Village of East Troy, WI
Walworth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 6-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02]
The purpose of this article is to establish regulations for nonconforming uses, nonconforming lots, nonconforming structures, and nonconforming sites created legally prior to July 18, 2011, the effective date of this chapter. Nonconforming signs are addressed in Article XV.
[Amended 6-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02; 5-20-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-04]
A. 
Continuance of a nonconforming use.
(1) 
Any nonconforming use lawfully existing upon the effective date of this chapter, or any amendment to it, may be continued at the size and in a manner of operation existing upon such date, except as specified in this section.
(2) 
A use now regulated as a conditional use which was approved as a legal land use, either permitted by right or as a conditional use, prior to the effective date of this chapter shall be considered a legal, conforming land use so long as any previously approved conditions of use and site plan are followed. Any modification of the previously approved conditions of use or site plan shall require application and Village consideration under the requirements of § 510-160.
(3) 
Any prior legal use made nonconforming by a modification to the Official Zoning Map after the effective date of this chapter may be granted legal conforming use status by changing the zoning district of the affected property to an appropriate district through an amendment to the Official Zoning Map. Such requested amendment shall be subject to the standards and procedures prescribed by § 510-155.
B. 
Modification of a nonconforming use.
(1) 
Except as permitted in Subsection B(3) below, a nonconforming use shall not be expanded, enlarged, extended, or reconstructed, unless the use is changed to a use permitted in the district in which the use is located.
(2) 
Substitution of new equipment may be permitted by the Plan Commission.
(3) 
A nonconforming nonresidential use not served by public sanitary sewer and/or public water may be permitted to expand without being served by public sanitary sewer and/or public water if either or both facilities are not available within 1,000 feet of the subject property.
C. 
Discontinuance of a nonconforming use. When any nonconforming use of any structure or land is discontinued for a period of 12 consecutive months, or is changed into a conforming use, any future use of said structure or land shall be in complete conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Maintenance and repair of a nonconforming use. The ordinary maintenance and repair of a nonconforming use is permitted, including necessary repairs and incidental alterations which do not exacerbate the adverse impacts of the nonconforming use in relation to the purpose of this chapter. Except as otherwise provided in this section, whenever a nonconforming use is damaged to the extent of more than 50% of its current equalized assessed value, it shall not be restored except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the structural repairs or alterations in a structure either itself nonconforming or containing a nonconforming use shall not during its lifetime exceed 50% of the present equalized assessed value of said structure unless permanently changed to a conforming use.
[Amended 6-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02]
A. 
Blanket conforming status. Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this chapter is hereby automatically granted to all nonconforming lots in their configuration existing or as finally approved as of the effective date of this chapter. However, after the effective date of this chapter, no lot shall be created which does not meet the dimensional (density, intensity and bulk) requirements of each zoning district, per Articles III, IV and V. This subsection ensures that lots approved and created prior to the adoption of this chapter do not encounter difficulty because the lots would otherwise be considered nonconforming.
B. 
A lot of record existing upon the effective date of this chapter in a residential zoning district, which does not meet the minimum lot dimensional requirements for the zoning district, may be utilized for a detached single-family dwelling unit, provided that the measurements of such area and dimensions are equal to or greater than 80% of the minimum requirements of the SR-4 Zoning District. Said lot shall not be more intensively developed (with nonresidential uses) unless combined with one or more abutting lots (or portions thereof) so as to create a lot which meets the requirements of this chapter.
C. 
A lot of record existing upon the effective date of this chapter in the RH-35 Zoning District which is less than 35 acres in area and which has no dwelling units (neither farm residence or single-family residence) may be utilized, or one detached single-family dwelling unit may be constructed, provided that the measurements of such area and dimensions are equal to or greater than 80% of the minimum requirements of the RH-35 Zoning District and adequate access to a public right-of-way is provided.
[Amended 6-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-02]
A. 
Blanket conforming status. Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this chapter is hereby automatically granted to any structure lawfully existing upon the effective date of this chapter. After the effective date of this chapter, structures may not be enlarged, expanded, or extended without bringing the enlargement, expansion, or extension into compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals under § 510-161.
(1) 
This subsection is intended to eliminate the continued classification and/or creation of structures as nonconforming subject to the requirements of this chapter.
(a) 
This provision addresses two different situations:
[1] 
Any structure in the community erected prior to the adoption of zoning that does not meet some or all of the bulk requirements of this chapter.
[2] 
In some instances, this chapter establishes new bulk or intensity requirements that existing legal structures under the previous zoning ordinance do not meet.
(b) 
This subsection therefore ensures that owners of such structures legally established prior to the adoption of this chapter do not encounter difficulty because the structures would otherwise be considered nonconforming.
B. 
Restoration. A damaged, destroyed, or removed nonconforming structure may be restored to the size, location, design and use that it had immediately before the damage, destruction, or removal occurred without any limits on the costs of the repair, reconstruction, or improvement if Subsection B(1) through (3) below apply. The burden of proof in regard to the location, dimensions, configuration, and exterior building materials of the damaged or removed structure shall be upon the property owner to demonstrate prior to the issuance of a building permit.
(1) 
The nonconforming structure was damaged or destroyed on or after the effective date of this chapter.
