Chapter 18.03


18.03.010    General usage.

18.03.020    Definitions.

18.03.030    Illustrations.

18.03.010 General usage.

A. The definitions provided for in this chapter shall apply throughout this code, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context or the term is defined differently in any other chapter.

B. When not inconsistent with the context, words in the:

1. Present tense include the future;

2. Singular number include the plural; and

3. Plural number include the singular.

C. The word “building” includes the word “structure,” and the word “shall” is mandatory and not directory.

D. Terms found in uppercase type refer to definitions found elsewhere in this chapter. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.03.020 Definitions.

A. Definitions “A.”

“Accessory building” means a subordinate building or portion of the main building on the same lot or building site, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is used exclusively by the occupants of the main buildings or their nonpaying guests or employees.

“Accessory use” means a use customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of a lot or building located upon the same lot or building site.

“Acre” means a land area of 43,560 square feet.

“Agriculture” means the tilling of the soil, the raising of crops, horticulture, animal husbandry and uses customarily incidental thereto, but not including commercial slaughter houses, stockyards, meat packing plants, fertilizer yards, bone yards, or plants for the reduction of animal matter.

“Alley” means a way dedicated to the public which affords a secondary means of access to abutting property.

“Animals, small” means any animal, other than livestock or animals considered to be predatory or wild which are kept outside a dwelling unit all or part of the time. “Small animal” includes but is not limited to dogs, cats, rabbits, fowl and birds.

“Apartment” means one or more rooms occupying all or part of a floor or floors in a building of one or more floors or stories, but not the entire building, whether the apartment is intended for use as a residence, office, for the operation of any industry or business, or for any other use permitted in the zone in which it is located.

“Apiary” means a place where bees are kept and permitted to propagate or produce honey.

“Artisan” means a person working at a craft such as ceramics, metalworking, woodworking, jewelry making, leatherworking, weaving, antique furniture repairing and the making of custom furniture.

“Artist” means a practitioner of drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, photography or similar activity.

“Assisted living facility” means a building or group of buildings arranged, intended, designed or used for the housing and care of 11 or more people with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities providing supportive services, personalized assistance, and health care designed to respond to the individual needs of those who need help with activities of daily living. Includes congregate living facilities, continuing care facilities, hospice, nursing homes, and rest homes.

“Automobile rentals, accessory” means rentals of automobiles as an accessory use to a motel, hotel, resort, or bed and breakfast with a limited number of on-site parking spaces available to the rental office. Incidental maintenance of vehicles takes place off-site.

“Automobile/vehicle service and repair” means:

1. “Major.” This classification means repair of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, motor homes, and recreational vehicles, including the sale, installation, and servicing of related equipment and parts, generally on an overnight basis. This classification includes repair shops, body and fender shops, engine or transmission repair shops, transmission shops, and vehicle spray painting, but excludes vehicle dismantling or salvaging and tire retreading or recapping.

2. “Minor.” This classification means the service and repair of automobiles, light duty trucks, motorcycles, and golf carts, including the sale, installation, and servicing of related equipment and parts. This classification includes quick-service oil, tune-up, wheel and brake shops, muffler shops, auto glass services, and tire sales and installation, where repairs are made or service provided in enclosed bays and no vehicles are stored overnight. This classification excludes establishments providing engine or transmission repair, body and fender work, vehicle spray painting, or towing. It also excludes repair of heavy trucks or construction vehicles.

“Average finished grade” means the average between the high and low grade, after site preparation, measured within five feet of the structure for each building face.

“Awning” means a shelter or cover projecting from and supported by an exterior wall of a building.

B. Definitions “B.”

“Balloon bobber” means a reusable preformed balloon filled with regular air, made of a durable PVC vinyl that does not need to be inflated, and typically attached to a short pole.

“Bar” means businesses serving beverages for consumption on the premises as a primary use, including on-site service of alcohol including beer, wine, or liquor, and businesses that do not meet the definition of “restaurant.” Food service is allowed as an incidental use. Includes taverns and nightclubs. See also “brewpub.”

“Basement” means a space which is partly underground and has at least half of its height, from floor to finished ceiling, below the average finished grade. See also “story.”

“Bed and breakfast” means a residence occupied by an owner-operator providing accommodation for compensation with no more than five bedrooms.

“Board” means the board of adjustment appointed under the authority of this code.

“Boarding/rooming house” means a building, other than a hotel, where lodging is provided, with or without meals, for compensation, for six or more persons and not primarily for transients.

“Brewpub” means a restaurant or bar that prepares handcrafted natural beer as an accessory use intended for consumption on the premises. Production capacity shall be limited to not more than 5,000 barrels per year. Such accessory use may occupy up to 30 percent of the gross floor area of the business. Brewpubs shall be regulated as a restaurant when meeting the definition of “restaurant,” or as a bar when restaurant criteria are not met.

“Buildable area” means the net portion of the lot remaining after deducting all required yards from the gross area of a lot or building site.

“Building” means a structure having a roof supported by columns or walls.

“Building frontage” means the length of a building facade which faces upon a road or a parking area between the building and road, measured as the length between two straight lines projecting from the outermost edges of a building or tenant space wall that are perpendicular to a straight line running along the ground level of the front of the measured wall.

