Chapter 17.72
NONCONFORMING USE

Sections:

17.72.010    Applicability of chapter.

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    Churches – Alteration or expansion permitted – Requirements.

17.72.070    Exterior improvements – Conformance required.

17.72.080    Five-year period of nonconformance.

17.72.090    Established residential units permitted – Replacement.

17.72.100    Agricultural or suburban uses – Tract reduction prohibited.

17.72.110    Trailer parks – Expansion conformance required.

17.72.120    Abatement or conformance required – Notification procedure.

17.72.130    Appeal – Time extension granted when.

17.72.140    Exceptions – Permitted when – Time limit.

17.72.010 Applicability of chapter.

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 validly 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. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

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

17.72.040 Reconstruction – Permitted when.

A nonconforming building damaged, 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. 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 as determined for year in which work is done. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.060 Churches – Alteration or expansion permitted – Requirements.

Nonconforming churches may be structurally altered or enlarged, provided the requirements of this title for off-street parking shall be met and maintained for a seating capacity in excess of that which existed immediately prior to the alterations or additions, whether provided by additional seats in the nave or by additional floor space to be used simultaneously for assembly purposes if there are no fixed seats. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.070 Exterior improvements – Conformance required.

Where a use exists on the date the ordinance codified in 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 in WRMC 17.72.120. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.080 Five-year period of nonconformance.

A nonconforming use existing on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall be allowed to exist for a period of five years from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title and for such additional period of time as the planning commission may determine to adequately protect property rights involved, after which time the land use shall conform to the provisions of this title. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.090 Established residential units permitted – Replacement.

Residential units may continue in the districts in which they are established; provided, that if they are removed from the lot on which they are established, the replacement residential unit must meet minimum area and dimensional regulations of the district. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.100 Agricultural or suburban uses – Tract reduction prohibited.

Agricultural or suburban uses and accessory structures which become nonconforming in any zone may be continued so long as the area of the tract is not reduced. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.110 Trailer parks – Expansion conformance required.

Nonconforming trailer parks may continue in the use districts in which they are established; provided, that any expansion of such use shall conform to the requirements and regulations of establishing a mobile home park. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.120 Abatement or conformance required – Notification procedure.

When any nonconforming condition exists which is subject to abatement, it shall be the responsibility of the city planning director to ascertain the date upon which the nonconforming use was established or acquired. The city planning director shall notify the owner and lessee of the subject property of intent to consider the matter and date of such consideration. The planning commission shall consider all pertinent data in connection therewith and provide the opportunity for the owner or lessee to present such evidence which properly relates to each case. The planning commission shall establish the facts upon which the determination is made to require such property owner to abate or make the use conforming, and shall formally notify the owner of record and the occupant in writing of the decision and of the date by which such use or uses shall be abated or made conforming. Such formal notification shall be by certified mail to the property owner and a copy mailed to the occupant at the address of the premises. Determination made under this section is subject to the appeal provisions of WRMC 17.72.130. Appeal of the planning commission’s decision regarding the abatement of a nonconforming condition must be filed with the city community development director within 10 days of receipt of the certified formal notification of abatement. The appeal is to be heard by the city council. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.130 Appeal – Time extension granted when.

The planning commission may, upon the filing of an application which demonstrates unusual hardship, extend the time of abatement or required conformance of a nonconforming use of land wherein no structure or building is involved, or of accessory buildings and structures in connection with the nonconforming use of open land, or the nonconforming use of a conforming building. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].

17.72.140 Exceptions – Permitted when – Time limit.

The planning commission may, after public hearing, recommend that the city council authorize a special permit for the construction of a nonconforming building, or for the nonconforming use of any area or building for a specific period of time, provided the planning commission finds that the public convenience and advantage will be served by such use and that the building or use will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare. In making such determination, the planning commission shall consider the intent and purpose of the ordinance codified in this title, which establish the use district wherein the property lies and shall not authorize nonconforming buildings or uses which will be adverse to the general intended character of the district. [Ord. 15-17 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 40-07 § 1, 2007].