DIVISION V. DEFINITIONS

Chapter 13-60. Definitions

Sec. 13-60.100 Purpose and Applicability.

The purposes of this Division and Chapter are to provide definitions for the terms and phrases used within the Zoning Ordinance. The definitions shall apply throughout the zoning regulations except where the context of the regulation clearly indicates a different meaning. The Community Development Director shall interpret the meaning of the regulations and definitions as per Section 13-2.400. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 60.100.]

Sec. 13-60.200 Definitions.

Accessory Building. See “Building, accessory.”

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). An ADU is defined in Section 13-35.320.

Accessory Structure. See “Structure, accessory.”

Accessory Use. See “Use, accessory.”

“Acre” means an area of 43,560 square feet, which when referring to minimum site size or gross density includes developable and undevelopable areas within the property.

“Affordable housing” means housing capable of being purchased or rented by a household with very low, low, or moderate income, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and based on a household’s ability to make monthly payments necessary to obtain housing in Hercules.

“Affordable housing cost” means the amount set forth in the Health and Safety Code Section 50052.5, as may be amended.

“Affordable rent” means the amount set forth in the Health and Safety Code Section 50053, as may be amended.

“Alley” means a public way permanently reserved primarily for vehicular service access to the rear or side of properties otherwise abutting on a street.

“Alteration” means any change, addition or modification in construction or occupancy.

“Bed and breakfast inn” means usually a dwelling unit, but sometimes a small inn, that provides lodging and breakfast for temporary overnight occupants.

“Block” means the properties abutting on 1 side of a street and lying between the 2 nearest intersecting or intercepting streets, or the nearest intersecting or intercepting street and a dividing line such as a railroad right-of-way, unsubdivided land or watercourse.

“Breezeway” means a structure connecting the main structure on a site with another main structure or an accessory structure on the same site, where less than 50 percent of each side of the structure is enclosed with any material other than that necessary for roof supports.

“Building” means any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals, or property of any kind.

“Building, accessory” means a detached subordinate building, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building on the same lot, or to the use of the land. (See also “Structure, accessory.”)

“Caretaker and employee housing” means a dwelling unit on the site of a commercial, industrial, or public/quasi-public use occupied by a guard, caretaker or employee of the use on the site.

“Carport” means an accessory structure or portion of a main structure having a roof but open on 2 or more sides and designed for the storage of motor vehicles.

“Character” means special physical characteristics of a structure or area that set it apart from its surroundings and contribute to its individuality. This term may also refer to the pattern of buildings, public spaces and streets, landscaping, and social ambiance of an area or a particular place or area.

City. The word “City” shall mean the City of Hercules, Contra Costa County, California. The words “City Council” and “Council” shall mean the City Council of the City of Hercules.

“Common interest development” means the following, all definitions of which are based upon Civil Code Section 4100 or subsequent amendments: (1) a condominium project, (2) a community apartment project, (3) a stock cooperative, or (4) a planned development.

“Community Development Director” means the City official designated as the Community Development Director or other City official acting in such capacity with responsibility for administering the Zoning Ordinance.

“Corner lot” means a lot located at the intersection of 2 or more streets or private ways, or bounded on 2 or more adjacent sides by street lines.

“Convenience store” means a commercial retail establishment that sells a limited selection of food, beverages and sundry items primarily for off-site consumption; typically designed for brief shopping visits and hours of operation extending beyond 9:00 p.m. This category also includes service station mini-marts and similar uses. Establishments that have sizable assortments of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat or fish are excluded from this category.

“Day-care center” means a State-authorized, certified or residential day-care facility serving children, in which such care is conducted as a business.

“Day-care home (family)” means a home which regularly provides care, protection and supervision of 12 or fewer children, in the provider’s own home, for periods of less than 24 hours per day.

1. “Large family day-care home” means a home which provides family day-care for 7 to 12 children including children under 10 who reside at home. A large family day-care home may provide care for more than 12 and up to 14 children if it can meet the requirements of Section 1597.465 of the Health and Safety Code.

2. “Small family day-care home” means a home which provides family day-care for 6 or fewer children including children under 10 who reside at home. A small family day-care home may provide care for more than 6 and up to 8 children if it can meet the requirements of Section 1597.44 of the Health and Safety Code.

