Article 20. Nonconformities

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Section 20.1. INTENT.

It is the intent of this ordinance to permit legal nonconforming lots, structures, or uses to continue until they are removed but not to encourage their continuance. It is recognized there exists lots, structures, and uses of land which were lawful before this ordinance was passed that would otherwise be prohibited or restricted under the terms of this ordinance. These nonconformities will be allowed to continue to exist until they are discontinued or abandoned, but are declared by this ordinance to be incompatible with permitted uses in the districts involved. To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to require a change in the plans, construction or designated use of any building on which actual construction was lawfully begun prior to the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance.

 

Section 20.2. NONCONFORMING USES OF LAND.

Where at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance, lawful use of land exists that is made no longer permissible under the terms of this ordinance as enacted or amended such use may be continued, so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

  • A nonconforming use may be changed to a permitted use in the zoning district.
  • A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use of the same intensity or more similar to permitted uses in the district, provided no structural alternations are made.
  • No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance.
  • No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot or parcel occupied by such use at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance.
  • If such nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of more than six (6) months, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this ordinance for the district in which such land is located.
  • Any nonconforming lot of record, in accordance with the provisions in Section 15.2, which does not meet the minimum lot width or lot area shall be allowed to be built upon for any permitted or conditional use if such use maintains the required front, side, and rear yards in relation to the principal use building or structure.

 

Section 20.3. NONCONFORMING BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.

Where a lawful building or structure exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance that could not be built under the terms of this ordinance by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, yards or other characteristics of the structure or its location on the lot, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity. Such structure may be altered in a way which does not increase its nonconformity. Such structural alterations or additions must remain in conformity with the site development regulations (i.e. yard setbacks, open space, building height, etc.) of the district in which such building or structure is located.

Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than fifty percent (50%) of its replacement costs, exclusive of the foundation, it shall be reconstructed only in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance.

Should such structure be moved for any reason for any distance whatever, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which it is located after it is moved.

In the event that a nonconforming building or structure or premises is discontinued for a period of six (6) months, the use of the same shall conform thereafter to the uses permitted in the district in which it is located.

Where nonconforming status applies to a building or structure and land in combination, the removal or destruction of the building or structure shall eliminate the nonconforming status of the land.

 

Section 20.4. REPAIRS OR REPLACING DAMAGED BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.

Any nonconforming building or structure damaged by fire, flood, windstorm, explosion, war, riot, or any natural disaster, or act of God or public enemy to the extent of more than fifty percent (50%) of its replacement value at the time of damage shall not be restored or reconstructed and used as before such happening. If less than fifty percent (50%) of the replacement value of the building is damaged it may be restored, reconstructed, or used as before, provided that the cubic content of the building as it existed at the time of passage or amendment of this ordinance shall not be increased and reconstruction is started within one (1) year of such happening. Nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by an official charged with protecting the public safety upon orders of such official.

 

Section 20.5. CHANGE OF TENANCY OR OWNERSHIP.

There may be a change of tenancy, ownership or management of any existing nonconforming uses of land, of structures, or of structures and land in combination without affecting the nonconforming status of such land, buildings or use.

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