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SEC. 12.23.  NONCONFORMING BUILDING AND USES.
 
   A building or structure with a nonconforming use and a nonconforming building or structure may be maintained, repaired or structurally altered and a nonconforming use may be maintained provided the building or use conformed to the requirements of the zone and any other land use regulations at the time it was built or established, except as otherwise provided in this section.  (Added by Ord. No. 178,599, Eff. 5/26/07.)
 
   A.   Buildings with Nonconforming Area, Height, Encroachment Plane, Yards or Lot Coverage Regulations.  (Amended by Ord. No. 184,802, Eff. 3/17/17.)
 
   1.   Buildings Nonconforming as to Area or Yard Regulations.  A building, nonconforming as to area or yard regulations, may be repaired, altered, or internally remodeled, provided at least 50 percent of the perimeter length of the existing nonconforming portion of the exterior walls of the building are retained.  It may be expanded in floor area provided the expansion conforms to the requirements of this Code, subject to the following provisions:
 
   (a)   a building, nonconforming only as to yard regulations, may be added to or enlarged in any manner provided:
 
   (i)   any addition or enlargement that is located in the required yard that is nonconforming does not encroach into any portion of that required yard to a greater extent than the existing nonconforming building encroaches; and
 
   (ii)   in no event shall any addition or enlargement reduce the width of a side yard or the depth of a front or rear yard to less than 50 percent of that required by the current yard regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations; and
 
   (iii)   the total of all additions or enlargements, made since the building became nonconforming as to yard regulations, which encroach into any required yard, shall not exceed in height or length the height or length of that portion of the adjoining nonconforming building that extends into the same required yard.
 
   (iv)   Notwithstanding Sub-subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of this Sub-paragraph, a building nonconforming as to the Yard regulations on properties zoned RA, RE, RS and R1, not including properties in the Coastal Zone which are not located in a Hillside Area as defined in Section 12.03 of this Code, shall not be added to or enlarged in any manner unless the addition or enlargement conforms to all the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations, except as may be approved or permitted pursuant to a discretionary approval as that term is defined in Section 16.05 B. of this Code.
 
   (b)   A residential building, nonconforming as to the area regulations (density), in the OS, A, R, P, PB, C or PF Zones, may be enlarged, provided that the enlargement does not create any additional dwelling units or guest rooms.
 
   (c)   Notwithstanding Paragraphs (a) and (b) above and Subdivision 2. of this Subsection, a building, nonconforming as to the Residential Floor Area regulations on properties zoned RA, RE, RS and R1, not including properties in the Coastal Zone which are not located in a Hillside Area, as defined in Section 12.03 of this Code, shall not be added to or enlarged in any manner unless the addition or enlargement conforms to all the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations, except as permitted by Section 12.21 C.10.(l) and except as may be approved or permitted pursuant to a discretionary approval, as that term is defined in Section 16.05 B. of this Code.  However, alterations, other than additions or enlargements to existing buildings, may be made provided that at least 50 percent of the perimeter length of the contiguous exterior walls and 50 percent of the roof are retained.
 
   2.   Buildings Nonconforming as to Height or Encroachment Plane.  A building, nonconforming only as to height or encroachment plane regulations, may not be added to or enlarged in any manner, unless the additions or enlargements conform to all the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations, provided that the total aggregate floor area included in all the separate additions or enlargements shall not exceed 50 percent of the floor area of the ground floor of the building or structure.
 
   3.   Buildings Nonconforming as to Lot Coverage.  A building, nonconforming as to the Lot Coverage regulations on properties zoned RA, RE, RS, and R1, shall not be added to or enlarged in any manner unless the addition or enlargement conforms to all the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations, except as may be approved or permitted pursuant to a discretionary approval, as that term is defined in Section 16.05 B. of this Code.  However, alterations, other than additions or enlargements to existing buildings, may be made provided that at least 50 percent of the perimeter length of the contiguous exterior walls and 50 percent of the roof are retained.
 
   4.   Moving Nonconforming Buildings.  A nonconforming building or structure may not be moved, in whole or in part, to any other location on the lot unless every portion of the building or structure that is moved is made to conform to all the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations, except as otherwise permitted by Section 12.22 C.13. of this Code.
 
