Part 6. General Terms

Chapter 18.140
DEFINITIONS

Sections:

18.140.010    Definitions.

18.140.010 Definitions.

Acre, gross. A measure of total land area of any lot including future streets, parks, and other land dedications.

Acre, net. The gross area of a site excluding:

1. Land to be dedicated for required easements for vehicles and rights-of-way, either public or private;

2. Land determined to be hazardous and unbuildable;

3. Land to be dedicated for schools and parks or other facilities dedicated for public use.

Affordable housing cost. The cost to rent or purchase a house as defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (Gov’t Code § 65915(d)(1).)

Affordable unit, for rent. Affordable rent (including a reasonable utility allowance) shall not exceed the following:

1. For very low-income households, the product of 30% times 50% of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit;

2. For low-income households whose gross incomes exceed the maximum income for very low-income households, the product of 30% times 60% of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit;

3. For moderate-income households, the product of 30% times 110% of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit. (Health and Saf. Code § 50053.)

Affordable unit, for sale. Affordable housing cost may not exceed the following:

1. For very low-income households, the product of 30% times 50% of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit;

2. For low-income households whose gross incomes exceed the maximum income for very low-income households and do not exceed 70% of the area median income adjusted for family size, the product of 30% times 70% of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit;

3. For moderate-income households, not less than 28% of the gross income of the household, not exceeding the product of 35% times 110% of area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit. (Health and Saf. Code § 50052.5(b).)

Affordable units. Living units that are required to be rented at affordable rents or available at affordable housing costs to specified households.

Animal, domestic. A small animal of the type generally accepted as a pet, including dog, cat, rabbit, songbird, fish, and the like, but not including chicken, duck, goose, pea fowl, goat, sheep, pig, hog or the like.

Animal, exotic. A wild animal not customarily confined or cultivated by man for domestic or commercial purposes but kept as a pet or for display.

Animal, large. An adult animal larger than two and one-half feet in height or 150 pounds. This term includes horse, cow, and any other mammal customarily kept in a pen, corral or stable.

Animal, small. An animal no larger than two and one-half feet in height or 150 pounds. This term includes fish, bird, and any mammal customarily kept as a domestic pet within a dwelling unit.

Antenna. Any system of wires, poles, rods, panels, reflecting discs or similar devices used for the transmission or reception of radio frequency electromagnetic waves when such system is external and attached to the exterior of a structure or a pole.

Antenna, building- or structure-mounted. Any antenna, other than an antenna with its supports resting on the ground, directly attached or affixed to a building, tank or structure, other than a telecommunication tower.

Antenna, ground-mounted. An antenna with its support structure placed directly on the ground.

Antenna, satellite. An antenna incorporating a reflective surface that may be solid, open mesh or bar-configured, that is a dish or cone shaped and used to transmit or receive radio transmission.

Antenna structure, monopole. A ground-mounted antenna structure, often tubular in shape, made of metal, reinforced concrete or wood, which is at least 17 feet in height. A retractable monopole is a monopole antenna structure which is capable of being lowered, either manually or electronically, a vertical distance of at least 30% of its fully extended height.

Area median income. The area median income for Contra Costa County as published at Title 25, California Code of Regulations, section 6932.

Average percent of slope. The ratio between vertical and horizontal distances expressed in percent; the mathematical expression of which is based upon the formula described below:

S = (I x L x 100)/A

S = Average slope of ground in percent

I = Contoured interval in feet

L = Combined length in feet of all contours on parcel

A = Area of lot in square feet

Balcony. A platform that projects from the wall of a building, typically above the first level, and is surrounded by a rail, balustrade or parapet.

Base density. The lowest number of dwelling units on a particular parcel of land which is in conformance with the general plan and zoning.

Basement. The portion of a building that is completely below grade, or the portion of a building between the floor and ceiling which is partly below and partly above grade, but so located that the vertical distance from grade to floor below is less than the vertical distance from grade to ceiling.