“Deck” means an exterior platform, either freestanding or attached to a dwelling that is supported by posts to raise the platform off the surface of the ground.

“Density bonus” means a density increase over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density in accordance with the provisions of Sections 13-30.420 through 13-30.470 (residential density bonuses) as of the date of the project application.

“Density (gross)” means a measure of intensity of a development, determined by dividing the total number of dwelling units on a particular lot or property by the total number of acres including open space, easements and road right-of-way of the given lot or property.

“Density (net)” means a measure of intensity of a development, determined by dividing the total number of dwelling units on a particular lot or property by the number of developable acres of the given property.

“Depth” means the horizontal distance between the front and rear property lines of a site measured along a line midway between the side property lines.

“Development” means any human-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations.

“Director of Public Works” means the City official designated as the Director of Public Works or other City official acting in such capacity with responsibility for administering the public works functions of the City.

“Driveway” means the surface areas providing access from a road to an off-street parking area, or a garage or carport.

“Dwelling” shall mean a one-family dwelling, multifamily dwelling or lodging house. For the purposes of this definition, automobile trailers, labor camps, tents, railroad cars and temporary structures shall not be considered dwellings.

“Dwelling unit” means a room or group of rooms (including sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation facilities, but not more than 1 kitchen), that constitutes an independent housekeeping unit, occupied or intended for occupancy by 1 household on a long-term basis.

“Easement” means a limited right of use of property by a person, persons or other entity other than the property owner which is described specifically as to location and limits of use.

“Emergency shelter” shall mean a facility that provides temporary, short-term housing for homeless individuals or families that is limited to occupancy of 180 consecutive days, with minimal supportive services.

“Floor area, gross” means the gross floor area (GFA) which is the total horizontal area in square feet on each floor measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the center lines of party walls separating such buildings. Gross floor area excludes the following:

1. Uncovered areas used for off-street parking spaces or loading areas and access ways and maneuvering aisles relating thereto;

2. Areas which qualify as usable open space under the City regulations of this Title; and

3. Arcades, patios and similar open areas which are located at or near street level, which are accessible to the general public and which are not designed or used as sales, display, storage, service or production areas.

“Floor area, leasable” means the gross leasable area (GLA) used for commercial buildings which is the total horizontal area in square feet of the leasable area on each floor. Gross leasable area excludes the following:

1. Common areas within the structure not leased to any specific tenant;

2. Uncovered areas used for off-street parking spaces or loading areas and access ways and maneuvering aisles relating thereto;

3. Plazas, patios and similar open areas which are located at or near street level, which are accessible to the general public and, which are not designed or used as sales, display, storage, service or production areas.

“Floor area ratio (FAR)” means the gross floor area of a building or buildings on the lot of record divided by the gross area of such lot. The resulting figure, expressed as a ratio, reflects the allowable structural density. For example, a 1.0 FAR could provide for a 1-story building that covers the entire lot or a 2-story building that covers half the lot.

“Front yard area” means the yard area forward of the primary structure. See Figure 13-30.751.

“Frontage” means the property line of a lot or portion of a lot abutting a street, except the side of a corner lot.

“Garage” means an accessory structure or a portion of a main structure, enclosed on 3 or more sides, designed for the storage of motor vehicles.

“General Plan” means the City of Hercules General Plan, as amended.

“Height” means a vertical dimension measured from the average elevation of the surface of the ground covered by the structure to the highest point of the structure.

“Home occupation” means an art, profession, offering of service, conduct of businesses or handicrafts conducted solely in the dwelling unit, a portion of a garage or an accessory building, by an inhabitant in a manner incidental to the residential occupancy.

“Hotel” means a structure or portion thereof in which there are 6 or more individual guest rooms or suites, usually occupied by a transient for any period less than 30 days and in which more than 50 percent of the individual guest rooms and suites are without kitchens.

“Kitchen” means a room with freestanding and/or built in appliances and a sink with hot and cold running water which is designed and used for the storage, refrigeration, cooking and preparation of food.

“Landscaped area” means a permeable area that is permanently devoted to and maintained for the growing of shrubbery, grass, trees, and other plant material or by the use of such material as bark, crushed stone, lava rock, or similar materials to present an attractive, well-kept appearance (with permeable weed barrier); does not include hard surfaces such as brick, pavers, concrete, asphalt, or similar materials, regardless of permeability.

