Chapter 17.72
NONCONFORMING USES

Sections:

17.72.010    Purpose.

17.72.020    Applicability.

17.72.030    Definitions.

17.72.040    Nonconforming activity regulations for unimproved lots.

17.72.050    Continuing nonconforming activities (except in R-1 zones) on improved lots.

17.72.060    Nonconforming activities and structures on improved R-1 parcels.

17.72.070    Permissible structural alterations.

17.72.080    Destruction by fire, explosion, flood or other disaster.

17.72.090    Transient rental uses.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ords. 388, 563, 594 and 692.

17.72.010 Purpose.

The purpose of zoning is to confine certain classes of structures and activities to particular areas and to bring structures or activities into conformance with zoning designations. The purpose of this chapter is to further that general objective while at the same time, respecting constitutional property rights, preventing disproportionate loss of investment, and preventing deterioration of structures or areas which often occurs because repair and maintenance is not cost effective towards the end of an amortization period. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.020 Applicability.

The regulations set forth in this chapter apply to all zoning districts. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.030 Definitions.

“Nonconforming activity (use)” is defined as an activity, business or enterprise which was legal at the time it was established but which is not presently a permitted or conditional use in the zoning district where the activity, business or enterprise is located or does not conform to current parking requirements. In residential zones it also means having a greater density of dwelling units than is presently allowed in the district.

“Nonconforming structure” is defined as a structure which does not meet the current development standards for the district in which the structure is located. Development standards include, but are not limited to: setbacks, height or lot coverage regulations of the district, but do not include standards contained in the Uniform Codes, such as the Building Code, adopted in Section 15.14.010, because those codes contain their own specific regulations regarding structures that do not meet current requirements. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.040 Nonconforming activity regulations for unimproved lots.

A nonconforming activity (as defined in Section 17.72.030(A)) on a parcel which does not involve structures totaling over four hundred square feet, will be allowed to continue for five years from the time it became nonconforming. If the activity stops for more than ninety days, the activity may not be reinstated. A determination regarding the ninety-day time period shall be made by the community development director based on the evidence presented. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.050 Continuing nonconforming activities (except in R-1 zones) on improved lots.

A nonconforming activity, as defined in Section 17.72.030(A), involving structures totaling over four hundred square feet on a parcel in any zoning district but R-1, shall be allowed to continue but the area in which the activity is carried out may not be enlarged. However, if the nonconformity is confined to not meeting current parking standards, Section 17.51.135 applies. Nonconforming uses/activities which are inactive for a period of ninety days shall be deemed to have ended and may not be reinstated. (See Section 17.72.080.) A determination of the ninety-day cessation shall be made by the community development director based on the evidence presented. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.060 Nonconforming activities and structures on improved R-1 parcels.

A. Amortization. Nonconforming activities in R-1 zones must be discontinued on June 26, 2019 or fifty years from the date the activity first became nonconforming, whichever is later, except as provided in subsections B and C below:

B. Duplex Activity. Nonconforming duplex activities may continue indefinitely but the structures cannot be enlarged. They may be structurally altered or rebuilt only as allowed under Sections 17.72.070 and 17.72.080.

C. Residential Projects With More Than Two Units. Owners of parcels having more than two dwelling units which are nonconforming only because they exceed the current density standard may apply to the city council for one or more extensions of the fifty-year amortization period. The city council shall only grant an extension if able to make findings that: in this particular situation, the appearance, condition and management of the property is such that the property is not greatly detrimental to the single-family residential character of the neighborhood in which it is located; the extension is necessary in order to prevent a major economic loss to the property owner and to lessen deterioration; and that all reasonable conditions have been imposed for the purpose of repairing dilapidation and bringing, or keeping, the property up to neighborhood standards. Extensions granted under this section shall be at least fifty years from the date the application is granted. (Ord. 764 § 1, 1994; Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.070 Permissible structural alterations.

Structural alterations of nonconforming structures, as defined in Section 17.03.640, shall be limited as follows: at the time application for a structural alteration is made, the building official shall determine the cost at prevailing contractor rates of the total work of the improvements involved, excluding permit costs, landscaping costs and architectural costs. If that cost, added to the costs (similarly calculated) of other work involving structural alterations, commenced in the preceding five years, exceeds eighty percent of the present fair market value of the structure (as it would be without any of the structural alterations), the proposed structural alterations may not be made. (Ord. 873 § 11 (part), 2004; Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.080 Destruction by fire, explosion, flood or other disaster.

Buildings which are destroyed by fire, explosion, flood or other disaster will be allowed to be rebuilt as long as there is no increase in size of structures or intensity of activity and the cost of repair, excluding permits and architectural costs, measured by prevailing contractor rates, does not exceed ninety percent of the fair market value of the structure as it existed before the disaster. (Ord. 873 § 11 (part), 2004; Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)

17.72.090 Transient rental uses.

Transient rental uses (defined in Section 17.03.686) are prohibited in residential zones. By virtue of Ordinance No. 692, the amortization period has expired for any transient rental uses which were nonconforming when Ordinance No. 692 was adopted in 1990. (Ord. 761 § 1, 1993)