17.30.030 – General definitions

Abut or Abutting. Having a common lot line, zoning district boundary line, or other boundary, not separated by a street or alley.

Accessory Building. A building that is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use and building on the lot and that is customarily used or occupied for a permitted accessory use. Examples of accessory buildings include private garages and storage buildings.

Accessory Structure. A structure that is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use and building on the lot and that is customarily used for a permitted accessory use. Examples of accessory structures include signs, fences, and decks.

Addition or Expansion. Any of the following:

  1. An increase in floor area of a building.
  2. A modification to the roof line of a building, such as the construction of a dormer that increases the amount of floor space devoted to human use or occupancy.
  3. The reconstruction of a building or structure which is not accompanied by a change in the use of a lot.

Alley. A public right-of-way, normally 20 feet or less in width, that affords a secondary means of access to abutting properties.

Alteration. Any physical change to the exterior surface of a building or part thereof, including but not limited to renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, restoration, or replacement, or any change that affects the interior configuration of walls, spaces, or bulk of a building or structure.

Arbor or Trellis.  A frame or shelter made of vines, branches, or latticework which may be covered with climbing shrubs or vines with horizontal dimensions no larger than 10 ft. x 3 ft.  A structure meeting this definition but which is larger than 10 ft. x 3 ft. in horizontal dimension shall be considered a Pergola, as defined herein.

Architectural Feature. A visually apparent feature of a building or structure that contributes to its aesthetics, including but not limited to cornices, eaves, gutters, belt courses, lintels, sills, archways, windows, doors, chimneys, columns, pilasters, and decorative ornaments.

Arterial or Collector Street. A street that is designated in the St. Charles Comprehensive Plan as an existing or future strategic regional arterial, arterial or collector street.

Attention-getting Device. Any flag, streamer, pennant, light, balloon, fringe, or similar device or ornamentation used primarily for the purpose of attracting attention for promotion or advertising a business or other use, which is visible by the general public from any public right of way.

Automobile Franchise. The right to sell a particular make of motor vehicle held by any person, firm or corporation owning or demising any portion of the land within an Auto Mall, as defined herein, irrespective of whether a particular manufacturer has multiple makes or brands. By way of example only, a corporation authorized to sell Daimler-Chrysler manufactured Jeep vehicles and DaimlerChrysler manufactured Dodge vehicles shall be considered to have two (2) Franchises.

Awning. A structure made of cloth, metal or other materials affixed to a building and generally located so as to provide shade for windows and doors.

Balloon. An inflated nonporous object filled with air or gas.

Banner. Any sign printed or displayed upon cloth or other flexible material with or without frames.

Basement.  A portion of a building located partly or wholly underground.  If four (4) feet or more of its clear floor-to-ceiling height is above the average grade of the adjoining ground around the full perimeter of the structure, a basement shall be considered a Half Story.

Bay Window. A window which projects outward from the building wall and does not rest on the building foundation or on the ground.  A wall projection with a window(s) that provides additional floor area for the structure shall be considered a Cantilever, as defined herein.

Berm. An earthen mound designed to provide visual interest on a site, screen undesirable views, reduce noise, or fulfill other such purposes.

Block. A tract of land bounded by streets or by a combination of one (1) or more streets and public parks, cemeteries, railroad rights-of-way, bulkhead lines, shorelines of waterways or corporate boundary lines.(Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Block Face. The properties abutting on one (1) side of the street and lying between the two (2) nearest intersecting or intercepting streets, or nearest intersecting or intercepting street and railroad rightof-way, public parks, cemeteries, corporate boundary line or watercourse.

Block Frontage. The total horizontal length of the lot frontages on one side of a street between the two nearest intersecting streets, or, if the street terminates in a dead-end, between the nearest intersecting street and the dead end of the street.

Bollard. A functional pole or sphere attached to the ground intended to control automobile access into pedestrian areas or protect structures in pedestrian areas from automobile damage.

Breezeway. A roofed, open-sided structure that connects a principal building with an accessory building.

Buffer Yard. An area of a lot with landscape plantings and other components used to visibly separate one use from another or to shield or block noise, lights or other nuisances.

Building. A structure attached to the ground built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property of any kind.

Building, Completely Enclosed. A building enclosed by a permanent roof and continuous exterior walls having openings only for windows, screens, and entrance or exit doors.

