§14-104. Non-Conforming Structures and Uses. [11.1]


It is the purpose of this section to discourage and eventually eliminate non-conforming uses and structures because they are detrimental to the orderly development of the City.

(1) General. Any structure, or the use of any land or structure or portion of a structure, which was a non-conforming structure or use under the terms of the zoning ordinance of August 10, 1933, as amended, shall continue to be a non-conforming structure or use, which may continue at the same location, but shall be subject to the provisions, limitations and restrictions of this Section governing non-conforming structures and uses.

(2) Amendments. Whenever this Title or any zoning map is amended to establish more restrictive requirements in any district, any structure or the use of any land or structure or portion of a structure in such district which at the date of the adoption of the more restrictive requirements does not conform with such requirements shall be considered a non-conforming structure or use, which may continue at the same location, but shall be subject to the provisions of this Section governing non-conforming structure and uses; provided, that whenever this Title or any zoning map is amended to establish more restrictive requirements in respect to off-street loading or parking, a use shall not be considered a non-conforming use subject to the provisions of this Section solely because of its failure to meet such off-street parking or loading requirements.

(3) Designation.

(a) Only structures and uses specifically designated by this Section shall be considered non-conforming structures or uses within the provisions of this Section.

(b) Any non-conforming multiple dwelling subject to the provisions of Subsection (1) shall be deemed non-conforming as to the specific number of dwelling units contained therein, and nothing herein shall be construed to permit the addition of further dwelling units not in conformity to the regulations of the district in which it is located.

(4) Change from Non-conforming Uses.

(a) A non-conforming structure or use shall cease to be considered as such whenever it complies with the requirements of the district in which it is located and it shall not be resumed thereafter.

(b) A non-conforming structure or use shall cease to be considered as such whenever it becomes the subject of a variance, granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or ordered by a Court, and its non-conforming status shall not be reinstated thereafter.

(5) Discontinued Use.

(a) A non-conforming when discontinued for a period of three consecutive years or less may be resumed as the same non-conforming use and no other.

(b) A non-conforming use when discontinued for a period of more than three consecutive years shall be considered abandoned and may not be resumed, and any subsequent use of the land or structure must comply with the use requirements of the district in which it is located, subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) below.

(c) Any use authorized by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, when discontinued for a period of three consecutive years, shall be considered abandoned and may not be resumed without further approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.[12]

(6) Reconstruction of Demolished, Destroyed, or Condemned Structures.

(a) Where any structure, containing a non-conforming use or being non-conforming as to area, height, floor area or bulk, has two-thirds or more of its gross floor area destroyed by fire or Act of God, or is legally condemned, the new construction which is erected in place of said destroyed or condemned portion shall be erected in conformance with the use, area, height, floor area and bulk regulations of the district in which said structure is located; provided, that the erection of new parking and/or loading spaces shall not be required in connection with said new construction, except where said destruction or condemnation is 90% or more of the gross floor area of the structure;

(b) Where any structure, containing a non-conforming use or being non-conforming as to area, height, floor area or bulk, has less than two-thirds of its gross floor area destroyed by fire or Act of God, or is legally condemned, it may be reconstructed and used for the same non-conforming use if building reconstruction is commenced within three years of destruction or condemnation and is carried on to completion without interruption, but the new structure shall not exceed in area, height, floor area and bulk the structure so destroyed or condemned and shall be subject to all other provisions of this Section governing non-conforming structures and uses;

(c) Where a structure or any portion thereof is demolished other than by fire, Act of God or under legal condemnation, it shall be rebuilt only in accordance with the area, height, floor area and bulk regulations of the district in which it is located; provided, that where such demolition constitutes two-thirds or more of the gross floor area of the structure, it shall, upon reconstruction, conform to the use regulations of the district in which it is located;

(.1) Two thirds of the gross floor area under subparagraph (c) shall be measured as the total of all of such demolitions made from the time such structure began to be considered non-conforming;

(.2) The terms of subparagraph (c) shall not be construed to require the provisions of new off-street parking or loading spaces except where such demolition is 90% or more of the structure, computed as set forth in subparagraph (.1) above;

(d) As an exception to the foregoing paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) above, properties zoned R-3, R-5, R-9, R-9A, R-10 and R-10A may be reconstructed to their prior configuration prior to the demolition or destruction of the structure, and as such case shall be exempt from any current off street parking requirements. This exception shall only apply where at least 75% of the structures in the block are still in place. This shall only apply to the Third Councilmanic District.[12.1]

(7) Extension of Structures Containing Non-conformity Uses. No structural extensions or additions to a structure containing a non-conforming use shall be made after July 15, 1957, which, when added to all structural extensions and additions made since the use first began to be non-conforming, shall cause the aggregate gross floor area of all such structural extensions and additions to exceed 10% of the gross floor area of the structure when the use first began to be non-conforming, subject to the following provisions:

(a) Any such structural extensions or additions shall be in conformity with the area and height regulations of this Title for the district where the structure is located, and shall be contained within the boundaries of the lot occupied by the structure at the time the use first began to be non-conforming; and

(b) All such structural extensions or additions shall be in conformity with the provisions of paragraph (9) below.

(8) Extensions of Non-conforming Structures. A non-conforming structure (as designated in § 14-104(1) and § 14-104(2)) shall not be extended in any manner which will cause said structure to exceed or further exceed the regulations of the district in which it is located, but a non-conforming structure may be extended if the extension thereof is erected within the regulations of the district in which said structure is located; provided, that:

(a) Said extension or addition complies with the provisions of paragraph (9) below;

(b) Elevator shafts or fire towers which existed at the time a building began to be non-conforming may be extended in height without respect to the height regulations of the district in which such structures are located.

(9) Increases in Floor Area. In those districts regulating the floor area which may be contained in a structure, no structure which contains a gross floor area equal to or greater than that permitted shall be extended so as to increase the gross floor area. Where a structure contains less than the gross floor area permitted, it may be extended in gross floor area to a total not more than the gross floor area permitted in the district; provided, that such extension or addition otherwise complies to the regulations of the district in which said structure is located.

(10) Required Yards, Courts, Occupied and Open Areas Where New Stories Are Added to Non-conforming Structures. Where a structure is non- conforming because it does not fulfill the yard, court, occupied area, open area or rear yard area regulations of the district in which it is located, any new stories erected on such structure shall be constructed so as to fulfill the yard, court, occupied area, open area and rear yard area regulations, which in such a case shall be applied on the level upon which such new stories are being erected.

(11) Non-conforming Lot Widths and Lot Areas. Where any lot recorded on or before the effective date of this ordinance is non-conforming by being less than the minimum required lot width or minimum required lot area, nothing in this Title shall prohibit the use of, or the erection, construction or alteration of structures upon such a lot, or in the case of a group of adjacent non-conforming lots, the erection or construction of an equal or lesser number of structures upon such lots, is such use, erection, construction or alteration otherwise complies with the regulations of the district in which such lot is located; provided, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to modify the provisions of Chapter 14-2100 of this Title, governing the subdivision of land.[13]

(12) Extensions and Additions to Courts and Side Yards. Where a court or side yard on any lot existed at the time of the effective date of this amendment and conformed with the minimum width requirements of its district prior to the effective date of this provision, the structure may be extended along the line of the side wall forming said court and/or side yard (irrespective of any greater court or side yard requirements which may be imposed by this amendment); provided, that all other requirements of the district have been met, and, further provided, that the total length of such extension or addition shall not be greater than the length of the original court or side yard being extended.