Chapter 18.108
NONCONFORMING (GRANDFATHERED) USES AND LOTS

Sections:

18.108.010    Purpose.

18.108.020    Authority to continue.

18.108.030    Affirmative recognition of grandfather rights.

18.108.040    Restrictions.

18.108.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the regulation of nonconforming buildings, uses and lots, and to specify those circumstances and conditions under which they shall be allowed to continue as legal nonconforming uses and lots. (Ord. 2016-40 § 83, 2016; Ord. 2010-55 § 2, 2011; Ord. 88-010 § 2, 1988. 2004 Code § 18.56.010.)

18.108.020 Authority to continue.

Any nonconforming building, use or lot which existed lawfully prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title or any lawful building, use or lot which has become nonconforming upon the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title or any subsequent amendment thereto may be continued, subject to the restrictions in this chapter. Any change in ownership of such a building, use or lot does not void grandfather rights. (Ord. 2016-40 § 84, 2016; Ord. 2010-55 § 2, 2011; Ord. 97-013 § 3, 1997; Ord. 88-010 § 2, 1988. 2004 Code § 18.56.020.)

18.108.030 Affirmative recognition of grandfather rights.

A. An applicant may seek an affirmative recognition of their grandfather rights by submitting an application and affidavit to the department of community planning director or designee describing the nonconforming building(s), use(s) or lot(s) that existed prior to the date of the zoning change that caused the nonconformance. The applicant shall be the owner of the property described in the application, the contract purchaser of said property, the holder of an option to purchase said property, or such persons that possess a substantial proprietary interest in the property being considered. The written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative having power of attorney, shall accompany all applications. The application must contain a written positive assertion that said building(s), use(s) or lot(s) existed prior to the date of the zoning change. This application may be made at any time. The application may be accompanied by pictures, statements of support, public or recorded documents and other evidence.

B. Within 15 days after the filing of the owner affidavit, the department shall schedule an administrative hearing. Notice of the application and the hearing shall be provided using the procedures set forth in FNSBC 18.104.010(C)(1) and (2). Applications for structural-related grandfather rights that are supported by a borough or other submitted public or recorded document which unequivocally demonstrates that the property qualifies for the grandfather rights requested and lot size determinations are exempt from the requirements of this subsection. Applications for structural-related grandfather rights not supported by unequivocal documentation must be scheduled for hearing.

C. Within 15 days of the hearing the department shall issue an administrative determination of the grandfather rights. If no hearing is required the administrative determination shall be issued within 10 working days of the application. Administrative determinations granting structural-related grandfather rights without a hearing must be mailed to the applicant and owners of nearby lots or land as set forth in FNSBC 18.104.010(C)(2). Administrative determinations may be appealed within 15 days of the date the determination was mailed. The appeal shall be heard de novo by the planning commission. The planning commission shall uphold or reverse the determination and adopt specific findings of fact after considering the oral and written statements of the applicant, interested persons, and the department of community planning. This decision is appealable to the board of adjustment. (Ord. 2017-22 § 3, 2017; Ord. 2016-40 § 85, 2016; Ord. 2015-74 § 10, 2016; Ord. 2015-31 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2010-55 § 2, 2011. 2004 Code §§ 18.56.025(A), (B).)

18.108.040 Restrictions.

Except for agricultural buildings and livestock, and any other agricultural activities, any nonconforming building, use or lot which does not conform with the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located shall be subject to the following restrictions which shall be interpreted to the extent allowable by law in a manner that ensures that property owners are not deprived of reasonable use of their property:

A. Nonconforming Buildings.

1. A nonconforming building may be enlarged or altered as long as the enlargement or alteration does not create a new nonconformity of this code, except that expansion is permitted within the standards that were in place when the zone changed.

B. Nonconforming Uses.

1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a building or premises devoted to or designed for, in whole or in part, a nonconforming use, may be enlarged or altered as long as the use reflects the nature and purpose of the use prevailing when the zoning took effect and there is no difference in the quality or character of the use.

2. Junkyards. A junkyard shall be allowed to continue or expand only within the boundaries of the fence required by FNSBC 18.96.130(B) in place at the time it became nonconforming.

3. Natural Resource Extraction and Outside Storage. Natural resource extraction and outside storage uses shall be allowed to expand to the boundaries of the lot on which they are located at the time they became nonconforming.

4. In the event that a nonconforming use of a building or premises, or part thereof, is discontinued for any reason for a period of 36 months, the subsequent use of the same building or premises, or part thereof, shall thereafter be in conformance with the zoning district in which it is located. The director of community planning, with the concurrence of the borough assembly, may extend this 36-month period to allow relief from emergencies or other extenuating circumstances which are outside the control of the landowner.

C. Nonconforming Lots.

1. In any zoning district, a lot which was lawfully subdivided and recorded prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title or any subsequent amendment thereto, and that because of said adoption or amendment fails to meet the minimum lot size requirements of the zoning district in which it is located, shall be considered as a usable lot.

2. If a structure on a nonconforming lot encroaches onto an adjoining lot under common ownership, the two lots shall thereafter be considered a single lot for purposes of this title. (Ord. 2016-40 § 86, 2016; Ord. 2010-55 § 2, 2011; Ord. 97-013 § 4, 1997; Ord. 88-010 § 2, 1988. 2004 Code § 18.56.030.)