Blockface. The properties abutting on one side of a street and lying between the two nearest intersecting or intercepting streets, or nearest intersecting or intercepting street, unsubdivided land, watercourse, or city boundary.

BLOCKFACE

Boarder. A person who rents a room within a living unit from a landlord.

Boardinghouse. A building where sleeping rooms are rented to three or more individuals where meals may or may not be provided. Boardinghouse includes the term rooming house.

Breezeway. A roofed, open-sided passageway connecting two structures, such as a house and a garage.

Building. Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls for the housing or enclosure of persons, animals, chattel, or property of any kind.

Building height. The vertical distance from the finished grade to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof, or to the deck line of a mansard roof, or from average grade to the highest gable of a pitch or hip roof.

Caretaker’s quarters. A dwelling unit on the site of a commercial, industrial, public, or semipublic use, occupied by a guard or caretaker.

Child care facility. A child day care facility other than a family day care home, including but not limited to infant centers, preschools, extended day care facilities, and school age child care centers. (Gov’t Code §§ 65915(i)(4), 65017.5(a)(1).)

Collection buildings. Buildings with a gross floor area of 225 square feet or less used for the deposit and storage of recyclables.

Condominium project. A housing development of two or more units, the interior space of which are individually owned, with the balance of the property owned by the owners of the individual units. See also Civil Code section 1351(f). (Gov’t Code § 65915(b)(4).)

Construction cost index. The Engineering News Record San Francisco Building Cost Index. If the index ceases to exist, the city manager shall submit another cost index which is in his or her judgment is the nearly equivalent to the original index as possible.

Consumer price index. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers for the San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose Metropolitan Statistical Area or, if the index is discontinued, a successor index selected by the city manager.

Container or storage unit. A container or storage unit includes, but is not limited to, any of the following if 15 cubic yards or larger: a debris or trash box, a cargo or storage container, a construction or transport trailer (when detached from the truck trailer). A container or storage unit is not permanently attached to the ground. A container or storage unit does not include an accessory structure as defined in this chapter, or a trash container storage unit placed by the disposal company licensed by the city, when that container is used for regular, weekly garbage pick-up.

Coverage, lot or site. The percentage of a site covered by a roof, soffit, trellis, eave or overhang extending more than two and one-half feet from a wall and by a deck more than 36 inches in height.

LOT COVERAGE

Cultural resource. Improvements, buildings, structures, signs, features, sites, landscapes, trees or other objects of scientific, aesthetic, educational, cultural, architectural or historical significance to the citizens of the city, the Diablo Valley, the Northern California region or the nation which may be eligible for designation or designated and determined to be appropriate for historic preservation by the architectural review commission, or by the city council on appeal, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Daylight plane. An inclined plane, beginning at a stated height above grade at a side or rear property line, and extending into the site at a stated upward angle to the horizontal, which may limit the height or horizontal extent of structures at any specific point on the site where the daylight plane is more restrictive than the height limit or the minimum yard applicable at such point on the site.

DAYLIGHT PLANE

(The diagram is illustrative)

Deck. A platform, either freestanding or attached to a building, that is supported by pillars or posts (see also Balcony).

Density bonus. A density increase of at least 20%, unless a lesser percentage is elected by the applicant, over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density. (See PHMC § 18.20.150). See 2003 General Plan Glossary. (Gov’t Code §§ 65915(g)(1) and (d)(1), 65917.5(a)(2).)

Density bonus housing agreement. A recorded agreement between a developer and the city as described in PHMC § 18.20.150 to ensure that the requirements of that subsection are satisfied. The agreement, among other things, shall establish the number of target units, their size, location, terms and conditions of affordability, and production schedule. (See PHMC § 18.20.150.)

Density bonus units. Those residential units granted pursuant to the provisions of this title which exceed the otherwise allowable maximum residential density for the development site.

Development standard. Any site or construction condition that applies to a residential development pursuant to any ordinance, general plan element, specific plan, or other local condition, law, policy, resolution or regulation.

