Latest version.
  • For the purposes of this ordinance, certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:

    The word "person" includes a firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company, or corporation as well as an individual.

    The present tense includes the future tense; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular.

    The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive.

    The words "used" or "occupied" include the words "intended," "designed," or "arranged to be used or occupied."

    The word "lot" includes the words "plot" or "parcel."

    Accessory use or structure. A use or structure on the same lot with, and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to, the principal use or structure.

    Buildable area. The portion of a lot remaining after required yards have been provided.

    Dwelling, single family. A detached residential dwelling unit other than a mobile home, designed for and occupied by one family only.

    Dwelling, mobile home. A detached residential dwelling unit designed for transportation after fabrication on streets or highways on its own wheels or on flatbed or other trailers, and arriving at the site where it is to be occupied as a dwelling complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, location on jacks or other temporary or permanent foundations, connections to utilities, and the like. A travel trailer is not to be considered as a mobile home.

    Dwelling, two-family. A detached residential building containing two (2) dwelling units, designed for occupancy by not more than two (2) families.

    Dwelling, multiple-family. A residential building designed for or occupied by three (3) or more families, with the number of families in residence not exceeding the number of dwelling units provided.

    Dwelling unit. One (1) room, or rooms connected together, constituting a separate, independent housekeeping establishment for owner occupancy, or rental or lease on a weekly, monthly, or longer basis, and physically separated from any other rooms or dwellings units which may be in the same structure, and containing independent cooking and sleeping facilities.

    Family. One (1) or more persons occupying a single dwelling unit, provided that unless all members are related by blood or marriage, no such family shall contain over five (5) persons, but further provided that domestic servants employed on the premises may be housed on the premises without being counted as a family or families.

    Home occupation. An occupation conducted in a dwelling unit, provided that:


    No person other than members of the family residing on the premises shall be engaged in such occupation.


    The use of the dwelling unit for the home occupation shall be clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purposes by its occupants, and not more than twenty-five (25) per cent of the floor area of the dwelling unit shall be used in the conduct of the home occupation.


    There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises, or other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation other than one (1) sign, not exceeding one (1) square foot in area, non-illuminated, and mounted flat against the wall of the principal building.


    No home occupation shall be conducted in any accessory building.


    There shall be no sales in connection with such home occupation.


    No traffic shall be generated by such home occupation in greater volumes than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by the conduct of such home occupation shall be met off the street and other than in a required front yard.


    No equipment or process shall be used in such home occupation which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical interference detectable to the normal senses off the lot, if the occupation is conducted in a single family residence, or outside the dwelling unit if conducted in other than a single family residence. In the case of electrical interference, no equipment or process shall be used which creates visual or audible interference in any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in line voltage off the premises.

    Junkyard. Any lot or parcel of land on which is kept, stored, bought or sold articles commonly known as junk, including scrap paper, scrap metal, and used automobile bodies and parts.

    Loading space, off-street. Space logically and conveniently located for bulk pickups and deliveries, scaled to delivery vehicles expected to be used, and accessible to such vehicles when required off-street parking spaces are filled. Required off-street loading space is not to be included as off-street parking space in computation of required off-street parking space.

    Lot. For purposes of this ordinance, a lot is a parcel of land of at least sufficient size to meet minimum zoning requirements for use, coverage, and area, and to provide such yards and other open spaces as are herein required. Such lot shall have frontage on an improved public street, or on an approved private street, and may consist of:


    a single lot of record;


    a portion of a lot of record;


    a combination of complete lots of record, of complete lots of record and portions of lots of record, or of portions of lots of record;


    a parcel of land described by metes and bounds, provided that in no case of division or combination shall any residual lot or parcel be created which does not meet the requirements of this ordinance.

    Lot frontage. The front of a lot shall be construed to be the portion nearest the street. For the purposes of determining yard requirements on corner lots and through lots, all sides of a lot adjacent to streets shall be considered frontage, and yards shall be provided as indicated under Yards in this section.

    Lot measurements.


    Depth of a lot shall be considered to be the distance between the midpoints of straight lines connecting the foremost points of the side lot lines in the front and the rearmost points of the side lot lines in the rear.


