Land Use and Zoning Terms

“accessory dwelling unit”:

A dwelling unit on the same lot with and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the land or building and located on the same lot with such principal use or building.

“accessory (building) structure”:

A (building) structure not greater than 3,000 square feet in floor area, and not over two stories in height, the use of which is customarily accessory to and incidental to that of the dwelling(s) and is located on the same lot.

“accessory use”:

A use of land or structure subordinate to the principal use or building on a lot and serving a purpose customarily incidental to the use of the principal building, provided any such use of land or structure is established or built with or after the construction of the principal building.

"alley": A dedicated right-of-way providing a secondary means of public access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.

“building coverage”:

The horizontal area measured within the outside of the exterior walls on the ground floor of all principal and accessory buildings on the lot.

“building height”:

The vertical distance of a building measured from the lowest grade adjacent to the building to the highest point of the roof, fascia, or parapet. ***Please note: There are two different definitions that are codified by the City, one taken from the International Residential Code and one from the City’s Zoning Code. Since the City’s Zoning Code definition is the most restrictive, it is the definition that will be enforced.

“building setbacks”:

The minimum allowable horizontal distance from a given point or line of reference to the vertical wall or other element (exterior post/beam plane) of a principal building or structure as defined in the City’s Zoning Code. The point or line of reference will be the lot line. The building setback distance is regulated in the front, rear and side yards and this distance may not be reduced without an approved “variance” from the City’s Board of Adjustment.


A roofed structure providing space for the parking or storage of motor vehicles and entirely open on two or more sides. Carports not open on at least two sides shall be considered a garage.


A space, open and unobstructed to the sky, located at or above grade level on a lot and bounded on three or more sides by walls of a building.

“dwelling unit”:

An enclosed space providing complete independent living facilities for a family, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.


The lowest point of elevation of the finished surface of the ground, paving or sidewalk within the area between the building and property line, or when the property line is more than five feet from the building, between the building and line five feet from the building.

“lot coverage”:

That portion of the lot that is covered by buildings and structures.

"principal building":

A building in which is conducted the principal use of the lot on which it is located.

"square footage, net":

The net square footage is determined by subtracting from the total square footage of the parcel that area deemed necessary for street dedication and that area used for private streets and common driveways, if any.


An open space, other than a court, unobstructed from the ground to the sky, on the lot on which a building is situated.

“yard, front”:

An area extending the full width across the front of a lot, measured from the front property line inward to the front building setback line on the lot.

“yard, rear”:

An area extending the full width across the back of the lot, measured from the rear property line inward to the rear building setback line on the lot.

“yard, side”:

A yard measured from the side property line of the lot inward to the side building setback line and lying between the front yard and the rear yard, or in the absence of either a front or rear yard, the front or rear lot setback lines respectively.

“zoning variance”:

Written permission by the Board of Adjustment to differ from the City’s zoning regulations.