This chapter shall be known as the "Zoning Ordinance of the City of Monroe."
This chapter is based on the City of Monroe Comprehensive Plan, adopted by the Citizens Planning Commission and City Council, which provides goals, objectives and a future land use map for the City. This chapter is intended to implement the Comprehensive Plan by regulating the use of land, buildings and structures to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by accomplishing the following:
Establish zoning districts and uniform regulations applicable to each district governing the use of the land and dimensions for building and site development with such minimum regulations as are deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Accommodate and promote land uses which are compatible with the City's character and which conserve the property values and long-term stability of residential neighborhoods, community facilities, the downtown area commercial districts and industrial areas.
Encourage use of the lands and natural resources in accordance with their character and capability. This chapter acknowledges the important effect that these features have on the long-term economic climate of all uses in the City and on the overall quality of life for City residents.
Limit or prohibit improper use of land.
Reduce hazards to life and property.
Facilitate adequate and cost-effective infrastructure systems and protect the substantial public investment in those systems, including transportation, sewage disposal, safe and adequate water supply, education and recreational facilities.
Establish controls over potential conflicting land uses and over uses which may need special regulations as special land uses to be compatible with surrounding development patterns and zoning.
Promote the gradual elimination of uses, buildings and structures which do not conform to the regulations and standards of this chapter.
Balance the City's right to compatible and quality development, consistent with the future land use plan, with the property owners' right to a reasonable rate of return on investment.
Where any provision of this chapter imposes either greater or lesser restrictions, limitations, conditions, standards or requirements upon the use of buildings, structures or land, the height of buildings or structures, lot coverage, lot area, yards, wetlands, woodlands or other open spaces, or any other use or activity which is regulated by this chapter, the provision or standard which is more restrictive or limiting shall govern.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, every building and structure erected, every use of any lot, building or structure established, every structural alteration or relocation of an existing building or structure, and every enlargement of, or addition to, an existing use, building or structure occurring after the effective date of this chapter shall be subject to all regulations of this chapter which are applicable in the zoning district in which such use, building or structure is located.
No setback area or lot existing at the time of adoption of this chapter shall be reduced in dimensions or area below the minimum requirements set forth herein. Yards or lots created after the effective date of this chapter shall meet at least the minimum requirements established herein.
This chapter shall not abrogate or annul any easement, bylaw, master deed, deed restriction, covenant or private agreement, except that the regulations or provisions of this chapter shall govern if determined by the Zoning Board of Appeals to be more restrictive or to impose a higher standard.
The regulations herein established shall be the minimum regulations for promoting and protecting the public health, safety and general welfare. Any conflicting laws of a more restrictive nature shall supersede the appropriate provisions of this chapter.
Uses, buildings and structures that were nonconforming under the previous Zoning Code gain no new rights through the adoption of the standards of this chapter, unless they become conforming or more conforming by virtue of the regulations of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to require any change in the plans, construction or designated use of any building upon which actual construction was begun prior to the enactment of this chapter, provided that significant construction has lawfully begun, is being diligently carried on and shall be completed within one year of the effective date of this chapter. The Zoning Board of Appeals may permit one extension of up to one year.
If a lot has an approved site plan within 12 months prior to the effective date of this chapter, such site plan shall remain valid if construction is begun within one year and completed within two years of the effective date of this chapter.
If the conditions of this section are not met, the standards and provisions of this chapter shall govern.
Except as noted above, nothing in this chapter should be interpreted or construed to provide any permanent vested rights in the continuation of any particular use, district or zoning classification, or of any permissible activities therein, and all provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be subject to subsequent amendment, change or modification as may be necessary for the preservation or protection of public health, safety and welfare.
This chapter shall be liberally construed in such manner that implements its purpose. In interpreting and applying the provisions of this chapter, the requirements shall be held to be the minimum for the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity and general welfare.
No building or structure, or part thereof, shall hereafter be erected, constructed, reconstructed or altered, and no new use or change shall be made of any building, structure or land, or part thereof, except as permitted by the provisions of this chapter.
Where a condition imposed by a provision of this chapter upon the use of any lot, building, or structure is conflicting with a condition imposed by any other provision of this chapter, or by the provision of an ordinance adopted under any other law, the provision which is more restrictive shall govern.
Nothing within this chapter shall be construed to prevent compliance with an order by the appropriate authority to correct, improve, strengthen, or restore to a safe or healthy condition any part of a building or premises declared unsafe or unhealthy.
If a court of competent jurisdiction shall declare any part of this chapter to be invalid, such ruling shall not affect any other provisions of this chapter not specifically included in said ruling.
If a court of competent jurisdiction shall declare invalid the application of any provision of this chapter to a particular land, parcel, lot, district, use, building, or structure, such ruling shall not affect the application of said provision to any other parcel, lot, district, use, building, or structure not specifically included in said ruling.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be immediately necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Monroe and are hereby ordered to be given effect 20 days after passage and publication.