SECTION 1215.01  PURPOSE:

It is the purpose of this Section to provide for the regulation of non-conforming buildings, structures, uses, and lots, and to specify those requirements, circumstances and conditions under which non-conforming buildings, structures, uses, and lots will be operated, maintained, and regulated.   It is necessary and consistent with the establishment of this Ordinance that non-conforming buildings, structures, uses, and lots not be allowed to continue without restriction.  Furthermore, it is the intent of this Section that all non-conformities shall be eventually brought into conformity. 

 

SECTION 1215.02  PROVISIONS:

A. Except as provided below, any non-conforming structure or use lawfully existing upon the effective date of this Ordinance shall not be enlarged or reconstructed, but may be continued at the size and in the manner of operation existing upon such date except as hereinafter specified or subsequently amended.

B. Normal maintenance of a non-conforming building, structure, or use is allowed, including necessary non-structural repairs and incidental alterations which do not physically extend or intensify the non-conformity.

C. Alterations may be made to a lawful non-conforming residential building when such modifications will improve the livability thereof, provided they will not increase the number of dwelling units or size or volume of the building except as provided herein. 

D. Legally non-conforming, non-income producing single family residential buildings which violate setback standards and/or minimum size requirements may be expanded to improve livability when approved subject to site and building plan review requirements, provided that the non-conformity is not increased beyond the existing conditions upon the lot and no other deviations with the Zoning Ordinance standards are created.

11 E. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the placing of a structure in safe condition when said structure is declared unsafe by the Building Official providing the necessary repairs shall not constitute more than fifty (50) percent of fair market value of a principal structure or more than fifty (50) percent of replacement cost of an accessory structure.  Said value or cost shall be determined by the City Council.

F. No non-conforming building, structure or use shall be moved to another lot or to any other part of the parcel of land upon which the same was constructed or was conducted at the time of this Ordinance adoption unless such movement shall bring the non-conformance into substantially closer compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance.

G. When any lawful non-conforming use of any building, structure, or land has been changed to a conforming use, it shall not thereafter be changed to any non- conforming use.

H. A lawful non-conforming use of a building, structure, or parcel of land may be changed to lessen the non-conformity of use.  Once a non-conforming structure or parcel of land has been changed, it shall not thereafter be so altered to increase the non-conformity.

11 I.  Any  principal building, structure, or use which is damaged to an extent of less than  fifty  (50)  percent  of  its  fair  market  value,  or  any  accessory  building, structure, or use which is destroyed to the extent of less than fifty (50) percent of its replacement cost, said value or cost to be determined by the City Council, may be restored to its former extent; provided:

1. The damaged building or structure is made safe and secure no later than thirty (30) days following the date of said destruction.

2. A building permit to rebuild damaged portions of the home is obtained within six (6) months of the date of destruction and work is completed within eighteen (18) months  of said destruction date.  The degree of repairs or alterations shall be the judgment of the City Building Official who may require that building plans be reviewed by the City Planner under the City=s Minor Site and Building Plan Review provisions.

3. If complete replacement of the current home is the desired route, the house is torn down and Major Site and Building Plan application is made within six (6) months of the date of destruction.

4. If the property owner of said damaged buildings or structures has not torn down the home or obtained a building permit within the allotted six (6) month period, the City Council may declare the building or structure a hazard and public nuisance. The City Council may institute any action(s) necessary to correct, abate, repair, demolish or remove the hazard or public nuisance in accordance with Sections 102 and 105 of the applicable Uniform Building Code as adopted or amended by the City Council.

11 J. If at any time a non-conforming principal building, structure, or use is destroyed to the extent of more than fifty (50) percent of its fair market value, or an accessory building, structure, or use is destroyed to the extent of more than fifty (50) percent of its replacement cost, said value or cost to be determined by the City Council, then without further action by the Council, the building and the land on which such building was located or maintained shall, from and after the date of said destruction, be subject to all the regulations specified by these zoning regulations for the district in which such land and buildings are located.  If all requirements can be met, the process for Major Site and Building Plan review shall be followed and approved by the City Council.