“Building height” means:

1. The vertical distance between the level of the average finished grade and:

a. The highest point of the parapet of a flat roof, or

b. The deckline of a mansard roof, or

c. The mean average point between the eaves and ridge of the highest gable, hip, gambrel or other such roof element; provided, that the ridge line of the roof shall not exceed four feet above the maximum permitted building height of the zone;

2. The height of a stepped or terraced building shall be the maximum of any segment of such building, as measured from the average finished grade of that building segment;

3. This definition shall not apply to Chapter 18.61 STC (HD Hillside Development Overlay Zone).

“Building materials and services” means retailing, wholesaling, or rental of building supplies or equipment. Typical uses include lumber yards; fence companies; brick, block, and rock sales; and tool and equipment sales or rental establishments.

“Building official” means the town official or authorized representative of the town department of planning and building charged with the administration and enforcement of the town building codes (STC Title 15).

“Building site” means the ground area of a building or buildings together with all open spaces adjacent thereto as required by this code.

“Bulk station” means a place where liquefied petroleum, gas, crude petroleum, gasoline, naphtha, benzene, benzol, kerosene or any other liquid, except such as will stand a test of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, closed cupped testers, is stored in wholesale quantities where the aggregate capacity of all storage tanks is more than 10,000 gallons.

“Business services” means establishments providing support services to other businesses (rather than to individuals), including but not limited to property maintenance and security services, custodial services, air courier drop-off points, mailing services, and similar. Businesses that arrange for the purchase or sale of goods for others, and which services do not include the warehousing of goods, are classified as office uses.

C. Definitions “C.”

“Canopy” means a freestanding building without walls, but with columns and a roof.

“Child care center” means a facility providing compensated care and supervision to more than four children and licensed by the state of Arizona. Also termed a “day nursery.”

“Civil engineer” means a professional engineer registered in the state of Arizona to practice civil engineering.

“Code” means this code (STC Title 18).

“Commercial entertainment” means provision of spectator entertainment to the general public, including live and motion picture theaters and concert halls. This category excludes cabarets, nightclubs, and similar establishments providing entertainment incidental to food or beverage sales.

“Commercial greenhouse” means a retail business whose principal activity is the selling of plants grown on the site and having outside storage, growing or display.

“Commercial recreation” means provision of participant or spectator recreation to the general public, excluding public park and recreation facilities.

1. “Large-scale.” This classification includes large, generally outdoor facilities such as amusement and theme parks, sports stadiums and arenas, racetracks, amphitheaters, driving ranges, golf courses, miniature golf courses, riding stables, campgrounds, etc., as well as indoor facilities occupying 50,000 square feet or greater in building area, including fitness centers, gymnasiums, handball, racquetball, or large tennis club facilities; ice or roller skating rinks; swimming or wave pools; archery or indoor shooting ranges, etc. This classification may include restaurants, snack bars, and other incidental food and beverage sales to patrons.

2. “Small-scale.” This classification includes small, generally indoor facilities, that occupy less than 50,000 square feet of building area, such as billiard parlors, bowling centers, card rooms, dance studios, exercise studios, health clubs, yoga studios, dance halls, small tennis club facilities, poolrooms, and amusement arcades. This classification may include restaurants, snack bars, and other incidental food and beverage services to patrons.

“Commercial vehicle” means a vehicle used primarily for business purposes rather than personal transportation, registered with the State of Arizona Motor Vehicle Division as a commercial vehicle. This includes pickup trucks of greater than three-quarter ton, which have been modified for business use, or are normally loaded with materials to support a business use and display any type of commercial signage.

“Commission” means the Sahuarita planning and zoning commission.

“Community center” means a building to be used as a place of meeting, recreation, or social activity and not operated for profit.

“Community garden” means an area of land managed by a group of individuals to grow and harvest food crops and/or non-food, ornamental crops, such as flowers, for personal or group use, consumption, or donation. The area may be divided into separate plots for cultivation by one or more individuals or may be farmed collectively by members of the group and may include common area maintained and used by group members.

“Comprehensive sign plan” means a specific set of design standards established for the purpose of unifying a variety of signs associated with a multitenant or multi-use building or complex of buildings.

“Condominium” means:

1. Real estate, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of the separate portions. Real estate is not a condominium unless the undivided interest in the common elements is vested in the unit owners.

2. If in existence before January 1, 1986, the ownership of single units or apartments with common elements located on property within a horizontal property regime recorded pursuant to former ARS 33-1202, et seq.

“Contour line” means a line on a topographic map comprising points of equal elevation.

“Contractor’s yard” means outdoor storage of construction materials or equipment by a contractor.

“County” means Pima County, Arizona.

“Cut” means the land surface which is shaped through the removal of soil, rock or other earth materials.

D. Definitions “D.”

“Development complex” means a unified development having common vehicular access points which is subject to the development plan requirements of Chapter 18.71 STC and which may have multiple tenants and/or buildings and may be composed of multiple parcels.

“Drive-through” means an establishment which provides vehicular queuing lanes and a building opening or mechanical device by which occupants of a motor vehicle may receive a product or services.

“Dwelling, duplex” means a building containing only two dwelling units.

“Dwelling group” means a group of two or more detached or semi-detached one-family, duplex or multiple dwellings occupying a parcel of land in one ownership and having any yard or court in common, including house court and apartment court, but not including motel.

“Dwelling, multiple” means a building or portion thereof containing three or more dwelling units.

“Dwelling, one-family” means a building containing only a single dwelling unit.

“Dwelling unit” means a room or suite of two or more rooms that is designed for, or is occupied by, one family doing its own cooking therein and having only one kitchen.

