§ 153.031  DEFINITIONS OF SPECIFIC TERMS AND WORDS.
   For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning. Except where specifically noted, the following is a list of terms and words used in this chapter. All words not specifically defined in this chapter shall be assigned their customary dictionary definitions. Additional definitions are found in §§ 153.121(B) and 153.346.
   ABANDONMENT.  A use shall be deemed to be abandoned when:
      (1)   The use is discontinued for a consecutive period of 180 days;
      (2)   The premises are devoted to another use;
      (3)   When the characteristic equipment and furnishings of the nonconforming nonresidential use have been removed from the premises and have not been replaced by the same or similar equipment within 30 days; or
      (4)   Failure to take all positive action to resume the nonconforming use with reasonable dispatch, including the failure to advertise the property for sale or for lease.
   ACCESSORY STRUCTURE.  A structure detached from the principal structure on the same lot and customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal structure.
   ACCESSORY USE.  A use customarily and clearly incidental and subordinate to the principal use or building and located on the same lot with the principal use or building.
   ADMINISTRATOR, UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT.  The administrative official(s) appointed by the City Manager of the City of Lincolnton to administer this chapter. This person(s) may also be referred to as the ADMINISTRATOR.
   ADULT CABARET.  Any place featuring topless dancers, go-go dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators or entertainers displaying SPECIFIED ANATOMICAL AREAS as defined by G.S. § 14-202.10 as the statute may be amended from time to time, or other similar entertainers.
   ADULT ESTABLISHMENT.  Any place as defined by G.S. § 14-202.10 as the statute may be amended from time to time, including adult cabarets, except that the definition of massage business shall not include any establishment or business where massage is practiced that is a health club, exercise studio, hospital, physical therapy business or other similar health-related business. ADULT ESTABLISHMENT specifically includes, however, any massage business where massages are rendered by any person exhibiting specified anatomical areas. SPECIFIED ANATOMICAL AREAS are those defined by G.S. § 14-202.10 as the statute may be amended from time to time.
   AGRICULTURE USES.  The commercial production, keeping or maintenance, of plants and animals useful to man, including but not limited to: forages and sod crops; grains and seed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses, ponies, mules, goats or any mutations or hybrids thereof, including the breeding and grazing of any or all or the animals; bees and apiary products; fur animals; trees and forest products; fruits of all kinds, including nuts and vegetables; nursery, floral and ornamental products; or lands devoted to a soil conservation or forestry management program.
   ALLEY.  A public or private way that affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.
   ALTERATION.  A change in the size, configuration, or location of a structure; or a change in the use of a structure or lot from a previously approved or legally existing size, configuration, location or use.
   ANIMAL HOSPITAL.  A place where animals are given medical or surgical treatment and the boarding of animals is limited to short-term care incidental to the hospital use. All facilities associated with an animal hospital shall be located indoors.
   ANIMAL KENNEL.  A commercial enterprise where more than six dogs or other domesticated animals are groomed, bred, boarded, trained or sold.
   ARCADE, AMUSEMENT CENTER or GAME ROOM.  An establishment operated for profit where two or more billiard tables or ten or more other type amusement devices and/or games of skill such as video games, pinball or table games, are provided for public use. This definition shall be construed to include facilities for the conduct of bingo gaming as a principal use.
   ATRIUM HOUSE.  Attached or semi-attached one-story house on a small lot, the lot having a small yard space that is surrounded by the house and its privacy walls. As distinguished from the patio house, an ATRIUM HOUSE is always one-story, its yard space and lot size is usually smaller, and it is always attached (to another unit) in some fashion.
   AUTO HOBBYIST.  One who collects, repairs or alters automobiles to which he or she holds title for enjoyment, and not for commercial purposes, as an incidental, use on the premises where the person resides.
   AUTOMOBILE BODY SHOP.  Any building, premises and land in which or upon which a business is conducted that primarily involves the painting of vehicles or external repairing of damaged vehicles.
   AUTOMOBILE GARAGE, REPAIR AND SERVICE.  Any building, premises and/or land in which or upon which a business is conducted involving the maintenance or servicing of vehicles.
   AUTOMOBILE PARTS SUPPLY STORE.  An establishment that sells new and/or rebuilt automobile parts and accessories but does not include junkyards, used auto parts sales, or the installation of parts.
   AWNING.  A structure made of cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a building in a manner that the structure may be raised or retracted from a building to a flat position against the building, but not a canopy.
   BAIL BOND SERVICE. An establishment that provides surety, pledge money, property or other financial transfers for the purpose of securing the release from jail of an accused defendant pending trial.
   BANNER.  A sign intended to be hung either with or without a frame, possessing characters, letters, illustrations, or ornamentation applied to plastic or fabric of any kind, excluding flags and emblems of political, professional, religious, educational or corporate organizations.
   BED AND BREAKFAST.  A use that:
      (1)   Takes place within a building that at any time prior to the establishment, was designed and used as a single-family residence;
      (2)   Consists of renting one or more dwelling rooms on a daily basis to tourists, vacationers and similar transients;
      (3)   Where the provision of meals, if provided at all, is limited to the breakfast meal, available only to guests; and
      (4)   Where the bed and breakfast operation is conducted primarily by persons who reside in the dwelling unit, with the assistance of not more than the equivalent of two full-time employees.
   BLOCK.  A piece of land bounded on one or more sides by streets or roads.
   BOARDING HOUSE.  A building where, for compensation, rooms and/or meals are provided for not less than three persons and not more than 12 persons; provided however, the operator or owner must reside within a separate dwelling unit within the building.
   BUILDING.  An structure temporary or permanent, having a roof or other covering supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of any person, animal, process, equipment, goods, materials or chattels of any kind or nature. The term BUILDING shall be construed as if followed by the words OR PARTS THEREOF.
   BUILDING, ACCESSORY.  A building subordinate to the main building on a lot and used for purposes customarily incidental to the main or principal building and located on the same lot therewith.
   BUILDING HEIGHT.  The vertical distance from the mean elevation of the finished grade along the front of the building to the highest point of a flat roof, or to the deck line of a mansard roof, or to the mean height level between eaves and ridges for gable, hip and gambrel roofs.
   BUILDING, PRINCIPAL.  A building in which is conducted the principal use on the lot on which the building is situated. In a residential district, any structure containing a dwelling unit shall be deemed to be the PRINCIPAL BUILDING on the lot where it is located.
   BUILDING SETBACK LINE.  A line establishing the minimum allowable distance between the nearest portion of any building, including porches, (but excluding steps, ramps, bay windows, awnings, and HVAC equipment) and the nearest edge of the street right-of-way when measured perpendicularly thereto.
   BUILDING WALL.  The entire surface area, including windows and doors, of an exterior wall of a building. For the purposes of this chapter, the area of a wall will be calculated for a maximum of 50 feet in height of a building.
   BULLETIN BOARD.  A sign used to announce meetings or programs to be held on the premises of a church, school, auditorium, library, museum, community recreation center, or similar noncommercial places of public assembly.
   BUSINESS PARK.  A development on a tract of land which contains two or more separate office buildings, constructed and managed in an integrated and coordinated basis. A BUSINESS PARK may also be cited as an office park.
   CANOPY.  A permanent structure, other than an awning, attached or unattached to a building for the purpose of providing shelter to patrons or automobiles, or as a decorative feature on a building wall. A CANOPY is not a completely enclosed structure.
   CARNIVAL.  A traveling enterprise offering amusements.
   CEMETERY.  Property used for the internment of the dead, which use may include the commercial sale and location of burial lots, crypts or vaults for use exclusively on the subject property. A CEMETERY shall not be used for the preparation or embalming of bodies or the cremation of bodies. Setbacks for cemeteries shall be measured from the nearest structure or gravesite.
   CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS.  A certificate issued by the Historic District Commission indicating its approval of plans for alteration, construction, removal or demolition of a landmark or of a structure within a HO - Historic Overlay District.
   CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE.  A document issued by the city allowing the occupancy or use of a building and certifying that the structure or use has been constructed or will be used in compliance with this chapter and all other applicable regulations.
   CHECK CASHING ESTABLISHMENT. A business, other than a bank or financial institution, that cashes checks, drafts, and money orders for a fee, service charge, or other consideration regulated pursuant to the provisions of G.S. Ch. 53, Art. 22.
   CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER.  A facility providing treatment and resources for child abuse victims and non-offended family members. Facilities housed in the center include staff offices, medical exam rooms, forensic interview rooms and other similar facilities.
   CHURCH/HOUSE OF WORSHIP.  A building or structure, or group of buildings or structures, which by design and construction are primarily intended for conducting organized religious services whose site may include an accessory area for the interment of the dead.
   CIRCUS.  A large enclosed area used especially for sports and animal performances.
   CLUSTER HOUSING.  A development pattern where the dwelling units are grouped or clustered on a density basis for the total land area of the development, rather than spread evenly throughout the site on a lot-by-lot basis. A CLUSTER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT includes permanent open space usually owned and maintained by a homeowner’s association or the developer.
   COMMUNITY CENTER.  A building used for recreational, social, educational and cultural activities, usually owned and operated by a public or non-profit group or agency.
   CONDITIONAL USE.  Any use authorized by a conditional use permit.
   CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT (CUP).  A special authorization for a specific use (other than a permitted use) within the zoning district, which is subject to any special restrictions or conditions on its location, size, extent or character of use as determined by the City Council in order to ensure consistency with the intent and character of the zoning district in which the use is located.
   CONDOMINIUM.  A building, or a group of buildings, in which units are owned individually and the structure, common areas and facilities are owned by all of the owners on a proportional basis.
   CONSTRUCTION.  The act of adding an addition to an existing structure or the erection of a new principal or accessory structure on a lot or property.
   CONSTRUCTION TRAILER.  A structure standing on wheels towed or hauled by another vehicle which is used for neither overnight nor year round occupancy and is used exclusively at a construction project on a temporary basis for office or storage purposes.
   CONTIGUOUS.  Next to, abutting, or touching and having a boundary, or portion thereof, which is contiguous including properties traversed or separated by a road, stream, right-of-way or similar manmade or natural configuration.
   CONTINUING CARE COMMUNITIES.  Also called LIFE CARE COMMUNITIES and CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES, these complexes include independent living units (apartments, condominiums, or cottages), assisted living (domiciliary care) facilities and/or nursing home beds. Residents may pay an entry fee which purchases a housing unit that can be used for the rest of their lives or units may be made available on a rental basis. If owned, the unit often reverts back to the development owner upon the death of the resident or surviving spouse.
   CONVENIENCE STORE.  A one-story retail store containing less than 3,600 square feet of gross floor area that is designed and stocked to sell primarily fuel, food (packaged and/or prepared), beverages and other household supplies to customers who purchase a relatively few items (in contrast to a super market). It is designed to attract, and depends upon, a large volume of stop-and-go traffic. If fuel is sold, the sale of fuel shall be limited to the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight. See definition of EXPRESS FUEL/MINI-MART.
   COPY SERVICE.  An establishment that provides photocopying, facsimile transmission (FAX), typing and/or word processing services and may provide light duty printing service through the use of small offset presses (e.g., printing of business cards, envelopes, forms, and other documents as opposed to heavy duty commercial printing). No printing machine noises are heard or vibrations felt outside the building in which a copy service is located.
   COUNTRY CLUB.  A land area and buildings containing recreational facilities, clubhouses and usual accessory uses, open to members and their guests.
   CROSSWALK.  A specially paved or marked path for pedestrians crossing a road.
   CUL-DE-SAC.  A street containing a turnaround at the end or the turnaround located at the end of a street.
   CUSTOMARY HOME OCCUPATION.  Any use of a commercial service customarily conducted within a dwelling (except as otherwise specifically provided for in this chapter) by the residents thereof, which is clearly secondary to the use of the dwelling for living purposes and does not change the character thereof or have any exterior physical, visual, audible or other sensory evidence of the secondary use; where no power other than that used in the home is used; where no signs other than one unlighted sign not in excess of three square feet is displayed; where no merchandise or other articles are stored in the open or in accessory resident buildings or are displayed for advertising purposes; where no assistants other than family members are employed or otherwise report for work; and which an area equivalent of not more than 25% of the principal building is used.
   DAY CARE CENTER.  A place where daytime care is provided to six or more children, older adults or adults with disabilities unrelated by blood or marriage to, and not the legal wards or foster children of the attendant adult, within an occupied residence. Care recipients who are related by blood or marriage to the attendant adult shall not be counted as patrons of the DAY CARE CENTER.
   DAY CARE CENTER, ACCESSORY.  A day care center facility located on the premises or adjacent to the premises of an office use, institutional use, commercial use, industrial use or group development for the primary purpose of care for the dependents of employees of a commercial, office, institutional or industrial use or of persons employed with a group development. Two or more businesses may jointly operate or sponsor one ACCESSORY DAY CARE CENTER. At least 50% of the clients enrolled shall be dependent of employees of the establishment(s) or of businesses within the group development sponsoring the facility.
   DAY CARE CENTER, SMALL GROUP.  A place where daytime care is provided to not more than five children unrelated by blood or marriage to, and not the legal wards or faster children of the attendant adult, within an occupied residence. Children who are related by blood or marriage to the attendant adult shall not be counted as patrons of the SMALL GROUP DAY CARE CENTER.
   DEMOLITION.  Any act or process that destroys in part or in whole a landmark or a structure on a lot or property.
   DENSITY GROSS.  A ratio expressed as the number of dwelling units per gross acre. The ratio is derived by dividing the total number of dwelling units by the total land area (in acres) used or proposed to be used for purposes such as buildings, road, facilities and open spaces.
   DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER.  A structure providing temporary habitation for not more than 15 people within a Residential District and not more than 35 people in a GMC district, including family members, who are victims of domestic violence.
   DUPLEX.  See DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY.
   DWELLING, ATTACHED.  A single-family dwelling attached to two or more one-family dwellings by common vertical walls.
   DWELLING, DETACHED.  A dwelling unit that is developed with open yards on all sides including modular homes but not including manufactured homes.
   DWELLING, MULTI-FAMILY.  A building, or portion thereof, used or designed as a residence for three or more families living independently of each other in separate dwelling units, including apartments, townhouses and condominiums.
   DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY.  A detached building designed for or occupied exclusively by one family, but not to include manufactured homes as defined by this chapter.
   DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY.  A building arranged or designed to be occupied by two families living independently of each other in separate dwelling units.
   DWELLING UNIT.  A room or combination of rooms designed for year-round habitation, containing self-sufficient bathroom and kitchen facilities, connected to all required utilities, and designed for or used as a residence by one family.
   EASEMENT.  A grant by the property owner to the public, a corporation, or persons of the right to use a specified portion of a tract or tracts of land for a specified purpose.
   ENGINEER, CITY.  As designated by the City Council, a consultant or consulting firm(s) or city employee engaged or hired to provide engineering services for the city.
   ESSENTIAL SERVICES.
      (1)   Publicly or privately-owned facilities or systems for the distribution of gas, electricity, steam, or water; the collection and disposal of sewage or refuse; the transmission of communications; or similar functions necessary for the provision of public services. Radio transmission facilities for use by ham radio operators or two-way radio facilities for business or governmental communications shall be deemed accessory uses and not ESSENTIAL SERVICES, provided no transmitter or antenna tower exceeds 100 feet in height.