Estimate of the extent of damage or destruction shall be made by the City Council.  Permission to rebuild damaged buildings or structures may be granted by the City Council with approval of a Conditional Use Permit in accordance with subpart  L.1 (a-f) of this Section, Shoreland Ordinance requirements if applicable, and the following:

1. The damaged building or structure is made safe and secure no later than thirty (30) days following the date of said destruction.

2. The owners petition the City Council through application for a Conditional

Use Permit within six (6) months of said destruction.

a. If permission is granted to rebuild the building or structure:

(1) Such construction must be completed no later than twelve (12) months following the date of Conditional Use Permit approval.

(2) The  degree  of  non-conformity  is  minimized  to  the  extent physically possible.

(3) Reconstruction provides the only possible reasonable use of the property.

(4) Reconstruction maintains or enhances the character of the community as directed by the Sunfish Lake Comprehensive Plan.

b. If the request for a Conditional Use Permit is denied by the City Council, the damaged building must be removed and the site restored to its natural state no later than sixty (60) days following such denial, according to the following:

(1) All refuse, debris, and rubble is removed from the site.

(2) Erosion control fencing is installed around all ground areas which have been or will be exposed.

(3) The foundation is extracted and the excavation back-filled with clean granular back-fill as required under the applicable (1994) Uniform Building Code.

(4) The well is capped as required under the Dakota County Well Ordinance.

(5) The septic system is sealed as required under the Minnesota

State Pollution Control Agency regulations.

(6) The  site  is  fine  graded,  seeded  and  mulched  to  restore vegetative soil stabilization at the earliest feasible date (pending weather conditions).

3. If the property owner of said damaged buildings or structures has not applied for a Conditional Use Permit within the allotted six (6) month period, the City Council may declare the building or structure a hazard and public nuisance. The City Council may institute any action(s) necessary to correct, abate, repair, demolish or remove the hazard or public nuisance in accordance  with  Sections  102  and  105  of  the  1994  Uniform  Building Code.

K. Whenever  a  lawful  non-conforming  use  of  a  building,  structure,  or  land  is discontinued for a period of six (6) months, any future use of said structure or lands shall be made to conform with the provisions of this Ordinance.

L. Legal Non-Conforming Lots.

1. Legal, non-conforming, vacant, or redeveloped substandard sized lots of record may be developed for single family detached uses upon approval of a conditional use permit, provided that:

a. The  lot  in  question  was  legally  established  in  accordance  with Ordinance requirements existing at the time of its creation and is a separate, distinct tax parcel.

b. The lot in question is similar in size and characteristics to and not highly divergent from other lots immediately abutting or in the adjacent area.

c. The lot in question has frontage on a public or private street.

d. Public health concerns (potable water and sanitary sewer) can be adequately addressed.

e. The  setback  and  yard  requirements  as  determined  by  the  City Council [to be either

(1)  those established as part of the applicable Zoning District; or

(2) those  measurements  which  are  common  to  immediately abutting properties] can be achieved while simultaneously resulting in development which complies with the character and quality of the immediate area and the objectives of the City's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. 

f. The lot in question and related potential development is evaluated based upon criteria outlined in Section 1204, Subd. 2.F. and is found to be acceptable per these standards.

2. Developed Lots.  An existing conforming use on a lot of substandard size may be expanded or enlarged if such expansion or enlargement meets all other provisions of this Ordinance.

11 M.   Non-conforming building, structures, and/or uses, which based upon documented study and evidence, pose a danger and/or  threat to the health, safety, and general welfare of the community, shall:

1. Be legally declared a nuisance by the City.

2. Upon being identified by the City and upon the owner being notified in writing by the City, the owner shall provide to the City a documented time schedule and program with rationale to support the proposed amortization of the building, structure, or use investments which will result in the termination or correction of the non-conformity.

a. The termination/correction time schedule shall be based upon, but not limited to, factors such as the initial investment and the degree of threat or danger being posed.

b. The acceptability of the time schedule shall be determined by the City Council with right of appeal.

c. In no case shall a time schedule exceed five (5) years.