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Township of West Goshen, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 10-27-1981 by Ord. No. 10-1981]
A. 
Except as otherwise noted in this article, the following regulations shall apply in all districts to any lot where there is any nonconformity on the effective date of this chapter. For purposes of this article, the words "area and bulk regulations" shall mean the lot size, lot width at building line, lot width at street right-of-way line, lot coverage, green area, building setback line, side yard, rear yard, maximum building height and similar regulations established in each of the district regulations.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
B. 
Continuation. Any nonconforming building or structure, nonconforming use of a building or structure, nonconforming use of a lot or use of a nonconforming lot existing on the effective date of this chapter may be continued, except as otherwise provided in this article.
C. 
Extension, enlargement or additional buildings. The erection of new buildings, enlargement of existing buildings or structures, extension of existing uses of land or establishment of use on a lot where there is any legal nonconformity of use, size or location on the lot at the effective date of this chapter, or amendment thereto, shall be regulated according to the type of nonconformity in accordance with the provisions of this article regulating the type of nonconformity involved.
D. 
Nonconforming uses of land. A nonconforming use of land, exclusive of buildings on the lot, or of land containing no buildings may be extended on the lot so used where such use exists at the effective date of this chapter, provided that the area of such use shall not be increased by more than 25% of the area of that portion of the lot actually occupied by the use, and such extension shall conform to the most restrictive area and bulk requirements and to the design standards for the district. The extension of a nonconforming use of land shall be limited to that which was in single and separate ownership on the effective date of this chapter, except that any portion of the lot which is subdivided after the effective date of this chapter and to which the nonconforming use has not been extended before subdivision shall, after subdivision, be used only in conformity with all the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Conforming uses of conforming buildings on nonconforming lots.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
Conforming buildings of which a conforming use is made and which are located on a lot which is nonconforming at the effective date or amendment of this chapter may be enlarged or additional buildings may be erected subject to the following:
(a) 
Provided that all of the area and bulk regulations (except minimum lot size and minimum lot width at the building line) and all design standards for the district in which the lot is located are complied with and not exceeded.
(b) 
If a lot on which a single-family detached dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in minimum lot size by an amendment to this chapter adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, subject to the granting of a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, the owner may enlarge the dwelling by encroachment into the existing rear yard, provided that there is no encroachment of such enlargement within any side yard and the dwelling, as enlarged, is a minimum of 30 feet from the rear property line in the R-2 District and a minimum of 20 feet from the rear property line in the R-3 and R-4 Districts.
[Added 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
(c) 
Provided that if the owner of such lot owns or controls adjacent land sufficient to enable him to enlarge the lot in conformity or more nearly in conformity with the district regulations, he shall be required to enlarge the lot before any extensions, enlargements or additional buildings are permitted; provided, however, that any such enlargement of a nonconforming lot shall not create nonconformity of any kind on such adjacent land.
F. 
Conforming uses of nonconforming buildings on conforming lots.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
Buildings of which a conforming use is made, but which are nonconforming in area and bulk by exceeding the allowable lot coverage or height for the district in which they are located, may not be enlarged unless the lot size is enlarged to conform to the district regulations. If the lot size is enlarged, the addition or enlargement shall conform in all respects to all of the area and bulk regulations and design standards for the district in which the lot is located.
(2) 
Buildings of which a conforming use is made, but which are nonconforming in location on a lot, may be enlarged or additional buildings may be constructed, subject to the following:
(a) 
Additional buildings and enlargement of existing buildings shall conform to all of the area and bulk regulations and all design standards for the district in which the lot is located.
(b) 
A nonconforming building located entirely outside the building envelope shall not be enlarged or added to.
(c) 
A nonconforming building which is located partially outside the building envelope may be enlarged or added to, provided that such enlargement or addition is located wholly within the building envelope and the area of the building envelope is reduced by an area equal to twice the area of the nonconforming building footprint measured to the outside walls which is outside the building envelope.
(d) 
Where an additional building is proposed to be constructed within the building envelope on a lot on which an existing nonconforming building is located wholly outside the building envelope, the conforming building envelope shall be reduced by an area equal to twice the area of the nonconforming building footprint measured to the outside walls.
(e) 
If a single-family detached dwelling is rendered nonconforming in location on the lot by an amendment to this chapter adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along and within the existing building setback of such dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard, and/or the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along the line established by the rear wall of the existing dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard. There shall be no encroachment permitted into that part of the rear yard extending from the face of the rear wall of the existing dwelling to the rear property line. Subsection F(2)(c) of this § 84-58 shall not apply.
[Added 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
(f) 
A building may be enlarged within the existing building footprint by the construction or enlargement of one or more additional stories or parts thereof not exceeding the maximum height limitation for the district in which the building is located.
[Added 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
G. 
Conforming uses of nonconforming buildings on nonconforming lots.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
A nonconforming building existing on a nonconforming lot at the effective date or amendment of this chapter, if such building is used in conformity with the use provisions of the district in which it is located, may be enlarged or additional buildings may be constructed, subject to the following:
[Amended 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
(a) 
Provided that all of the area and bulk regulations (except minimum lot size and minimum lot width at the building line) and all design standards for the district in which the lot is located are complied with and not exceeded. No building which exceeds minimum lot coverage or height limitations of the district shall be enlarged or extended.
