§ 154-14.02  AutoCenter Overlay District (ACO).
   (A)   Purpose.
      (1)   The AutoCenter Overlay District is an overlay zoning district which may be used in combination with the B-2 General Commercial district provided in this zoning code. The purpose of the AutoCenter Overlay District is to retain and expand a major component of the city’s sales tax and employment base by permitting a clustering of automobile sales and related uses in an environment that provides an attractive shopping experience for the purchase of automobiles.
      (2)   This purpose is to be accomplished by:
         (a)   Using a right-of-way and setback area improvement design to help create a unique, attractive and visually cohesive shopping district which showcases and emphasizes the sale and appeal of new and used vehicles while preserving the functionality of the streets and improving the amount of and access to parking;
         (b)   Using the required setback areas to serve a dual purpose. The primary purpose will be to preserve future rights-of-way needs and provide required landscaping. Another purpose will be to use the setback areas, where appropriate, as a display area for cars. Accordingly, travel lanes internal to the site may be reduced in certain areas and setback areas may be used for new vehicle display;
         (c)   Providing safe and convenient access between and within all development in the district;
         (d)   Providing uniform and unobstructive landscaping which visually enhances both on-site and off-site development;
         (e)   Providing meandering public sidewalks to and through adjoining properties;  and
         (f)   Creating review procedures that establish the authority to review, recommend and approve proposed improvement projects within the AutoCenter Overlay District.
(Ord. O2000-52, passed 8-2-2000)
   (B)   Applicability.
      (1)   The AutoCenter Overlay District does not modify uses permitted in the existing General Commercial (B-2) District but does allow an overlay district to be superimposed over existing B-2 zones with each use conforming to the development standards required by the underlying zoning district. The provisions and regulations of the AutoCenter Overlay District are in addition to all other provisions and regulations of the zoning code which apply to the underlying zoning as determined on the official zoning map of the city. Should provisions of the AutoCenter Overlay District conflict with other provisions of the zoning code or the Yuma General Plan, the AutoCenter Overlay District provisions shall apply where development standards for rights-of-way, landscaping, signage and setback areas are concerned. Airport Overlay District development requirements, including, but not limited to provisions in the RADSA, when adopted, supersede any provisions of the AutoCenter Overlay District.
Editor’s note:
   RADSA - Runway Approach and Departure Area as provided in the City/County Joint Land Use Plan, City of Yuma General Plan
      (2)   The AutoCenter Overlay District may be used in combination with the B-2 Zoning District provided in the zoning code, provided that a minimum of 40 acres exist within a given area to warrant such a district (minimum district size is 40 acres).
(Ord. O2000-52, passed 8-2-2000)
   (C)   Property development standards.
      (1)   Setbacks.  The intent is to provide an attractive and dramatic setting for the display of vehicles. New vehicles displays are to be the focal point of the setback. Landscaping may be used to provide a setting of beauty and visual interest that would enhance the focal points.
         (a)   The landscape area may extend to and include portions of the public right-of way.
         (b)   Meandering sidewalks shall be constructed within the public right-of-way outside the 15 foot setback area.
         (c)   Block walls shall not be used to visually separate the sidewalk and the 15 foot landscape setback area.
         (d)   Isolated new car vehicle display pads may be located within this 15 foot landscaped setback area, provided they will not conflict with sight visibility triangles. Two-thirds of the landscaped area shall be reserved for landscaping. Up to one-third of the surface area within the setback may be used for the isolated/distinct vehicle display pads.
         (e)   The landscape emphasis should be on low-mounded turf with accents of ground covers, low shrubs, linear placement of palm trees and hard landscape features.
         (f)   Freestanding light pole fixtures maybe included in the 15 foot landscape setback area, strategically placed at the corners of the new car vehicle display pads to accent the vehicles. Dual box-style lighting fixtures, of a uniform height and color, shall be used within the 15 foot landscape setback area.
      (2)   Rear vehicle storage yards. The following development standards apply to rear vehicle storage yards over one acre in size and located a minimum 300 feet from an arterial road upon which the business has frontage:
         (a)   An all-weather crushed gravel ground cover may be utilized in lieu of the general blacktop/asphalt code requirement for paving; and
         (b)   Landscaping requirements may be reduced by 50%.
      (3)   Signs. The following development standards apply to signs for automobile dealership franchises within the AutoCenter Overlay District:
         (a)   Signs are permitted a maximum 20% increase from the development standard or dimension required within the zoning code where a practical difficulty, unnecessary hardship or a result inconsistent with the general purposes of the zoning code would occur from its strict and literal interpretation and enforcement;
         (b)   Multiple automobile dealership franchises on a single parcel may be permitted additional freestanding signage per the following standards and criteria:
Table No. 1 - AutoCenter Overlay Signage
Zoning District
Type of Installation
Max. Total Area of All Sign Faces
Max. Area of Any Sign Face
Max. Number of Signs
Max. Height W/in Street Setback
Max. Height Outside of Street Setback
1 sq. ft. per 1 lineal foot of street frontage upon which the sign is located
300 sq. ft.
For parcels with less than 300 feet of street frontage:
1 per street frontage
For parcels with 300+ feet of street frontage:
1 per each separate auto franchise not to exceed 2 per street frontage (a)
See § 154-17.03(C) Footnotes: Table No.5 and Table No.6
(a)  Such signs shall be located a minimum of 60 linear feet from any other F-S sign.
         (c)   To create a sense of place and assist in the marketing and appeal of the AutoCenter Overlay District, uniform “Olympic style” vertical street banners may be used throughout the District subject to review and approval by the Clean and Beautiful Commission. Such banners may be incorporated into street light standards or hung on special poles and shall only identify the autocenter and/or its autocenter logo. No private business shall be advertised.
(Ord. O2000-52, passed 8-2-2000; Ord. O2002-04, passed 2-6-2002; Ord. O2010-09, passed 2-3-2010)
   (D)   Design review procedures.  AutoCenter Overlay District development standards shall be incorporated into any project plans submitted to the city for which a development permit is required. The Zoning Administrator, or his or her authorized representative, shall review all AutoCenter Overlay District development standards incorporated in such project plans to ensure compliance with the intent and spirit of the district.
(Ord. O2000-52, passed 8-2-2000; Ord. O2010-32, passed 7-7-2010)