City of Franklin, WI
Milwaukee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The lawful nonconforming use of a structure, land, or water existing at the time of the adoption or amendment of this Ordinance may be continued although the use does not conform with the provisions of this Ordinance provided that:
A. 
Portion of the Land or Water in Actual Use May Be Continued. Only that portion of the land or water in actual use may be so continued and the nonconforming use may not be extended, enlarged, substituted, or moved, except when required to do so by law or order or so as to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.
B. 
Substitution of New Equipment. Substitution of new equipment may be permitted by the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals if such equipment will reduce the incompatibility of the nonconforming use or structure with the neighboring uses.
C. 
Conforming Special Uses. See Division 15-9.0100 for uses existing at the effective date of this Ordinance, which would be classified as Special Uses under the provisions of this Ordinance.
The lawful nonconforming use of a structure existing at the time of the adoption or amendment of this Ordinance may be continued although the structure's size or location does not conform with the established building setback line along streets or the yard, height, parking, loading, access, floor area ratio, and lot area provisions of this Ordinance provided that:
A. 
Total Structural Repairs or Alterations. Total structural repairs or alterations to a nonconforming structure shall not exceed 50% of the municipality's equalized assessed value of the structure unless it is permanently changed to conform to the use provisions of this Ordinance.
B. 
Substitution of New Equipment. Substitution of new equipment may be permitted by the Board of Appeals if such equipment will reduce the incompatibility of the nonconforming use or structure with the neighboring uses.
C. 
Repairs and Alterations. Repairs and alterations permitted under the provisions of this Ordinance to nonconforming buildings and structures located in floodplains shall include floodproofing to those portions of the building or structure involved in such repairs or alterations. Certification of floodproofing shall be made to the Zoning Administrator and shall consist of a plan or document certified by a registered professional engineer that the flood-proofing measures are consistent with the flood velocities, forces, depths, and other factors associated with the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood level for the particular area.
A. 
Residential Substandard Lots. A lot located in a residential district which does not contain sufficient area to conform to the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance, but which lot is at least 50 feet wide and 6,000 square feet in area, may be used as a single building site provided that:
1. 
The use is permitted in the zoning district.
2. 
The lot is a lot of record in the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Office prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.
3. 
The lot has the ability to connect to public sanitary sewer, if less than 40,000 square foot in size.
B. 
Nonresidential Substandard Lots. A lot located in a nonresidential zoning district which does not contain sufficient area to conform to the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance may be used as a building site provided that the lot is a lot of record in the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Office prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.
C. 
Setback and Yard Requirements. Substandard lots granted permits under this Ordinance shall be required to meet the setback and other yard requirements of this Ordinance. A Building Permit for the improvement of a lot with lesser dimensions and requisites than those stated in Paragraph A. of this Section shall be issued only after a variance is granted by the Board of Appeals.
D. 
Two or More Substandard Lots with Continuous Frontage Under the Same Ownership. If two or more substandard lots with continuous frontage have the same ownership as of the effective date of this Ordinance, the lots involved shall be considered to be an individual parcel for the purpose of this Ordinance.
A. 
Legal Nonconforming Use. Any lawfully established use of a building or land that does not conform to the use regulations for the district in which it is located at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance shall be deemed to be a legal nonconforming use and may be continued, except as otherwise provided herein.
B. 
Continuation of Legal Nonconforming Uses. Any legal nonconforming buildings or structures may be continued in use provided there is no physical changes other than necessary maintenance and repair, except as otherwise permitted herein.
C. 
Buildings and Uses for which a Zoning Compliance Permit, Special Use Permit, or Building Permit Has Been Granted. Any building or use for which a Zoning Compliance Permit, Special Use Permit, or Building Permit has been lawfully granted may be completed in accordance with the approved plans, provided construction is started within 90 days and the exterior of the building or use is completed within six months of the effective date of this Ordinance. Such building or use shall thereafter be deemed a lawfully established building or use.
A. 
Building, Structure, or Land Occupied by a Nonconforming Use Changed to or Replaced by a Conforming Use. Whenever any part of a building, structure, or land occupied by a nonconforming use is changed to or replaced by a conforming use, such premises shall not thereafter be used or occupied by another nonconforming use, even though the building may have been originally designed and constructed for the prior nonconforming use.
B. 
Discontinuance of Nonconforming Use. Whenever a nonconforming use or part thereof has been discontinued for a period of 12 consecutive months, or whenever there is evidence of a clear intent on the part of the owner to abandon a nonconforming use, such use shall not, after being discontinued or abandoned, be re-established, and the use of the premises thereafter shall be in conformity with the regulations of the zoning district in which the use is located.
C. 
