Chapter 23.84
NONCONFORMING USES, BUILDINGS, AND STRUCTURES

Sections:

23.84.010    Purpose and intent.

23.84.020    Restrictions on nonconforming uses and structures.

23.84.030    Repealed.

23.84.031    Nonconforming recreational vehicles, trailers, and vessels.

23.84.040    Loss of nonconforming status.

23.84.050    Nonconforming parcels.

23.84.060    Nonconforming due to lack of use permit.

23.84.070    Extension of legal nonconforming status.

23.84.010 Purpose and intent.

A. This chapter provides regulations for nonconforming land uses, structures, and parcels that were lawful before the adoption or amendment of this title, but which would be prohibited, regulated, or restricted differently under the current terms of this title or future amendments.

B. It is the intent of this title to discourage the long-term continuance of nonconformities that have the potential to create nuisance or other incompatibility issues, providing for their eventual elimination, while allowing them to exist under the limited conditions outlined in this chapter. [Ord. 8-2011 §35(A), eff. 6-24-2011]

23.84.020 Restrictions on nonconforming uses and structures.

A. Nonconforming Uses of Land. A nonconforming use of land may be continued, transferred, or sold; provided, that the use shall not be enlarged or intensified, nor be extended to occupy a greater area than it lawfully occupied before becoming nonconforming.

B. Nonconforming Structures. A nonconforming structure may continue to be used as follows:

1. Changes to, or Expansion of a Structure. Changes to a nonconforming structure by addition, enlargement, extension, reconstruction, or relocation may be allowed if the changes conform to applicable provisions of this title.

2. Maintenance and Repair. A nonconforming structure may be maintained and repaired.

3. Other Modifications Allowed. The enlargement, extension, reconstruction, or structural alteration of a nonconforming structure to improve safety, reduce fire hazard and/or to improve the appearance of the structure may be allowed with minor design review approval. [Ord. 8-2011 §35(B), eff. 6-24-2011]

23.84.030 Agricultural and residential exemptions.

Repealed by Ord. 28-2008. [Ord. 26-2006 §3, eff. 8-11-2006]

23.84.031 Nonconforming recreational vehicles, trailers, and vessels.

Recreational vehicles, trailers, and vessels that were legally parked in required setback areas prior to August 11, 2006, but are inconsistent with the provisions of this title are considered legal nonconforming and are “grandfathered” by this chapter. As such, they may continue to be parked in the required front yard setback area. If the storage loses nonconformance status (as provided in EGMC Section 23.84.040), the recreational vehicle, trailer, and vessel shall be parked in compliance with this title. In order to determine nonconformance status, the City shall require information, such as DMV registration, photographs, satellite imagery, neighbor affidavits, or other justification as determined by the City, to be provided in order to adequately review eligibility. [Ord. 19-2012 §4(A), eff. 11-9-2012]

23.84.040 Loss of nonconforming status.

A. Termination by Discontinuance.

1. If a nonconforming use of land or a nonconforming use of a conforming structure is discontinued for a continuous period of one (1) year or more, rights to legal nonconforming status shall terminate.

2. The Director shall base a determination of discontinuance on evidence including the removal of equipment, furniture, machinery, structures, or other components of the nonconforming use, disconnected or discontinued utilities, or no business records to document continued operation.

3. Without further action by the City, any further use of the site or structure shall comply with all of the regulations of the applicable zoning district and all other applicable provisions of this title.

4. A nonconforming recreational vehicle, trailer, or vessel may be replaced with a new recreational vehicle, trailer, or vessel similar in size and parked in the same location as the former vehicle, subject to applicable provisions of this title; provided, that the nonconforming use has not been terminated as contained in subsection (A)(1) of this section.

B. Termination by Destruction. Nonconforming status shall terminate if a nonconforming structure, or a conforming structure occupied by a nonconforming use, is involuntarily damaged or destroyed; provided, that the structure may be repaired or rebuilt and reoccupied as follows:

1. An involuntarily damaged or destroyed structure may be repaired or replaced with a new structure, except for industrial uses in agricultural or residential zones as provided in subsection (B)(1) of this section, with the same footprint, height, and number of dwelling units, in compliance with current building and fire code requirements if the restoration is started within one (1) year of the date of damage and is diligently pursued to completion.

2. Conditional use permit approval shall be required prior to restoring or reconstructing a structure for an industrial use in an agricultural or residential zone if the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged portion of the structure is more than fifty (50%) percent of the assessed value of the structure immediately before damage. Conditional use permit approval shall require a finding, in addition to those contained in EGMC Section 23.16.070, that the benefit to the public health, safety or welfare exceeds the detriment inherent in the restoration and continuance of nonconformity.

