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Nonconforming Uses, aka; Grandfathered Use in Zoning

nonconforming use is generally defined as a land use or structure that was legal when established but does not conform to the standards of the current zoning ordinance. The term“nonconforming use” actually covers several situations, including nonconforming uses, lots and structures.

Pre-existing land uses that do not conform to current zoning are not favored. The ultimate goal of zoning is to achieve uniformity of property uses within each zoning district. At the same time, landowners have made investments in their businesses and buildings, and it would be unfair — not to mention illegal in some states — to require immediate termination or removal. Rather than require the immediate elimination of these preexisting uses, the zoning ordinance will outline a set of conditions for the continued existence of nonconforming uses.

Although state courts apply different interpretations to local zoning codes regarding nonconforming uses, the expansion, enlargement or intensification of a nonconforming use in almost all cases can be regulated or prohibited.

Resumption of a nonconforming use or structure after it has been destroyed may be prohibited in some states. In other states the right to re-establish the nonconforming use exists. Zoning ordinances traditionally have set a specific threshold– for example, a percentage of assessed value — for defining what constitutes destruction, and courts generally defer to the stated threshold. Again, the principle is to allow landowners to continue to reap the benefits of investments made in their properties. If those investments have been destroyed, however, the community may or may not have an obligation to allow a landowner to reinvest in a use prohibited by current zoning.

To prevent nonconforming uses from becoming blighted properties, zoning codes generally do allow for routine maintenance and repair, so long as such activities do not constitute expansion or enlargement.

Once a nonconforming use has been abandoned, its resumption can be prohibited. Most ordinances state a time period, usually six months to a year, that creates a presumption of abandonment if the property is not used for that period. Some states do not allow just a passage of time to establish abandonment. The issue of what constitutes abandonment is one that is generally the subject of much state court case-law, with some courts requiring that an “intent to abandon” be shown before the nonconforming use is considered to be terminated. The intent to abandon may be something like a list of criteria, in the zoning ordinance, from which “abandoned” is established from a preponderance of facts about the particular situation.

Gary D. Taylor,

Iowa State University

6-1-2002 original property layout (397x204) (397x204).jpg

Original layout of Dinwiddie and Conlee properties. Conlee structures are one small double wide trailer home. One two story single car garage. The driveway of both properties exit onto 5th street.

 

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After illegal property redevelopment. How many changes can you find on the 6 half lots that run parallel with the city alley?

 

9-1-2005 Johnson to Swan letter, full of false statements

TELEPHONE 372-2532 AREA CODE 319 FAX 372-792

 

E-MAIL Johnson@chmi

September 1, 2005

Steve Swan

1013 Concert Street

Keokuk, Iowa 52632

Re: Melody Boatner – Mark and Linda Conlee

Dear Steve:

Ms. Boatner has had major surface water problems since she bought her home. That’s because her lot is lower than the land around it.¹ That was true before my clients added dirt to level their lot. Before my client’s lot was leveled, it steeped more sharply towards Ms. Boatner’s property and sent more water her way.² Also, my clients built their new home deeper in the lot then the prior owner’s house, which results in roof water draining towards Mr. Boatner’s back year instead of towards her home.³ The old driveway described as a “berm” was man-made and apparently altered the natural flow of surface waters to Ms. Boatner’s benefit. Because it was man-made, my clients had the right to remove it They have plans to build a raised garden in the same general vicinity as the old driveway, which may similarly benefit Ms. Boatner.

Mark suggested to Ms. Boatner that she lay tile around the perimeter of her house. That would have been a simple,but effective remedy for Ms. Boatner, but she’s not done that. Mark and Linda attended a council meeting and convinced the city to dig a drainage ditch in front of their properties. Ms. Boatner stood to benefit from that proposal, but didn’t bother to attend the council meeting. She later complained that she has to maintain the drainage ditch that was installed as a result of my clients’ efforts.

Mark and Linda are trying to get along with Ms. Boatner. They will not, however, agree to a drainage ditch on their land. In addition to being unsightly, a ditch would be a maintenance problem and a liability concern. Ms. Boatner is, of course, free to do what she wants on her own land.

I think we can resolve this dispute if we all meet at the properties and discuss the options.

