Chapter 12.26
NONCONFORMING USES, STRUCTURES AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS

Sections:

12.26.010    Purpose.

12.26.020    Applicability.

12.26.030    Determination of nonconformance.

12.26.040    Nonconforming uses of land.

12.26.050    Nonconforming structures and other improvements.

12.26.060    Maintenance repair or reconstruction of damaged nonconforming structures or other improvements.

12.26.070    Lots of record.

12.26.080    Illegal use, structure, or other improvement.

12.26.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish the legal status of nonconforming uses, structures and other site improvements by creating provisions through which such uses, structures and other improvements may be established, maintained, altered, reconstructed, expanded or abated. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.020 Applicability.

A.    All nonconformances shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

B.    The provisions of this chapter do not supersede or relieve a property owner from compliance with:

1.    The requirements of the Uniform Building and Fire Codes; or

2.    The provisions of this code beyond the specific nonconformance addressed by this chapter. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.030 Determination of nonconformance.

A.    Any use, structure or other site improvement (e.g., landscaping, parking or signage) which was legally established prior to the effective date of this title or amendments thereto shall be considered nonconforming if:

1.    The use is now prohibited or cannot meet use limitations applicable to the zone in which it is located; or

2.    The structure or other site improvement does not comply with the density, dimensions, landscaping, parking, sign, design or other standards of this title.

B.    A change in the required permit review process shall not create a nonconformance.

C.    Any nonconformance that is brought into conformance for any period of time shall forfeit status as nonconformance, except as specified in BMC 12.26.040. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.040 Nonconforming uses of land.

If, at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title or any amendment thereto, a lawful use of land exists that is made no longer permissible under the terms of this title or amendments thereto, such use may be continued as a nonconforming use so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following conditions:

A.    No nonconforming use shall be intensified, enlarged, increased or extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied on the effective date of the zoning code or amendment that made the use no longer permissible.

B.    No nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot which contains the nonconforming use.

C.    If any nonconforming use of land ceases for any reason for a period of one year over a three-year period, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this title for the zone in which such land is located. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.050 Nonconforming structures and other improvements.

If, at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title or any amendment thereto, a lawful structure or other improvement exists which is made no longer permissible under the terms of this title or amendment thereto, such structure or other improvement may be continued as a nonconforming structure or other improvement so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following conditions:

A.    No nonconforming structure or other improvement shall be altered or changed in a way which increases its nonconformity.

B.    Upkeep, repairs and maintenance of a nonconforming structure or other improvement shall be permitted. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.060 Maintenance repair or reconstruction of damaged nonconforming structures or other improvements.

A.    This section only applies to nonconformities to this title.

B.    A legal nonconforming structure may be maintained, repaired, renovated or structurally altered provided such maintenance, repair or alteration does not increase its nonconformity.

C.    All expansion, extension, maintenance or repair activities of nonconforming structures or improvements shall be consistent with all other provisions of this code.

D.    A nonconforming structure or other improvement destroyed by fire or acts of nature may be repaired or reconstructed to the same or smaller nonconformity that existed at the time the structure was destroyed; provided, that:

1.    The repair or reconstruction does not increase the previous nonconformity;

2.    The building permit application for repair or reconstruction is submitted within 12 months of the occurrence of damage;

3.    The number of off-street parking stalls are not reduced; and

4.    Landscaping fully complies with the requirements of Chapter 12.18 BMC.

E.    Should such structure or other improvement be moved for any reason for any distance whatever, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the zone in which it is located. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.070 Lots of record.

In any zone in which single-family dwellings are permitted, notwithstanding limitations imposed by other provisions of this title, a single-family dwelling may be erected on any single lot of record.

A.    A lot of record is defined by utilizing the following criteria:

1.    A lot created via the subdivision process of Chapter 58.17 RCW;

2.    A lot which has a conveyance of record prior to November 5, 1951;

3.    Any lot which was a legal lot under the regulations or standards of King or Snohomish County prior to annexation or incorporation into the city of Bothell; and

4.    A building site under Ordinance No. 156 of the city.

B.    The proponent or applicant for any permit application involving a nonconforming lot shall be required to provide information and documentation demonstrating consistency with this section.

C.    Variance of area width and yard setback requirements shall be obtained only through the variance process as outlined under Chapter 12.36 BMC. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).

12.26.080 Illegal use, structure, or other improvement.

Any use, structure or other improvement which cannot be established as a nonconforming use, structure or other improvement shall be deemed illegal and be subject to abatement by removal or conformance with this title or amendments thereto in accordance with procedures set forth in BMC Title 11, Administration of Development Regulations. (Ord. 1817 § 2, 2000; Ord. 1815 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1629 § 1, 1996).