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For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ABANDONMENT. To cease or discontinue a use or activity without the intent to resume, but excluding temporary or short-term interruptions of a use, e.g. the change of tenancy or ownership, or activity during periods of remodeling, maintaining, or otherwise improving or rearranging a facility, or during normal periods of vacation or seasonal closure. A use is considered abandoned if the facts show the owner's intent to discontinue the use or activity and the discontinuance of the use continues for six months or more.
ACCESSORY BUILDING. A subordinate building having a use customarily incident to and located on the lot occupied by the principal building. A building housing an accessory use is considered to be an integral part of the principal building when it has any part of a wall in common with the principal building, or is under an extension of the main roof and designed as an integral part of the principal building.
ACCESSORY USE. A use of a building or land which serves an incidental function to the principal use of a building or land. An accessory use is a subordinate use customarily incident to and located on the same lot occupied by the main use.
AGRICULTURAL USE. Refers to the use of land where such land is devoted to the production of plants, animals, or horticulture products, including but not limited to forages; grains and feed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; beef cattle; sheep; swine and horses; bees and apiary products; trees and forest products; fruits; nuts and berries; vegetables; or nursery, floral, ornamental and greenhouse products.
ALTERATION, STRUCTURAL. Any change or rearrangement in the supporting members of a building or structure, such as bearing walls, columns, beams, or girders, as well as any change in doors or windows, or any enlargement or diminution of a building or structure, whether horizontally or vertically, or moving a building or structure from one location to another; provided, however, that applying exterior siding to an existing building for the purpose of beautifying and modernizing shall not be considered a structural alteration.
APARTMENT. A room or suite of rooms, with toilet and culinary accommodations, intended, designed, or used as a residence by a single family, located in a building containing three or more such rooms or suites.
AREA REGULATIONS. The regulations controlling lot area, lot width, lot depth, front yard, side yard, rear yard, lot coverage and floor-area ratio.
BUILDING. Any structure designed or built for the support, enclosure, shelter, or protection of persons, animals, or property of any kind. When separated by a firewall, each portion of such structure so separated shall be deemed a separate building. This definition shall include structures wholly or partly enclosed with an exterior wall.
BUILDING LINE. Refers to a line parallel or approximately parallel to the street right-of-way at a specified distance therefrom, marking the minimum distance from the street right-of-way that a building may be erected. For existing buildings, the building line shall be the exterior wall or omitted wall line, which is closest to the street.
BUILDING OFFICIAL. The Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Willis, Texas.
BUILDING SETBACK. That area between a lot line and the respective setback line, which shall remain unobstructed by buildings or structures from the ground to the sky, except as may be specifically permitted by other provisions of these regulations.
CENTERLINE, STREET or ALLEY. A line designated midway between the bounding right-of-way lines of a street or alley. Where the bounding right-of-way lines are irregular, the centerline shall be determined by the zoning official.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY. A certificate issued by the city for the use of a building, structure, or land, when it is determined by it that such building, structure or land complies with the provisions of all applicable city codes, ordinances, and regulations.
CHURCH. An institution where people regularly attend or participate in or hold religious services, meetings, and other activities. The term CHURCH shall not carry a secular connotation and shall include buildings adequately capable of assembly occupancy in which religious services of any denomination are held.
CITY. The City of Willis, Texas.
CLINIC. A building designed and used for diagnosis and treatment of human patients, which does not include overnight care facilities.
CLINIC, VETERINARY. A building designed and used for the prevention, cure, or alleviation of injury in domestic and other animals that may require overnight care.
COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS. Refer to zoning districts "GC General Commercial" and "CBD Central Business District."
COMMERCIAL USE. Refers to an occupation, employment, or enterprise carried on for profit by an owner, lessee, or licensee.
DENSITY. The relationship of dwelling units or rooms to the area of the lot or tract upon which a residential structure is located or erected.
DETACHED. A building does not have a wall in common or in contact with another building.
DEVELOPMENT. The division of land into two or more parcels; construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of any structure; any mining, excavation, landfill, or land disturbance.
DWELLING. A building designed exclusively for residential occupancy, including single-family (attached or detached), two-family, and multiple-family dwellings, but not including motels or hotels, to include the following:
(1) DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY shall mean a building designed for or occupied by a single family exclusively.
