Zoning Code | Procedures - Registration of Nonconforming Use

Description: There may be now or in the future certain uses of land that are not in compliance with this zoning code, but which were legally established. These uses are referred to as “nonconforming uses,” and consistent with the provisions of Article 12 are allowed to continue to operate. For this reason, it is necessary to document those uses that are considered nonconforming. Registration of a use as a nonconforming use provides documentary evidence establishing (1) when the use was first established; (2) that the use at the time of establishment was done consistent with the rules and regulations in effect at the time, if any; (3) that it has continued continuously, without cessation of more than 12 continuous months; and (4) the nature of the use.

Application fee: none

Submittal deadline: 3 weeks before the Plan Commission meeting, which is typically held the first Monday of the month

Decision maker(s): Plan Commission

Basis of decisionIn making its decision, the Plan Commission shall determine whether there is sufficient evidence to show that (1) the use in question was legally established; (2) such use does not now comply with one or more of the requirements of the zoning code; and (3) such use has continued from the date, or approximate date, of establishment to the current date without an interruption of more than 12 continuous months. 

Review process:
  1. Submittal of application materials. The applicant shall submit a completed application and other required materials to the zoning administrator along with the application fee as may be established by the Town Board.
  2. General notice. Consistent with division 2 of article 5, the zoning administrator shall place the matter on the meeting agenda of the Plan Commission.
  3. Meeting. Allowing for proper notice, the Plan Commission shall consider the application at a regular or special meeting.
  4. Decision. The Plan Commission shall (i) approve the application, (ii) approve the application with conditions, or (iii) deny the application. The Plan Commission may render its decision at the same meeting the matter was initially considered or at a subsequent meeting, but no later than 40 days after the date of the initial meeting unless the applicant agrees to an extension of a specified duration.
  5. Preparation of decision notice. Based on the action of the Plan Commission, the zoning administrator shall prepare a decision notice consistent with this division.
  6. Applicant notification. Within a reasonable time following the Plan Commission’s decision, the zoning administrator shall mail the decision notice to the applicant by regular mail.
  7. Public record copy. A duplicate copy of the decision notice shall be retained as a public record.
  8. Inclusion in registry. If the application is approved, the zoning administrator shall include the nonconforming use in the registry authorized in Article 12 of the zoning code.
Note: This process was first established by the 2016 code rewrite.