Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 13-1-90 Application.

In the construction of this ordinance, the rules and definitions contained in Article H shall be observed and applied, except when the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Sec. 13-1-91 Rules.

Words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; the singular number shall include the plural number and the plural number the singular number. The word "building" shall include the word "structure". The word "shall" is mandatory and not directory; the word "may" is permissive.

Sec. 13-1-92 Definitions.

ABANDONMENT: To cease or discontinue a use or activity without intent to resume, but excluding temporary or short term interruptions during periods of vacationing, remodeling, maintaining or otherwise improving or rearranging a facility, or during normal periods of seasonal closure.
ABUTS, ABUTTING: Having a common property line or district line.
ADJACENT: To lie near or close to; in the neighborhood or vicinity of.
ADJOINING: Touching or contiguous, as distinguished from lying near or adjacent.
ADULT FAMILY HOME: As defined in Section 50.01(1), Wisconsin Statutes, and licensed under Section 50.033, Wisconsin Statutes.
AGRICULTURE or AGRICULTURAL USES: Beekeeping; commercial feedlots; dairying; egg production; floriculture; fish or fur farming; forest and game management; grazing; livestock raising; orchards; plant greenhouses and nurseries; poultry raising; raising of grain, grass, mint and seed crops; raising of fruits, nuts, vegetables or berries; sod farming; placing land in federal programs in return for payments in kind; owning land enrolled in the conservation reserve program under 16 USC 3831-3836; participating in the milk production termination program under 7 USC 1446.
AIRPORT, PUBLIC: Any airport which complies with the definition contained in Section 114.002(18m), Wisconsin Statutes, or any airport which serves or offers to serve common carriers engaged in air transport.
ALLEY: A public right-of-way which affords a secondary means of vehicular access to abutting properties. A street shall not be considered an alley.
ALTERATION: Any change, addition or modification to the size, shape or use of an existing building or structure. (See also STRUCTURAL ALTERATION.)
ANIMAL HOSPITALS OR POUNDS: Land or buildings devoted to the care, feeding, or examination of animals by a veterinarian or person charged with the responsibility of caring for impounded animals.
ANIMAL UNIT: One (1) animal unit is equivalent to two (2) cows, two (2) horses, ponies or mules, four (4) hogs, eight (8) sheep, eight (8) goats or twenty (20) poultry.
APARTMENT: A room or group of rooms in a multiple-family structure which is arranged, designed, used or intended to be used as a single dwelling unit, and which shall include complete kitchen facilities permanently installed. (See also DWELLING UNIT; DWELLING, MULTIPLE FAMILY).
AUTOMOBILE REPAIR STATION: A building or premises designed and used for the storage, care, repair, or refinishing of motor vehicles including both minor and major mechanical overhauling, paint and body work. (See also AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATION, CONVENIENCE STORE).
AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATION: A building or premises used for offering fuels, lubricating oil, grease, tires, batteries and accessories for motor vehicles for retail sale to the public, and where light maintenance activities such as engine tuneups, lubrication, and minor repairs are conducted. Automobile service stations do not include open sales lots. (See also AUTOMOBILE REPAIR STATION, CONVENIENCE STORE).
AUTOMOBILE WRECKING YARD: Any premises where the dismantling or wrecking of used motor vehicles or trailers, or the storage, sale, or dumping of dismantled or wrecked vehicles or their parts takes place. The presence on any lot or parcel of land of three (3) or more motor vehicles which, for a period exceeding 30 days, have not been capable of operating under their own power and have been stored in an open area visible from neighboring properties or a public right-of-way shall constitute prima-facie evidence of an automobile wrecking yard. (See also SALVAGE YARD).
BASEMENT: That portion of a building that is partly or completely below grade. A basement shall be termed a cellar when more than one-half of its floor to ceiling height is below the average finished grade. A basement or cellar shall be counted as a story if it is used for living quarters. (See also CELLAR.)
