• A Nonconforming Building vs. an Illegal Building
  • May 19, 2014
  • Law Firm: Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. - Charlottesville Office
  • There are a few exceptions to zoning that can help clear up issues with nonconforming buildings or structures. For example, what do you do if the survey shows that a house is built too close to the locality's building setback lines?

    Virginia Code Section §15.2-2307 provides that if a local government has issued a building permit, and a building or structure was subsequently constructed in accordance with that permit, and upon completion of construction, the local government issued a certificate of occupancy or a use permit, a zoning ordinance may provide that the building or structure is nonconforming. Should this occur, the local zoning ordinance shall not provide that the structure is illegal. As a result, the building cannot be removed solely due to the nonconformity.
    Similarly, if an owner has paid local real estate taxes for a building for a period in excess of fifteen years, then a zoning ordinance may provide that a structure is nonconforming but may not provide that the building is illegal. Accordingly, the building cannot be removed solely due to nonconformity.