(2) 
The damage or destruction was caused by violent wind, vandalism, fire, flood, ice, snow, mold, or infestation.
(3) 
If removed, the structure was removed or partially removed with the permission of the Village.
C. 
Unsafe structures. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the Building Inspector or any other Village official from initiating remedial or enforcement actions when a lawful nonconforming structure is declared unsafe or presents a danger to the public health, safety, or welfare.
D. 
Future modification. When any lawful nonconforming structure in any district is modified so as to be in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, any future modification of said structure shall be in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Ordinary maintenance. Ordinary maintenance repairs, including repairs reasonably necessary to prevent the deterioration of a structure, and remodeling of a nonconforming structure are permitted, as well as necessary nonstructural repairs and alterations which do not extend, enlarge, or intensify the nonconforming structure. Ordinary maintenance repairs and remodeling include internal and external painting, decorating, paneling, the addition of acoustical ceilings, the installation of heating, electricity, plumbing (including fixtures) or insulation, and the replacement of doors, windows, and other nonstructural components.
F. 
Alterations. Structural alterations may be made to a building containing lawful nonconforming residential units, provided that such alterations do not increase the number of dwelling units or the bulk of the building. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a conforming garage may be added if none previously existed. However, after the effective date of this chapter, such buildings shall not be enlarged, expanded or extended without bringing the enlargement, expansion or extension into compliance with the provisions of this chapter, unless a variance is granted under § 510-161 and except as permitted under this section.
G. 
Timing of building permit. Any structure for which a building permit has been lawfully granted prior to the effective date of this chapter, or an amendment to it, which will become nonconforming under the provisions of this chapter, or that amendment thereto, may be completed in accordance with the approved plans, provided that construction is started within 365 calendar days after issuance of the permit for single- and two-family construction and within 365 calendar days after issuance of a permit for all other development and construction is completed within 730 calendar days (two years) after the start of construction. If all such conditions are met, the structure shall thereafter be a legal nonconforming structure.
A. 
Blanket conforming status. Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this chapter is hereby automatically granted to all development sites in their configuration existing or as finally approved as of the effective date of this chapter. However, after the effective date of this chapter, additional site development that would result in the enlargement, expansion, or extension of uses or structures will not be allowed to occur without bringing the enlargement into full compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or to the extent practical without removal of lawful structures in accordance with the following Subsections C through E below.
(1) 
This subsection is intended to prevent the creation of certain nonconforming sites related to building and site design subject to the requirements of this chapter. These building and site design components may include one or more of the following:
(a) 
Build-to design requirements.
(b) 
Exterior building materials requirements.
(c) 
Exterior building design requirements.
(d) 
Parking, loading, access drive and other paved area design requirements.
(e) 
Landscaping design requirements.
(f) 
Bufferyard design requirements.
(g) 
Fencing design requirements.
(h) 
Lighting design requirements.
(2) 
This subsection ensures that sites approved prior to the adoption of this chapter do not encounter difficulty because they would otherwise be considered nonconforming.
B. 
On lots where the site configuration and undeveloped area are sufficient to comply with nonconformities in site design, no enlargement, expansion, or extension of a use or structure shall be permitted if it makes compliance with site regulations of this chapter impossible, even if said enlargement, expansion, or extension of the use or structure would otherwise be permissible.
C. 
Enlargements, expansions, or extensions that would result in creation of one or more nonconformities, render a nonconforming site incapable of being brought into full or greater compliance with nonconforming site requirements, or increase the degree of existing nonconformities with the site development standards of this chapter shall not be permitted, unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals under § 510-161.
D. 
On lots with adequate configuration and area to bring the site into full or greater compliance with site design standards, said compliance shall be required at the time of any property improvement, modification, enlargement, or expansion requiring site plan review by the Plan Commission. The degree to which the property shall be made to comply with substandard site design elements shall be proportional to the degree of property improvement per the following:
(1) 
Total additions or expansions to structures on nonconforming sites shall require correction of existing nonconformities of on-site improvements in accordance with the following:
(a) 
Renovations that do not result in expansions of the total gross square footage of the existing structure(s) and/or outdoor storage areas less than 50% of the existing structural and/or outdoor storage area within any continuous five-year period shall require a corresponding percentage increase in compliance with the site improvements required by this chapter until the site achieves 100% compliance. (Example: A property with a permitted, expandable use currently has only 50% of the required landscaping. An addition to the structure equaling 20% of the combined area of the existing structures and outdoor operations/storage uses on a site is proposed. Therefore, as a condition of approval, an additional 20% of landscaping required for the whole site must be added. In this instance, 70% of the landscaping requirement would be met upon completion of the improvements.)
(b) 
Complete replacement of existing structures or expansions of the existing structures that result in a total of 50% or greater increase of total gross square footage within any continuous five-year period require the entire property to meet all of the site improvement requirements of this chapter. The same requirements also apply to increased or new outdoor areas used for outdoor operations/storage.
E. 
On lots where the configuration and undeveloped area of the nonconforming site provide insufficient space to bring the site into full compliance with all site requirements but nevertheless provide space to reduce the degree of one or more nonconformities, the Plan Commission shall make a determination as to the manner and degree to which each site nonconformity shall be brought into conformance.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).