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(1) Existing nonconformities. If within the districts established by this Zoning Ordinance or amendments that may later be adopted, there exist lots, structures, and uses of land and structures which were lawful before this Zoning Ordinance was passed or amended, but which would be prohibited under the term of this Zoning Ordinance or future amendment, these nonconformities shall be permitted to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival.
(2) Extension or enlargement of nonconformities. A nonconforming use of a structure, a nonconforming use of land, or a nonconforming use of a structure and land shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this Zoning Ordinance.
(3) Actual construction at time of Zoning Ordinance adoption or amendment. To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this Zoning Ordinance 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 Zoning Ordinance 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, and demolition, elimination, and removal of an existing structure in connection with such construction, provided the actual construction work shall be diligently carried on until the completion of the building involved.
(b) Nonconforming Lots of Record.
(1) Single lots. In any district in which single-family dwellings are permitted, notwithstanding limitations im posed by other provisions of this Zoning Ordinance, a single-family dwelling and customary accessory buildings may be erected on any single lot of record at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance. Such lot must be in separate ownership and not of continuous frontage with other lots in the same ownership. This provision shall apply even though such lot fails to meet the requirements for area or width, or both, that are generally applicable in the district; 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 area, width, and yard requirements shall be obtained only through action of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
(2) Two or more lots. If two or more lots or combinations of lots and portions of lots with continuous frontage in single ownership are of record at the time of passage or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance, and if all or part of the lots do not meet the requirements for lot width and area as established by this Zoning Ordinance, the lands involved shall be considered to be an undivided parcel for the purposes of this Zoning Ordinance, and no portion of said parcel shall be used or sold which does not meet lot width and area requirements established by this Zoning Ordinance, nor shall any division of the parcel be made which leaves remaining any lot with width or area below the requirements stated in this Zoning Ordinance.
(c) Nonconforming Uses of Land. Where, at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance, lawful use of land exists that is made no longer permissible under the terms of this Zoning Ordinance, as enacted or amended, such use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
(1) Enlargement. No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance.
(2) Replacement on the lot. No such nonconforming 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 Zoning Ordinance.
(3) Discontinuance. If any such nonconforming use of land is ceased for any reason, any subsequent use of land shall conform to the regulations specified by this Zoning Ordinance for the district in which such land is located.
(d) Nonconforming Structures. Where a lawful structure exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance that could not be built under the terms of this Zoning Ordinance by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, yards, or other characteristics of the structure or its location on the lot, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
(1) Enlargement. No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity.
(2) Reconstruction. Should such structure be destroyed by any means to the extent where the cost of reconstruction exceeds its assessed value at the time of destruction, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance.
(3) Movement. 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) Nonconforming Uses of Structures. When a nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination, is discontinued or abandoned, the structure, or structure and premises in combination, shall not thereafter be used except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located. A nonconforming use shall be considered discontinued or abandoned when the intent of the owner to discontinue the use is apparent or when the characteristic equipment and the furnishings of the nonconforming use have been removed from the premises and have not been replaced by similar equipment within one year, unless other facts show intention to resume the nonconforming uses, or when it has been replaced by a conforming use, or when it has been changed to another use under permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
(f) Repairs and Maintenance. On any building devoted in whole or in part to any nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of one year from the beginning of work on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing, to an extent not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the current replacement value of the building; provided, that the cubical content of the building as it existed at the time of passage or amendment of this Zoning Ordinance shall not be increased.
Nothing in this Zoning Ordinance shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any City official or agency charged with protecting the public safety, upon order of such official.
(g) Uses Under Special Use Provisions Not Nonconforming Uses. Any use for which a special use is permitted as provided in this Zoning Ordinance shall not be deemed a nonconforming use, but shall without further action be deemed a conforming use in such district.
(1977 Code Title 4A.)