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Municode http://library.municode.com/print.aspx?clientID=14774&HTM... Fall River, Massachusetts, Revised Code of Ordinances >> PART II - REVISED ORDINANCE >S Chapter 86 - ZONING >> ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL >> ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL Sec. 86-1. - Purpose of chapter. Sec. 86-2. - Definitions. Sec. 86-3. - Penalty. Sec. 86-4. - Repeal or modification of chapter. Sec. 86-5. - Effect of chapter on existing ordinances; conflicting regulations. Sec. 86-6. - Severability. Sec. 86-7. - Enforcement. Secs. 86-8—86-30. - Reserved. Sec. 86-1. - Purpose of chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to divide the city into districts in accordance with the most desirable use of land and structures and, within such districts, to regulate and restrict the height and size of buildings, the size and width of lots, the percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, agriculture, residence or other purpose in such a way as to protect and promote the health, safety, convenience, morals or welfare of its inhabitants; to lessen congestion in the streets; to provide adequate light and air; to prevent overcrowding of land; to avoid undue concentration of population; and to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements. It is the further purpose of this chapter to promote the most appropriate use of land, to protect the character and established pattern of desirable development in each district, to conserve and enhance the value of land and buildings, to encourage the improvement of decadent areas, to guide the orderly development of the city, and to preserve and increase its amenities. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-1, 1-28-1997) Sec. 86-2. - Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning: Accessory use or structure means a use or structure on the same lot with, and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to, the principal use or structure. Artist loft means an artist loft space used, or designed to be used, by artists primarily for "art use" may also be used by artists as a residence. Such residency shall be limited to one family per residential unit. Each unit shall have a minimum of 800 square feet (sf) of floor area for one occupant and a minimum of 1,200 square feet (sf) of floor area for two or more family members. Art use means the production of art or creative work either written, composed or executed for a "one of a kind, limited" production exclusive of any piece or performance created or executed for industry-oriented distribution or related production. Such use may include fine and applied arts including painting or other like picture, traditional and fine artisanry, sculpture, writing, creating film, creating animation, music and theater including lessons, choreography and the performing arts, but shall not include adult entertainment, or adult use. 1 of 5 5/16/11 11:18 PM Municode http://library.municode.com/print.aspx?clientID=14774&HTM... Body art establishment means any building or structure where the practices of body piercing and/or tattooing, whether or not for profit, are performed. For the purpose of this chapter body art establishments shall not be classified as an establishment that provides services to the general public. Body piercing means the puncturing or penetration of the skin of a person using pre-sterilized single-use needles and the insertion of pre-sterilized jewelry or other adornment thereto in the opening. Puncturing the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear using a pre-sterilized single use stud and clasp ear piercing system shall not be included in this definition. Dwelling, mobile home, means a detached dwelling unit designed for transportation, after fabrication, on streets or highways on its own wheels or on flatbeds 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 be considered as a mobile home. Dwelling unit means one room or rooms connected together, constituting a separate, independent housekeeping establishment for owner occupancy or rental or lease and physically separated from any other rooms or dwelling units which may be in the same structure, and containing independent cooking and sleeping facilities. Family means one or more persons occupying a single dwelling unit; provided that, unless all members are related by blood, marriage or adoption, no such family shall contain more than five persons, but further provided that domestic servants employed on the premises may be housed on the premises without being counted as a family. Filling station means buildings and premises where gasoline, oil, grease, batteries, tires and other automobile accessories and supplies may be dispensed at retail and where normal services to automobiles may be performed. Uses permissible at a filling station do not include major mechanical and body work, straightening of body parts, painting, welding, storage of automobiles not in operating condition, or other work involving noise, glare, fumes, smoke or other characteristics to an extent greater than normally found in filling stations. Frontage means the dimensions of a lot measured at one street line bounding the lot. For lots located on a cul-de-sac only, such dimension shall be not less than 75 percent of the required width of a lot in any zoning district. Otherwise, minimum lot frontages shall be equal to or greater than the minimum required lot width. Garage, private, means a building, separate or attached to a dwelling, in which one or more motor vehicles but no greater than three, one of which is owned by the owner or a tenant of the premises, are kept solely for the private or professional use of their owners, and in which no space is rented or used for any commercial vehicle with the exception of pickup trucks of less than one ton capacity. Lot means a parcel of land in one ownership which may be occupied by a building, including such open spaces as may be required by this chapter, which is at least of sufficient size to meet the minimum requirements of the district in which it is located. Such lot shall have frontage on any improved public way constructed (or adequately bonded to be constructed) to the city's specifications, or on an improved private way constructed to the city's specifications. (See also Unbuildable lot.) The word "lot" includes the words "plot" and "parcel." Mill outlet means an industrial or mill building which has been converted to commercial use. Parking space, off-street, means an area of land adequate for parking an automobile with room for opening doors on both sides together with maneuvering room and proper access to a public or private way. Required off-street parking for three or more automobiles shall have individual spaces marked and shall be so designed, maintained and regulated that no maneuvering incidental to parking shall be on any public or private street or walk and so that any automobile may be parked or