   5.   Restoration of Damaged Non-conforming Buildings.
 
   (a)   A nonconforming building or structure, which is damaged or partially destroyed by any fire, flood, wind, earthquake or other calamity or the public enemy, may be restored and the occupancy or use of the building, structure or part of the building or structure, which existed at the time of the damage or destruction, may be continued or resumed, provided that the total cost of restoration does not exceed 75 percent of the replacement value of the building or structure at the time of the damage or destruction.  A permit for restoration shall be obtained within a period of two years from the date of the damage or destruction.  Except as set forth in Paragraph (b) below, if the damage or destruction exceeds 75 percent of the replacement value of the nonconforming building or structure at the time of the damage or destruction, no repairs or restoration shall be made unless every portion of the building or structure is made to conform to all regulations for new buildings in the zone in which it is located, and other applicable current land use regulations.
 
   (b)   If the damage or destruction of a nonconforming single-family or two-family dwelling, multiple dwelling or apartment house in the OS, A, R, P, PB, C, M or PF Zones exceeds 75 percent of its replacement value at the time of the damage or destruction, the building or structure may be reconstructed provided:
 
   (i)   that each side yard is no less than one-half the required side yard for new buildings in the zone in which it is located, or in other applicable current land use regulations, but in no event less than three feet; and
 
   (ii)   that the front and rear yards are at least one-half the required front and rear yards for new buildings in the zone in which it is located, or in other applicable current land use regulations; and
 
   (iii)   that neither the footing, nor the building or structure projects into any area planned for widening or extension of existing or future streets as determined by the Advisory Agency upon the recommendation of the City Engineer; and
 
   (iv)   that the height shall not exceed the allowable height for new buildings or structures in the zone in which it is located, or in other applicable current land use regulations; and
 
   (v)   that a building permit for the reconstruction be obtained within two years of the damage or destruction from fire, flood, wind, earthquake, or other calamity or the public enemy.
 
   6.   Replacement of Earthquake Hazardous Buildings.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, a building nonconforming as to height, number of stories, lot area, loading space or parking, which is demolished as a result of enforcement of the Earthquake Hazard Reduction Ordinance (Article 1, Chapter IX of this Code), may be reconstructed with the same nonconforming height, number of stories, lot area, loading space or parking as the original building, provided, however, that reconstruction shall be commenced within two years of obtaining a permit for demolition and completed within two years of obtaining a permit for reconstruction.  Provided further, that neither the footing, nor any portion of the replacement building may encroach into any area planned for widening or extension of existing or future streets as determined by the Advisory Agency upon the recommendation of the City Engineer.
 
   Additionally, a building nonconforming as to use or yards, which is demolished as a result of enforcement of the Earthquake Hazard Reduction Ordinance, may be reconstructed with the same nonconforming use or yards provided that the approval of a Zoning Administrator is obtained pursuant to Section 12.24 X.16. of this Code.
 
   B.   Nonconforming Use of Buildings.  (Amended by Ord. No. 178,599, Eff. 5/26/07.)
 
   1.   Discontinuance of Manufacturing Use in A and R Zones.  In the A and R Zones, any nonconforming use of a building first permitted in the MR1 or less restrictive zone shall be discontinued within five years from June 1, 1946, or five years from the date the use becomes nonconforming, whichever date is later.
 
   2.   Discontinuance of Commercial Use in A and R Zones.  In the A and R Zones, any nonconforming commercial use of a building shall be discontinued within five years from June 1, 1946, or five years from the date the use becomes nonconforming, whichever date is later.  However, the Zoning Administrator may permit its continuation pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 12.24 X.27. of this Code.
 
   3.   Authority of Department of Building and Safety to Issue Orders to Comply.  The Department of Building and Safety shall have the authority to issue an order to comply to an owner of any building or structure who is in violation of this subsection and advise the owner of the required discontinuance of the nonconforming use of the building or structure.  Included in any order shall be a provision advising the owner of the right to apply to the Department of City Planning within 90 days for permission to continue the nonconforming use of the building or structure as provided in this subsection, but the failure to include that provision shall not nullify the order or provide a basis for the continued use of the building or structure.  The Department of Building and Safety shall record a notice of any order issued pursuant to this subsection with the Office of the Los Angeles County Recorder, but the failure to so record shall not nullify the order or provide a basis for the continued use of the building or structure by any owner, purchaser or lessee who was not aware of the order.
 
   4.   Nonconforming Use in Manufacturing Zones.  In the M Zones:
 
   (a)   A building, nonconforming as to use, which does not contain any dwelling units or guest rooms, shall not be redesigned or rearranged to contain dwelling units or guest rooms;
 
   (b)   A building, nonconforming as to use, which contains dwelling units or guest rooms shall not be redesigned or rearranged to be used for any other purpose permitted in an R Zone;
 
   (c)   A building, nonconforming as to use, which contains dwelling units or guest rooms, shall not be redesigned or rearranged so as to increase the number of dwelling units or guest rooms in the building;
 
   (d)   Residential uses in the M3 Zone, except for caretakers quarters, shall not be permitted to remain beyond five years from the date the use became nonconforming.
 
