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For the purpose of this title, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
ACCESSORY BUILDING, STRUCTURE, OR USE: A use or structure subordinate to the principal use of a building or land on the same lot or parcel of ground and serving a purpose customarily incidental to the use of the principal building or use of land.
AGRICULTURE: The use of land for the purpose of raising and harvesting crops; or for the raising, breeding, or management of livestock, poultry, fish, or honeybees; or for dairying, truck gardening, forestry, nurseries, or orchards; for the noncommercial on farm storage or processing of agricultural products; or for any similar agricultural, horticultural, silvicultural, or aquacultural use. No farms shall be operated for the disposal of garbage, sewage, rubbish, offal or rendering plants or for the slaughtering of animals, except such animals as have been raised on the premises or have been maintained on the premises for the use and consumption of persons residing on the premises.
ALLEY: Any dedicated public way affording a secondary means of vehicular access to abutting property, and not intended for general traffic circulation.
ALTERATIONS, STRUCTURAL: Any change in the supporting members of a building such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders.
APARTMENT: A room or suite of rooms used as the dwelling of a family, including bath and culinary accommodations, located in a building in which there are a multiple of these units.
BALCONY: An unroofed platform, unenclosed except by a railing, which projects from the outer wall of any building above ground level with or without support other than the building.
BASEMENT: That portion of a building which is partly below grade but having more than one-half (1/2) its height above the average grade of the adjoining ground. For the purpose of this title, a basement shall not be considered a story unless designed or used for habitable space or business purposes.
BED AND BREAKFAST: Any single-family or multi-family dwelling unit used for the purpose of overnight or temporary lodging that consists of one to five (5) units wherein meals may also be provided.
BOARD: Board of adjustment as described in Iowa Code section 414.7.
BOARDING HOUSE: A building other than a hotel or motel where, for compensation and by prearrangement for definite periods, meals, or lodging and meals, are provided for three (3) or more persons.
BUILDING: Any structure designed or built for the support, enclosure, shelter or protection of persons, animals, chattels, or property of any kind.
BUILDING ENVELOPE: The area of lot which remains after the minimum yard setbacks, height requirements, and open space requirements of this title have been complied with.
BUILDING, HEIGHT OF: The vertical distance from the grade to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof or to the deck line of a mansard roof, or to the average height level between eaves and ridge for gable, hip and gambrel roofs.
BUILDING LINE: A line formed by the face of the building, and for the purposes of this title, a minimum building line is the same as a front setback line.
BUILDING, MAIN OR PRINCIPAL: A building in which is conducted the principal use of the lot on which it is situated.
CELLAR: That portion of a building partially or wholly underground, having one-half (1/2) or more than one-half (1/2) its clear height below the grade plane. A cellar shall be nonhabitable and shall not be counted as a story.
COMMUNICATION TOWER HEIGHT: The distance between the base of a tower and the top of the highest appurtenance mounted on the tower. The height is not necessarily the distance between the top of the tower and the ground. Towers in excess of forty feet (40') shall not exceed the overall height recommended by the FAA or FCC.
COMMUNICATIONS TOWER: A metal structure that is used primarily as a communication antenna or as a communication antenna support structure which is used primarily for the commercial transmittal of radio, television, radar, or microwaves. However, noncommercial towers fifty feet (50') or less in height shall not be considered communication towers.
CONDITIONAL USE: The use allowed in a zoning district after approval has been granted by the zoning board of adjustment according to the provisions set forth in subsection 10-4-6D of this title. A special exception is the same as a conditional use for the purposes of this title.
DAYCARE FACILITY: A facility in which six (6) or more children are received for part or all of a day for care and/or instruction. The facility shall be approved and licensed by the state of Iowa. The term "daycare facility" includes, but is not limited to, the following: nursery schools, childcare centers, day nurseries, kindergartens, preschools and play groups, but does not include bona fide kindergartens or nursery schools operated by public or private elementary or secondary school systems.
DECK: A covered or uncovered platform area projecting from the wall of a building, accessible at or from above grade, and attached to the ground.
DWELLING: Any building or portion thereof which is designed for and used exclusively for residential purposes. Said building shall have an outside dimension of no less than twenty feet (20') wide by thirty feet (30') long, excluding any attached garage, if any.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE: A building designed with accommodations in order to be occupied exclusively by more than two (2) families living independently of each other.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY: A building designed with accommodations for exclusive occupancy by one family.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY: A building designed with accommodations for occupancy exclusively by two (2) families living independently of each other.