Building Coverage.  A measure of intensity of land use that represents the portion of a site that is covered by a principal building or buildings including attached garages and enclosed porches, and accessory buildings including detached garages and any other enclosed accessory building in excess of 150 square feet of Lot Coverage.  Building coverage shall also include cantilevered portions of a building that extend beyond the footprint of a structure, including portions cantilevered over an open front porch.  Building Coverage shall be measured at the outer edge of the foundation line, or at the outer wall surface support column in the case of a post, other non-continuous foundation, or cantilever, excluding projections for bay windows or chimneys.  Building coverage shall not include unenclosed porches, decks, or unenclosed accessory structures such as gazebos, swimming pools, or  tennis and sports courts.

Building, Detached.  A building surrounded by open space on the same lot. A building connected to another building only by an unenclosed structure shall be deemed to be a detached building.

Building Frontage. The horizontal length of any side of a building or portion thereof that faces a public or private street or parking area.

Building Height. The vertical distance from grade at the midpoint of the required front building line to a specified point on the building:

  1. In the case of a flat roof, to the highest point of the wall or parapet; if the building design provides for enclosed mechanical equipment on the roof, the building height shall be measured to the highest point of the enclosing structure, if the enclosing structure comprises more than 20% of the lot coverage of the building.
  2. In the case of a gable, hip, gambrel or mansard roof, to the top of the ridge of the highest area of the roof. Building elements extending above the main portion of the building such as chimneys, spires, steeples, towers, elevator penthouses, tanks and similar projections shall not be included in calculating building height, unless the area of a horizontal plane through the widest part of the building element comprises more than 20% of the lot coverage of the building.
    (Ord. 1988-Z-13 § 1; Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Building Line. A line within the lot parallel to a front lot line or exterior side lot line, which is separated from such lot line by the depth of the required front yard or exterior side yard, respectively.

Bulk. The term used to indicate the size of buildings or structures, and the location of the same with respect to lot lines and to one another, which includes the following:

  1. Lot Area
  2. Lot Width
  3. Building Coverage
  4. Floor Area and Floor Area Ratio E. Building Height
  5. Building Height
  6. Yards, setbacks, Landscape Buffers, and other open space.
    (Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Cantilever.  A projecting portion of a building without a foundation which provides additional floor area within the interior of a building.  A Cantilever is distinct from a Bay Window as defined herein, which does not provide additional floor area. 

Canopy.  A permanent rooflike structure that projects from the wall of a building and overhangs the right of way or open space outside the building, normally used to shelter pedestrians from rain or snow, or as a decorative architectural feature.

Carport. An open-sided roofed structure designed to shelter one or more vehicles, usually formed by an extension of the roof from the side of a building.

Cellar. The portion of a building located partly or wholly underground, and having half of more than half of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
(Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Circular Driveway. A driveway on a single or two family residential lot configured generally in a “U” shape, having two points of access to a public street or streets.

Clear Zone. An area of a lot that is required to be kept clear of obstructions as specified by this Title, to provide access to fire hydrants and electrical equipment.

Commercial Vehicle. Any vehicle operated for the transportation of persons or property in the furtherance of any commercial or industrial enterprise, for-hire or not-for-hire, but not including a commuter van, a vehicle used in a ridesharing arrangement when being used for that purpose, or a recreational vehicle not being used commercially.

Conforming Building or Structure. Any building or structure that complies with the regulations of this Title, as amended.

Contiguous.  Adjoining or abutting.

Curb Level.  The elevation of the established curb in front of a building or structure, measured at the midpoint of the building or structure’s frontage. Where there is pavement, but no curb, curb level shall be deemed to be the elevation of the centerline of the street surface in front of the building or structure, measured at the midpoint of the building or structure’s frontage.

Deck/Raised Patio.  An accessory structure that may be attached or unattached to the principal building, which is open to the sky and provides a platform that is raised above the ground.  This definition does not include Patio, at Grade, as defined herein.

District. A geographic area of the City within which certain uniform regulations and requirements, or various combinations thereof, apply under the provisions of this Title.

Donation Boxes. Any enclosed container located on private or public property specifically for the purpose of collecting donated clothing, books, electronics, or other similar items. Cargo Containers, trash dumpsters, or trash receptacles shall not be considered Donations Boxes.

Driveway. A private roadway providing access for vehicles to a parking space, garage, dwelling, or other structure.