(b) 
A building may be enlarged within the existing building footprint by the construction or enlargement of one or more additional stories or parts thereof not exceeding the maximum height limitation for the district in which the building is located.
(c) 
A nonconforming building located wholly or partially outside the building envelope shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection F(2)(b) through (d) of this § 84-58.
(d) 
If a lot on which a single-family detached dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in minimum lot size and location of the dwelling on the lot, by an amendment to this chapter adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along and within the existing building setback of such dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard and/or the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along the rear wall of the existing dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard. There shall be no encroachment permitted into that part of the rear yard extending from the face of the rear wall of the dwelling to the rear property line, absent the grant of a special exception as provided for in § 84-58G(1)(e). Subsection F(2)(c) of this § 84-58 shall not apply.
(e) 
If a lot on which a single-family detached dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in minimum lot size by an amendment to this chapter adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, subject to the granting of a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, the owner may enlarge the dwelling by encroachment into the existing rear yard, provided that there is no encroachment of such enlargement within any side yard and the dwelling, as enlarged, is a minimum of 30 feet from the rear property line in the R-2 District and a minimum of 20 feet from the rear property line in the R-3 and R-4 Districts. Subsection F(2)(c) of this § 84-58 shall not apply.
(f) 
Such enlargements or additional buildings shall be limited to the lot which was in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this chapter. If the owner of such lot owns or controls adjacent land sufficient to enable such owner to enlarge the lot in conformity or more nearly in conformity with the district regulations, he shall be required to enlarge the lot before any building enlargement or addition is permitted; provided, however, that any such enlargement or addition on a nonconforming lot shall not create nonconformity of any kind on such adjacent land.
H. 
Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings on conforming lots.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
A building which is conforming in area and bulk regulations and design standards on a conforming lot which houses a nonconforming use may be increased in area by enlargement of the existing building or by construction of additional buildings, subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board for expansion of the proposed use.
(b) 
The existing building plus such extension, enlargement or additional buildings do not exceed the area and bulk regulations or design standards for the district in which the lot is located or for that use in a zoning district where the use is allowed or otherwise cause the lot to become nonconforming.
(c) 
The area of such building shall not be enlarged nor shall any additional buildings be constructed which exceed in floor area more than 25% of the floor area of such building on the date it first became nonconforming.
(d) 
The enlargement or additional building for extension of a nonconforming use shall be limited to the lot which was in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this chapter.
I. 
Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings on nonconforming lots. Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings located on nonconforming lots shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection H of this section.
J. 
Nonconforming uses of nonconforming buildings on conforming lots. A nonconforming use of a nonconforming building located on a conforming lot shall be subject to the following provisions:
(1) 
In all districts, buildings nonconforming in area and bulk by exceeding the allowable lot coverage or height for the district shall not be enlarged or additional buildings constructed.
(2) 
In all districts, buildings nonconforming in location on the lot by reason of being closer to a lot line or setback line than the minimum regulations established for the district may be enlarged or additional buildings constructed, subject to the following provisions:
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(a) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board for expansion of the existing use.
(b) 
The existing building plus such extension or enlargement or additional buildings do not exceed the area and bulk regulations or design standards for the district in which the lot is located.
(c) 
The area of such building shall not be enlarged nor shall any additional buildings be constructed which exceed in floor area more than 25% of the floor area of such building on the date it first became nonconforming.
(d) 
The enlargement or additional building for extension of a nonconforming use shall be limited to the lot which was in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this chapter.
K. 
Nonconforming uses of nonconforming buildings on nonconforming lots. A nonconforming building of which a nonconforming use is made on a nonconforming lot may not be enlarged nor may additional buildings be constructed.
L. 
Nonconforming lots containing no buildings.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
A nonconforming lot which contains no buildings and which is in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this chapter and which does not meet the minimum lot size requirement or lot width at building line requirement for the district in which it is located or which is of such unusual dimensions that the owner cannot reasonably comply with one or more of the other area and bulk regulations for the district in which it is located may be used or a building erected thereon subject to the following conditions:
(a) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(b) 
The owner does not own or control adjoining property sufficient to enable him to comply or more nearly comply with the area and bulk regulations and design standards of the district in which the property is located.
(c) 
The use of the lot and the buildings to be constructed thereon shall conform to the use regulations of the district in which the lot is located.
(d) 
The proposed building shall comply with all of the area and bulk regulations (except minimum lot size and lot width at the building line) and design standards of the district in which the lot is located.
(2) 
In any residential district, a single-family dwelling may be constructed on a nonconforming lot containing no buildings without the requirement that the owner obtain a special exception, provided that the owner does not own or control adjoining property sufficient to enable him to comply or more nearly comply with all of the area and bulk requirements for the district, and provided, further, that all setback, yard coverage and other requirements for the district are met; otherwise, a special exception shall be required.
