§ 155.021  NON-CONFORMING LOTS, USES OF LAND, STRUCTURES, AND USES OF STRUCTURES AND PREMISES.
   (A)   Intent.
      (1)   Within the districts established by this chapter or amendments that may later be adopted there exist lots, structures, and uses of land and structures 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 amendment.
      (2)   It is the intent of this chapter to permit these non-conformities to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival.  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 non-conformities 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 non-conforming use of a structure, a non-conforming use of land, or a non-conforming use of a structure and land shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this chapter 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)   Non-conforming lots of record.  In a district where single-family dwellings are permitted, a single family detached dwelling may be erected on any lot of official record at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter, irrespective of its area or width, provided 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.  Variance of yard dimensions and other requirements shall be obtained only through action of the Board of Adjustment.
   (C)   Non-conforming 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 non-conforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor shall be extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter. It shall be prohibited as an enlargement of that non-conforming use, for an establishment selling beer in a residential zone under a non-conforming use exception, to sell, in addition thereto, any other form or type of alcoholic beverage.
      (2)   No such non-conforming 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 any such non-conforming 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)   Non-conforming 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 of its location on the lot, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
      (1)   No such structure may be enlarged or altered in any way which increases its non-conformity.
      (2)   Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 50% of its replacement cost at the time of destruction, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with 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 after it is moved.
   (E)   Non-conforming uses of structures.  If a lawful use of a structure, or of structure and premises 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 non-conforming 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 chapter, but no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside such building;
      (3)   If no structural alterations are made, any non-conforming use of a structure, or structure and premises, may be changed to another non- conforming use provided that the Board of Adjustment, 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 non-conforming use.  In permitting such change, the Board of Adjustment may require appropriate conditions and safeguards in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;
      (4)   Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a non-conforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which such structure is located, and the non-conforming use may not thereafter be resumed;
      (5)   When a non-conforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination, is discontinued or abandoned 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;
      (6)   Where non-conforming use status applies to a structure and premises in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the non-conforming status of the land.
   (F)   Repairs and maintenance.
      (1)   On any building devoted in whole or in part to any non-conforming use, work may be done in any period of 12 consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of non-bearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing, to an extent not exceeding 10% of the current replacement 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.
      (2)   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 of the city whose official responsibilities are directly involved upon order of such official charged with protecting the public safety.
   (G)   Uses under exception provisions not non- conforming uses.  Any use for which an exception is permitted as provided in this chapter shall not be deemed a non-conforming use, but shall without further action be deemed a conforming use in such district.
(Ord. 1100 § 6, passed 4-3-64; Am. Ord. 1100-DDa, passed 1-15-79)  Penalty, see § 155.999