Discontinuance of Nonconforming Use Where No Enclosed Building Is Involved. Where no enclosed building is involved, discontinuance of a nonconforming use for a period of 12 months shall constitute abandonment, and shall not thereafter be used in a nonconforming manner.
D. 
Nonconforming Uses to be Discontinued. A nonconforming use not authorized by the provisions of the City of Franklin Unified Development Ordinance at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance shall be discontinued.
A. 
Normal Maintenance Permitted. Normal maintenance of a building or other structure containing a nonconforming use is permitted, including necessary nonstructural repairs and incidental alterations which do not extend or intensify the nonconforming use.
B. 
No Structural Alteration. No structural alteration shall be made in a building or other structure containing a nonconforming use, except in the following situations:
1. 
When the alteration is required by law.
2. 
When the alteration will actually result in elimination of the nonconforming use.
3. 
When a building is in a residential zoning district containing residential nonconforming uses, said building may be altered in any way to improve livability, provided no structural alterations are made which would increase the number of dwelling units or the bulk of the building.
4. 
When a residential building is non-conforming in terms of insufficient yard setback, the residential building may be expanded only where yard setbacks are conforming and in no situation shall the non-conformance setback be expanded.
A. 
Damaged or Destroyed Building, or Other Structure Containing a Nonconforming Use. If a non-conforming building or other structure, or a building or structure containing a nonconforming use is damaged or destroyed by any means to the extent of 50% or more of its replacement value at that time, the building or other structure can be rebuilt or used thereafter only for a conforming use and in compliance with the provisions of the zoning district in which it is located. In the event the damage or destruction is less than 50% of its replacement value, based upon prevailing costs, the building may then be restored to its original condition and the occupancy or use may be continued.
B. 
Reconstruction of Buildings and Structures Located on Floodplains. Reconstruction permitted under the provision of this Division to building and structures located on floodplains shall include floodproofing to a height two foot above the elevation of the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood as delineated on large-scale topographic maps prepared by the City or by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) under the Root River Watershed study or as determined through the use of flood profiles and accompanying hydrologic and hydraulic engineering data, to those portions of the building or structure involved in such reconstruction. Certification of floodproofing shall be made to the Building Inspector and shall consist of a plan or document certified by a registered professional engineer that the floodproofing measures are consistent with the flood velocities, forces, depths, and other factors associated with the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood level for the particular area.
A. 
Nonconforming Building Shall Not Be Extended. A nonconforming building shall not be extended unless the entire building is thereafter devoted to a conforming use and said extension meets all applicable Ordinance requirements, and is made to conform to all the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
B. 
Buildings Partially Occupied by a Nonconforming Use. No building partially occupied by a nonconforming use shall be altered in such a way as to permit the enlargement or expansion of the space occupied by such nonconforming use.
C. 
Limitations on the Expansion of a Nonconforming Use. No nonconforming use may be extended in such a way as to occupy any required usable open space, or any land beyond the boundaries of the zoning lot as it existed on the effective date of this Ordinance, or to displace any conforming use in the same building or on the same parcel of land.
D. 
Building or Structure Nonconforming with Respect to Yards, Floor Area Ratio, or Any Other Element of Bulk. A building or structure which is nonconforming with respect to yards, floor area ratio, or any other element of bulk shall not be altered or expanded in any manner which would increase the degree or extent of its nonconformity with respect to the bulk regulations for the district in which it is located.
E. 
Additions and Enlargements Located on Floodplains. Additions and enlargements permitted under the provisions of this Division to building and structures located on floodplains shall include floodproofing to a height two foot above the elevation of the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood as delineated on large-scale topographic maps prepared by the City or by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) under the Root River Watershed study or as determined through the use of flood profiles and accompanying hydrologic and hydraulic engineering data, to those portions of the building or structure involved in such additions and enlargements. Certification of floodproofing shall be made to the Building Inspector and shall consist of a plan or document certified by a registered professional engineer that the floodproofing measures are consistent with the flood velocities, forces, depths, and other factors associated with the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood level for the particular area.
A. 
Nonconforming Use Changed to Conforming Use or Substandard Structure Altered to Comply with this Ordinance. Once a nonconforming use has been changed to a conforming use or a substandard structure has been altered so as to comply with this Ordinance, it shall not revert back to a nonconforming use or substandard structure.
B. 
Substitution of More Restrictive Nonconforming Use for Existing Nonconforming Use. Once the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals has permitted the substitution of a more restrictive nonconforming use for an existing nonconforming use, the prior existing use shall lose its status as a legal nonconforming use and the substituted use shall become subject to all the conditions required by the Board.