FAMILY: One person or two (2) or more persons related by direct lineal descent, marriage, adoption or placement by a governmental or social service agency, occupying a dwelling unit as a single housekeeping organization. A family may also be two (2), but not more than two (2), persons not related by blood, marriage or adoption.
FAMILY GROUP CARE HOME: A community based residential home which is licensed as a residential care facility under Iowa Code chapter 135C or as a child foster care facility under Iowa Code chapter 237 to provide room and board, personal care, habilitation services, and supervision in a family environment exclusively for not more than eight (8) developmentally disabled persons and any necessary support personnel. Family home does not mean an individual foster care home licensed under Iowa Code chapter 237.
FARM: An area of not less than ten (10) acres which is used for the growing of the usual farm products such as vegetables, fruits and grain, and their storage on the area, as well as for the raising thereon of the usual farm poultry and farm animals.
FEEDLOT, COMMERCIAL: A confined area where five hundred (500) or more cattle, swine, sheep, or thirty thousand (30,000) or more fowl are housed, penned, and fed.
FENCE: A freestanding structure intended to provide privacy, prevent escape or intrusion or to redirect a person's direction of travel. A fence may be constructed of posts, wire, boards, stone or any standard building materials.
FLOODPLAIN: Lands which are subject to a one percent (1%) or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
FLOOR AREA: The total area of all floors of a building as measured to the outside surfaces of exterior walls and not including halls, stairways, elevator shafts, attached garages, porches, and balconies when such area is used for storage or other such incidental use.
FRONTAGE: All the property on one side of a street between two (2) intersecting streets (crossing or terminating), measured along the line of the street, or if the street is dead ended, then all of the property abutting on one side between an intersecting street and the street.
GARAGE, PRIVATE: A building that is subordinate or used for the storage of not more than four (4) motor driven vehicles owned and used by the occupants of the buildings to which it is accessory.
GARAGE, PUBLIC: A building or portion thereof other than a private or storage garage, designed or used for equipping, servicing, repairing, hiring, selling, or storing motor driven vehicles.
GARAGE, STORAGE: A building or portion thereof designed or used exclusively for term storage by prearrangement of motor driven vehicles, as distinguished from daily storage furnished transients and personal belongings, and at which motor fuels and oils are not sold, and motor driven vehicles are not equipped, repaired, hired or sold.
GARDEN HOUSE: An accessory structure of not more than one hundred forty (140) square feet in area and having a height of eight feet (8') or less constructed primarily for storage.
GRADE: The average level of the finished surface of the ground adjacent to the exterior walls of the building except when any wall approximately parallels and is not more than five feet (5') from a street line, then the elevation of the street shall be grade. The purpose is to regulate the number of stories and height of a structure.
HEDGE: A boundary formed of a row of closely planted shrubs or bushes.
HOME OCCUPATION: Any occupation or activity carried on within a dwelling unit or accessory building by a member of the family residing on the premises, which occupation or activity is incidental and secondary to the residential occupancy and does not change the residential character thereof.
HOTEL: A residential building licensed by the state and occupied and used principally as a place of lodging for guests. Hotels may or may not provide meals and there are usually no cooking facilities in guestrooms.
INSTITUTION: An establishment occupied or operated by a private or public nonprofit corporation, association, organization, or group for use or benefit of the general public.
JUNKYARD/SALVAGE YARD: Any enclosed or fenced in lot or portion thereof where waste, discarded, or salvaged materials are bought, sold, exchanged, baled or packed, disassembled, or handled, including the dismantling or "wrecking" of automobiles or other machinery, house wrecking yards, used lumber yards and places or yards for storage of salvaged house wrecking and structural steel materials and equipment; but not including areas where such uses are conducted entirely within a completely enclosed building.
KENNEL: An establishment where small animals are bred, raised, trained, groomed and boarded for compensation, sale or other commercial purposes.
LOADING SPACE: An off street space within the main building or on the same lot providing for the standing, loading, or unloading of commercial vehicles, having a minimum dimension of twelve feet by thirty five feet (12' x 35') and a vertical clearance of at least fourteen feet (14').
LONG TERM CARE FACILITY: A long term care unit of a hospital, a licensed hospice program, a foster group home, a group living arrangement, or a facility licensed under Iowa Code section 135C.1 et seq., whether the facility is public or private.
