Building & Zoning Definitions


Sec. 31-2. Definitions
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and terms as used herein are defined to mean the following:

Words used in the present tense include the future, words in the singular number include plural; and words in the plural number include the singular; the word "building" includes the word "structure"; the word "shall" or the word "must" is mandatory and not directory; the word "lot" includes the word "plot"; the term "used for " includes the meaning "designed for" or "intended for".

Accessory building or use shall mean a subordinate building, a portion of the main building, or a use customarily incident to and located on the lot occupied by the main building or use of the property.

Agriculture Use shall mean the use of a tract of land of not less than five (5) acres for the growing of crops, pasturage, nursery or the raising of poultry, including the structures necessary for carrying out farming operations and the residence or residences of those owning or operating the premises, a member of the family thereof, or persons employed thereon, and the family thereof, but such use shall not include feedlots as defined by the State Statute.

Alley shall mean a public way, which affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property.

Alteration as applied to a building or structure is a change or arrangement in the structural parts of an existing building or structure. Enlargement, whether by extending a side, increasing in height or the moving from one location or position to another shall be considered as an alteration.

Animal Clinic shall mean any building or structure where animals are diagnosed, cared for or treated for physical ailments.

Animal Hospital shall mean any building or structure where animals are diagnosed, cared for or treated for physical ailments while confined within the building or structure.

Apartment shall mean a room or a suite of rooms within an apartment house arranged, intended, designed for or used as a place of residence of a single family or group of individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit.

Apartment Hotel shall mean an apartment house, which furnishes for the use of its tenants services of which are not primarily available to the public. Apartment House shall mean a building arranged, intended, designed for or occupied by more than two families.

Basement shall mean a story below the first story as hereafter defined.

Block shall mean a piece or parcel of land entirely surrounded by public highways or streets other than alleys. In cases where the platting is incomplete or disconnected, the Zoning Administrator shall determine the outline of the block.

Boardinghouse or Lodging House shall mean a building other than a hotel, occupied as a single housekeeping unit where lodging or meals are provided for six (6) or more persons for compensation pursuant to previous arrangements, but not for the public or transients.

Campgrounds shall mean any piece, parcel, tract or plot of ground, which provides space for transient occupancy and is used or intended to be used for the parking of one or more
camping trailers, tents or similar recreational vehicles. Under no circumstances shall any
one camper occupy a campground for a period exceeding15 consecutive days. The term campgrounds does not include sales lots on which unoccupied camping trailers, whether new or used, are parked for the purposes of storage, inspection or sale.

Campground Trailers shall mean any vehicular portable dwelling unit designed especially for short term occupancy such as: travel trailers, tents, trailers, truck or auto- mounted camping units, converted buses and trucks and all other similar units whether self-propelled, pulled or hauled and designed primarily for highway travel without the necessity of a special permit.

Confined Feeding shall mean the confined feeding of animals for foods, fur or pleasure purposes
in lots, pens, pools or ponds which are not normally used for raising crops and in which no vegetation intended for animal food is growing. This will not include a wintering operation for cows in lots or on farming grounds unless the operation causes a pollution problem. Food animals shall include fish, fowl, cattle, swine and sheep. Fur animals shall include any animal raised for its pelt. Pleasure animals shall include dogs and horses.

Curb Level shall mean the mean level of the curb in front of the lot, or in case of a corner lot, along the abutting street where the mean curb level is the highest.

Day Care Facility shall mean a place for reception, care, training or instruction of children, not of common parentage, residing therein regardless of sex, under the age of 18 years, for
compensation or otherwise including preschool centers, nursery schools, etc., providing that nothing herein contained shall be construed as applying to the regularly established public or parochial schools, colleges, etc. The term day care facility includes the following:
   a. Family Day Care Home: A family home in which care is given to six children
       or less, not related to the day care provider, for any part of the 24 hour day.
   b.Group Day Care Home: A family home in which care is given to ten children
       or less, not related to the day care provider, for any part of the 24 hour day.
   c. Day Care Center: A group program providing care for more than ten children
       in a family home, or more than four children in a facility other than a family
       home, for any part of the 24 hour day.

Driveway shall mean an area established or used for ingress and egress of vehicles from a street
or thoroughfare to any point on private property.

Dwelling shall mean a building arranged, intended, designed for or occupied for residential purposes.

Dwelling, Multiple shall mean a building or portion thereof designed for or occupied as the home
of three (3) or more families or households living independently of each other, including apartment houses, row houses, tenements, and apartment hotels.

Dwelling, Single Family shall mean a residential building having accommodations for and occupied exclusively by one family.

Dwelling, Two Family shall mean a residential building having accommodations for and occupied
exclusively by two families, independently. Two family dwellings shall be considered as duplexes.