“Dwelling unit, accessory” means a residential dwelling unit on the same lot on which a detached one-family dwelling is present or may be constructed. It provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons and may take various forms: a detached unit, a unit that is part of an accessory structure such as a detached garage or a unit that is part of an expanded or remodeled dwelling. An interior accessory dwelling unit would include a delineated living area located within a dwelling unit that has interior pedestrian access to the common area of a dwelling unit, shares primary entrance and exit, contains permanent facilities for living sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation, and may have a separate secondary entrance/exit.

E. Definitions “E.”

“Earth material” means rock, soil or sand, or any combination thereof.

“Equestrial facility” means a facility where horses, mules, donkeys or ponies are hired, bred, shown or boarded including accessory stables or exercise areas. Also includes horse ranches and riding schools.

F. Definitions “F.”

“Factory-built building (modular)” means:

1. A structure fabricated in a factory and delivered to the building site in one or more sections;

2. The structure shall be designed only for installation on a site-built permanent foundation and not designed to be moved once installed on the foundation. The unit shall include all the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems of the building and shall bear the Arizona Insignia of Approval;

3. A factory-built building shall be considered the same as a building and a dwelling unit.


1. Means any number of individuals related by blood or marriage, or not more than six unrelated persons customarily living together as a single housekeeping unit, and using common cooking facilities, as distinguished from a group occupying a hotel or club. For lots with more than one dwelling, all dwellings are considered together for the purposes of determining whether the occupants are considered a family.

2. Includes group homes certified by the town of Sahuarita or the department of economic security as having six or fewer residents. The limitation of six or fewer persons does not include the operator or members of the operator’s family or staff.

3. A “family” shall be deemed to include domestic servants.

“Farm products stand” means a structure used for the retail sales of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants or similar products grown or produced on the property.

“Farmer’s market” means periodic outdoor sales activities involving the display and sale of fresh produce and locally produced food and beverage items, including baked goods, jams, jellies, and similar food products. The display and sale of hand-crafted artisan items may be considered as an accessory activity, provided the principal activity remains the sale of food or food- or produce-related items.

“Feed store” means an establishment engaged in retail sale of supplies directly related to the day-to-day activities of agricultural production.

“Fertilizer yard/processing plant” means a place where animal matter is collected, processed or stored on a commercial basis.

“Fill” means the placement of earth material upon an existing grade.

“Floor area, gross” means the total floor area within the walls of, or under the roof (excluding roof overhang) of, any building or structure. Includes outdoor space dedicated to the primary use of the site, such as outdoor dining areas for restaurants.

“Freeway” means Interstate 19.

G. Definitions “G.”

“Garage, private” means an accessory building or portion of the main building, designed or used for the shelter or storage of self-propelled vehicles owned or operated by the occupants of the main building.

“Garage, public” means premises, except those herein defined as a private garage or storage garage, used for the storage or care of self-propelled vehicles, or where such vehicles are equipped for operation, repaired, or kept for hire or sale.

“Garage, storage” means premises, except those herein defined as a private garage or public garage, used exclusively for the storage of self-propelled vehicles, and for no other purpose whatever.

“Gasoline service station” means a retail establishment primarily engaged in selling petroleum products, but not including auto repair shops, body and fender works, similar repairing and painting uses, or mechanical or steam washracks. Food and beverage sales is allowed as an incidental use.

“General retail” means the retail sale or rental of merchandise not specifically listed under another use classification. Typical uses include department stores; convenience stores; clothing stores; furniture stores; hardware stores; automotive accessories and new parts stores, excluding “automobile/vehicle service and repair” uses but allowing for incidental installation of minor parts, such as windshield wipers, and accessories such as car audio equipment, but not including overnight storage of vehicles; florists; and paint and flooring stores.

“Government services” means a building or structure owned, operated, or occupied by a governmental agency to provide a government service to the public.

“Grazing” means the feeding of domestic livestock on an open range or fenced pasture for commercial purposes and uses customarily incidental thereto, but not including commercial slaughter houses, stockyards, fertilizer yards, bone yards or plants for the reduction of animal matter.

“Group care home” means a licensed home suitable for accommodating more than six, and no more than 10 adults or minor children who require special care for physical, mental, or developmental disabilities.

“Group housing, other” means a residential facility housing greater than six unrelated persons providing living facilities, sleeping rooms, and meals and which does not meet the criteria of any other definition. Includes, but is not limited to: boarding/rooming houses; fraternities; sororities; dormitories; college student rentals; and facilities providing lodging, meals, and counseling on a temporary basis to pregnant teenagers or victims of domestic violence. Counseling may be provided on-site to residents and former residents of the facility. Maximum number of residents is 30.

“Guest room” means living quarters designed to provide lodging for compensation to short-term guests.

H. Definitions “H.”

“Handicraft/custom manufacturing” means manufacture of crafts, art, sculpture, stained glass, jewelry, apparel, furniture, cabinet making, and similar items using hand tools and small mechanical devices.

“Home improvement center” means a retail facility of more than 80,000 square feet gross floor area engaged in the retail sale of various basic hardware lines, such as tools, builders’ hardware, lumber, paint and glass, plumbing and electrical supplies, housewares and household appliances, and garden supplies. Outdoor storage and sales may be provided but shall be accessory to the principal use and structure, and only as permitted by the district in which it is located. May include incidental tool and equipment rental.

“Hotel” means a building containing six or more guest rooms, in which lodging is provided and offered to the public for compensation and which is open to transient guests, together with commercial accessory uses operated primarily for the convenience of the guests thereof.