Dwelling. A building, or portion thereof, designed or used exclusively for residential occupancy, including single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, townhouse dwellings, and multi-family dwellings, but not including Hotel/Motel or Bed and Breakfast Establishment, but not an automobile house trailer, as defined herein.

Dwelling, Attached. A dwelling that is joined to another dwelling at one (1) or more sides by a party wall or walls.

Dwelling, Detached.
A dwelling that is entirely surrounded by open space on the same lot.

Dwelling Unit.  A dwelling unit consists of a group of rooms which are arranged, designed, used or intended for use exclusively as living quarters for one (1) family, as defined by this Title and which include permanently installed bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Dwelling Unit, Accessory.
See Accessory Dwelling Unit.

Easement. A legal interest in land, granted by the owner to another person, which allows that person’s use of all or a portion of the owner’s land, generally for a stated purpose including but not limited to access or placement of utilities, or access.

Efficiency Unit.  A dwelling unit consisting of one (1) principal room, together with bathroom, kitchen, hallway, closets and/or dining alcove directly off the principal room, provided such dining alcove does not exceed one hundred twenty-five (125) square feet in area.

Erect. To build, construct, attach, hang, place, suspend or affix; also including the painting of wall signs. Façade. Any wall of a building which faces, or is visible from, a public street or residential district.

Family. One (1) or more individuals related by blood, marriage or adoption, or five (5) or fewer individuals not so related, living, sleeping, and eating on the premises as a single housekeeping unit.

Fence. A constructed barrier of wood, masonry, stone, wire, metal, or other manufactured material or combination of materials erected to enclose, screen, or separate areas.

Fence, Open. A fence designed and constructed so that the surface area of any segment of the fence, inclusive of any gates, is at least eighty percent open, as compared to solid materials, when viewed perpendicular to the plane of the fence.

Fence, Solid. A fence designed and constructed so that the surface area of any segment of the fence, inclusive of any gates, is at least eighty percent opaque, when viewed at any angle.

Fence Height. The vertical distance from grade directly under the fence to the top of the fence. Support posts or decorative elements may be excluded in measuring the height of a fence if they do not exceed one hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of the height of the other elements of the fence, do not exceed six (6) inches in diameter or width, and are spaced at not less than three (3) feet on center.

Floor Area, Gross. The sum of the gross horizontal floor areas of the several stories of a building, plus any basement or cellar floor area, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls, or in the case of a common wall separating two buildings, from the centerline of the common wall. Gross floor area shall not include interior parking or loading spaces, or any space where the floor to ceiling height is less than six feet.

Food Truck. A wheeled vehicle from which food is sold that typically contains cooking facilities where the food is prepared.

Foot Candle. A measuring unit of illuminance on a surface that is uniformly one foot from a uniform point source of light of one candela.

Frequency. The term Frequency signifies the number of oscillations per second in a sound wave and is an index of the pitch of the resulting sound.

Frontage. See Lot Frontage.

Gazebo.  A freestanding roofed structure that may or may not be open on all sides.

Grade. The elevation of the ground at a reference point or line, as may be specified for the applicable regulation.

Greenhouse. A building or structure used for growing plants and/or displaying and selling of horticultural and related products, not including the conduct of a landscape contracting business on the premises.

Height.  The vertical distance from grade to a specified point or plane. See also Building Height, Fence Height, Sign Height.

Historic building.  A building that has been designated by the City, the State of Illinois, or the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an architectural or historic landmark, or that is a significant or contributing building within a designated historic district.

Historic lighting fixture.  A lighting fixture mounted on a historic building, that was either part of the original design and construction of the historic building or has been approved by the City as being consistent with the original design and construction of the historic building.

Impervious Surface.  A hard, man-made surface that does not readily absorb or retain water, including but not limited to roofs, paved areas for parking and driveways, and graveled areas.

Inflatable Advertising Devices.  A portable advertising device that is supported primarily by compressed air or other gases. Such devices may be sealed from escaping or may be maintained in an inflated condition by means of a fan or blower, which is designed to maintain air pressure inside the device greater than the atmospheric air pressure outside the device.

Intermodal Container.
A shipping container that is portable and enclosed, used for the storage or shipping of inventory, materials or supplies.

Land Banked Parking.  Parking spaces required for compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this Title that are not initially constructed, pursuant to the provisions for land banked parking contained in Chapter 17.24. Land banked parking stalls shall be clearly indicated on all approved site, engineering, landscape, and building plans.