Family shall mean any number of individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit, as distinguished from a group occupying a boardinghouse or hotel as defined herein.

Flood Hazard Area shall mean an area within the flood plain as determined by the most recent flood elevation study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Floor Area For Computing Off Street Parking Requirements:
shall mean the gross floor area of the building measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating two buildings and shall include the following areas:
   a. The basement floor area.
   b. The area of each floor of the structure.
   c. The attic space having headroom of 7' 10" or more.

Floor Area for Determining Floor Area Ratio:
As used herein shall be computed as the sum of the following areas:
   a. The gross horizontal area of the several buildings measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of        walls separating two buildings, which shall include floor area utilized for stairwells or elevator shafts and floor space used            for mechanical equipment (except equipment open or enclosed, located on the roof);
   b. Penthouses;
   c. Basement floor area;
   d. Attic space having a headroom of 7' 10" or more;
   e. Interior balconies or mezzanines;
   f.  Enclosed porches;
   g. Floor area devoted to accessory uses;
   h. Interior walls.

Floor Area Ratio shall mean the maximum percentage of allowable floor area of a building or
complex (including both principal and accessory buildings) computed by dividing the floor area of said complex or building by the area of the building site.


Front Yard shall mean an open space, unoccupied, except as hereinafter provided, across the full width of the lot extending from the front line of the building to the front street line of the lot.

Front Yard Depth shall mean the minimum horizontal distance from the front line of the building to the front street line of the lot.

Garage, Community shall mean any building or premises, other than a public, private or storage garage providing storage for motor vehicles with facilities for washing, but no other services, such garage to be in lieu of private garages within a block or portion of block.

Garage, Private shall mean an accessory building used for the storage only of motor vehicles.

Garage, Public shall mean any building or premises used for the storage, care or repair of motor vehicles, which is operated for commercial purposes.

Garage, Storage shall mean any building or premises, except those defined as private, public or community garages providing storage for motor vehicles, with facilities for washing but no other services.

Height of Buildings shall mean the vertical distance measured from the highest of the following three levels:
   a. From the street curb level;
   b. From the established or mean street grade in case the curb has not been constructed;
   c. From the average finished ground level adjoining the building where it sets back from the street line, to the level of the highest point of the roof beams of flat roofs or roofs inclining not more than one inch to the foot, and the mean height level of the top of the main plate and highest ridge for other roofs.

Height of Yard or Court shall mean the vertical distance from the lowest level of such yard or court to the highest point of any boundary wall.

Home Occupations shall mean a business, profession or trade conducted for gain or support entirely within a residential building subject to the following use limitations:
   a. In all residential Districts, Agricultural and Mobile Home Subdivision Districts:
      1. No commodities shall be displayed or sold on the premises except that which is produced on the premises.
      2. No mechanical or electrical equipment shall be used that creates a nuisance due to but not limited to odor, noise, vibration, glare, etc.
      3. No outdoor storage of materials or equipment used in the home occupation shall be permitted.
      4. No alteration of the principal residential building shall be made which changes the character thereof as a residence.
      5. The home occupation shall be carried on entirely within the principal residential structure and under no circumstances shall the home occupation be carried on within a detached accessory building.
      6. One sign shall be permitted, shall not exceed two square feet in area, shall not be illuminated and shall be affixed to the building. 
(Amended 2/5/96 Ordinance No.6937)
      7. Operators or employees of a home occupation shall not exceed two(2) persons and shall be residents of the home in question.
      8. No manufacturing or processing of any sort whatsoever shall be done and no stock-in-trade shall be displayed or sold on the premises.
      9. Instructions in trades, crafts, dance, drama, music or other similar activities shall be limited to no more than five(5) pupils at any one time.

   b. Particular Home Occupations Permitted: Customary home occupations include, but are not limited to, the following lists of occupations; provided, however, that each listed occupation is subject to the requirements of subsection a, of this section:
      1. Dressmakers, seamstresses and tailors.
      2. Music teachers. Provided that instruction shall be limited to not more than five (5) pupils at one time.
      3. Dance and drama instructors, provided that instruction shall be limited to not more than five (5) pupils at one time.
      4. Artists, sculptors and authors or composers.
      5. Offices for architects, engineers, lawyers, realtors, insurance agents, brokers, doctors, dentists and members of similar professions.
      6. Ministers, rabbis and priests.
      7. Offices for salesmen, sales representatives, manufacturers representatives, when no exchange of tangible goods is made on the premises.
      8. Home crafts, such as model making, rug weaving, lapidary work, cabinet making, etc., provided that no machinery or equipment shall be used other than that which would customarily be used in connection with the above home crafts when pursued as a hobby or avocation.
      9. Day care or babysitters caring for six (6) or less unrelated children.
      10. Barber shops and beauty parlors.
      11. Services such as small appliances, radio and T.V. repair, provided only such sales of parts are made as are incident to repairs actually performed on the premises.
      12. Dog and Cat Grooming.(Amended 7/6/99 Ordinance No. 7198)

   c. Particular Home Occupations Not Permitted: Permitted home occupations shall not in any event include the following:
      1. Funeral homes.
      2. Nursery schools, unless specifically permitted by the district regulations.
      3. Restaurants.
      4. Small grocery stores.
      5. Stables or kennels.
      6. Tourist homes, unless specifically permitted by the district regulations.
      7. Renting of trailers or equipment.
      8. Animal kennels or hospitals.
      9. Auto and other vehicle repair.

