The purpose of this Article is to establish regulations which govern uses, structures, lots and other circumstances
which came into being lawfully, but that do not conform to one or more requirements of this Chapter. Such
nonconformities could have been created by the adoption of this Chapter, prior adoption of other ordinances carried
forth in this Chapter, or change in the classification of property or change in the text of this Chapter. Any
nonconforming use, structure or lot which lawfully existed as of the effective date of this Chapter and that remains
nonconforming may be continued only in accordance with the terms of this Article. Any use, structure or lot which
has become nonconforming as a result of the adoption of this Chapter or any subsequent amendment to the text of
this Chapter or Official Zoning Map, may be continued or maintained only in accordance with the terms of this
Article. As used in this Article the term, "effective date of this Chapter, or any amendment thereto," refers to the
date of the Chapter/Ordinance which first rendered a use, structure or lot nonconforming.
Improvement, Alteration, Expansion or Erection of a Structure on a Nonconforming Lot. Any
improvement, alteration, expansion or erection of a structure on a nonconforming lot shall comply with all
other minimum requirements of this Chapter for the structure/use or a variance from these requirements
must be obtained.
Maintenance, Required Alteration or Remodeling of a Structure on a Nonconforming Lot. Maintenance,
alteration or remodeling of structures, as required by any public law and so ordered by a public officer in
authority, shall be permitted. Routine maintenance shall be permitted where no expansion of nonconformity
occurs as a result of the maintenance.
Combining and Recombining Lots. Any nonconforming lot which adjoins one or more other lots in the
same ownership should be combined or recombined as possible to form a conforming lot or lots.
Water Supply Watershed Requirements. A nonconforming lot shall not be subject to the development
restrictions of Article VIII Subpart B (Water Quality) subparts related thereto where developed for single-
family residential purposes.
Improvement, Alteration or Expansion of a Structure. A legally established nonconforming structure shall
be permitted provided that the nonconforming structure shall not be improved, altered or expanded except
to meet safety requirements or conform to the requirements of this Chapter. Where the improvement or
expansion is to a residential structure, such improvement or expansion may occur provided that no
additional dwelling units result, and that the improvement or expansion complies with the requirements for
residential structures of the applicable district.
Maintenance, Alteration or Remodeling of a Structure. Maintenance, alteration or remodeling of a
structure, as required by any public law and so ordered by a public officer in authority, shall be permitted.
Routine maintenance shall be permitted where no expansion of the nonconformity occurs as a result of the
Repair/Reconstruction of Damaged Structure (Other than Signs). Where a nonconforming structure has
been damaged by fire, wind, flood or other natural causes, it may be repaired/reconstructed provided that
Initiated within six (6) months and completed within one (1) year of the damage (An extension (for a
period of up to 12 months) may be granted by the Zoning Administrator provided he/she determines that
the structure does not pose a public health and safety risk).
Not resulting in any increase in structural dimension except as otherwise permitted in this Article;
Not resulting in any change in location of the structures except to provide greater conformance with the
requirements of this Chapter; and,
Made where damage is not substantial (see definition of Substantial Damage).
Where substantial damage occurs, the structure shall not be repaired/reconstructed except in conformity
with the provisions of this Chapter.
Repair/Reconstruction of Damaged Structure (Signs). Where a nonconforming sign has been damaged, it
may be repaired/reconstructed and used as before, provided that repairs/reconstruction are initiated within
60 days and completed within 180 days of such damage.
Nonconforming Structures Containing Nonconforming Uses
Improvement or Alteration of a Structure. Where a nonconforming structure contains a
use, no improvement or alteration of the nonconforming structure is permitted
except where such
improvement or alteration:
Does not result in an expansion/enlargement of the structure;
Is required by law or order from the Zoning Administrator, Building Inspector or Fire
Marshal to ensure safety of the structure; or
Is on a residential structure (where such alteration may occur provided that no additional
dwelling units result, and that the alteration complies with the requirements for residential
structures of the applicable district).