“Loading area” means an off-street area on the same lot as a building or contiguous to a group of buildings for the temporary parking of a commercial vehicle while loading or unloading merchandise or materials.

“Lot area” means the total horizontal area measured in a horizontal plane within the lot lines bordering the property.

“Lot line” means the boundary lines of a lot.

“Lot line, front” means, on an interior lot, any abutting street line; on a corner lot, the shorter of any adjacent 2 abutting street lines. However, if these street lines are equal in length, the owner or developer of the lot may select either as the front lot line.

“Lot line, rear” means a lot line which is opposite and most distant from the front lot.

“Lot line, side” means any lot line that is not a front or rear lot line.

“Lot or lot of record” means any lot recorded as a separate parcel in the office of the County Assessor, or a proposed lot on a tentative or final subdivision map.

“Lower-income household” means a household whose gross income does not exceed that established by Health and Safety Code Section 50079.5, as may be amended (generally less than 80 percent of County median income and includes very-low income category).

May. This term indicates an opportunity, possibility or option for an action or decision that is up to the discretion of the deciding party.

“Mini-mart” means a gasoline service station containing retail sales of food, beverages, and convenience items; typically with extended hours of operation.

Mini-Storage Facility. This use consists of individual, small, self-contained units or areas within a building that are rented individually for storing household goods, business records or supplies (aka “self-storage facility”) that are allowed with a conditional use permit in the general commercial and industrial zoning districts. This does not include “warehouses, distribution and storage facilities” nor “warehouses and storage facilities” that are directly related to the primary commercial use of a site. Applicable standards are listed in Section 13-35.280.

“Minor exception” means a procedure and discretionary entitlement to allow up to 10 percent variation from the development regulations and standards for lot dimensions, setbacks, structure heights, site area, parking, and landscaping.

“Minor modification” means a procedure to allow minor changes to an existing approval or permit while ensuring that no additional impacts or expansion of structures or uses will occur.

“Moderate-income household” means a household whose gross income does not exceed that established by Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, as may be amended (generally 80 to 120 percent of County median income).

“Multifamily dwelling” shall mean a structure containing more than 1 dwelling unit designed for occupancy.

“Municipal code” means the municipal code of the City of Hercules, as amended.

“Nonconforming structure” means a structure which was lawfully erected and which no longer complies with the regulations and standards of the Zoning Ordinance.

“Nonconforming use” means a use which at 1 point in time lawfully occupied a building or was conducted upon land and which no longer complies with the use regulations and standards of the Zoning Ordinance.

“Off-street loading” means the portion of a site devoted to the loading or unloading of motor vehicles or trailers including loading spaces, aisles, access drives and landscaped areas.

“Off-street parking” means a site or portion of a site devoted to the off-street parking of motor vehicles, including parking spaces, aisles, access drives and landscaped areas.

“Open space” means any portion of a lot or property not within required setback or yard areas designated to remain in an undeveloped state or to be improved for outdoor recreational use including usable open space, parks, trails, and other recreation areas.

“Open space, usable” means an outdoor recreation or use area adjoining and directly accessible to the residents of a dwelling that is reserved for the exclusive use of the residents and their guests. The usable open space area may consist of yards, decks, balconies and similar facilities.

“Parking space” means a stall covered or uncovered, laid out for, surfaced, and used or designed to be used by motor vehicle parking.

“Paved and hardscaped areas” includes semi-permeable and impermeable surfaces such as brick, pavers, concrete, or similar materials, but does not allow for asphalt paving (single-family residential lots have maximum standards in Section 13-30.750).

“Planning Commission” means the Planning Commission of the City of Hercules.

“Project” means any proposal for new or changed use, or for new construction, alteration, or enlargement of any structure subject to the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance.

“Railroad right-of-way” means a strip of land on which railroad tracks, switching equipment and signals are located; but not including lands on which stations, offices, storage buildings, spur tracks, sidings, yards or other uses are located.

“Rear and side yard areas” means the yard area behind the front portion of the primary structure. See Figure 13-30.751.