   5.   Expansion of Nonconforming Use.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a nonconforming use shall not be expanded into any other portion of the building.
 
   6.   Enlargement of Residential Portion of Buildings Nonconforming as to Use. The residential portion of a building, nonconforming as to use in the OS, A, R, P, PB, C, or PF Zones, may be enlarged, provided that the  enlargement does not create an additional dwelling unit or guest room.
 
   7.   Change of Use.
 
   (a)   Any change of use of a building or a portion of a building must conform to the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations.
 
   (b)   However, in the R, C, or M Zones, a nonconforming use may be changed to any use that is permitted in a more restrictive zone than the current zone.  The sequence of these zones, the first being the most restrictive and the last being the least restrictive, is as follows:  OS, A1, A2, RA, RE, RS, R1, RU, RZ, RW1, R2, RD, RMP, RW2, R3, RAS3, R4, RAS4, R5, CR, C1, C1.5, C4, C2, C5, CM, MR1, M1, MR2, M2, M3 and PF.  When the use of a nonconforming building is changed to a use that is permitted in a more restrictive zone, the nonconforming building shall not be occupied by a use that is permitted only in a less restrictive zone.
 
   8.   Parking.
 
   (a)   Determination of Required Parking.  All currently provided parking spaces shall be considered as the required parking for an existing nonconforming use if the parking spaces are less than or equal to the parking required by current regulations.
 
   (b)   Change of Use or Other Alterations.  For the purpose of calculating the parking requirements for a change of use or other alterations, which would require additional parking spaces per this Code, including, but not limited to, additional dwelling units, seating capacity, beds for institutions or guest rooms, existing parking must be maintained and additional parking spaces shall be provided equal to the difference between the number of required parking spaces for the existing use based on current parking regulations set forth in this Code and not on the provisions of Paragraph (a) above, and the number of required parking spaces for the new use or the new capacity created by the alterations, also based on current parking regulations.
 
   (c)   Additions to Buildings or Structures.  The parking requirement for an addition or enlargement to a building or structure that results in an increase in floor area shall be as set forth in the current provisions of this Code.  No additional parking spaces shall be required for the original portion of the building, as determined by Paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision, only for the additional portion.
 
   9.   Discontinuance of Use.  A building or structure or portion or a building or structure, which contains a nonconforming use which is discontinued for a continuous period of one year, shall only be occupied by a use that conforms to the current use regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations.
 
   C.   Nonconforming Use Of Land
 
   1.   Discontinuation of Nonconforming Use of Land.  (Amended by Ord. No. 178,599, Eff. 5/26/07.)
 
   (a)   In the A, R or C Zones, a nonconforming use of land shall be discontinued within five years from June 1, 1946, or from the date the use becomes nonconforming, whichever date is later, in each of the following cases:
 
   (i)   where no buildings are utilized in connection with the use;
 
   (ii)   where the only buildings utilized are accessory or incidental to the use;
 
   (iii)   where the use is maintained in connection with a conforming building.
 
   (b)   A nonconforming use of land, which is accessory or incidental to the nonconforming use of a building, shall be discontinued on the same date the nonconforming use of the building is discontinued.
 
   2.   Continuation of Nonconforming Use of Land.  (Amended by Ord. No. 178,599, Eff. 5/26/07.)  Except as provided in Subdivision 1. above, the nonconforming use of land may be continued, subject to the following limitations:
 
   (a)   that the use is not expanded or extended in any way either on the same or adjoining land beyond the limits of what was originally permitted; and
 
   (b)   that the use is not changed, except to a use that conforms to the current use regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations; and
 
   (c)   in the MR or M1 Zone, the use shall be completely enclosed within a building or within an area enclosed on all sides with a solid wall or solid fence of a height sufficient to screen the use from public view, but in no event less than six feet in height, within one year from the date the use becomes nonconforming; and
 
   (d)   if the use is discontinued for a continuous period of one year, it shall not be reestablished.
 
   3.   Continuation of Signs.  Any existing nonconforming sign, as defined in Section 91.6203 of this Code, may be continued, provided that no structural, electrical or mechanical alterations are made to the sign except as permitted in Section 91.6206 of this Code.  (Amended by Ord. No. 178,599, Eff. 5/26/07.)
 
   4.   Oil Wells.  (Amended by Ord. No. 160,874, Eff. 4/ 6/86.)
 
   (a)   No well for the production of oil, gas or other hydrocarbon substances, which is a nonconforming use, shall be re-drilled or deepened.
 
