Land Development Control Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-235.pdf
Published: 1977

Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 1

CHAPTER 235

THE LAND DEVELOPMENT AND CONTROL ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Development Control Authority.
4. Secretary.
5. Indemnity.
6. Development Plan.
7. Appointment of Town and Country Planner.
8. Permission to develop land.
9. Application for permission to develop land.

10. Application for approval in principle.
11. Determination of application.
12. Reasons for refusal to be given.
13. Appeal.
14. Appeals Tribunal.
15. Deemed refusal of application.
16. Lapse of development permission.
17. Modification of existing legislation.
18. Register to be kept.
19. Employees.
20. Expenditure a charge on public revenue.
2 1. Exclusion of compensation.
22. Derelict land, buildings and vehicles.
23. Regulations.
24. Act binding on the Crown.
25. Service of notices.
26. Non-compliance.

Schedule.

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 3

LAND DEVELOPMENT AND CONTROL

(30th December, 1977.) 1511977.

1. This Act may be cited as the Land Development Short title-
and Control Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires- Interpretation.

6 6 advertisement" means any word, letter, model, sign,
placard, board, notice, device or representation,
whether illuminated or not, in the nature of, and
employed wholly or partly for the purpose of adver-
tisement, announcement or direction (excluding any
such thing employed wholly as a memorial) and
includes any hoarding or similar structure used,
or adapted for use, for the display of advertisements
and,references to the display of advertisements shall
be construed accordingly;

"application" means an application to the Authority
for permission to carry out development or for any
approval required by the Act and any subsidiary
legislation made hereunder;

"agriculture" includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed
growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping
of livestock (including any creature kept for the pro-
duction of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the pur-
pose of its use in the farming of land) the use of
land as grazing land, meadow land, market gardens
and nursery grounds and the use of land for
woodland where that use is ancillary to the farm-
ing of land for other agricultural purposes, and
"agricultural" shall be construed accordingly;

"agricultural land" does not include the garden of a
house or building or land within the curtilage of
a house or building (other than a market garden);

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4 CAP. 235) Land Development and Control

"Authority" means the Authority established under the
provisions of section 3;

"building" includes any erection, structure or any part
of a building erected on or made on or in or under
any lands and where the context so permits,
includes the land on, in or under which the building
is situated but does not include plant or machinery
comprised in a building;

"building operations7' includes rebuilding operations,
structural alterations, of, or additions to buildings
and any other operations normally undertaken by
a person carrying on business as a builder;

"development", subject to the provisions of section 8 (2)
means the carrying out of building, engineering,
mining or other operations in, on, over or under
land, or the making of any material change in the
use of any buildings or other land, or the segrega-
tion, division, or sub-division of any building or
land whether or not any building, engineering or
other operations have been carried out or are
intended to be carried out for the formation of lots;

L 6 engineering operations" includes the formation or lay-
ing out of means of access to highways and other
roads;

6 ' erection" in relation to buildings as defined in this
sub-division, includes extension, alteration and
re-erection;

"land" includes land covered with water and also
includes incorporeal as well as corporeal
hereditaments of every tenure or description and
any interest therein and also ap undivided share
in land:

"means of access" includes any means of access whether
private or public, for vehicles or for foot passengers,
and includes a road;

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 5

"minerals" includes all minerals or substances in or
under land of a kind ordinarily worked for removal
by underground or surface working;

"Minister" means the member of the Cabinet to whom
responsibility for the subject of land development
and control is assigned;

I < owner" in relation to any building or land means a
person, other than a mortgagee not in possession,
who, whether in his own right or as trustee or agent
for any other person, is for the time being entitled
to receive the rack rent and profits of the building
or land, or where the land or building is not let
at a rack rent, would be so entitled if it were so let;

"road" means any public or private road in Antigua
and Barbuda including any street, alley, land,
bridge, wharf and embarkment;

"sub-divide" means to divide or sub-divide a lot or
parcel of land or building into two or more parts
for sale, transfer, lease, letting, use, trust or for
any other transaction as well as for the develop-
ment of a new building;

"Town and Country Planner" means the person
appointed as such under section 7.

