Within the districts established by this chapter or amendments thereto, there exist certain uses, structures and lots which were lawful before this chapter was enacted or amended but which do not conform to the provisions of this chapter or amendment thereto. These uses, structures or lots are referred to as "nonconformities." The regulations governing existing nonconforming uses, structures and lots are set forth in this article and are intended to provide a gradual remedy for the undesirable conditions resulting from such nonconformities. While such nonconformities are generally permitted to continue, these regulations are intended to restrict further investment in such nonconformities and to bring about their gradual reduction.
All structures, lots, uses of structures and uses of land that do not conform to the regulations of the district in which they are located after the effective date of this chapter or amendment thereto shall be regarded as nonconforming and may be continued so long as they remain otherwise lawful, including subsequent sales of property. Such uses must comply with all safety-related and other applicable regulations.
A nonconforming use or structure may be extended, enlarged or altered when so authorized as a special exception use, provided that the following conditions are met and a permit is obtained as per Article V:
It is clear that such enlargement or extension is not materially detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding area.
The proposed enlargement or extension only occurs on the tract where the nonconformity is currently located.
The area devoted to the nonconforming use shall not be increased by more than 25%. The nonconforming structure shall not be increased by more than 25% of its cubic content.
Any extension or enlargement of a building shall conform to the area, height and setback regulations of the district in which it is located. In determining cubic content, that portion of a stack or projection above the highest point of the principal building shall be excluded from the calculation.
Not more than one extension or enlargement to a nonconforming use or structure shall be granted.
Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use. A nonconforming use may be changed to another equally restrictive or more restrictive nonconforming use, when so determined by the Zoning Hearing Board, subject to the following conditions:
The applicant shall show that the nonconforming use cannot be reasonably changed to a conforming use.
The applicant shall show that the proposed change will be no more objectionable in external effects than the existing nonconforming use or will be more appropriate than the existing nonconforming use with regard to:
A permit is obtained from the Borough.
Where a nonconforming use is conducted entirely on unenclosed premises, no structure to house or enclose such use, whether or not such structure would otherwise conform to zoning regulations, shall be permitted to be erected on the premises.
If a nonconforming use of a building or land is abandoned for six consecutive months or more, whereby the owner discontinues the use, the subsequent use of such a building or land shall conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located, unless another nonconforming use is approved by the Borough Council. Such approved use shall be initiated within 120 days after the approval of Council.
A nonconforming structure, a conforming structure devoted to a nonconforming use or a structure that has been legally condemned or destroyed by fire or other cause to less than 75% of the current value of the structure may be reconstructed and used for the same nonconforming use provided that:
The reconstructed structure shall not exceed the height, area and volume of the building destroyed or condemned.
Reconstruction of the structure shall commence within 12 months from the date the structure was destroyed or condemned, unless the Borough Council shall authorize a conditional use for an extension of this time limit. However, an extension may be granted if delays related to permitting delay construction.
On any nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing a nonconforming use, work may be done in any period of six consecutive months on ordinary repairs or on repair or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring or plumbing, provided that the cubic content existing when it became nonconforming shall not be increased.
If a nonconforming structure becomes physically unsafe due to lack of repairs and maintenance and is declared by the Zoning Officer to be unsafe by reason of physical condition, it shall not thereafter be restored or repaired except to conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any building or part thereof declared to be unsafe by the Zoning Officer.
No nonconforming use shall displace a conforming use.
A lot held in single and separate ownership on the effective date of this chapter which does not contain the required minimum area or width may be used for the construction, alteration or reconstruction of a building or may be otherwise used if the construction, alteration, reconstruction or other use is in compliance with the use, yard and setback provisions of this chapter.
The owner of two or more adjacent lots may not sell or otherwise transfer ownership of either of the lots if it or the remaining lots is by itself nonconforming; provided, however, that the owner may sell or transfer a nonconforming lot to an adjacent landowner if the effect is to create only conforming lots.
No lot area shall be so reduced that the area of the lot or the dimensions of the open space shall be smaller than herein prescribed.
Regulations for nonconforming signs are in Article VII relating to signs.
Every five years, the Zoning Officer may prepare, or cause to be prepared, a complete list of all nonconforming uses, structures, lots and signs in the Borough.
Whenever a lot is sold to a new owner, a previously lawful nonconforming use shall be continued by the new owner.
A nonconforming structure altered or a nonconforming use created in violation of any previous provisions in this article shall be regarded as continuing in such violation and shall not enjoy the privilege of legal continuance conferred by § 330-65 upon other nonconforming structures and uses.