   (b)   All such wells, including any incidental storage tanks and drilling or production equipment, shall be completely removed within 20 years from June 1, 1946, or within 20 years from date such use became nonconforming, if said date was subsequent to June 1, 1946; provided, however, a Zoning Administrator may, upon individual application, allow such wells to continue to operate after said removal date, if he determines that such continued operation would be reasonably compatible with the surrounding area and in connection therewith may impose such conditions, including time limitations, as he deems necessary to achieve such compatibility.
 
   (c)   Notwithstanding the above, in the Los Angeles City Oil Field such wells may continue operation provided an application is filed with the Office of Zoning Administration on or before November 1, 1986 and is subsequently approved. Any well operator may reapply for Zoning Administrator approval after November 1, 1986 provided the prior approval has not expired.
 
   5.   Commercial Animal Keeping – The nonconforming keeping, grazing, breeding, raising or training of livestock, poultry, fowl, rabbits, chinchillas, fish, frogs or similar animals for commercial purposes in the RA and R Zones, shall be completely abandoned on or before July 1, 1976 or within 15 years from the date such use became nonconforming. (Added by Ord. No. 122,543, Eff. 9/2/72.)
 
   6.   Automobile Dismantling Yards, Junk Yards, and Related Uses.  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)
 
   (a)   Any of the uses to which the provisions of Section 12.19 A.4. of this article are applicable, lawfully existing in the M2 Zone on November 29, 1968, shall be completely removed from the zone within two years unless the use has been made to comply with the limitations applicable to the use.  However, upon a showing that substantial compliance with the limitations applicable to a particular use has been effected, the Director of Planning may grant an extension of time to complete the work necessary to effect full compliance.  No extension so granted shall exceed one year in duration nor shall more than one extension be granted with respect to any individual use.
 
   (b)   Any of the uses to which the provisions of Section 12.20 A.5. are applicable, lawfully existing in the M3 Zone on November 29, 1968, shall be completely removed from the zone within two years unless the use has been made to conform to the limitations applicable to the use.  However, upon a showing that substantial compliance with the limitations applicable to a particular use has been effected, the Zoning Administrator may grant an extension of time to complete the work necessary to effect full compliance.  The procedure for this extension shall be as set forth in Section 12.24 with the Zoning Administrator as the initial decision maker and the Area Planning Commission as the appellate body.  No extension so granted shall exceed one year in duration nor shall more than one extension be granted with respect to any individual use.
 
   (c)   The nonconforming use of land for the open storage of materials and equipment, including used materials and equipment, may be continued, but shall be subject to the following limitation: it shall be made to conform to the provisions of this Code on the construction of walls or fences for the open storage of such used materials and equipment within one year from the date the use became nonconforming.  The phrase “used materials and equipment” includes, but is not limited to, vehicles, boats, or airplanes which are inoperable, wrecked, damaged or unlicensed, i.e., not currently licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
 
   7.   Discontinuance of Nonconforming Hostels and Transient Occupancy Residential Structures.  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)
 
   (a)   Any hostel or transient occupancy residential structure to which the provisions of Sections 12.12.2A1(d), 12.13A1.5, and 12.13.5A11, of this article are applicable, existing in or within 500 feet of an A or R zone on May 8, 1992, shall be discontinued within 180 days unless the use has been made to comply with the limitations applicable to that use.  However, upon a showing that substantial compliance with the limitations applicable to a particular use has been effected, the Zoning Administrator may grant an extension of time to complete the work necessary to effect full compliance.  No extension so granted shall exceed 90 days in duration nor shall more than one extension be granted with respect to any individual use.  The procedure for this extension shall be as set forth in Section 12.24 with the Zoning Administrator as the initial decision maker and the Area Planning Commission as the appellate body.
 
   D.   Nonconforming Due To Changes – Whenever a building or structure or a use of a building, structure or land becomes nonconforming because of a change of zone or change in the regulations, and a period of time is specified in this section for the removal of such non conforming building, structure or use, said period of time shall be computed from the effective date of such change.
 
   This section merely provides for an exception to other sections of the LAMC; it is not to be regarded as a part of the definition of the offense created by other sections of the code and need not be negatived by proof or pleading.
   People v. Webb, CR A 1762.
 
   The existence of nonconforming uses does not necessarily invalidate a zoning ordinance, and no vested right to violate an ordinance may be acquired by continued violations.
   Lockard v. The City of Los Angeles, 33 Cal. 2d 453.
   Acker v. Baldwin, 18 Cal. 2d 341.
 
