)(3), and is less than the required setback from a water body, tributary stream or wetland, the replacement structure may not be expanded if the original structure existing on January 1, 1989 had been expanded by 30% in floor area and volume since that date.
  • Whenever a new, enlarged, or replacement foundation is constructed under a non-conforming structure, the structure and new foundation must be placed such that the setback requirement is met to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Planning Board or its designee, basing its decision on the criteria specified in Section 12(C)(2) Relocation below.  If
the completed foundation does not extend beyond the exterior dimensions of the structure, except for expansion in conformity with Section 12(C)(1)(a) above, and

the foundation does not cause the structure to be elevated by more than three (3) additional feet, as measured from the uphill side of the structure (from original ground level to the bottom of the first floor sill), it shall not be considered to be an expansion of the structure.

  • No structure which is less than the required setback from the normal high-
water line of a water body, tributary stream, or upland edge of a wetland shall be expanded toward the water body, tributary stream, or wetland.

        2.      Relocation:
A non-conforming structure may be relocated within the boundaries of the parcel on which the structure is located, provided that the site of relocation conforms to all setback requirements to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Planning Board or its designee, and provided that the applicant demonstrates that the present subsurface sewage disposal system meets the requirements of State law and the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules, or that a new system can be installed in compliance with the law and said Rules.  In no case shall a structure be relocated in a manner that causes the structure to be more non-conforming.        
               In determining whether the building relocation meets the setback to the greatest practical
extent, the Planning Board or its designee shall consider the size of the lot, the slope of the land, the potential for soil erosion, the location of other structures on the property and on adjacent properties, the location of the septic system and other on-site soils suitable for septic systems, and the type and amount of vegetation to be removed to accomplish the relocation.  When it is necessary to remove vegetation within the water or wetland setback area in order to relocate a structure, the Planning Board shall require replanting or native vegetation to compensate for the destroyed vegetation.  In addition, the area from which the relocated structure was removed must be replanted with vegetation.  

Replanting shall be required as follows:

  • Trees removed in order to relocate a structure must be replanted with at least one native tree, three (3) feet in height, for every tree removed.  If more than five trees are planted, no one species of tree shall make up more than 50% of the number of trees planted.  Replaced trees must be planted no further from the water or wetland than the trees that were removed.  
Other woody and herbaceous vegetation, and ground cover, that are removed or destroyed in order to relocate a structure must be re-established.  An area at least the same size as the area where vegetation and/or ground cover was disturbed, damaged, or removed must be re-established within the setback area.  The vegetation and/or ground cover must consist of similar native vegetation and/or ground cover that was disturbed, destroyed or removed.  
        
  • Where feasible, when a structure is relocated on a parcel the original location of the structure shall be replanted with vegetation which may consist of grasses, shrubs, trees, or a combination thereof.
        3.      Reconstruction or Replacement:
                Any non-conforming structure which is located less than the required setback from
a water body, tributary stream, or wetland and which is removed, or damaged or destroyed, regardless of the cause, by more than fifty (50%) percent of the market value of the structure before such damage, destruction or removal, may be reconstructed or replaced provided that a permit is obtained within eighteen (18) months of the date of said damage, destruction, or removal, and provided that such reconstruction or replacement is in compliance with the water body, tributary stream or wetland setback requirement to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Planning Board or its designee in accordance, with the purposes of this Ordinance.  In no case shall a structure be reconstructed or replaced so as to increase its non-conformity.  If the reconstructed or replacement structure is less than the required setback it shall not be any larger than the original structure, except as allowed pursuant to Section 12(C)(1) above, as determined by the non-conforming floor area and volume of the reconstructed or replaced structure at its new location.  If the total amount of floor area and volume of the original structure can be relocated or reconstructed beyond the required setback area, no portion of the relocated or reconstructed structure shall be replaced or constructed at less than the setback requirement for a new structure.  When it is necessary to remove vegetation in order to replace or reconstruct a structure, vegetation shall be replanted in accordance with Section 12(C)(2) above.