Landscaping, Building Foundation.
A planted area located adjoining exterior building walls and containing a common side with the structure. Turf is not a component of this planted area.

Lot. A tract of land which is designated by its owner at the time of application for a building permit as a unified parcel, all of which is to be developed and used under single ownership. A lot may consist of a) a single lot of record or b) a combination of contiguous complete lots of record. See Figure 17.30-3 for lot types.

Lot Area.  The area of a horizontal plane bounded by the vertical planes through front, side and rear lot lines.

Lot, Buildable.  A lot that meets all the minimum requirements of this Title applicable to the construction of a principal building of a given type.

Lot, Corner.
A lot situated at the junction of, and abutting on, two (2) or more intersecting streets, or a lot at the point of deflection in alignment of a single street, the interior angle of which does not exceed one hundred thirty-five degrees (135°).

Lot Coverage. A measure of intensity of land use that represents that portion of the horizontal area of a lot that is covered by the principal building or buildings and accessory buildings and structures, including but not limited to:

  1. Attached and detached garages (measured at the foundation)
  2. Accessory sheds (measured at the outer wall surface)
  3. Gazebos and cabanas (measured at the outer wall surface)
  4. Enclosed and Unenclosed Porches (measured at the outer edge of the foundation line, or at the outer wall surface or support column in the case of a post or other non-continuous foundation)
  5. Decks and accessibility ramps (measured at the outer limits of the deck or ramp surface)
  6. Swimming pools (measured at the outer edge of the pool deck)
  7. Tennis courts and sports courts (measured at the outer edge of the court surface)
    (Ord. 2008-Z-25 § 6.)

Lot Depth. The mean horizontal distance between the front lot line and the rear lot line of a lot, measured within the lot boundaries.

Lot, Flag.  A Flag Lot is an irregularly shaped lot which consists of two (2) sections: the primary mass of the lot (the buildable portion), which is set back from the street access and located behind one (1) or more other lots, and a narrow access corridor (the flagpole), which extends from the primary mass of the lot toward the street. The front lot line for a flag lot may be established on a lot line which is not a street frontage, and which is generally either parallel with or perpendicular to the street right-ofway.

Lot Frontage. The horizontal length of a front lot line or an exterior side lot line abutting a street. The term “Street Frontage” is equivalent.

Lot, Interior. A lot other than a corner lot or a through lot.

Lot Line. A property boundary line of any lot, except that where any portion of the lot extends into an abutting street or alley, the lot line shall be deemed to be the established or existing street or alley right-of-way line.

Lot Line, Exterior Side. A lot line which abuts a street and which is not a front lot line or a rear lot line.

Lot Line, Front.

  1. In the case of an interior lot, the lot line that abuts an improved or dedicated street.
  2. In the case of a corner lot or flag lot, the front lot line shall be as established on the plat of subdivision. For corner lots, if a front lot line was not established on the plat of subdivision, the front lot line shall be the shortest lot line adjoining a street; if both lot lines adjoining the street are the same length, the front lot line shall be as established by the owner at the time of application for a building permit. For flag lots, if the front lot line was not established on the plat of subdivision, the front lot line shall be as established by the owner at the time of application for a building permit.
  3. In the case of a through lot, the front lot line shall be the lot line that does not abut a collector or arterial street; if neither street abutting the lot is a collector or arterial street, the front lot line shall be the established common front lot line on the block. If no common front lot line has been established, the front lot line shall be established along the street where access is provided to the lot. If none of the preceding conditions apply, then the front lot line shall be established by the owner at the time the building permit is issue
  4. In the case of a lot with no frontage on a street, the front lot line shall be as established in a PUD, or if not so established, shall be designated by the Director of Community Development based upon the orientation of the building and its entrances in relation to the location of parking lots, access drives, and visibility of the building from public streets. In general, the front lot line should be designated so that the front of the building faces the front lot line.
    (Ord. 2002-Z-9 § 3; Ord. 1994-Z-4 § 3; Ord. 1988-Z-8 § 1; Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Lot Line, Interior Side.  Any lot line that is not a front lot line, a rear lot line, or an exterior side lot line.

Lot Line, Exterior Side.  A lot line that abuts a street and that is not a front lot line or a rear lot line.

