Chapter 18.116
AMNESTY RELIEF

Sections:

18.116.010    Purpose.

18.116.020    Authority to continue.

18.116.030    Eligibility.

18.116.040    Affirmative recognition of amnesty relief.

18.116.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide relief to property owners from certain zoning violations that were in existence prior to July 21, 2010, and that do not impact the public health, safety and welfare of borough residents. The intent is to ensure properties are marketable and saleable, thereby ensuring local neighborhood preservation, continuity, and stability. (Ord. 2016-09 § 2, 2016. 2004 Code § 18.60.010.)

18.116.020 Authority to continue.

A. Subject to the restrictions of this chapter, any building or lot that is in violation of this title with respect to the numerical regulations pertaining to the size of yards and open space areas, building height and size, or lot area, and which has received affirmative recognition of amnesty relief under this chapter, may continue and not be subject to any enforcement action under this title. A change in ownership of the building or lot does not void amnesty relief provided by this chapter.

B. A building or lot that is in violation of the numerical regulations of this title and eligible for amnesty relief may be enlarged or altered as long as the enlargement or alteration does not create a new code violation.

C. The portion of a structure granted amnesty relief may be repaired if only partially destroyed (less than 50 percent of the square footage) by fire or similar occurrence provided there is no expansion of the violation. (Ord. 2016-09 § 2, 2016. 2004 Code § 18.60.020.)

18.116.030 Eligibility.

A. A violation will be eligible for amnesty relief if it meets the following criteria:

1. The violation for which amnesty relief is sought does not qualify for legal nonconforming status as set forth by Chapter 18.108 FNSBC;

2. It existed as of July 21, 2010;

3. It was not intentional or willful;

4. It does not pose a danger to the public health, safety and welfare of borough residents;

5. If a yard setback violation, it is not greater than 75 percent of the required setback and will not result in a setback of less than five feet;

6. If a lot area violation, it is not greater than 75 percent of the required area; and

7. The building or lot complies with all other FNSBC platting and zoning requirements, including use.

B. For purposes of amnesty relief, a violation is not intentional or willful if it is based on a good faith error of law or fact. Violations that are less than 50 percent of the required size, area or distance are presumed to be in good faith. (Ord. 2016-09 § 2, 2016. 2004 Code § 18.60.030.)

18.116.040 Affirmative recognition of amnesty relief.

A. An applicant may seek an affirmative recognition of the amnesty relief provided by this chapter by submitting an application and affidavit to the department of community planning director or designee describing the building or lot for which affirmative recognition of amnesty relief is sought. The application may be submitted concurrently with an application for affirmative recognition of grandfather rights. 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 or lot and the violation for which the applicant seeks affirmative recognition of amnesty relief meets the requirements of this chapter. 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. The application must be accompanied by a site plan showing size of the lot, the subject building, and current yard dimensions, if applicable.

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 requesting amnesty relief for violations presumed to be in good faith under this chapter shall be exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

C. Within 15 days of the hearing, the department shall issue an administrative determination regarding the affirmative recognition of amnesty relief. If no hearing is required, the administrative determination shall be issued within 10 working days of the application. The applicant or any aggrieved person, as defined by FNSBC 18.104.090(A)(4), may appeal to the planning commission by filing a notice of appeal with the community planning department within 15 days after the department’s 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. 2016-09 § 2, 2016. 2004 Code § 18.60.040.)