Any nonconforming lot held in single and separate ownership from all adjacent property shall be considered a legal lot and entitled to a certificate of compliance upon submission of documentation that:
The lot existed continuously in single and separate ownership prior to October 19, 1959, to the present time, or prior to an amendment to this chapter to the present time, and which created the nonconforming conditions.
In the period during which the lot was nonconforming, the owner did not hold title to any adjoining land in the same name.
A nonconforming lot shall merge with an adjacent conforming or nonconforming lot which has been held in common ownership at any time since October 19, 1959. Nonconforming lots shall be deemed merged until the total lot size conforms to the area requirements of the zoning district in which it is located. A conforming lot may be merged with an adjacent conforming lot at the request of the property owner, so long as such merger does not result in a change of zoning district for any parcel.
"Common ownership" shall mean that the adjacent lots are owned by the same person in the same name.
If effective merger of adjacent lots for zoning purposes has occurred through operation of law, such as through rezoning, the lots may be reseparated (unmerged) by appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals if each of the following conditions are met:
The merger of adjacent lots has in fact occurred through operation of law.
The merger in fact occurred without the knowledge of the property owner.
The adjacent lots each equal at least 50% of the lot area required by the present zoning district regulations.
There are single lots of similar dimensions in the neighborhood.
No more than two lots are created.
Exception. Lots which have become nonconforming as a result of either an amendment to this chapter changing the area requirements in any zoning district or solely by reason of the death of a previous record owner shall have three years to place the lots into single and separate ownership. Failure to place the lots into single and separate ownership within this period of time shall result in the merger of the lots.
When a lot is merged with another lot with a nonconforming use, the nonconforming use may not be shifted or expanded to the merged lot.
[Added 6-8-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
Buildings and uses and the use of any land or building legally existing prior to October 19, 1959, or prior to any applicable revision or amendment to this chapter thereafter, may be continued although such use does not conform to the provisions of this chapter, and any such building may be reconstructed or structurally altered, subject to the following regulations:
Alteration and expansion. A legal nonconforming building or structure may be altered or expanded without a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals so long as such action does not create any new nonconformity or increase the degree or extent of nonconformity with regard to the bulk or use regulations of the zoning district in which it is located. If, however, such alteration involves a majority of the building, the entire building or structure must meet the requirements of the New York State Uniform Building and Fire Prevention Code.
[Amended 5-25-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
Restoration. A legal nonconforming building or structure damaged to the extent of less than a majority of the building may be rebuilt, provided that the application for same is filed within two years of the damage so long as such action does not create any new nonconformity or increase the degree or extent of nonconformity with regard to the bulk or use regulations of the zoning district in which it is located. If any such damage involves more than a majority of the building, any restoration shall require approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals, when considering such application, may impose reasonable conditions, among which shall be that the entire building or structure must meet the requirements of the New York State Uniform Building and Fire Prevention Code.
[Amended 5-25-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
Use extension. Nonconforming use extension shall be governed by these rules:
[Amended 3-5-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004; 6-8-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
A conforming (legal) use may be extended to any portion of an existing nonconforming building on the same lot.
A legal nonconforming use may not be extended beyond or within the original physical area, meaning the actual building and/or outdoor area used as of October 19, 1959, or the adoption date of the Code revision creating the nonconformity, except with a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, using the criteria set forth in § 133-35.
Discontinuance. Whenever a nonconforming use has been voluntarily discontinued for a period of one year, any future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. A reasonable or necessary interim, however, between tenants or successors in interest or occupants shall not be construed to mean discontinuance.
Change to conforming use. Whenever a legal nonconforming use of a building or land has been changed to a conforming use, such use shall not thereafter be changed to a nonconforming use.
Change between nonconforming uses. A nonconforming use may be changed to a use of the same or higher classification by the issuance of a special permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals or Town Board.
In making its decision, the Zoning Board of Appeals or Town Board shall rely on the standards set forth in § 133-35.
In the event that the Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a license for a use which subsequently becomes nonconforming under the Zoning Code or Map, the license may be renewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals upon a determination that:
The foregoing provisions also apply to uses or buildings made nonconforming through amendment to the Zoning Code or Map.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, lots in subdivisions duly filed in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk which were rezoned from Zoning District A to Zoning District AA or from Zoning District A-1 to Zoning District A will retain the bulk and area requirements of their former zoning district. All other lots shall conform to the bulk and area requirements of their present zoning district.