§ 4. Regulation Of Nonconformities  


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  • SECTION 4. - REGULATION OF NONCONFORMITIES

    1. Intent. Within the districts established by this ordinance or amendments that may later be adopted there exist:

    a. lots,

    b. structures,

    c. uses of land and structures, and

    d. characteristics of use

    which were lawful before this ordinance was passed or amended, but which should be prohibited, regulated or restricted under the terms of this ordinance or future amendment. It is the intent of this ordinance to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival. It is further the intent of this ordinance that nonconformities shall not be enlarged upon, expanded or extended, nor be used as grounds for adding other structures or uses prohibited elsewhere in the same district.

    Nonconforming uses are declared by this ordinance to be incompatible with permitted uses in the districts involved. A nonconforming use of a structure, a nonconforming use of land, or a nonconforming use of structure and land in combination shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this ordinance by attachment on a building or premises of additional signs intended to be seen from off the premises, or by the addition of other uses, of a nature which would be prohibited generally in the district 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 and upon which actual building construction has been carried on diligently. "Actual construction" is hereby defined to include the placing of construction materials in permanent position and fastened in a permanent manner. Where excavation or demolition or removal of an existing building has been substantially begun preparatory to rebuilding, such excavation or demolition or removal shall be deemed to be actual construction, provided that work shall be carried on diligently.

    2. Nonconforming lots of record. In any district in which single-family dwellings are permitted, a single-family dwelling and customary accessory buildings may be erected on any single lot of record at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance, notwithstanding limitations imposed by other provisions of this ordinance. Such lot must be in separate ownership and not of continuous frontage with other lots in the same ownership. This provision shall apply even though such lot fails to meet the requirements for area or width, or both, that are generally applicable in the district, provided that yard dimensions and requirements other than those applying to area or width, or both, of the lot shall conform to the regulations for the district in which such lot is located. Variance of yard requirements shall be obtained only through action of the board of adjustment.

    If two (2) or more lots or combinations of lots and portions of lots with continuous frontage in single ownership are of record at the time of passage or amendment of this ordinance, and if all or part of the lots do not meet the requirements established for lot width and area, the lands involved shall be considered to be an undivided parcel for the purposes of this ordinance, and no portion of said parcel shall be used or sold in a manner which diminishes compliance with lot width and area requirements established by this ordinance, nor shall any division of any parcel be made which creates a lot with width or area below the requirements stated in this ordinance.

    3. Nonconforming uses of land (or land with minor structures only). Where at the time of passage of this ordinance lawful use of land exists which would not be permitted by the regulations imposed by this ordinance, and where such use involves no individual structure with a replacement cost exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), the use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, provided:

    a. No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of land that was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance;

    b. No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot or parcel other than that occupied by such use at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance;

    c. If any such nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of more than thirty (30) days, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this ordinance for the district in which such land is located;

    d. No additional structure not conforming to the requirements of this ordinance shall be erected in connection with such nonconforming use of land.

    4. Nonconforming, structures. Where a lawful 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, its location on the lot or other requirements concerning the structure, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

    a. No such nonconforming structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity, but any structure or portion thereof may be altered to decrease its nonconformity.

    b. Should such nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than fifty (50) per cent of its replacement cost at time of destruction, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance.

    5. Nonconforming uses of structures or of structures and premises in combination. If lawful use involving individual structures with a replacement cost of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or more, or of structure and premises in combination, exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this ordinance, that would not be allowed in the district under the terms of this ordinance, the lawful use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

    a. No existing structure devoted to a use not permitted by this ordinance in the district in which it is located shall be enlarged, extended, constructed, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered except in changing the use of the structure to a use permitted in the district in which it is located;

    b. Any nonconforming use may be extended throughout any parts of a building which were manifestly arranged or designed for such use at the time of adoption or amendment of this ordinance, but no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside such building;

    c. Any structure, or structure and land [premises] in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district, and the nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed;

    d. When a nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination, is discontinued or abandoned for six (6) consecutive months or for eighteen (18) months during any three (3) year period (except when government action impedes access to the premises), the structure, or structure and premises in combination, shall not thereafter be used except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located;

    e. Where nonconforming use status applies to a structure and premises in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the nonconforming status of the land. Destruction for the purpose of this subsection is defined as damage to an extent of more than fifty (50) per cent of the replacement cost at time of destruction.

    6. Repairs and maintenance. On any nonconforming structure containing a nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of twelve (12) consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair and replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring, or plumbing, to an extent not exceeding ten (10) per cent of the current replacement cost of the nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of the structure as the case may be, provided that the cubic content existing when it became nonconforming shall not be increased. If a nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing a nonconforming use becomes physically unsafe or unlawful due to lack of repairs and maintenance, and is declared by any duly authorized official to be unsafe or unlawful by reason of physical condition, it shall not thereafter be restored, repaired, or rebuilt except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located.

    7. Uses under special exception provisions not nonconforming uses. Any use which is permitted as a special exception in a district under the terms of this ordinance shall not be deemed a nonconforming use in such district, but shall without further action be considered a conforming use.