Township of Easttown, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 455-120 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 455-120, Applicability; definitions, was repealed 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14.

§ 455-121 Continuation; transfer of ownership.

A. 
Any lawful building or other structure or any lawful use of a building, land, or sign legally existing at the time of adoption of this chapter, or authorized by a building permit issued prior thereto, may be continued in the form evident at the time of adoption of this chapter.
B. 
A nonconforming use, nonconforming structure and nonconforming lot may be transferred, and the new owner may continue the nonconforming use or continue to use the nonconforming structure or lot, subject to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 455-122 Nonconforming uses.

A. 
Expansion. The nonconforming use of a building or of a lot shall not be expanded so as to use other portions of the building or lot, unless the Zoning Hearing Board shall, by special exception as hereinafter provided, authorize the expansion of such use. The Zoning Hearing Board, upon proper application, may grant such special exception, provided that:
(1) 
It is clear that such expansion is not materially detrimental to the character of the surrounding area or to the interest of the Township.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
(2) 
The area devoted to the nonconforming use shall not be increased more than once during the life of the use. In addition, the area devoted to the nonconforming use shall not be increased more than 25% of the area of that portion of the lot or structure actually occupied by the use.
(3) 
Any expansion of the building or of a lot having a nonconforming use shall conform to all applicable area and bulk regulations of the district in which it is situated and to all regulations applicable to such a use in the district which it is located, unless an expansion is granted as per § 455-123A(3) below.
(4) 
Any expansion of a nonconforming use shall meet the off-street parking requirements of this chapter and landscaping and buffering requirements in Article X and Article XI of Chapter 274, Natural Resources Protection, as incorporated by reference in § 455-38 of this chapter.
B. 
Change of use.
(1) 
A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use by the grant of a special exception, only upon determination by the Zoning Hearing Board, after a public hearing, that the proposed new use will be similar to or less detrimental to its neighborhood and abutting properties than is the use it is to replace. In evaluating relative detriment, the Zoning Hearing Board shall take into consideration, among other things, potential traffic generation, nuisance characteristics, such as emission of noise, dust, odor, glare, and smoke, fire hazards, and hours and manner of operation.
(2) 
Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use.
C. 
Restoration. A structure containing a nonconforming use involuntarily destroyed or substantially damaged by fire, explosion, flood, or other phenomena, or legally condemned, may be reconstructed and used for the same nonconforming use, provided that:
(1) 
Reconstruction of the structure shall commence within one year from the date the structure was destroyed or condemned and shall be completed within one year of the date commenced.
(2) 
The reconstructed structure shall not exceed the area and bulk of the damaged or destroyed structure, except as provided by § 455-123A(3) below.
D. 
Discontinuance or abandonment. If a nonconforming use of a structure or land is razed, removed, discontinued, or abandoned for 12 consecutive months, subsequent use of such structure or land shall conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located. However, the same nonconforming use shall be allowed, provided the request for the nonconforming use is filed within the twelve-month period and thereafter approved by the Zoning Hearing Board and the permit application for such approved nonconforming use is filed within 30 days after the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board.

§ 455-123 Nonconforming structures.

A. 
Alteration, renovation, or enlargement.
(1) 
Nonconforming structures may be altered, renovated, or enlarged, provided that such alteration, renovation or enlargement does not increase the floor area of the structure as it existed on the date when the structure became nonconforming, and such alteration, renovation, or enlargement shall not increase any existing nonconformity, except as provided in Subsection A(3) below. In the case of a nonconforming structure which is occupied by a nonconforming use, such alteration, renovation, or enlargement shall also meet the requirements of § 455-122A above. In the case of a nonconforming structure which is located on a nonconforming lot, such alteration, renovation, or enlargement shall also meet the requirements of § 455-124 below.
(2) 
Any structural alteration of or addition to existing structures shall conform with all area and bulk regulations, including minimum area, height, width, yard and coverage requirements for the district in which it is located, as well as Building Code regulations currently in effect, except insofar as is permitted by law to assure the structural safety of the building.
(3) 
The Zoning Hearing Board may, by special exception, authorize the alteration, renovation, or expansion of a nonconforming structure to increase the structure's size by not more than 25% of the footprint of the existing structure, provided that it is clear that such expansion is not materially detrimental to the character of the surrounding area or to the interest of the Township. Any incremental expansions granted to permit for expansion of the nonconforming structure shall be cumulative, so in no event shall the original nonconforming structure be increased by more than 25% of the original footprint of the structure.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
B. 
Restoration. Any lawful nonconforming building or other structure which has been involuntarily damaged or destroyed or substantially damaged by fire, explosion, windstorm, or other active cause may be reconstructed in the same location, provided that:
(1) 
The reconstructed building or structure shall not exceed the height, area, or bulk permitted by § 455-122C or the original building, whichever shall be the more limited.
(2) 
Reconstruction shall begin within one year from the date of damage or destruction and shall be completed without interruption.

§ 455-124 Nonconforming lots.

A. 
A building may be constructed on a nonconforming lot in existence at the effective date of this chapter under the following circumstances:
(1) 
An owner of two or more contiguous nonconforming lots which, if combined, would create a lot of conforming size shall be required to combine such lots prior to the issuance of a building permit.
(2) 
A building may be constructed on a lot which is nonconforming solely in respect to lot area requirements when authorized by the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
Where the side, rear, or front yard setbacks cannot be met, a special exception to construct a building on a nonconforming lot may be authorized by the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
No lot area shall be reduced so that the area or width of the lot or the applicable setback dimensions shall be smaller than herein prescribed.
C. 
An existing structure located on a lot nonconforming as to area may be used for the use permitted in the district in which it is located, provided the structure complies with all bulk requirements of that district. If a nonconforming structure is located on a nonconforming lot, such structure may be used for a use permitted in the district in which it is located when it is determined by the Zoning Officer, or by the Zoning Hearing Board on appeal, that the proposed use is not injurious to health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the Township in general and the surrounding property owners in particular.

§ 455-125 Nonconforming signs.

Nonconforming signs are regulated by § 455-85.