LOT: A parcel of land occupied or intended for occupancy by one main building together with its accessory buildings officially approved and having its principal frontage upon a dedicated street. The boundaries of the lot shall be determined by its lot lines. Adjacent lots sharing a significant lot line(s) may also be considered as a single lot entity so long as they are owned by exactly the same owner(s) and they file an affidavit of explanatory of title with the Johnson County recorder's office.
LOT, CORNER: A lot abutting upon two (2) or more streets at their intersections.
LOT, DEPTH OF: The average horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
LOT, DOUBLE FRONTAGE: A lot having a frontage on two (2) nonintersecting streets, as distinguished from a corner lot.
LOT, INTERIOR: A lot other than a corner lot.
LOT LINES: The lines bounding a lot as defined herein:
Front Lot Line: In the case of an interior lot, that line separating said lot from the street. In the case of a corner lot, or double frontage lot, "front lot line" shall mean that line separating said lot from that street which is designated as the front street in the plat and in the application for a zoning compliance permit.
Rear Lot Line: That lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line. In the case of a lot pointed at the rear or triangular shaped, the rear lot line shall be an imaginary line parallel to the front lot line not less than ten feet (10') long farthest from the lot line and wholly within the lot.
Side Lot Line: Any lot line other than the front lot line or rear lot line. A side lot line separating a lot from a street is a side street lot line. A side lot line separating a lot from another lot or lots is an interior side lot line.
LOT OF RECORD: A lot which is part of a subdivision, the plat of which has been recorded in the office of the county recorder.
LOT, REVERSED CORNER: A corner lot, the rear of which abuts the side of another lot.
LOT WIDTH: The width of a lot measured at the building line and at right angles to its depth where the minimum building line or setback intersects the side lot lines.
MAIN BUILDING: A building in which is conducted the principal use of the lot upon which it is situated.
MAIN USE: The principal use to which the premises are devoted and the principal purpose for which the premises exists.
MANUFACTURED HOME: A factory built dwelling, which is manufactured or constructed under the authority of 42 USC section 5403, "federal manufactured home construction and safety standards", which is not constructed with a permanent hitch or other device allowing it to be moved other than for the purpose of moving to a permanent site, and which does not have permanently attached to its body or frame any wheels or axles. A mobile home constructed to the "federal manufactured home construction and safety standards" is not a manufactured home unless it has been converted to real property and is taxed as a site built dwelling as is provided in Iowa Code section 427A.1. For the purpose of any of these regulations, manufactured homes shall be considered the same as a single- family detached dwelling.
MOBILE HOME: A vehicle without motive power used, or so originally constructed as to permit being used, as a conveyance upon the public streets or highways and duly licensed as such, and constructed in such a manner as will permit occupancy thereof for human habitation, capable of being used as dwellings, or sleeping quarters and which is being moved, towed, or transported by another vehicle. This definition shall also include and apply to such vehicles or structures that are located on a permanent or temporary foundation.
MOBILE HOME CONVERTED TO REAL ESTATE: A mobile home which meets the provisions of Iowa Code section 435.26.
MOBILE HOME PARK: Any site, lot, field or tract of land upon which two (2) or more occupied mobile homes are harbored either free of charge or for revenue purposes and intended for such use shall include any building, structure, tent, vehicle, or enclosure intended for use as part of the equipment of such mobile home park.
MOTEL: A building or group of buildings in which lodging is provided and offered primarily to transient occupancy and in which each unit has convenient access to a parking space for the use of the unit's occupants.
MULTIPLE DWELLING UNIT: A building arranged, designed, and intended for use as a residence by two (2) or more families living independently of each other.
NONCONFORMING BUILDING: A building or portion thereof that does not conform to the provisions of this title relative to height, bulk, area or yard size requirements for the district in which it is located.
NONCONFORMING USE: A use which lawfully occupies a building or land but does not conform to the use regulations of the district in which it is located.
NURSING HOME: An institution which is advertised, announced, or maintained for the express or implied purpose of providing nursing or convalescent care for persons unrelated to the licensee. A nursing home is a home for chronic or convalescent patients who, on admission, are not as a rule, acutely ill and who do not usually require special facilities, such as an operating room, X-ray facilities, laboratory facilities, and obstetrical facilities. A nursing home provides care for persons who have remedial ailments, for which continuing medical and skilled nursing care is indicated; who, however, are not sick enough to require general hospital care. Nursing care is their primary need, but they will require continuing medical supervision. A major factor which distinguishes a nursing home is that the residents will require the individualization of medical care. For the purpose of this title, a "nursing home" shall also be considered a "convalescent home".
