§ 158.033  NONCONFORMING USES.
   Any building, structure, premises, or use lawfully existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter, or lawfully existing at the time this chapter is amended, may continue to be used even though such building, structure or premises does not conform to use or dimensional regulations of the zoning district in which it is located; subject, however, to the following provisions:
   (A)   Extension, expansion, or alteration of nonconforming use. The Zoning Administrator may, subject to §§ 155.059 and 158.130, authorize the extension or expansion of a nonconforming use or the alteration of a nonconforming structure, with or without conditions, provided that:
      (1)   Any changes or additions to the activities taking place in connection with the nonconforming use will not change the use in any substantial way.
      (2)   Extension or expansion limits:
         (a)   A structure or use that was rendered nonconforming for failure to comply with bulk requirements may not exceed 50% of the gross floor area of structures or 50% of the gross acreage of the use above that which legally existed at the time the use first became nonconforming or above that which was approved by the Zoning Administrator or Board of Zoning Appeals as of October 30, 2015.
         (b)   All other nonconforming use extension or expansions shall be limited to 10% of the gross floor area of structures or 10% of the gross acreage of the use above that which legally existed at the time the use first became nonconforming or above that which was approved by the Zoning Administrator or Board of Zoning Appeals as of October 30, 2015.
      (3)   Any such extension or expansion may not increase residential density beyond that which is permitted by the zoning provisions of the zoning district in which the subject extension or expansion is located, or beyond that which existed at the time the subject nonconforming use became nonconforming, with the exception of attached accessory dwelling units that are permitted in the zoning district.
      (4)   The outdoor land area occupied by a nonconforming use may be enlarged only to provide additional parking area or to comply with an order of the Carroll County Health Department to improve, replace, or expand a well or septic area.
      (5)   An expansion would not exacerbate an existing bulk requirement nonconformity or create a new violation of the bulk requirements for the zoning district in which the property is located.
      (6)   The extension, expansion, or structural alteration would not cause an adverse effect on neighboring properties.
      (7)   Any request for an extension, expansion, or alteration that exceeds these criteria shall be forwarded and heard by the BZA.
      (8)   The Zoning Administrator may waive the hearing provisions of this section for structural alterations that would expand or extend a structure that is presently a nonconformity solely on the basis of failure to satisfy one or more dimensional requirements if the proposed expansion or extension does not exacerbate nor create new bulk requirement violations, and so long as the proposed alteration does not exceed 50% of the footprint of the existing structure.
   (B)   Extension, expansion, or alteration of nonconforming use. The BZA may, subject to §§ 155.059 and 158.133, authorize the extension or expansion of a nonconforming use or the alteration of a nonconforming structure, with or without conditions, provided that:
      (1)   Any changes or additions to the activities taking place in connection with the nonconforming use will not change the use in any substantial way.
      (2)   Extension or expansion limits:
         (a)   A structure or use that was rendered nonconforming for failure to comply with bulk requirements may not exceed 100% of the gross floor area of structures or 100% of the gross acreage of the use above that which legally existed at the time the use first became nonconforming, or above that which was approved by the Zoning Administrator or Board of Zoning Appeals as of October 30, 2015.
         (b)   All other nonconforming use extension or expansions shall be limited to 50% of the gross floor area of structures or 50% of the gross acreage of the use above that which legally existed at the time the use first became nonconforming, or above that which was approved by the Zoning Administrator or Board of Zoning Appeals as of October 30, 2015.
      (3)   Any such extension or expansion may not increase residential density beyond that which is permitted by the zoning provisions of the zoning district in which the subject extension or expansion is located, or beyond that which existed at the time the subject nonconforming use became nonconforming, with the exception of attached accessory dwelling units that are permitted in the zoning district.
      (4)   The outdoor land area occupied by a nonconforming use may be enlarged only to provide additional parking area or to comply with an order of the Carroll County Health Department to improve, replace, or expand a well or septic area.
      (5)   An expansion would not exacerbate an existing bulk requirement nonconformity or create a new violation of the bulk requirements for the zoning district in which the property is located.
      (6)   The extension, expansion, or structural alteration would not cause an adverse effect on neighboring properties.