      (2)   ESSENTIAL SERVICES are divided into the following three classes:
         (a)   Class I.  Transmission lines (whether, subterranean or overhead) including electrical, natural gas, and water distribution lines; sewer gravity lines and pressure mains; underground septic tanks and drain fields, cable television and telephone transmission lines; or similar utility lines.
         (b)   Class II.  Booster stations, pumping stations, switching facilities, substations, lift stations, or other similarly required facilities in connection with telephone, electric steam, water, sewer or other similar utilities.
         (c)   Class III.  Generation, production or treatment facilities such as power plants, sewage treatment plats, radio and television transmission towers, or similar utilities; operations centers for providers of essential services; and solid waste deposit stations where solid waste is deposited by the public in containers prior to the waste being hauled to another facility for disposal.
   EXPRESS FUEL/MINI MART.  A one-story retail store containing less than 3,600 square feet of gross floor area that is designed and stocked to sell a large volume of fuel and may also sell prepared and/or packaged foods, beverages, and household and picnic supplies, and automobile incidentals. It is designed to attract and depends upon a large volume of fueling and stop-and-go traffic. Automotive mechanical and/or maintenance services are not provided. Any retail business which generally meets the forgoing description and which sells fuel between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. shall be deemed an EXPRESS FUEL/MINI-MART.
   FAMILY.  An individual, or two or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit, exclusive of household servants; or a group of not more than six persons who need not be related by blood, marriage or adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit.
   FAMILY CARE HOME.  A home with support and supervisory personnel that provides room and board, personal care and habilitation services in a family environment for not more than six resident persons with disabilities, the person with disabilities defined by state law.
   FAMILY THEME PARK.  An amusement and recreational facility with both indoor and outdoor amusements and including but not limited to enclosed game rooms, miniature 18 hole golf courses, batting cages, go-cart tracks, and remote controlled miniature car and boat operation facilities.
   FARMERS’ MARKET.
      (1)   FARMERS’ MARKET (SMALL SCALE).  A market (normally conducted outdoors) on pre-established dates at which locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables are sold on a retail basis. Baked good items and handmade crafts may also be sold but may not constitute a majority of total sales.
      (2)   FARMERS’ MARKET (LARGE SCALE).  A market (normally with both indoor and outdoor facilities) normally with daily operating hours at which locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables are sold on a retail basis. Baked good items, handmade crafts, produce items not native to the region, and other retail items may also be sold but may not constitute a majority of total sales.
   FEED AND FLOUR MILLS.  An establishment at which feed and grain are milled and stored.
   FEED AND SEED STORE.  A retail establishment at which animal feed, crop seeds and related products are sold. The milling or grinding of feed or flour at the establishments shall be prohibited as shall the storage of milled products.
   FINANCE COMPANY.  A commercial establishment that makes short and long term loans to individuals.
   FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.  A commercial bank, a mortgage bank, a savings bank, a savings and loan association, or a credit union any of which are licensed, insured or chartered by the United States of America or the state.
   FLAG.  A piece of durable fabric of distinctive design attached to a permanent pole that is used as a symbol or decorative feature.
   FLEA MARKET.  An open-air market for new and/or second-hand articles and goods sold by one or more merchants that is conducted on an open nonresidential lot. Occasional yard sales conducted by individuals or nonprofit organizations shall not be deemed FLEA MARKETS, provided the yard sales are not conducted on more than six days per year or in the case of nonprofit organizations not more than ten days per year.
   FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR).  The gross floor area of all buildings on a lot divided by the lot area. When computing this figure, the gross floor area of all enclosed parking deck buildings shall be excluded.
   FLORIST.  A retail commercial establishment where flowers or ornamental plants are sold indoors.
   FREEWAY BUSINESS SIGN.  A sign which directs attention to an activity upon the premises where the sign is located so that the traveling public utilizing the limited access highway is conveniently provided with transient type services without endangering movement along and access to and from the limited access highway.
   FRONTAGE.  All the property abutting on one side of a street, not interrupted by an intersecting street, and measured along the street line.
   GOLF COURSE.  A tract of land for playing golf, improved with trees, fairways, hazards and which may also include as accessories clubhouses, shelters, golf ranges, and ball driving and golf course maintenance facilities.
   GRADE OF STREET.  The height of the top of the curb, or if no curb exists, the height of the edge of pavement in the lane of travel adjacent to the side of the street at which grade is being measured.
   GREENHOUSE.  A building whose roof and sides are made largely of glass or other transparent or translucent material and in which the temperature and humidity can be regulated for the cultivation of delicate or out-of-season plants for subsequent sale.
   GREENHOUSE, COMMERCIAL.  An establishment whose primary business is the growing of plants through the use of one or more on-premises greenhouses.
   GROSS FLOOR AREA.  The sum of the gross horizontal areas of each floor of the principal building, measured for the exterior walls or from the centerline of the party walls, including the floor area of accessory structures. The term does not include any area used exclusively for the parking of motor vehicles or for building or equipment access such as stairs, elevator shafts and maintenance crawlspaces or unused attics. This term also excludes pedestrian walkway common areas within enclosed shopping areas.
   GROUND COVERS.  Low growing plants such as grasses, ivies, creeping bushes and similar decorative planting. Where required by this chapter, GROUND COVERS shall have the capability of soil stabilization and erosion control.
   GROUP DEVELOPMENT.  A group of two or more principal structures built on a single lot, tract or parcel of land not subdivided into the customary streets and lots and which will not be so subdivided into the customary streets and lots and which will not be so subdivided, and designed for occupancy by separate families, businesses or other enterprises. Examples would be:  cluster-type subdivisions, row houses, apartment complexes, housing projects, school and hospital campuses and shopping centers.
   GROUP HOME FOR AT-RISK YOUTH.  A home with support personnel that provides room and board, personal care and habilitation services for not more than 12 at-risk youth between the ages of ten and 17 years.
   GROUP HOME FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN RECOVERY FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE.  A home with support personnel that provides room and board, personal care and habilitation services for not more than 20 pregnant women in recovery from substance abuse.
   GUN AND AMMUNITION SPECIALTY STORE.  An establishment that specializes primarily in the sale of firearms, ammunition, hunting equipment and related items. A store such as a variety store, catalog showroom, department store, general sporting goods store or pawn shop which sells the items only as a sideline among a wide variety of merchandise shall not be deemed a GUN AND AMMUNITION SPECIALTY STORE.
   HEALTH CENTER.  A center, operated by a public agency, providing outpatient and short term hospital facilities for medical and mental health patients, as well as dental and social services.
   HELISTOP.  A facility or structure that is intended or used for the landing and takeoff of rotary wing aircraft in support of principal permitted uses, but not including the regular repair, fueling or maintenance of aircraft or the sale of goods or materials to users of the aircraft.
   HOMELESS SHELTER.  A structure providing temporary habitation for not more than 35 homeless people. Qualified personnel shall staff HOMELESS SHELTERS on a full-time basis.
   HOSPITAL.  As defined in G.S. § 131E-76.
   HOTEL.  A facility offering transient lodging accommodations to the general public and may provide additional services such as restaurants, meeting rooms and recreation facilities.
   IMPERVIOUS SURFACE.  Any land surface covered by buildings or other material which reduces or prevents absorption of rainwater or other precipitation. Examples of this include buildings, canopies, paved surfaces and swimming pools.
   IMPERVIOUS SURFACE RATIO.  The gross area of all impervious surfaces on a lot divided by the lot area.