I. Definitions “I.”

“Item of information” means a piece of sign copy intended to convey a single message, for example, but not limited to, a shopping center name and/or logo, a phone number, or a service offered. An address display is not considered an item of information.

J. Definitions “J.”

“Junk yard”:

1. Means the use of more than 200 square feet of the area of any lot for the storage, keeping or abandonment of junk, including scrap metals or other scrap materials, or for the dismantling, demolition, or abandonment of automobiles or other vehicles or machines or parts thereof;

2. Shall include salvage yards, auto wrecking yards, and impoundment storage yards.

K. Definitions “K.”

“Kennel, commercial” means a structure, shelter, animal run, or fenced area used for the breeding, feeding, raising, keeping, training, boarding or selling on the premises of five or more dogs or cats for compensation.

“Kitchen” means any room in a building which is used, intended or designed to be used for cooking or preparation of food. The presence of a range or oven, or utility connections suitable for servicing a range or oven, shall be considered as establishing a kitchen.

L. Definitions “L.”

“Landscape architect” means a professional registered with the state of Arizona to practice landscape architecture.

“Large retail facility” means a retail establishment in excess of 80,000 square feet, which includes gross floor area, outdoor storage areas, and any outside area which provides associated services to the public, such as, but not limited to, outdoor merchandise display, snack bar, tire shop, garden center, etc. For the purpose of determining the applicability of the 80,000 square foot floor area threshold, the aggregate square footage of all adjacent stores, which share checkstands, management, a controlling ownership interest, and storage areas, shall be considered one establishment. Includes home improvement centers.

“Large vehicle” means any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) exceeding 13,000 pounds and intended to be used primarily for commercial purposes rather than private or personal individual trips.

“Large vehicle and equipment sales, service, and rental” means sales, servicing, rental, fueling, and washing of large trucks, trailers, tractors, and other equipment used for personal, construction, agricultural, or landscape gardening activities. Includes large vehicle operation training facilities.

“Light assembly/cabinetry” means putting together, fabricating, or making minor modifications to pre-manufactured items or pre-cut lumber as a last step for items intended to be sold as finished products. Includes assembling cabinets, furniture making and welding of pre-made parts, but excludes metal extrusion, sawmills, and manufacturing.

“Light fleet-based services” means passenger transportation services, local delivery services, medical transport, and other businesses that rely on fleets of three or more vehicles with rated capacities less than 10,000 pounds. This classification includes parking, dispatching, and offices for taxicab and limousine operations, ambulance services, shuttle services, nonemergency medical transport, local messenger and document delivery services, home cleaning services, and similar businesses. This classification does not include towing operations of any size, or taxi or delivery services with two or fewer fleet vehicles on site.

“Light source” means a lamp or light-emitting tube placed within a lighting fixture.

“Lighting, area” means lighting which is primarily designed to illuminate an area of a development and may coincidentally illuminate one or more sign faces.

“Lighting, direct” means a source of external illumination located a distance away from the sign which lights the sign, but which is itself not visible from any normal position of view.

“Lighting, halo” means illumination produced by recessing a light source inside a hollow character with an open back or within the surface to which the sign characters are mounted. An outline glow around the characters is created by this light reflecting off the background to which the characters are attached.

“Live/work unit” means a dwelling unit used for both dwelling purposes and any nonresidential use permitted in the zoning district in which the unit is located.

“Lot” means an area or parcel of land under one ownership abutting upon at least one street on August 6, 1952, or an area or parcel of land as shown with a separate and distinct number on a subdivision tract map or split-lot map recorded with the county recorder.

“Lot, corner” means:

1. A lot located at the junction of two or more intersecting streets, having an interior angle of less than 135 degrees, with a boundary line thereof bordering on two of the streets;

2. The point of intersection of the street lot lines is the corner.

“Lot depth” means the horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines measured in the mean direction of the side lot lines.

“Lot, interior” means a lot which is not a corner lot.

“Lot, key” means a lot:

1. Abutting along the entire length of at least one of its side lot lines, either directly or across an alley, the rear lot line of any other lot; or

2. Situated between two such key lots.

“Lot line” means a property line bounding a lot.

“Lot line, front” means:

1. In the case of a lot abutting only one street, the line separating such lot from the street;

2. In the case of a corner or through lot, the owner may elect any street lot line as the front lot line, provided such choice, in the opinion of the zoning administrator, will not be injurious to the existing or desirable future development of adjacent properties.

“Lot line, rear” means:

1. The lot line which is opposite and most distant from the front lot line;

2. The rear lot line of an irregular, triangular or gore lot shall, for the purpose of this code, be a line entirely within the lot at least 10 feet long and parallel to and most distant from the front lot line.

“Lot line, side” means:

1. Any lot line not a front lot line or a rear lot line;

2. A side lot line separating a lot from a street is a street lot line;

3. A side lot line separating a lot from another lot is an interior side lot line.

“Lot line, street or alley” means a lot line separating a lot from a street or alley.

“Lot, through” means an interior lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets.

“Lot width” means the mean horizontal width of the lot measured at right angles to the lot depth.

M. Definitions “M.”

“Maintenance and repair services” means the on-site maintenance or repair of office machines, household appliances, furniture, and similar items. This classification excludes maintenance and repair of vehicles or boats (see “automobile/vehicle repair and service”) and personal apparel (see personal services).