unparked without moving another. Shall; may. The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive. Sign means any device designed to inform or catch the attention of persons not on the premises on 2 of 5 5/16/11 11:18 PM Municode http://library.municode.com/print.aspx?clientID=14774&HTM... which the sign is located. For the purpose of this chapter the following devices are not considered to be signs and are not restricted: Signs not exceeding one square foot in area and bearing only house numbers, post box (1) numbers, names of residents of premises or other identification of premises not having commercial connotations. (2) Flags and insignia of any government except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion. (3) Legal notices, identification, informational or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies. (4) Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights. (5) Signs directing, guiding or controlling traffic and parking. Sign, off-site, means a sign other than an on-site sign. Sign, on-site, means 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. Special permit means a use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout a zoning district but which, if controlled as to number, area, location or relation to the neighborhood, would promote the public health, safety, morals, order, comfort, convenience, appearance, prosperity or general welfare. Such uses may be permitted if specific provision is made for them in this chapter. Street line means the right-of-way line of a street. Structure means 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 homes, walls, fences, billboards and poster panels. Tattooingmeans any method of placing ink or other pigment into or under the skin or mucosa by the aid of needles or any other instrument used to puncture the skin, resulting in permanent coloration of the skin or mucosa. This includes all forms of cosmetic tattooing. Town house means a dwelling unit in a row of at least three such units, in which each unit has its own front and rear exposure to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separated from any other unit by one or more common vertical fire-resistant walls. Travel trailer means 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 feet. Tributarymeans any body of running water, including a river, stream, brook or creek, which moves in a definite channel in the ground due to hydraulic gradient and which is designated as a tributary to a public water supply by the state department of environmental protection. Unbuildable lot means a parcel of land which does not conform to the definition of a lot; land which is insufficient to meet the minimum requirements of the zoning district in which it is located. (See also Lot.) Variance means a relaxation of the terms of this chapter where such relaxation 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 this chapter would result in unnecessary and undue hardship. Width means the dimension of a lot measured parallel to the street on which the lot faces and at the required setback line of the structure. Yardmeans a required open space unoccupied and unobstructed by any structure or portion of a structure, covered or uncovered, with the exception of any entrance stairs, ramps or stoops, fences, walls, poles, posts and other customary yard accessories, ornaments and furniture, subject to requirements limiting obstruction of visibility at street intersections. Yard, frontm, eans a yard extending along any lot line which is also the right-of-way line of a public or 3 of 5 5/16/11 11:18 PM Municode http://library.municode.com/print.aspx?clientID=14774&HTM... private way. Depth of a required front yard shall be the minimum distance required by the district regulations for the full distance of the front lot line. Yard, rearm , eans a yard of at least the minimum depth required by the district regulations with its inner edge parallel with the rear lot line. Yard, side, means a yard of at least the minimum width required by the district regulation with its inner edge parallel with the side lot line. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-7, 1-28-1997; Ord. No. 2001-29, § 1, 10-4-2001; Ord. No. 2008-8, § 4, 3-11-2008) Cross reference— Definitions generally, § 1-2 Sec. 86-3. - Penalty. Any person guilty of violating any of the terms of this chapter shall be fined not more than $100.00 per violation, and each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-2, 1-28-1997) Sec. 86-4. - Repeal or modification of chapter. Procedure. This chapter and the zoning map which is a part of this chapter shall not be repealed or (a) modified except in conformity with M.G.L.A. c. 40A, § 5. (b) Effect on existing permits. Construction or operations under a building or special permit shall conform to any subsequent amendment of this chapter unless the use or construction so authorized is commenced within six months after the issuance of the permit and, in cases involving construction, unless such construction is continued through to completion as continuously and expeditiously as is reasonable. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-3, 1-28-1997) State law reference— Adoption and amendment of zoning ordinances, M.G.L.A. c. 40A, § 7 Sec. 86-5. - Effect of chapter on existing ordinances; conflicting regulations. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as repealing or modifying any existing ordinance or regulation of the city, but this chapter shall be in addition thereto; provided that whenever this chapter imposes greater restrictions upon the construction, alteration, enlargement, reconstruction, raising up, moving or use of buildings, structures or premises than other ordinances or provisions of law, such greater restrictions shall prevail. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-4, 1-28-1997) Sec. 86-6. - Severability. The invalidity of any section or provision of this chapter or of any boundary line or district or part thereof, as laid down upon the zoning map, shall not affect the validity of any other section or provision of this chapter, or of any other boundary line or district or part thereof, as laid down upon the zoning map. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-5, 1-28-1997) Sec. 86-7. - Enforcement. The director of code enforcement shall execute the provisions of this chapter, except when otherwise provided, and in so doing he shall have the same powers as are provided for the execution of the building ordinances of the city. He shall issue no permit for the construction, alteration, enlargement, reconstruction, raising up, moving or use of any building, structure or premises, or part thereof, which would be in violation of the provisions of this chapter or of M.G.L.A. c. 40A. (Ord. No. 1997-2, § 21-6, 1-28-1997) 4 of 5 5/16/11 11:18 PM Municode http://library.municode.com/print.aspx?clientID=14774&HTM... Secs. 86-8—86-30. - Reserved. 5 of 5 5/16/11 11:18 PM
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