Agricultural Economics Department


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Published in Cornhusker Economics, 04/27/2005. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


One of the most misunderstood concepts in zoning law is that of non-conforming uses, or “grandfathering.” Most zoning regulations exempt existing uses that would not conform to the new (or revised) zoning regulation. These uses (land uses or buildings) are called non-conforming uses because they do not conform to the new (or revised) zoning regulation. The often mistaken belief is that zoning regulations must leave non-conforming uses alone. This is incorrect: Neb.Rev.Stat. § 23-173.01 allows non-conforming uses to be terminated, continued or regulated by a county zoning regulation. As a practical matter, however, most counties will not regulate or terminate non-conforming uses; doing so would often make adoption of the proposed zoning regulation or amendment difficult if not impossible.