Hotel shall mean a building occupied or used as a more or less temporary abiding place of individuals or groups of individuals who are lodged, with or without meals, and in which there are more than twelve (12) sleeping rooms, and no provision for cooking in individual

Institution shall mean a building occupied by a non-profit corporation or a non-profit establishment for public use.

Kennel shall mean any place, area, building, or structure where dogs over the age of ten (10) weeks and more than three (3) in number are boarded, bred, housed, cared for, fed, raised, or trained.

Kennel-Boarding shall mean any place, area, building, or structure where dogs (including those under one (1) year of age) are boarded, housed, cared for, fed, or trained by other than the owner.

Lot shall mean a parcel of land occupied or to be occupied by a building and its accessory buildings and including such open spaces as are required under this chapter, and having its principal frontage upon a public street or place.

Lot Corner shall mean a lot abutting upon two (2) or more streets at their intersection. A corner lot shall be deemed to front on that street on which it has its least dimension, unless otherwise specified by the Building Official.

Lot, Depth shall mean the horizontal distance from the front street line to the rear lot line.

Lot Interior shall mean a lot whose side lines do not abut upon any street.

Lot, Lines shall mean lines bounding a lot as defined herein.

Lot, Through shall mean an interior lot having frontage on two (2) streets.

Lot, Width shall mean the horizontal distance between side lines measured at right angles to the depth.

Medical, Dental, or Health Clinic shall mean any building designed for use by one or more persons lawfully engaged in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of physical or mental diseases or ailments of human beings; including but not limited to doctors of medicine, dentists, chiropractors, osteopaths, optometrists, podiatrists and in which no patients are lodged overnight, but which may include an apothecary.

Mobile Home shall mean a factory built residential structure or structures more than eight (8) feet in width, equipped with necessary service connections and made so as to be moveable as a unit or units, and shall include factory built, modular, and mobile homes. Units not meeting all of the single family dwelling requirements of the 1978 BOCA Basic Code shall comply with mobile dwelling requirements in section 425.0 of the 1978 BOCA Basic Code.

Mobile Home Park shall mean any area, piece, parcel, tract, or plot of ground equipment as required for support of mobile homes and used or intended to be used by one or more occupied mobile homes, but under no circumstances shall the mobile home spaces be sold or offered for sale individually, The term mobile home park does not include sales lots on which unoccupied mobile homes, whether new or used, are parked for the purpose of storage, inspection, or sales.

Mobile Home Space shall mean a plot of ground within a mobile home park which can accommodate one mobile home and which provides the necessary utility services for
water, sewerage, and electricity.

Mobile Home Subdivision shall mean any area, piece, parcel, tract, or plot of ground used or intended to be used for the purpose of selling lots for occupancy by mobile homes.

Non-Conforming Use, Building or Yard shall mean one that does not, by reason of design or use, conform to the regulations of the district in which it is situated.

Non-Conforming Use, Abandoned or Discontinued shall mean business shall be transacted during at least three months of the previous calendar year or the establishment shall be considered abandoned or discontinued. A residence shall be occupied during at least three months of the previous year or the non-conforming use shall be discontinued. Property or business for sale or experiencing other extenuating circumstances must apply to the Planning Commission if an extension is desired.

Nursing Home or Convalescent Home shall mean an institution, business or agency licensed by the State for the reception, board, care or treatment of three or more unrelated individuals, but not including facilities for the care and treatment of mental illness, alcoholism or narcotics addiction.

Parking Space shall mean an area surface for all-weather use, including gravel, sand, or comparable material for the purpose of storing one parked automobile. For the purpose of this regulation, one parking space shall have a minimum width of 9 feet and a minimum length of 20 feet. In computing off-street parking, additional space shall be required for access drives to each parking space.

Place shall mean an open, unoccupied space other than a street or alley permanently established or dedicated as the principal means of access to property abutting thereon.