Lot Line, Rear. That boundary of a lot that is most distant from and is, or is approximately, parallel to the front lot line. If the rear lot line is less than ten (10) feet in length, or if the line forms a point at the rear, the rear lot line shall be deemed to be a line ten (10) feet in length within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum distance from the front lot line. In the case of a through lot, the rear lot line shall be the lot line abutting a street that is, or is most nearly, opposite from and parallel to the designated front lot line.

Lot of Record. A lot which is part of a recorded subdivision, or a lot or parcel described by metes and bounds, the description of which has been recorded.

Lot, Reversed Corner.  A corner lot where the exterior side lot line is substantially a continuation of the front lot line of the first lot to its rear.

Lot, Through. A lot bounded by streets at opposite ends of the lot, which is not a corner lot.

Lot, Through Corner. A lot abutting two parallel or approximately parallel streets, as well as a third street which is perpendicular or approximately perpendicular to the other two streets.

Lot Width. The distance between the side lot lines of a lot measured by a straight line drawn between the intersections of the side lot lines with the front building line.

Luminaire. A complete lighting unit consisting of a light source and all necessary optical, mechanical, electrical and decorative parts, but not including the pole or other support.

Lux (lx). A unit for measuring the illumination (illuminance) of a surface. One lux is defined as an illumination of one lumen per square meter or 0.0001 phot. [By way of explanation, in considering the various light units, it's useful to think about light originating at a point and shining upon a surface. The intensity of the light source is measured in candelas; the total light flux in transit is measured in lumens (1 lumen = 1 candela·steradian); and the amount of light received per unit of surface area is measured in lux (1 lux = 1 lumen/square meter). One lux is equal to approximately 0.09290 foot candle.]

Mansard Roof. A double-sloped pitched roof rising steeply from the eaves and having a summit of flatter slope on both sides of the ridge.

Mezzanine.  An intermediate or fractional story between the floor and ceiling of a main story. A mezzanine is usually just above the ground or main floor and extends over part of the main floor.

Motor Vehicle.  Any self-propelled wheeled vehicle designed primarily for transportation of persons or goods along public streets.

Nameplate. A sign indicating the name, address or profession of the person or persons occupying the lot or a part of the building.

Nonconforming Lot.  A lot of record that does not meet the lot area or lot width requirements of this Title for the zoning district in which it is located.

Nonconforming Use, Building or Structure. An existing use, building or structure, or part or appurtenance thereof, that does not meet the applicable requirements of this Title.

Non-residential Building or Use. A principal building or principal use thereof which is not arranged, designed, used or intended to be used for residential occupancy. Nursing homes, homeless shelters, hospice facilities, hotel/motels, and bed and breakfast establishments are considered to be nonresidential buildings or uses for purposes of this Title. (See definition of Residential Building or Use.)

Obstruction. Any building or structure, or part thereof, which is so located as to come in the way of any open area required by this Title. Trees or shrubs shall not be considered as obstructions.

Owner. A titleholder of record, or if title is held in trust, the beneficiary of the trust.

Parcel. One or more lots or parts of lots, which may or may not be in common ownership, designated by its owner(s) to be considered as one parcel for the purpose of applying a particular regulation of this Title. (An example for illustrative purposes only: The owners of separate lots constituting a shopping center where parking and access are shared, may designate the lots constituting the shopping center as a parcel so as to apply the regulations pertaining to parking, signs, etc.)

Patio, at Grade. An open , hard surfaced area within six (6) inches of grade level designed and intended for outdoor sitting, dining, socializing, or recreational use by people and not as a parking space

Pedestrian Wall. An upright structure of building material, such as brick or masonry, serving to enclose, divide, or protect an area as part of an aesthetic or landscape design.

Pergola.  An open-sided structure consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters. A structure meeting the definition of Arbor or Trellis, as defined herein, shall not be considered a Pergola.

Person. An individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.

Person With A Disability. Any individual whose disability:

  1. Is attributable to mental, intellectual or physical impairments or a combination of mental, intellectual or physical impairments.
  2. Is likely to continue or a significant amount or time or indefinitely.
  3. Results in functional limitations in three (3) or more of the following areas of major life activity: Self care, receptive or expressive language, learning, mobility, self direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency
  4. Ref1ects the person’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment or other services which are of a life-long or extended duration.

Porch, Enclosed. A structure immediately adjoining and projecting from an exterior wall of a building, which has direct access into the building, is covered by a roof or eaves, and is enclosed by a combination of walls and permanent or temporary windows or screens. Screened-in rooms shall be considered enclosed porches.