“Manufactured home” means:

1. A structure transportable in one or more sections which:

a. In the traveling mode, is at least eight body feet in width or 40 body feet in length, or, when erected on a site, is 320 or more square feet, and

b. Is built on a permanent chassis, and

c. Is designed to be used as a dwelling, with or without a permanent foundation, when connected to the required utilities, which include the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems contained therein;

2. This definition applies only to units constructed after June 15, 1976, except that this term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements of the definition except the size requirements, provided such structure has received a special size reduction certificate pursuant to Section 603(b) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as may be amended.

“Manufactured home, multisectional” means:

1. A multisectional dwelling unit, manufactured after June 15, 1976, built to HUD standards with a HUD seal affixed, that when joined measures 20 by 40 feet or larger, does not exceed two stories in height, and is installed on a permanent foundation; provided, that:

If a perimeter foundation wall is not installed, all sides of the home shall extend to meet the ground, or a facade with the appearance of a foundation wall shall be used on all sides of the home; and

Each side of the home shall have roofing and siding materials similar in appearance and kind to conventional homes and shall have one or more of the following:

a. A parapet roof style, or

b. A flat or pitched roof with eaves that overhang 16 inches or more;

2. Building permits for these structures may be issued only in accordance with STC 18.09.070 (General Residential and Rural Zoning Provisions) or in those zones in which manufactured homes are a permitted use.

“Medical facility” means a facility providing medical, surgical, psychiatric, or emergency medical services to sick or injured persons. This classification includes facilities for inpatient or outpatient treatment, including substance-abuse programs as well as training, research, and administrative services for patients and employees. Further classifications are as follows:

1. “Clinic” means a facility other than a hospital where patients are admitted for examinations and treatment by one of more physicians, on either a walk-in or appointment basis. Patients are treated on an outpatient basis and are not admitted for overnight treatment or observation. This classification includes: medical offices, such as general physicians, dentists, chiropractors, ophthalmologists, psychologists, and medical specialists; medical laboratories; outpatient surgical centers; licensed facilities offering substance abuse treatment; blood banks; and plasma centers; but not emergency medical facilities, such as urgent care centers and freestanding emergency rooms.

2. “Emergency medical facility” means an outpatient treatment center that provides extended-hour access to acute illness and injury care, such as urgent care centers and freestanding emergency rooms. Does not include facilities with helipads.

3. “Hospital” means an institution providing medical and surgical care to the sick or injured, including operating facilities and beds for patients to stay overnight. These establishments may include ancillary uses such as nursing facilities, extended care facilities, physical therapy, gift shops, retail pharmacies, employee housing, temporary housing for patient families, cafeterias or restaurants, and related uses operated primarily for the benefit of patients, staff, and visitors.

“Medical marijuana designated caregiver cultivation location” means an enclosed facility where a designated caregiver, as defined by ARS 36-2801(5), cultivates marijuana if the designated caregiver’s registry identification card provides that the designated caregiver is authorized to cultivate marijuana.

“Medical marijuana dispensary” means a not-for-profit entity, defined in ARS 36-2801(11), that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, sells or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.

“Medical marijuana dispensary off-site cultivation location” means the additional location where marijuana is cultivated by a medical marijuana dispensary as referenced in ARS 36-2804(B)(1)(b)(ii).

“Medical marijuana qualifying patient cultivation location” means an enclosed facility where a qualifying patient, as defined by ARS 36-2801(13), cultivates marijuana if the qualifying patient’s registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana.

“Membership organization” means a social, business, or fraternal organization of persons who are members paying regular dues, primarily organized for some common social purpose, and which derives not more than one-half of its revenue or income from the sale of goods and services to its members and others. Typical uses include labor unions, boys’ and girls’ clubs, and veterans’ organizations.

“Metallurgical” includes the land used in treating and reducing metal-bearing ores by mechanical, physical or chemical methods on a commercial basis and uses incidental thereto, but does not include permanent residential housing or the fabricating of metals or metal materials.

“Mining” includes the land necessary or incidental to the digging, excavating or otherwise procuring of minerals and ores found in their natural state, but does not include permanent residential housing or the operating of a rock crusher.

“Mobile home”:

1. Means a transportable structure suitable for year-round single-family occupancy and having water, electrical, and sewage connections similar to those of conventional dwellings;

2. This definition applies only to units constructed prior to June 15, 1976. Compare with “manufactured home.”

“Motel” means a building or group of buildings on the same lot, whether detached or in connected rows, containing individual sleeping or dwelling units and designed for, or occupied by, automobile travelers or other transient tenants.

“Mural, noncommercial” means any mosaic, painting, or graphic art which is professionally applied to a building and which does not contain any commercial sign copy, including, but not limited to, brand name, product name, logo, trademark, or other commercial message.

N. Definitions “N.”

“Notification area” means a property subject to a public hearing on a planning or zoning matter and all properties, any portion of which is within a specified radius of the subject property, which receive mailed notice of the hearing from the town of Sahuarita.

“Nursery” means:

1. A place where young trees or other plants are raised for transplanting or for sale;

2. Does not include commercial fertilizer yard or processing plant.

O. Definitions “O.”

“Outdoor display of goods or materials for sale, incidental to main use” includes sidewalk sales; seasonal display of merchandise, such as patio furniture, barbecue grills, and firewood; vending machines, such as those that sell food, beverages, movies, and newspapers; and similar uses. Does not include outdoor storage.

P. Definitions “P.”

“Parks and recreation facility” means a noncommercial, not for profit facility designed to serve the recreation needs of the residents of the community.