Whenever a lawfully existing building or other structure otherwise conforms to the use regulations of the zoning district in which it is located, but is nonconforming only in the particular manner hereinafter specified, the building and use thereof shall be exempt from the requirements of § 15-3.1006.
A. 
Dwelling Structure Nonconforming Only as to the Number of Dwelling Units Contained. In any residential zoning district where a dwelling structure is nonconforming only as to the number of dwelling units it contains, provided no such building shall be altered in any way so as to increase the number of dwelling units therein.
B. 
Business or Industrial District Where the Use is Less Distant from a Residential Zoning District than Specified. In any business or industrial district, where the use is less distant from a residential zoning district than that specified in the regulations for the district in which it is located.
C. 
Other. In any zoning district where an established building, structure, or use is nonconforming with respect to the standards prescribed herein for any of the following:
1. 
Floor area ratio including both net floor area ratio (NFAR) and gross floor area ratio (GFAR).
2. 
Yards - front, corner, side, rear, or transitional.
3. 
Off-street parking and loading.
4. 
Lot area.
5. 
Building height.
6. 
Gross floor area.
7. 
Landscaping, landscape bufferyards, landscape surface ratio (LSR), and open space ratio (OSR).
D. 
Pre-existing Lot Sizes. Where a lot size was conforming prior to the adoption of this Ordinance, and regulates if this Ordinances has revised minimum lot size requirements for a particular zoning district, the lot shall continue to be considered a conforming lot.
E. 
Enlargement or Extension of a Nonconforming Use May be Allowed by the Common Council. The enlargement or extension of a nonconforming use may be allowed by the Common Council, following a public hearing duly noticed and held by the Board of Zoning Appeals, provided that the Board shall determine and set forth in writing:
1. 
Such enlargement or extension is consistent with the public interest.
2. 
Such enlargement or extension will not have an "adverse" effect on property in the surrounding neighborhood on account of visual appearance, increased traffic (pedestrian or vehicular), noise, smoke, odor, or other factors. Further, no such enlargement or extension of a nonconforming use shall be permitted unless all building height, yard, coverage, and off-street parking and loading requirements of this ordinance for the district in which such use is located are adhered to. In the event that a written protest against any enlargement or extension of a nonconforming use, signed and acknowledged by the owners of 20% of the property immediately adjoining or across an alley therefrom, or by the owners of 20% of the frontage directly across the street therefrom, is filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals, such enlargement or extension shall not be allowed, except by a 3/4 vote of the Common Council. No nonconforming use may be enlarged or expanded in floor area or lot area by more than 50% in the aggregate, based upon its size or scope on the effective date of this amendatory ordinance, whether or not such aggregate enlargement or expansion occurs at one time or at successive times.
3. 
Enlargements or extensions permitted under the provisions of this section to building and structures located on floodplains shall include floodproofing to a height two foot above the elevation of the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood as delineated on large-scale topographic maps prepared by the City or by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) under the Root River Watershed study or as determined through the use of flood profiles and accompanying hydrologic and hydraulic engineering data, to those portions of the building or structure involved in such enlargements or extensions. Certification of floodproofing shall be made to the Building Inspector and shall consist of a plan or document certified by a registered professional engineer that the floodproofing measures are consistent with the flood velocities, forces, depths, and other factors associated with the one hundred year recurrence interval flood level for the particular area.
A. 
Floodplain Nonconforming Use or Structure. In accordance with § 62.23(7)(h) of the Wisconsin Statutes, no modification to a floodplain nonconforming use or structure shall be permitted that would, over the life of the nonconforming use or structure, exceed 50% of the equalized assessed value of the structure at the time of modification, unless the entire structure is changed to a conforming structure with a conforming use or was damaged or destroyed after March 1, 2006, and meets the requirements of § 62.23(7)(hc) of the Wisconsin Statutes and all of the minimum requirements under 44 CFR Chapter I-Part 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), or the regulations promulgated thereunder. The percentage shall be derived from the cost of the modification compared to the structure's equalized assessed value at the time of the modification. Ordinary maintenance repairs are not considered structural repairs or alterations. Such ordinary maintenance repairs include internal and external painting, decorating, and paneling; the replacement of doors, windows, and other nonstructural components; and the maintenance, repair, or replacement of existing sewage systems, water supply systems, or connections to public utilities. Ordinary maintenance repairs do not include any costs associated with the repair of a damaged structure in a floodplain. The cost of elevating a nonconforming building or a building with a nonconforming use to the flood protection elevation is excluded from the 50% provision in this paragraph.
A nonconforming historic structure may be altered if the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure; the alteration will have low flood damage potential and comply with the standards contained in the applicable floodplain districts in §§ 15-3.0319, 15-3.0320, and 15-3.0321; flood resistant materials are used; and construction practices and floodproofing methods that comply with § 15-3.1112 of this Ordinance are used.
