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The following provisions shall apply to nonconforming uses, noncomplying structures and substandard lots of record:
(a) Definitions. Such uses, structures and lots are hereby defined as follows:
(1) A "nonconforming use" is a use which existed lawfully at the effective date of this Code, or of amendments thereto, or a live/work unit which existed on the effective date of Ordinance No. 412-88 (effective October 10, 1988) (other than a live/work unit wholly or partly occupying space whose legal occupancy under the Building Code was then limited to a residential occupancy) and which fails to conform to one or more of the use limitations under Articles 2, 6, 7 and 8 of this Code that then became applicable for the district in which the property is located.
(2) A "noncomplying structure" is a structure which existed lawfully at the effective date of this Code, or of amendments thereto, and which fails to comply with one or more of the regulations for structures, including requirements for off-street parking and loading, under Articles 1.2, 1.5, 2.5, 6, 7 and 8 of this Code, that then became applicable to the property on which the structure is located.
(3) A "substandard lot of record" is a lot which existed lawfully at the effective date of any requirement of this Code applicable thereto for minimum lot width or area (on December 26, 1946, or through subsequent amendments), and which fails to meet one or more of such requirements. Any lot existing and recorded as a separate parcel in the office of the Assessor or the Recorder at such effective date shall be deemed to be a lot of record under this Code as of such date. Any lot created by merger of such existing lots of record or parts thereof in such a manner as to establish a lesser number of lots, each having an increased area with no reduction in width, or an increased width with no reduction in area, or both an increased area and an increased width, shall also be deemed to be a lot of record under this Code as of the date of such merger.
(b) Timely Compliance with the Code. Such uses, structures and lots, in failing to meet applicable requirements of this Code, are incompatible with the purposes of this Code and with other uses, structures and lots in the City, and it is intended that these uses, structures and lots shall be brought into compliance with this Code as quickly as the fair interests of the parties will permit.
(d) Change in Ownership. A mere change of title or possession or right of possession of property, without any other change that is relevant to the restrictions of this Code, shall not terminate the status of a nonconforming use, noncomplying structure or substandard lot of record.
(e) Lawfully Existing Structures and Uses. Any structure or use for which a permit was lawfully granted prior to May 2, 1960, pursuant to the Planning Code provisions in effect on that date, and which was thereafter commenced and completed in accordance with such provisions, shall be deemed to have been a lawfully existing structure or use on that date. Any structure or use for which a permit has been lawfully granted pursuant to the provisions of this Code relating to amendments, and which has thereafter been commenced and completed in accordance with such provisions, shall be deemed to be a lawfully existing structure or use at the time of the amendment that causes it to become a noncomplying structure or a nonconforming use.
(f) Compliance with Other Requirements of the Planning Code. Except as specifically provided in this Code to the contrary, every nonconforming use, noncomplying structure and substandard lot of record shall comply with the applicable requirements of this Code, other than those requirements from which such uses, structures and lots are exempted by this Section 180.
(g) Nonconforming Signs. Section 606(c) and other provisions of Article 6 of this Code shall regulate the signs permitted for nonconforming uses. In addition, signs which are themselves classified as nonconforming uses and noncomplying structures under this Code shall be governed by Section 604 and other provisions of Article 6 of this Code.
(h) Preserving Dwelling Units. If the administrative record regarding a nonconforming unit does not provide conclusive evidence that the unit is illegal, it shall be presumed to be a legal nonconforming unit.
(Added by Ord. 443-78, App. 10/6/78; amended by Ord. 69-87, App. 3/13/87; Ord. 412-88, App. 9/10/88; Ord. 115-90, App. 4/6/90; Ord. 287-13 , File No. 130041, App. 12/26/2013, Eff. 1/25/2014)
Division headers added throughout section; division (h) added; Ord. 287-13 , Eff. 1/25/2014.