“Personal services” means provision of recurrently needed services of a personal nature. This classification includes barber and beauty shops, massage establishments, seamstresses, tailors, dry cleaning agents (excluding large-scale bulk cleaning plants), shoe repair shops, self-service laundries, photocopying and photo finishing services, tattoo parlors, travel agencies, and similar uses.

“Planning and building director” means the director or authorized representative of the town department of planning and building.

“Planning unit” means a portion of a proposed development containing a unique land use, density, or residential or nonresidential building style separated from other planning units by a natural or manmade feature.

“Professional” includes accountants, architects, engineers, lawyers, surveyors, and similar.

“Public safety facility” means a government facility for public safety and emergency services, including a facility that provides police or fire protection and related administrative facilities.

Q. Definitions “Q.” Reserved.

R. Definitions “R.”


1. Includes the land used for general railroad purposes, including mainline and switching trackage, repair shops, stations, communications equipment, roundhouses and storage facilities;

2. Does not include railroad equipment (miniature or otherwise) operated by its owner as a hobby or as a part of the equipment of an amusement resort.

“Recreation, commercial” means any establishment which receives a fee in return for the provision of some recreational activity.

“Recreational vehicle” means a vehicular-type unit which is designed as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreational, and vacation use, and which is either self-propelled, mounted on, or pulled by another vehicle. Examples include but are not limited to a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, or fifth-wheel trailer, but shall exclude manufactured homes.

“Religious use” means:

1. A building or group of buildings, used primarily for the conducting of organized religious services and accessory uses generally associated therewith;

2. Includes convents, religious educational buildings and parish houses, but not parochial schools.

“Research laboratory”:

1. Means an administrative, engineering, scientific research, design or experimentation facility;

2. Shall include research on such things as electronic components, optical equipment, etc., but not research requiring the use of animal husbandry (including dogs, poultry, or monkeys) or heavy equipment (such as construction equipment); and

3. Shall be free of dust, smoke, fumes, odors, or unusual vibrations or noise. The waste from such facilities shall meet the requirements of the appropriate health authority.

“Residential substance abuse diagnostic and treatment facility” means a facility designed to diagnose and treat persons suffering from the abuse of chemical substances and alcohol subject to the licensure procedures of the Arizona Department of Health Services.


1. Means a building or group of buildings containing guest rooms, with a large portion of the site devoted to recreational activities such as tennis, horseback riding, swimming, and golf (refer to Chapter 18.59 STC, GC Golf Course Zone for golf course requirements).

2. Shall include guest ranch.

“Resort, major” means a resort having 50 or more guest rooms.

“Resort, minor” means a resort having less than 50 guest rooms.

“Restaurant” means a food service use. A restaurant by any other name, such as, but not limited to, coffee shop, cafeteria, fast food restaurant, or diner, shall be regulated as a restaurant. See also “brewpub.” To differentiate between a restaurant which serves alcoholic beverages and a bar which serves food, a restaurant meets the following criteria:

1. Provides meals suitable to hours of operation (i.e., breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, etc.).

2. The full kitchen remains open and meals are available to patrons during all hours of operation.

3. Management cannot ask for age verification (carding) for admittance to the establishment.

4. Management cannot restrict patronage by age or sex (i.e., ladies night, over 21, etc.), except for limited special services or events within certain limited areas of the establishment.

5. A cover charge cannot be required for general admittance, except for special services or events offered within certain areas of the establishment.

6. Management must maintain a minimum amount of table seating at all times and not have tables removed to create a dance floor or set aside major sections of the establishment for special events.

7. The gross revenue sale of food complies with ARS 4-205.02(G)(2).

“Roof line” means the top edge of the roof or the top of the parapet, whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette.

S. Definitions “S.”


1. Includes insurance brokers, photographic studios, public stenographers, real estate brokers, stockbrokers, and other persons who operate or conduct offices which do not require the stocking of goods for sale at wholesale or retail;

2. Does not include barbers, beauty operators, cosmetologists, embalmers or morticians.

“Setback lines” are established generally, but not always, parallel to the centerline of a street between which no part of a building or structure or any part thereof may be erected or projected except as otherwise provided in this code.

“Sexually oriented business” means an adult arcade, adult vending machine, adult bookstore, adult video store, adult cabaret, adult motel, adult motion picture theater, adult theater, escort agency, nude model studio, adult novelty store or sexual encounter center. See Chapter 5.30 STC, Sexually Oriented Businesses, for further definition of the listed classifications.

“Sight visibility triangle” means the specified areas along intersection approach legs, and across included corners, that should be clear of obstructions that might block a driver’s view of potentially conflicting vehicles.

“Sign” means a structure, device, or object designed to advertise, announce, direct or inform. Does not include a stationary, nonverbal religious symbol or an analog clock.

“Sign, access point” means a permanent on-site sign located at or near a vehicular access point.

“Sign, A-frame or upright” means a movable sign whose principal supporting structure is intended, by design and construction, to be used by resting upon the ground for support and may be easily moved or relocated for reuse. May be shaped to form an “A” or is otherwise self-supporting.

“Sign area allotment” means the permitted amount of sign area in ratio to the linear footage of building frontage.

“Sign area budget” means the total cumulative sign area for each type of sign allowed to a parcel or project.

“Sign, attached” means a sign that is displayed on a building wall or other building surface and that uses a building as its primary support, including main building walls or a building component such as a column, awning, or canopy.

“Sign, awning” means an on-site sign attached to or painted on an awning.

