A nonconforming use is a permitted use of property which would otherwise be in violation of the current zoning ordinance. The use is permitted because the land owner was using the land or building for that use before the zoning ordinance became effective. Nonconforming uses are often referred to as being “grandfathered in” to a zoning code. In order to qualify for nonconforming use, the property almost always needs to have had the use continuously. Thus, if the businesses closes and the use lapses for any time, the permission for the nonconforming use could vanish.