Porch, Unenclosed. A structure immediately adjoining and projecting from an exterior wall of a building, which has direct access into the building, is covered by a roof or eaves, and is completely open on all sides not adjoining an exterior wall of a building, except for railings and columns.

Principal Building. A non-accessory building in which the principal use of the lot on which it is located is conducted.

Principal Use. A non-accessory use of a building or lot.

Property Line. A lot line.

Public Property. Any property owned, leased or held by any unit of government such as the United States, the State of Illinois, the City, park district, school district, library district, township, County, or any subdivisions thereof. This shall include all streets, parkways, sidewalks, alleys, buildings, parking lots, landscaped areas, parks, and schools, as well as any municipal signs, traffic-control devices, trees, utility poles, shelters or street lights located thereon.

Public Building. Any building owned, leased or held by any unit of government such as the United States, the State of Illinois, the City, park district, school district, library district, township, County, or any subdivisions thereof, provided that said building is used for governmental purposes.

Public Way. Any sidewalk, street, alley, highway or other public thoroughfare, located within a dedicated right of way or within an easement where the public has a right of access.

Railroad Right-of-Way. A private right of way with tracks and auxiliary facilities for track operation, not including freight depots or stations, loading platforms, train sheds, warehouses, car or locomotive shops, or car yards.

Recreational Vehicle. Any camping trailer, motor home, mini-motor home, travel trailer, truck camper or van camper and any towed recreational equipment, including the trailers for same such as boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles used privately for recreational purposes and not used commercially. Recreational vehicles, more specifically, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Camper Trailer (Pop-Up). A recreational trailer not used commercially, constructed with partial side walls which fold for towing and unfold to provide temporary living quarters for recreational camping or travel use and are of a size or weight not requiring an over-dimension permit when towed on a highway.
  2. House Trailer (Mobile Home). A recreational trailer equipped and used for living quarters for human habitation, temporarily or permanently, rather than for the transportation of freight, goods, wares and merchandise.
  3. Motor Home (Mini-Motor Home or Van Camper). Any self-contained motor vehicle, not used commercially, designed or permanently converted to provide living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, with the direct walk-through access to the living quarters from the driver’s seat.
  4. Travel Trailer. A recreational trailer not used commercially, designed to provide living quarters for recreational camping or travel use, and of a size or weight not requiring an over-dimension permit when towed on a highway.
  5. Truck Camper. A recreational truck, not used commercially, when equipped with a portable unit designed to be loaded on to the bed which is construed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, travel or camping use.

Refuse. Any waste products, including recyclable materials, resulting from human habitation or the conduct of business or industry, except sewage.

Residential Building, Use. A principal building or principal use thereof which is arranged, designed, used or intended to be used for residential occupancy and permitted accessory uses, including but not limited to single-family dwellings, auxiliary dwellings, two-family dwellings, townhouse dwellings, multi-family dwellings, group homes, independent living facilities, and assisted living facilities. Nursing homes, homeless shelters, hospice facilities, hotel/motels, and bed and breakfast establishments are not considered to be residential buildings or uses for purposes of this Title.

Residential Development Sign. An identification sign used to indicate the entrance to a subdivision, neighborhood, or unified residential area.

Satellite Dish Antenna, Large: A parabolic Communication Antenna, usually distinguished by a spherical or cone shape, including the dish structure and structural supports, used for the sending and/or receiving of transmissions from satellites, with a dish diameter larger than a “Satellite Dish Antenna, Small” as defined herein.

Satellite Dish Antenna, Small: A parabolic Communication Antenna, usually distinguished by a spherical or cone shape, including the dish structure and structural supports, used for the sending and/or receiving of transmissions from satellites, with a dish diameter of one (1) meter (40 inches) or less located in a residential zoning district or two (2) meters (80 inches) or less located in all other zoning districts.

Searchlight. An apparatus containing a source of light and a reflector that projects the light produced in a concentrated, far-reaching beam. A searchlight is typically mounted on a swivel so that the beam can be directed.

Setback.  The required minimum distance from a lot line to a building or structure, or other improvement on a lot; usually synonymous with yard.

Shade Tree. A deciduous tree planted primarily for its high crown of foliage or overhead canopy. A large shade tree is over forty (40) feet in height. Medium shade trees are between twenty-five (25) and forty (40) feet in height. Small shade trees reach up to twenty-five (25) feet in height.

