Also, how the fire department treats the matter has no reflection on zoning. The smoke / Co 2 certificate solely addresses compliance with smoke detector / carbon monoxide detector laws. Many people assume that town / city departments are all connected. This is not true ! Each department handles only their scope of responsibility. For example, many make the mistake of using assessors cards to determine zoning. They list properties as two families if they are taxed that way. Assessors will evaluate properties based upon their current usuage, irrelevant to zoning compliance.
In short, whenever any legal use question arises, go to the source. Usually, the building inspector, who in most towns also serves as the zoning enforcement offficer and request a zoning compliance determination. Better safe than sorry .. I echo the "better have an inlaw who is a lawyer" comment
It's always best to check in with the town's Building Inspector before making any plans or modifications to the home in order to avoid any disappoints. As a local Realtor, I have been asked by homeowners to approach the Building Inspector to detail their intensions while they remain anonymous.
Feel free to contact us for a more detailed discussion and strategies. Good Luck!
MOST IMPORTANTLY DO NOT REPRESENT THAT YOU HAVE A IN-LAW IF YOU ALREADY KNOW IT IS INVIOLATION OF THE TOWN.
OTHER WISE I HOPE YOUR IN-LAW IS AN ATTORNEY AND YOU HAVE DEEP POCKETS.