Permits / Code Enforcement
A Town of Union Official has just informed you that it is not
possible for him to grant you a building permit. Do you have to do
without that needed bedroom, the larger kitchen or the patio roof? The
answer is "Not always"! Based on 1998 and 1999 figures, one
building permit in every ten was denied for various reasons. This
pamphlet will help explain the reason the permit request was denied and
the procedure necessary to possibly receive permission to accomplish
The building inspector did not listen to the reasons why I needed my request granted!
It is not that the inspector didn't listen or didn't care about your
problem. By law the Building Inspector has to enforce zoning law as
written and does not have the power to grant permits based on one's
personal needs. In some cases, the inspector may suggest alternatives,
which can be approved. In other cases, he feels as helpless as the
unsuccessful applicant for a Building Permit.
Why can't I do what I want to do?
In most cases, it is one of three reasons that your request was
denied. The reason was probably one (or more) of the following items:
- The Town of Union Zoning Ordinance requires certain setbacks from
property lines to structures on the lot. Also, accessory structures,
such as sheds and pools, have to have a minimum setback from the
principal building or other accessory structures. In many cases, the
existing structures on the lot do not meet the current ordinance.
- Each parcel of land in the Town of Union is zoned based on a
comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan portrays the Town's
future land use scheme and in doing so, may conflict with current
uses on the lot. It is possible that a residential use currently
exists on a parcel designated on the master plan and zoning map as
commercially zoned property. Since residential uses are not
permitted in commercial districts a permit cannot be issued.
- The Building Inspector has to enforce the Zoning Ordinance as he
reads it. It may be possible for you to read the same section of the
ordinance and disagree with the inspector's ruling.
Code Staff assists applicants in preparing for applying for the
necessary variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Town of Union
has a pamphlet, which explains the variance procedure.