(b) All zoning ordinances, and all amendments, supplements and changes thereto, legally adopted under any prior enabling acts, and all actions taken under the authority of any such ordinances, are hereby validated and continued in effect until amended or repealed by action of the governing body of the municipality or the county taken under authority of this article. These ordinances shall have the same effect as though previously adopted as a comprehensive plan of land use or parts thereof.
(c) Land, buildings or structures in use when a zoning ordinance is enacted can continue the same use and such use cannot be prohibited by the zoning ordinance so long as the use of the land, buildings or structures is maintained, and no zoning ordinance may prohibit alterations or additions to or replacement of buildings or structures owned by any farm, industry or manufacturer, or the use of land presently owned by any farm, industry or manufacturer but not used for agricultural, industrial or manufacturing purposes, or the use or acquisition of additional land which may be required for the protection, continuing development or expansion of any agricultural, industrial or manufacturing operation of any present or future satellite agricultural, industrial or manufacturing use. A zoning ordinance may provide for the enlargement or extension of a nonconforming use, or the change from one nonconforming use to another.
(d) If a use of a property that does not conform to the zoning ordinance has ceased and the property has been vacant for one year, abandonment will be presumed unless the owner of the property can show that the property has not been abandoned: Provided, That neither the absence of natural resources extraction or harvesting nor the absence of any particular agricultural, industrial or manufacturing process may be construed as abandonment of the use. If the property is shown to be abandoned, then any future use of the land, buildings or structures must conform with the provisions of the zoning ordinance regulating the use where the land, buildings or structures are located, unless the property is a duly designated historic landmark, historic site or historic district.
(e) Nothing in this chapter authorizes an ordinance, rule or regulation preventing, outside of urban areas, the complete use of natural resources by the owner.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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