OPEN SPACE: The land area of a site not covered by buildings, rights of way, parking structures, or accessory buildings, except recreational structures, and which is available to all occupants of units for whose use the space is intended. "Open space" does not include school sites and commercial areas.
PARKING SPACE: A surfaced area, enclosed in the main building or in an accessory building, or unenclosed, having an area of not less than one hundred eighty (180) square feet exclusive of driveways, permanently reserved for the temporary storage of one vehicle and connected with a street or alley by a surfaced driveway which affords satisfactory ingress and egress for vehicles.
PLAN: A comprehensive or general development plan of the city of Oxford.
PRINCIPAL USE: The main use of land or structures as distinguished from secondary or accessory use. For example, a house is a principal use in a residential area; a garage or pool is an accessory use.
PRIVATE: In reference to a building, structure, utility, facility, or use, "private" means owned by someone other than a unit of government, or an agency of government, unless the context clearly indicates that "private" is being used in a broader sense of something not open or available to the general populace.
PUBLIC: In reference to a building, structure, utility, facility, or use, "public" means owned and/or operated by a unit of government or an agency thereof, unless the context clearly indicates that "public" is being used in the broader sense of something available to the general populace.
SETBACK: The distance required to obtain the front, side or rear yard open space provisions of this title. All measurements are taken from the structure's foundation or from the exterior wall at grade level.
SIGN: Any structure or part thereof or device attached thereto or painted, or represented thereon, which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an announcement, direction, or advertisement. The word "sign" includes the word "billboard".
STORY: That portion of a building, other than a basement, not having over fifty percent (50%) of its height below grade, included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it or, if there be no floor above it, then the space between the floor and the ceiling next above it.
STORY, HALF: A partial story under a gable, hip or gambrel roof, the wall plates of which on at least two (2) opposite exterior walls are not more than three feet (3') above the floor of such story, except that any partial story used for residence purposes, other than for janitor or caretaker or his/her family, or by a family occupying the floor immediately below it, shall be deemed a full story.
STREET: An approved public or private thoroughfare which provides the principal means of vehicular access to abutting property and/or for vehicular passage.
STRUCTURE: Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires more or less permanent location on the ground, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, advertising signs, billboards, backstops for tennis courts, gazebos, ground based satellite dishes, and solar collectors.
TRAILER CAMP OR TOURIST CAMP GROUND: An area providing spaces for two (2) or more travel trailers, camping trailers, or tent sites for temporary occupancy, with necessary incidental services, sanitation, and recreation facilities to serve the traveling public.
TRAVEL TRAILER OR MOTOR HOME: A vehicle with or without motive power used or so manufactured or constructed as to permit its being used as a conveyance upon the public streets and highways and so designed to permit the vehicle to be used as a place of human habitation by one or more persons. Said vehicle may be up to eight feet (8') in width and any length, provided its length does not exceed forty feet (40'). If such vehicle shall be customarily or ordinarily used as a place of human habitation for more than ninety (90) days in any eighteen (18) month period, it shall be classed as a mobile home, regardless of the size and weight limitation provided herein.
VARIANCE: A modification of the literal provisions of this title which would cause undue hardship owing to circumstances unique to the individual property on which the variance is granted. The crucial points of variance are: a) undue hardship, b) unique circumstances, and c) applying to property. The authority to grant variances is vested in the board of adjustment pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 414.
YARD: An open space between a building and the adjoining lot lines unoccupied and unobstructed by any portion of a structure. In measuring a yard for the purpose of determining the width of a side yard, the depth of a front yard or the depth of the rear yard, the minimum horizontal distance between the lot lines and the main building line shall be used.
YARD, FRONT: A yard extending across the front of a lot and being the minimum horizontal distance between the street or place line and the main building or any projections thereof other than the projections of the usual uncovered steps. On corner lots, the front yard shall be considered as parallel to the street upon which the lot has its least dimension, except where owner shall elect to front his building on a street parallel to the lot line having the greater dimension.
YARD, REAR: A yard extending across the rear of a lot and being the required minimum horizontal distance between the rear lot line and the rear of the main building line or any projections thereof other than the projections of uncovered steps. On all lots, the rear yard shall be in the rear of the front yard.
YARD, SIDE: A yard between the main building line and the side line of the lot, and extending from the required front yard to the required rear yard, and being the minimum horizontal distance between a side lot line and the side of the main building line or any projections of uncovered steps. (Ord. 1994-92, 6-14-1994, eff. 6-14-1994; amd. Ord. 1995-95, 5-9-1995; 2015 Code)