Legal Definition of “Nonconforming Use”

Continuing use of real property, permitted by zoning ordinances, in a manner in which other similar plots of land in the same area cannot ordinarily be used.

…see West’s Encyclopedia of American Law

Throughout the SMP Update process, shoreline homeowners must ask Planners, the Planning Commission and County Council about the impact new shoreline regulations have on our homes. For example, if they they increase the existing native vegetation zone to 50 feet, 100 feet, or more, will every home on the shoreline become “nonconforming”?

If so, is their intention to “amortize” the value of our homes to $0 with the passage of time? If this is not their intention, what steps will they take to ensure that destruction of our property values will not be an unintended consequence of their actions?

Here’s what the Washington Administrative Code has to say about “nonconforming use”.


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