“Residential care facility” shall mean a building or portion designed or used for the purpose of providing 24-hour-a-day nonmedical residential living accommodations, where the duration of tenancy is determined, in whole or in part, by the individual resident’s participation in group or individual activities such as counseling, recovery planning, medical, or therapeutic assistance. Residential care facility includes, but is not limited to, health facilities as defined in California Health and Safety Code [H&SC] Section 1250 et seq.), community care facilities (H&SC Section 1500 et seq.), residential care facilities for the elderly (H&SC Section 1569 et seq.) or facilities for the mentally disordered or otherwise handicapped (W&I Code Section 5000 et seq.), and alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities (H&SC Section 11384.11), and other similar care facilities.

“Satellite dish antenna” means an apparatus capable of receiving or transmitting communications from a satellite.

“Second residential unit,” as used in this Zoning Ordinance, means an accessory dwelling unit.

“Senior citizen housing development” means a housing development with at least 35 dwelling units as defined in Civil Code Section 51.3, or a mobile home park that limits residency based on age requirements for housing for older persons pursuant to Section 798.76 or 799.5 of the Civil Code, as may be amended.

“Senior congregate care” means a structure providing housing for senior citizens with a central or private kitchen, dining room, and other facilities but with separate bedrooms and living quarters.

“Service station” means a place where gasoline or any other motor fuel, lubricating oil or grease for the operation of passenger vehicles is offered for sale to the public and deliveries are made directly into the vehicle, including lubrication on the site and the washing of vehicles.

Setbacks.

1. “Front setback” means the separation between the front lot line and buildings within the lot regulating the depth of front yards.

2. “Side setback” means the separation between the adjacent side lot lines and buildings within a lot regulating the depth of side yards.

3. “Rear setback” means the separation between the rear or alleyway lot line and buildings within a lot regulating the depth of rear yards.

Shall. This term is mandatory and not discretionary. It is used as a directive indicating obligation, requirement, or unequivocal direction.

Should. This term indicates obligation or requirement that is slightly less rigid of a directive than shall.

“Sign” means any lettering or symbol made of cloth, metal, paint, paper, wood or other material of any kind whatsoever placed for advertising, identification or other purposes on the ground or on any bush, tree, rock, wall, post, fence, building, including windows, structure, vehicle or any place whatsoever. The term “placed” shall include constructing, erecting, posting, painting, printing, tacking, mailing, gluing, sticking, carving or otherwise fastening, affixing, or making visible in any manner whatsoever. The term “sign” does not include the flags and emblems of the United States of America, the State of California or the City of Hercules, nor any support, frame or standard that is used exclusively for the display of such flags or emblems.

Sign Area. In a sign having an integral part of a building as its background, “sign area” shall mean the area within the shortest line drawn to include all letters, designs, and tubing which are a part of the sign. In all other signs, “sign area” shall mean the largest cross-sectional area of the sign measured to a line encompassing all portions of the sign including background and tubing but excluding supporting posts without attached lighting. In computing the area of a double face sign, only 1 face of the sign shall be included; provided, that the 2 faces shall be parallel and not more than 2 feet apart.

“Single-room occupancy” (SRO) shall mean a building or buildings constructed or converted for residential living consisting of 1-room dwelling units, where each unit is occupied by a single individual or 2 persons living together as a domestic unit, and where the living and sleeping spaces are combined. A unit that contains both a bathroom and kitchen shall be considered a studio unit and not a single-room occupancy unit.

“Site” means a parcel of land, subdivided or unsubdivided, occupied or to be occupied by a use or structure which has frontage on an accepted city street.

“Site area” means the total horizontal area included within the property lines of a site.

“Site coverage” means the total horizontal area included covered by developed structures, excluding outdoor uncovered paved areas, divided by the site area.

“Site width” means the horizontal distance between the side property lines of a site measured at right angles to the depth at a point midway between the front and rear property lines.

“Street” means a thoroughfare dedicated as a street or acquired for public use other than an alley, which affords the principal means of access to abutting land.

“Structure” means anything constructed or erected that requires a location on the ground, including a building but not including a fence or a wall used as a fence.

“Structure, accessory” means a nonhabitable detached building or structure that is subordinate and incidental to the main building on the lot. Accessory structures include: garages, carports, patio covers, gazebos, swimming pools, hot tubs or spas, and related equipment, workshops, storage sheds, greenhouses, and decks over 12 inches in height.

“Structure, detached (detached structure)” means a structure that does not have a common wall with another structure.

“Structure, main or (main structure)” means a structure housing the principal use of a site or functioning as the principal use.

