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(A) Intent. It is the intent of this section to permit legal nonconforming lots, structures, or uses to continue until they are removed but not to encourage their survival unless the Council has otherwise provided; and where the Council has so otherwise provided, the remaining provisions of this section shall not apply.
(1) It is recognized that there exist within the districts established by this chapter and subsequent amendments certain lots, structures, and uses of land and structures that were lawful before this chapter was passed or amended and that would be prohibited, regulated, or restricted under the terms of this chapter or future amendments.
(2) Such uses are declared by this chapter to be incompatible with permitted uses in the districts involved. It is further the intent of this chapter 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.
(3) A nonconforming use of a structure, a nonconforming use of land, or a nonconforming use of a structure and land shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this code 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.
(4) To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this chapter 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 chapter, and upon which actual building construction has been diligently carried on. Actual construction is hereby defined to include the placing of construction materials in permanent position and fastened in a permanent manner except that where demolition or removal of an existing building has been substantially begun preparatory to rebuilding, such demolition or removal shall be deemed to be actual construction, provided that work shall be diligently carried on until completion of the building involved.
(B) Nonconforming lots.
(1) In any district in which single-family dwellings are permitted, notwithstanding limitations imposed by other provisions of this chapter, 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 chapter. 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; providing that yard dimensions and other requirements not involving area or width or both, of the lot shall conform to the regulations for the district in which such lot is located. Yard requirement variances may be obtained through approval of the Board of Appeals.
(2) If two 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 of the 1967 Zoning Ordinance or amendment of said ordinance or this chapter, and if all or part of the lots do not meet the requirements for lot width and area as established by this chapter, the lands involved shall be considered to be an undivided parcel for the purposes of this chapter, and no portion of said parcel shall be used or occupied which does not meet lot width and area requirements established by this chapter, nor shall any division of the parcel be made which leaves remaining any lot with width or area below the requirements stated in this chapter.
(C) Nonconforming uses of land. Where, at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter, lawful use of land exists that is made no longer permissible under the terms of this chapter as enacted or amended such use may be continued, so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
(1) 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 chapter.
(2) 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 chapter.
(3) If such nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of more than 30 days, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this chapter for the district in which such land is located.
(D) Nonconforming structures. Where a lawful structure exists 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, 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:
(1) No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity. (For example, existing residences on lots of a width less than required herein may add a rear porch provided that other requirements of yard space and land coverage are met.)
(2) Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 60% of its replacement cost, exclusive of the foundation at the time of destruction, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 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.
(E) Nonconforming uses of structures and land. If a lawful use of a structure, 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 so 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 such use, and which existed at the time of adoption or amendment of this chapter, but no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside such building.
(3) In any “T,” “B,” “O,” “W-M” or “I” District if no structural alterations are made, any nonconforming use of structure or structure and premises, may be changed to another nonconforming use of the same or a more restricted classification provided that the Board of Appeals, either by general rule or by making findings in the specific case, shall find that the proposed use is equally appropriate or more appropriate to the district than the existing nonconforming use. In permitting such change, the Board of Appeals may require appropriate conditions and safeguards in accord with the purpose and intent of this chapter. Where nonconforming use of structure, land or structure and land in combination is hereafter changed to a more restrictive classification, it shall not thereafter be changed to a less restricted classification.
(4) Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which such structure is located, and the nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed.
(5) When a nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination, is discontinued or ceases to exist for six consecutive months or for 18 months during any three-year period, the structure, or structure and premises in combination, shall not thereafter be used except in conformance with the regulations of the district in which it is located. Structures occupied by seasonal uses shall be excepted from this provision.
(6) 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.
(F) Repairs and maintenance. On any building devoted in whole or in part to any nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of 12 consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repairs or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing to an extent not exceeding 50% of the assessed value of the building, provided that the cubic content of the building as it existed at the time of passage or amendment of this chapter shall not be increased. 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 any official charged with protecting the public safety, upon order of such official.
(G) Uses permitted subject to special conditions not nonconforming uses. Any use for which special conditions are required as provided in this chapter shall not be deemed a nonconforming use, but shall without further action be deemed a nonconforming use in such district.
(H) Change of tenancy or ownership. There may be a change of tenancy, ownership or management of any existing nonconforming uses of land, structures and premises provided there is no change in the nature or character of such nonconforming uses.
(`73 Code, 15.313, § 5.110) (Ord. eff. 8-1-67; Am. Ord. passed 1973)