                                                                                      Very truly yours,

                                                                                                   Gregory A J

                                                                                                    GAJ/tas Cc: client

Completely false statement. A Review the transcripts and an email to Boatner from Steve Swan ESQ will show Conlee’s only witness testified Boatners property never received stormwater runoff from Conlee property. Water damage was caused by stormwater running from the city street which Boatner remedied before she repaired the water damage to her home when she purchased it in 1995.. Witnesses Randy Kirchner and Stuart Westermeyer were prepared to testify to this. Boatner’s attorney Steven Swan ESQ intentionally suppressed their testimony and affidavits from the court. Swam conspired to violate Boatners State and Federal right to enjoy her own property.
Expert witness on Boatners behalf Robert Dodds was prepared to testify that a berm and swale that has been in place for 10 years is considered existing and cannot be removed, Boatner’s attorney suppressed Dodds testimony
There is no reason Boatner should have to make any alterations to her property do to a neighbor’s illegal property redevelopment. That is not typical or acceptable by any reasonable standard. It would have been reasonable for the building official to do his duty and oversee compliance to State building laws. This redevelopment was not to code by review of blueprints.
There is no reason Boatner should have to make any alterations to her property do to a neighbor’s illegal property redevelopment. That is not typical or acceptable by any reasonable standard. It would have been reasonable for the building official to do his duty and oversee compliance to State building laws. This redevelopment was not to code by review of blueprints.
5 This is so outrageous and false it is unbelievable. Any reasonable person can visually see the increased stormwater to Boatners property is a direct result of Conlee’s illegal property redevelopment. The Conlees never had a ditch install

 

Former Lee County Attorney Michael Short and Chief of Police Brent Shipman make a well formed militia, no way justice was going to be served.

         I am searching for any civil cases in which the plaintiff has filed a civil complaint alleging trespassing against the private party. I want to see any civil cases in which the plaintiff has filed multiple counts of fraud against another person. I want to see any legal action in which the plaintiff has filed a civil case alleging the defendant has committed a criminal offense. I came across the document above when I believe Lee County Detective Bob Conlee was attempting to set me up for a drug bust. If you would review Lee County Attorney Michael Short . Short  advised me that “he” would decide who gets prosecuted in Lee County, Iowa. He wasn’t kidding he was willing and did everything needed to protect Mark Conlee in his unprecedented illegal actions against his neighbor.
Most of you have the common knowledge of the laws and rules a Sheriff has the duty to provide to the citizens in their County described below. I am still waiting for the results of an investigation into my allegations as stated by then County Attorney Mike Short and current Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber. Weber has a conflict of interest that is next to none according to the record. He certainly learned from the best of the best as former County Detective Bob Conlee is described as his mentor. His reason for getting into law enforcement as a career choice.
Working with Federal and State Legislatures to create laws providing safer communities

The SHERIFF is the only elected Law Enforcement Officer in the State of Iowa.

THE DUTIES OF SHERIFF INCLUDE:

  • Execution and return of all legal civil papers
  • Enforce the law of the State of Iowa
  • Enforce County Ordinances
  • Conduct criminal investigations
  • Provide Law Enforcement services to the Judicial Court System
  • Supervise all jails and the custody of incarcerated offenders
  • Maintain the Sex Offender Registry
  • Patrol all areas of the county
  • Respond to any and all disasters within the county
  • Assist other Law Enforcement agencies
  • Sustain Iowa VINE for Victims
Mr. Short failed the citizens of Lee County to a serious degree beginning in filing two criminal complaints against me on behalf of his number one colleague Detective Bob Conlee and his brother, Mark Conlee. The complaints were clearly frivolous and fabricated.  There is no existing law against giving the middle finger to another person.
6-26-2007 State vs Boatner, second Complaint on Conlees behalf .jpg

Harassment, (simple misdemeanor) defendant with intent annoy another person by flipping the middle finger, continuously.                                                                                                                  County Attorney and Chief Shipman are acting as puppets on Mr. Conlee’s behalf. Denies legitimate allegation with hard evidence supporting Conlee was continuously applying chemicals  unlawfully to Boatners property with intent to cause serious harm.

 

 

7-2-2007 summons State of Iowa vs Melody Boatner .jpg

This is an example of the standard procedure followed in any action in this “criminal” case. There was no local government official willing to honor their ethical oath. They were all completely devoted to Mark Conlee’s goal to acquire his goal. It was like they were hypnotized. I know full well that the County attorney should know what is a criminal violation and what is a fabricated law. Chief Shipman scratched out the last sentence as I advised him there was no law preventing a citizen from having two licensed, insured vehicles on their private property. Mark Conlee used his position as council member to push past any recognition of ethical standards. I feel like I have been raped by these public servants. I will never be the person I was prior to the physical assault by this gang.in their quest to acquire my property. No holds barred, they were intent on this goal. I was unable to assert my rights to save my life.

Link

My initial complaint was in regard to this issue. To end up being poisoned by chemicals illegally applied to my property because the City and County officials had a conflict of interest with this illegally nonconforming owner/builder/redeveloper who was issued illegal building permits is unprecedented. It was the chemicals that nearly cost me my life. I could control the stormwater within my rights to defend my property. This man was angry that the officials could not control what I did legally on my own property. I could not control the chemicals, the fact that this man was allowed to do this knowing it was causing me physical harm and the officials dismissing the act as he had the right. That makes this a Federal Constitutional Rights case. The perps are the CIty and County officials who had the duty to protect my Right to enjoy my own property and my Right to Equal Protection of the Law.

via No adverse impact floodplain management and the courts

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Before (Existing legally nonconforming property) and after (illegal nonconforming property redevelopment)

Before and after, the law regarding storm water states you cannot diver more storm water onto your neighbors property than it received before new property redevelopment. Continue reading