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A. General Definitions

The definitions below apply to this entire chapter as well as this section:


The total cost of alteration or repair is the fair market value of the materials, services and labor necessary to accomplish the renovation, repair or restoration. No person may seek to avoid the intent of this chapter by doing the work incrementally.

Effective Date of This Ordinance

Whenever this chapter refers to the “effective date of this ordinance,” the reference includes the effective date of any amendments to the ordinance codified in this chapter if the amendment, rather than the ordinance codified in this chapter (as originally adopted), creates a nonconforming situation.

Nonconforming Situation

A situation that occurs when, on the effective date of this ordinance, an existing lot, structure or improvement, i.e., parking and landscaping, or the use of an existing lot, structure or improvement no longer conforms to one (1) or more of the regulations applicable to the zoning district in which the lot, structure or improvement is located.

Structural Value

The present-day cost of replacing the structure or improvement.

B. Continuation of Nonconforming Situations and Completion of Nonconforming Projects

1. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this chapter and subject to the restrictions and qualifications set forth in Sections 18.60.020 through 18.60.070, nonconforming situations that were otherwise lawful on the effective date of this ordinance may be continued.

2. Nonconforming projects may be completed only in accordance with Section 18.60.070.

3. The burden is on the landowner or developer to establish entitlement to continuation of nonconforming situations or completion of nonconforming projects.

C. Extension or Enlargement of Nonconforming Situations

1. No person may cause an increase in the extent of nonconformity of a nonconforming situation. In particular, physical alteration of structures or the placement of new structures on open land is unlawful if the activity results in:

a. An increase in the total amount of space or building area devoted to a nonconforming use; or

b. Greater nonconformity with respect to dimensional restrictions such as building setback requirements, height limitations or density requirements, or other requirements such as parking requirements.

2. The volume, intensity or frequency of use of property where a nonconforming situation exists may be one (1) time increased up to ten (10) percent and the equipment or processes used at a location where a nonconforming situation exists may be changed if:

a. These or similar changes amount only to changes in the degree of activity rather than changes in kind; and

b. No violations of other subsections of this section occur.

D. Repair, Maintenance and Alterations

Repairs, alterations and maintenance of structures and property where nonconforming situations exist are allowed if they conform to the applicable zoning district regulations.

Refer to Section 18.60.050 for repair, maintenance and alteration of nonconforming structures.

E. Abandonment and Discontinuance of Nonconforming Situations

1. For a nonconforming use, refer to Section 18.60.030.D.

2. If the principal activity on property where a nonconforming situation other than a nonconforming use exists is discontinued for a consecutive period of one hundred eighty (180) days, or discontinued for any period of time without a present intention of resuming that activity, then:

a. The property must conform to all of the regulations applicable to the preexisting use unless subsection E.2.b, below, applies.

b. The Planning Official may approve a nonconforming situation permit to allow the property to be used without correcting the nonconforming situations if it finds that:

(1) Eliminating the nonconformity is not reasonably possible (i.e., cannot be accomplished without adding additional land to the lot where the nonconforming situation is maintained, or without moving a substantial structure that is on a permanent foundation); and

(2) The permit specifies which nonconformities need not be corrected.

3. All of the buildings, activities, and operations maintained on a lot are generally to be considered as a whole. For example, the failure to rent one (1) apartment in a nonconforming apartment building for one hundred eighty (180) days does not result in a loss of the right to rent the apartment or space if the apartment building as a whole is continuously maintained. But if a nonconforming use is maintained in conjunction with a conforming use, discontinuance of a nonconforming use for the required period terminates the right to maintain it.

4. When a structure or operation made nonconforming by the ordinance codified in this chapter is vacant or discontinued on the effective date of this ordinance, the one hundred eighty (180) day period for purposes of this section begins to run on the effective date of this ordinance.

F. Applicability of Design Standards

1.  Buildings that do not conform to the building and site standards of the ordinance codified in this chapter may be granted exceptions to those standards upon approval of an administrative review application. The purpose of this section is to allow existing buildings to be expanded or enlarged in a manner that matches the existing building design and materials. The additions must be compatible with surrounding properties and are subject to major and minor change requirements in Section 18.40.120.A. The denial of an administrative review application may be appealed to the Planning Commission. (Ord. 19-64 § 21, 2019; Ord. 17-52 §§ 34, 41, 2017; Ord. 02-54 § 2, 2002)