Article 9.8 - Religious Institutions

The scale and activity level of religious institutions is a function of size and the range of accessory uses associated with the institution; very high activity levels have the potential to be disruptive to residential and small scale mixed use areas. To diminish disruptive impacts by ensuring appropriate locational and design standards, the development and expansion of religious institutions and accessory uses in residential, town center, and neighborhood center districts shall meet the following standards:

.1 Religious institutions shall meet the standards for civic building and lot type, Article 4.
.2 Development Standards.

(a) Exterior lighting shall be directed or screened so as to protect the privacy of the private living areas and associated open spaces of adjacent residential properties.

(b) Accessory dwelling units for persons associated with or employed by the religious institution may be provided at a ratio of 1 unit for each 3 acres of site; these limits do not apply to the placement of convents, rectories, parsonages or similar uses on the site.

.3 Accessory uses such as religious institution offices, religious bookstores serving the immediate congregation, parking lots, family life centers, multi-purpose facilities, outdoor recreational facilities, cemeteries and day care centers on the same site or sites contiguous to the principal use shall be permitted wherever religious institutions are permitted and shall meet the civic building and lot type, or another building and lot type permitted in the zoning district. Similar uses on non-contiguous sites or on a site separated from the principal use by a public street shall be considered principal uses in their own right and be regulated as such. Tombstones, crypts, monuments and mausoleums in accessory cemeteries shall be located at least 25 feet from any street right-of-way line or abutting property.

.4 Religious institution accessory uses which are not permitted as principal uses in a district shall adhere to the following restrictions:

(a) no merchandise or merchandise display shall be visible from outside the building;

(b) no business or identification sign pertaining to the accessory uses shall be visible from outside the building;

.5 Except as noted in.3, above, accessory uses not permitted as principal uses (including television stations, radio stations, printing presses, or sports complexes) are prohibited. This provision shall in no way restrict accessory use family life centers and multipurpose facilities, a part of whose function may include recreation and sports activities.

.6 Application for a building permit shall include a comprehensive site plan which addresses the required standards and conditions for the main site and all abutting holdings.

.7 In a Corporate Business zoning district, religious institutions shall only be allowed with the issuance of a special use permit subject to the following:

(a) Religious institutions shall only be allowed on existing lots and in existing buildings as of August 5, 2013, no greater than 50,000 square feet. Additions to buildings intended for church use will be limited to 10% of the existing floor area of the building.

(b) Religious institutions shall be limited to a temporary use. The length of time allowed for the religious institution to operate will be determined by the Town Board during the special use permit process; not to exceed three (3) years from the occupancy of the temporary building. If the religious institution does not occupy the building within one (1) year of the special use permit approval, the permit will become null and void. A religious institution may apply for another Special Use Permit allowing an additional two (2) years in the CB district with the approval of the Town Board. At no time shall an individual religious institution be located in the CB district at the same location for more than a total of five (5) years.

(c) The maximum number of members shall be set in accordance with the fire code.

(d) Parking shall be internal to the site. Unless the adjacent public street is specifically designed to accommodate on-street parking, no on-street parking is allowed.

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