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Newtown Area Zoning Jointure, PA
Bucks County
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[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
The zoning districts established by this Ordinance are designed to guide future use of land in the region by encouraging the development of desirable residential, commercial, and manufacturing areas with appropriate grouping or compatible and related uses, to the end of promoting and protecting the public health, safety, comfort, prosperity, and other aspects of the general welfare.
B. 
To achieve this end, lawfully existing uses, structures, lots, and signs which would be prohibited or restricted under the terms of this Ordinance or future amendments and which do not conform to the character and regulations of the zoning district in which they are located must be subject to certain limitations. The regulations set forth below are intended to provide a gradual remedy for the undesirable conditions resulting from indiscriminate mixing of uses, structures, lots, and signs and to afford a means whereby such nonconformities can be gradually eliminated and re-established in more suitable locations within the Joint Municipal Region.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
Nonconforming use means a use, whether of land or of structure, which does not comply with the applicable use provisions in this Ordinance or amendments hereafter enacted where such use was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this Ordinance or amendments or prior to the application of this Ordinance or amendments to its location by reason of annexation.
B. 
Nonconforming structure means a structure which does not comply with the applicable dimensional regulations, including those relating to density, open space, impervious surfaces, building coverage, building height, building setback, and yard in this Ordinance or amendments hereafter enacted where such structure was lawfully in existence prior to enactment of this Ordinance or amendments or prior to the application of this Ordinance or amendments to its location by reason of annexation.
C. 
Nonconforming lot means a lot or site which does not comply with the applicable dimensional regulations, including those relating to site area, lot area, and lot width, in this Ordinance or amendments hereafter enacted where such lot was lawfully in existence prior to enactment of this Ordinance or amendments prior to the application of this Ordinance or amendments to its location by reason of annexation.
D. 
Nonconforming sign means any sign which does not comply with Article XI of this Ordinance or amendments hereafter enacted where such sign was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this Ordinance or amendments to its location by reason of annexation.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
The zoning officer of each municipality shall identify and register all nonconforming uses and structures within the municipality of his jurisdiction by the following information:
A. 
The location and description of the use and/or structure (including County tax map parcel number);
B. 
The name and address of the owner of the nonconforming use or structure;
C. 
The date when the nonconforming use or structure came into existence; and
D. 
The description of the nonconforming use or structure under one or more of, but not limited to, the following classifications in regard to the type, extent, and volume of such nonconformity:
1. 
Nonconforming Use.
2. 
Nonconforming Structure.
3. 
Nonconforming Lot.
4. 
Nonconforming Sign.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
Continuation of a use, structure, or lot. Any use, structure, or land, whether conforming or nonconforming, may be continued except as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Continuation of a sign. Any sign, whether conforming or nonconforming, may be continued if it is maintained in good condition and repair at all times.
C. 
A nonconforming sign may not be replaced if destroyed.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
Nothing herein contained shall require any change in plans, construction, or designated use of a structure or sign for which a permit has been heretofore issued, and the construction of which has been diligently prosecuted within three months of the date of such permit, and the ground story framework of which, including the second tier of beams, shall have been completed within six months of the date of such permit, and which entire structure shall be completed according to such plans as filed within one year from the date of this Ordinance.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
Whenever a nonconforming use, structure, lot (except residential or agricultural), or sign is transferred or sold to a new owner, such previous nonconformity may be continued by the new owner after review and approval by the municipal planning commission and governing body. Should the landowner propose any changes or alterations to the nonconformity, the municipality may impose conditions regarding layout, circulation, and performance which it deems necessary to insure that the change or alteration is in the best interest of the municipality. The landowner may appeal such conditions to the Local Zoning Hearing Board subject to the provisions of this Ordinance.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
If an owner of a structure or land which is occupied by a nonconforming use desires to discontinue such use for an extended period of time but intends to resume such use at a later date, he shall apply to the governing body in writing for a certificate of continuance, stating the reasons for and duration of the discontinuance and the date upon which such use will be resumed. Certificates shall be granted for periods of up to six months and may be renewed for additional six-month periods upon reapplication. If a nonconforming use of land or of a structure ceases or is discontinued for an uninterrupted period of six months or more and no certificate has been applied for or granted, the owner shall be presumed to have abandoned his nonconforming use, and any subsequent use of such structure or land shall be in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance. If a certificate and renewal are granted but the nonconforming use is not resumed by the end of the certificate or renewed certificate period, the subsequent use shall be in conformity with this Ordinance.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
Change of a Nonconforming Use.
