Chapter 10.72
NONCONFORMING USES, STRUCTURES AND LOTS

Sections:

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) Off-Site Signs.

(a) Off-site signs in existence on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this section, which were constructed, erected or maintained in compliance with all previous regulations, shall be regarded as nonconforming signs which may be continued, maintained and altered by changing the sign face or message, but shall not be allowed to change sign type, such as but not limited to the addition or changing of “effects,” and shall not be allowed to increase in size, height or any other manner.

(b) Off-site signs in existence on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this section, which were constructed, erected or maintained in compliance with all previous regulations, which are destroyed by an act of God or accident may be replaced; provided, that the replaced sign meets the standards set forth in subsection (1)(c) of this section.

(c) Off-site signs in existence on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this section, which were constructed, erected or maintained in compliance with all previous regulations, may be moved or relocated on the same parcel of land when development of the property by the property owner requires relocation; provided, however, that the replacement sign conforms to the provisions of WCC 10.50.170 and the following standards:

(i) The new off-site sign shall be no greater in size (height and area) than the replaced sign;

(ii) The new off-site sign shall be similar in construction to the replaced sign (e.g., electronic versus painted, single face or double faced or V-type);

(iii) No off-site sign is located within 500 lineal feet of another off-site sign;

(iv) No off-site sign is located within 300 lineal feet of a residential zone;

(v) No off-site sign is located within 300 lineal feet of, or oriented to be viewed from, those areas known as Riverfront Park, Walla Walla Point Park, or Confluence Park, or as the same are subsequently known;

(vi) Off-site signs shall be limited in size to 300 square feet, including the frame area;

(vii) Maximum height of off-site signs shall be 30 feet above grade, measured from the base of the sign support;

(viii) The new off-site sign shall not contain any new “effects.”

(2) On-Site Signs.

(a) An on-site sign which is legally nonconforming as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title by reason of restrictions on height, required setbacks or other requirements concerning on-site signs may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful.

(b) A nonconforming on-site sign 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.

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

(d) Nothing in this title shall be deemed to prevent the normal maintenance and repair of a nonconforming on-site sign 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))