Shopping Center. Two (2) or more retail stores and/or service establishments located on a parcel of four acres or more sharing customer parking areas, regardless of whether said stores and/or establishments occupy separate structures or are under separate ownership.

Sign. A name, identification, description, display, illustration or attention-getting device which is affixed to or painted or represented directly or indirectly upon a building or other outdoor surface or lot.

Sign, A-Frame. A sign ordinarily in the shape of an A, or some variation thereof, with two panels connected or hinged at the top, which is not permanently attached to the ground.

Sign, Area. The area of a sign face, normally expressed in square feet, calculated as provided in Chapter 17.28.

Sign, Awning. A sign that is mounted or painted on, or attached to, an awning, and that does not project beyond the physical dimensions of the awning.

Sign, Canopy. A sign that is painted on, printed on, or attached to a canopy.

Sign, Changeable Copy. Any sign that, by its design, allows for a change in the lettering or symbols it displays, by mechanical, electronic, or other means.

Sign, Commericial.  Signs containing speech on behalf of a company or individual for the intent of making a profit.  Commerical Speech is economis in nature intended to identify, advertise, or direct attention to a business service or product.

Sign, Entryway.  A freestanding sign erected at the entry to a residential development.

Sign Face. That part of the sign that is, or can be, used to identify, to advertise, to communicate information, or for visual representation, which attracts the attention of the public for any purpose. The term Sign Face includes any background or surrounding material, panel, trim or ornamentation, color, and direct or self-illumination that differentiates the sign from the building, structure, backdrop surface or object upon or against which it is placed. The term Sign Face does not include any portion of the support structure for the sign, provided that no message, symbol or any of the previously described elements of a sign face is placed on or designated as part of the support structure.

Sign, Freestanding. A sign that is attached to, or part of, a completely self-supporting structure, the primary purpose of which is to support the sign.

Sign, Ground.  A type of freestanding sign.

Sign Height. The vertical height of a sign, calculated as provided in Chapter 17.28.

Sign, Identification. A sign giving the name, trademark, or other readily recognized symbol or address, or any combination thereof, of a building, business, development or establishment on the premises where it is located.

Sign, Monument. A freestanding sign, where the width of the base is at least fifty percent (50%) of the width of the display portion of the sign.

Sign, Non-Commerical.  Display which is devoid of any commercial signage.

Sign, Off-Site.  A freestanding sign or all sign that advertises a business or product, and is not located on the premises where the business is located or the product is the primary product available for sale.

Sign, Projecting. A sign attached to a building or other structure, which extends more than twelve inches from the wall surface to which it is attached, and where the principal orientation of the sign is perpendicular to the wall surface.

Sign, Pole. A freestanding sign, where the width of the base is less than fifty percent (50%) of the width of the display portion of the sign.

Sign, Portable. Any sign designed to be transported or movable including but not limited to signs affixed to a trailer and other signs designed to be transported by a trailer, wheels or boat.

Sign, Roof. Any sign wholly erected, constructed or maintained upon or above the roof structure or parapet of any building, with the principal support attached to the roof structure.

Sign Structure or Support. Any structure that supports, or is capable of supporting, a sign, including decorative cover.

Sign, Vehicle. A sign on a vehicle of any kind, painted or attached directly to the body of the original vehicle. A sign in or on a vehicle that advertises the vehicle for sale, lease or rental shall not be considered a vehicle sign.

Sign, Vertical Projecting. A projecting sign that is greater in height than in width.

Sign, Wall. Any sign that shall be affixed parallel to the wall, painted or printed on the wall of any building in such a manner as to read parallel to the wall on which it is mounted. For the purposes of this Title, any sign display that is affixed flat against the sloping surface of a mansard roof shall be considered a wall sign. Any sign that is affixed to the face of a marquee shall be considered a wall sign.

Sign, Window. A sign attached to, placed upon or printed on the interior or exterior of a window or door of a building intended for viewing from the exterior of such a building.

Sign, Yard.  A type of temporary sign that may be freestanding or attached to a wall or other structure.

Sports Court.  A hardscape area used for recreational purposes, including, but not limited to, tennis courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, and ice rinks.  This definition shall not include swimming pools or driveways used for access to a garage.