3. (1) There is hereby established a Development g;zEpment
Control Authority (hereinafter referred to as the "Authority") Authority.
which shall consist of the following members-

(a) a Chairman to be appointed by the Minister;

( b ) the Director of Public Works;

(c) the Chief Health Inspector;

(6) the Lands Officer;

(e) the Town and Country Planner;

V) a member, being a person in the Public Ser-
vice, appointed by the Minister;

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6 CAP. 235) Land Development and Control

e) two members, being persons not in the Public
Service, appointed by the Minister.

(2) The members appointed by the Minister under
subsection (1) shall be appointed for such period not
exceeding two years as the Minister shall in the appoint-
ment determine and upon expiration of an appointment such
appointed members shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) the Authority shall meet
at such times as may be expedient for the transaction of
business, and meetings shall be held at such places and times
and such days as the Authority may determine. I

(4) The Chairman shall at any time call a special
meeting to be held within seven days of a written requisi-
tion for that purpose addressed to him by any two members
of the Authority or by the Minister.

(5) The Chairman and three other members shall form
a quorum:

Provided that when any member, being a person refer-
red to in paragraph ( b ) , (c), (4, or (e) of subsection ( 1 ) is
unable to attend a meeting, he shall be represented thereat
by some other person appointed by the Minister.

(6 ) The Members of the Authority may appoint one
of their number to act as Chairman during the temporary
absence of the Chairman of the Authority owing to illness,
inability to attend, absence from Antigua and Barbuda or
any other reasonable cause.

(7) The Minister may at any time revoke the appoint-
ment of any member of the Authority if he thinks it expedient
to do so.

(8) The appointment of any member of the Authority
and the termination of office of any person as such member
whether by death, resignation, removal, effluxion of time
or otherwise shall be notified in the Gazette.

(9) In the case of an equality of votes on any question
at a meeting the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting
as well as a deliberative vote in respect of that question.

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 7

(10) A member of the Authority shall not vote upon,
nor shall any member or employee of the Authority take
part in the discussion of any matter before the Authority
in which he has, directly or indirectly by himself or in part-
nership or as a member of or as a director of a company
or like body, any pecuniary interest.

(1 1) Subject to the foregoing subsections, the Authority
shall have the power to regulate its own proceedings.

(12) The validity of any proceedings of the Authority
shall not be affected by any vacancy in its membership or
any defect in the appointment of any members.

4. The Secretary of the Authority shall be appointed Secretary.
by the Minister.

5. (1) No personal liability shall attach to any Indemnity.
member, the Secretary or any employee of the Authority
in respect of anything done or suffered in good faith under
the provisions of this Act and any sums of money, damages
or costs which may be recovered against them or any of them
for anything done or suffered as aforesaid shall be paid out
of the revenues of Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) No personal liability shall attach to any member,
the Secretary or any employee of the Authority in respect
of anything done or suffered in good faith under the provi-
sions of this Act and any sums of money, damages or costs
which may be recovered against them or any of them for
anything done or suffered aforesaid from the period of the
expiration of the Land Development (Interim Control) Act,
1974, until the coming into force of this Act shall be paid
out of the revenues of Antigua and Barbuda.

6. (1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to institute ;;a',".lopment
a survey of Antigua and Barbuda, examining the matters
which may be expected to affect the development of Antigua
and Barbuda or the planning of its development and in any
event to keep all such matters under review.

(2) Notwithstanding that the Authority have carried out
their duty under subsection (1) above, the Authority may,
if it thinks fit, and shall, if directed to do so by the Minister,

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8 CAP. 235) Land Development and Control

institute a fresh survey of Antigua and Barbuda examining
the matters mentioned in that subsection.