3. A nonconforming mobile home may be replaced with a new or newer and larger mobile home placed in the same location as the former unit, subject to applicable provisions of this title. [Ord. 19-2012 §4(B), eff. 11-9-2012; Ord. 8-2011 §35(C), eff. 6-24-2011; Ord. 28-2008 §3, eff. 7-21-2008; Ord. 26-2006 §3, eff. 8-11-2006]

23.84.050 Nonconforming parcels.

A. Legal Building Site. A nonconforming parcel that does not comply with the applicable area or width requirements of this title shall be considered a legal building site if it meets at least one (1) of the following criteria, as documented to the satisfaction of the Director by evidence furnished by the applicant:

1. Approved Subdivision. The parcel was created by a recorded subdivision;

2. Individual Parcel Legally Created by Deed. The parcel is under one (1) ownership and of record, and was legally created by a recorded deed before the effective date of the zoning amendment that made the parcel nonconforming;

3. Variance or Lot Line Adjustment. The parcel was approved through the variance procedure or resulted from a lot line adjustment; or

4. Partial Government Acquisition. The parcel was created in compliance with the provisions of this title, but was made nonconforming when a portion was acquired by a governmental entity so that the parcel size is decreased not more than twenty (20%) percent and the yard facing a public right-of-way was decreased not more than fifty (50%) percent.

B. Subdivision of a Nonconforming Parcel. No subdivision shall be approved that would increase the nonconformity of an existing parcel or any nonconforming use on the parcel. [Ord. 8-2011 §35(D), eff. 6-24-2011; Ord. 26-2006 §3, eff. 8-11-2006]

23.84.060 Nonconforming due to lack of use permit.

A. Conformity of Uses Requiring Conditional Use Permits. A use lawfully existing without a conditional use permit that would be required by this title to have conditional use permit approval shall be deemed conforming only to the extent that it previously existed (e.g., maintain the same site area boundaries, hours of operation, etc.).

B. Previous Conditional Use Permits in Effect. A use that was authorized by a conditional use permit but is not allowed by this title in its current location may continue, but only in compliance with the original conditional use permit. [Ord. 8-2011 §35(E), eff. 6-24-2011]

23.84.070 Extension of legal nonconforming status.

A property owner may apply for, and the City may grant, an extension of nonconforming status established in EGMC Section 23.84.040(A)(1) when consistent with the following requirements:

A. Application.

1. Form of Application. Application for extension of legal nonconforming status shall be made to the Development Services Department on a form provided by the Department. As part of the application, the applicant shall identify a period of time for which they would like the extension to be made, consistent with subsection (D) of this section.

2. Timing of Application. The application shall be submitted before the expiration of the legal nonconforming status.

3. Proof of Legal Nonconformance. As part of the application, the applicant shall provide proof that the use in question was legally established prior to becoming a legal nonconforming use.

B. Review and Approval Authority.

1. The Development Services Director, or designee, shall review the application and prepare a report on the matter for the designated approving authority.

2. The Commission shall be the designated approving authority for extensions to the legal nonconforming status.

3. The application shall be heard within sixty (60) days of the date of submittal.

4. Action on the request for extension of the legal nonconforming status shall be by resolution of the designated approving authority.

5. Action by the approving authority may be appealed consistent with the provisions of EGMC Section 23.14.060, Appeals.

C. Conditions of Approval. In approving an extension of the legal nonconforming status, the designated approving authority may impose reasonable conditions of approval to ensure the public health, safety, and general welfare are maintained.

D. Time Period. The designated approving authority shall establish a maximum time period for the extension of the legal nonconforming status. In no event shall the extension be longer than twenty-four (24) months. Regardless of the length of the time period approved, the approval shall not be subsequently increased except as provided in subsection (G) of this section.

E. Findings. The designated approving authority, in approving an extension to the legal nonconforming status, shall make all of the following findings:

1. The subject use was legally established prior to becoming a nonconforming use; and

2. Continuation of the subject use will not, under the circumstances of the particular case (location, size, design, and operating characteristics), be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such use, or the general welfare of the City.

F. Making of Application to Stay Loss of Nonconforming Status.

1. The submittal of the application to the Development Services Department shall stay the loss of nonconforming status until such time as the application is heard and decided by the designated approving authority.

2. No planning, building, and public works permits, nor business license, shall be issued for the property involving the nonconforming activity until the application for extension of the legal nonconforming use period has been decided.

3. If a request for extension of the legal nonconforming use period is denied, any time remaining as of the date of decision shall be allowed.

G. Effect of Intervening Use. The establishment of a legal nonconforming use under the terms of an extension granted under this section shall not prohibit the applicant from applying for, or the City considering and granting, a subsequent extension of legal nonconforming status at a future date should the intervening use also cease operations. The establishment of a new use shall “reset the clock” on these provisions. [Ord. 24-2015 §11 (Exh. I), eff. 2-12-2016; Ord. 8-2011 §35(F), eff. 6-24-2011]