Driveway. A paved area on a lot necessary to provide direct access for vehicles between a street and either:

1. An area on a residential lot containing four or fewer parking spaces;

2. An aisle between spaces in a parking lot;

3. A loading berth; or

4. A refuse storage area.

Exterior architectural feature. The architectural element embodying style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the outer surfaces of an improvement including, but not limited to, the kind, color and texture of the building materials and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, signs and other fixtures appurtenant to such improvement.

Family. One or more persons occupying premises and living as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit, as distinguished from a group occupying a boarding or lodging house, hotel, club, or similar dwelling for group use. A family shall not include a fraternal, religious, social, or business group. A family shall be deemed to include domestic employees.

Fence. A barrier made of wire, wood, metal, masonry, or other material used as a screen or enclosure for a yard, equipment or open space. It includes a wall, gate, or structure used as a fence. A retaining wall, freestanding (monument) sign, or landscape structure is not considered a fence except for that portion which is used as a fence.

Floor area, gross. The total area of all floors in a building as measured to the outside surface of exterior walls or to the centerline of common walls. It excludes any crawl space, area used exclusively for vehicle parking or loading, breezeway, attic without floor, and any open porch, deck, balcony or terrace.

Floor area, net. The total area of all floors in a building as measured to the outside surface of exterior walls or to the centerline of common walls. It excludes any crawl space, area used exclusively for vehicle parking or loading, breezeway, attic without floor, and an open porch, deck, balcony or terrace. It also excludes any corridors, hallways, stairways, elevator shafts at each floor level, service and mechanical equipment rooms, and basement or attic areas having a height of more than seven feet, and, in industrial areas, storage sheds with less than 150 square feet of space, bunkers, electrical substations, smoking shelters, instrument shelters and similar enclosures.

Floor area ratio (FAR). The gross floor area of a building or buildings on a lot divided by the lot area or site area.

FLOOR AREA RATIO

(The diagram is illustrative)

For-sale project. A residential project, or portion thereof, which is intended to be sold to an owner-occupant upon completion.

Frontage, building. The frontage of a building is the maximum horizontal dimension of that side of a building abutting on or generally parallel to the front lot line or, in the case of a corner building, the combined maximum horizontal dimensions of the sides of the building abutting or generally parallel to the front lot line and the corner side line.

Frontage, street. The street frontage is the length of the front lot line or, in the case of a corner lot, the front lot line plus the corner side lot line.

General plan. The city of Pleasant Hill general plan, as amended.

Grade, average. The average level on the surface defined as the shortest distance between finished grade at the highest and lowest sides of a structure.

Grade, existing. The level of the ground or pavement at a stated location as it exists prior to disturbance in preparation for a project regulated by this chapter.

Grade, finished. The lowest point of elevation of the finished surface of the ground, paving or sidewalk within the area between the building and the property line or, when the property line is more than five feet from the building, between the building and a line five feet from the building.

Grade, street. The top of the curb, or the top of the edge of the pavement or traveled way where no curb exists.

Height. The vertical dimension measured from finished grade, unless otherwise specified.

Historic district. Any area containing a concentration of improvements which have a special character, historical interest or aesthetic value, which possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association, or which represent one or more architectural periods or styles typical of the history of the city, and that has been designated an historic district.

Housing development. Construction projects consisting of five or more residential units, including single-family and multifamily units, for sale or for rent. For the purposes of PHMC § 18.20.150, housing development also includes a subdivision, planned unit development, or condominium project consisting of five or more residential units or unimproved residential lots, the substantial rehabilitation and conversion of an existing commercial building to residential use, and the substantial rehabilitation of an existing multifamily dwelling, where the rehabilitation or conversion would create a net increase of at least five residential units. (Gov’t Code § 65915(j) and (g)(1).)

Illumination, direct. Illumination by means of light that travels directly from its source to the viewer’s eye.

Illumination, indirect. Illumination by means only of light cast upon an opaque surface from a concealed source.

