§ 156.024  LEGAL NONCONFORMITIES.
   (A)   Intent. The intent of this section is to regulate and limit the continued existence of nonconforming uses, nonconforming lots, and nonconforming structures and like improvements.  It is the intent of this section to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival except under the limited circumstances established in this section.
   (B)   Establishment.
      (1)   A legal nonconformity (hereafter referred to as "nonconformity") is a use, lot, structure or other like improvement that complied with all applicable requirements when it was created, but which does not comply with subsequent amendments to these requirements.
      (2)   The burden of establishing that a nonconformity is a legal nonconformity shall be solely upon the owner.
   (C)   Nonconforming uses.
      (1)   Continuation.
         (a)   A nonconforming use may not be enlarged, extended, altered, or replaced, unless the change is to a use permitted in the district in which located, except as provided in (b) below;
         (b)   A non-conforming use may be extended through portions of a building manifestly arranged or intended for such use, but not otherwise, and shall not extend to occupy land outside such building, or any additional building not used for such non-conforming use at the time that non-conforming status was established;
         (c)   Normal maintenance or repair of a structure housing a nonconforming use may be performed, provided that the cubic content of the structure shall not be increased.
      (2)   Discontinuance.
         (a)   If a nonconforming use is abandoned, ceases, or is discontinued for any reason for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, the use shall be considered abandoned.  Once abandoned, the use's legal nonconforming status shall be lost and re-establishment of the use shall be prohibited.  Any subsequent use of the property shall comply with the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
         (b)   Evidence of abandonment shall include but not be limited to: cessation or discontinuance of the particular use, disconnection of water service to the property, disconnection of electric service to the property, failure to pay property taxes, or failure to maintain the property.
         (c)   Any conforming structure housing a nonconforming use that is damaged by any means to an extent exceeding 60 percent shall comply with the use standards of this chapter when it is re-constructed.  Any conforming structure housing a nonconforming use that is damaged by any means to a lesser extent may continue the nonconforming use if it is reconstructed and used as before within two years of the damage.
   (D)   Nonconforming lots.
      (1)   Nonconforming lots, as defined above, may be built upon if compliance is achieved with regard to setback dimensions and other requirements, except lot area or width.
      (2)   Nothing contained herein exempts a lot from meeting the applicable County Board of Health regulations regarding public facilities such as water and sewerage.
   (E)   Nonconforming structures.
      (1)   Normal maintenance and repair is permitted.
      (2)   Structural changes shall be permitted if the change does not increase the extent of nonconformity and complies with other applicable requirements of this chapter.
      (3)   Any nonconforming structure which has been damaged to an extent exceeding 60% of its fair market value shall comply with the dimensional and other applicable standards of this chapter when it is re-constructed.
      (4)   If a nonconforming structure, or portion thereof, or any structure or portion thereof containing a nonconforming use becomes physically unsafe or unlawful due to the lack of repairs or maintenance, and is declared to be an unsafe structure, it shall thereafter be rebuilt and repaired in conformance with the standards of this chapter.
(Am. Ord. passed 9-14-2016)