What the proposed zoning changes mean to Wilber Heights

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Champaign County passed an ordinance in 1973 intending to turn the Wilber Heights neighborhood into a strictly industrial region. The regulation prohibits the rebuilding of or substantial repair to any home.

The zoning ordinance, deeming all homes non-conforming, prohibits any resident from adding on or renovating more than 10 percent of the replacement value annually.

The move lowered property values, residents said.

The Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals made a final recommendation on zoning changes to help those living in the Wilber Heights area on Feb. 17. (Click here for our most recent story on the issue)

The Zoning Board of Appeals’ recommendation will move on to the Champaign County’s Committee of the Whole, set to meet next March 1. Local municipalities are also given the option to weigh in on the proposed changes.

Below is a chart that shows what these ordinances mean.

Please note that under these proposed changes, the area remains zoned industrial and heavy industrial. All residential property within the neighborhood will remain nonconforming.

Because these proposed changes affect several types of nonconformities, we’ve also provided the following definitions to help clear up the differences:

  • Nonconforming lot: A property that does not conform to the standards set by existing zoning ordinances
  • Nonconforming structure: A building that does not conform to the standards set by existing zoning ordinances.
  • Nonconforming use: A use of a property and/or building (such as residential, industrial, commercial) that does not conform to the standards set by existing zoning ordinances.
  • Nonconforming premises: A use and/or structure within a lot that does not conform to the standards set by existing zoning ordinances.

Source: John Hall, director, Champaign County Planning and Zoning

As proposed: What this means:
Part A:
1. In the first four un-numbered paragraphs of Section 8 clarify that

nonconforming dwellings may be enlarged, expanded, extended, replaced,

rebuilt, or relocated as authorized herein.

 

 

Clarifies that in some instances nonconforming uses, structures, and accessory structures may be expanded
2. Revise subsection 8.1.2 to authorize that once two or more contiguous lots

or combination of lots and portions of lots that individually do not meet any

dimensional, geometric, lot access or other standards are brought into

common ownership, that portions of said lots may be used separately or

conveyed to a different owner provided that a variance is granted.

 

Authorizes that you are allowed to split up your nonconforming lot, use it for separate purposes or sell it to another owner provided you have permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals
Part B: 1. Revise paragraph 8.2.1 B. as follows:

 

a. Limit applicability to the total expansion since October 10, 1973.

 

Clarifies that the total amount of expansion is from the date the zoning ordinance was adopted
b. Revise the limit on expansion of a nonconforming single family dwelling

as follows:

 

 (1) A nonconforming single family dwelling which had less than 1,200

square feet of building floor area may expand up to a total floor

area of 1,500 square feet provided that a variance is required if

there is more than one principal use on the lot and the lot area is

less than required in Section 4.3.4.

 

You may expand your small nonconforming residences (1,200 square feet or less) up to 1,500 square feet, but you will need permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals if the lot is nonconforming and smaller than it is supposed to be and there is another dwelling or “principal use” on the same property
(2) A nonconforming single family dwelling which had more than 1,200

square feet of building floor area may expand by up to 200 square

feet or 25% of building floor area, whichever is greater, and

provided that a variance is required if there is more than one

principal use on the lot and the lot area is less than required in

Section 4.3.4.

 

You may expand your larger nonconforming residences up to an additional 200 square feet or 25 percent of its floor space, whichever is greater, but you will need permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals if the lot is nonconforming and smaller than it is supposed to be and there is another dwelling or “principal use” on the same property
(3) Eliminate the limit on the amount of accessory buildings.

 

You have no limit on the amount of accessory buildings (such as garages) or size of buildings.
2. Revise paragraph 8.2.1 C. so that the limit on expansion applies to the total

expansion since October 10, 1973.

 

Clarifies that the total amount of expansion of a nonconforming, nonresidential building that is otherwise allowed in the R-1 single-family district is from the date the zoning ordinance was adopted.
3. Revise subsection 8.2.2 to provide that nonconforming dwellings may be

moved on the lot provided that a variance is granted.

