Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

I want to expand my building. Where do I find out what I can and can’t do?

There are several different issues that you should look at if you want to expand an existing building. First, you should fill out a Zoning Permit application and file it with the Building Department. The Application can be found at the Building Department’s website, http://www.cityofwestfield.org/detpages/departments99.html.

The Zoning Permit application will require you to determine what zone your property is in (for example, CORE, Business A, etc.). You can look at the City of Westfield Zoning Map (http://www.cityofwestfield.org/pdfs/35+zoning%20map1.jpg) to determine how your property is zoned. Each zone has different requirements for building height, lot coverage and parking spaces that might affect your ability to build out or up. You can find out the requirements for a particular zone by looking at the Westfield Zoning Ordinance, found at http://www.cityofwestfield.org/detpages/departments97.html.

Keep in mind that if your property is a “grandfathered” use in the zone you may not be able to expand. For example, if your property has been used as a manufacturing facility since the 1950’s, but it is located in the “Commercial A” zone which does not allow manufacturing, your use would be considered to be grandfathered since the property was used for manufacturing prior to the adoption of the Westfield zoning ordinance in 1987.

While you can continue to use your property for manufacturing, you may not be allowed to expand that use since it is not an allowed use in that zone. You may also need to consider whether your property abuts any wetlands. If that is the case, there are certain restrictions on building structures or altering the land within 100 feet of the wetland area. The wetlands ordinance is overseen by the Conservation Commission, and a copy of the ordinance can be found on the Commission’s website at http://www.cityofwestfield.org/detpages/departments57.html. You should consult a surveyor to assist you in determining the area of your lot and how much of the lot is covered by the building. If you property is affected by wetlands, you may also need a wetlands consultant.

Last update on January 17, 2011 by Administrator.

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DISCLAIMER:
This site is intended to provide information about doing business in the Greater Westfield area.  It is not intended to take the place of consulting an advisor such as an attorney or accountant.  You should not treat the answers on this site as legal, accounting or professional advice.  Such advice can only be properly given by qualified professionals who are fully aware of your particular circumstances.  While we have made efforts to keep the site current, many of the laws, regulations and ordinances referred to change on a regular basis, and so the information provided may not reflect the most current legal developments.