Zoning Code Article X

Nonconforming Uses

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Section 1. Nonconforming Land and Structures.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the lawful use of land or structures existing at the effective date of this Ordinance may be continued although such use does not conform to the provisions hereof. If no structural alterations are made, a nonconforming use of a structure may be changed to another nonconforming use of the same or of a more restricted classification. Whenever a nonconforming use of land or structures has been changed to a more restricted use or to a conforming use, such use shall not thereafter be changed to a less restricted use. The nonconforming use of a structure may be hereafter extended throughout those parts of a structure which were lawfully and manifestly arranged or designed for such use at the time of the enactment of this Ordinance.

Section 2. Nonconforming Signs.

In a residential or commercial District where any sign does not comply with the provisions of this Ordinance, such sign and any supporting structures may be maintained but shall not be replaced, reconstructed, moved, structurally altered, repainted or relighted except in compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance and may continue in use unless subject to removal under other provisions of this Ordinance. The removal, replacement, reconstruction, moving or structural alteration for any cause whatsoever shall be considered as loss of nonconforming status.

Supporting structures for nonconforming signs may continue in use for a conforming sign if said supporting structures comply in all respects to the applicable requirements of these regulations and other codes and ordinances. No permits for additional signs shall be issued for any premises on which there are any nonconforming signs.

Section 3. Discontinuance.

No structure or portion thereof, used in whole or in part for a nonconforming use, which remains idle or unused for a continuous period of one year, whether or not the equipment or fixtures are removed, shall again be used except in conformity with the regulations of the District in which such structure or land is located.


Section 4. Conditions for Restoration.

If a structure, not including signs (see Section 2 above), is damaged it may be repaired or reconstructed in the same building footprint and used as before the time of damage, provided that such repairs or reconstruction be substantially completed within twelve (12) months of the date of such damage.

Section 5. Intermittent Use.

The casual, intermittent, temporary or illegal use of land or structures shall not be sufficient to establish the existence of a nonconforming use, and the existence of a nonconforming use on a part of a lot or tract shall not be construed to establish a nonconforming use on the entire lot or tract.

Section 6. Determination of Nonconformance.

Whether a nonconforming use exists shall be a question of fact and shall be decided by the Board of Appeals after public notice and hearing and in accordance with the rules of the Board.

Section 7. Continuance of Nonconforming Height, Area, or Bulk.

A structure nonconforming only as to height, area, or bulk requirements may be altered, extended, or replaced provided that such alteration or extension does not increase the degree of nonconformity in any respect.

Section 8. Dwellings in Industrial Districts.

A dwelling nonconforming as to use in an industrial District shall be considered as a conforming use in application of the height, area, and bulk requirements of this Ordinance.

Section 9. Pre-Existing Uses and Lots of Record in the Critical Area District

An individual lot or parcel of land located within the Town of Rock Hall Critical Area Overlay District ("O") may be improved with a single family dwelling and related accessory uses in a Resource Conservation Area (RCA) and otherwise developed in accordance with Article V, Section 12.E.in a Intensely Developed Area (IDA) and Article V, Section 12.F. in the Limited Development Area (LDA) provided they comply with the provisions of Article V, Section 12.J. Buffer Exemption Area Provisions, provided they meet all of the design standards of Article V, Section 12. insofar as possible, and further provided they comply with at least one of the following criteria:

1. Any legally buildable single lot or parcel of record established in the Town of Rock Hall prior to June 30, 1988, may be improved or developed with one single family residence.

2. Any lot on which development activity has legally progressed to the point of pouring foundation footing or installation of structural members, prior to the adoption of the Town of Rock Hall Critical Area Program, will be permitted to complete construction as per existing development approvals.

3. Development may take place on lots created prior to 1 June 1984 subject to the limitations on permitted uses contained in Article V, Section 12. and subject to the provisions of Article V, Section 12.J. However, any development of such lands must comply "insofar as possible" with the Critical Area Criteria if the development occurs between 1 December 1985 and the time the local program is approved. Development after June 30, 1988, on land subdivided prior to 1 June 1984 must comply with the use provisions of Section 12 and the provisions of Article V, Section 12.J.

4. Development may take place on lots subdivided between June 1, 1984, and December 1, 1985, for which "interim findings" (Critical Area Law, Section 8-1813) have been made by the Town of Rock Hall Planning Commission, the Town Board of Appeals, or the Mayor and Council

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