Any structure or use which was legal when built or commenced and which was in existence at the time of enactment or amendment of this chapter, which becomes nonconforming as a result of such enactment or amendment, may be continued, except that:
Discontinuance. If a nonconforming use of land or structures is discontinued for a period of one year, it shall not thereafter be reestablished except as provided in Subsection B, and any future use shall be in conformity with this chapter.
Reestablishment. The Planning Board may issue a special permit for the reestablishment of the use after the one-year period has expired if the applicant has been prevented from continuing the use during the one-year period due to strikes, acts of God, disability, or other similar hardship beyond the applicant's control.
A nonconforming use or structure shall not be extended, enlarged, or structurally altered except as provided below. The extension of a conforming use to any portion of a nonconforming structure shall not be deemed the extension of a nonconforming structure or use.
A nonconforming structure or use may be rebuilt in the event of its total or partial destruction, to occupy the same or a lesser amount of footprint, but may not exceed the original height of the totally or partially destroyed structure. Such rebuilding shall require site plan review by the Planning Board.
The Planning Board may issue a special permit allowing an expansion of a nonconforming use or structure by up to 50% of its area at the time of the adoption of this chapter, provided that all other requirements can be met, and that such expansion does not reduce any nonconforming setbacks by more than 20%. Expansion or introduction of uses prohibited by § 145-10C shall not be permitted.
A nonconforming soil mining operation may expand by mining within the boundaries of the original parcel on which the mine was legally permitted only to the extent allowed by an existing Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit or as otherwise provided by the laws of New York State. A soil mining operation commenced in violation of the Dover Zoning Law after September 1, 1991, shall be permitted to continue mining under a valid DEC permit but shall not be permitted to expand or otherwise benefit from the legal protections afforded under state law for a nonconforming use that was commenced in full compliance with applicable local laws and regulations. Such an operation may not process materials mined off site by crushing, screening, sorting, washing, drying, or otherwise. This shall not prevent the continuation of any nonconforming industrial use of a property where soil mining products mined off site are used as a raw material.
A nonconforming use or structure may be repaired or restored to a safe condition.
A nonconforming use of a structure or parcel of land may, upon issuance of a special permit by the Planning Board, be changed to another nonconforming use which is of the same or lesser impact, except that no use prohibited by § 145-10C shall be permitted under any circumstances. No structure in which a nonconforming use has been changed to a use of lesser impact shall again be devoted to a nonconforming use with greater impact. In determining whether a use is of greater or lesser impact, the Planning Board shall consider the impact criteria listed in § 145-63.
Any preexisting legal use which is allowable by special permit under this chapter, but which has not been issued a special permit, shall be considered a nonconforming use until it is granted a special permit by the Planning Board. The expansion of such a use, other than a single-family or two-family residence, shall require site plan approval.
Any structure for which construction was begun prior to the effective date of this chapter, or of any amendment thereto, may be completed and used in accordance with the approved plans and specifications for such structure. Any structure for which construction has not begun pursuant to approved plans shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and any amendments thereto, even if all preconstruction approvals have been granted. For purposes of this § 145-28, "beginning construction" shall mean excavation and pouring of footings or the installation of any other means of permanently attaching a structure to the ground.
Any lot of record created prior to April 28, 1999, which does not comply with the area, density, or dimensional requirements of this chapter shall be deemed to comply with such requirements, and no variance shall be required for its development or for any addition to or other alteration of a structure, provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
At the time the lot became nonconforming, it did not adjoin other lots held in the same or related ownership with which it can be merged to create a conforming or less nonconforming lot.
The following minimum area and dimensions are maintained, unless smaller dimensions are permitted in the district:
All Health Department regulations are satisfied.
Any residential use of such a nonconforming lot shall be limited to one single-family dwelling.
A nonconforming lot may be subdivided only if the subdivision plat shows that every subdivided portion of such lot will be merged with adjoining properties to increase the area of such properties, thereby eliminating the nonconforming lot.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, any undeveloped lot in a subdivision which was not properly approved by the Planning Board or Town Board or not filed in the office of the County Clerk, and whose area or dimensions do not comply with the requirements of this chapter, shall be considered a violation of this chapter and shall not be protected under § 145-29A.
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 6.7-4, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 3-28-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001.