Nonconformities: Everything Old Is New Again

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the broad spectrum of approaches to nonconformities (regulatory and non-regulatory).
  • Think critically about how to strike an appropriate balance between requiring properties to upgrade to higher standards, while also not discouraging redevelopment.
  • Apply lessons from key recent case law on regulating nonconformities.

More Course Details

Planners have dealt with nonconformities since the earliest days of zoning — signs, structures, uses, and lots that once were legal but no longer meet current zoning rules. But few planners may be aware of the innovative approaches being developed to bring properties into compliance.

How can communities raise the bar without stifling redevelopment? What about nonconforming site features such as landscaping, lighting, and parking — when should they be required to upgrade to meet current rules? Are different rules necessary for different types of nonconformities? What's the right balance for your community?

With examples from cities big and small, this course highlights a spectrum of current strategies. These range from strict approaches such as amortization to gentler approaches that allow nonconformities to expand and thrive as incubators for diversity and character.

Discover the latest legal developments relating to nonconformities and amortization. An in-depth case study from Denver showcases how the non-conforming issue is playing out differently for different types of uses in the city's form-based code.