Nonconforming Use. Standards for nonconforming uses shall also apply (see §42-298
Enlargement or Expansion of a Use. A nonconforming use of a structure may be enlarged or
expanded only into portions of the structure which existed at the time the use became
Changed to Conforming Use. A nonconforming use may only be changed to a conforming use,
and thereafter may not be used for any nonconforming use.
a. The owner has indicated, in writing or by public statement, intent to abandon the use;
b. A conforming use has replaced the prior nonconforming use;
c. The structure containing the nonconforming use has been removed;
d. The owner has physically changed the structure or its permanent equipment in such a
way as to clearly indicate a change resulting in something other than the
e. The property and/or structure has been vacant for six (6) months as determined by the
Zoning Administrator; or
f. The use has been completely inactive for six (6) months as determined by the Zoning
Overcoming Presumption of Abandonment. A nonconforming use contained in a structure, based
solely on the length of time the use of a structure has remained vacant or inactive (see §42-298
(Nonconforming Uses) subsection A(2)e and/or A(2)f), may be rebutted and overcome upon a
showing, to the satisfaction of the Zoning Administrator, that during such period the owner of the
Been maintaining the land and structure in accordance with the North Carolina State
Building Code; and
Been actively and continuously marketing the land or structure for sale or lease
or has been making necessary improvements in order to continue the use.
Been operating a seasonal business on the land and/or in the structure for a
similar period of time each year since the use lawfully came into existence.
Enlargement or Expansion of a Use. A nonconforming outside/outdoor use shall not be enlarged
or expanded to cover more of the lot than was occupied by that use when it became
Nonconforming Manufactured/Mobile Home Used for Residence.
Enlargement of a Use. A nonconforming manufactured/mobile home may be enlarged provided
the enlargement does not result in new nonconformities.
Replacement of a Use. A nonconforming manufactured/mobile home may be replaced with a
similarly sized/larger manufactured/mobile home provided the replacement adheres to the
standards of this Chapter (including aesthetic standards). The replacement home shall not result in
new nonconformities and shall take place within 180 days of removal of the initial
manufactured/mobile home (see §42-63 (Supplemental Requirements) S.R. 1.4. (Dwelling,
Manufactured/Mobile Home) regarding standards).
Nonconforming Manufactured Home Park.
Enlargement or Expansion of a Use. A nonconforming manufactured home park may be enlarged
or expanded provided that any such enlargement/expansion shall be in accordance with the
requirements of this Chapter (see §42-63 (Supplemental Requirements) SR 1.13 (Manufactured
Nonconforming Commercial and Industrial Uses/Structures within the former Open Use
(OU) Zoning District
Maintenance, Improvement, Alteration, Expansion, Remodeling, Repair and Reconstruction.
Commercial and industrial uses/structures legally established in the former Open Use zoning district and
made nonconforming by the adoption of this Chapter and its associated zoning map shall be allowed to be
maintained, improved, altered, expanded, remodeled, repaired and/or reconstructed in adherence with the
dimensional requirements and setbacks of the current applicable district. Uses/structures established in the
former Open Use zoning district by the issuance of a special use permit and made nonconforming by the
adoption of this Chapter and its associated zoning map may be allowed to be expanded or reconstructed
only with the amendment of the special use permit or issuance of a new special use permit unless the
use/structure is allowed by right in the current applicable district. The procedures set forth in §42-256
(Special Use Permits) shall govern the amendment or issuance of any special use permit.
Discontinuance of Nonconforming Use. Standards found in §42-298 (Nonconforming Uses) shall
Exemptions and Modifications from Regulations
Reduction of Front Yard Setbacks. The required front yard setbacks applied to any lot shall be
reduced by the Zoning Administrator, at the request of the applicant, to the average front yard setback
of lots which are: (1) located wholly or in part within 100 feet of the lot, (2) within the same block and
zoning district as the lot, and (3) fronting on the same side of the road as the lot.
Through 42-302. Reserved