    Width of a lot shall be considered to be the distance between straight lines connecting front and rear lot lines at each side of the lot, measured across the rear of the required front yard provided however, that width between side lot lines at their foremost points (where they intersect with the street line) shall not be less than eighty (80) per cent of the required lot width except in the case of lots on the turning circle of culs-de-sac, where the eighty (80) per cent requirement shall not apply.

    Lot of record. A lot which is part of a subdivision recorded in the office of the judge of probate of Colbert County or a lot or parcel described by metes and bounds, the description of which has been so recorded.

    Lot types. The diagram (Figure 1) which follows illustrates terminology used in this ordinance with reference to corner lots, interior lots, reversed frontage lots and through lots: apa-10-1.png

    Figure 1


    Figure 2

    In the diagram, A = corner lot, defined as a lot located at the intersection of two (2) or more streets. A lot abutting on a curved street or streets shall be considered a corner lot if straight lines drawn from the foremost points of the side lot lines to the foremost point of the lot meet at an interior angle of less than one hundred thirty-five (135) degrees. See lots marked A (1) in the diagram.

    B = interior lot, defined as a lot other than a corner lot with only one (1) frontage on a street.

    C = through lot, defined as a lot other than a corner lot with frontage on more than one (1) street. Through lots abutting two (2) streets may be referred to as double frontage lots.

    D = reversed frontage lot, defined as a lot on which the frontage is at right angles or approximately right angles (interior angle less than one hundred thirty-five (135) degrees) to the general pattern in the area. A reversed frontage lot may also be a corner lot (A-D in the diagram), an interior lot (B-D) or a through lot (C-D).

    Outdoor advertising business. Provision of outdoor displays or display space on a lease or rental basis only.

    Parking space, off-street. For the purposes of this ordinance, an off-street parking space shall consist of a space adequate for parking an automobile with room for opening doors on both sides, together with properly related access to a public street or alley and maneuvering room. Required off-street parking areas for three (3) or more automobiles shall have individual spaces marked, and shall be so designed, maintained, and regulated that no parking or maneuvering incidental to parking shall be on any public street, walk, or alley, and so that any automobile may be parked and unparked without moving another.

    For purposes of rough computation, an off-street parking space and necessary access and maneuvering room may be established at four hundred (400) square feet, but off-street parking requirements will be considered to be met only when actual spaces meeting the requirements above are provided and maintained, improved in a manner appropriate to the circumstances of the case, and in accordance with all ordinances and regulations of the city.

    Sign. Any device designated to inform or attract the attention of persons not on the premises on which the sign is located, provided, however, that the following shall not be included in the application of the regulations herein:


    signs not exceeding one (1) square foot in area and bearing only property number, post box number, names of occupants of premises or other identification of premises not having commercial connotations;


    flags and insignia of any government except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion;


    legal notices; identification, informational, or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies;


    integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights;


    Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter.

    Signs, number and surface area. For the purposes of determining number of signs, a sign shall be considered to be a single display surface or display device containing elements organized, related, and composed to form a unit. Where matter is displayed in a random manner without organized relationship of elements, or where there is reasonable doubt about the relationship of elements, each element shall be considered to be a single sign.

    The surface area of a sign shall be computed as including the entire area within a regular geometric form or combinations of regular geometric forms comprising all of the display area of the sign and including all of the elements of the matter displayed. Frames and structural members not bearing advertising matter shall not be included in computation of surface area.

    Sign, on-site. A sign relating in its subject matter to the premises on which it is located, or to products, accommodations, services, or activities on the premises. On-site signs do not include signs erected by the outdoor advertising industry in the conduct of the outdoor advertising business.

    Sign, off-site. A sign other than an on-site sign.

    Small venue entertainment. A gathering of individuals for the purpose of engaging in civic or social activities, including but not limited to weddings, wedding parties, live musical or other performances, and similar gatherings.

