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Thread: Non-conforming residential structure on National Register of Historic Places

  1. #1
    Cyburbian lilschmidty's avatar
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    Non-conforming residential structure on National Register of Historic Places

    I'm tasked with amending the Zoning Ordinance for the City I work for to allow residential structures on the National Register of Historic Places to re-establish as a residential use if that use has been discontinued. For example, we have a situation where a historic residentail strucutre was vacated 6 years ago and the City purchased the property. The property is located within an industrial district and the future land use is industrial, so rezoning is out of the question.

    Do any of you have examples of ordinances that would allow such a re-establishment of a discontinued use?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I do not believe you can amend the ordinance to allow a non-conforming use to be re-established. What you can do is amend the ordinance to allow residential uses in the industrial district as a conditional use when the property is a designated (local, state, federal?) historic landmark.
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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I do not believe you can amend the ordinance to allow a non-conforming use to be re-established. What you can do is amend the ordinance to allow residential uses in the industrial district as a conditional use when the property is a designated (local, state, federal?) historic landmark.
    Spot on cardinal. The whole point of a "non-conforming use" is to allow continued use of a structure until such time as either a) the owner abandons the use or b) the owner converts the use into a conforming use.

    Modify your code to allow of a residential use with a CUP if it is is designated as a historical landmark. That way, you can control things like landscaping and other "buffers" needed to deal with interface issues with industry and residential.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian lilschmidty's avatar
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    What about exempting residential homes on the National Register of Historic Places from the non-conforming section of the Zoning Ordinance?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lilschmidty View post
    I'm tasked with amending the Zoning Ordinance for the City I work for to allow residential structures on the National Register of Historic Places to re-establish as a residential use if that use has been discontinued.
    That would work if your task wasn't to re-establish the use. Since you have to re-establish, you would need to re-write your entire code with a section on how to "re-establish" a non-conforming use, which is an oxymoron in of itself. Easiest and cleanest is the CUP process.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    A few ideas to consider:

    An adaptive use ordinance, (some call it adaptive re-use). This would all you to control the development/re-development of a historic structure.

    A zoning district or overlay district that would allow uses to be switched from commercial-residential-industrial and back again as a user is willing to pay rent. We have a Mixed Use zoning district that is almost exclusively used on historic residential structures that want to be commercial sometimes and homes again another time. This takes the non-conformity issue off the table. I would not amend your non-conforming structure ordinance unless it is seriously flawed.
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