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Thread: Nonconforming use rules and blight

  1. #1

    Registered
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    Nonconforming use rules and blight

    I need some thoughts on this question:

    How often, and under what circumstances, do too stringent nonconforming use rules contribute to blight in your experience? Specific examples are welcome.

    Or does everyone pretty much buy into the theory that nonconforming uses will eventually go away? And how often does that actually happen?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    I need some thoughts on this question:

    How often, and under what circumstances, do too stringent nonconforming use rules contribute to blight in your experience? Specific examples are welcome.

    Or does everyone pretty much buy into the theory that nonconforming uses will eventually go away? And how often does that actually happen?
    I can provide a few examples, too bad I did not take any pics before I left. smack dab in the middle of my old residential neighbourhood there was a business that had always been run out of the house on teh property. The use was the office and yard for a heating oil delivery business. This yard had multiple heavy trucks parked in and running 24 hours a day, old oil tanks and other waste products there. The house directly next to it was boarded up and had been for many years. Thi sbusiness was in a residential zone and designation and had no intention of relocating. I think it might have contributed to more than a few vacancies on that street.

    In that community I can also think of dozens of body shops / salvage yards that negatively impact their neighbours and have contributed to the decline of the neighbourhoods they are in.

    As an example, I don't know how these people live next door to this legal non conforming use.



    On the second question, there was an appeal in another community related to a nonconforming use being destroyed and being refused a building permit to rebuild.

    The appeal board found that as the property owner had no intention of relocating ever, before the fire, that he should be permitted to rebuild. There was a bit more to the case, but not much. I am starting to think that legal non-conformity is good in principle, but in practice can be a real pain down the road. I think that in the majority of cases they are not going anywhere.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Enforcement of strict nonconforming rules can contribute to blight. If a property is not allowed to be used, and market conditions are not ripe for redevelopment, then the existing property sits there and deteriorates. In soft land market communities this can become more serious than the nonconformity.

    In such areas, I have worked to make the situation more conforming, but rarely has a nonconfomring use changed to conforming. I have had codes that allow nonconforming single wides to be replaced by newer units--still nonconforming, but a newer unit (with placement standards) is better than the existing, rusting, piece of crap.

    I feel for the family that lives next to the junk yard. Perhaps property maintenance rather than zoning regulations would lessen the impact. I have a couple of great examples of conforming re-use, but like I said, they are rare in soft market areas.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Right now we are going up and down the streets looking for vacant business that have not removed their sings, in hopes that it will element some of the nonconforming signs. Almost any changes at a business or residence spark a zoning review, if it is nonconforming, we require them to go to the ZBA, or eliminate the nonconformity related to their project.
    You get what you give.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee
    Perhaps property maintenance rather than zoning regulations would lessen the impact.
    Thank you. Thank you. Zoning Code isn't maintenance/environmental code. I hate it when the elected or neighborhoods think all can be regulated through zoning.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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