M. 
Application to accessory uses. The provisions of this article relative to continuation and extension of nonconforming uses shall not apply or be applicable to an accessory use.
N. 
Standards applicable to nonconformities and to imposition of requirements by the Zoning Hearing Board.
[Amended 9-24-1991 by Ord. No. 5-1991]
(1) 
In passing upon any application for a special exception made with respect to the provisions of this article, the Zoning Hearing Board shall require the applicant to strictly comply with the provisions of this article. No special exception shall be granted in violation of the area and bulk regulations or design standards of this chapter, except as expressly provided for in this article or unless a variance is granted from any applicable area and bulk regulation or design standard otherwise applicable. The owner of a nonconformity has no inherent right to build in gross conflict with setback, side and rear yard requirements, coverage requirements or other area and bulk regulations or design standards of the district in which the property is located. For purposes of these provisions, the term "area and bulk regulations" shall mean the lot size, lot width at building line, lot width at street right-of-way line, lot coverage, green area, building setback line, side yard, rear yard, maximum building height and similar regulations established in each of the district regulations and the term "building envelope" shall mean that area established by the district's minimum yard and building setback regulations within a lot in which a building or structure may be located.
(2) 
In those districts in which the district regulations establish different area and bulk regulations for uses permitted as of right and for uses permitted by special exception or by conditional use, no lot shall be construed to be nonconforming, for purposes of the regulations established in this article, which complies with the minimum lot size requirement applicable to uses permitted as of right. Uses by special exception and/or conditional use shall not be permitted on any such lot, and the area and bulk regulations applicable to special exception and/or conditional use shall not render the lot nonconforming unless the applicant demonstrates that the lot cannot reasonably be used for any use permitted as of right in such district or unless the area and bulk regulations applicable to such uses permitted by special exception or conditional use are the same as those applicable to uses as of right.
(3) 
No provision of this article which establishes a twenty-five-percent limitation on the expansion of a nonconforming use shall be construed to automatically authorize an expansion to such twenty-five-percent maximum. It shall be incumbent upon the applicant to prove the need for such expansion consistent with established principles of law. When such expansion has been permitted, no further expansion shall be allowed either by action of the Zoning Officer or the Zoning Hearing Board.
O. 
If the residential use of a single-family detached residential dwelling is rendered nonconforming by an amendment to this chapter adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling changing the zoning classification of the lot on which the dwelling is located to any commercial or industrial zoning district classification provided for in § 84-4 of this chapter, such dwelling may be extended and enlarged on the lot held in single and separate ownership at the time of such amendment subject to compliance with the area and bulk regulations and design standards applicable to the R-3 Residential Zoning District and to the owners' execution of a covenant running with the land, in form suitable for recordation, binding and enforceable by the Township against the owners, their heirs, successors, administrators and assigns, in which the owner agrees on his or their behalves that, upon cessation of the residential use and occupancy, the lot and dwelling shall be used and occupied only in compliance with the use and area and bulk regulations and the design standards of the underlying commercial or industrial zoning, as the case may be, and that the extension/enlargement authorized by this subsection shall be removed.
[Added 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
[Amended 10-27-1981 by Ord. No. 10-1981]
A. 
Change of use. A lawful nonconforming use of land or of a building or other structure shall not be changed to another nonconforming use but may only be changed to a use permitted by the applicable zoning regulations for the district in which the land, building or structure is located.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-1992]
B. 
Abandonment of use. Whenever a nonconforming use of land or of a building or other structure or any portion thereof is abandoned or discontinued for a continuous period of one year or more, such abandonment or discontinuance shall be presumed to constitute an intention to abandon or discontinue such use and any subsequent use of such land, building or structure shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-1992]
C. 
Restoration. Any lawful nonconforming building or other structure which has been involuntarily damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, windstorm or other similar act or cause or a nonconforming building which has been legally condemned may be reconstructed and used for the same nonconforming use, provided that the reconstructed buildings shall not exceed in height, area and volume the building destroyed or condemned and the building reconstruction shall be commenced within one year from the date the building was destroyed or condemned and shall be carried on without interruption.
A. 
Any sign, signboard, billboard or advertising device existing at the time of the passage of this chapter that does not conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located shall be considered a nonconforming sign and may be used in its existing location, provided that it is maintained in good condition and repair at all times.
B. 
Nonconforming signs once removed may be replaced only with conforming signs; however, legal nonconforming signs may be repainted or, after issue of a permit, repaired or modernized, provided that such repaired or modernized sign does not exceed the dimensions of the existing sign.
The Zoning Officer shall compile and maintain a registration file or list of all nonconforming uses and structures within West Goshen Township. The Zoning Officer shall give notice of the registration or refusal to register in the manner provided in § 84-62B(5) and, in addition, shall send notice of such action to the property owner and any occupant or user thereof. Any person aggrieved by the Zoning Officer's registration or refusal to register any nonconforming use or structure shall appeal in the manner and within the time limits provided in § 84-72 of this chapter or be forever barred therefrom.