Borough of Pottstown, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 800 Nonconformities.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 800]
Intent — Within Pottstown's zoning districts there are various uses of land and structures that were legal before this Chapter was adopted, but would be prohibited or restricted under this Chapter. The Borough believes Pottstown would be better off without these nonconforming uses, so they are permitted only until such time as they are terminated by obsolescence, destruction, abandonment, or similar factors.
Meanwhile, this Chapter is designed to restrict, rather than increase, these nonconformities and to eliminate them as soon as possible.

§ 801 Continuation of Use.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 801]
A use or structure which is nonconforming, as defined in Section 800, at the time this Chapter and subsequent amendments become law, may be continued except as otherwise set forth in these Sections.

§ 802 Regulation of Nonconforming Uses.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 802]
Any nonconforming use, building or structure may be enlarged by not more than 10% of its floor and/or use area as it existed at the time of passage of this Chapter; provided that the lot or lots were in single ownership and purchased prior to the enactment of this Chapter. Any such enlargement shall conform to all regulations of the district where it is located. This provision may be used only once for each zoned lot.

§ 803 Repairs and Maintenance.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 803]
1. 
Normal maintenance repairs and incidental alterations of a structure containing a nonconforming use are permitted provided they do not extend the area or volume of space occupied by the nonconforming use.
2. 
Residential nonconforming uses may be altered to improve interior livability, provided that no structural alterations shall be made which would increase the number of dwelling units or the bulk of the building.

§ 804 Restoration of Damaged Nonconforming Uses.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 804]
1. 
Nonconforming structures damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, accident or other calamity (as contrasted to deterioration because of time or neglect) may be constructed and used as before; provided, that:
A. 
The reconstruction building shall not exceed the dimensions of the damaged or destroyed building, including height, width, depth and volume.
B. 
Building construction shall be started within six months from the date the building was damaged or destroyed, and shall be carried out without interruption, and shall be completed within one year of the date the building was damaged or destroyed.
2. 
Nonconforming structures which have been condemned by the Pottstown Zoning Officer shall not be rebuilt or used except in conformance with this Chapter.

§ 805 Termination and Abandonment.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 805]
1. 
When any nonconforming structure or use is replaced by a conforming use or by a use more nearly conforming with the regulations of the district in which it is located, the former nonconformity shall be considered abandoned immediately and cannot be revived.
2. 
Failure to exhaust all lawful means to appeal the denial of a permit to continue the prior use, a parallel use, or a less restrictive use, as defined by this Chapter, within the time limits prescribed by law, shall constitute immediate and voluntary abandonment. The subject structure or use shall not be used thereafter except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located.
3. 
Voluntary discontinuance of a nonconforming structure or use shall be considered an admission by its owner that such nonconformity no longer is considered to have value and thereafter dispenses with the need for its further protection, except as provided otherwise herein. In addition to the circumstances mentioned above, the following, alone or in combination, shall be held to be evidence of voluntary abandonment;
A. 
The removal of furniture, equipment and/or machinery and the leaving of the property to the elements.
B. 
Failure to apply for permits and licenses necessary for the continuance of such nonconforming building, structure or use.
C. 
Cessation of a nonconforming use for 12 consecutive months.

§ 806 Cessation of Use Excused.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 806]
The following shall excuse a cessation of use:
1. 
War and the consequent restrictions imposed upon use by governmental authority, or the entry of the operator of the nonconforming use into the armed services.
2. 
Inability of the owner to find a tenant desirous of using the premises, despite active attempts to do so, for a purpose permissible as a nonconforming use. Should a letter of intent for the sale or rental of such nonconforming use of land be submitted to the Zoning Officer prior to the expiration of the twelve-month limit, an additional twelve-month grace period shall be given. Failure of the owner to submit such a letter shall be held to be voluntary abandonment as in Section 807 listed above. At the expiration of the second twelve-month period, the use and any vested rights shall be considered abandoned voluntarily.