Incentive or concession. Such regulatory incentives or concessions as listed in PHMC § 18.20.150.B.11. (Gov’t Code § 65915(1).)

Inclusionary unit. A dwelling unit reserved for occupancy by a low- or very low-income household (as defined by Health and Saf. Code §§ 50079.5 and 50105) with a new residential development.

Kitchen. Any room or part of a room which is designed, built, used, or intended to be used for food preparation and dishwashing; but not including a bar, butler’s pantry or similar room adjacent to or connected with a kitchen.

Landscape. To plant and maintain some combination of trees, ground cover, shrubs, vines, flowers or lawn. Required landscaping may include natural features such as existing or imported rock and structural features including fountains, pools, art work, screens, walls, fences or benches. A landscaped area may also include a walkway or concrete plaza if it is an integral part of the elements of landscaping described above. Plants on rooftops, porches, or in boxes attached to buildings are not considered landscaping.

Landscaping, interior. A landscaped area or areas within the shortest circumferential line defining the perimeter or exterior boundary of the parking or loading area, or similar paved area, excluding driveways or walkways providing access to the facility (as applied to parking and loading facilities or to similar paved areas).

Landscaping, perimeter. A landscaped area adjoining and outside the shortest circumferential line defining the exterior boundary of a parking or loading area, or similar paved area, excluding driveways or walkways providing access to the facility (as applied to parking and loading facilities or to similar paved areas).

LANDSCAPING: INTERIOR/EXTERIOR

Limited inclusionary unit. An additional dwelling unit constructed on a single-family residential lot, which meets the standards for accessory dwelling units.

Living unit. One or more rooms designed, occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters, with cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities.

Lot. A site or parcel of land.

Lot area. The horizontal area within the property lines excluding public-access corridors, vehicular easements, and areas to be included in future street rights-of-way as established by easement, dedication, or ordinance.

Lot depth. The horizontal distance from the midpoint of the front lot line to the midpoint of the rear lot line, or to the most distant point on any other lot line where there is no rear lot line.

Lot line types.

Front lot line. A lot line that adjoins the front yard of a lot. The front lot line of a corner lot is the shortest street line. If the street lines are the same length, any one may be considered the front lot line. (Reference: PHMC § 18.20.040.B.)

Interior lot line. A lot line not abutting a street.

Rear lot line. A lot line, not a front lot line, that is parallel or approximately parallel to the front lot line. Where no lot line is within 45 degrees of being parallel to the front lot line, a line 10 feet in length within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum possible distance from the front lot line shall be deemed the rear lot line for the purpose of measuring rear yard depth.

Side lot line. A lot line that is not a front lot line or a rear lot line.

Street lot line. A lot line abutting a street.

Lot types.

Corner lot. A lot bounded by two or more adjacent street lines that have an angle of intersection of not more than 135 degrees on a street or private driveway serving two or more additional properties or dwelling units (not counting accessory dwelling units). The front yard of a corner lot shall adjoin the shortest street property line; provided, that where street property lines are substantially the same length, the zoning administrator shall determine the location of the front yard based on existing or proposed access to the principal building on the lot. (Reference: PHMC § 18.20.040.C.)

Double-frontage lot. An interior lot having frontage on more than one street. Each frontage from which access is permitted shall be deemed a front lot line.

Interior lot. A lot other than a corner lot.

Key lot. A key lot is an interior lot whose front yard abuts the rear yard of a corner lot.

Lot width. The average horizontal distance between the side lot lines measured at right angles to the lot depth from the required front yard setback and from the required rear yard setback or from the rearmost point of the lot depth in cases where there is no rear lot line. (See lot depth, lot width diagram.)

LOT DEPTH AND WIDTH

(The diagram is illustrative)

Low-income household. A household whose income does not exceed the low-income limits applicable to Contra Costa County, as published and periodically updated by the State Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 50079.5.

