Chapter 10.72


10.72.010    Intent and purpose.

10.72.020    Nonconforming uses.

10.72.030    Nonconforming structures.

10.72.040    Nonconforming lots.

10.72.050    Nonconforming signs.

10.72.010 Intent and purpose.

Within the districts established by this title or subsequent amendments thereto, there exist uses, structures and lots which were lawfully established or created, but which would be prohibited, regulated or restricted under the terms of this title or future amendments. The intent of this title is to permit these nonconformities to continue but not to encourage their perpetuation or survival. Nonconformities are declared by this title to be incompatible with permitted uses, structures and lots in the districts involved. It is further the intent of this title that nonconformities shall not be enlarged upon, expanded, enjoy an increase in intensity of use, or be uses prohibited in the same district. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.72.020 Nonconforming uses.

(1) A legal nonconforming use in existence as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title may be continued but shall not be enlarged upon, expanded, increased in intensity or be extended; provided, however, the extension of the nonconforming use of a structure that was originally arranged or designed for such nonconforming use at the time of passage of the ordinance or amendment thereto shall not be deemed the extension of a nonconforming use.

(2) A nonconforming use shall not be changed to any other use unless changed to a conforming use. A nonconforming use, if changed to a conforming use, may not thereafter be changed to a nonconforming use.

(3) No nonconforming use shall be enlarged, increased or extended to occupy a greater gross floor area or land coverage than was occupied on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title or amendment thereto.

(4) No nonconforming use shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot or parcel other than that part occupied by such use on the effective date of adoption or amendment of the ordinance codified in this title.

(5) If a nonconforming use is discontinued or abandoned from active use for a period of one year, further use of the property shall conform to the provisions of this title.

(6) Any exterior alterations to a building housing a nonconforming use shall be subject to review by the hearing examiner at a public hearing. The hearing examiner shall determine that such alteration is not less consistent with the general design and appearance of other buildings in the neighborhood than the original building. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.72.030 Nonconforming structures.

(1) A structure which is legally nonconforming as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, required setbacks or other requirements concerning structures may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful.

(2) A structure with one or more nonconforming setbacks may be extended when said addition or extension would be no less conforming as to setback distance than the existing structure; and provided, that the addition shall be no longer in linear feet along the nonconforming setback than 50 percent of the length of the existing nonconformity.

(3) A nonconforming structure shall not be altered, extended, enlarged, or otherwise physically changed in any manner that would have the effect of increasing its amount or degree of nonconformity.

(4) A nonconforming structure destroyed by any cause to an extent exceeding 50 percent of its cost of replacement using new materials shall only be replaced with a structure conforming to the provisions of this title.

(5) Nothing in this title shall be deemed to prevent the normal maintenance and repair of a nonconforming structure or its restoration to a safe condition when declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.72.040 Nonconforming lots.

(1) Lots which were lots of record on the date of adoption of this title, or amendment thereto, which contain less than the required width, depth, or area as required by this title, shall be considered building lots in all respects; provided, that any structures proposed to be built meet all of the dimensional requirements of the district in which the lot is located;

(2) Provided, however, a lot which is nonconforming by virtue of the lack of its adequate access to a public street as required elsewhere in this title shall not be considered a building lot. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.72.050 Nonconforming signs.

(1) With the exception of billboards, code requirements applicable to nonconforming on- and off-site signs are addressed in WCC 10.50.150, Legal nonconforming signs. Billboards are not a permitted use under Chapter 10.50 WCC, Signs. Legally established billboards in existence at the time of adoption of the ordinance codified in this section are considered nonconforming signs subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Billboard Sign Amortization. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this title, an existing nonconforming billboard may continue to be used for a period of 10 years after January 20, 2020. No structural alterations may be made after January 20, 2020, and the said billboard must be brought into conformity by removal before 10 years after January 20, 2020. The city may elect not to apply any provisions of this section if the removal of a billboard would require the city to pay compensation under any federal, state or other law, including Chapter 47.42 RCW. (Ord. 2019-51 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))