(2) DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY means a detached building designed for or occupied by two families living independently of each other.
(3) DWELLING, MULTIPLE-FAMILY means a building designed for or occupied by three or more families living independently of each other.
DWELLING UNIT. An enclosure containing sleeping, kitchen, and bathroom facilities and used or held ready for use as a permanent residence by one family.
FAMILY. A person living alone, or any of the following groups living together as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit and sharing common living, sleeping, cooking, and eating facilities:
(1) Any number of people related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship, or duly authorized custodial relationship;
(2) Two unrelated people;
(3) Two unrelated people and any children related to either of them;
(4) Not more than eight people who are:
(a) Residents of a family home or family group home as defined by state law; or
(b) HANDICAPPED as defined in the Federal Fair Housing Act. This definition does not include persons currently illegally using or addicted to a controlled substance. FAMILY does not include any society, club, fraternity, sorority, association, lodge combine, federation, or like organization; any group of individuals whose association is temporary or seasonable in nature; or any group of individuals who are in a group living arrangement as a result of criminal offenses.
FLOOR AREA. Refers to the sum of the gross horizontal area of all floors of a building measured from the exterior face of the exterior walls, or from the centerline of walls separating two buildings. The floor area of a building shall include basement floor area, but not cellar areas, penthouses for mechanical equipment, or attic space having headroom of seven feet or less.
GRADE. The average elevation of the highest and lowest elevations measured at the finished surface of the ground at any of the exterior corners of the building or structure.
GROUP HOME. Refers to a dwelling unit occupied as a single housekeeping unit in a family-like environment, providing food and shelter to four or more persons who are unrelated to the proprietor of the establishment. This may include residents with disabilities, or elderly persons with support staff, and includes those facilities defined in the Tex. Health and Safety Code, Ch. 247, and the Tex. Human Resources Code, Ch. 123. State licenses shall be required for such facilities prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
HEIGHT OF A BUILDING. The vertical distance from the average ground level abutting a building or structure to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof, the deck line of a mansard roof, or the average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof. Height, where not regulated in feet, shall be regulated in stories, which shall equal 12 feet for purposes of measuring structures. The height of structures within the Federal Emergency Management Agency' s (FEMA's) 100-year flood plain shall be measured from the 100-year flood elevation, as certified by a licensed professional engineer or professional land surveyor.
HOME OCCUPATION. An occupation, which is an accessory use of a dwelling unit, which is customarily carried on in a home by a resident, incidental to the primary occupancy of the home as a dwelling.
HOTEL or MOTEL. A building or group of buildings used primarily for lodging, and secondarily, for meeting areas, meals, entertainment, and personal services, offered to the public for compensation. As such, it is open to the public in contradistinction to a boarding house, or an apartment, which are herein separately defined.
INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS. Refer to the "Gl" General Industrial District.
KENNEL. Any building, establishment, place, or premises wherein any person engages in the boarding, breeding, buying, selling, letting for hire, or training for a fee, any canine or feline animal or animals, or wherein any person keeps, harbors, possesses, or maintains more than four dogs or four cats, or a combination of said animals, with the total number exceeding four over three months old.
LABEL. A metal inspection label or plate which has been permanently affixed by the manufacturer or by an approved testing agency to a manufactured home or recreation vehicle or to equipment used in connection therewith, and which contains a serial number if required, the specifications of the vehicle or the equipment to which it is attached, and refers to any standards that have been met in the construction of such vehicle or equipment. Units that do not possess this label shall not qualify for placement in a manufactured home park, or anywhere in the corporate limits of the city.
LICENSED DAY CARE CENTERS and HOMES. Include group day care homes that provide care for less than 24 hours per day for seven to 12 children under 14 years old and day care centers, which are any facility that cares for 13 or more children under 14 years old for less than 24 hours. Day care centers include drop-in care centers and kindergarten and nursery schools.
LOT. A lot, tract, or parcel of land designated on a subdivision plat duly filed with the County Clerk of Montgomery County, or any lot, tract, or parcel of land held in separate ownership and described by metes and bounds upon a deed duly recorded or registered with the County Clerk of Montgomery County that existed prior to the date of adoption of applicable subdivision regulations of the city.