Private Club shall mean a non-profit association of persons who are bona fide members paying annual dues, which owns, hires, or leases a building or premises, or portion thereof, the use of such building or premises being restricted to members and their guests. The affairs and management of such private club are conducted by a board of directors, executive committee, or similar body chosen by the members at their annual meeting. It shall be permissible to serve food and meals on such premises providing adequate dining room space and kitchen facilities are available. The sale of alcoholic beverages to members and their guests shall be allowed, provided it is secondary and incidental to the promotion of some other common objective by the organization and further provided that such sale of alcoholic beverages is in compliance with the applicable Federal, State and Municipal Laws.

Public Utility shall mean any business which furnishes the general public (a) telephone service, (b) telegraph service, (c) electricity, (d) natural gas, (e) water and sewer, (f) any other business so affecting the public interests as to be subject to the supervision or regulation by an agency of the State.

Rear Yard shall mean the area between the rear lot line and the rear line of the principal building and the side lot lines.

Rear Line shall mean the boundary line, which is opposite and most distant from the front street line; except that in the case of uncertainty the Building Official shall determine the rear line.

Rear Yard Depth shall mean the minimum horizontal distance from the rear line of the principal building to the rear lot line.

Restaurant shall mean a public eating establishment at which the primary function is the preparation and serving of food.

Restaurant Drive-In shall mean an establishment where for, compensation, food is prepared and dispensed and normally consumed on the premises but not necessarily within the confines of the building.

Senior Citizen Apartment shall mean an apartment arranged, intended, and designed for use as a residence by individuals whose age is 60 years or more. (Amended 10/19/87 Ordinance No. 6288)

Service Station shall consist of a building or group of buildings and surfaced area where automobile vehicles may be refueled and serviced, self-service pumps without buildings shall also be included. Such service shall not include tire recapping, body repairs, or major overhauls.

Side Line shall mean any lot boundary line not a front or rear line thereof. A side line may be a part lot line, a line bordering on an alley or place or a side street line.

Side Yard shall mean the area between the main building and the adjacent side line of the lot, and extending through from the front yard to the rear yard.

Sign shall mean any device, which shall display or include any letter, word. model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation or announcement which directs attention to an object, product, place, activity, person, institution, organization or business, but shall not include any display of official notice or official flag.

Site Triangle shall mean an area at a street intersection in which nothing shall be erected, placed, planted or allowed to grow in such a manner as to materially impede vision between the height of 2 1/2 feet and 8 feet above the grades of the bottom of the curb of the intersecting streets, measured from the point of intersection of the centerline of the streets, 65 feet in each direction along the centerline of the streets. At the intersection of major or arterial streets, the 65 foot distance shall be increased to 95 feet.

Special Use Permit shall be a written permit issued by the Zoning Administrator with the written authorization of the Planning and Zoning Commission. This special use permit provides permission under special conditions to make certain special uses of land in certain zoning districts as stipulated in each of the district zoning regulations.

Stable, Private shall mean a stable with capacity for not more than two (2) horses; provided, however, that the capacity of a private stable may be increased if the premises whereon such stable is located contains an area of not less than twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet for each horse accommodated.

Stable, Public shall mean a stable other than a private stable as defined herein.

Story shall mean that part of a building included between the surface of one floor and the surface of the floor next above, or if there be no floor above that part of the building which is above the surface of the highest floor thereof. A top story attic is a half story when the main line of the eaves is not above the middle of the interior height of such story. The first story is the highest story having its interior floor surface not more than four (4) feet above the curb level, established or mean street grade, or average ground level.

Street shall mean a public thoroughfare, which affords principal means of access to property abutting thereon.

Street Line shall mean the dividing line between the street right of way and the abutting property.

Street Network
    a. Expressway: A street, which provides fast and efficient movement of large volumes of traffic between areas and does not provide a land service function.
    b. Arterial: A street, which provides for through traffic movement between and around areas with direct access to abutting property, subject to necessary control of entrances, exits and curb uses.
    c. Collector: A street, which provides traffic movement between arterials and local streets, with direct access to abutting property.
    d. Local: A street, which provides access to abutting land and local traffic movement whether in business, industrial or residential areas.

Structural Alteration shall mean any change in the supporting member of a building, such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders.

Tavern shall mean an establishment in which the primary function is the public sale and serving of alcoholic and cereal malt beverages for consumption on the premises, including
establishments, commonly known as key clubs, which are open, and in which alcoholic and cereal malt beverages are served only to members and their guests.

Tourist Cabin or Trailers Camp shall mean a tract or parcel of land upon which two (2) or more tourist cabins are located, or where temporary accommodations are provided for two (2) or more automobile trailers, tents, or house cars open to the public either free or for a fee.

Tourist Home shall mean a dwelling in which overnight accommodations are provided or offered for six (6) or less transient guests.

Travel Trailer shall mean (1) a vehicular, portable structure built on a chassis and designed for temporary occupancy for travel, recreational or vacation use; and provided its overall length does not exceed 29 feet; (2) a structure designed to be mounted on a truck chassis for use as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation use.

City of Marshall