APPENDIX C – ZONING REGULATIONSAPPENDIX C – ZONING REGULATIONS\ARTICLE 8. NONCONFORMING LOTS, STRUCTURES AND USES

The purpose of this Article is to (1) provide for the regulation of nonconforming lots buildings structures and uses; and (2) specify those circumstances and conditions under which such nonconformities shall be permitted to continue. The right to continue a nonconforming lot, building structure or use shall not be affected by a change in ownership or operator of the structure or use unless such ownership or operator is a condition attached to an approval for a special or conditional use. Definitions of such nonconformities are as follow:

A.    Nonconforming Lot of Record. A zoning lot which is shown by a recorded plat or deed to have been owned separately and individually from adjoining tracts of land at a time when the creation of a lot of such size and width at such location would not have been prohibited by any zoning regulations and such lot now neither complies with the lot area requirements or the width for any permitted uses in the zoning district in which it is located.

B.    Nonconforming Structure. An existing building or structure which does not comply with the maximum lot coverage and height or the minimum yard requirements which are applicable to new structures in the zoning district in which it is located.

C.    Nonconforming Use. An existing use of a structure or land which does not comply with the use regulations applicable to new uses in the zon­ing district in which it is located.

D.    Nonconformity. A nonconforming lot use or structure that does not comply with currently applicable regulations but that complied with zoning regulations in effect at the time it was legally established. (See Sections 8-100(A), (B) and C above and Section 8-107 for Registration of Nonconformities and Exemptions.)

A.    In Any Residential District.

1.    Notwithstanding the regulations imposed by any other provision of these regulations a single-family detached dwelling or any type of manufactured or mobile home which is a permitted use by the applicable district regulations and complies with the restrictions in Section 8-101(A)(2) may be located on a lot(s) in the same ownership that is not less than 50 feet in width with public water and sewerage and that consists entirely of a tract of land that:

a.     Has less than the prescribed minimum lot area width or depth or all three; and

b.    Meets the definition in Section 8-100(A) for a nonconforming lot of record.

2.    Construction permitted by Section 8-101(A)(1) shall comply with all of the regulations except lot area width and depth applicable to a single-family detached dwelling or any type of manufactured or mobile home permitted in the zoning district in which the lot in question is located; provided however that the following side yard requirements shall apply in place of the side yard require­ments otherwise applicable:

a.     The structure shall be placed on the lot so as to provide a yard on each side of the dwelling.

b.    The sum of the widths of the two side yards on each lot shall be not less than the smaller of:

(1)   20% of the width of the lot, or

(2)   the minimum total for both side yards prescribed by the bulk regulations for the zoning district.

c.     In any case neither side yard resulting from the methods permitted in Section 8-101(A)(2)(b) shall be less than five feet wide.

d.    When a yard is also considered to be a front yard on a corner lot one of the front yards comprising part of the lot width may be reduced to 15 feet; provided that a driveway to a parking space must maintain a length of at least 20 feet from the front lot line.

B.    In Districts Other than Residential Districts.

1.    Notwithstanding the regulations imposed by any other provision of these regulations a structure designed for any permitted use may be erected on a lot of the type described in Section 8-101(A)(1).

2.    Construction permitted by Section 8-101(B)(1) shall comply with all of the regulations except minimum lot area width and depth applicable in the zoning district in which the lot in question is located; provided that the width of any side yard must not be less than that derived by applying the following formula (wherein the width of any side yard required=w):

w =

Actual lot width   X

Minimum side yard required by district regulations

Minimum lot width required by district regulations

A.    Authority to Continue. Any structure which is devoted to a use which is permitted in the zoning district in which it is located but which is located on a lot which does not comply with the applicable lot size requirements and/or the applicable bulk regulations may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the restrictions in Section 8-102(B) through 8-102(D).

B.    Enlargement. Repair or Alterations. Any such structure described in Section 8-102(A) may be enlarged maintained repaired or structurally altered; provided however that no such enlargement maintenance, repair or alteration shall either create any additional nonconformity or increase the degree of existing nonconformity of all or any part of such structure except that as to structures located on a lot that does not comply with the applicable lot size requirements the side yard requirements shall be determined by Section 8-101(A)(2) or 8-101(B)(2) whichever is applicable.

C.    Damage. In the event that any structure described in Section 8-102(A) is damaged by any means except flooding to the extent of more than 50% of its fair market value such structure shall not be restored unless it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the zoning district in which it is located; provided that structures located on a lot that does not comply with the applicable lot size requirements shall not in any event be required to provide a side yard that exceeds the yard requirements in Sections 8-101(A)(2) or (B)(2) whichever is applicable. When a structure is damaged to the extent of 50% or less of its fair market value no repairs or restoration shall be made unless a zoning permit is obtained and restoration is actually begun within one year after the date of such partial destruction and is diligently pursued to comple­tion. If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Zoning Administrator in approving the percent of damage to the value of the structure based on data submitted by the applicant an appeal may be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a determination. (See Section 8-105 for Nonconforming Nonresidential Structures and Uses and Appendix for Substantial-Damage and Substantial-Improvement in the Floodplain Management Regulations.)