BED AND BREAKFAST ESTABLISHMENT: Any place of lodging that provides six (6) or fewer rooms for short-term lodging for more than ten (10) nights in a twelve (12) month period, is the owner's personal residence, is occupied by the owner at the time of rental and in which the only meal served to guests is breakfast. Bed and breakfast establishments shall comply with the standards of Chapter HSS 197, Wisconsin Administrative Code.
BLOCK: A tract of land bounded by streets, or by a combination of streets and public parks, cemeteries, railroad rights-of-way, or other lines of demarcation. A block may be located in part beyond the boundary lines of the Town of Empire.
BOARD OF APPEALS: The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Empire, Wisconsin.
BOARDING HOUSE: An establishment with long-term lodging for six (6) or fewer persons where meals are regularly prepared and served as part of the rental arrangement, and where food is placed upon the table family style, without service or ordering of individual portions from a menu.
BUFFER: An area within a property or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of natural existing vegetation or created by the use of trees, shrubs, fences, an/or other berms, designed to limit continuously the view of an/or sound from the site to adjacent sites or properties.
BUILDABLE LOT AREA: That portion of a lot remaining when all required yard space has been excluded.
BUILDING: Any structure which is built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or movable property of any kind and which is permanently affixed to land. (See also STRUCTURE).
BUILDING, ACCESSORY: A subordinate structure or structures detached from, but located on the same lot as the principal structure, the use of which is incidental and related to that of the principle structure.
BUILDING, COMPLETELY ENCLOSED: A building separated on all sides from the adjacent open space, or from other buildings or structures, by a permanent roof and by exterior walls, pierced only by windows and normal entrance and exit doors.
BUILDING, DETACHED: A building surrounded by open space on the same lot.
BUILDING HEIGHT: The vertical distance to the highest point of the roof for flat roofs; to the deck line of mansard roofs; and to the average height between eaves and the ridge for gable, hip, and gambrel roofs as measured from the curb level if the building is not more than 10 feet from the front lot line, or from the grade in all other cases.
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL: A building in which the principal use permitted on the lot is conducted.
BUILDING, TEMPORARY: Any building not designed to be permanently located at the place where it is, or where it is intended to be temporarily placed or affixed.
BULK: The term used to indicate the size and setback of buildings or structures, and the loction of same with respect to one another, and includes the following: (a) size and height of buildings; (b) location of exterior walls: (c) floor area ratio; (d) open space allocated to buildings; and (e) lot area and lot width.
CAMPGROUND: An area or tract of land on which accommodations for temporary occupancy are located or may be placed, including tents and recreational vehicles, and which is primarily used for recreational purposes and retains an open air or natural character
CAR WASH: An area of land and/or a structure with machine- or hand-operated facilities used principally for the cleaning, washing, polishing or waxing of motor vehicles.
CARPORT: A roofed automobile shelter with two or more open sides.
CELLAR: A space having more than one-half of its floor to clear-ceiling height below average finished grade. A cellar shall be counted as a story if it is used for living quarters. (See also BASEMENT.)
CENTER LINE: The center line of any road or highway is the point equidistant from the right-of-way lines, regardless of the location of the surfacing, pavement, roadbed or directional separator of the roadway within the right-of-way.
CHURCH or PLACE OF RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY: A building or structure primarily used as a place where religious services, meetings or related activities of any denomination are conducted.
CLUBS, FRATERNITIES, LODGES AND MEETING PLACES OF A NON-COMMERCIAL NATURE: A non-profit association of persons, who are bonafide members paying dues, which owns, hires or leases a building, or portion thereof; the use of such premises being restricted to members and their guests.
CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT: A development design technique in which building lots may be reduced in size and buildings sited closer together, usually in groups or clusters, provided that the total development density does not exceed that which could be constructed on the site under conventional zoning and subdivision regulations. The remaining land is permanently reserved for recreation, common open space, and/or the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas.
COMMERCIAL ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES: A structure, building or land devoted to one or more of the following uses: tavern, bar, supper club, restaurant or similar use.
COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENT: Any of the following facilities licensed or operated or permitted under the authority of the Wisconsin Statutes: child welfare agencies under Section 48.60; group homes for children under Section 48.02(7); community-based residential facilities under Section 50.01; and youth village programs under Section 118.42. “Community living arrangement” does not include adult family homes as defined in Section 50.01(1), Wisconsin Statutes; day care centers, nursing homes, general hospitals, special hospitals, prisons or jails. The establishment of a community living arrangement shall be in conformance with all applicable provisions of the Wisconsin Statutes, including Section 60.63 and amendments thereto, the Wisconsin Administrative Code, and the provisions of this ordinance. [See Section 60.63, Wisconsin Statutes]
CONCESSION STAND: A structure devoted to the sale of confections, snacks or other light meals and providing no inside seating nor drive-in service for the customers.
CONVENIENCE STORE: A retail establishment where packaged and/or preprepared food, beverages and convenience items, and gasoline or any other motor fuels are offered for sale, but automobile maintenance services are not performed. (See also AUTOMOBILE REPAIR STATION, AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATION).
DAY CARE HOME: Any facility operated by a person required to be licensed by the State of Wisconsin under Section 48.65, Wisconsin Statutes for the care and supervision of nine (9) or more children for less than twenty-four (24) hours a day. (See also FAMILY DAY CARE HOME).
DENSITY, GROSS: The number of dwelling units permitted per acre of land, said land area to include any existing or proposed public or private roads or rights-of-way.
DENSITY, NET: The number of dwelling units permitted per acre of land, said land area not to include any existing or proposed public or private roads or rights-of-way.
DEVELOPMENT: Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to construction of or additions or substantial improvements to buildings, other structures, or accessory uses, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or disposition of materials.
DRIVE-IN FACILITY: An establishment that, by design of physical facilities or by service or packaging procedures, encourages or permits customers to receive a service or obtain a product that may be used or consumed in a motor vehicle on the premises.
DWELLING: A building or portion thereof that provides living facilities for one or more families, but not including hotels, motels or boarding houses
DWELLING UNIT: One or more rooms physically arranged so as to create an independent housekeeping establishment of occupancy by one family or not more than three (3) roomers, which shall include complete toilet and kitchen facilities permanently installed
DWELLING, MULTIPLE FAMILY (APARTMENTS AND CONDOMINIUMS): A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units used for occupancy by three (3) or more families living independently of each other.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY (DUPLEXES): A single residential building containing two dwelling units, separated from each other by common or party walls without openings, entirely surrounded by open space on the same lot.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY: A residential building containing one dwelling unit entirely surrounded by open space on the same lot.
EXTRA-TERRITORIAL AREA: Any area within the Town of Empire within 3 miles of the corporate limits of a first, second or third class city, or 1 _ miles of a fourth class city or village. [See Section 62.23 (7a), Wisconsin Statutes]
FAMILY: Any number of individuals living together as a single household unit or complete domestic establishment, but not including a group occupying a boarding house or hotel.
FAMILY DAY CARE HOME: Any facility meeting the definition provided in Section 66.304, Wisconsin Statutes, operated by a person required to be licensed by the State of Wisconsin under Section 48.65, Wisconsin Statutes for the care and supervision of four (4) to eight (8) children for less than 24 hours a day. (See also DAY CARE HOME).
FARMSTEAD: One or two single-family dwellings and related structures accessory to agricultural operations located on a single parcel of land used primarily for agriculture.
FENCE: A structure, other than a building, which is a barrier and used as a boundary or means of protection or confinement.
FENCE, OPEN: A fence including gates, at least fifty (50) percent of the surface area of which is open space to allow an unobstructed view through the fence.
FENCE, SOLID: A fence, including gates, which conceals from view from adjoining properties, streets, or alleys, activities conducted behind it.
FLOOR AREA: The sum of the gross horizontal area of the several floors of the building, excluding areas used for off-street parking facilities and the horizontal areas of the basement and cellar floors that are devoted exclusively to uses accessory an incidental to the operation of the entire building. All horizontal dimensions shall be taken from the exterior of the walls.