    (Ord. No. 07-0618, § 3, 6-18-2007)

    Special exception. A special exception is a use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout the zoning division or district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location or relation to the neighborhood would promote the public health, safety, welfare, morals, order, comfort, convenience, appearance, prosperity, or general welfare. Such uses may be permitted in such zoning division or district as special exceptions, if specific provision for such special exception is made in this zoning ordinance.

    Street line. The right-of-way line of a street.

    Structure. Anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on the ground, or attached to something having a fixed location on the ground. Among other things, structures include buildings, mobile home, walls, fences, billboards and poster panels.

    Travel trailer. A vehicular, portable structure built on a chassis, designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel and recreational purposes, having a body width not exceeding eight (8) feet.

    Variance. A variance is a relaxation of the terms of the zoning ordinance where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary and undue hardship. As used in this ordinance, a variance is authorized only for height, area and size of structure or size of yards and open spaces, establishment or expansion of a use otherwise prohibited shall not be allowed by variance, nor shall a variance be granted because of the presence of nonconformities in the zoning district or uses in an adjoining zoning district.

    Yard. A required open space other than a court unoccupied and unobstructed by any structure or portion of a structure from thirty (30) inches above the general ground level of the graded lot upward, provided however, that fences, walls, poles, posts and other customary yard accessories, ornaments, and furniture may be permitted in any yard subject to height limitations and requirements limiting obstruction of visability.

    Yard, front. A yard extending between side lot lines across the front of a lot adjoining a public street.

    In any required front yard, no fence or wall shall be permitted which materially impedes vision across such yard above the height of thirty (30) inches, and no hedge or other vegetation shall be permitted which materially impedes vision across such yard between the heights of thirty (30) inches and ten (10) feet.

    In the case of through lots, unless the prevailing front yard pattern on adjoining lots indicates otherwise, front yards shall be provided on all frontages. Where one of the front yards that would normally be required on a through lot is not in keeping with the prevailing yard pattern, the administrative official may waive the requirement for the normal front yard and substitute therefor a special yard requirement which shall not exceed the average of the yards provided on adjacent lots.

    In the case of corner lots which do not have reversed frontage, a front yard of the required depth shall be provided in accordance with the prevailing yard pattern and a second front yard of half the depth required generally for front yards in the district shall be provided on the other frontage.

    In the case of reversed frontage corner lots, a front yard of the required depth shall be provided on either frontage, and a second front yard of half the depth required generally for front yards in the district shall be provided on the other frontage.

    In the case of corner lots with more than two (2) frontages, the administrative official shall determine the front yard requirements, subject to the following limitations: (1) At least one (1) front yard shall be provided having the full depth required generally in the district; (2) No other front yard on such lot shall have less than half the full depth required generally.

    Depth of required front yards shall be measured at right angles to a straight line joining the foremost points of the side lot lines. The foremost point of the side lot line, in the case of rounded property corners at street intersections, shall be assumed to be the point at which the side and front lot lines would have met without such rounding. Front and rear front yard lines shall be parallel.

    Yard, side. A yard extending from the rear line of the required front yard to the rear lot line, or in the absence of any clearly defined rear lot line to the point on the lot farthest from the intersection of the lot line involved with the public street. In the case of through lots, side yards shall extend from the rear lines of front yards required. In the case of corner lots, yards remaining after full and half-depth front yards have been established shall be considered side yards.

    Width of a required side yard shall be measured in such a manner that the yard established is a strip of the minimum width required by district regulations with its inner edge parallel with the side lot line.

    Yard, rear. A yard extending across the rear of the lot between inner side yard lines. In the case of through lots and corner lots, there will be no rear yards, but only front and side yards.

    Depth of a required rear yard shall be measured in such a manner that the yard established is a strip of the minimum width required by district regulations with its inner edge parallel with the rear lot line.

    Yard, special. A yard behind any required yard adjacent to a public street, required to perform the same functions as a side or rear yard, but adjacent to a lot line so placed or oriented that neither the term "side yard" nor the term "rear yard" clearly applies. In such cases the administrative official shall require a yard with minimum dimensions as generally required for a side yard or a rear yard in the district, determining which shall apply by the relation of the portion of the lot on which the yard is to be located to the adjoining lot or lots, with due regard to the orientation and location of structures and buildable areas thereon.