Within the districts established by this chapter or amendments that may later be adopted, there exist lots, structures and uses of land and structures which were lawful before this chapter was passed or amended but which would be prohibited, regulated or restricted under the terms of this chapter or future amendment.
It is the intent of this chapter to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival. Such uses are declared by this chapter to be incompatible with permitted uses in the districts involved. It is further the intent of this chapter that nonconformities shall not be enlarged upon, expanded or extended, nor be used as grounds for adding other structures or uses prohibited elsewhere in the same district.
A nonconforming use of a structure, a nonconforming use of land, or a nonconforming use of a structure and land shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of this chapter by attachment on a building or premises of additional signs intended to be seen from off the premises, or by addition of other uses of a nature which would be prohibited generally in the district involved.
If two or more lots or combinations of lots and portions of lots with continuous frontage in single ownership are of record and if all or part of the lots do not meet the requirements for lot width and area, the lands involved shall be considered to be an undivided parcel for the purposes of this chapter, and no portion of said parcel shall be used or sold in a manner which diminishes compliance with lot width and area requirements established by this chapter, nor shall any division of any parcel be made which creates a lot with width or area below the requirements stated in this chapter.
Where, at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter, lawful use of land exists that is made no longer permissible under the terms of this chapter as enacted or amended, such use may be continued, so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter.
No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot or parcel occupied by such use at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter.
If such nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of more than 30 days, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this chapter for the district in which such land is located.
Where a lawful structure exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter that could not be built under the terms of this chapter by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, yards or other characteristics of the structure or its location on the lot, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity.
Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 50% of its replacement cost at time of destruction, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. In instances where a nonconforming structure is partially destroyed the City's chief building official shall make a determination as to whether or not repairs to the structure will exceed 50% of the replacement cost.
Should such structure be moved for any reason for any distance whatever, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which it is located after it is moved.
If a lawful use of structure, or of structure and premises in combination, exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter, that would not be allowed in the district under the terms of this chapter, the lawful use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:
No existing structure devoted to a use not permitted by this chapter in the district in which it is located shall be enlarged, extended, constructed, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered except in changing the use of the structure to a use permitted in the district in which it is located.
Any nonconforming use may be extended throughout any parts of a building which were manifestly arranged or designed for such use at the time of adoption or amendment of this chapter, but no such use shall be extended to occupy any land outside such building.
If no structural alterations are made, any nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises, may be changed to another nonconforming use provided that the Board of Appeals, either by general rule or by making findings in the specific case, shall find that the proposed use is equally appropriate or more appropriate to the district than the existing nonconforming use. In permitting such change, the Zoning Board of Appeals may require appropriate conditions and safeguards in accord with the provisions of this chapter.
Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which such structure is located, and the nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed.
When a nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination is discontinued or abandoned for six consecutive months or for 18 months during any three-year period, the structure, or structure and premises in combination, shall not thereafter be used except in conformance with the regulations of the district in which it is located. Structures occupied by seasonal uses shall be excepted from this provision.
Where nonconforming use status applies to a structure and premises in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the nonconforming status of the land.
Given the historical development pattern in the City, a number of two-family residential uses exist on lots zoned for one-family residential uses. It is the intent of this subsection to allow such uses to continue subject to compliance with the following standards and procedures:
[Added 1-8-2001 by Ord. No. 462]
A nonconforming two-family dwelling and its accessory structures within single-family districts may be continued, replaced or remodeled if damaged by fire, vandalism, flood or other force of nature, if approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Such approval shall require a finding that the resulting building footprint will be the same size or smaller than that of the building before such change, and that the new building(s) shall have an appearance that is nonobtrusive and consistent in color, materials, roofline and architecture with the residential district in which it is located.
Replacement of such nonconforming two-family buildings shall commence within six months of the date of damage and work shall be diligently pursued toward completion.
Failure to complete replacement or diligently work toward completion, or use of the building for a conforming single-family use for any period of time, shall result in the loss of legal, nonconforming status unless good cause for the delay or temporary change in use in found to be acceptable at a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
On any building devoted in whole or in part to any nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of 12 consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing to an extent not exceeding 10% of the current replacement value of the building, provided that the cubic content of the building as it existed at the time of passage or amendment of this chapter shall not be increased.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety, upon order of such official.
Any use for which a special exception is permitted as provided in this chapter shall not be deemed a nonconforming use, but shall, without further action, be deemed a conforming use in such district.
There may be a change of tenancy, ownership or management of any existing nonconforming uses of land, structures and premises provided there is no change in the nature or character of such nonconforming uses.