FOOD PROCESSING ESTABLISHMENTS: Commercial facilities such as canneries, cheese factories, condenseries, creameries and other such establishments for the processing, packing or manufacture of agricultural products, any portion of which are grown off-site.
FOSTER HOME: The primary domicile of a foster parent required to be licensed under Section 48.62, Wisconsin Statutes, which has four (4) or fewer foster children. [See Section 48.02(6), Wisconsin Statutes] (See also GROUP HOME).
FRONTAGE: The length of any one property line of a premises, which property line abuts a legally accessible road right-of-way. For the purposes of determining yard requirements on corner lots, all sides of a lot adjacent to streets shall be considered frontage.
GARAGE, DETACHED: A building, not attached to a dwelling, designed and used for the storage of vehicles owned and used by the occupants of the dwelling to which it is accessory.
GARAGE, STORAGE, OR OFF-STREET PARKING: A building or portion thereof designed or used or land used exclusively for storage of motor vehicles, and in which motor fuels and oils are not sold, and motor vehicles are not equipped, repaired, hired or sold.
GRADE: The average of the finished ground level at the center of all walls of a building. In case walls are parallel to and within five feet of a sidewalk, the ground level shall be measured at the sidewalk.
GRADE, ESTABLISHED: The established grade of the street or sidewalk as prescribed by the Town of Empire.
GROOMING SHOP: A commercial establishment where animals are bathed, clipped, plucked or otherwise groomed, except that no animals shall be kept, boarded, etc., overnight.
GROUP HOME: Any facility operated by a person required to be licensed under Section 48.625, Wisconsin Statutes, for the care and maintenance of five (5) to eight (8) foster children. [See Section 48.02(7), Wisconsin Statutes] (See also FOSTER HOME).
HOME OCCUPATION: An accessory use of a dwelling unit or accessory building for gainful employment that is clearly incidental and subordinate to the use of the premises as a residence or customary farming occupation.
HOTEL: A facility offering temporary lodging accommodations on a daily rate to the general public and generally providing additional services such as restaurants, meeting rooms and/or recreation facilities.
JUNK: Any scrap, waste, reclaimable material or debris, whether or not stored or used in conjunction with dismantling, processing, salvage, storage, baling, disposal or other use or disposition. Junk includes, but is not limited to, vehicles, tires, vehicle parts, equipment, paper, rags, metal, glass, building materials, household appliances, brush, wood and lumber.
KENNEL: An establishment licensed to operate a facility housing dogs, cats or other household pets and where selling, grooming, breeding, boarding, training for a fee, letting for hire of animals is conducted as a business.
KENNEL, PRIVATE: Any building or buildings or land designed or arranged for the care of dogs and/or cats belonging to the owner of the principal use, kept for purposes of show, hunting, or as pets.
LAND AREA: When referring to a required area per dwelling unit, means "net land area", the area exclusive of public rights-of-way and other public open space.
LAUNDERETTE: A business that provides coin-operated self-service type washing, drying, dry-cleaning, and ironing facilities, providing that no pick-up or delivery service is maintained.
LOADING SPACE: A space within the principal building or on the same lot as the principal building providing for the standing, loading or unloading of trucks and with access to a street or alley.
LOT: A parcel of land intended to be separately owned, developed, and otherwise used as a unit, having at least the minimum area required for a lot in the zone in which such lot is located.
LOT, CORNER: A lot situated at the intersection of two streets, the interior angle of such intersection not exceeding 135 degrees.
LOT, FLAG: A lot with access provided to the bulk of the lot by means of a narrow corridor.
LOT, INTERIOR: A lot other than a corner lot or through lot.
LOT, SUBSTANDARD: A parcel of land intended to be separately owned, developed, and otherwise used as a unit, but having insufficient size to meet the lot width, lot area, yard, off-street parking areas, open space or other provisions of this Ordinance as pertaining to the district wherein located.
LOT, THROUGH: A lot having frontage on two (2) more or less parallel streets, which is not a corner lot. For the purposes of this Ordinance, both frontages shall be deemed front lot lines.
