§ 159.49  NONCONFORMING USES.
    The general public, the City Council, and the Planning and Zoning Commission are directed to take note that nonconformities in the lot, use, and/or development of land and buildings are to be avoided, or eliminated where now existing, wherever and whenever possible, except: when necessary to preserve property rights established prior to the date these regulations become effective as to the property in question; and when necessary to promote the general welfare and to protect the character of the surrounding property. Except as hereinafter specified, any lot, use, building, structure, or yard lawfully existing at the time of the enactment of this chapter or lawfully existing at the time of annexation into the city may be continued with the provisions of this chapter for the district in which it is located.
   (A)   Nonconforming uses continued or changed. The right to continue such nonconforming uses shall be subject to regulations prohibiting the creation of a nuisance and regulations reasonably protecting adjacent property.
   (B)   Conditional uses.
      (1)   Any use existing on the effective date of this chapter which is listed as a conditional use in the district where it is located shall be and shall remain a nonconforming use until a conditional use permit is obtained as provided in this chapter.
      (2)   If the use is discontinued or abandoned for 180 days during any three-year period, the use shall meet the requirements of this chapter and shall obtain a use permit before it is continued.
   (C)   Alteration of nonconforming uses.
      (1)   No existing building or premises devoted to a use that is not permitted by this chapter in the district in which such building or premises is located shall be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity, except when required to do so by law or order, unless the use thereof is changed to a use that is permitted in the district in which such building or premises is located, and except as follows:
      (2)   If no structural alterations are made, a nonconforming use of a building may be changed to another nonconforming use of a more restrictive classification when authorized by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of §§ 159.46 or 159.47, or to a conforming use.
      (3)   Whenever a nonconforming use has been changed to a conforming use, the use shall not thereafter be changed to a nonconforming use.
      (4)   When authorized by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of §§ 159.46 or 159.47, enlargement or completion of a building devoted to a nonconforming use may be made upon the lot occupied by the building, where the extension is necessary and incidental to the existing use of the building and does not exceed 25% of its area of nonconformity.
      (5)   When authorized by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of §§ 159.46 or 159.47, a nonconforming use may be extended throughout those parts of a building which were manifestly designed or arranged for the use prior to the date on which the use of the building became nonconforming, if no structural alterations, except those required by law, are made therein.
      (6)   The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to prevent the extension of any building existing in any district at the time of the adoption of this chapter, to the height to which the walls, foundation and frame work of the existing building originally were intended, designed and constructed to carry; provided, however, that the actual construction of the extensions in height permitted by this division (C)(6) shall have been duly commenced within two years from the date of the adoption of this chapter.
   (D)   Cessation of use of building or land. For the purposes of the succeeding divisions, a use shall be deemed to have ceased when it has been discontinued for six months during any three-year period whether with the intent to abandon the use or not.
      (1)   No building or structure which was originally designed for or used as a nonconforming use shall again be put to a nonconforming use, where the use has ceased for six months or more during any three-year period.
      (2)   The use of land, structures and/or buildings involving individual structures with a replacement cost of $1,000 or less, which does not conform to the provisions of this chapter shall be discontinued within six months from the enactment of this chapter. The nonconforming use of land and/or buildings involving individual structures with a replacement cost of $1,000 or less, which becomes nonconforming by reason of subsequent amendments to this chapter shall be discontinued within six months from the date of the amendment.
      (3)   All lots used for storage that do not require a building and the use of the lot is made nonconforming by this chapter or amendments thereto shall cease to be used for the storage within six months of the date of adoption of this chapter or amendments.
   (E)   Construction approved prior to ordinance. Nothing herein shall be construed to require any change in the overall plans, construction or designated use of any development, structure or part thereof, where official approval and the required building permits were granted before the enactment of this chapter, or any amendment thereto where construction thereof, conforming with the plans, shall have been started prior to the effective date of this chapter or the amendment, and where the construction shall have been completed in a normal manner within the subsequent 12-month period, with no interruption, except for reasons beyond the builder’s control.
   (F)   Unsafe buildings, repair of. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the strengthening or repair of any part of any building or structure declared unsafe by proper authority, unless the repairs exceed 50% of the replacement cost of the building.
   (G)   Damage or destruction. Any nonconforming structure which is damaged more than 75% of its then appraised tax value above the foundation, by fire, flood, explosion, wind, earthquake, war, riot or other calamity or act of God, shall not be restored or reconstructed and used as it was before such happening. If the structure is damaged less than 75% of its then appraised tax value above the foundation, it may be restored, reconstructed or used as before, provided that the restoration or reconstruction is completed within 12 months of the damaging event, the 12-month period not including any necessary litigation.
   (H)   Repairs and maintenance.
      (1)   On any nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing a nonconforming use, no work may be done in any period of 12 consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of non-loadbearing walls, fixture, wiring or plumbing to an extent exceeding 10% of the current replacement cost of the nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of the structure as the case may be.
      (2)   If 50% or more of a nonconforming structure containing a nonconforming use becomes physically unsafe or unlawful due to lack of repairs or maintenance, and is declared by a 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.
   (I)   Moving of nonconforming structure or building. No conforming building or structure shall be moved in whole or in part to any other location on the lot, or on any other lot, unless every portion of such building or structure is made to conform to all the regulations of the district.
   (J)   Nonconforming lot sizes. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of a lot that does not meet the minimum lot area, as defined herein, width, or depth of the district it is located in, provided that the lot was previously zoned for similar type uses, that the lot was on record prior to the adoption of this chapter, and that the lot has not been rezoned to a different use since the adoption of this chapter.
(2005 Code, § 12-10-1)  (Ord. 150908B, passed 9-8-2015; Ord. 181211B, passed 12-11-2018)