In identifying and testing highest and best use, special considerations are required to address the following situations:ySingle usesyLegally nonconforming usesyInterim uses (including land held for investment purposes)yUses that are not the highest and best useyMultiple usesySpecial-purpose usesSingle Uses The highest and best uses of land as though vacant and property as improved are often consistent with surrounding uses. For example, in an industrial district, a single-unit home would usually stand out as an inconsistent – and inappropriate – land use. Sometimes, however, a property's highest and best use may be unusual or even unique. For example, market demand may be adequate to support one large, multi-storey office building in a community, but the market may not support more than one. As another example, a limited-market or special-use property such as a specialized industrial facility may be unique and highly beneficial to its site, but it might not be supported by surrounding land uses or comparable properties. Regardless of what improvement is currently on a site, the highest and best use of the site as though vacant should be the land use that meets all four tests. Therefore, the ideal improve-ment might be significantly different than the existing improvements, and the highest and best use of the site as though vacant for a single-use property might be to develop it differently than it is currently developed.If an existing single-use property is being appraised, the appraiser should perform some level of market analysis to determine whether the single use should be continued or discontinued. If the analysis reveals that the single use should be discontinued, the appraiser should then ask what, if anything, should be done with the improvements? If the improvements do not contribute to value and the assign-ment involves an opinion of market value, then the highest and best use would probably be something other than maintaining the existing use. Also, the improve-ments might contribute to value but still not qualify as the highest and best use because modification of the existing improvements would create a higher value. For a proposed single-use property, the appraiser should carefully analyze the market to determine whether any other such properties already exist and, if so, if the market demand is strong enough to support another.Single uses, interim uses, legally nonconforming uses, uses that are not the highest and best use, multiple uses, and special-purpose uses all require special consideration.single useA special case of highest and best use; a unique or special-purpose land use that may not be consistent with surrounding uses.
12.14The Appraisal of Real Estate – Third Canadian EditionLegally Nonconforming UsesA legally nonconforming use is a use that was lawfully established and maintained but no longer conforms to the land use regulations of the zone in which it is located.