LOT AREA: The total horizontal area within the lot lines of a lot.
LOT DEPTH: The mean horizontal distance measured between the front and rear lot lines.
LOT LINE, FRONT: That boundary of a lot which abuts a street line. On a corner lot, the lot line having the shortest length abutting a street line shall be the front lot line.
LOT LINE, REAR: That boundary of a lot which is most distant from and is, or is most nearly, parallel to the front lot line. Where the side property flines of a lot meet in a point, the rear lot line shall be assumed to be a line not less than ten (10) feet in length within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum distance from the front lot line.
LOT LINE, SIDE: Any lot line which is not a front or a rear lot line.
LOT OF RECORD: A lot whose existence, location and dimensions have been legally recorded or registered with the Register of Deeds of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin on a plat or in a deed.
LOT WIDTH: The horizontal distance between the side lot lines of a lot, measured at the narrowest width within the first thirty (30) feet of lot depth from the street line.
MAIN BUILDING FACADE: That portion of a building or structure which is parallel or nearly parallel to the abutting street. For buildings which front on two or more streets the main building facade shall contain the main entrance to such building.
MANUFACTURED HOME: A factory-built, single-family structure that is manufactured in compliance with the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (as evidenced by the presence of a manufacturer’s certification label on the unit).
MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENT: An establishment, the principal use of which is manufacturing, fabricating, processing, assembly, repairing, storing, cleaning, servicing or resting of materials, goods, or products.
MARQUEE OR CANOPY: A roof-like structure of a permanent nature which projects from the wall of a building.
MOBILE HOME: A transportable, factory-built home, designed to be used as a year-round residential dwelling that that was built prior to June 15, 1976, which was the effective date of the Federal Manufactured Housing and Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.
MOBILE HOME PARK: Any plot or plots of ground upon which two (2) or more manufactured homes or mobile homes are located that are occupied for dwelling or sleeping purposes, regardless of whether or not a charge is made for such accommodation. [See Section 66.058(1e), Wisconsin Statutes].
MOTEL: A building or group of buildings containing lodging rooms, such building or buildings being designed, intended or used primarily for the temporary lodging of automobile travelers and providing automobile parking conveniently located on the premises. Motels are primarily distinguished from hotels by their accommodation of automobiles and automobile travelers.
MOTOR VEHICLE: Any automobile, pickup truck, truck, truck-trailer, trailer, semi-trailer, motorcycle, motor home or other passenger vehicle propelled or drawn by mechanical power.
NONCONFORMING USE: A lawful use of land and/or location of buildings or structures that does not comply with current land use regulations, but which complied with applicable regulations at the time the use was established.
NONMETALLIC MINING or NONMETALLIC MINING OPERATIONS: Operations or activities for the extraction from the earth of mineral aggregates, such as stone, decomposed granite, sand and gravel; nonmetallic minerals including, but not limited to asbestos, beryl, clay, feldspar, peat, talc and topsoil; related operations or activities including, but not limited to excavation, grading and dredging if the purpose of those operations or activities is the extraction of mineral aggregates and nonmetallic minerals; and related processes such as stockpiling, crushing, screening, scalping, dewatering and blending.
NOXIOUS MATTER OR MATERIAL: A material which is capable of causing injury to living organisms by chemical reaction, or is capable of causing detrimental effects on the physical or economic well-being of individuals.
NURSING HOME: A home for aged, chronically ill, infirm, or incurable persons, or a place of rest for those persons suffering bodily disorders, in which three (3) or more persons, not members of any family residing on the premises, are received and provided with food, shelter and care, but not including hospitals, clinics, or similar institutions devoted primarily to the diagnosis and treatment of disease or injury, maternity cases, or mental illness.
OFFICE, MEDICAL OR PROFESSIONAL: A professional office or offices, the principal use of which is for offices of physicians, chiropractors, dentists or other licensed health care practitioners for examination and treatment of persons on an outpatient basis, or offices for attorneys, accountants or other professional service providers.