Any non-conforming structure which is located less than the required setback from a water body, tributary stream, or wetland and which is removed by fifty (50%) percent or less of the market value, or damaged or destroyed by fifty (50%) percent or less of the market value of the structure, excluding normal maintenance and repair, may be reconstructed in place if a permit is obtained, from the Code Enforcement Officer within one year of such damage, destruction, or removal.

In determining whether the building reconstruction or replacement meets the setback to the greatest practical extent the Planning Board or its designee shall consider in addition to the criteria in Section 12(C)(2) above, the physical condition and type of foundation present, if any.

        4.      Change of Use of a Non-Conforming Structure:
               The use of a non-conforming structure may not be changed to another use unless the
                Planning Board, after receiving a written application, determines that the new use will  
have no greater adverse impact on the water body, tributary stream, or wetland, or on the subject or adjacent properties and resources than the existing use.

                In determining that no greater adverse impact will occur, the Planning Board shall require
written documentation from the applicant, regarding the probable effects on public health and safety, erosion and sedimentation, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, vegetative cover, visual and actual points of  public access to waters, natural beauty, flood plain management, archaeological and historic resources, and other functionally water-dependent uses.

        D.      Non-Conforming Uses  
        
        1.      Expansions:
       Expansions of non-conforming uses are prohibited, except that non-conforming
residential uses may, after obtaining a permit from the Planning Board, be expanded within existing residential structures or within expansions of such structures as allowed in Section 12(C)(1)(a) above.

2.      Resumption Prohibited:
      A lot, building or structure in or on which a non-conforming use is discontinued for a
                period exceeding one year, or which is superseded by a conforming use, may not again
be devoted to a non-conforming use except that the Planning Board may, for good cause shown by the applicant, grant up to a one year extension to that time period.  This provision shall not apply to the resumption of a use of a residential structure, provided that the structure has been used or maintained for residential purposes during the preceding five (5) year period.

        3.      Change of Use:
                An existing non-conforming use may be changed to another non-conforming use
provided that the proposed use has no greater adverse impact on the subject and adjacent properties and resources, than the former use, as determined by the Planning Board.  The determination of no greater adverse impact shall be made according to criteria listed in Section 12(C)(4) above.  


        E.      Non-Conforming Lots    

                1.  Non-Conforming Lots:
A non-conforming lot of record as of the effective date of this Ordinance or amendment thereto may be built upon, without the need for a variance, provided that such lot is in separate ownership and not contiguous with any other lot in the same ownership, and that all provisions of this Ordinance except lot area, lot width and shore frontage can be met.  Variances relating to setback or other requirements not involving lot area, lot width or shore frontage shall be obtained by action of the Board of Appeals.

                2.  Contiguous Built Lots:      
If two or more contiguous lots or parcels are in single or joint ownership of record at the time of adoption of this Ordinance, if all or part of the lots do not meet the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance, and if a principal use or structure exists on each lot, the non-conforming lots may be conveyed separately or together, provided that the State Minimum Lot Size Law (12 M.R.S.A. sections 4807-A through 4807-D) and the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules are complied with.

If two or more principal uses or structures existed on a single lot of record on the effective date of this ordinance, each may be sold on a separate lot provided that the above referenced law and rules are complied with.  When such lots are divided each lot thus created must be as conforming as possible to the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance.  

                3.  Contiguous Lots – Vacant or Partially Built:
If two or more contiguous lots or parcels are in single or joint ownership of record at the time of, or since adoption or amendment of this Ordinance,  if any of these lots do not individually meet the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance or subsequent amendments, and if one or more of the lots are vacant or contain no principal structure; the lots shall be combined to the extent necessary to meet the dimensional requirements.

This provision shall not apply to two (2) or more contiguous lots, at least one of which is non-conforming, owned by the same person or persons on March 2, 1991 the effective date of this Ordinance and recorded in the registry of deeds if the lot is served by a public sewer or can accommodate a subsurface sewage disposal system in conformance with the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; and

  • Each lot contains at least one hundred (100) feet of shore frontage and at least twenty thousand (20,000) square feet of lot area; or
  • Any lots that do not meet the frontage and lot size requirements of Section 12(E)(3)(a) are reconfigured or combined so that each new lot contains at least one hundred (100) feet of shore frontage and twenty thousand (20,000) square feet of lot area.