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If you have any further questions regarding zoning, here are a few of things you can do:

Come down to the Building and Zoning Department at the Wise County Courthouse for person-to-person support.

Send us your question via Email.

Call the Zoning Administrator or a Representative of the Building Department at (276) 328-7119.


Building & Zoning – Zoning Ordinance - Article 6

Up ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 1 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 2 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 3 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 4 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 5 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 6 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 7 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 8 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 9 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 10 ] Zoning Ordinance - Article 11 ]


Sec. 6-1. Nonconforming uses and features may continue.

     Subject to the limitations and restrictions set forth in this article, nonconforming uses and nonconforming features of uses and buildings may be continued. The terms "nonconforming use" and "nonconforming feature" shall have such meaning as defined in Article 11 of this Ordinance.

Sec. 6-2. Extension of nonconforming uses.

     No nonconforming use shall be extended, enlarged or moved so as to occupy a different or greater area of land or buildings than was occupied by and actively devoted to such use at the time it became nonconforming, provided that a nonconforming use may be extended throughout such portion of land or such part of a building which was lawfully and manifestly arranged, designed and intended for such use at the time it became nonconforming.

Sec. 6-3. Change of nonconforming uses.

  1. A nonconforming use of land or a nonconforming use of a building may be changed to another use which is of the same or more restricted classification under the terms of this Ordinance or may be changed to any use which conforms with the use regulations of this Ordinance. Whenever a nonconforming use has been changed to a more restricted use or to a conforming use, such use shall not thereafter be changed back to the original nonconforming use or to any less restricted use.

  2. Removal and replacement of a manufactured home which constitutes a nonconforming use on an individual lot or within a manufactured home park, or removal of any manufactured or mobile home unit which does not conform with current federal manufactured housing construction and safety standards and replacement of such unit with a manufactured home which conforms with said standards, shall be permitted so long as replacement takes place within sixty (60) days of removal. 

Sec. 6-4. Discontinuance of nonconforming uses. 

     Whenever a nonconforming use of land or a nonconforming use of a building is discontinued for a period of more than twenty-four (24) consecutive months, whether or not equipment or fixtures intended for such use are removed, any subsequent use shall conform with the use regulations of the district in which the property is located. 

Sec. 6-5. Alterations to buildings devoted to nonconforming uses. 

     No building or portion of a building devoted to a nonconforming use shall be enlarged, extended, structurally altered, reconstructed or moved, unless such building or portion of a building is thereafter devoted to a use which conforms with the use regulations of this Ordinance. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit normal repair, maintenance or nonstructural alteration of a building devoted to a nonconforming use or the alteration, strengthening or restoring of a building to safe condition as may be required by law. 

Sec. 6-6. Alterations to buildings having nonconforming features. 

     A building which is devoted to a conforming use and is nonconforming with respect to the yard, height, bulk or area regulations of this Ordinance or other feature required by this Ordinance may be enlarged, extended or structurally altered, provided that such enlargement, extension or structural alteration does not increase the degree or extent of any nonconforming feature of the building. An increase in the height of a building or portion of a building which is nonconforming with regard to a yard requirement shall be deemed to be an increase in the extent of the nonconforming feature of the building. 

Sec. 6-7. Damage to buildings having nonconforming features or to buildings devoted to nonconforming uses. 


Sec. 6-8. Nonconforming dwelling uses. 

     Any dwelling use which is located in a Business or Industrial District and which becomes a nonconforming use under the provisions of this Ordinance may be maintained, improved, structurally altered, enlarged or moved, or may be reconstructed if damaged by fire, explosion, act of God or the public enemy. In no case shall the amount of floor area devoted to the dwelling use at the time of its inclusion in a Business or Industrial District be increased by greater than ten (10) percent; nor shall the number of dwelling units located on the property be increased; nor shall the lot area, lot width, lot depth or yard dimensions be reduced to less than that which would be required for such dwelling use in the R-2 General Residential District.

Sec. 6-9. Intermittent or illegal uses.

     Intermittent, casual, temporary or illegal use of land or buildings shall not be construed to establish the existence of a nonconforming use for the purposes of this article.

Sec. 6-10. Existence of nonconforming uses and features.

     The zoning administrator shall have the authority to determine whether a nonconforming use or a nonconforming feature of a use or building exists in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance. An appeal from any decision of the zoning administrator regarding such determination may be taken to the board of zoning appeals by any person aggrieved by such decision pursuant to the provisions of Article 9 of this Ordinance.

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