Chapter 21.34


21.34.010    Purpose.

21.34.020    Nonconformance – Applicability.

21.34.030    Nonconformance – Determining status.

21.34.040    Nonconformance – Abatement of illegal use, structure or development.

21.34.050    Nonconformance – Continuation and maintenance of nonconformance.

21.34.060    Nonconformance – Reestablishment of a discontinued nonconformance.

21.34.070    Nonconformance – Repair, remodel or reconstruction of nonconforming structure.

21.34.080    Nonconformance – Modifications to nonconforming structure.

21.34.090    Nonconformance – Expansion of nonconformance prohibited.

21.34.100    Nonconforming lots.

21.34.010 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are to:

(1) Establish the legal status of a nonconformance by creating provisions through which a nonconformance may be maintained, altered, reconstructed or terminated;

(2) Provide for the temporary establishment of uses that are not otherwise permitted in a zone and to regulate such uses by their scope and period of use; and

(3) Encourage the adaptive reuse of existing public facilities which will continue to serve the community, and to ensure public review of redevelopment plans by allowing:

(a) Temporary reuse of closed public school facilities retained in school district ownership, and the reconversion of a temporary reuse back to a school use;

(b) Permanent reuse of surplus nonresidential facilities (e.g., schools, fire stations, government facilities) not retained in school district ownership; or

(c) Permanent reuse of historic structures listed on the National Register or designated as County landmarks. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.020 Nonconformance – Applicability.

(1) All nonconformances shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The provisions of this chapter do not supersede or relieve a property owner from compliance with:

(a) The requirements of the International Building and Fire Codes; or

(b) The provisions of this code beyond the specific nonconformance addressed by this chapter. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.030 Nonconformance – Determining status.

(1) Any use, structure, or other site improvement (e.g., landscaping or signage) that was legally established prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall be considered nonconforming if:

(a) The nonconformance is now prohibited or cannot meet use or site limitations applicable to the zone in which it is located; or

(b) The nonconformance does not comply with the density, dimensions, landscaping, parking, sign, buffer or design standards of this title.

(2) A change in the required permit review process shall not create a nonconformance.

(3) Any nonconformance that is brought into conformance for any period of time shall forfeit status as a nonconformance, except as specified by WMC 21.34.060. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.040 Nonconformance – Abatement of illegal use, structure or development.

Any use, including structures, or other site improvement not established in compliance with use, development, setback, site, and design standards or critical areas and buffers in effect at the time of establishment shall be deemed illegal and shall be discontinued or terminated and subject to removal pursuant to the applicable provisions of the WMC. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.050 Nonconformance – Continuation and maintenance of nonconformance.

A nonconformance may be continued or physically maintained as provided by this chapter. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.060 Nonconformance – Reestablishment of a discontinued nonconformance.

Except as otherwise provided in WMC 21.34.070, a nonconformance may be reestablished as a nonconformance, except any nonconformance that is discontinued for a period of 12 continuous months shall be deemed abandoned and shall not be reestablished. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.070 Nonconformance – Repair, remodel or reconstruction of nonconforming structure.

A damaged or partially destroyed nonconforming structure may be repaired, remodeled or reconstructed; provided, that:

(1) The extent of the previously existing nonconformance is not increased;

(2) The building permit application for repair or reconstruction is submitted within 12 months of the occurrence of damage or destruction; and

(3) The structure has not been damaged or destroyed beyond 50 percent of its assessed value. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.080 Nonconformance – Modifications to nonconforming structure.

Modifications to a nonconforming structure may be permitted; provided the modification does not increase the area, height or degree of an existing nonconformity. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.090 Nonconformance – Expansion of nonconformance prohibited.

A nonconformance may not be expanded. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)

21.34.100 Nonconforming lots.

Legally established lots in existence prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title which do not meet the requirements set forth in this title are considered nonconforming lots of record and are legally buildable subject to the following conditions:

(1) Where two or more adjacent nonconforming lots of record are under common ownership, they must be consolidated into one lot. For that single combined lot to be subdivided, all lots created shall conform to area and setback regulations for the district in which they are located and to all applicable critical area regulations.

(2) To be legally buildable, a lot must be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the County Health District. Where there is a conflict between the provisions of this section and those rules of the County Health District, the more restrictive rules shall apply.

(3) A structure on any lot must meet all dimensional requirements for the zone in which the property is located, pursuant to Chapter 21.22 WMC.

(4) A lot that was created as a “special tract” to protect critical area, provide open space, or as a public or private access tract is not considered a legal nonconforming lot.

(5) Legal nonconforming lots may be altered or changed, provided such change does not increase the degree of nonconformity. (Ord. 611 § 8 (Att. A), 2016)