The Building Inspector shall maintain records of all floodplain nonconforming uses and structures, and modifications made to floodplain nonconforming uses and structures. Records shall reflect the current equalized assessed value of nonconforming structures, the costs of any modifications that are permitted, and the percentage of the structure's current value that those modifications represent.
B. 
Additional Requirements for Nonconforming Uses and Structures in the FW Floodway District. No modification or addition shall be allowed to any nonconforming structure or any structure with a nonconforming use in the floodway, unless such modification or addition complies with the following:
1. 
Has been granted a permit or variance that meets the requirements of §§ 15-3.0319 and 15-3.0604 of this Ordinance.
2. 
Contiguous dry land access will be provided for residential, commercial, and institutional uses in compliance with § 15-3.0606B.1.
3. 
Will not increase the obstruction to flood flows or regional flood height.
4. 
Any addition to the existing structure shall be floodproofed, pursuant to § 15-3.1112, by means other than the use of fill, to the flood protection elevation, except where paragraph 5 below applies.
5. 
If any part of the foundation below the flood protection elevation is enclosed, the following standards shall apply:
a. 
The enclosed area shall be designed by a registered engineer or architect to allow for the efficient entry and exit of flood waters without human intervention. A minimum of two openings must be provided with a minimum net area of at least one square inch for every one square foot of the enclosed area. The lowest part of the opening can be no more than 12 inches above the adjacent grade.
b. 
The parts of the foundation located below the flood protection elevation must be constructed of flood-resistant materials.
c. 
Mechanical and utility equipment must be elevated or floodproofed to or above the flood protection elevation.
d. 
The use must be limited to parking or limited storage.
6. 
No new private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS), or addition to an existing POWTS except where an addition has been ordered by a government agency to correct a hazard to public health, shall be allowed in the floodway. Any replacement, repair, or maintenance of a POWTS in the floodway shall meet all applicable City ordinances and Chapter Comm 83 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
7. 
No new well or modification to an existing well used to obtain water for ultimate human consumption shall be allowed in the floodway. Any replacement, repair, or maintenance of an existing well in the floodway shall meet all applicable requirements of City ordinances and Chapters NR 811 and 812 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
C. 
Additional Requirements for Nonconforming Uses and Structures in the FC Floodplain Conservancy District and FFO Floodplain Fringe Overlay District. No modification or addition shall be allowed to any nonconforming structure or any structure with a nonconforming use in the floodplain fringe areas, unless such modification or addition complies with the following:
1. 
Has been granted a permit or variance by the City.
2. 
The modification or addition shall be placed on fill or floodproofed to the flood protection elevation in compliance with the standards for that particular use in §§ 15-3.0320, 15-3.0321, 15-3.0605, and 15-3.0606, except where paragraph 3 below applies.
3. 
Where compliance with the fill or floodproofing provisions of paragraph 2 above would result in unnecessary hardship, and only where the structure will not be used for human habitation or be associated with a high flood damage potential, the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals, using the procedures established in § 15-9.0105, may grant a variance for modifications or additions which are protected to elevations lower than the flood protection elevation provided:
a. 
No floor is allowed below the regional flood elevation for residential or commercial structures.
b. 
Human lives are not endangered.
c. 
Public facilities, such as water or sewer, will not be installed.
d. 
Flood depths will not exceed two feet.
e. 
Flood velocities will not exceed two feet per second.
f. 
The structure will not be used for storage of materials described in § 15-3.0320C.
4. 
An addition to an existing room in a nonconforming building or a building with a nonconforming use may be allowed in the FC and FFO Districts on a one-time basis only, provided that the addition:
a. 
Has been granted a permit or variance by the City.
b. 
Does not exceed 60 square feet in area.
c. 
In combination with other previous modifications or additions to the building, does not exceed 50% of the present equalized assessed value of the building.
5. 
All new private onsite wastewater treatment systems (POWTS), or additions to, replacement, repair, or maintenance of a POWTS shall meet all applicable provisions of City ordinances and Chapter Comm 83 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
6. 
All new wells, or additions to, replacement, repair, or maintenance of a well shall meet all applicable provisions of City ordinances and Chapters NR 811 and 812 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Notwithstanding § 62.23(7)(h) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the repair, reconstruction, renovating, remodeling or expansion of a legal nonconforming structure, or any environmental control facility related to a legal nonconforming structure, located in the SW Shoreland Wetland Overlay District and in existence at the time of adoption or subsequent amendment of this Ordinance is permitted pursuant to § 62.231(5) of the Wisconsin Statutes.