(3) The Authority shall be responsible for the prepara-
tion of a report on their survey under subsection (1) and
a Development Plan for Antigua and Barbuda as specified
in subsection (4).

(4) (a) The Development Plan shall comprise a writ-
ten statement, accompanied as necessary by diagrams,
illustrations and descriptive matter, setting out the pro-
posed development of Antigua and Barbuda and also
formulating the Authority's policy and general proposals
in respect of the development and other use of land in
Antigua and Barbuda (including measures for the
improvement of physical environment and management
of traffic).

(b) Such policy and proposals shall have regard to
the current and future policies with respect to the
economic and social development of Antigua and
Barbuda, the resources likely to be available for the
carrying out of the proposals, and to such other matters
as the Minister may direct them to take into account.

(5) The Development Plan shall be submitted to the
Minister, who shall submit it to the Cabinet for approval,
together with any recommendations he may consider
appropriate.

(6) Prior to submission of the Development Plan to the
Cabinet, the. Minister may direct the Authority to hold one
or more public meetings on the Plan or on any part thereof.

(7) The Authority shall publish in the Gazette, and, if
it deems fit in any other news media, notice of the time and
place at which any such public meeting as may be directed
under subsection (6) is to be held, at least seven days prior
to the date of such meeting.

(8) A record of the proceedings of any public meeting
held pursuant to subsection (6) shall be kept by the Secretary
of the Authority and a copy thereof shall be furnished to
the Minister as soon as is practicable thereafter.

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 9

(9) The Cabinet may approve the Development Plan
submitted to it or may direct that the Authority-

( a ) mgke such alterations or additions to the Plan
as the Cabinet may direct; or

( 6 ) redraft the Plan for submission through the
Minister to the Cabinet for approval.

( 1 0 ) Upon approval of the Development Plan it shall
be called the "Approved Development Plan" and shall be
used by the Authority and all departments or agencies of
Government as a policy guide and for the preparation of
ancillary plans for development and development control.

( 1 1) The Approved Development Plan shall be available
for inspection by the public at the office of the Authority
during normal office hours.

7. The Minister shall appoint a Town and Country :gf";yt
Planner for the purposes of this Act. Country Planner.

8. ( 1 ) Subject to subsection ( 2 ) , no person shall- ~ ~ ; ; ~ ; i ~ ; ~
( a ) develop any land or building except under and

in accordance with the terms of development permis-
sion granted for the purpose by the Authority; or

( 6 ) subdivide any land except under and in accord-
ance with the terms of development permission granted
by the Authority; and it shall be the policy of the Govern-
ment to withhold the provision of improvements and
services until such permission is granted; or

(c) without the approval of the Authority display
any advertisement on any external part of a building
or on a hoarding on any land.

( 2 ) The provisions of subsection ( 1 ) shall not apply to
any development specified in the Schedule.

(3) If any person develops any land o r building or
displays any advertisement in contravention of the provi-
sions of this Act, the owner of the land and every person
who in any way engages himself in such development or

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10 CAP. 234) Land Adjudication

readjusted by him, which the Demarcation Officer is
unable to resolve; or

(b) there are two or more claimants to any interest
in land and the Recording Officer is unable to effect
agreement between them,

the Demarcation Officer or the Recording Officer as the case
may be shall refer the matter to the Adjudication Officer.

(2) The Adjudication Officer shall adjudicate upon and
determine any dispute referred to him under subsection (I),
having due regard to any law which may be applicable, and
shall make and sign a record of the proceedings:

Provided that nothing in this section shall empower the
Adjudication Officer to vary any interest in land registered
under the Title by Registration Act.

PART IV

Principles of Adjudication and Preparation of
Adjudication Record

Principles OF 16. (I) In preparing the adjudication record-
adjudication etc.