 

You can move your nonconforming, single-family residence (including mobile homes) on your lot with permission through a hearing process from the Zoning Board of Appeals
4. In subsection 8.2.3 clarify “ceases”.

 

Your nonconforming land use will continue even if you leave for vacation (up to 275 consecutive days). When the property is for sale or rent you must post a for-sale or for-rent sign on the front lot line  to protect your non-conforming rights
Part C.

 

1. Revise subsection 8.3.1 to authorize that a nonconforming structure may be

enlarged in a way that increases the nonconformity if authorized by

variance.

 

You can expand or alter your nonconforming building with permission through a hearing process from the Zoning Board of Appeals
2. Revise subsection 8.3.3 to authorize that a nonconforming structure may be

moved without conforming to the regulations and standards of the district

provided that the new location is authorized by variance .

 

You can move your nonconforming building with permission through a hearing process from the Zoning Board of Appeals
Part D.

 

1. Revise Subsection 8.4.1 and 8.4.2 as follows:

 

a. Authorize that a nonconforming single family dwelling may be

expanded as authorized in subsection 8.2.1 provided that a variance is

required if there is more than one principal use on the lot and the lot

area is less than required in Section 4.3.4.

 

You can expand a nonconforming single-family residence,  but you will need permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals if the lot is nonconforming and smaller than it is supposed to be and there is another dwelling or “principal use” on the same property
b. Authorize that a nonconforming dwelling may be reconstructed in the

existing location if authorized by zoning use permit or a different

location if authorized by variance provided that a variance is required

if there is more than one principal use on the lot and the lot area is less

than required in Section 4.3.4.

 

You can rebuild a nonconforming single-family residence, but you will need permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals if the lot is nonconforming and smaller than it is supposed to be and there is another dwelling or “principal use” on the same property
c. Authorize that expansion of a nonconforming dwelling as authorized in

subsection 8.2.1 may occur at the same time as reconstruction.

 

You can expand a nonconforming single-family residence at the same time you rebuild it.
2. In Subsection 8.4.5 clarify “abandoned” and “discontinued”.

 

Your nonconforming building use will continue even if you leave for vacation (up to 274 consecutive days). When the property is for sale or rent you must posta for-sale or for-rent sign on the front lot line to protect your non-conforming rights
3. In Subsection 8.4.6 provide for replacement of nonconforming structure as

already authorized in subsection 8.3.2.

 

You can replace your nonconforming structures as noted in the ordinance
Part E.

1. Revise Subsection 8.6 as follows:

 

a. Authorize that a nonconforming dwelling may be expanded as

authorized in subsection 8.2.1 or reconstructed as authorized in

subsection 8.4.1.

 

You can expand or reconstruct your nonconforming residence as noted in the ordinance
b. Authorize that a nonconforming dwelling has no limit on the value of

repair or replacement that may occur within a 365 day period and that

may include bearing walls.

 

You no longer have limits on how much you can repair and maintain your nonconforming residence
Part F.

 

1. In paragraph 9.1.2 C. require that for an Zoning Use Permit authorizing

construction as authorized in Section 8 on a nonconforming dwelling in a

zoning district in which a dwelling is not an authorized principal use, the

Zoning Administrator shall provide notice that the zoning district does not

authorize a dwelling as a principal use and shall indicate in general what

types of principal uses are authorized as either business uses or industrial

uses.

 

You should be notified of an area’s zoning when you apply for a construction permit for a single-family dwelling in a non-residential area.
Part G.

 

1. In Section 3 revise the definitions of “NONCONFORMING LOT,

STRUCTURE OR USE” AND “NONCONFORMING PREMISES” to only

apply to nonconformities that existed upon the effective date of adoption or

amendment of the ordinance.

Better defines what a nonconforming lot, nonconforming structure, nonconforming use andnonconforming premises are.