Chapter 17.72


17.72.010    Purpose and applicability of chapter.

17.72.015    Vesting of development rights prior to effective date of adoption.

17.72.020    Discontinuance – Reversion prohibited.

17.72.030    Destruction or removal – Conformance required.

17.72.040    Reconstruction – Permitted when.

17.72.050    Structural alteration and maintenance – Restrictions.

17.72.060    Health or safety improvements.

17.72.070    Exterior improvements – Conformance required.

17.72.080    Nonconforming uses and activities.

17.72.090    Nonconforming lots.

17.72.100    Nonconforming structures and buildings.

17.72.110    Repealed.

17.72.120    Repealed.

17.72.130    Repealed.

17.72.140    Repealed.

17.72.010 Purpose and applicability of chapter.

A. 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.

B. Policy for Nonconforming Situations. A change in zoning standards is not intended to force all nonconforming situations to be immediately brought into conformance. Instead, the intent is to guide future uses and development in a new direction consistent with city policy, and, eventually, bring them into conformance. The intent is to protect the character and function of the area by reducing the negative impacts from nonconforming situations. At the same time, the standards assure that the situations may continue and that the zoning standards will not cause unnecessary burdens.

C. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to buildings, structures, lands, and uses which became nonconforming as a result of the application of this title to them, or from classification or reclassification of the property under this title, or any subsequent amendments thereto. If a use was legally established prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, or a use originally authorized by a variance, conditional use permit or any other valid use permit prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, is located within a zone in which such use is not permitted by the terms of this title, such use shall be a nonconforming use. The following also addresses nonconformities, and in the case of conflict between any two or more development standards or criteria, the more stringent and specific shall apply:

1. Chapter 18.08 WRMC, Shoreline Master Program, Chapter 6 (Administration), item J, “Non-Conforming Development”;

2. Chapter 18.25 WRMC, Critical Areas, WRMC 18.25.580, Nonconforming uses. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.015 Vesting of development rights prior to effective date of adoption.

To avoid undue hardship, nothing in this title shall require any change in the plans, construction, alteration or designated use of any property, building or structure for which a permit has been applied for, meeting the definition of technical completeness (vested), prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020].

17.72.020 Discontinuance – Reversion prohibited.

Discontinuance of a nonconforming use of land, structure or building for a period of one year shall be prima facie evidence of intention to abandon. Any further use of such land, structure or building shall be in conformity with the provisions of this title. Once a conforming use has been extended to displace a nonconforming use, it shall not revert back to a nonconforming use. No nonconforming use shall be extended to displace a conforming use. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.030 Destruction or removal – Conformance required.

If any nonconforming building or structure is destroyed or removed, every future use of land on which the building or structure was located shall conform to the provisions of this title, and any future building or structure shall be subject to all other provisions of this title. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.040 Reconstruction – Permitted when.

A nonconforming building that is damaged or partially destroyed (by fire, explosion, other casualty, act of God or the public enemy) may be restored and occupancy or use of such building or part thereof which existed at the time of such damage or partial or total destruction may be continued. Such reconstruction shall be completed within 12 months of the date of damage or partial or total destruction, and shall duplicate the original use and footprint. The nonconformity of use and/or structure shall not be increased. The reconstructed nonconforming building shall be subject to all other provisions of this title. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.050 Structural alteration and maintenance – Restrictions.

A. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this title, nonconforming buildings may not be enlarged or structurally altered unless an enlargement or structural alteration makes the building more conforming, or as required by law. However, where a building or buildings and customary accessory buildings are nonconforming only by reason of substandard yards, open spaces, area or height, the provisions of this title prohibiting structural alteration or enlargements shall not apply, provided any structural alterations or enlargements of any existing building under such circumstances do not increase the degree of nonconformity and any such enlargement of new buildings and structures observes the yard and open space requirements.

B. Structural alterations may be permitted if necessary to adapt a nonconforming building to new technologies or equipment pertaining to uses housed in such building. Any enlargement necessary to adapt to new technologies shall be authorized only by a variance.

C. Upkeep, repair, and maintenance of a nonconforming building is permitted, provided the value of the repair or maintenance does not exceed 60 percent of assessed valuation of the building as determined for the year in which work is done. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.060 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. 21-20 § 28, 2020].

17.72.070 Exterior improvements – Conformance required.

Where a use legally exists on the date this title becomes effective and such use is nonconforming only because it does not meet the requirements of this title with respect to improvement of outside areas used for storage, parking or landscaping, such use shall be made to conform to the requirements of this title with respect to such features within a period of not to exceed two years from the date of notification of nonconformity as required by the director. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020; Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.080 Nonconforming uses and activities.

Any nonconforming use or activity that legally exists on the effective date of this title shall be “grandfathered.” Any such “grandfathered” use or activity which is abandoned for 12 consecutive months loses its “grandfathered” status, and thereafter the use or activity must conform to the requirements of this title. Additionally, such use and activities may not be enlarged, increased, intensified, or extended to occupy a greater area of land or structure than was occupied on the date of adoption of this code. The use may not be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot or parcel. The use and activities may not be changed to another nonconforming use or activity. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020].

17.72.090 Nonconforming lots.

Any preexisting legal nonconforming lot that is located in a zoning district shall be permitted to develop and be used in a manner consistent with the provisions of the zoning district in which the lot is located (although the lot does not meet the minimum lot size requirement of the zoning district); provided, that the terms of any minimum yard setback requirements are met and that any other land use and health regulations are satisfied. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020].

17.72.100 Nonconforming structures and buildings.

A nonconforming structure may remain and be used; provided, that:

A. Changes to the structure that would alter or increase the nonconformity are not permitted.

1. Any vertical or horizontal extension of a nonconforming wall must meet the applicable standards.

2. Adding to the footprint of a nonconforming structure is permitted as long as the addition meets the requirements of this title;

B. If moved for any reason or any distance whatsoever, the structure shall be made to conform to the regulations for the zone in which it is located after it is moved;

C. If a building is harmed or destroyed by more than 50 percent of its square footage, the building must be reconstructed in compliance with the requirements for the zone in which it is located; and

D. Any structure other than a building that is damaged or removed to an extent that exceeds 50 percent of its square footage may be replaced or reconstructed, in substantially the same location and of substantially the same design as the predamaged or preremoved structure, if a complete application is submitted for any and all required construction permits within 180 days of the damage or removal. [Ord. 21-20 § 28, 2020].

17.72.110 Trailer parks – Expansion conformance required.

Repealed by Ord. 21-20. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.120 Abatement or conformance required – Notification procedure.

Repealed by Ord. 21-20. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.130 Appeal – Time extension granted when.

Repealed by Ord. 21-20. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.140 Exceptions – Permitted when – Time limit.

Repealed by Ord. 21-20. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].