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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A use, whether of land or of structure, which does not comply with the applicable use provisions in this chapter or any amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted where such use was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment or prior to the application of this chapter or amendment to its location by reasons of annexation.
A structure or lot or part thereof which does not comply with the applicable dimensional provisions in this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted where such structure or lot lawfully existed prior to the enactment of such chapter or amendment.
The lawful use of a building or structure or the lawful use of any land as existing and lawful at the time of the enactment of this chapter or, in the case of an amendment to this chapter, then at the time of such amendment may be continued except as hereinafter provided although such use does not conform to the provisions of this chapter or subsequent amendments.
A. 
Nonconforming structures may be altered, reconstructed or enlarged, provided that such alteration, reconstruction or enlargement does not increase the extent of that nonconformity existing on the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
In the case of a nonconforming structure which contains a nonconforming use, such alteration, extension or enlargement shall also meet the requirements of Subsection D hereof.
C. 
Nonconforming lots may not be altered as to increase the extent of the nonconformity.
D. 
Nonconforming uses of land shall not be extended and structures used in connection with such uses shall not be reconstructed, extended or enlarged, except in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
Such alterations, reconstruction, extension or enlargement shall be only upon the same lot as in existence at the date the use became nonconforming and shall be prohibited from encroaching on another parcel of land subsequently added to the original parcel.
(2) 
Any increase in volume or area shall not exceed an aggregate of more than 50% of the volume or area existing at the date the use became nonconforming during the life of the nonconformity.
(3) 
The structure shall conform to the dimensional criteria as set forth for the most restrictive use within the district of the nonconforming use.
A nonconforming structure or any building containing a nonconforming use destroyed by fire, explosion, flood or other phenomenon, or legally condemned, may be reconstructed upon the same building footprint and used for the same use, provided that reconstruction of the building shall be commenced within one year and completed within two years from the date the building was destroyed or condemned.
It is the intent of this section to ensure that the level of nonconformity is not increased when a nonconforming use is transferred or sold. Whenever a nonconforming use is transferred or sold to a new owner, the use may be continued status quo by the new owner. Any subsequent proposal to extend the nonconformance shall be subject to § 595-46.
If a nonconforming use of a building or other structure or of land is abandoned for a continuous period of one year, subsequent use of such building, structure or land shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, abandonment shall commence when the nonconforming use ceases as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use. A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use only by special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, provided that:
A. 
The requirements of § 595-251, Special exceptions, are met;
B. 
The applicant shall show that the 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) 
Appearance.