Township of West Manheim, PA
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 270-178 Proof and registration.

It shall be the responsibility of, with the burden of proof upon, a party asserting a nonconformity to provide the evidence that it is lawful. A property owner may request a written statement of nonconformity from the Zoning Officer after providing sufficient evidence.

§ 270-179 Continuation.

A. 
A lawful nonconforming use, structure or lot as defined by this chapter may be continued and may be sold and continued by new owners.
B. 
Any expansion of, construction upon or change in use of a nonconformity shall only occur in conformance with this article.
C. 
If an existing use, structure or lot was not lawfully established, it shall not have any right to continue as a nonconforming use, structure or lot.

§ 270-180 Expansion of or construction upon nonconformities.

The following shall apply, unless the structure is approved under § 270-179 of this chapter.
A. 
Nonconforming structure.
(1) 
The Zoning Officer shall permit a nonconforming structure to be reconstructed or expanded, provided that:
(a) 
Such action will not increase the severity or amount of the nonconformity (such as the area of the building extending into the required yard) or create any new nonconformity.
(b) 
Any expanded area will comply with the required setbacks in the applicable zoning district and any other requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
In the case of a nonconforming structure that is used by a nonconforming use, any expansion shall also meet the requirements of this article regarding nonconforming uses.
B. 
Nonconforming lots.
(1) 
Permitted construction on a nonconforming lot. A single, permitted by right principal use and its customary accessory uses may be constructed, reconstructed or expanded on a nonconforming lot provided all of the following additional requirements are met:
(a) 
The lot must be a lawful nonconforming lot of record.
(b) 
Minimum setback requirements shall be met.
(c) 
All applicable zoning overlay district provisions in Part 6 of this chapter are met.
(d) 
The water and sewage requirements of § 270-81 of this chapter shall be met.
(e) 
If the lot has a lot area of less than one acre, then the lot area shall not be less than 50% of the area that would otherwise be required.
(f) 
The gross lot area of a nonconforming lot shall not be increased by greater than 35% beyond what existed in the nonconforming lot at the time the lot first became nonconforming.
(2) 
Lot width. The fact that an existing lawful lot of record does not meet the minimum lot width requirements of this chapter shall not by itself cause such lot to be considered to be a nonconforming lot.
C. 
Expansion of a nonconforming nonresidential use. A nonconforming use or a building used by a nonconforming use shall not be expanded, except in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
An expansion of more than 10% in total building floor area shall require special exception approval from the Zoning Hearing Board under Part 12.
(2) 
Such reconstruction or expansion shall be only upon the same lot that the nonconforming use was located upon at the time the use became nonconforming.
(3) 
The total building floor area used by a nonconforming use or the total land area covered by the nonconforming use, whichever is more restrictive, shall not be increased by greater than 35% beyond what existed in the nonconforming use at the time the use first became nonconforming.
(a) 
The above maximum increase shall be measured in aggregate over the entire life of the nonconformity. All expansions of the nonconforming use and/or building(s) that occurred since the use originally became nonconforming shall count towards the above maximum increase.
(4) 
Any expansion of a nonconforming use shall meet the required setbacks and other requirements of this chapter, unless the Zoning Hearing Board grants a variance.
D. 
Expansion of a nonconforming residential use. An existing nonconforming residential use may be expanded as a permitted by right use, provided that:
(1) 
The number of dwelling units are not increased.
(2) 
The expansion meets all applicable setbacks.
(3) 
No new types of nonconformities are created.
(4) 
A nonconformity is not made more severe. Changes in dwellings within a mobile home park shall be regulated by Article XVII, Specific Use Standards, of this chapter.
E. 
Nonconforming sign. The provisions of this chapter shall not be interpreted to provide a right to expand or extend a nonconforming sign. Instead, any expansions or extensions of a nonconforming sign shall comply with this chapter.

§ 270-181 Damaged or destroyed nonconformities.

A nonconforming structure that has been destroyed or damaged may be rebuilt in a nonconforming fashion only if:
A. 
Not more than 75% of the replacement cost or assessed value of the structure, whichever is greater, has been destroyed or damaged.
B. 
The application for a building permit and/or zoning permit is submitted within 18 months after the date of damage or destruction.
C. 
Work begins in earnest within 12 months afterwards and continues.
D. 
No nonconformity may be created or increased by any reconstruction. The property shall be properly secured during such time in such a way to keep out trespassers and to avoid harm to neighboring properties.

§ 270-182 Abandonment.

A. 
If a nonconforming use of a building or land is discontinued, razed, removed or abandoned for 12 or more months, subsequent use of such building or land shall conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located except as provided for in § 270-181, Damaged or destroyed nonconformities, of this article.
B. 
The applicant shall be responsible to provide evidence that the nonconformity was not abandoned or that all reasonable efforts for sale or lease have been exhausted.
C. 
An existing lawful separate dwelling unit may be unrented for any period of time without being considered "abandoned" under this chapter.

§ 270-183 Changes from one nonconforming use to another.

A. 
Once changed to a conforming use, a structure or land shall not revert to a nonconforming use.
B. 
A nonconforming use may be changed to a different nonconforming use only if approved as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. However, special exception approval is not needed for a simple change within an existing building from one lawful nonconforming retail store use to another retail store use or from one lawful nonconforming personal service use to another personal service use, provided that the new use complies with any Zoning Hearing Board conditions that applied to the previous use and it is not more objectionable in external effects than the previous use.
C. 
Where special exception approval is required for a change of a nonconforming use, the Board shall determine whether the applicant has provided sufficient proof to show that the proposed new use will be equal or less objectionable in external effects than the preexisting nonconforming use with regard to:
(1) 
Traffic safety and generation (especially truck traffic).
(2) 
Noise, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, odor, glare, vibration, fire, hazardous substances, and explosive hazards.
(3) 
Amount and character of outdoor storage.
(4) 
Hours of operation if the use would be close to dwellings.
(5) 
Compatibility with the character of the surrounding area.
D. 
In addition, the proposed nonconforming use shall not increase any dimensional nonconformities.
E. 
The Zoning Hearing Board may attach reasonable conditions to the special exception to keep the use compatible within its surroundings.

§ 270-184 District changes.

Any uses, structures or lots that become nonconforming because of a zoning district change shall be regulated under Article XVIII, Nonconformities, of this chapter.