(a) if the Recording Officer is satisfied that a
person-

(i) is in open and peaceable possession of a parcel
of land other than a parcel which is Crown
Land and has been in such possession, by
himself or his predecessors in title, for an
uninterrupted period of twelve years or more;
or

(ii) has a good documentary title to the parcel and
that no other person has acquired or is in
course of acquiring a title thereto under any
law relating to prescription or limitation, and
that he would succeed in maintaining and
defending such possession or title against any
other person claiming the land or any part
thereof,

the Recording Officer shall record that person as the owner
of the parcel and declare his title to be absolute;

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Land Adjudication (CAP. 234 11

(6) if the Recording Officer is satisfied that any
land is entirely free from private rights, or that the rights
existing in or over it do not amount to full ownership
and are not such as to enable him to proceed under
paragraph (6) of this subsection, he shall record the land
as Crown Land;

(c) if the Recording Officer is satisfied that any land
is subject to any right which is registrable as a lease,
charge, easement, profit or restrictive agreement under
the Registered Land Act he shall record such particulars
as shall enable the right and the name of the person
entitled to the benefit thereof to be registered, and if
such right is registered under the Title by Registration
Act, he shall record such particulars as appear in the
register;

(d) if the Recording Officer is satisfied that a per-
son is in possession of or has a right to a parcel but
is not satisfied that such person is entitled to be recorded
under paragraph (a) of this subsection as the owner of
the parcel with absolute title, the Recording Officer may
nevertheless record that person as the owner of the parcel
and declare his title to be provisional and shall record-

(i) the date on which the possession of that per-
son shall be considered to have begun;

(ii) particulars of any deed, instrument or other
document by virtue of which some estate, right
or interest adverse to or in derogation of the
title of that person might exist; or

(iii) any other qualification which affects the title.

(2) For the purpose of this section-

(a) a person is deemed to be in possession of land
if he does not acknowledge the title of any other person
to that land and by himself, his agent, tenant or ser-
vant, has the use of the land to the exclusion of the
public;

(6) "good documentary title" means a title
registered under the Title by Registration Act, or a title
evidenced by documents which establishes that a per-
son is entitled to land in fee simple and commencing

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12 CAP. 235) Land Development and Control

(2) In making their decision the Authority shall be
bound to take full account of the Approved Development
Plan.

Application for
approval in

10. (1) An application may be made for approval in
principle. principle.

(2) If any person who proposes to carry out any develop-
ment wishes to have it determined whether what he proposes
would constitute development of the land or a building, and
if so, whether an application for permission to develop in
respect thereof is required under this Act, he may, either
as part of an application for permission to develop, or without
any such application, apply to the Authority to determine
the question.

(3) The provisions of section 13 shall apply in relation
to an application under this section, and to the determina-
tion thereof, as they apply in relation to applications for the
grant of permission for development and to the determina-
tion of such an application.

Determination Of 1 . (1) The Authority may, after consideration of the application.
application, grant permission as to the whole or any part
of the application (hereinafter called "development permis-
sion") with or without conditions or time 1imLations'or may
refuse permission.

(2) If after consideration of the application and examina-
tion of the plans, if any, the Authority considers it desirable
to do so, it may refer back the application and the plans
to the applicant for amendment thereof or may require the
applicant to appear before the Authority to justify or clarify
any point of the application or plans which the Authority
considers necessary.

Reasons for
refusal to be

12. If the Authority after due consideration of the
given. application and of the plans, if any, refuses permission to

the applicant or grants the development permission subject
to conditions or limitations it shall at the same time give
the applicant in writing its reason for so refusing, or for
imposing conditions or limitations.

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 13

13. ( 1 ) Upon refusal of the Authority to grant per- Appeal.
mission or on the Authority granting development permis-
sion subject to conditions or limitations, the applicant may,
within three months after such refusal has been received by
him appeal against such refusal, conditions or limitations
to the Minister, setting out the grounds upon which the
appeal is made.

( 2 ) Every appeal to the Minister under subsection ( 1 )
shall be referred by him to the Appeals Tribunal established
under section 14, for the purpose of hearing and determin-
ing the appeal.

