Township of East Whiteland, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The use of any lot, building, or structure that is existing and lawful at the time of the enactment of this chapter or, in the case of any amendment to this chapter, at the time of such an amendment, may be continued except as hereinafter provided, although such use does not conform to the provisions of this chapter or subsequent amendments.
A. 
A structure that does not conform to development standards and/or other requirements of the zoning district in which the structure is located and/or any other provisions of this chapter, may be enlarged only if the enlargement meets all of the development standards set forth in this chapter for the district in which the use is a permitted use, including, but not limited to, front yard, rear yard, side yard, lot area, parking, buffers, and height of buildings.
B. 
A use that does not conform to the permitted use regulations of the district in which it is located may be enlarged when authorized as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. The enlargement shall be confined to the existing building within which the use has been conducted, and any increase in building size or floor area shall be in compliance with this Article XVI. The Zoning Hearing Board shall authorize a special exception only in cases where the following conditions have been met:
(1) 
The proposed enlargement shall take place only upon the lot or contiguous lots held in the same ownership as that existing at the time the use became nonconforming. Authorization to enlarge the nonconforming use, as described in this section, shall not be construed to mean that a new use or uses may be established. A nonconforming use shall be prohibited from encroaching on another parcel of land subsequently added to the original parcel.
(2) 
The proposed enlargement shall conform to the applicable development standards, buffer requirements, and parking requirements, as well as all other requirements of the district in which the enlargement is located or the district in which the use is a permitted use, whichever shall be more stringent.
(3) 
Buffers shall be provided along property lines in accordance with Article XI, irrespective of whether adjoining tracts are across district boundary lines or within the same district as the subject tract.
(4) 
Any increase in building or floor area shall not exceed 50% of the building area or gross floor area, whichever is less, that was existing at the time that the use became nonconforming under this or any previous Ordinance and, in any event, shall be permitted only by special exception under the provisions of this chapter. Structures or land uses that have reached their maximum expansion allowance under previous Ordinances are not eligible for any increase in building or floor area under this chapter. A structure that is nonconforming in terms of height shall not be enlarged so as to increase its height.
(5) 
Where such nonconforming use has been conducted within a building, no such expansion shall be permitted where it would be conducted outside of a building.
C. 
Where a nonconforming structure or use is enlarged, no structure shall be erected in the buffer area as provided in Article XI, Buffers.
A nonconforming building, or any building containing a nonconforming use, that is destroyed or damaged by casualty may be rebuilt as long as a Township permit to rebuild or repair the building is obtained within one year of the loss. Otherwise, a nonconforming building, or any building containing a nonconforming use shall not be repaired or rebuilt, except in conformity with the regulations of this Zoning Ordinance. No building that has been razed shall be rebuilt, except in conformity with the regulations of this chapter.
If any nonconforming use of a building or land is abandoned for a continuous period of one year or more, subsequent use of such a building or land shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. For the purpose of this chapter, abandonment shall be presumed to commence when the nonconforming use ceases.
Once changed to a conforming use, no building, structure, or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use. A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use only if all of the following conditions are met:
A. 
Such change shall be permitted only as a special exception.
B. 
The applicant shall show that the nonconforming use cannot reasonably be changed to a permitted use.
C. 
The applicant shall show that the proposed change will be equal to or less objectionable in external effects than the existing nonconforming use, with respect to each of the following components:
(1) 
Traffic generation and congestion, including truck, passenger car, and pedestrian traffic;
(2) 
Noise, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, heat, glare, or vibration;
(3) 
Storage, including storage of solid waste for disposal; and
(4) 
Appearance.