In our Town's mixed use zone, businesses and non-residential activities have 0/0/5 setbacks (front/side/rear, in feet). Single and multi-family dwellings have 7/7/5 setbacks. I think this is a bit strange in the first place.
An individual owns a building that is built nearly to the property lines and has been there since before the zoning code. It had been two apartments for a long time (non-conforming because of setbacks). About 5 years ago, the owner turned it into a restaurant/bar. Suddenly, the non-conforming structure conformed again. Now, the owner wants to go back to apartments. Non-conforming uses "expire" in one year in our zoning code, so this doesn't apply.
So to the owner...tough cookies, right? Since the building doesn't meet the rez setbacks, it can't be used for residential purposes. Too bad she already put a renter in what was the old restaurant.
This example is an interesting crossover between non-conforming uses and non-conforming structures. I'm wondering if the real culprit isn't the strangely varied setbacks depending on use.
Any thoughts or opinions or criticisms of my interpretation?