Chapter 5.3
Non-Conforming Uses and Developments


5.3.100    Non-conforming Uses

5.3.110    Non-conforming Development

5.3.100 Nonconforming Uses.

Where at the time of adoption of this Code a use of land exists, which would not be permitted by the regulations imposed by this Code and was lawful at the time it was established, the use may be continued as long as it remains otherwise lawful, provided:

A.    Expansion of Non-conforming Use Limited. Expansion of a non-conforming use shall not exceed 20 percent of the subject site or building and not more than 1,000 square feet of building area (footprint or floor area), cumulatively, whichever is less, that existed on July 1, 2019. (see exception under Section E below).

B.    Location. No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot other than that occupied by such use at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Code;

C.    Discontinuation or Abandonment. A nonconforming use of land that is discontinued for any reason, other than fire or other catastrophe beyond the owner’s control, for a period of more than 12 months shall be deemed abandoned and shall no longer be an allowed use.

For purposes of calculating the 12-month period, a use is discontinued or abandoned upon the occurrence of the first of any of the following events:

1.    On the date when the use of land is physically vacated;

2.    On the date the use ceases to be actively involved in the sale of merchandise or the provision of services;

3.    On the date of termination of any lease or contract under which the nonconforming use has occupied the land; or

4.    On the date a request for final reading of water and power meters is made to the applicable utility districts, or

5.    an event occurs similar to those listed in subsections 1 to 4, above, as determined by the Planning Commission.

D.    Application of Code Criteria and Standards. Once the City deems a use abandoned pursuant to subsection 5.3.100.C, any subsequent use of the subject lot shall conform to the current standards and criteria of this Code. After the City has deemed a non-conforming use abandoned, the use shall not be allowed to resume, in whole or in part, under the same or different ownership or management; any such activity is a violation of this Code and subject to enforcement proceedings under Chapter 1.4.

E.    Special Status for Single Family Residences. Notwithstanding the restrictions of any other section of this Code, all single-family residential dwellings built before June 30, 2004, on commercial or industrially zoned properties are considered as conforming with the base district. If any building on these properties is substantially destroyed, as defined in Section 5.3.110.B, it may be rebuilt in accordance with the standards of the Residential District, subject to the regulations of any applicable overlay district. Expansions, accessory buildings, and other residential uses are also allowed in accordance with the standards of the Residential District. If an existing single-family residence is converted to a permitted commercial, office or industrial use, the special status granted here is rescinded. However, the use of the property may revert to residential if the requirements of the Conditional Use Permit process in Chapter 4.5 are met, and the structure meets or can meet residential building code requirements.

5.3.110 Non-Conforming Development

Where a structure exists at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this Code that could not be built under the terms of this Code by reason of restrictions on lot area, lot coverage, height, yard, equipment, its location on the lot or other requirements concerning the structure; and the structure was lawful when constructed, the structure may remain on the site so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following provisions:

A.    No such nonconforming structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity, but any structure or portion thereof may be enlarged or altered in a way that satisfies the current requirements of this Code or will decrease its nonconformity (see exception under Section 5.3.100.E above);

B.    Should such nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of structure be destroyed by any means to an extent more than 50 percent of its current value as assessed by the Linn County assessor, it shall be reconstructed only in conformity with this Code; and

C.    Should such structure be moved for any reason and by any distance, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations of this Code.