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A. Definition of Nonconforming Use. A nonconforming use is the use of land or use of a structure that, as of the effective date of this Ordinance or any subsequent amendments, includingmap amendments, is used for purposes that are not allowed in the zoning district in which it is located, provided that the property owner can document that the use was in conformance with the zoning ordinance in effect as of the date that the use was established or that the property owner can provide documentation to the satisfaction of the Zoning Enforcement Officer that the agricultural, single- or two-family residential, or residential accessory use existed prior to, March 1, 2005, regardless of if such agricultural, single- or two-family residential, or residential accessory use was lawful at the time of establishment.
B. Ordinary Repairs and Maintenance. Maintenance and repair may be performed on any structure that is used in whole or in part for a nonconforming use, provided it will not create any new nonconformity, increase the degree of nonconformity, or increase the bulk of the structure in any manner.
C. Expansions and Relocations.
1. A nonconforming use of land or a structure cannot be expanded, extended, enlarged, or increased in intensity. Such prohibited activity includes, without limitation:
a. Expansion of any structure devoted entirely to a nonconforming use.
b. An expansion, extension, or relocation of a nonconforming use or its accessory uses to any land area or structure not currently occupied by such nonconforming use, except where a residential dwelling is a nonconforming use in a zoning district, additions and the construction of a private garage as an accessory use is permitted.
c. An expansion, extension, or relocation of a nonconforming use within a structure, including its accessory uses, to any portion of the floor area that was not occupied by such nonconforming use.
2. A nonconforming use of land or a structure cannot be relocated, in whole or in part, to any other location on the same lot or parcel. The nonconforming use may only be relocated to another lot or parcel if the use then conforms to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is relocated, including all use regulations.
D. Structural Alterations, Damage, or Destruction. For the purposes of this Section, structural alterations conducted without proper approval are treated as damage or destruction.
1. No structural alterations are permitted on any structure used in whole or in part for a nonconforming use, except in the following situations:
a. When the structural alteration is required by law or is necessary to restore the structure to a safe condition, upon the order of any official charged with protecting the public safety.
b. When the structural alteration is for the purpose of eliminating the nonconformity.
c. When the structural alteration will not create any new nonconformity, increase the degree of any existing nonconformity, or increase the bulk of the structure in any manner, and the cost of the structural alteration is less than fifty percent (50%) of the replacement value at that time (per the methodology of this Section).
2. In the event that any structure that is used, in whole or in part, to a nonconforming use, is damaged or destroyed to the extent of fifty percent (50%) or more of its replacement value at that time, then the nonconforming use cannot be continued unless the use conforms to all regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
3. In the event that any structure that is devoted, in whole or in part, to a nonconforming use is damaged or destroyed to the extent of less than fifty percent (50%) of the replacement value at that time, the structure may be repaired, reconstructed or restored and the nonconforming use continued, provided that no new nonconformities are created and that the existing degree of nonconformity is not increased. A building permit must be obtained for such rebuilding, restoration, repair, or reconstruction within one (1) year of the date of damage or destruction.
4. The replacement value of the structure, which is devoted, in whole or in part, to a nonconforming use, is based on: 1) the sale of that structure, excluding the value of the land, within the previous year or, if that is not applicable; 2) an appraisal within the last two (2) years or, if that is not available; 3) the amount for which the structure was insured prior to the date of damage or destruction or, if that is not available; 4) an alternative method determined acceptable by the County.
5. The amount of damage to a structure is equal to the repair cost of bringing that structure to its original conditions prior to the damage or destruction. Calculation of the repair cost must include all materials and market rate labor to reconstruct to the same quality or value. If the structure is located in the floodway or floodplain, it must also consider value of all home improvements over the last ten (10) years. Repair costs will be reviewed utilizing published construction estimating guide(s).
E. Change of Use. A nonconforming use cannot be changed to any use other than those allowed within the zoning district in which it is located. When such a nonconforming use has been changed, in whole or in part, to an allowed use, the whole or part that has been made to conform cannot be changed back to a use that is prohibited. A change of use occurs when an existing nonconforming use has been terminated and another use has commenced. Any change in use in violation of this Ordinance is deemed an immediate abandonment of the previously existing nonconforming use and cannot be changed back to the previous nonconforming use.
F. Discontinuation or Abandonment. If a nonconforming use is discontinued or the structure that it occupies becomes vacant and remains unoccupied for a continuous period of one (1) year, such use is deemed abandoned and cannot be reestablished or resumed regardless of the intent to resume or to continue the use. Any subsequent use or occupancy of such land or structure must comply with all regulations of the zoning district in which such land or structure is located. The following exceptions apply:
1. If the period of such discontinuance is caused by government action or acts of God, it is not included in calculating the length of discontinuance.
2. If the property owner files notice in writing of the suspension of a nonconforming use with the Zoning Enforcement Officer prior to the expiration of the one-year (1-year) timeframe of allowed discontinuance, the Zoning Enforcement Officer may approve an extension of such timeframe for one (1) additional year. Notice must show good cause for allowing a suspension of a nonconforming use to exceed the one (1) year permitted by this section. Failure to file such notice is deemed as intent to abandon the nonconforming use. Once all suspension periods have expired, the nonconforming use is deemed abandoned and cannot be resumed.
G. Accessory Uses. No use that is accessory to a principal nonconforming use shall continue after such principal use has ceased or terminated.
(Ord. O-201410-10-035, passed 10-14-2014; Ord. O-201601-ZBA-006, passed 1-19-2016; Ord. O-201603-ZBA-010, passed 3-17-2016, § 20.3; Ord. O-201803-ZBA-10-08, passed 3-19-2018; Ord. O-201808-10-033, passed 8-21-2018)