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City of Monroe, WI
Green County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[9-4-2018]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations for the following nonconforming situations created legally prior to the effective date of this Title 5: nonconforming uses, nonconforming and substandard lots, nonconforming structures, and other nonconforming sites.
(1) 
Definition. A nonconforming use is an active and actual use of land or structures, or both; legally established prior to the effective date of this Title 5 or subsequent applicable amendments thereto which has continued the same use to the present, and which would not be permitted under the current terms of this Title 5.
(2) 
Continuance of a nonconforming use.
(a) 
Any nonconforming use lawfully existing upon the effective date of this Title 5 may be continued at the size and in a manner of operation existing upon such date, except as specified in this section.
(b) 
Any legal use under the previous Zoning Ordinance which is made nonconforming by this Title 5 may apply for a conditional use permit to be granted legal conforming status.
(c) 
If a parcel or lot contains an existing nonconforming use, the addition of a new conforming use on that parcel or lot shall require a conditional use permit, subject to the standards, criteria, and procedures prescribed by § 5-10-28, in order to ensure compatibility with the existing nonconforming use. Whether uses are compatible shall be determined by the Zoning Administrator.
(d) 
In the absence of a conditional use permit granting it legal conforming status, a nonconforming use shall be discontinued before a new conforming use may be added to the parcel.
(3) 
Modification of a nonconforming use.
(a) 
Except as permitted in Subsection (2)(b), below, a structure containing a nonconforming use shall not be expanded or changed to another nonconforming use, unless such modification would make the nonconforming use have a more desirable effect in terms of implementing the purpose of this Title 5 (as determined by the Zoning Administrator). If such a modification occurs, said use shall not be modified back to the original nonconforming use, or to any other nonconforming use which does not better accomplish the purpose of this Title 5.
(b) 
A nonconforming nonresidential use which is not served by public sanitary sewer and/or public water may be permitted to expand if said facilities are not available within 1,000 feet of the subject property, and upon the granting of a conditional use permit per the requirements of § 5-10-28.
(c) 
No nonconforming use or structure containing a nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot, parcel, site and/or structure than was occupied upon the effective date of this Title 5.
(4) 
Discontinuance of a nonconforming use.
(a) 
When any nonconforming use of any structure or land is discontinued for a period of 365 days, or is changed into a conforming use, any future use of said structure or land shall be in complete conformity with the provisions of this Title 5.
1. 
A nonconforming use that has been discontinued for a period of 365 days or more may be reestablished through the granting of a conditional use permit, provided that the nonconforming use is permitted by right in a zoning district that is less intensive than the zoning district of the subject property, as determined by the Plan Commission.
(b) 
The property owner has the burden to prove that the nonconforming use has been continuously maintained over time. Potential forms of documentation include but are not limited to utility bills; tax records; business licenses; listing in telephone, business, or City directories; advertisements in dated publications; building, land use, or development permits; insurance policies; leases; dated aerial photos; insurance maps that identify use or development such as Sanborn Maps; or land use and development inventories prepared by a government agency.
(5) 
Ordinary maintenance and repairs of a structure and land containing a nonconforming use.
(a) 
The ordinary maintenance and repairs made to a structure or land containing or related to a nonconforming use is permitted. Ordinary maintenance and repairs are defined as follows:
1. 
The repair or replacement of doors, windows, nonbearing walls, fixtures, heating and air conditioning components, wiring, plumbing, siding, roofing, or other nonstructural components.
2. 
Overlaying an off-street parking and/or loading lot, which shall mean adding a layer of asphalt or concrete to an existing off-street parking and/or loading lot.
3. 
Resurfacing the asphalt or concrete of the off-street parking, loading facilities, and/or access drives without exposing the base course and overlaying such area.
(b) 
In no instance shall said maintenance and repairs exceed, over the life of the structure, 50% of the present equalized assessed value of said structure or property prior to said repairs, in accordance with Wis. Stats. § 62.23(7)(h).
(1) 
Definition. A nonconforming or substandard lot is a lot legally established prior to the effective date of this Title 5 or subsequent applicable amendments thereto which would not be permitted under the current terms of this Title 5.
(2) 
Applicability: The following section shall apply to all lots in the City except in the following circumstances:
(a) 
The lot did not legally exist as of the effective date of this Title 5.
(b) 
The lot is subject to a court order to the contrary of this section.
(3) 
Blanket conforming status.
(a) 
Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this Title 5 is hereby automatically granted to all nonconforming or substandard lots in their configuration existing or as finally approved as of the effective date of this Title 5. This subsection ensures that lots approved and created prior to the adoption of this Title 5 do not encounter difficulty because the lots would otherwise be considered nonconforming or substandard.
(b) 
After the effective date of this Title 5, no lot shall be created which does not meet the density, intensity, and bulk requirements of the zoning district, except any lot located within a subdivision platted prior to the effective date of this Title 5 may return to its originally platted dimensions and configurations.
