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A. For the purposes of this section, abandonment will mean:

1. An intention to abandon; and

2. An overt act, which carries the implication that the owner does not claim or retain any interest in the right to the nonconforming use.

B. Conformance after Abandonment. If any nonconforming use of land, building, or structure ceases for any reason whatsoever for a period of one year or more, any future use of such land, building or structure must thereafter be in conformity in the zone in which it is located. The mere presence of a structure, equipment, or material will not be deemed to constitute a continuance of a nonconforming use unless the structure, equipment, or material is actually being occupied or employed in maintaining such use.

C. Procedure for Verifying Abandonment. When the Department obtains information indicating that a nonconforming use, building or structure has or may have been abandoned, the Department must send a letter by certified mail return receipt requested to the property owner requesting confirmation of either abandonment or nonabandonment. Documentation that the nonconforming use, structure, or building has been occupied, used, or maintained within the last year will be required. After notification, if the owner fails to respond to the request within 60 days, the building, structure, or use will be deemed abandoned. If the owner replies that the building, structure, or use is not abandoned, the Director may initiate a Level 2 review to determine if the abandonment has occurred. (Ord. 3040 § 2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2992 § 1 (Att. A), 2016)