LOT AREA. The total horizontal area within the lot lines of a lot.
LOT COVERAGE. To the percent of lot area, which is covered by a roof, floor or other structure and is not open to the sky. Roof eaves to the extent of 30 inches and the ordinary projections from the building not exceeding 12 inches shall not be counted in computing coverage.
LOT LINE, FRONT. The line separating the lot from the street right-of-way in the case of an interior lot, and the line separating the narrowest street frontage of the lot from the street right-of-way in the case of a corner lot.
LOT LINE, REAR. The lot line which is opposite and most distant from the front line and in case of an irregular or triangular-shaped lot, a line ten feet in length within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum distance from the front lot line.
LOT LINE, SIDE. Any lot line not a front lot line or a rear lot line.
MAJOR STREET. The main street fronting a parcel where the front of the building faces or where the parcel's 911 address is assigned.
MANUFACTURED or MOBILE HOME PARK (the terms are interchangeable). A tract or parcel of land used for rental or lease occupancy by two or more manufactured homes for occupancy as residential dwellings or for the temporary occupancy of recreation vehicles.
MANUFACTURED HOME. A structure constructed on or after 6-15-1976, according to the rules of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight feet or more in width or 40 feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems.
MANUFACTURED HOME SPACE or LOT. That part of a manufactured home park, which has been improved for the placement of the manufactured home or recreation vehicle, including all required appurtenances and having provision for available utility connections.
MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. A legally platted subdivision of lots which is intended to serve as sites for the installation of manufactured homes for use and occupancy as residential dwellings.
MASONRY. A form of construction composed of clay brick, stone, decorative concrete block, rock, stucco, or other materials of equal characteristics. For the purpose of this chapter, Cementitious fiber board siding (such as "HardiePlank" or "Hardie Board"), exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS), acrylic matrix, synthetic plaster, or other similar synthetic material shall not qualify as MASONRY CONSTRUCTION. The following materials shall qualify as MASONRY CONSTRUCTION.
(1) Hard fired brick. Includes severe weather rated kiln fired clay or slate material, can include concrete brick if it is to the same ASTM C216 or C652 standard and severe weather rated as typical fired clay brick; minimum thickness of two and one quarter inches when applied as a veneer, and shall not include underfired clay, sand or shale.
(2) Stone. Includes naturally occurring granite, marble, limestone, slate, river rock, and other similar hard and durable all weather stone that is customarily used in exterior building construction; may also include cast or manufactured stone product, provided that such product yields a highly textured stone-like appearance, its coloration is integral to the masonry material and shall not be painted on, and it is demonstrated to be highly durable and maintenance free; natural or manmade stone shall have a minimum thickness of three and five eighths inches when applied as a veneer.
(3) Decorative concrete block. Includes highly textured finish, such as split faced, indented, hammered, fluted, ribbed or similar architectural finish; coloration shall be integral to the masonry material and shall not be painted on; minimum thickness of three and five eighths inches when applied as a veneer.
(4) Precast concrete panels. Includes products often associated with Tilt Up Wall Construction.
(5) Stucco. A minimum three-coat cement based exterior finish system that is placed over a wire lath substrate. Installation and application of stucco shall be governed by the latest adopted edition of the International Building Code
MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION. Refers to buildings or facilities owned or operated by a corporation, association, or persons for a social, educational, or recreational purpose; but not primarily for profit or to render a service customarily carried on as a business.
MINOR STREET. Any street that is adjacent to a parcel other than the major street fronting that parcel.
MOBILE HOME. A structure that was constructed before 6-15-1976, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight feet or more in width or 40 feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems.
MOBILE OFFICE UNIT. A transportable, factory-assembled unit designed as temporary office facilities for construction projects or temporary offices associated with commercial, industrial, business or institutional activities.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE. A building or structure lawfully existing at the time the provisions of this chapter became effective and any portion of which does not comply with the provisions of this chapter for the zoning district in which it is located.
NONCONFORMING USE. A use lawfully occupying a building, structure or land at the time the provisions of this chapter became effective and which does not conform to the use regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.