   JAIL.  As distinguished from a penal institution, a JAIL is a facility operated by Lincoln County (or a private contractor thereof) used for the temporary incarceration of persons after arrest or pending hearing or trial or for the incarceration and or housing of persons serving sentences. The sentences are generally shorter than those assigned to state institutions and may involve work release or other types of overnight and/or weekend only incarceration in the facility.
   JUNK YARD.  The use of more than 600 square feet of the area of any lot for the storage, keeping or abandonment of junk, including scrap metals or other scrap material, or for the dismantling, demolition or abandonment of automobiles or other vehicles, appliances or machinery or parts thereof.
   LANDMARK.  A property or structure designated as a LANDMARK by ordinance of the City Council, pursuant to procedures prescribed in G.S. §§ 160A-400.1 through 160A-400.14, whereby it has been determined to be worthy of rehabilitation, restoration, and preservation because of its historic and/or architectural significance to the city.
   LINK. The portion of a street defined by a node at each end or at one end. Approved stubs to adjacent property shall be considered LINKS. However, alleys shall not be considered LINKS.
   LOADING SPACE, OFF-STREET.  An off-street space or berth on the same lot with a building or contiguous to a group of buildings for the temporary parking of commercial vehicles while loading or unloading merchandise or materials.
   LOT.  A parcel of land occupied or capable of being occupied by a building or group of buildings devoted to a common use or combination of uses, together with the customary accessories and open spaces belonging to the same. Utility and drainage easements located within the lot shall be deemed to be a part of that lot.
   LOT AREA (SIZE).  The total horizontal area within the legal lot lines of a lot exclusive of any portions of the lot that lie within street rights-of-way.
   LOT, CORNER.  A lot located at the intersection of two or more roads. A lot abutting on a curved road or roads shall be considered a corner lot if straight lines drawn from the foremost points of the side lot lines to the foremost point of the lot meet at an interior angle of less than 135 degrees. The street line forming the least frontage shall be deemed the front of the lot except where the two street lines are equal, in which case the owner shall be required to specify which is the front when requesting a zoning permit.
   LOT DEPTH.  The average horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
   LOT, INTERIOR.  A lot other than a corner lot.
   LOT LINE.  A line of record bounding a lot that separates one lot from another lot or separates that lot from a public or private street or any other public space.
   LOT LINE, FRONT.  The lot line separating a lot from a street right-of-way.
   LOT LINE HOUSE.  A single-family detached dwelling unit that is placed against one of the side lot lines. The dwelling unit has a front and rear yard but only one side yard.
   LOT LINE, INTERIOR.  A lot line that does not have street frontage.
   LOT LINE, REAR.  The lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line.
   LOT LINE, SIDE.  Any lot line abutting another lot and which is not a front or rear lot line.
   LOT OF RECORD.  A lot which is part of a subdivision, a plat of which has been recorded in the Deeds Office or a lot described by metes and bounds, the description of which has been so recorded prior to the adoption of this chapter.
   LOT, PANHANDLE.  A lot other than one having access on a cul-de-sac, which contains a narrow strip providing street access.
   LOT, REVERSE FRONTAGE.  A through lot which is not accessible from one of the parallel or non-intersecting streets upon which it fronts.
   LOT, SINGLE-TIER.  A lot that backs upon a limited access highway, a railroad, a physical barrier, or another type of land use and to which access from the rear is usually prohibited.
   LOT, THROUGH.  A lot which fronts upon two parallel streets, or which fronts upon two streets which do not intersect at the boundaries of the lot.
   LOT WIDTH.  The distance between side lot lines measured at the building setback line.
   MANUFACTURED HOME (MOBILE HOME).  A dwelling unit that:
      (1)   Is not constructed in accordance with the standards set forth in the North Carolina State Building Code (Uniform Residential Building Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings);
      (2)   Is composed of one or more components, each of which was substantially assembled in a manufacturing plant and designed to be transported to the home site on its own chassis; and
      (3)   Exceeds 40 feet in length and eight feet in width.
   MANUFACTURED HOME (MOBILE HOME), CLASS A.  A manufactured home constructed after July 1, 1976 that meets or exceeds the construction standards promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that were in effect at the time of construction and that satisfies each of the following additional criteria:
      (1)   The minimum width (the width being the narrower of the two overall dimensions) of the main body of the manufactured home as assembled on the site shall be at least 22 feet for a distance extending along the length (the length being the longer of the two overall dimensions) of at least 20 feet;
      (2)   The pitch of the roof of the manufactured home has a minimum vertical rise of two and two-tenths feet for each 12 feet of horizontal run, the roof is finished with a type of shingle that is commonly used in standard residential construction and which does not exceed the reflectivity of gloss white paint, and the roof has an overhang (eave) extending at least ten inches from each vertical exterior wall. A site-installed gutter may be counted in the width of the eave;
      (3)   The exterior siding consists of wood, hardboard, vinyl, brick or aluminum and shall be comparable in composition, appearance, and durability to the exterior siding commonly used in standard residential construction, and which does not exceed the reflectivity of gloss white paint;
      (4)   A continuous, permanent masonry foundation or masonry curtain wall, unpierced except for required ventilation and access, shall be installed upon a poured concrete footer after placement on the lot, and before occupancy;
      (5)   The tongue, axles, transporting lights, and removable towing apparatus are removed after placement on the lot and before occupancy;
      (6)   The manufactured home is set up on the site in accordance with the standards set by the North Carolina Department of Insurance;
      (7)   Stairs, porches, entrance platforms and other means of entrance and exit to the manufactured home shall be installed and constructed in accordance with the standards set by the North Carolina Department of Insurance; and
      (8)   The manufactured home is oriented on the site in a manner that the side having the main entrance, and by design intended to be the front of the manufactured home is generally parallel to a public street abutting the site.
   MANUFACTURED HOME (MOBILE HOME), CLASS B.  A manufactured home that meets all of the criteria of a Class A manufactured home, except criteria divisions (1), (2), (3), (4) and (8).
   MANUFACTURED HOME (MOBILE HOME), PARK.  A parcel of land under single ownership on which three or more manufactured homes are occupied as residences.
   MEDICAL CLINIC.  A facility where one or more medical professionals (medical doctor, dentist, osteopath, chiropractor, optometrist, podiatrist, physical therapist) provide outpatient treatment services.
   MEDICAL EDUCATION CENTER.  A center for the ongoing training and education of licensed healthcare personnel. The centers include nursing schools and medical education centers in support principal permitted uses.
   MEMORIAL SIGN OR PLAQUE.  A sign commemorating the erection and/or dedication of a building including name of building, date of erection, and other information such as architect, contractor, or others involved in a building’s creation, cut into or attached to a building surface.
   MINI-WAREHOUSE.  A structure containing separate storage spaces of varying sizes leased or rented on an individual basis for indoor storage purposes. No outdoor storage shall be allowed in conjunction with the facility.
   MOBILE HOME.  See MANUFACTURED HOME.
   MODULAR HOME.  A dwelling unit constructed in accordance with the standards set forth in North Carolina State Building Code (Uniform Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings), and composed of components substantially assembled in a manufacturing plant and transported to the building site for final assembly on a permanent foundation. A MODULAR HOME shall be deemed a single-family dwelling as defined in this chapter.
   MOTEL.  An establishment providing transient accommodations containing six or more rooms with at least 25% of all rooms having direct access to the outside without the necessity of passing through the main lobby of the building.
   MOTORCYCLE SALES.  A facility which displays and/or sells motorcycles.  Outdoor storage is limited to during business hours only.  Any outdoor storage of motorcycles not during business hours would require approval as a conditional use permit.
   MULTI-FAMILY DEVELOPMENT.  A tract of land under single individual, corporate, firm, partnership or association ownership, or under common control evidenced by duly recorded contracts or agreements; planned and developed as an integral unit in a single development operation or in a definitely programmed series of development operations. The development shall consist of two or more duplex buildings, or three or more dwelling units sharing one or more common walls. The development shall have a unified or coordinated design of buildings and a coordinated organization of service areas and common open space area.