(4) 
New development: A lot of record existing upon the effective date of this Title 5 in any zoning district, which does not meet the minimum lot area, width, and frontage requirements for the zoning district, may be utilized for new or modified development, provided that such development complies with all of the density, intensity, and bulk regulations for that zoning district.
(5) 
Except for outlots that received variances prior to the effective date of this Title 5, this section shall not apply to outlots without access to a public right-of-way that existed prior to the effective date of this Title 5, as they are not intended for development.
(1) 
Definition. A nonconforming structure is a structure legally established prior to the effective date of this Title 5 or subsequent applicable amendments thereto which would not be permitted under the current terms of this Title 5. Parking, loading, access drives, and other paved areas are included in the definition of structure.
(2) 
The following section shall apply to all structures in the City except in the following circumstances:
(a) 
The structure did not legally exist as of the effective date of this Title 5.
(b) 
The structure is subject to legal proceedings.
(c) 
The structure is subject to a court order to the contrary of this section.
(d) 
Where the requirements of this section conflict with federal, state and City floodplain, wetland and shoreland-wetland regulations.
1. 
Where there are conflicts between or among regulations within this section and other regulations such as floodplain, wetland, and shoreland regulations, the regulations that are more restrictive or which impose higher standards or requirements shall prevail.
(3) 
Blanket conforming status.
(a) 
Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this Title 5 is hereby automatically granted to any structure lawfully existing upon the effective date of this Title 5. After said date, structures may not be enlarged, expanded, or extended without bringing the enlargement, expansion, or extension into compliance with the provisions of this Title 5, or unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals under § 5-10-41.
(b) 
This subsection is intended to eliminate the new and/or continued classification of structures as nonconforming subject to the requirements of this Title 5. This provision addresses two different situations:
1. 
Any structure erected prior to the original adoption of zoning by the City of Monroe that does not meet some or all of the bulk or intensity requirements of this Title 5.
2. 
In some instances, this Title 5 establishes new bulk or intensity requirements that existing legal structures under the previous Zoning Ordinance do not meet.
(c) 
This section therefore ensures that owners of such structures legally established prior to the effective date of this Title 5 do not encounter difficulty because the structures would otherwise be considered nonconforming.
(4) 
Continuation. Any structure or building lawfully existing upon the effective date of this Title 5 may be continued at the size and in a manner of operation existing upon such date, except as hereafter specified.
(5) 
Unsafe conditions. Nothing in this Title 5 shall preclude the Building Inspector from remedial or enforcement actions when a nonconforming structure or building is declared unsafe.
(6) 
Ordinary maintenance and repairs.
(a) 
The ordinary maintenance and repairs made to a nonconforming structure is permitted.
(b) 
For the purposes of this section, "ordinary maintenance and repairs" are defined as follows:
1. 
The repair or replacement of doors, windows, nonbearing walls, fixtures, heating and air conditioning components, wiring, plumbing, siding, roofing, or other nonstructural components.
2. 
Overlaying an off-street parking and/or loading lot, which shall mean adding a layer of asphalt or concrete to an existing off-street parking and/or loading lot.
3. 
Resurfacing the asphalt or concrete of the off-street parking, loading facilities, and/or access drives without exposing the base course and overlaying such area.
(7) 
Alterations.
(a) 
For the purposes of this section, "alterations" shall be defined as being one or more of the following:
1. 
Adding, removing, changing, or rearranging the supporting members of an existing structure, such as load-bearing walls, columns, beams, girders, trusses, or interior partitions.
2. 
Pulverizing and/or removing asphalt or concrete from off-street parking and loading facilities and/or access drives to the extent of exposing the base course, whether or not repaving of such area occurs.
3. 
Full-depth reclamation and mix and mill in-place processes that pulverize the parking facility surface and blend it on-site with the existing aggregate base.
4. 
For the purposes of this section, "size" is defined as the site coverage, physical dimension, volume, height, length, width, or gross floor area.
(b) 
A nonconforming structure may be altered provided that the nonconforming structure does not encroach any further into the established nonconforming yard setbacks or required yard setbacks.
(c) 
A record shall be kept which lists the nonconforming structure, their assessed value, and the cost of those alterations which have been permitted. Such records shall be cumulative and track the cost of the alterations for the lifetime of the structure.
(8) 
Additions.
(a) 
For the purposes of this section, "additions" shall be defined as any expansions that increase the size of a building or structure.
(b) 
Additions made to nonconforming structures shall be permissible in required setbacks subject to the following:
1. 
The addition shall not encroach any further into the established nonconforming yard setbacks or required yard setbacks.
2. 
The addition shall conform to all other requirements of the district in which it is located.
(c) 
Additions shall meet all other provisions of this Title 5, including, but not limited to, maximum lot coverage, off-street parking and loading facilities, and landscaping standards.