OFFICE, COMMERCIAL: A building or portion thereof wherein services are performed involving predominantly managerial, administrative or clerical operations.
OFFICIAL MAP: The Official Map of the Town of Empire.
OPEN SALES LOT: Land used or occupied for the purpose of buying, selling, or renting merchandise stored or displayed out-of-doors prior to sale. Such merchandise includes automobiles, trucks, motor scooters, motorcycles, boats or similar commodities.
OPEN SPACE: That part of the lot area not used for buildings, parking, or service. Open space may include lawns, trees, shrubbery, garden areas, footpaths, play areas, pools, water courses, wooded areas and paved surfaces used as access drives but not used for vehicular parking of any kind.
PARKING LOT: A structure or premises containing five (5) or more parking spaces open to the public.
PARKING SPACE: An enclosed or unenclosed, area reserved for off-street parking for one motor vehicle and which is accessible to and from a street or alley.
PARTIES OF INTEREST: Shall, at a minimum, include the applicant, the owner of the subject property (if different than the applicant) and all adjacent property owners.
PET SHOP: An establishment wherein any person, partnership or corporation is engaged primarily in the retail sale of household pets and pet supplies.
PERMIT ISSUER: The officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this ordinance, or his/her duly authorized representative.
PLANNING COMMISSION: The Planning Commission of the Town of Empire, Wisconsin.
RECREATION AREA: A recreation area included park, playground, ballfield, ski hill, sportfield, swimming pool, golf course, commercial riding stables or riding academies or other facilities and areas constructed for recreational activities and open for use by public or private organizations.
RETAIL: The sale of goods or merchandise in small quantities to the consumer.
ROADSIDE STAND: An enclosed or semi-enclosed structure, no larger than 50 square feet in ground area, used or intended to be used for the sale of farm products solely by the owner or tenant of the farm on which such structure is located.
ROADWAY: That portion of a right-of-way that is used or intended to be used for the travel of motor vehicles.
SALVAGE YARD: An open area where junk, wastes, used, or secondhand materials are bought, sold, exchanged, stored, processed or handled. An Automobile Wrecking Yard is also considered a salvage yard.
SANITARY LANDFILL: A method of disposing of refuse by spreading and covering such refuse with earth to a depth of two (2) feet on the top surface and one (1) foot on the sides of the bank, which sides shall have a least 1:2 slope.
SELF-SERVICE STORAGE FACILITY: A building consisting of individual, small, self-contained units that are leased or owned for the storage of business and or personal goods.
SETBACK: The minimum horizontal distance between the roadway center line or road right-of way, as applicable, and the nearest vertical wall or other element of a building or structure, excluding steps.
SHORELAND JURISDICTION: The area within 1,000 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a navigable lake, pond or flowage; or within 300 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a river or stream; or to the landward side of a floodplain, whichever distance is greater.
SHORELAND WETLAND: A wetland, as defined by this Ordinance, which is located within a shoreland area.
SITE PLAN: a plan, prepared to scale, showing accurately and with complete dimensioning, the boundaries of a site and the location of all buildings, structures, uses, and principal site development features proposed for a specific parcel of land.
SLOPE: The degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal, usually expressed in percent or degrees.
STORAGE, OUTDOOR: Land outside any building or roofed area and used for the keeping of goods, supplies, raw material or finished products.
STRUCTURAL ALTERATION: Any change in the supporting members of a building, such as bearing walls, columns, beams, or girders; except that the application of any exterior siding to an existing building for the purpose of beautifying or modernizing shall not be considered a structural alteration. (See also ALTERATION).
STRUCTURE: Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires permanent location on the ground. The term “structure” shall include, but not be limited to, buildings, signs, foundations, concrete and asphalt pads and equipment boxes.
TAVERN: An establishment where liquors are sold to be consumed on the premises but not including restaurants where the principal business is the serving of food.
TEMPORARY STRUCTURE: A movable structure not designed for human habitation nor for the permanent storage of goods or chattels.
TOWN: Town of Empire, Wisconsin.
