Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


Urban, Land Use, nonconforming, code, municipality, expansion, NEPA, USA, taking


Legal nonconforming uses have similar definitions and codes throughout the United States. However, certain restrictions and rules can vary so much that ambiguity makes the truth harder to see. Many nonconforming uses are limited in their “expansion” or “enlargement.” However, what defines these terms is unclear in various codes across state lines. This paper proposes a framework for cities to adopt to have a more uniform definition with some exemptions of these terms. While planning and land use code should vary based on the specific needs of each municipality, this framework definition can help create a more concrete definition for any city while still preserving this uniqueness. Exemptions provided include a case-by-case basis, environmental impact reviews, and economic value.