Borough of Muncy, PA
Lycoming County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Any nonconforming use or structure legally existing at the effective date of this chapter or that is created whenever a district is changed by amendment hereafter, may be continued, altered, reconstructed, changed, sold or maintained even though it does not conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located, except as may be provided below. It is the intent of this chapter to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are removed, discontinued or abandoned. (See § 286-86 for nonconforming lots.)
A. 
General application of provisions. Nothing contained herein shall require any change in plans, construction, or designated use of a building or structure which complies with existing laws or for which a zoning permit was granted and/or where the construction shall have started before the date of adoption of this chapter or applicable amendment thereto.
B. 
Abandonment. If any nonconforming use, or building or structure occupied by a nonconforming use is abandoned for a period of six months, the future use of such building, structure or land shall be in conformity with Article III, District Regulations, of this chapter. A nonconforming use shall be judged to be abandoned when there occurs a cessation of any such use or activity by an apparent act or failure to act on the part of the tenant or owner to reinstate such use within a period of six months from the date of cessation or discontinuance.
C. 
Repairs, alterations, restoration and reconstruction.
(1) 
Exterior repairs and other general maintenance adjustments may be made to a nonconforming building or structure or to a building or structure occupied by a nonconforming use. Such adjustments shall, however, be subject to all applicable zoning and building permit requirements. (See § 286-94.)
(2) 
A nonconforming building or structure, or a building or structure occupied by a nonconforming use, which is damaged by fire, flood or other natural cause, may be reconstructed, restored and used as before, provided that:
(a) 
The Zoning Officer approves the application for restoration or reconstruction where 25% or less of the volume or gross floor area of the use, or building or structure occupied by the nonconforming use, is destroyed, and the Zoning Hearing Board approves the application where more than 25% destruction occurs;
(b) 
Said restoration or reconstruction commences within one year of the damage, or within such additional time as may be authorized by the Zoning Officer or Zoning Hearing Board, as applicable, for due cause and is diligently prosecuted to completion;
(c) 
Said restoration or reconstruction does not exceed the size, height and area that existed prior to the damage, unless approved by the Zoning Hearing Board;
(d) 
Where the nonconformity is located within any identified flood fringe or general floodplain area, the restoration or reconstruction will comply, to the greatest extent possible, with all floodproofing requirements contained in § 286-58 of this chapter; and
(e) 
Where the nonconformity is located within any identified floodway area, such nonconformity may only be restored, reconstructed and used as before, provided that:
[1] 
The property owner does not own adjoining vacant or undeveloped land located outside of the floodway where the use could be relocated;
[2] 
The restoration or reconstruction will cause no rise in elevation of the one-hundred-year flood; and
[3] 
The restoration or reconstruction will be floodproofed in accordance with the requirements contained in § 286-58 of this chapter.
(3) 
When reviewing applications for restoration or reconstruction, the Zoning Hearing Board shall give due consideration to the welfare of the community in its entirety and may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as they deem appropriate to implement the purposes of this chapter.
D. 
Extensions and enlargements.
(1) 
Structural alterations may be made to extend or enlarge a nonconforming building or structure or a building or structure occupied by a nonconforming use, except in an identified floodway area. Such extension or enlargement shall, however, be subject to all applicable zoning and/or building permit requirements (See § 286-94.) and may only be authorized where:
(a) 
The Zoning Hearing Board approves the proposed extension or enlargement;
(b) 
The extension or enlargement does not extend the structure or use beyond the remainder of the lot or parcel as it existed at the effective date of this chapter, nor extend the structure or use by an aggregate total of more than 25% of the gross floor area occupied by the use at the time it became nonconforming;
(c) 
The extension or enlargement conforms to the yard and height requirements of the district in which it is located; and
(d) 
The use is not expanded or extended into a more restrictive zoning district.
(2) 
When reviewing applications for extension or enlargement, the Zoning Hearing Board shall give due consideration to the welfare of the community in its entirety and may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as they deem appropriate to implement the purposes of this chapter.
(3) 
A nonconforming use shall not be extended to displace a conforming use, unless authorized by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(4) 
For nonconforming uses whose normal operations involve nonstructural expansion, expansion shall be permitted by right up to 25% of the volume or area of the nonconformity which existed at the effective date of this chapter. For expansion beyond 25%, approval must be obtained from the Zoning Hearing Board.
