In our first post on accessory uses, we introduced the value of accessory uses as a tool for permitting a land use that otherwise might not be permitted as a principal use. We also discussed the two-part test for determining whether a use is accessory – is it (i) customarily incidental to and (ii) subordinate to the principal use? In this post, we will conclude our discussion on accessory uses by looking at the “customarily incidental” part of the analysis.
The most important concept to remember when evaluating whether a use is “customarily incidental” to a principal use is not to assume that there must be evidence of a traditional relationship between the principal use and proposed accessory use. All too often, zoning officers are inclined to take the position that something cannot be an accessory use because they have never seen the proposed accessory use together with a principal use. This approach would lead to a stagnation of land uses that is not reflective of how uses evolve over time.