Lower income household. A lower income household as defined in Civil Code sections 51.3 and 51.12. (Gov’t Code §§ 65915(b)(1) and (c)(1) and Health and Saf. Code § 50079.5.)

Market rate units. New living units in residential projects which are not affordable units under PHMC § 18.20.150.

Maximum allowable residential density. The maximum number of residential units permitted by the city’s zoning ordinance on the date the application is deemed complete. (Gov’t Code § 65915(o)(2).)

Medical marijuana dispensary. As used herein the term medical marijuana dispensary or dispensary means any facility or location where medical marijuana is made available to and/or distributed by or to two or more persons in the following categories: a primary caregiver, a qualified patient, or a person with an identification card, in strict accordance with California Health and Safety Code section 11362.5 et seq. A medical marijuana dispensary shall not include the following uses, as long as the location of such uses are otherwise regulated by this code or applicable law: a clinic licensed pursuant to Chapter 1 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a health care facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 2 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illness licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.01 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential care facility for the elderly licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.2 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential hospice, or a home health agency licensed pursuant to Chapter 8 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, as long as any such use complies strictly with applicable law including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Code section 11362.5 et seq. and the Pleasant Hill Municipal Code, including but not limited to the city’s zoning ordinance.

Mobile recycling unit. An automobile, truck, trailer, or van, licensed by the State Department of Motor Vehicles, which is used for the collection of recyclable materials, including the bins, boxes or containers transported by trucks, vans or trailers and used for the collection of recyclable materials.

Moderate-income household. A household with an annual income between the lower income eligibility limit (usually 80% of the area median family income) and 120% of area median income limits applicable to Contra Costa County, as published and periodically updated by the State Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to section 50079.5 of the California Health and Safety Code. (Gov’t Code § 65915(c)(2), Health and Saf. Code § 50093.)

Natural feature. Any tree, plant life, water feature, or rock outcropping.

Nonconforming sign, legal. A sign, outdoor advertising structure, or display of any character that was lawfully erected or displayed, but that does not conform with currently applicable requirements prescribed for the district in which it is located.

Nonconforming structure, legal. A structure that was lawfully erected but which does not conform with the currently applicable requirements and standards for yard spaces, height of structures, or distances between structures prescribed in the regulations for the district in which the structure is located.

Nonconforming use, legal. A use of a structure of land that was lawfully established and maintained, but which does not conform with currently applicable use regulations for the district in which it is located.

Nonrestricted unit. All units within a housing development excluding the target units.

Off-street loading facilities. A site or portion of a site devoted to the loading or unloading of motor vehicles or trailers, including loading berths, aisles, access drives, and landscaped areas.

Open space types.

Private open space. An open area outside of a building adjoining and directly accessible to a dwelling unit, reserved for the exclusive use of residents of the dwelling unit and their guests.

Shared open space. An open area within a residential development reserved for the exclusive use of residents of the development and their guests.

Yard. An open space on the same site as a structure, unoccupied and unobstructed by structures from the ground upward except as otherwise provided in this chapter, including a front yard, side yard, corner side yard, or rear yard.

Ordinary maintenance and repair. Any work, for which a building permit is not required by law, where the purpose and effect of such work is to correct any deterioration of or damage to a structure or any part thereof and to restore the same to its condition prior to the occurrence of such deterioration or damage.

Outdoor storage. Storage outside of a building of material not intended for immediate sale or exhibition.

Penthouse equipment. Any structure located on the roof of a building which encloses mechanical equipment.

Permitted. Allowed without a requirement for approval of a conditional use permit or temporary use permit.

Planned development. A development (other than a community apartment project, a condominium project, or a stock cooperative) having either or both of the following features:

1. The common area is owned either by an association or in common by the owners of the separate interests who possess appurtenant rights to the beneficial use and enjoyment of the common area.

2. A power exists in the association to enforce an obligation of an owner of a separate interest with respect to the beneficial use and enjoyment of the common area by means of an assessment which may become a lien upon the separate interests in accordance with Civil Code section 1367 or 1367.1. (Gov’t Code § 65915(b)(4); Civil Code § 1351(k).)