(5) 
Any nonconforming building or structure, or building or structure occupied by a nonconforming use, which is moved for any reason, must meet all requirements of the district in which it is to be located.
(6) 
A nonconforming sign may be continued and may be replaced with substantially the same type of sign if such sign is initially nonconforming.
E. 
Change of use.
(1) 
A nonconforming use of a building, structure or land may be changed to a nonconforming use of the same or a more restricted classification, subject to the following conditions:
(a) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall approve all proposed changes, except where the proposed change involves a conditional use, then Borough Council shall determine whether the proposal is approved; and
(b) 
The applicant shall show that the proposed change will be no more objectionable in external effect than the existing nonconforming use with respect to:
[1] 
Traffic generation and congestion, including truck, passenger car and pedestrian movement;
[2] 
Noise, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, heat, odor, glare, vibration, or lighting;
[3] 
Open or outside storage, and waste collection and disposal; and
[4] 
Appearance, character, and nature of the neighborhood or area.
(2) 
When reviewing applications for change of use, the Zoning Hearing Board or Council, as applicable, shall give due consideration to the welfare of the community in its entirety and may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as they deem appropriate to implement the purposes of this chapter.
(3) 
Whenever a nonconforming use has been changed to a conforming use, such use shall not thereafter be changed back to a nonconforming use.
(4) 
Whenever a nonconforming use has been changed to another nonconforming use in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, such use shall not thereafter be changed again, except in conformance with these regulations.
F. 
Certification. A certificate of nonconformance shall be issued by the Zoning Officer for all nonconforming uses or structures upon written request of the property owner or occupant. Sufficient evidence shall be provided by the applicant at the time of such request which documents the existence of the nonconformity at the time of enactment of this chapter. Any applicant aggrieved of the process for obtaining said certificate or of any decision rendered therefrom, may file an appeal with the Borough Zoning Hearing Board.
Any nonconforming lot legally existing at the time of adoption of this chapter or that is created whenever a district is changed by amendment hereafter, may be continued and/or maintained even though it does not conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located. It is not the intent of this chapter to be overly restrictive or to cause a hardship for any property owner, but rather to allow these nonconforming lots to continue until they are eliminated as single entities, possibly through the addition of such lots to adjacent property.
A. 
Lot changes. If any nonconforming lot becomes conforming through its addition to adjacent land, said lot shall not thereafter be changed back to a nonconforming lot.
B. 
Repairs, alterations, restoration and reconstruction.
(1) 
Exterior repairs, nonstructural alterations, and other general maintenance adjustments may be made to a conforming structure on a nonconforming lot. Such adjustments shall, however, be subject to all applicable zoning and building permit requirements. (See § 286-94.)
(2) 
A conforming use situated on a nonconforming lot which is damaged by fire, flood, or other natural cause may be reconstructed, restored, and used as before, provided that:
(a) 
Said restoration or reconstruction does not exceed the size, height, and area that existed prior to the damage, unless approved otherwise by the Zoning Hearing Board; and
(b) 
If located in any identified floodplain area, the provisions of § 286-85C(2)(d) and (e) above shall be met.
C. 
Existing undeveloped lots of record. In the case of an undeveloped lot of record which existed at the effective date of this chapter which does not meet the minimum area requirements for the district in which it is located, a permissible principal structure may be placed on the parcel, provided that:
(1) 
The owner does not own adjoining land which could be combined to form a conforming lot;
(2) 
Each side yard is not less than 15 feet in the I District when abutting another lot in the same district; not less than 10 feet in the C District when abutting another lot in the same district; not less than eight feet in the R1 and R4 Districts; and not less than five feet in the R2 and R3 and CBD Districts (except that no side yard is required where fire-rated party walls are used);
(3) 
The rear yard is not less than 25 feet in the I, C, R1, and R4 Districts; not less than 20 feet in the R2 and R3 District; and not less than 10 feet in the CBD District;
(4) 
The front yard conforms to the minimum distance required for the applicable district; and
(5) 
Provided that the site and its intended use complies with all other applicable provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Certification. A certificate of nonconformance shall be issued by the Zoning Officer for all nonconforming lots, upon written request of the property owner or occupant. Sufficient evidence shall be provided by the applicant at the time of such request which documents the existence of the nonconformity at the time of enactment of this chapter. Any applicant aggrieved of the process for obtaining said certificate or of any decision rendered therefrom, may file an appeal with the Borough Zoning Hearing Board.