   NODE.  The terminus of a street or the intersection of two or more streets, except that intersections that use a roundabout shall not be counted as a NODE. For the purposes of this section, an INTERSECTION shall be defined as the point of crossing or meeting of two or more streets.
   NONCOMMERCIAL (SIGN) COPY.  A sign message through pictures, illustrations, symbols and/or words, or any combination thereof, which does not contain any reference to a business or product but displays a substantive message, statement or expression that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
   NONCONFORMING LOT.  Any lot of record that does not meet the minimum area or width requirements established in these regulations or any amendment thereto.
   NONCONFORMING SIGN.  Any sign that was lawfully erected in compliance with applicable code provisions and maintained prior to the effective date of this chapter, and which fails to conform to all applicable standards and restrictions of this chapter.
   NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE.  Any structure lawfully existing on the effective date of these regulations, or any amendment to it rendering the structure nonconforming, which does not comply with all of the standards and regulations of this chapter or any amendment thereto.
   NONCONFORMING USE.  A use or activity which does not conform to the use regulations of this chapter for the district in which it is located either at the effective date of this chapter or as a result of any subsequent amendments to this chapter.
   NURSERY.  A commercial enterprise on land used to raise flowers, shrubs and plants for sale. NURSERIES may use greenhouses for the raising of these items.
   NURSING CARE FACILITY.  A facility that serves people who need nursing and supportive domiciliary care. Nursing care is provided for eight or more hours per day.
   OFFICE.  A room or group of rooms used for the conduct of a business, profession, service industry or government where retail trade is not conducted.
   OFFICE BUILDING.  A building used primarily for conducting the affairs of a business, profession, service, industry or government, or like activity, that may include ancillary services primarily for office workers such as a restaurant, coffee shop, newspaper or candy stand.
   OFFICE PARK.  See BUSINESS PARK.
   OFFICE TRAILER.  A building manufactured in a plant and transported to the use site and used exclusively for business or office purposes on a temporary basis.
   ON-PREMISES DAY CARE FACILITY.  A publicly licensed day care facility for six or more children located on the site of a principal business, office or industrial use, the day care facility being designed and operated primarily for the care of children whose parent or guardian is employed on the site of the principal use.
   OPEN-AIR VENUE/OUTDOOR VENUE. A facility which would be used for such events as weddings, rehearsal dinners, dinner parties, graduation parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, bridal showers, baby showers, luncheons and similar uses. The use shall have limited days and hours of operation and must be able to either provide parking on site or by contract with a nearby lot.
   OPEN SPACE, COMMON.  Land and/or water areas within the site designated for development, not individually owned or dedicated for public use, which is designed and intended for the common use or enjoyment of the residents of the development but not including any lands occupied by street, street rights-of-way or off-street parking.
   OPEN SPACE, COMMON, IMPROVED.  Common open space which has been improved with recreational areas and amenities such as, but not limited to, ballfields, tennis courts, swimming pools, nature trails, clubhouses and the like.
   OPEN SPACE, UNOBSTRUCTED.  Land not covered by buildings or structures.
   OPEN STORAGE.  An unroofed area for the storage of bulk materials or discarded items whether fenced or not but not including items and non-bulk materials openly displayed for the purpose of retail sale.
   OUTLET STORE, ACCESSORY.
      (1)   A sales facility located on the same premises and accessory to a principal manufacturing, distribution, or shipping facility. The ACCESSORY OUTLET STORE must be clearly incidental to the principal use.
      (2)   If open to the general public, at least 50% of the value of goods sold must either:
         (a)   Be manufactured by the owner of the store if owner is a manufacturer;
         (b)   Be salvage goods distributed from the principal use, if principal use is a distribution facility; or
         (c)   Be salvage goods obtained by the owner or operator of the principal use the requirement to meet either division (2)(a) or (2)(b) does not apply.
      (3)   If open only to employees of the owner or operator of the principal use, the requirement to meet either criteria (2)(a), (2)(b) or (2)(c) above does not apply.
   OUTPATIENT WELLNESS CENTER.  A center designed for the ongoing health care needs of established medical patients which can include a variety of services including, but not limited to, physical or mental therapy in support of principal permitted uses. The centers shall not be deemed to include YMCAs or YWCAs or commercial physical fitness centers.
   PACKAGE TREATMENT PLANT.  A small self-contained sewage treatment facility built to serve developed areas beyond the service area of sanitary sewers. The facilities are usually not owned by a governmental unit.
   PAINTBALL GAMING FACILITY, OUTDOOR.  The play of paintball games in an outdoor area consisting of more than five acres of land. No buildings or structures temporary or otherwise can be erected as part of the gaming area. The gaming area shall be at least 200 feet away from any residential structure and the use of tires as barriers shall be prohibited. Screening shall be required adjacent to all residential areas. The boundaries of the gaming area must be clearly identified by fencing, netting, trees, berms or a combination thereof.
   PARAPET.  The portion of a building wall or false front that extends above the roofline.
   PARK.  See RECREATIONAL FACILITIES.
   PARKING BAY.  The parking module consisting of one or more sets of one or two rows of parking spaces and the aisle from which motor vehicles enter and leave.
   PARKING SPACE.  A storage space of not less than nine feet by 19 feet for one automobile, plus the necessary access space. All off-street PARKING SPACES shall be located outside the dedicated street right-of-way.
   PATIO HOUSE.  A single-family house built on a small lot enclosed by garden walls that provide privacy. Dwelling units themselves are detached but may be connected to other dwelling units by means of garden walls. Dwellings may be located with one or two sides on lot lines and in those cases the outside wall of the dwelling forms the privacy wall for the adjoining lot.
   PAWN SHOP.  A shop where money is lent on the security of personal property pledged. The property may then later be sold on a retail basis at the shop.
   PENAL INSTITUTION.  As distinguished from a jail, a facility operated by the state (or private contractor thereof used primarily for the incarceration or housing of persons serving criminal sentences. State prisons, prison camps and penitentiaries are examples of PENAL INSTITUTIONS.
   PERMIT, BUILDING.  Written permission issued for the construction, repair, alteration or addition to a structure.
   PERMITTED USE.  A use allowed within a zoning district as a matter of right (as opposed to a conditional use).
   PERSONAL HEALTH CLINIC.  A medical or health clinic which routinely provides for the care and treatment of and testing for physical emotional or mental injury, illness or disability and which may include overnight patient care.
   PLANNED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT (PRD).  A development planned and developed as an integral unit consisting of one or more residential-unit types (as permitted in the underlying general zoning district) and conforming to all applicable lot and bulk regulations.
   PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT.  An area planned as a single entity containing one or more residential, commercial or mixed-use clusters located on lots that may or may not meet the minimum specified requirements contained in this chapter.
   PLANNING JURISDICTION.  All areas within the corporate limits of the city and the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction as depicted on the city’s official zoning map that are subject to the rules and regulations contained in this chapter.
   PLANTING STRIP.  A section of land that contains plant or other natural materials and for the purpose of creating a visual separation between uses or activities.
   PLAT.  A map or plan of a parcel of land that is to be or has been subdivided showing the subdivision.
   POSTAL STORE.  A commercial establishment that specializes in the sale of postal and packaging items and mailing and parcel expressing services. Private mailboxes, rental service, photocopying and facsimile transmission (FAX) services may also be offered.
   PREMISES.  A parcel of real property with a separate and distinct number of designations shown on a recorded plat, record of survey, parcel map or subdivision map. When a lot is used together with one or more contiguous lots for a single use or planned development, all of the lots so used, including any lots used for off-street parking, shall be considered as single PREMISES for purposes of these regulations.
