The meanings of these terms vary across jurisdictions. Please check with your local zoning department or planning board to see whether the definitions apply in your community.
Abut — To physically touch or border upon; or to share a common property line.
Access — A way or means of approach to provide vehicular or pedestrian physical entrance to a property.
Accessory use — A use incidental to, and on the same lot or on an adjacent lot in the same ownership as a permitted principal use.
Access drive — That area within the right-of-way between the pavement edge or curb and the right-of-way line providing ingress and egress to and from a land parcel or property.
Buffer area — A landscaped area intended to separate and partially screen the view of two adjacent land uses from one another.
Carport — A roofed structure designed and intended to shelter the automotive vehicle(s) of the premises' occupant(s) or owner(s), with at least one (1) side permanently open to the weather.
Cluster — A development design technique that concentrates buildings in specific areas on the site to allow the remaining land to be used for recreation, common open 0space and preservation of environmentally sensitive features in perpetuity.
Cluster subdivision — A form of development for single-family residential subdivisions that permits a reduction in the minimum lot — area, width, setback and open space requirements and to concentrate development in specific areas of the subdivision while also maintaining the same overall density permitted under a conventional subdivision in a given zoning district, and, the remaining land area is devoted to open space, or recreational areas in perpetuity.
Covenant — A private legal restriction on the use of land contained in the deed, plat and other legal documents pertaining to the property.
Crown of the street — The highest point of pavement between the existing curb lines of a street cross-section, most often at the centerline.
Curb cut — The opening along the curb line, exclusive of handicap ramps, at which point vehicles may enter or leave the street.
Curb line — A line located on either edge of the pavement, but within the right-of-way line.
Driveway — Access for vehicular movement to egress/ingress between the right –of-way of private or public streets and the required building setback line.
Easement — A grant by a property owner to and/or for use by the public, a corporation, or another person or entity. Typically used for utility lines and access rights.
Frontage — The line of contact of a property with the street right-of-way along a lot line which allows unobstructed, direct access to the property.
Frontage, public street — The line of contact of abutting property with the public street along the front lot line which allows unobstructed direct access to the property.
Hard-surfaced — Quality of an outer area being solidly constructed of pavement, brick, paving stone, tile, wood, or a combination thereof.
Hedge — A row or rows of closely planted shrubs, bushes, or combination thereof creating a vegetative barrier.
Homeowners association — A community association that is organized in a development in which individual owners share common interests and responsibilities for costs and upkeep of common open space or facilities.
Impervious surface — Any material that prevents absorption of storm water into the ground.
Land area — The total horizontal area within the project boundaries, plus the area of half of any abutting alley or street rights-of-way.
Landscaping — Any combination of sculpture, fountains, pools, and walkways with substantial living vegetation, such as trees, shrubs, ground cover, thickets with grasses planted, preserved, transplanted, maintained and groomed to develop, articulate and enhance the aesthetic quality of the area as well as provide erosion, drainage and wind control.
Lot — A piece, parcel, plot or tract of land designated by its owner or developer to be used, developed or built upon as a unit under single ownership or control and occupied or intended for occupancy by a use permitted in the zoning ordinances, including one (1) or more main buildings, accessory uses thereto and the required yards as provided for the zoning ordinances.
Lot area — The area of a horizontal plane bounded on all sides by the front, rear, and Side lot lines that is available for use or development and does not include any area lying within the right-of-way of any public or private street or easement for surface access ingress or egress into the subject lot or adjoining lots.
Lot, corner — A lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersections, or upon two (2) parts of the same street forming an interior angle of less than one hundred thirty-five (135) degrees.
Lot, through — A lot which fronts upon two parallel streets, or which fronts upon two streets which do not intersect at the boundaries of the lot.
Lot line — The legal boundary of a lot as recorded in the Recorder’s office. Bounds one lot from another lot or from a public or private stret or any other public space.
Lot line, front — The lot line(s) separating the lot from street rights-of-way; in the case of a corner lot, both lot lines separating the lot from the street rights -of-way shall be considered front lot lines; or, in the case of a through lot, the lot line which most closely parallels the primary entrance of the primary structure shall be considered the front lot line.