Stoop. A structure immediately adjoining an exterior wall of a building, which is designed for the sole purpose of providing access into the building, is not covered by a roof or eaves, and is completely open on all sides not adjoining an exterior wall of a building, except for railings.

Story. That portion of a building included between the surface of a floor and the surface of the floor next above, or if there is no floor above, the space between the floor and the ceiling or roof above it. A Basement as defined herein shall not be counted as a story, but may be considered a Half Story as defined herein.

Story, Half. A partial story that meets one of the following definition:

1.  A partial story above a full story and underneath one or more sloping roofs, meeting the following criteria:

  1. Total wall height above the first floor level shall not exceed an average of 13ft., measured along walls that intersect the roof plane, as shown in Figure 17.30-4.  A garage floor level shall be calculated at the height of the first floor immediately adjacent to the garage.  For a half story located above a second floor, the wall height shall be measured from the second floor level.
  2. The total horizontal width of all projections out of the half-story roof plane shall not exceed 60% of the total horizontal length of the half story roof.  Roof length shall be measured horizontally along all walls that intersect the roof, as shown in Figure 17.30-Projections include window dormers, shed dormers, wall projections up through the roof eave line, and other projections that do not extend out beyond the roof eave line.

         2.      A basement below a full story that has four (4) feet or more of its clear floor-to-ceiling height above the average grade of the adjoining ground around the full perimeter of the structure.  A walkout or lookout basement that does not meet this criterion shall not be considered a half story.

Street. A permanent public or private right of way that affords a primary means of access to abutting property.(Ord. 1960-16 § III (part).)

Street Level. The story of a building that has its floor at the level closest to the elevation of the public sidewalk or street, with direct pedestrian access to that story from the outside. A story shall not be considered street level if it is more than three (3) feet above or three (3) feet below sidewalk grade at the primary customer entrance to the building.

Street Line. The dividing line between a street and a lot.

Street Wall. The wall of a building nearest to and facing on a street.

Structural Alteration. Any change, other than incidental repairs, in the supporting members of a building or structure such as bearing walls or partitions, columns, beams, or girders, or any substantial change in the roof or exterior walls.

Structure. Anything erected, the use of which requires more or less permanent location on the ground or attached to something having a permanent location on the ground. An advertising device, if detached or projecting, shall be construed to be a separate structure.

Swimming Pool. Any constructed pool, aboveground, on-ground, or below ground that is over 24 inches in depth.

Swimming Pool Deck. An impervious area surrounding a swimming pool, up to 4 ft. in depth as measured from the outer edge of the swimming pool, which is intended for use by pool users.

Temporary Structure. A structure that is not designed or intended to be permanently located, placed or affixed in a location, such as a trailer, tent, or portable sign.

Temporary Contractor’s or Real Estate Sales Office. This use includes watchman’s trailers, construction equipment sheds, contractor or real estate sales trailers, and similar uses incidental to a construction project and sales of homes within a newly constructed development.

Terrace. An open area with a paved platform and a flat roof or roof-like structure and adjacent on at least one (1) side to a building, but not adjacent to any entrance to a building. Use. The specific purpose or activity for which the land or building thereon is designed, arranged or intended, or for which it is occupied or maintained.

Yard. A required open space on a lot which is unoccupied and unobstructed from its lowest level upward, except for obstructions specifically permitted in this Title. A yard extends along a lot line for a depth or width specified for the district in which the lot is located, measured perpendicular to the lot line.

Yard, Exterior Side. A required yard that extends along an exterior side lot line, excluding the area within the required front yard.

Yard, Front. A required yard that extends along a front lot line for the full width of the lot.

Yard, Interior Side.
A required yard that extends along an interior side lot line, excluding the area within the required front and rear yards.

Yard, Rear. A required yard that extends along a rear lot line for the full width of the lot between side lot lines, excluding the area within a required exterior side yard.

17.30-4 Calulation of a half story
(Ord. 2011-Z-10 § 3.)

(Ord. 2018-Z-10 § 2; Ord. 2012-Z5 § 11.)

(2019-Z-10: § 3 & 4; 2019-Z-8: § 3; 2019-Z-2: § 3, 4; 2018-Z-10: § 2; 2017-Z-9: § 5; 2016-Z-11: § 12; 2012-Z-5: § 10; 2008-Z-20: § 6; 2002-Z-9: § 3; 2000-Z-26: § 1; 1988-Z-8: § 1; 1986-Z-4: § 1; 1960-16: § III (part))