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Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-83. Nonconforming Structures

(1) The following section shall apply to all structures in the City except in the following circumstances:

(a) The structure did not legally exist at the time of adoption.

(b) The structure is subject to legal proceedings.

(c) The structure is subject to a court order to the contrary of this Section.

(d) Chapter 20 Shorelands-Wetlands of the City of Marshfield Code of Ordinances shall control in case of a conflict.

(2) Blanket Conforming Status.

(a) Blanket conforming status for any and all requirements of this Chapter is hereby automatically granted to any structure lawfully existing upon the effective date of this Chapter. After the effective date of this Chapter except where permitted in Sec. 18-73, structures may not be enlarged, expanded, or extended without bringing the enlargement, expansion, or extension into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, or unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals under Section 18-165.

(b) This Subsection is intended to eliminate the continued classification and/or creation of structures as nonconforming subject to the requirements of this Chapter. This provision addresses 2 different situations.

1. Any structure erected prior to the adoption of zoning that does not meet some or all of the bulk or intensity requirements of this Chapter.

2. In some instances, this Chapter establishes new bulk or intensity requirements that existing legal structures under the previous zoning ordinance do not meet.

(c) This Section therefore ensures that owners of such structures legally established prior to the effective date of this Chapter do not encounter difficulty because the structures would otherwise be considered nonconforming.

(3) The following shall apply to all structures that do not meet bulk and other requirements of this Chapter.

(a) Ordinary Maintenance. Ordinary maintenance repairs, including repairs reasonably necessary to prevent the deterioration of a structure, and remodeling of a structure are permitted, as well as necessary nonstructural repairs and alterations which do not extend, enlarge, or intensify the structure. Ordinary maintenance repairs and remodeling include internal and external painting, decorating, paneling, the addition of acoustical ceilings, the installation of heating, electricity, plumbing (including fixtures) or insulation, and the replacement of doors, windows, and other non-structural components.

(b) Interior Alterations.

1. Interior structural alterations may be made, provided such alterations do not increase the number of dwelling units. A conforming garage may be added if none previously existed.

(c) Additions. Additions, expansions, and enlargements may be added . However, after the effective date of this Chapter, such additions must meet the requirements of this Chapter unless a variance is granted under Section 18-165.

(d) Destruction and Reconstruction.

1. A damaged, destroyed, or removed structure may be restored to the size, location, design and use that it had immediately before the damage, destruction, or removal occurred without any limits on the costs of the repair, reconstruction, or improvement if either 1. or 2., below, apply. The burden of proof in regard to the location, dimensions, configuration, and exterior building materials of the damaged or removed structure shall be upon the property owner to demonstrate prior to the issuance of a building permit.

a. The structure was damaged or destroyed by violent wind, vandalism, fire, flood, ice, snow, mold, infestation, or other act identified by Wis. Stats. 62.23(7) on or after March 2, 2006.

b. The structure was damaged, destroyed, removed, or partially removed by other means on or after the effective date of this Chapter.

(e) Intentional Removal and Replacement.

1. If 50 percent or more of the total floor area of a structure is intentionally removed by the property owner, the replacement structure must meet the requirements of this Chapter unless a variance is granted under Section 18-165.

2. If less than 50 percent of the total floor area of a structure is intentionally removed by the property owner, it may be restored to the previous footprint and floor area.

3. Existing garages, decks, and porches may be replaced in their entirety to the previous footprint and floor area.

(f) Unsafe Structures. Nothing in this Chapter shall preclude the building inspector or any other City official from initiating remedial or enforcement actions when any structure is declared unsafe or presents a danger the public health, safety, or welfare.

(4) Timing of Building Permit. Any structure for which a building permit has been lawfully granted prior to the effective date of this Chapter, or an amendment to it, which will become nonconforming under the provisions of this Chapter or that amendment thereto, may be completed in accordance with the approved plans, provided construction is started within 365 calendar days after issuance of the permit for single and two family construction and within 365 calendar days after issuance of a permit for all other development, and construction is completed within 730 calendar days (2 years) after the start of construction. If all such conditions are met, the structure shall thereafter be a legal nonconforming structure.

(Code 1982, 17.12(4))