D.    Moving. No structure described in Section 8-102(A) shall be moved in whole or in part for any distance whatever to any other location on the same or any other lot unless the entire structure shall thereafter conform to the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located after being moved. (See Section 3-103(M) for Moving Structures.)

A.    Authority to Continue. Any lawfully existing nonconforming use of part or all of a structure or any lawfully existing nonconforming use of land not involving a structure or only involving a structure which is accessory to such use of land may be continued so long as otherwise lawful subject to the regulations contained in Sections 8-103(B) through 8-103(J).

B.    Ordinary Repair and Maintenance.

1.    Normal maintenance and incidental repair or replacement installation or relocation of nonbearing walls nonbearing partitions fixtures wiring or plumbing may be performed on any structure that is devoted in whole or in part to a nonconforming use; provided , however that this subsection shall not be deemed to authorize any violation of Sections 8-103(C) through (I) of these regulations.

2.    Nothing in these regulations shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of a structure in accordance with an order of a public official who is charged with protecting the public safety and who declares such structure to be unsafe and orders its restoration to a safe condition provided that such restoration will not be in violation of Section 8-103(F) of these regulations.

C.    Structural Alteration. No structure that is devoted in whole or in part to a nonconforming use shall be structurally altered unless the entire structure and use thereof shall thereafter conform to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.

D.    Extension.

1.    Extension of a nonconforming use is permitted within a noncon­forming structure to any portion of the floor area that was not occupied by such nonconforming use on the effective date of these regulations or on the effective date of the original City Zoning Regulations or a subsequent amendment heretofore that caused such use to become nonconforming; provided however that no structural alterations shall be made unless such changes and the use thereof conform to the regulations of the district in which the structure is located.

2.    Extension of a nonconforming use of a part of a structure is not permitted if all or substantially all of the structure is designed or intended for a use which is permitted in the district in which the structure is located nor shall the use be changed to any other nonconforming use.

3.    Extension of a nonconforming use is not permitted to any structure or land area other than the one actually occupied or used by such nonconforming use on the effective date of these regulations or on the effective date of the original City Zoning Regulations or a subsequent amendment heretofore that caused such use to become nonconforming.

E.    Enlargement. No structure that is devoted in whole or in part to a nonconforming use shall be enlarged or added to in any manner unless such structure and the use thereof shall thereafter conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located.

F.    Damage. In the event that any structure that is devoted in whole or in part to a nonconforming use is damaged, by any means except flooding to the extent of more than 50% of its fair market value such structure shall not be restored unless such structure and the use thereof shall thereafter conform to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is located. When such damage is 50% or less of the fair market value no repairs or restoration shall be made unless a zoning permit is obtained and restoration is actually begun within one year after the date of such partial damage and is diligently pursued to completion. If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Zoning Administrator in approving the percent of damage to the value of the structure based on data submitted by the applicant an appeal may be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a determination. (See Section 8-105 for Nonconforming Nonresidential Structures and Uses and Appendix for Substantial-Damage and Substantial-Improvement in the Floodplain Management Regulations.)

G.    Moving. No structure that is devoted in whole or in part to a nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part for any distance whatever to any other location on the same or any other lot unless the entire structure and the use thereof shall thereafter conform to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is located after being so moved. No nonconforming use of land shall be moved in whole or in part for any distance whatever to any other location on the same or any other lot unless such use shall thereafter conform to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is located after being so moved.(See Section 3-103(M) for Moving Structures.)

H.    Change in Use. If no structural alterations are made other than those necessary to repair or maintain the structure as described in Section 8-103(B)(1) a nonconforming use of a structure may be changed to another nonconforming use of the same or of a similar type of use or more restrictive use. Similarly, a nonconforming use of land not involving a structure or involving only an accessory structure may also be changed. When a nonconforming use has been changed to a more restrictive use or to any permitted use it shall not thereafter be changed back to a less restrictive use or to a nonconforming use. In determining whether a change in use is the same similar or more restrictive the Zoning Administrator shall consider the changes in environmental factors such as outdoor storage loading traffic parking noise lighting air pollution hours of operation screening and other factors as well as the provisions available in Section 8-105. (See Section 9-101(A) for Zoning Permits and Section 9-101(B) for Occupancy Certificates.)

