Chapter 17.05
LEGAL NONCONFORMING USES, LOTS AND STRUCTURES

Sections:

17.05.010    Purpose.

17.05.020    Continuation and Maintenance.

17.05.030    Discontinuation of Legal Nonconforming Use.

17.05.040    Restoration of a Damaged Structure.

17.05.050    Elimination of Legal Nonconforming Uses and Structures.

17.05.060    Zoning Compliance Review.

17.05.010 Purpose.

This chapter is intended to allow for the continuation, maintenance, and limited expansion of uses, lots, and structures established in compliance with development codes in effect at the time of establishment of the use or structure but not in compliance with current development codes. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.05.020 Continuation and Maintenance.

A.    A use legally occupying a structure or a site, as of the effective date of this code, that does not conform with the use regulations or the performance standards for the zone in which the use is located shall be deemed to be a legal nonconforming use and may be continued in perpetuity, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

B.    A structure, legally occupying a site, as of the effective date of this code, that does not conform with the property development standards for required yards, height, coverage, distances between structures, or other standards for the zone in which the structure is located, shall be deemed to be a legal nonconforming structure and may be used and maintained in perpetuity, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

C.    Routine maintenance and repairs may be performed on a structure or site, the use of which is legal nonconforming.

D.    A structure which does not meet the property development standards of the zone in which it is located shall be permitted to expand up to the floor area ratio permitted for that zone in the event that the Director determines that the expansion will not increase the degree of nonconformity, or adversely affect or be materially detrimental to, adjacent uses, residents, buildings, structures, or natural resources.

E.    A use which does not meet the performance standards of the zone in which it is located shall be permitted to expand in the event that the expansion does not increase the degree of nonconformity.

F.    Unless specifically stated elsewhere in this code, a conditional use legally established prior to the effective date of this code, or prior to the effective date of subsequent zone changes or amendments to the code, shall be permitted to continue and be permitted to expand or be modified pursuant to the code.

G.    A parking lot previously constructed with or without a surplus of parking spaces over what was required at the time of approval of the development shall be subject to the parking provisions of Section 17.51.060 (Parking Standards) for all new uses or structures, notwithstanding general office and retail uses for developments approved by Los Angeles County and remaining in conformance with such approval.

H.    When interpreting setbacks for a residential use in a residential zone that are legal nonconforming, new construction shall be permitted to maintain/continue the existing setback, provided the structure does not further encroach into the existing setback area by either further reducing the existing setback, or expanding (either vertically or horizontally) the building square footage by more than twenty percent (20%). Any further expansion in excess of the twenty percent (20%) described above, or any further reduction in the setback shall be considered an increase in the degree of nonconformity and will be required to obtain the appropriate entitlement as described in this code.

I.    A lot that was legally created, as of the effective date of this code, that does not conform with the code regulations for minimum lot size or dimensions for the zone in which the lot is located, shall be deemed to be a legal nonconforming lot and may be utilized for a structure that would otherwise be allowed in that zone as long as all development standards are achieved or an adjustment or variance, whichever is applicable, is obtained for any such standards that cannot be achieved. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.05.030 Discontinuation of Legal Nonconforming Use.

Whenever a legal nonconforming use, or use of a legal nonconforming structure, has been discontinued or changed to a conforming use for a continuous period of one hundred eighty (180) calendar days or more, the legal nonconforming use shall not be reestablished, and the use of the structure or site thereafter shall be in conformity with the regulations for the zone in which it is located. Discontinuation shall include cessation of a use regardless of intent to resume the use, unless the Director is notified in writing of the intent to resume and has approved a schedule for resumption of said use. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.05.040 Restoration of a Damaged Structure.

A.    Whenever a structure which does not comply with the property development standards prescribed in the zone in which the structure is located is destroyed by fire or other calamity to the extent of fifty percent (50%) or more, the structure may be restored and the legal nonconforming use may be resumed; provided, that restoration is started within two (2) years from the date of the calamity and diligently pursued to completion. The new structure may be restored to its original height or the maximum height permitted in the zone in which it is located, whichever is greater, and must be in full conformity with the parking, setback, and landscaping standards for that zone in effect at the time of reestablishment.

B.    The extent of damage shall be based upon the ratio of the estimated cost of restoring the structure to its condition prior to such damage to the estimated cost of duplicating the entire structure as it existed prior thereto. Estimates for this purpose shall be made by or shall be reviewed and approved by the Building Official and shall be based on the minimum cost of construction in compliance with the Building Code. In the case of a use with multiple structures, the damage ratio shall be determined by comparing the cost of restoring the damaged structure(s) to its (their) condition(s) prior to such damage to the estimated cost of duplicating all structures associated with such use.

C.    Whenever a structure is damaged less than fifty percent (50%), the structure shall be replaced to its legal nonconforming status or replaced with a structure in conformance with the code. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)

17.05.050 Elimination of Legal Nonconforming Uses and Structures.

A.    Any unscreened outdoor storage (illegal under the provisions of the Los Angeles County Code Title 22) shall be screened in compliance with the provisions of this code within one (1) year of the effective date of this code.

B.    With the exception of signage, uses and structures established in compliance with zoning codes in effect at the time of establishment of the use or structure but made legal nonconforming by this code shall be allowed to continue and/or remain. Legal nonconforming signage shall be eliminated as follows:

1.    Signs as prohibited by Section 17.51.080(U) (Sign Regulations (Private Property)), thirty (30) days.

2.    In the case of outdoor advertising signs or structures (i.e., billboards and other off-site signs) in residential zones, and notwithstanding any contrary provision of this title, such signs and structures shall be discontinued and removed pursuant to and as allowed by California Business and Professions Code Sections 5412.1 and 5412.2 as follows:

Fair Market Value on Date of Notice of Removal Requirement

Years Allowed to Remain

Under $1,999

2

$2,000 to $3,999

3

$4,000 to $5,999

4

$6,000 to $7,999

5

$8,000 to $9,999

6

$10,000 and over

7

The amounts provided in this section shall be adjusted each January 1st from and after January 1, 1983, in accordance with the changes in building costs, as indicated in the United States Department of Commerce Composite Cost Index for Construction Costs.

3.    In the case of outdoor advertising signs or structures (i.e., billboards and other off-site signs) in nonresidential zones lawfully erected prior to November 13, 1990, except where approved pursuant to Sections 17.26.100 (Billboard Reduction and Relocation Agreement) or 17.28.100 (Development Agreements), such signs and structures shall be discontinued and removed within five (5) years of the effective date of this subsection (which is April 24, 2014) pursuant to and as allowed by California Business and Professions Code Section 5412.

4.    All other signs and sign structures, nine (9) years from November 13, 1990. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13; Ord. 14-1 § 5 (Exh. A), 3/25/14)

17.05.060 Zoning Compliance Review.

Uses and structures established in compliance with zoning codes in effect at the time of establishment of the use or structure but not in compliance with current zoning codes may obtain a certificate of zoning compliance. A certificate of zoning compliance shall require a final occupancy review. The applicant must show, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the structure or use in question is in compliance with the original permit and/or codes in effect at the time the structure was constructed or the use was initiated. (Ord. 13-8 § 4 (Exh. A), 6/11/13)