Lot line, rear — A lot line which is opposite and most distant from the front lot line, or in the case of a triangularly shaped lot, a line ten (10) feet in length with the lot, parallel to and at the maximum distance from the front lot line. However, in the case of a corner lot line, any lot line which intersects with a front lot line shall not be considered a rear lot line.
Lot line, side — Any lot line not designated as a front or rear lot line.
Off-street — A location completely on private land, and completely off of public rights -of-way, alleys and any interior surface access easement for ingress and egress.
Permitted use — Any use allowed in a zoning district and subject to the restrictions applicable to that zoning district.
Plat — An officially recorded map or a map intended to be recorded indicating the subdivision of land including, but not limited to, boundaries and locations of individual properties, streets, and easements.
Right -of-way — Specific and particularly described land, property, or interest therein devoted to and subject to the lawful use, typically as a thoroughfare of passage of pedestrians, vehicles, or utilities.
Right-of-way, public — Specific and particularly described strip of land, property, or interest therein dedicated to and accepted by the municipality to be devoted to and subject to use by the general public for general transportation purposes or conveyance of utilities whether or not in actual fact improved or actually used for such purposes.
Right-of-way, private — Specific and particularly described strip of privately held land devoted to and subject to use for general transportation purposes or conveyance of utilities whether or not in actual fact improved or actually used for such purposes.
Screening — A method of visually shielding or obscuring one abutting or nearby structure or use from another by fencing, walls, berms or densely planted vegetation.
Setback — The minimum horizontal distance established by ordinance between a proposed right-of-way line or a lot line and the setback line.
Setback line — A line that establishes the minimum distance a building, structure, or portion thereof, can be located from a lot line or proposed right-of -way line.
Sidewalk — A hard-surfaced walk or raised path along and paralleling the side of the street for pedestrians.
Site plan — The development plan, drawn to scale, for one or more lots on which is shown the existing and proposed location and conditions of the lot as required by ordinance, in order that an informed decision can be made by the approving authority.
Spot zoning — Rezoning of a lot or parcel of land to benefit an owner for a use incompatible wit surrounding land uses and that does not further the comprehensive zoning plan.
Street, cul-de-sac — A street having only one open end and being permanently terminated by a vehicle turn around.
Structural barrier — A physical structure, such as a fence, wall, or railing, that forms a boundary of, or enclosure to, a property or acts as a division between properties.
Subdivision — The division of any parcel of land shown as a unit, as part of a unit or as contiguous units, on the last preceding transfer of ownership thereof, into two or more parcels or lots, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development, provided however, that the division of land into parcels of more than three acres, not involving any new streets or easements of access, and the transfer or exchange of parcels between adjoining landowners, if such transfer or exchange does not create additional building lots, shall not constitute a subdivision for purposes of this ordinance.
Yard, front — An open space unobstructed to the sky, extending fully across the lot while situated between the front lot line and a line parallel thereto, which passes through the nearest point of any building or structure and terminates at the intersection of any side lot line.
Yard, interior — An open space unobstructed to the sky, extending fully across the mobile dwelling site while situated between the edge of pavement of the street or interior access drive and a line paralleling thereto, which passes through the nearest point of any building or structure and terminates at the intersection of the individual mobile dwelling site's boundary lines.
Yard, perimeter — A required yard of a project, in addition to front, rear and side yards, situated between and extending along the project boundary and an interior line paralleling thereto. The width of said yard shall be determined by the applicable zoning district zoning classification of the ordinance.
Yard, rear — An open space unobstructed to the sky extending fully across the lot situated between the rear lot line and a parallel thereto which passes through the nearest point of any building or structure and terminates at the intersection of any side lot line.
Yard, side — An open space unobstructed to the sky extending the length of the lot situated between a side lot line and a line parallel thereto which passes through the nearest point of any building or structure and terminates at the point of contact with any rear or front yards or any lot line, whichever occurs first.
Zero lot line — The location of a building on a lot in such a manner that one or more of the building’s sides rest directly on a lot line.
Zone — A specifically delineated area or district in a municipality within which uniform regulations and requirements govern the use, placement, spacing and size of land and buildings.