1. 
Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use.
2. 
A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use at the request of the owner only under all of the following conditions:
a. 
Such change shall be permitted only as a special exception by the Local Zoning Hearing Board;
b. 
The applicant shall show that a nonconforming use cannot reasonably be changed to a permitted use; and
c. 
The applicant shall show that the proposed change will be less objectionable in external effects than the existing nonconforming use with respect to:
(1) 
Traffic generation and congestion, including truck, passenger car, and pedestrian traffic;
(2) 
Noise, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, heat, odor, glare, or vibration;
(3) 
Storage and waste disposal; and
(4) 
The height, area, and volume of all structures.
B. 
Change of a Nonconforming Structure, Lot, or Sign. Once changed to conforming conditions, no structure, lot, or sign shall be permitted to revert to nonconforming conditions.
[Amended effective 11/25/2002 by JMZO Ord. 2002-13, § III; adopted 11/20/2002. Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
Expansion of a Nonconforming Use. A use that does not conform to the use regulations of the district in which it is located may not be expanded more than 25% in floor area, land area, building volume, building coverage and impervious surfaces, devoted to such use. Such expansion shall be permitted only by special exception.
B. 
Expansion of a Structure. A structure that does not conform with the setback, yard, building height or other dimensional regulations of the district in which it is located may be extended along the existing nonconforming building line, provided that the extension or addition is no closer to the side, rear or front boundary line, and is no greater in height, than the existing nonconforming structure.
C. 
Expansion of or on a Nonconforming Lot.
1. 
Nonconforming Lot.
a. 
No nonconforming lot shall be reduced in size. An owner of two or more contiguous nonconforming lots at the time of the effective date of this Ordinance which, when combined, would create a lot of conforming size or which could be consolidated to minimize the nonconformity, shall be required to combine such lots.
b. 
One or more nonconforming lots, which are contiguous to a conforming lot and in single ownership, shall be used in combination with the conforming lot, except as provided in § 1000.C. In any reparceling or replatting, the conforming lot shall not be reduced in area or dimension less than the minimum requirements of this Ordinance.
2. 
A building may be altered or erected on any nonconforming lot which was lawfully in existence at the time of adoption of this Ordinance, in single and separate ownership, provided a special exception is authorized by the Local Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with § 1507.E. of this Ordinance. In considering a special exception, the Local Zoning Hearing Board may impose the following additional requirements:
a. 
That the use of the nonconforming lot shall be required to conform to the permitted uses within the district in which the nonconforming lot lies;
b. 
That the general area and dimensional regulations as specified within this Ordinance for conforming uses and structures in the district in which the nonconforming lot lies shall be applied to the nonconforming lot.
D. 
Expansion of a Nonconforming Sign. The total size or copy area size of a nonconforming sign shall not be expanded.
[Readopted effective 6/23/2007 by JMZO Ord. 2007; adopted 6/18/2007.]
A. 
When a nonconforming building or structure is destroyed or partially destroyed by fire, explosion, or other disaster, or is otherwise damaged to the extent of 50% of the appraised replacement value of such building or structure, such nonconforming building or structure shall not be restored, or rebuilt, except in such manner as to conform to the regulations of this Ordinance, and amendments thereto. When a nonconforming building or structure is partially destroyed by fire, explosion, or other disaster to less than 50% of its appraised replacement value, it may be restored to its original use in accordance with provisions of this Ordinance but must be restored within one year of such happening.
B. 
Nothing in this Ordinance shall prevent the strengthening or restoration to a safe condition of any walls, floor, foundation, or roof which has been declared unsafe by the municipal building inspector.