Where the districts established contain structures and uses of land and structures that were lawful before this chapter was passed or amended but that would now be prohibited, it is the intent to permit these nonconformities to continue but not to allow alteration or enlargement of use or structure in such a manner as to increase the degree of nonconformity. No changes in the lot, use, or structure shall increase the level of nonconformity.
No nonconforming use of land shall be enlarged, increased, or extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of this chapter. No nonconforming use of land shall continue if it ceases for any reason (except where governmental action impedes access to the premises) for a period of more than 12 consecutive months or for 12 months during any three-year period. No nonconforming use of land shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot or parcel other than that occupied by such use on the effective date of this chapter.
Preexisting uses. No nonconforming use of a structure may extend to any part of the structure which was not manifestly arranged or designed for such use on the effective date of this chapter, and no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside the structure. Moreover, such use or structure shall not be enlarged, extended, constructed, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered except for a permitted use.
Forfeiture by nonuse. No nonconforming use of structure shall continue if it is discontinued for 12 consecutive months.
Repairs and maintenance. Improvements to nonconforming structures occurring within a consecutive twelve-month period shall not exceed 50% of the current assessed value. No improvements shall increase the cubic content of the building as it existed on the effective date of this chapter.
Preexisting structures. A structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the provisions of this section.
Enlargement or alteration. No nonconforming structure may be enlarged or altered in any way which increases its nonconformity except as permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals as provided in this chapter.
Relocation. If a nonconforming structure is moved for any reason for any distance whatever, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which it is located after it is moved.
Building safety. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety, upon order of such official.
Preexisting uses on nonconforming lots. Any existing conforming use or conforming structure on a nonconforming lot existing on the effective date of this chapter may be enlarged, extended, constructed, or moved so long as such change does not increase the degree of nonconformity and other requirements of this chapter are met, except that a multifamily residential use may not be constructed, extended, or enlarged on a nonconforming lot.
Division of combined nonconforming lots. Any two or more lots under the same ownership and with continuous frontage shall not be used or sold in a manner which diminishes possible compliance with this chapter.
Certificates of occupancy for nonconforming uses, nonconforming structures, and nonconforming lots existing on the effective date of this chapter may be issued by the Building Inspector, provided that such certificates state that the use is a nonconforming use and does not conform to the provisions of this chapter.