OFFICIAL ZONING MAP. Refers to the zoning map adopted by this chapter, as amended, which defines zoning districts and designations in accordance with the zoning district classifications established within these zoning regulations.
OWNER. As to a particular property, any person, agent, firm, association, or corporation having a legal or equitable interest therein.
PARKING AREA. Any portion of a lot used for parking or storage of operable motor vehicles on a temporary (less than 24 hours) basis which is connected with a street or alley by a paved driveway which affords ingress and egress for motor vehicles.
PATIO HOME. Refers to a single-family detached dwelling unit, which may have a zero building setback requirement on one side while maintaining the normal required setback on the other. Patio homes are often constructed on smaller lots and have a higher building coverage ratio than the traditional single-family dwelling.
PERSON. A natural person, his or her heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, and shall also include a firm, partnership, joint venture, or corporation, its successors or assigns or the agent of the aforesaid.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING. A building in which the primary use of the lot on which the building is located is conducted.
PRINCIPAL USE. The primary use and chief purpose of a lot or structure.
RECREATION VEHICLE. A portable vehicle built on a chassis and designed as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation use, and which has been permanently identified by the manufacturer when such a vehicle has been equipped by the manufacturer for travel on public streets and highways, the body of such vehicle shall not exceed eight feet in width but may be of any length, provided its gross weight does not exceed 4,500, 12,500 pounds, or a recreation vehicle may be of any height, provided its length does not exceed 29 feet, exclusive of the tongue. The term RECREATION VEHICLE shall also be deemed to include all other portable contrivances other than manufactured homes used or intended to be used generally for living and sleeping quarters and which may be moved under its own power, towed, or transported by another vehicle.
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS. Refer to zoning districts "R-1 Single-family Residential District," "R-2 Single-Family Residential District," "Manufactured Home District," and " HD High Density Residential District."
RESTAURANT. A building where food is prepared and served in ready-to-eat form to the public for human consumption. Restaurant includes, but is not limited to café, cafeteria, grill, pizza parlor, diner, snack shop, hamburger shop and steak or seafood house.
SERVICE BUILDING. A structure housing toilet facilities, lavatories, laundries, storage facilities, bathing facilities, and such other facilities as may be required or permitted under the provisions of this chapter and which is used in connection with the operation of a manufactured home park.
SETBACK. Refers to the required minimum horizontal distance between the building line and the front, side, corner, or rear property line. Required setback dimensions shall be measured from the property line to the outside wall of the structure, not to include normal eave projections of 30 inches or less.
STREET, PUBLIC. Any public roadway right-of-way, which has been dedicated to the public for public use and which affords primary access to abutting property.
STREET FACING SIDE. Any building side that faces an adjacent street right-of-way at a 45 degree angle or less.
STRUCTURE. Anything constructed or erected below, at, or above grade, which requires location on the ground or is attached to something having a permanent location on the ground, and which, out of necessity or precaution, includes support, bracing, tying, anchoring, or other protection against the pressure of the elements.
TOWNHOUSE. A structure on an individual lot, which is one of a series of dwelling units designated for single-family occupancy, which dwelling units are structurally connected or immediately adjacent to and abutting each other, without side yards between individual dwelling units.
USE. The purpose or activity for which the land, or building is designed, arranged or intended, or for which it is occupied or maintained.
UTILITIES. The sewer collection, water, gas, telephone, cable, or electrical distribution system.
VARIANCE. A departure from any provision of the zoning regulations for a specific parcel of property, except use, without changing the zoning ordinance or the underlying zoning of the parcel of property.
VEHICLE. An instrument of conveyance, such as an automobile, bus, truck, or motor driven cycle, for carrying or transporting persons or goods on land. The term shall also include, for the purposes of regulating parking herein provided, camper trailers, travel trailers, truck campers, water craft trailers, and utility trailers.
YARD. An open space at grade between a building and adjoining lot lines, unoccupied and unobstructed by any portion of a structure from the ground upward, except as otherwise provided. In measuring a yard for the purpose of determining the width of a side yard or depth of a front or rear yard, the least horizontal distance between a lot line and the building shall be used.
(Ord. 09-0721, passed 7-21-2009; Ord. 15-0818B, passed 8-18-2015)