   PRINCIPAL USE.  The primary or predominant use of any lot.
   PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL QUARTERS.  An accessory dwelling (other than a manufactured home) either attached or part of the principal residential use or separate from the principal use in the form of a guest house or garage apartment provided that the dwelling is not rented or occupied for gain and provided that no accessory building containing the use is constructed on a lot until the construction of the main building has commenced. All private residential quarters shall require a permit to be issued annually by the Administrator. The principal dwelling on the lot containing the private residential quarters shall be owner-occupied.
   PUBLIC SAFETY STATION.  A facility operated by a public agency, a private contractor thereof, or by a private non-profit volunteer organization and used for the base of operations and/or housing of equipment or personnel for the provision of dispatched public safety services including law enforcement, fire protection, rescue services, and/or emergency medical services. The facility may contain living quarters for on-duty personnel. It may also contain up to four holding cells for the temporary custody of persons under arrest. Facilities for the maintenance of equipment housed at the operation site are also permitted.
   RECREATIONAL FACILITIES.  An area of land or combination of land and water resources that is developed for active and/or passive recreation pursuits with various manmade features that accommodate the activities.
   RECYCLING CENTER.  A structure at which newspapers, aluminum cans, glass, corrugated paper or backyard waste (i.e., grass cuttings, tree limbs and the like) are deposited for the purpose of being recycled. All goods shall be housed at all times within the structure. The outdoor storage of all goods to be recycled shall be prohibited. Closed bins shall be deemed to be a structure for the purpose of this definition.
   RECYCLING STATION - CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION MATERIAL.  A facility which recycles construction and demolition material including concrete, asphalt, wood materials, metal, wall materials (sheetrock, and drywall). These materials would be separated and either crushed or ground into usable material. 95% of the material would be recycled and any residuals that cannot be reused would be placed in a permitted landfill either private or county. Stockpiles would be created from the usable material and be sold by weight or by truckload count.
   REMOVAL.  Any relocation of any part or all of a structure that is taken from its existing site or to another site.
   REST HOME (HOME FOR THE AGED AND INFIRM).  Facilities licensed to provide domiciliary care for more than six elderly or disabled adults who do not need nursing care but are no longer able to remain in their own homes because they need assistance in meeting their day-to-day basic needs. The facilities servicing six or fewer people are deemed FAMILY CARE HOMES.
   RESTAURANT.  A commercial establishment other than a drive-in or fast food restaurant where food and drink are prepared, served and consumed primarily within the principal building.
   RESTAURANT, DRIVE-IN.  A building or portion thereof where food and/or beverage are sold in a form ready for consumption and where all or a significant portion of the consumption takes place or is designed to take place outside the confines of the building, often in a motor vehicle on the site.
   RESTAURANT, FAST FOOD.  An establishment whose principal business is the sale of prepared or rapidly prepared food directly to the customer in a ready-to-consume state for consumption either within the restaurant building, on the restaurant premises or off-premises.
   ROAD.  A dedicated public right-of-way for vehicular traffic (or a private road when permitted by this chapter). The word ROAD includes, but is not limited to, STREET, FREEWAY, HIGHWAY, EXPRESSWAY and THOROUGHFARE.
      (1)   ROAD, ARTERIAL.  A road that collects and distributes traffic to and from collector roads and which may contain signals at important intersections.
      (2)   ROAD, COLLECTOR.  A local access road that serves as a connector street between local roads and the thoroughfare system.
      (3)   ROAD, FRONTAGE.  A local road that is parallel to a full or partial access controlled road and functions to provide access to adjacent lands.
      (4)   ROAD, LOCAL.  Cul-de-sacs and loop streets generally less than 2,500 feet in length, or streets less than one mile in length that do not serve as major traffic generators.
      (5)   ROAD, PUBLIC.  A road meeting all minimum construction standards of NCDOT and available for use by the general public.
   SALON. An establishment where people go to receive beauty treatments, and/or purchase beauty products. These treatments primarily include one or more of the following: 1) cutting, trimming, shampooing, weaving, coloring, waving, or styling hair; 2) providing facials; 3) applying makeup (including permanent makeup, but not Body Art); and 4) providing nail care services, such as manicures, pedicures, and nail extensions. TATTOO STUDIO shall not be included under this definition.
   SATELLITE DISH.  An apparatus capable of receiving a communications signal from a transmitter relay located in planetary orbit.
   SCALE (PLAN SCALE).  Where this chapter uses the term SCALE in the sense of requiring plans drawn to scale, it shall mean scale using a standard civil engineer’s scale.
   SERVICE STATION.  Any building, land area or other premises, or portion thereof, primarily used or intended to be used for the retail dispensing or sales of vehicular fuels and including any minor repair work conducted as an accessory use, but not including convenience stores.
   SETBACK.  A distance measured inward from a property line that shall remain unoccupied and unobstructed upward except as may be permitted elsewhere in this chapter.
   SETBACK, FRONT.  The portion of the front yard that shall remain unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as may be permitted in this chapter.
   SETBACK, REAR.  The portion of the rear yard that shall remain unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as may be permitted elsewhere in this chapter.
   SETBACK, SIDE.  The portion of the side yard that shall remain unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as may be permitted in this chapter.
   SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM, PRIVATE.  A sewage disposal system serving one connection that is usually owned and controlled by a private single entity.
   SEWER SYSTEM, PUBLIC.  A means of collecting, transporting and treatment of sewage by a public entity (e.g., city, town, county or district), or other public body created by, or pursuant to state, federal and local laws, or any combination thereof acting cooperatively or jointly. A package treatment plant shall be considered part of a public sewer system if owned by a city, town, county, district and the like.
   SHOPPING CENTER.  Two or more retail uses planned, developed and managed as a unit and related in location, size and type of shop to the needs of the trade area which is being serviced and with customer and employee parking provided on site and the provisions goods delivery separated from customer access. SHOPPING CENTERS shall be construed to include all out parcels, whether or not developed, located within the shopping center site or development plan. SHOPPING CENTERS are divided into three classes - Class A, Class B and Class C. A SHOPPING CENTER may contain any use otherwise, permitted or conditional in the respective zoning district, however, for a shopping center to contain a use listed as conditional (either initially or later through a change in use) a conditional use permit is required. If the SHOPPING CENTER is a conditional use, any initial uses within it listed as conditional uses in this chapter are reviewed and approved through the conditional use application for the SHOPPING CENTER.
   SHOPPING CENTER, CLASS A.  A small neighborhood shopping center which does not exceed a total of 10,000 square feet in gross floor area.
   SHOPPING CENTER, CLASS B.  A community shopping center that has at least 10,000 but no more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area.
   SHOPPING CENTER, CLASS C.  A shopping center which is designed to serve the entire community and has over 50,000 square feet of gross floor area.
   SHRUB.  A woody bush-type plant that has branches and is at least 16 inches tall above the highest root at the time of planting.
   SIGHT TRIANGLE.  A triangular area on a corner lot adjoining the rights-of-way of the two intersecting streets, the triangular area being formed by the intersecting lines of the street rights-of-way and a straight line connecting two points, each points being 25 feet from the intersection of the two street rights-of-way. See diagram below:
 
   SIGN.  Any object, device, or structure, or part thereof, situated outdoors (or indoors behind transparent surfaces on the wall or window of a building intended to be viewed only from outdoors), which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct, or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event or location by any means, including words, letter, figures, designs, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination or projected images. SIGNS do not include the flag or emblem of any nation, organization of nations, state, city, or any fraternal, religious or civic organizations; works of art which in no way identify a product; religious symbols; or scoreboards located on athletic fields.