“Sign background panel” means an area that is constructed as a background for sign copy.

“Sign, banner” means a sign made of plastic, vinyl or other similar lightweight, nonrigid material, attached to the wall of a building or freestanding and mounted on two or more rigid poles. This definition does not include flags, feather signs, pennants, or streamers.

“Sign base” means the lower part of a freestanding sign which may appear as a separate architectural feature and which serves as its ground support.

“Sign, billboard” means a sign used for the purpose of general advertising for hire when some or all of the display area is used to display the messages of advertisers or sponsors other than the owner or an occupant of the property on which the sign is located. Such signs are sometimes called outdoor advertising.

“Sign, building wall” means a permanent sign mounted flat against and projecting no greater than 12 inches from a building wall with the exposed face of the sign in a plane parallel to the face of the wall. Does not include canopy sign or awning sign.

“Sign, canopy” means an on-site sign attached to a canopy.

“Sign clearance” means the smallest vertical distance between the average finished grade at the base of the sign and the lowest point of any sign including framework and embellishments but excluding sign supports.

“Sign, commercial” means a sign that contains information or advertising for any business, commodity, service, entertainment, product, or other attraction.

“Sign copy” means any word, letter, number, design, figure or other symbolic representation incorporated into a sign.

“Sign district, commercial” means a group of businesses in a specified area of the town which has been organized into a coordinated group for the purpose of common signage and signage control.

“Sign, electronic message” means a sign that permits the movement or frequent changing of messages by means of electronically controlled sign copy.

“Sign, feather” means a vertical temporary sign in the shape of a feather, quill, sail, blade, teardrop, or similar and mounted on a single solid or flexible pole and which may or may not contain sign copy.

“Sign, freestanding” means a permanent sign supported independently of a building, but does not include billboards.

“Sign, freeway-style” means an on-site, freestanding sign located on property adjacent to a freeway, or part of a development complex or commercial sign district adjacent to a freeway, that is oriented to and intended to be read from the freeway.

“Sign, governmental” means a sign installed or required by a public agency. Examples include traffic, public transit and public information signs.

“Sign, human” means any portable commercial advertisement that is held, worn, or balanced by a person or persons for the explicit purpose of drawing attention to or directing the public to a business, service, or event.

“Sign, internal” means a permanent, on-site sign which may be visible from a property line but which is not intended to be readable beyond the boundaries of the lot, parcel, or development in which it is located, or from any right-of-way.

“Sign, internally illuminated” means a sign made visible in darkness by a source of light, concealed or contained within the sign, that shines through a translucent surface.

“Sign, manual changeable copy” means an on-site sign designed to permit the changing of messages by means of nonelectronic sign copy.

“Sign, monument” means a freestanding sign with fewer than 12 inches of clearance and supported primarily by an internal structural framework or integrated into solid structural features other than support poles.

“Sign, noncommercial” means a sign that is not a commercial sign.

“Sign, nonconforming” means a sign, constructed with a valid permit, existing on December 13, 2017, which does not comply with this chapter.

“Sign, off-site” means a sign that is not an on-site sign.

“Sign, on-site” means a sign directing attention to the property, development complex, or commercial sign district where the sign is placed.

“Sign, political” means a sign relating to the election of a person to a partisan or nonpartisan office and/or relating to a matter to be voted upon at an election called by a public body and which is in keeping with ARS 16-1019.

“Sign, post” means a temporary sign made of wood, metal, or a similar material and mounted on one or more posts.

“Sign, projecting” means an on-site sign attached to and extending more than 12 inches from a structure not designed exclusively for the support of the sign.

“Sign, residential subdivision entryway” means a permanent, freestanding, monument-style sign, located on site or within a recorded entryway easement of a residential subdivision.

“Sign, stake” means a temporary sign that does not exceed six square feet in area with a base/stake commonly made of wood, metal, or similar material and with an end for driving into the ground.

“Sign structure” means the supports, up-rights, bracing, or framework of any structure exhibiting a sign.

“Sign structure, town” means a sign structure with two sides or less, upon which approved signs may be mounted as part of the town-run sign structure program.

“Sign, suspended” means an on-site sign hanging under or from a covered walkway, porch or roof overhang.

“Sign, temporary” means a sign not intended or designed for permanent display.

“Sign, window” means an on-site sign inside of, affixed to, or painted on a window, and intended to be seen from the outside. An interior sign that faces a window and is located within 12 inches of the window is considered a window sign. Excludes merchandise displays.

“Single-family attached” means a single-family home that shares one or more walls with another single-family home including duplexes and triplexes.

“Social service facility” means an establishment where the principal function involves providing on-site food, clothing, shelter, employment, or other related services primarily intended for disadvantaged persons with limited ability for self-care or those persons in need of counseling for employment or those persons with personal or behavioral disabilities. The term shall include the principal assistance or service facility and all appurtenant or related establishments intended for use by the patrons of the principal facility. The term shall include food banks, homeless shelters, charity dining facilities, rescue missions, day labor hiring centers, and similar facilities.

“Specific plan” means a zoning document adopted in accordance with Chapter 18.90 STC (Specific Plans) that includes text, maps or other exhibits regulating land use and development within a specified area of the town.

“Stable, commercial” means a stable for horses which are let, hired, used or boarded on a commercial basis or for compensation.

“Stable, community” means a noncommercial stable for horses, operated by and for the exclusive use of the members of a nonprofit, incorporated community organization.