I.     Abandonment.

1.    When a nonconforming use of land not involving a structure or involving only a structure which is accessory to the nonconforming use of land is abandoned for a period of six consecutive months such use shall not thereafter be reestablished or resumed and any subsequent use or occupancy of such land shall comply with the regulations of the zoning district in which such land is located.

2.    When a nonconforming use of a part or all of a structure which was designed and intended for any use which is permitted in the zoning district in which such structure is located is abandoned for a period of 12 consecutive months such use shall not thereafter be reestablished or resumed, and any subsequent use or occupancy of such structure shall comply with the regulations of the zoning district in which such structure is located.

3.    When a nonconforming use of a part or all of a structure which was not designed and intended for any use which is permitted in the zoning district in which such structure is located is abandoned for a period of 12 consecutive months such use shall not thereafter be reestablished or resumed and any subsequent use or occupancy of such structure shall comply with the regulations of the zoning district in which such structure is located.

J.     Nonconforming Accessory Uses. No use which is accessory to a principal nonconforming use shall continue after such principal use shall cease or terminate.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 8-103(C), (D) and (E), any structure which is devoted to a residential use and which is located in a business or industrial district may be structurally altered extended expanded and enlarged; provided that after any such alteration extension expansion or enlargement such structure shall not be used to accommodate a greater number of dwelling or lodging units than such structure accommodated prior to any such work unless specifically permitted by the district.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of these regulations and, in particular. Sections 8-102 (B) and (C) and 8-103(C), (D), (E) and (F), nonconforming nonresidential structures and uses that existed on the day prior to the effective date of these regula­tions may apply on a one time basis only to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a conditional use to structurally alter enlarge or reconstruct after damage or make extensions to structures or uses including the use of additional land when properly zoned for the use so long as in the opinion of the Board under stated conditions that the effect upon adjacent areas is protected to the extent feasible and the public interest served. (See Section 10-107(C)(6) for Authorized Variances.)

A.    The following procedures are to be followed to determine the status of existing special and conditional uses after their reclassification as lawful permitted special or conditional uses in these regulations to avoid nonconformities and to provide equitable conversions of such uses:

1.    Where a use existed prior to the effective date of these regula­tions and was previously permitted only as a special use or as a conditional use, i.e. an exception approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals such uses shall not be deemed to be nonconforming but shall without further action be deemed to be a lawful special or conditional use as now classified with the same conditions applicable as originally established unless reclassified now as a permitted use.

2.    Where a use existed prior to the effective date of these regulations and any prior regulations and was or is now classified as a special use or as a conditional use it shall be considered to be a lawful conforming special or conditional use. Enlargement, extension or alterations to existing structures or land improvements for expansion of such lawful uses may be made within the area of the zoning lot which was actually used for such uses on the effective date of these regulations and shall be subject to all requirements set forth in these regulations as a permitted use.

(See Sections 8-1000 for Nonconformities and 3-100(E) for Exemptions.)

A.    Purpose Registration of nonconformities and exemptions among other purposes is to provide a property owner with a record of their noncon­formity or exemption which may be in effect for many years. Such a record is very desirable since most nonconformities or exemptions are established in the past and the availability of personal witnesses and written documentation to confirm their status becomes more difficult due to the passage of time. This is particularly important since the person claiming the nonconformity or exemption has the burden to prove their claim by the preponderance of the evidence. Registration can be especially useful to property owners who may have a nonconformity or exemption created by changing their zoning status from the unincor­porated area of a county to the City regulations.

B.    Rights Conditioned. A lawfully established nonconformity including exemptions is a vested right protected by due process which is some­times referred to as being “grandfathered-in”. In order to establish such a right it is essential that it be created or commenced prior to the enactment of the regulations which restricted its establishment. A nonconformity or exemption which violated the zoning regulations at its inception has no lawful right to continue. Once the validity of the nonconformity or exemption has been determined it has the right to be sold inherited transferred or assigned unless restricted by a condi­tion attached to a special or conditional use. Certain limitations however may be placed on the expansion repair maintenance and continuance of such nonconformities or exemption as may be determined by the provisions of Article 8 in these regulations. For example continuance may be subject to abandonment or limited amortization of certain uses.

C.    Registration Process. The Zoning Administrator shall establish a process for registration of nonconformities and exemptions and a system for making determinations thereof and keeping records of the same. While there shall be no deadline for registration, property owners anticipating the need for registration should do so at their earliest convenience.

D.    Registration Determination. The Zoning Administrator shall determine the qualifications of the lot use or structure for registration as to its legal nonconforming status. Such determination in writing shall be based on the evidence submitted by the property owner requesting the registration.

E.    Appeal. An aggrieved party may appeal the Zoning Administrator’s determination whether to register or not register the nonconformity or exemption to the Board of Zoning Appeals. (See Section 10-106 pertaining to Appeals.)