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(A) Nonconforming uses established.
(1) Within the districts established by this chapter or amendments that later may be adopted, there may exist lots, structures, uses of land and structures and characteristics of use which were lawful before this chapter was passed or amended, but which would be prohibited, regulated or restricted under the terms of this chapter or future amendments.
(2) It is the intent of this chapter to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival.
(B) Nonconforming uses of land. Where, at the time of the passage of this chapter, a lawful use of land exists which would not be permitted by the regulations imposed by this chapter and where the uses involve individual structures, the use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, provided:
(1) No like 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 chapter;
(2) No like nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot or parcel other than that occupied by the use at the effective date of adoption or amendment to this chapter;
(3) If any like nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of more than 12 months, any subsequent uses of the land shall conform with the regulations specified by the ordinance for the district in which the land is located; and
(4) No additional structure not conforming to the requirements of this chapter shall be erected in connection with the nonconforming use of land.
(C) Nonconforming structures. Where a lawful structure exists or is lawfully under construction at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter that could not be built under the terms of this chapter by reason of restrictions on area, height, yards, its location on the lot or other requirements concerning the structure, the structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful subject to the following provisions:
(1) 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.
(2) Any such nonconforming structure which has been damaged or destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 50% of its replacement cost at the time of damage or destruction, shall not be reconstructed except in case of unusual hardship for which the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant conditional approval for reconstruction.
(3) Should the nonconforming 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.
(D) Nonconforming use of structure or of structures and land in combination. If a lawful use involving individual structures or of structure and land in combination exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter that would not be allowed in the district under the terms of this chapter, the lawful use may be continued as long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions.
(1) No existing structure devoted to a use not permitted by this chapter 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.
(2) Any nonconforming use may be extended throughout any parts of a building which were manifestly arranged or designed for the use at the time of adoption or amendment of this chapter but no such use shall be intended to occupy any land outside the building.
(3) Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is changed to a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district and nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed.
(4) When a nonconforming use of a structure or structure and land in combination, is discontinued or abandoned for 12 consecutive months or for 18 months during any three-year period (except when government action impedes access to the premises or if it is a seasonal type use), the structure, or structure and land in combination shall not thereafter be used except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located.
(5) Where nonconforming use status applies to a structure and land in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the nonconforming status of the land. Destruction for the purpose of this division is defined as damage to an extent of more than 50% of the replacement cost at the time of destruction.
(6) The use of a nonconforming building may be changed to another nonconforming use if the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that the new use would markedly decrease the degrees of nonconformance and would enhance the value and desirability of adjacent conforming uses.
(E) Repair or replacement. Repair or replacement of non-bearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing may be performed in or on a nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing a nonconforming use provided:
(1) During any consecutive 12-month period the extent of repair or replacement shall not exceed 10% of the current replacement cost of the nonconforming structure;
(2) Cubic contents of the structure shall not be increased; and
(3) Nothing in this chapter 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 order of the official.
(F) Change of ownership. Change of ownership between private parties does not remove the nonconformity nor extend time limits.
(G) Replacement cost. Replacement cost as used in the above provision is the cost of restoring the structure to its original condition as appraised by a qualified appraiser employed by the City Council. Persons aggrieved by the appraisal may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(H) Removal of nonconforming status. Any nonconforming structure or land may be made conforming by appropriate action or modification which cause the structure or land to fulfill the requirements of the district in which it is located. In case of a nonconforming use which is a use designated as a special land use by this chapter, the nonconforming status may be removed upon issuance of a special land use permit after the appropriate action has been taken in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or person requesting the special land use permit to initiate the request in accordance with § 154.09.
(I) Elimination of nonconforming structures or land.
(1) The city may acquire by purchase, condemnation or otherwise, private property for the removal of nonconforming uses and structures, provided, the property shall not be used for public housing.
(2) The legislative body may in its discretion provide that the cost and expense of acquiring the private property be paid from general funds, or the cost and expense or any portion thereof may be assessed to a special district.
(3) The elimination of the nonconforming uses and structures in a zoned district as herein provided is hereby declared to be for a public purpose and for a public use.
(4) The legislative body shall have authority to institute and prosecute proceedings for the condemnation of nonconforming uses and structures under the power of eminent domain in accordance with the laws of the state or provisions of any city charter relative to condemnation.
(Ord. 161, passed 12-10-2001)