   Uses for commercial purposes in district zoned for residential purposes if subsequent to enactment of zoning ordinance, confers no vested right for continuance thereof.
   Burke v. City of Los Angeles, 68 Cal. App. 2d 189.
 
   A nonconforming use cannot be enlarged.
   County of San Diego v. McClurken, 37 Cal. 2d 683.
 
   A nonconforming use is subject to the full exercise of the police power and may, like all other activities, be subjected to all reasonable regulations.
   People v. Scheib, CR A 2457.
 
   Under a zoning ordinance authorizing applications to an administrative body for permission to put land to a nonconforming use, it is not a denial of an owner’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws to discriminate against him by granting such application to some owners and refusing a grant to him in the same district.
   Otis v. City of Los Angeles, 52 Cal. App. 2d 605.
 
   E.   Use Of Nonconforming Lot. A Nonconforming lot may be occupied by any use permitted in the zone in which it is located except for those uses which require a width, area or other lot dimension other than the minimum specified in the area requirements of said zone. However, no more than two dwelling units shall be permitted on a lot with an area less than 4,000 square feet, except on lots located in an RW Zone. (Amended by Ord. No. 138,095, Eff. 4/19/69.)
 
   F.   Equine KeepingNonconforming Lot In “RA” Zone.  Equines may be kept and a stable may be erected or maintained on any lot in an “RA” Zone, provided said lot had the area required for the keeping of equines at the time the lot was established. (Amended by Ord. No. 157,144, Eff. 11/22/82.)
 
   G.   Equine - Nonconforming Uses - Non-“K” Equinekeeping Lots.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Code to the contrary, equine uses of the land on non-“K” District lots shall be allowed to be continued if, after the legal establishment of the equine use, a neighbor is granted a building permit to construct a dwelling unit within the 75-foot required distance between an equine use and the neighbor’s dwelling unit.  If, in accordance with the provisions of Section 12.24X5, the Zoning Administrator grants permission for a neighbor’s dwelling to be constructed closer than 35 feet from a legally existing equine enclosure, the equine enclosure may be considered to be nonconforming if it is relocated not closer than 35 feet from the habitable rooms attached to any dwelling.  The nonconforming equine use shall be subject to the following limitations:  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,492, Eff. 10/10/00.)
 
   1.   The equine enclosure shall not be closer than 35 feet to the habitable rooms of any dwelling unit.
 
   2.   The subject lot has been designated by an Equine License to stable at least one licensed equine during the 12 months prior to the issuance of the building permit for the neighbor’s dwelling unit.
 
   3.   The equine enclosure shall not be expanded, extended, or relocated in such a manner as to reduce the nonconforming distance between the enclosure and the habitable rooms of the neighbor’s dwelling unit.
 
   4.   The nonconforming equine use shall be discontinued if, during a successive 3–year period, no equine is licensed by the Department of Animal Services to be stabled on the subject lot.  (“Department of Animal Regulation” renamed “Department of Animal Services” by Ord. No. 174,735, Eff. 9/13/02.)
 
   H.   (Repealed by Ord. No. 171,740, Eff. 10/27/97.)
 
   I.   Equine Nonconforming Uses Adjacent to Residential Buildings.  Notwithstanding any provisions of this Code to the contrary, if an equine use not in a “K” District was legally established prior to November 22, 1982, that use shall be allowed to continue, even though the City issued a building permit between November 22, 1982 and July 1, 1986, to construct a residential building on an adjacent lot within the 35-foot required distance between an equine use and the habitable rooms of a residential building on the adjacent lot.  This provision shall not apply to building permits authorized by the Zoning Administrator pursuant to Section 12.24X5.  This nonconforming equine use shall be subject to the following limitations:  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,492, Eff. 10/10/00.)
 
   1.   The subject lot has been designated by an Equine License to stable at least one licensed equine during the 12 months prior to the issuance of the building permit for the residential building on an adjacent lot.
 
   2.   The equine enclosure shall not be expanded, extended, or relocated in such a manner as to reduce the nonconforming distance between the enclosure and the habitable rooms of the residential building on an adjacent lot.
 
   3.   The nonconforming equine use shall be discontinued if, during a successive 3-year period, no equine is licensed by the Department of Animal Services to be stabled on the subject lot.  (“Department of Animal Regulation” renamed “Department of Animal Services” by Ord. No. 174,735, Eff. 9/13/02.)
 
   Nothing in this subsection relieves any person from the obligation to comply with the requirements of any county or state law.  (Para. Amended by Ord. No. 173,754, Eff. 3/5/01.)