Non-Conforming Use Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Non-Conforming Use.

Non-Conforming Use (noun): This is a legal term used in zoning laws to describe a situation where a property's current use doesn't match the guidelines set by zoning ordinances, but is allowed because the property was in use before the ordinances were passed. For instance, a commercial business operating in an area later zoned for residential use can continue as a non-conforming use. However, if the business changes or stops, then the non-conforming use may end and the property must comply with current zoning laws.