(9) 
Relocation.
(a) 
For the purposes of this section, "relocation" shall be defined as any repositioning of a structure on its site or moving any structure to another site.
(b) 
No structure shall be moved in whole or in part to any other location on the same or any other site unless the structure complies with all of the provisions of this Title 5.
(c) 
If a structure is relocated to a new site, it shall also comply with all other provisions of this Title 5, including, but not limited to, maximum lot coverage, off-street parking and loading facilities, and landscaping standards.
(10) 
Destruction and reconstruction. A damaged, destroyed, or removed structure may be restored to the size, location, design and use that it had immediately before the damage, destruction, or removal occurred without any limits on the costs of the repair, reconstruction, or improvement if either Subsection (10)(a) or (b), below, apply. The burden of proof in regard to the location, dimensions, configuration, and exterior building materials of the damaged or removed structure shall be upon the property owner to demonstrate prior to the issuance of a building permit.
(a) 
The structure was damaged or destroyed by violent wind, vandalism, fire, flood, ice, snow, mold, infestation, or other act identified by Wis. Stats. § 62.23(7) on or after March 2, 2006.
(b) 
The structure was damaged, destroyed, removed, or partially removed by other means on or after the effective date of this Title 5.
(11) 
Intentional removal and replacement.
(a) 
If any portion of a structure is intentionally removed by the property owner, the replacement structure must meet the requirements of this chapter, unless a variance is granted under § 5-10-41.
(b) 
Legal, nonconforming garages, decks, and porches may be replaced in their entirety to the previous footprint, floor area, and height, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
1. 
That the proposed garage/deck/porch replacement does not encroach further into required setback(s) than the current legal, nonconforming structure.
2. 
That the proposed garage/deck/porch replacement does not locate closer to an existing residence on an adjacent parcel than the sum of the required garage/deck/porch setback on the subject property and the required house setback on said adjacent parcel.
3. 
That precautions (determined on a case-by-case basis by the Building Inspector) are taken to reduce the possibility of fire damage to nearby structures.
(1) 
Definition. A nonconforming site is a site legally established prior to the effective date of this Title 5 or subsequent applicable amendments thereto which would not be permitted under the current terms of this Title 5 because it does not meet the building and site design requirements of this Title 5. Such building and site design components may include one or more of the following:
(a) 
Bulk, intensity, and density requirements.
(b) 
Exterior building materials requirements.
(c) 
Exterior building design requirements.
(d) 
Number of parking spaces required.
(e) 
Parking, loading, access drive and other paved area design requirements.
(f) 
Landscaping requirements.
(g) 
Bufferyard requirements.
(h) 
Fencing requirements.
(i) 
Lighting requirements.
(2) 
Blanket conforming status.
(a) 
Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this Title 5 is hereby automatically granted to all development sites in their configuration existing or as finally approved as of the effective date of this Title 5.
(b) 
After the effective date of this Title 5, additional site development that would result in the enlargement, expansion, or extension of uses, structures or other development per Subsection (1)(a) through (i), above, will not be allowed to occur without such additional site development being in full compliance with the provisions of this Title 5.
(c) 
This subsection is intended to prevent the creation of nonconforming sites related to the building and site design requirements of this Title 5.
(d) 
This subsection ensures that sites approved prior to the effective date of this Title 5 do not encounter difficulty because they would otherwise be considered nonconforming.
(3) 
New development. All new buildings, structures, parking areas, and parking stall counts, including reconstructions, shall comply with all site design requirements of this Title 5, including the components of Subsection (1)(a) through (i), above, for the new or reconstructed portion of the development.
(4) 
Conformance required where possible. On nonconforming lots where the site configuration and undeveloped area are sufficient to comply with site design requirements, any change that would make compliance with the site design requirements of this Title 5 impossible shall not be permitted, as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
(5) 
Resurfacing of nonconforming paved areas. When nonconforming paved areas are resurfaced, the paved area shall be brought into conformance with the visibility requirements of § 5-7-10, and driveways shall be relocated to meet the required distance from intersections and driveways per § 5-7-9(6) and (7). If space is available to reduce the degree of other nonconformities present on the site, the Zoning Administrator shall determine the manner and degree to which each site nonconformities shall be brought into conformance, specifically to improve public safety and/or reduce public nuisances.
(6) 
On nonconforming lots where the site configuration and undeveloped area are not sufficient to comply with all site design requirements, but space is available to reduce the degree of one or more nonconformities, the Zoning Administrator shall determine the manner and degree to which each site nonconformities shall be brought into conformance, specifically to improve public safety and/or reduce public nuisances.
(7) 
Creation of additional nonconformity prohibited. Enlargements, expansions, or extensions that would result in creation of one or more nonconformities or increase the degree of existing nonconformities with the site development standards of this Title 5 shall not be permitted.