Chapter 18.46
NONCONFORMING LOTS, STRUCTURES AND USES

Sections:

18.46.010    Purpose.

18.46.020    Construction in progress.

18.46.030    Preexisting lots of record.

18.46.040    Nonconforming uses.

18.46.050    Nonconforming structures.

18.46.060    Repairs and maintenance.

18.46.070    Health or safety improvements.

18.46.080    Nonconforming parking lots.

18.46.090    Nonconforming landscaped areas.

18.46.095    Nonconforming tent structures and metal storage containers.

18.46.100    Conditional uses.

18.46.110    Structures unsuited to uses permitted.

18.46.120    Use of historic structures.

18.46.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to establish limitations on the expansion and extension of nonconforming uses and structures which adversely affect the development and perpetuation of desirable residential, commercial and industrial areas with appropriate groupings of compatible and related uses. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.020 Construction in progress.

To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this title shall be deemed to require a change in plans, construction or designated use on vested permits per chapter 18.56 SMC. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.030 Preexisting lots of record.

An authorized use or structure may be erected on a preexisting legal lot and containing less area than required by the zone district in which it is located; provided, that the front, side and rear yard requirements as well as other applicable dimensional standards such as lot coverage and building height of this title are met. Except that lot width requirements do not have to be met. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.040 Nonconforming uses.

Any preexisting lawful use of land that exists that is made nonconforming under the terms of this title as enacted may be continued so long as that use remains lawful, subject to the following provisions:

A. Unless otherwise authorized in this title, no such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or increased nor extended to occupy a greater use than was occupied at the effective date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title.

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

C. If any such nonconforming use ceases for any reason for a period of more than 12 consecutive months, any subsequent use shall conform to the regulations specified by this title for the district in which such use is located. Upon request by the owner, the hearing examiner may grant an extension of time beyond the 12 consecutive months.

D. Unless otherwise authorized in this title, no existing structure devoted to a use not permitted by this title in the zone in which it is located shall be structurally altered except in changing the use of the structure to a use permitted in the zone in which it is located.

E. If no structural alterations are made, any nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises, may be changed to another nonconforming use; provided, that the hearing examiner by making findings in the specific case, shall find that the proposed use is more appropriate to the zone than the existing nonconforming use. In permitting such change, the hearing examiner may require appropriate conditions and safeguards in accord with the provisions of this title.

F. Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the zone in which such structure is located, and the nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed.

G. The following provisions shall apply to nonconforming multifamily uses and nonconforming commercial and professional service uses outside the MUD zone:

1. Nonconforming multifamily and commercial and professional service uses may expand up to 25 percent of their square footage by conditional use permit; except that expansion may not occur if it is necessary to purchase additional property. The expansion shall meet the development standards of the zone such as setbacks, lot coverage and building height;

2. No additional dwelling units may be added, except that dwelling units may be added to a nonconforming commercial use in the MUD zone;

3. Structures may be rebuilt after a fire or other disaster to original dimensions unless a health or safety impact would occur;

4. When a nonconforming commercial or professional service business ceases and a change of use is proposed, the site shall be treated as nonconforming and shall follow the nonconforming provisions indicated above and other portions of this chapter.

H. The following provisions shall apply to nonconforming uses in the MUD zone:

1. Nonconforming uses may expand up to 25 percent of their square footage by conditional use permit; except that expansion may not occur if it is necessary to purchase additional property. The expansion shall meet the development standards of the zone such as setbacks, lot coverage and building height;

2. If the structure containing a nonconforming use is destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 100 percent of its replacement cost at the time of destruction it shall not be reconstructed except in conforming with the use and other provisions of this title. (Ord. 2147 § 19, 2005; Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.050 Nonconforming structures.

Where a lawful structure exists at the effective date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title that could not be built under the terms of this title by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, yards or other characteristics of the structure, it may be continued so long as the structure remains otherwise lawful subject to the following provisions:

A. No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its degree of nonconformity. Alterations, additions or enlargements may be allowed as long as the work done does not extend further into any required yard or violate any other portion of this title. Complete plans shall be required of all work contemplated under this section.

B. Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 50 percent of its replacement cost at time of destruction, in the judgment of the city’s building official, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with provisions of this title.

C. Should such structure be moved for any reason or any distance whatsoever, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the zone in which it is located after it is moved.

D. When a nonconforming structure, or structure and premises in combination, is vacated or abandoned for 12 consecutive months, the structure, or structure and premises in combination, shall thereafter be required to be in conformance with the regulations of the zone in which it is located. Upon request of the owner, the hearing examiner may grant an extension of time beyond the 12 consecutive months. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.060 Repairs and maintenance.

If any building is devoted in whole or in part to any nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of 12 consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing to an extent not exceeding 25 percent of the current replacement value of the building. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.070 Health or safety improvements.

Nothing in this title shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any nonconforming building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by order of the building official charged with protecting the public safety. Alterations or expansion of a nonconforming use which are required by law or a public agency in order to comply with public health or safety regulations are the only alterations or expansions allowed. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.080 Nonconforming parking lots.

A. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to require a change in any aspect of a structure or facility covered thereunder including, without limitation, parking lot layout, loading space requirements and curb cuts, for any structure or facility which existed on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title.

B. If a change of use takes place, or an addition is proposed, which requires an increase in the parking area by an increment less than 100 percent, the requirements shall be complied with for the additional parking area.

C. If a change of use takes place, or an addition is proposed, which requires an increase in the parking area by an increment greater than 100 percent, the requirements shall be complied with for the entire parking area. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.090 Nonconforming landscaped areas.

A. Adoption of the landscaping regulations contained in this title shall not be construed to require a change in the landscaped improvements for any legal landscape area which existed on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, unless and until a change of use or alteration of the structure is proposed.

B. At such time as a change is proposed for a use, or structure, and associated premises which does not comply with the landscape requirements of this title, a landscape plan which substantially conforms to the requirements of this title shall be submitted to the director for approval prior to issuance of a building permit. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.095 Nonconforming tent structures and metal storage containers.

Adoption of the regulations contained in this title pertaining to the prohibition of temporary tent structures and metal storage containers shall not be construed to require a removal of those structures and/or containers which existed on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title prior to September 1, 2005, unless a change of use or alteration of the structure is proposed. (Ord. 2088 § 12, 2004: Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.100 Conditional uses.

A legal use does not become nonconforming because the zone in which it is located is changed to a zone which requires a conditional use permit for the use, or because the use is changed from an allowed use to a conditional use within the same zone; provided, however, that expansion of the use may not be allowed or buildings may not be enlarged without first obtaining a conditional use permit. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.110 Structures unsuited to uses permitted.

Uses not otherwise permitted in the zone may be permitted in structures unsuited to uses permitted outright in the resource protection or residential zones. Application shall be made in accordance with the conditional use permit application process. The determination by the hearing examiner that a use may be permitted shall be based on the following factors in addition to the criteria in SMC 18.48.050:

A. The applicant shall demonstrate that the remaining life of the structure is adequate to warrant the proposed use of the structure.

B. The applicant shall demonstrate why a permitted use of the zone cannot be established.

C. The applicant shall demonstrate the demand for the use in the community or region.

D. The applicant shall demonstrate that the use and renovations to the structure will meet the goals and policies of the community character element of the Sumner comprehensive plan.

E. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed use will provide a public benefit. (Ord. 2548 § 5, 2015: Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)

18.46.120 Use of historic structures.

The hearing examiner may authorize a use not otherwise permitted in the zone within a structure, for which it can be documented, that exhibits significant historical or cultural value, and where the proposed use would result in protection of building’s historical or cultural elements. Application shall be made in accordance with the conditional use permit application process. The following criteria shall be met in addition to the criteria of SMC 18.48.050:

A. The use shall be compatible with the existing design and/or construction of the structure without significant alteration; and

B. The use shall be allowed only when it is demonstrated that uses permitted in the zone are impractical because of structure design and/or that no permitted use can provide adequate financial support necessary to sustain the structure in a reasonably good physical condition. (Ord. 1694 § 1, 1995)