MapLink™ | Procedures | Nonconformities

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1. Registration of Nonconformities.
It shall be the responsibility of a party asserting a nonconformity to provide the evidence that it is lawful. A property owner may request a written statement of nonconformity from the Zoning Officer after providing sufficient evidence.
2. Damaged or Destroyed Nonconformities.
A. A nonconforming structure that has been destroyed or damaged equal to 50% or more of its total value by fire, windstorm, lightning or a similar cause deemed not to be the fault of the owner may rebuild in a nonconforming fashion only if:
(1) The application for a building permit is submitted within 18 months after the date of damage or destruction.
(2) Work begins in earnest within 12 months afterwards.
(3) A nonconformity shall not be created or increased by any reconstruction.
B. Rebuilding of a damaged or destroyed nonconformity shall not begin until plans for rebuilding have been presented and approved by the Zoning Officer. Any change of one nonconforming use to another nonconforming use shall comply with the provisions of this section.
C. Nonconforming Use of Open Land. All nonconforming off-premises signs, junkyards, outside storage areas and similar nonconforming uses of open land, when damaged to an extent of 50% or more of replacement cost, shall not be continued, repaired or reconstructed.
3. Abandonment of a Nonconformity.
A. If a non-conforming use of building or land is sufficiently shown to be discontinued, razed, removed or abandoned, subsequent use of such building or land shall conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located, except as provided for in the "damaged or destroyed non-conformity" provisions of this section.
B. The party asserting abandonment of a building or land shall be responsible to provide sufficient evidence to establish an intent to abandon the use, and that such use was abandoned.
4. Changes from One Nonconforming use to Another.
A. Once changed to a conforming use, a structure or land or portion thereof shall not revert to a nonconforming use.
B. A nonconforming use may be changed to a different type of nonconforming use only if permitted as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. The Board shall determine whether the applicant has provided sufficient proof to show that the proposed new use will be equally or less objectionable in external effects compared to the preexisting nonconforming use. The Board should review the following types of effects:
(1) Traffic generation (especially truck traffic).
(2) Noise, dust, fumes, gases, odor, glare, vibration, fire and explosive hazards.
(3) Amount and character of outdoor storage.
(4) Hours of operation if the use would be close to dwellings.
(5) Compatibility with the character of the surrounding area.
C. District Changes. Any uses, structures or lots that become nonconforming because of a zoning district change shall be regulated under this section on nonconformities.
5. Subdivision of Lots with Existing Buildings.
Notwithstanding limitations imposed by other provisions of this chapter, a lot which had one or more principal building existing prior to September 8, 1987, may be divided into more than one nonconforming lot provided such division is for purposes of conveyance into separate ownership and provided the conditions in § 27-8068 are met.
A. The Zoning Hearing Board shall not make a decision on a variance under this section until a minimum of 40 days after an application is filed, unless comments have already been received from the Planning Commission.
See § 27-806: Nonconformities for more information.
See § 27-111: Zoning Hearing Board Actions and Variances for more information on this board.