   (C)   If no structural alterations are made, a nonconforming use of a building, structure, or premises may, with approval of the BZA, subject to § 158.133(G), be changed to another nonconforming use which in the opinion of the BZA is of the same or a more appropriate use or classification unless the use is specifically prohibited in the district. The use need not meet the bulk requirements, except for minimum lot area, of the underlying zoning district; however, it shall meet all other requirements of the County Code, including any requirement of the Carroll County Health Department. In the case of a nonconforming junkyard operation, the BZA may, based on specific findings of fact, decide upon an application filed by the land owner as to whether a relocation of a nonconforming junkyard operation, either in whole or in part, to another location on the immediate property or to a location on an adjoining property, constitutes a suitable substitution of use which has substantially less adverse impact to the general public and adjoining property. In granting any such relocation as herein provided, the BZA shall attach such conditions or requirements as it may deem necessary to protect the public interest, the adjoining property owners, and the intent and purpose of this chapter.
   (D)   A nonconforming use may not be changed to another nonconforming use if the new nonconforming use would require structural alterations or require greater outdoor area to conduct the use or provide parking.
   (E)   No building, structure, or premises where a nonconforming use has ceased for 24 months or more, unless otherwise extended as herein provided, shall thereafter be used except in conformance with this chapter. Prior to the expiration of such 12-month period after the nonconforming use ceases, the owner of the property may make application to the Zoning Administrator for an extension of time for such use. The Zoning Administrator may extend such period for a reasonable time, up to 12 months, upon a finding that the property is either under active restoration, being offered for sale, involved with obtaining governmental approvals or other good cause as demonstrated by the owner. If the Zoning Administrator grants an extension, such extension shall be for at least 30 days, which shall run from the date of the written decision of the Zoning Administrator. If the Zoning Administrator denies such extension for any reason other than the failure to make a timely request, the owner shall be deemed to have an extension for 30 days from the date of such written denial.
   (F)   The owner or operator of any existing nonconforming use involving used car lots, service garages, or junkyards shall, not later than April 17, 1966, certify in writing, on a prescribed form, to the office of the Zoning Administrator, that such nonconforming use did exist on the adoption date of this chapter. In order that the exact nature and extent of such nonconforming use may be determined, a survey plat prepared by a professional engineer or registered surveyor shall accompany any prescribed form. The survey shall include the following:
      (1)   North arrow;
      (2)   Scale: one inch equal to 100 feet;
      (3)   Election district;
      (4)   Outline of parcel or parcels upon which the nonconforming use is located;
      (5)   Bearings, distances, and acreage of that portion of the parcel or parcels expressly used for the nonconforming use on the effective date of this chapter;
      (6)   Use, dimensions, and location of all existing buildings; and
      (7)   Certification and seal of professional engineer or registered surveyor.
   (G)   Nothing in these regulations shall prevent the restoration of a nonconforming building or structure destroyed by fire, windstorm, flood, explosion, act of public enemy or accident, or prevent the continuance of the use thereof as it existed at the time of such destruction, provided that a zoning certificate is obtained and restoration begun within one year of such destruction, unless otherwise extended by the Zoning Administrator as provided for in division (E) above.
   (H)   The factual existence of a nonconforming use may be certified by the Zoning Administrator, upon review of an application filed by the property owner.
      (1)   The application shall contain the following:
         (a)   A statement and plans or other illustrations fully describing the magnitude and extent of the nonconforming use;
         (b)   A statement identifying the date the use became nonconforming to the use or dimensional requirements of this chapter;
         (c)   Documentation substantiating the existence of the use on the date it became nonconforming and clearly demonstrating the continued and uninterrupted use or operation thereof from the specified date to the time of filing the application. The burden shall be on the property owner to establish the existence of the nonconforming use; and
         (d)   A listing of all adjoining property owners.
      (2)   Whenever the Zoning Administrator issues a notice of violation alleging the illegal use of the property, the property owner may raise as a defense the fact that the alleged illegal use is a nonconforming use provided the property owner submits an application to certify the nonconforming status of the use pursuant to this division (H).
      (3)   Applications for certification of a nonconforming use shall be heard in accordance with § 158.130(G) and (H).
      (4)   The decision of the Zoning Administrator is appealable in accordance with § 158.133.
   (I)   A decision of the Zoning Administrator or BZA approving an extension, expansion, or alteration of a nonconforming use shall become void unless a building permit conforming to the plans for which the approval was granted is obtained within six months, and substantial construction in accordance therewith is completed within one year from the date of the written decision. An approval for which a building permit is not required shall become void unless the extension, expansion, or alteration is implemented within one year from the date of the written decision. If the decision is appealed, the time period shall be measured from the date of the last decision. An extension to these dates may be granted by the BZA for good cause.
(Ord. 2019-06, passed 12-12-2019)  Penalty, see § 158.999