“Stable, private” means a stable for horses which are used by the owners of the property and their guests without compensation.

“Story” means the horizontal division of a building between a floor and the finished ceiling or finished undersurface of the roof directly above it. Shall include:

1. A basement, if the vertical distance from the average finished grade to its ceiling is greater than five feet on any side of the building; and

2. A mezzanine or loft.

“Street” means a way for vehicular traffic dedicated to the public or designated as subdivision common area which affords the principal means of access to abutting property.

“Structural alterations” means any change in the supporting members of a building, such as bearing walls, columns, beams, girders, floor joists or roof joists, or which expands the height, bulk, or area thereof.

“Structure” means:

1. Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having a location on the ground;

2. Structure shall also include streets, alleys, roadways, water lines and sewer lines; however, setback line requirements shall not apply to streets, alleys, roadways, water or sewer lines and their appurtenant features.

“Studio” means a place for the creation or retail sale of the works of an artist or artisan.

“Substantial expansion of an existing development” means an increase of the greater of 2,000 square feet or five percent of approved gross floor area or land use area.

“Swap meets” means:

1. A place of commercial activity popularly known as a swap meet, flea market or park-and-swap, which is open to the general public and composed of enclosed, semi-enclosed or outdoor stalls, stands or spaces rented or leased to persons on a daily basis for the purpose of the display and sale, exchange or barter of new or used merchandise;

2. Shall not include occasional craft fairs and benefit sales.

“Swimming pools” shall be deemed to consist of the following classes:

1. Private: When consisting of an accessory structure appurtenant to a one-family or duplex dwelling and used only as such by persons residing on the same lot and their private guests (as distinguished from groups of any kind) with no payment of any kind or in any form charged as received for such use;

2. Semi-public: When consisting of an accessory structure appurtenant to a multiple dwelling, homeowners’ association, hotel, motel, religious use, school, private club, or country club, and used only as such by persons who reside or are housed on the same lot or who are regular members of such religious use, homeowners’ association, club, country club or regular attendants at such school and by individual guests (as distinguished from groups of any kind) of the foregoing where admission to use the pool is included in consideration given for the primary use of the premises.

3. Public: A swimming pool maintained and operated by a municipality or other unit of government for the general public, whether or not an admission fee is charged;

4. Commercial: A swimming pool operated for profit, open to the public upon payment of a fee.

“Swimming school” means a school established for aquatic training and swimming instruction.

T. Definitions “T.”

“Tenant panel” means a portion of a multi-user sign that is allocated to a specific tenant or occupant. Typical sign copy for a tenant panel includes, but is not limited to, a tenant name and/or logo.

“Tiny home” means a one-family dwelling that is 400 square feet or less.

“Town” means the town of Sahuarita, Arizona.

“Town engineer” means the director or authorized representative of the town department of public works.

“Townhouse” means a duplex or multiple dwelling constructed as a series of dwelling units, all of which are attached to the adjacent dwelling units with no visible separation between walls or roofs, and with areas of individual and common ownership indicated on a subdivision plat.

“Transitional housing facility” means a supervised residential center where 30 or fewer individuals reside for a defined period of time for counseling, job placement assistance, and similar services. The term shall include any dwelling when developed, promoted, advertised, or operated as a transitional housing facility. Counseling services may be provided on-site to residents and former residents of the facility. This term includes:

1. A residential center providing lodging, meals, counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation to adjudicated delinquents or other individuals experiencing family or school adjustment problems;

2. A residential center which provides housing, assistance with employment, counseling, and other services for offenders sentenced to such a facility or placed in such a facility as part of a prerelease program or under terms of probation, parole, or pretrial status. This type of facility is not designed to be a secure facility; or

3. Housing programs facilitating the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing while providing supportive services that enable independent living.

U. Definitions “U.”

“Ultralight aircraft” means any vehicle that:

1. If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or

2. If powered:

a. Weighs less than 350 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices;

b. Has a fuel capacity of not exceeding five U.S. gallons;

c. Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight; and

d. Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 29 knots calibrated airspeed.

V. Definitions “V.”

“Veterinary services” means the care and treatment of animals. This use includes pet clinics and veterinary offices.

W. Definitions “W.”

“Wildlife sanctuary” means an area that is designated for the protection of wild animals.

X. Definitions “X.” Reserved.

Y. Definitions “Y.”

“Yard” means an open and unoccupied space on a building site and, except as otherwise provided in this code, open and unobstructed from the ground to the sky.

“Yard, front” means a yard extending across the full width of the building site between the front lot line and the nearest line of the main building or the nearest line of any enclosed or covered porch.

“Yard, rear” means a yard extending across the full width of the building site between the rear lot line and the nearest rear line of the main building or the nearest line of any enclosed or covered porch.

“Yard, side” means a yard extending from the front yard to the rear yard between the side lot line and the nearest line of the main building.

Z. Definitions “Z.”

“Zoning administrator” means the town official or authorized representative of the town department of planning and building charged with the enforcement of this code. [Ord. 2023-167 § 1; Ord. 2018-131 § 2; Ord. 2018-129 § 1; Ord. 2017-127 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2015-105 § 1; Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2014-091 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2010-042 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.03.030 Illustrations.

A. Figure 18.03-1: Average Finished Grade.

B. Figure 18.03-2: Basement and Story.

C. Figure 18.03-3: Building Height.

Figure 18.03-1

Average Finished Grade

Figure 18.03-2

Basement and Story

Figure 18.03-3

Building Height

[Ord. 2015-105 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]