(3) The determination of the Tribunal on any appeal
referred to it shall be conveyed to the Minister in writing
and the Minister shall inform the applicant and the Authority
accordingly.

14. ( 1 ) The Appeals Tribunal shall be appointed by zg;fd.
the Minister and shall consist of-

(a) a Chairman, who shall be a legal practitioner;

( b ) a Town and Country Planner other than the
one appointed under section 7 or a construction engineer
or architect;

( c ) one other member.

( 2 ) The appointments to the Appeals Tribunal shall be
for a period not exceeding two years and upon expiry the
persons appointed shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Minister may
revoke any appointment at any time.

( 4 ) In hearing and determining any appeal, the
Tribunal shall regulate its own proceedings and shall have
the power to receive or invite such evidence, including pro-
fessional opinions, as it deems necessary.

15. ( 1 ) Unless the Authority gives its decision on an ~ P P ~ c . ~
application within a period of three months from the receipt
of the application or such extended period as may be agreed

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14 CAP. 235) Land Develo@ent and Control

in writing between an applicant and the Authority, the
application will be deemed to have been refused.

(2) Where there is a deemed refusal under subsection (1)
the applicant shall have the right of appeal provided by
section 13(1).

Lapse of
development
permission.

16. In the event of a development not having been,
in the opinion of the Authority substantially commenced or
an advertisement not having been displayed within the period
of two years from the date of granting development permis-
sion or within such other period as the Authority may allow,
the development permission shall lapse and no such develop-
ment may take place until a further application has been
made under section 9 or 10 and development permission
granted under section 11.

Modification of
existing 17. Where development plans are formulated under,
legislation. or development permission is given in accordance with, this

Act and such development plans or permission are inconsis-
tent with the provisions of any other legislation then such
other legislation shall be read and construed with such
modifications and adaptations as are necessary to bring it
into conformity with this Act.

Register to be
kept. 18. The Authority shall keep a register of all develop-

ment applications, decisions, appeals, appeals decisions and
other relevant information thereto which shall be open for
inspection at the office of the Authority during normal work'
ing hours, and the maps and plans accompanying an
application shall likewise be open for inspection at the office
of the Authority..

Employees. 19. (1) There shall be provided to the Authority, such
employees as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out
planning studies, surveys, technical reviews, inspections and
any other duties directed by the Authority.

(2) Every member of the Authority, and every
employee, when engaged in the inspection of private pro-
perty shall, upon request produce his letter of appointment
as member, or employment identity card as employee, of
the Authority to the occupier or person in charge of such
property.

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 15

(3) Every member of the Authority, and every
employee, in the performance of his duties under this Act
shall have the power to enter (together with such assistant
or workmanbas he may deem necessary) at all reasonable
times, any premises or land, and to carry out thereon such
examination or enquiring as may be necessary.

(4) Any person who wilfully hinders or assaults any
member or employee of the Authority in the performance
of his duties under this Act shall be guilty of an offence and
liable on summary conviction to a fine of four hundred dollars
or to imprisonment for one month.

20. Any expenditure incurred by the Authority shall B;~;d~,"';u;lic
be a charge on and shall be paid out of the-public revenue ,,,,,.
on the authority of Parliament.

21. No compensation shall be payable by Govern- Exclusion of
compensation.

ment or by the Authority in consequence of any decision
or order given by the Authority, the Minister or the Appeals
Tribunal pursuant to any development plan, development
permission or regulation made under this Act.

22. (1) If it appears to the Authority that the amenity,
health or safety of any area within Antigua and Barbuda
is seriously injured by reason of the condition of any land
or building, garden or vacant site or the condition, waste,
neglect of vehicles or scrap in the occupation of land or a
road, then it may serve on the owner or occupier of the land
a notice requiring such steps for abating the injury as may
be so specified.