“Supportive housing” (per California Government Code Section 65582[f], as may be amended) shall mean a dwelling unit occupied by a target population, with no limit on length of stay, that is linked to on-site or off-site services that assist the supportive housing resident(s) in retaining the housing, improving their health status, and maximizing their ability to live and, when possible, work in the community. A target population means persons with low incomes having 1 or more disabilities, including mental illness, HIV or AIDS, substance abuse, or other chronic health conditions, or individuals eligible for services provided under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Welfare and Institutions [W&I] Code Section 4500) and may include—among other populations—adults, emancipated youth, families, families with children, elderly persons, young adults aging out of the foster care system, individuals exiting from institutional settings, veterans, and homeless people. Supportive housing may be designed as a residential group living facility or as a regular residential use and includes the following:

1. “Supportive housing—Apartment type” means 2 or more dwelling units on 1 parcel, where each unit functions as a single housekeeping unit and no on-site social services are provided.

2. “Supportive housing—Residential care facility small type” means 1 residential facility on a parcel with 6 residents or fewer (including minor children), excluding staff, that operates as a group living facility, where the residents share a common living area and a kitchen.

3. “Supportive housing—Residential care facility large type” means a residential facility with 7 or more residents that operates as a group living facility where the residents share a common living area and a kitchen.

“Transitional housing” (per California Government Code Section 65582[h], as may be amended) shall mean buildings configured as rental housing developments, but operated under program requirements that require the termination of assistance and recirculating of the assisted unit to another eligible program recipient at a predetermined future point in time that shall be no less than 6 months from the beginning of assistance. Transitional housing may be designed as a residential group living facility or as a regular residential use and includes the following:

1. “Transitional housing—Apartment type” means 2 or more dwelling units on 1 parcel, where each unit functions as a single housekeeping unit and no on-site social services are provided.

2. “Transitional housing—Residential care facility small type” means 1 residential facility on a parcel with 6 residents or fewer (including minor children), excluding staff, that operates as a group living facility, where the residents share a common living area and a kitchen.

3. “Transitional housing—Residential care facility large type” means a residential facility with 7 or more residents that operates as a group living facility where the residents share a common living area and a kitchen.

“Use” means the purpose for which a site or structure is arranged, designed, intended, constructed, erected, moved, altered or enlarged or for which either a site or a structure is or may be occupied or maintained:

“Use, accessory” means the performance of any function or operation, or the existence of any building, that is incidental or subordinate to the principal.

“Use permit, administrative” means a discretionary permit issued by the Community Development Director for uses that are generally permitted within a district and usually are of low impact to the community and environment. If an administrative use permit denied by the Community Development is appealed to the Planning Commission, it shall be become a conditional use permit if approved.

“Use permit, conditional” means a discretionary permit issued by the Planning Commission or City Council for conditional uses allowed within a district.

“Use permit, temporary” means a discretionary permit issued by the Community Development Director for uses or activities with a proposed duration of no more than 30 days in any 1 calendar year.

“Variance” means a procedure and discretionary entitlement to allow variation from the development regulations and standards of the Zoning Ordinance. Required findings are mandated by State law.

“Very low-income household” means a household whose gross income does not exceed that established by Health and Safety Code Section 50105, as may be amended (generally less than 50 percent of County median income and includes extremely-low category).

“Yard” means an open space on the same site as a structure, unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, including a front yard, side yard, rear yard, or space between structures.

1. “Yard, front” or “front yard” means a yard extending across the full width of a site, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the front property line and a line parallel to the front of the main structure on the property.

2. “Yard, rear” or “rear yard” means a yard extending across the full width of a site, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the rear property line and a line parallel to the rear of the main structure on the property.

3. “Yard, side” or “side yard” means a yard extending from the rear line of the required front yard, or the front property line of the site where no front yard is required, to the front line of the required rear yard or the real property line of the site where no rear yard is required, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the side property line and a line parallel to the rear of the main structure on the property.

4. “Yard, interior side” or “interior side yard” means a side yard that does not abut a street.

“Zoning Ordinance” means the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Hercules, as amended. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; Ord. 512 § 3, 2018; Ord. 511 § 4, 2018; Ord. 506 § 3, 2018; Ord. 484 § 2, 2015; Ord. 405, 2005; ZO § 60.200.]