   SIGN, ADVERTISING.  A sign that directs attention to or communicates information about a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is displayed. Any sign larger than 32-square feet directing attention to a commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered only incidentally upon the premises where the sign is displayed shall also be deemed an ADVERTISING SIGN.
   SIGN, CAMPAIGN OR ELECTION.  A sign that advertises one or more candidates or other individual person for public office, political party or issue, to be voted on a definite election day.
   SIGN, CANOPY OR AWNING.  A sign attached to or painted or printed onto a canopy or awning. For the purposes of this chapter, the permitted size of a CANOPY OR AWNING SIGN will be calculated on the basis of the size of the building wall to which the canopy is attached. It will, for measuring purposes, be deemed a wall sign.
   SIGN, CONSTRUCTION.  A sign placed at a construction site identifying or announcing the project or the name of the architect, engineer, contractor, financier, or others involved in the development of the project.
   SIGN, DIRECTIONAL.  A sign fronting on a road containing only the name of the principal use, directional arrow and mileage to the principal use. The principal use shall not be visible to the motorist at the location at which the sign is placed.
   SIGN, DIRECTORY.  A sign on which the names and locations of occupants or the use of a building or property is identified.
   SIGN, FLASHING.  A sign that uses an intermittent or flashing light source or windblown and/or mechanical moved reflective materials to attract attention.
   SIGN, FREE-STANDING.  Any sign that is not affixed to a building and is securely and permanently mounted in the ground. The sign may be a ground mounted sign, pole or monument sign.
   SIGN, GOVERNMENT. Any temporary or permanent sign erected and maintained or any government purposes.
   SIGN, GROUND MOUNTED.  A sign which extends from the ground or which has supports which places the bottom thereof less than two and one-half feet from the ground directly beneath the sign.
Example of Ground Mounted Sign
 
   SIGN, IDENTIFICATION.  A sign which displays on the name, address and/or crest, or insignia trademark, occupation or profession of an occupant or the name of any building on the premises.
   SIGN, INCIDENTAL.  A sign used in conjunction with equipment or other functional elements of a use or operation. These shall include, but not be limited to drive through window menu boards, and signs on automatic teller machines, gas pumps, vending machines or newspaper racks.
   SIGN, INSTRUCTIONAL.  An on-premises sign designed to guide vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic by using words such as “Entrance,” “Exit,” “Parking,” “One-Way” or similar directional instruction, but not including any advertising message. The name or logo of the business or use to which the sign is giving direction may also be included on the sign.
   SIGN, ILLUMINATED.  A sign either internally or externally illuminated.
   SIGN, LIGHTED.  A sign illuminated only by light cast upon the sign from an external light source.
   SIGN, LUMINOUS.  A sign lighted by or exposed to artificial lighting either by lights on or in the sign. Neon signs shall be deemed LUMINOUS SIGNS.
   SIGN, MEMORIAL OR PLAQUE.  A sign commemorating the erection and/or dedication of a building including a name of building, date of erection, and other information such as architect, contractor or others involved in a building’s creation, cut into or attached to a building surface.
   SIGN, MONUMENT.  A monolithic sign in which the bottom of the sign is flush with the ground and the vertical dimension of the sign is greater than the horizontal dimension.
   SIGN, NONCONFORMING.  Any sign that was lawfully erected in compliance with applicable code provisions and maintained prior to the effective date of this chapter, and which fails to conform to all applicable standards and restrictions of this chapter.
   SIGN, OFF-PREMISES TEMPORARY SPECIAL EVENT.  A sign that directs attention to or communicates information about a temporary special event offered elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is displayed.
   SIGN, ON-PREMISES.  A sign that draws attention to or communicates information about a business, service, commodity, accommodation, attraction, or other enterprise or activity that exists or is conducted, sold, offered, maintained or provided on the premises where the sign is located.
   SIGN, POLE.  A detached sign erected and maintained on a freestanding frame, mast or pole and not attached to any building but not including ground-mounted signs. The bottom of the signs shall be greater than two and one-half feet from the ground directly beneath the sign.
Examples of Pole Sign
   SIGN, PORTABLE.  Any freestanding sign that is not permanently affixed to the ground and can freely and easily be removed from one location to another. A sign is permanently affixed to the ground if its supporting elements are set in a manner as to manifestly indicate that the sign is intended to remain in one location for an indefinite period. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, PORTABLE SIGNS shall include any sign mounted on a trailer or on a stand not attached to the ground, or on wheels as well as A-shaped or sandwich signs that can, with little difficulty, be moved from place to place.
   SIGN, PORTABLE SIDEWALK.  A portable sign with a maximum dimension of ten square feet and displayed only during the business operating hours of the business/use being advertised. The signs shall be sufficiently weighted so as to be stable in windy conditions.
Examples of Portable Signs
   SIGN, PRIMARY.  The main or principal sign located on-premises.
   SIGN, PROJECTING.  Any sign other than a wall, awning, canopy or marquee sign, which is affixed to a building and is supported only by the wall on which the sign is mounted.
   SIGN, PUBLIC INTEREST.  A sign on private property that displays information pertinent to the safety or legal responsibilities of the general public such as “Warning” and “No Trespassing” signs.
   SIGN, REAL ESTATE.  A sign that is used to offer for sale, lease or rent the premises upon which the sign is placed.
   SIGN, ROOF.  A sign erected or maintained in whole or in part upon or over the roof or parapet of a building.
   SIGN, SETBACK.  The shortest horizontal distance from the property line or right-of-way to the nearest point (leading edge) of the sign or its supporting member whichever is nearest to the property line or right-of-way.
   SIGN, VEHICULAR.  Signs on parked vehicles or trailers visible from the public right-of-way where the primary purpose of the vehicle is to advertise a product or to direct people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property. For the purposes of this chapter, VEHICULAR SIGNS shall not include business logos, identification or advertising on vehicles primarily used for other business purposes.
   SIGN, WALL.  Any sign directly attached to an exterior wall of a building or dependent upon a building for its support with its exposed face parallel or approximately parallel to the plane of the building or structure on which the sign is affixed. Signs directly painted on walls shall be deemed WALL SIGNS.
   SIGN, WINDOW.  A sign in a building window intended to be seen primarily or entirely from outside the building.
   SPECIAL, HIGHWAY.  Any highway listed as a special highway in § 153.120 of this chapter.
   STREET.  A dedicated and accepted public right-of-way for vehicular traffic that affords the principal means of access to abutting properties.
   STREET PROPERTY LINE.  The line which separates a lot or parcel of land from a street right-of-way created by dedication resulting from the recording of the lot.
   STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY.  An area of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a public street, including areas offered for dedication to the public for those purpose, areas claimed by the city or the state for those purposes or actually used for those purposes.
   STRUCTURE, ACCESSORY.  A building separate and subordinate to the principal building on the same lot as the principal building used for purposes customarily incidental to the principal building.
   STRUCTURE, PRINCIPAL.  A structure in which the principal use on the lot takes place.
   SUBDIVIDER.  Any person, firm, or corporation who subdivides or develops any land deemed to be a subdivision as herein defined. The subdivider shall also be known as the APPLICANT.
   SUBDIVISION.  All divisions of a tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, building sites or other divisions for the purpose of sale or building development (whether immediate or future) and shall include all divisions of land involving the dedication of a new street or a change in existing streets, but the following shall not be included within this definition and is not subject to any regulations enacted pursuant to this chapter:
      (1)   The combination or recombination of portions of previously subdivided and recorded lots where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the city as shown in its subdivision regulations;
      (2)   The division of land into parcels greater than ten acres where no street right-of-way dedication is involved;
      (3)   The public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for widening or opening streets;
      (4)   The division of a tract in single ownership whose entire area is no greater than two acres into not more than three lots, where no street right-of-way dedication is involved and where the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the city as shown in this chapter; and
      (5)   The division of a tract into parcels in accordance with the terms of a probated will or in accordance with interstate succession under G.S. Ch. 29.