(2) The service of a notice under subsection (1) shall
be deemed to be the service of an enforcement notice and
the provisions of section 8(5) to (11) inclusive shall be
applicable hereto.

23. The Minister may make regulations for the bet- agul*tiow*
ter carrying out of the purposes of this Act and, without pre-
judice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations
may-

(a) prescribe all matters which are required or per*
mitted to be prescribed;

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16 CAP. 235) Land Development and Control

( 6 ) provide for the imposition by a court, of-

(i) a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars;
or

(ii) a term of imprisonment not exceeding three
months, for any breach of the regulations.

Act binding on
the Crown.

24. This Act shall bind the Crown.

Service of
notices. 25. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any

notice or other document required or authorised to be served
or given under this Act, or under any regulation, order, direc-
tion, or instrument in writing under this Act, may be served
or given either-

( a ) by delivering it to the person on whom it is
to be served or to whom it is to be given;

( 6 ) by leaving it at the usual or last known place
of abode of that person, or, in the case in which an
address for service has been furnished by that person,
at that address;

(c) by sending it in a prepaid registered letter
addressed to that person at his usual or last known place
of abode, or, in any case in which an address for ser-
vice has been furnished by that person, at that address;
or

(6) in the case of a body corporate by delivering
it to the secretary or clerk of the body corporate at its
registered or principal office, or sending it in a prepaid
registered letter addressed to the secretary or clerk of
the body corporate at that office.

(2) Where the notice or document is required or
authorised to be served on any person as having an interest
in premises, and the name of that person cannot be ascer-
tained after reasonable inquiry, or where the notice or any
document is required or authorised to be served on any per-
son as an occupier of premises the notice shall be deemed
to be duly served if-

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Land Development and Control (CAP. 235 17

(a) being addressed to him either by name, or by
the description of "the owner" or "the occupier", as
the case may be, of the premises (describing them) it
is delivered or sent in the manner prescribed by
paragraph (a), (6) or (c) of subsection (1); or

( b ) being addressed as aforesaid and marked in
such a manner that it is plainly identifiable as a com-
munication of importance, it is sent in a prepaid
registered letter to the premises and is not returned to
the Authority sending it, or is delivered to some person
on those premises or is affixed conspicuously to some
object on those premises.

(3) Where the notice or other document is required to
be served on or given to all persons having interests in, or
being occupiers of, premises comprised in any land, and it
appears that any part of that land is unoccupied, the notice
shall be deemed to be duly served on all persons having in-
terests in, and on any occupiers of, premises comprised in
that part of the land (other than a person who has furnished
an address for the service of the notice on him) if it is ad-
dressed to "the owners and any occupiers" of that part of
the land (describing it), and is affixed conspicuously to some
object on the land.

26. (1) Any owner or occupier who fails to comply Non-compliance.
with the terms specified in any notice under this Act within
the prescribed period shall be guilty of an offence and liable
on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars
or to imprisonment for six months.

(2) Every person who, having been convicted under
subsection (1) of failing to comply with the terms of a notice,
fails within any further period specified by the Authority in
a notice served on him, to comply with the requirements
of that notice shall be guilty of a further offence and liable
for each day during which the offence continues to a fine
of one hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month.

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18 C A P . 235) Land Development and Control

SCHEDULE (section 8 (2))

Development for which development permission is unnecessary

1. The development of land for agricultural or forestry purposes, including
the construction of buildings, structures and facilities directly related to
such use.

2. The maintenance, alteration or improvement of any building or structure
which does not adversely affect the safety or health of any occupier thereof
and which does not involve any major structural change or material change
of external appearance or any addition thereto.

3. The erection of any garden hut or similar structure not used for human
habitation, but not including a garage.

4. The erection or installation of any tent, trailer, van or other moveable
building.

5. The construction of pathways or walks or gates, walls or fences not
exceeding a height of six feet.

6. The development of existing buildings, on land within the curtilage of
any dwelling house, for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of
occupancy of such building.
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