TOWN BOARD: The Board of Supervisors of the Town of Empire, Wisconsin.
TRAILER, BOAT or CARGO: A vehicle designed exclusively for the transportation of one boat or less than 10 foot beam and 30 foot length or, if used for the hauling of cargo, not over seventy (70) square feet in cargo floor area.
TREATMENT FOSTER HOME: As defined in Section 48.02(17q), Wisconsin Statutes.
TREE, CANOPY: A tree whose leaves would occupy the upper level of a forest in a natural ecological situation. These trees are often referred to as shade trees.
TREE, UNDERSTORY: A tree whose leaves would occupy the lower level of a forest in a natural ecological situation. These types of trees are often referred to as ornamental trees.
USE: The purpose or activity for which the land, or building thereon, is designed, arranged, or intended, or for which it is occupied or maintained.
USE, ACCESSORY: A use clearly incidental and subordinate to, and on the same lot as a principal use.
USE, CONDITIONAL: A use that would not be appropriate generally as a permitted use in the zoning district, but which may be allowed in the district after the imposition of special restrictions or requirements different from those usual restrictions for the district in which the use is located..
USE, PERMITTED: A use which may be lawfully established in a particular district or districts, provided it conforms with all requirements, regulations, and standards of such district.
USE, PRINCIPAL or PRIMARY: The primary use of land or structures, as distinguished from a secondary or accessory use.
UTILITIES, ESSENTIAL SERVICES: Services provided by public or private utilities, necessary for the exercise of a principal use or service of a principal structure. These services include underground, surface or overhead gas, electrical, steam, water, sanitary sewerage, storm water drainage, and communication systems and accessories thereto, such as poles, towers, wires, mains, drains, vaults, culverts, laterals, sewers, pipes, catch basins, water storage tanks, conduits, cables, pumps, lift stations and hydrants.
UTILITIES, MAJOR: Major public facilities serving community- or region-wide needs, such as water treatment plants, sewage disposal plants, municipal incinerators, municipal warehouses, landfills, shops and equipment and storage yards.
UTILITIES, MINOR: Public facilities such as water wells, water and sewage pumping stations, water storage tanks, electric power substations, static transformer stations, telephone and telegraph exchanges, microwave radio relays, and gas regulation stations, and buildings accessory thereto.
VISION CLEARANCE TRIANGLE: An area intended to be maintained in a manner which does not significantly obstruct a motorist's vision of an intersecting street.
WATERCOURSE: A permanent or intermittent stream channel.
WETLAND: An area where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to be capable of supporting aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which has soils indicative of wet conditions.
WOODLAND: An area or stand of trees whose total combined canopy covers an area of one (1) acre or more and at least fifty (50) percent of which is composed of canopies of trees having a diameter at breast (DBH) of at least ten (10) inches; or any grove consisting of fifteen (15) or more individual trees having a DBH of at least twelve (12) inches whose combined canopies cover at least fifty (50) percent of the area encompassed by the grove. However, no trees grown for commercial purposes should be considered a woodland.
YARD: An open space on a lot which is unoccupied and unobstructed from its lowest level to the sky. A yard extends along a line and at right angles to such lot line to a depth or width specified in the yard regulations for the zoning district in which such lot is located.
YARD, FRONT: The portion of the yard on the same lot as the principal building, located between the front line of the principal building extended to the side lot lines and the front lot line.
YARD, REAR: The portion of the yard on the same lot with the principal building, located between the rear line of the principal building extended to the side lot lines and the rear lot line.
YARD, SIDE: A yard extending along the side lot line between the front and rear yards.
ZERO LOT LINE: The location of a building on a lot such that one or more of the building’s sides rests directly on a lot line.
ZONING DISTRICT: Areas delineated on the Zoning Map of the Town of Empire within which, on a uniform basis, certain uses of land and buildings are permitted and certain other uses of land and buildings are prohibited as set forth in this Ordinance, and within which certain yards and other open spaces, lot areas, building sizes and density requirements may be required or regulated, or within which other such regulations are applied.


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