   SUBDIVISION, MAJOR.  A subdivision where:
      (1)   New roads are proposed or rights-of-way are dedicated;
      (2)   The entire tract to be subdivided is greater than ten acres; or
      (3)   More than ten lots are created after the subdivision is completed.
   SUBDIVISION, MINOR.  A subdivision where:
      (1)   No new roads are proposed or road rights-of-way dedicated;
      (2)   The entire tract to be subdivided is ten acres or less in size;
      (3)   Where ten or fewer lots will result after the subdivision is completed; and
      (4)   Subdivision of a tract or parcel of land in single ownership meeting the following criteria:
         1.   The tract or parcel to be divided is not exempted under division (2) of the term SUBDIVISION above;
         2.   No part of the tract or parcel to be divided has been divided under this division in the ten years prior to division;
         3.   The entire area of the tract or parcel to be divided is greater than five acres;
         4.   After division, no more than three lots result from the division; and
         5.   After division, all resultant lots comply with all of the following:
            A.   Any lot dimension size requirements of the applicable land use regulations, if any;
            B.   The use of the lots is in conformity with the applicable zoning requirements, if any; and
            C.   A permanent means of ingress and egress is recorded for each lot.
   SUBDIVISION TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE.  A committee appointed by the City Council to review plats and to make recommendations to the Planning Board regarding the plats. The committee may also be referred to as the TRC. The TRC shall consist of a representative from the following agencies:
      (1)   Lincoln County Health Department;
      (2)   North Carolina Department of Transportation;
      (3)   Soil and Water Conservation District;
      (4)   City of Lincolnton Public Works Department; and
      (5)   City of Lincolnton Planning Department.
   TATTOO STUDIO (BODY ART). A facility licensed by the North Carolina Department of Public Health to administer body art, including body piercing, artistic and cosmetic tattooing. See the following subsection definitions for clarity:
      (1)   BODY ART. Art that is made on the human body, including body piercing, artistic and cosmetic tattooing.
      (2)   BODY PIERCING. The act of penetrating the skin to make, generally permanent in nature, a hole, mark, or scar.  Body piercing does not include practices that are considered medical procedures or the puncturing of the outer perimeter or the lobe of the ear using a pre-sterilized, single use stud and clasp ear piercing.
      (3)   TATTOOING. Any method of placing designs, letters, scrolls, figures, symbols or any other marks upon, under or in the skin with ink or any other substance resulting in the coloration of the skin by the aid of needles or any other instrument designed to touch or puncture the skin.
   TAVERN. An establishment devoted primarily to serving alcoholic beverages to the public for on-premises consumption including pubs, microbreweries, brewpubs and bars.
   TEMPORARY HOMELESS SHELTER.  A structure providing temporary habitation for not more than 35 homeless people. The structure shall not be used for more than one year before the use must cease for a period of not less than one year. Qualified personnel shall staff TEMPORARY HOMELESS SHELTERS on a full-time basis.
   TENT ASSEMBLY.  Public assemblies using tent or similar temporary structure for purposes other than a business, circus, carnival, entertainment performances or overnight occupancy.
   THOROUGHFARE.  Any existing or proposed road designated on a thoroughfare plan as a major or minor thoroughfare, the plan having been duly adopted or accepted by the City Council or County Board of Commissioners, the Lake Norman RPO and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
   THOROUGHFARE PLAN.  The most recently adopted version of the thoroughfare plan of the city as approved by the City Council, the Lake Norman RPO and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
   TOWN HOUSE.  Attached dwellings on separate lots that share common walls at the side lot lines. Yards are small.
   TRACT.  A piece of property upon which a subdivision is proposed.
   TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT.  A type of planned unit development (PUD) that contains both residential and nonresidential uses that are built in an urban and compact configuration
   TRANSITIONAL INFILL DEVELOPMENT (TID).  A type of planned residential development (PRD) intended to be situated on smaller lots than a typical PRD.
   TREE, LARGE.  A tree which, at the time of planting, has a caliper of at least one and three-fourths inches and a height of at least ten feet and of a species which, at maturity, can be expected to reach a height of at least 40 feet under normal growing conditions in the local climate.
   TREE, PROTECTED SIZE.  All deciduous and coniferous trees with a caliper of three inches or greater and all dogwoods, redbuds and American hollies that are at least four feet high.
   TREE, SMALL.  A tree which, at the time of planting, has a caliper of at least one and one-half inches and a height of at least five feet and of a species which at maturity, can be expected to reach a height of at least 20 feet under normal growing conditions in the local climate.
   TWIN HOUSE.  Two dwelling units on separate lots jointed by a common building wall along the property line.
   UNOBSTRUCTED OPEN SPACE.  See OPEN SPACE, UNOBSTRUCTED.
   UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATOR.  The administrative official appointed by the City Manager to administer this chapter. This person may also be referred to as the Administrator.
   UTILITIES, PUBLIC.  Utilities (e.g., sewer, water, electricity) provided by a city, town, county, district or other public body, pursuant to state, federal and local laws, or any combination thereof acting cooperatively or jointly.
   VARIANCE.  A relaxation of the strict terms of a specific provision of this chapter by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of §§ 153.275 through 153.281 of this chapter.
   VILLAGE HOUSE.  A single-family detached dwelling built on a small lot (typically smaller than the minimum lot size for the zoning district). Land saved by use of smaller lots is dedicated for common use. Houses may be placed close to the street to maximize rear yards. Shared driveways with separate parking areas may be utilized.
   WATER SYSTEM, INTERMEDIATE.  The provision of piped water for human consumption, if the approved system is not owned and operated by a public entity.
   WATER SYSTEM, PRIVATE.  A water supply system having one service connection whose water supply comes from a single source, usually limited to a well or spring.
   WATER SYSTEM, PUBLIC.  The provision to the public of piped water by a system owned and operated by a public entity.
   WHOLESALE SALES ESTABLISHMENT.  A business where more than 50% of its gross sales are for re-sale purposes as evidenced by sales tax reports submitted to the State Department of Revenue.
   YARD, FRONT.  An area measured between the edge of the public street right-of-way line, and the front of a building, projected to the side lot lines. See § 153.062 for special circumstances.
   YARD, REAR.  A yard extending the full width of the lot on which a principal building is located and situated between the rear lot line and a line parallel thereto and passing through the point of the principal building nearest the rear lot line. See § 153.062 for special circumstances.
   YARD SALE, GARAGE SALE, ATTIC SALE OR RUMMAGE SALE.  An occasional sale conducted by a household or a group of up to four households, or by a nonprofit organization, at which surplus and primarily used household goods and/or clothing are sold. In a case where the sales are conducted on the same property more than six days per year (or in the case of nonprofit organizations more than ten days per year) or, in cases when new or used merchandise, purchased for resale, are re-sold it shall be deemed a flea market and not a yard sale.
   YARD, SIDE.  A space extending from the front yard to the rear yard between the principal building and the side lot line as measured perpendicular from the side lot line to the closest point of the principal building.
(Prior UDO, § 4.2)  (Ord. ZTA-5-2009, passed 11-5-2009; Ord. ZTA-6-2009, passed 1-7-2010; Ord. ZTA-1-2013, passed 2-7-2013; Ord. ZTA-3-2014, passed 11-13-2014; Ord. ZTA-4-2016, passed 7-7-2016; Ord. passed 4-6-2016; Ord. O-17-17, passed 11-2-2017; Ord. O-09-2019, passed 11-7-2019; Ord. ZTA 1-2020, passed 3-5-2020; Ord. ZTA-4-2020, passed - -)