Division Of Structures Pre-dating Subdivision Control Onto Separate Lots

Another interesting concept from Nantucket addresses an inconsistency between the Subdivision Control Act and the Zoning Act. Chapter 41 Section 81L allows structures that are on one lot to be divided onto separate lots. Under the Zoning Act these new lots are illegal as new non-conformities are created by the land division. Nantucket Town Meeting was asked to consider giving these parcels a protected status.

“Lots created pursuant to MGL c. 41, § 81P, based upon the exception in the clause of MGL c. 41, § 81L for lots containing two or more structures that predate the adoption of subdivision control in the Town, shall have the same status as preexisting, nonconforming lots, and any structures thereon, which predate the adoption of subdivision control in the Town, shall have the status of preexisting nonconforming structures.”

Under this provision, structures maintain pre-existing non-conforming status, the new setbacks frontage and lot areas would all be protected. The zoning proposal provides protection for structures. It does not address uses. One would have to conclude that dividing cottages onto separate lots would not give seasonal structures year round status.

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