Any use of land or structures, or any lot or structure which lawfully existed at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter which would not be permitted or permissible by the provisions of this chapter as adopted or amended, shall be deemed nonconforming. It is the intent of this chapter to permit such nonconformities to continue, subject to certain restrictions listed within this section unless otherwise noted within this chapter.
The continued lawful use of a building, premises, structure, or fixture existing at the time of the adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance may not be prohibited although the use does not conform to the provisions of the ordinance. The nonconforming use, building, premises, structure or fixture may not be extended. The total structural repairs or alterations in such a nonconforming building, premises, structure, or fixture shall not during its life exceed 50% of the assessed value of the building, premises, structure, or fixture unless permanently changed to a conforming use. If the nonconforming use is discontinued for a period of 12 months, any future use of the building, premises, structure, or fixture shall conform to the chapter.
In this section:
"Development regulations" means the part of this chapter that applies to elements including setback, height, lot coverage, and side yard.
"Nonconforming structure" means a dwelling or other building that existed lawfully before the current zoning ordinance was enacted or amended, but that does not conform with one or more of the development regulations in the current zoning ordinance.
An ordinance may not prohibit, or limit based on cost, the repair, maintenance, renovation, or remodeling of a nonconforming structure.
Restrictions that are applicable to damaged or destroyed nonconforming structures and that are contained in an ordinance enacted under this subsection may not prohibit the restoration or replacement of a nonconforming structure if the structure will be restored to, or replaced at, the size, subject, location, and use that it had immediately before the damage or destruction occurred, or impose any limits on the costs of the repair, reconstruction, or improvement if all of the following apply:
An ordinance enacted under this subsection to which the restrictions above apply shall allow for the size of a structure to be larger than the size it was immediately before the damage or destruction if necessary for the structure to comply with applicable state or federal requirements.
When a structure becomes nonconforming as to setback from a public right-of-way because the public right-of-way was dedicated, reserved, widened, or relocated, such structure shall not be considered a nonconforming structure under this section. However, no such structure shall thereafter be added to or rebuilt closer to the public right-of-way. Reference: Diagram 320-400-2.
If characteristics of use, such as lighting, parking, noise or other matters pertaining to the use of land, structures, and premises, are made nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter as adopted or amended, no change shall thereafter be made in such characteristics of use which increases the nonconformity; provided, however, that changes may be made which decrease such nonconformity.
Nonconforming design of structures. If characteristics of the design of a structure, such as walls, roofs, equipment, entrances, facades or building materials, are made nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter as adopted or amended, the structure may be altered or enlarged, provided that the alteration or enlargement complies with such requirements and does not increase the nonconformity.
In any district, any permitted or permissible use may commence, or structure may be erected on a single lot of record at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter. This provision shall apply even though such lot fails to meet the requirements of lot area, lot width, lot frontage or all three for the district in which it is located, and provided that all other requirements for the district are met.
The casual, temporary, or illegal use of land or structures, or land structures in combination, shall not be sufficient to establish the existence of a nonconforming use or to create rights in the continuance of such use.