Porch. A covered platform at an entrance to a dwelling, or an open or enclosed gallery or room, which is not heated or cooled and is attached to the outside of a building.

Preexisting. In existence prior to the effective date of this chapter.

Processing facility. A building or enclosed space used for the collection and processing of recyclable material, and/or used motor oil, by such means as flattening, mechanical sorting, compacting, baling, shredding, grinding, crushing and cleaning.

1. A light-processing facility occupies less than 45,000 square feet and includes equipment for baling, briquetting, crushing, compacting, grinding, shredding and sorting of source-separated recyclable materials, except ferrous metals other than food and beverage containers, and repairing of reusable materials.

2. A heavy-processing facility is any processing facility other than a light-processing facility.

Project. Any proposal for new or changed use, or for new construction, alteration, or enlargement of any structure, that is subject to the provisions of this chapter.

Published standards. The standards for specific income levels for Contra Costa County, as published under Title 25, California Code of Regulations, section 6932.

Qualifying resident. Senior citizens or other persons eligible to reside in a senior citizen housing development. (Civil Code §§ 51.3 and 51.12.)

Recyclable material. Reusable material including, but not limited to, metals, glass, plastic and paper which are intended for reuse, remanufacture, or reconstitution for the purpose of using the altered form. Recyclable material does not include refuse or hazardous materials, but may include used motor oil.

Recycling facility. A center for the collection and/or processing of recyclable materials.

Rehabilitation. The act or process of returning a property to a state of utility through repair or alteration which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions or features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural and cultural values.

Rental projects. A residential project, or portion of it, which is intended to be rented to tenants upon completion.

Resale control. A resale restriction placed on inclusionary units by which the price of such units and income of the purchaser will be restricted in order to assure affordability and occupancy by lower and very low-income households.

Residential project. Any planned district, subdivision map, conditional use permit or other discretionary city land use approval which authorizes five or more living units or residential lots, or living units and residential lots which total five or more in combination. In order to prevent evasion of the provisions of this chapter, contemporaneous construction of five or more living units on a lot, or on contiguous lots for which there is evidence of common ownership or control, even though not covered by the same city land use approval, shall also be considered a residential project. Construction shall be considered contemporaneous for all units which do not have completed final inspections for occupancy and which have outstanding, at any one time, any one or more of the following: planned district, subdivision map, conditional use permit or other discretionary city land use approvals, or building permits, or applications for such an approval or permits.

Residential structure types.

Accessory dwelling unit. An attached or detached dwelling unit that is located on a single lot with another, primary dwelling unit and provides complete facilities for independent living for one or more persons. These facilities include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation.

Attached single-family dwelling. A dwelling unit on an individual lot that has at least one common wall with one or more other dwelling units on separate lots.

Dwelling. A building designed exclusively for residential occupancy, including single-family, duplex, and multifamily, but not including a hotel, motel, or boardinghouse.

Dwelling unit. One or more habitable rooms designed for occupancy by only one family for living and sleeping purposes, and having a kitchen.

Multifamily dwelling. A building used and designed as a residence for two or more families living independently of each other with individual entrances, bathrooms, kitchens and living areas.

Single-family dwelling. A building designed exclusively for occupancy by one family.

Reverse vending machine. An automated mechanical device that accepts at least one or more types of empty beverage containers including aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, and issues a cash refund or a redeemable credit slip. A reverse vending machine may sort and process containers mechanically; provided, that the entire process is enclosed within the machine.

1. A single-feed revenue vending machine is designed to accept individual containers one at a time.

2. A bulk reverse vending machine is designed to accept more than one container at a time and to compute the refund or credit due on the basis of weight.

Room, habitable. A room meeting the requirements of the Uniform Building Code and Uniform Housing Code for its intended use (e.g., sleeping, living, cooking, or dining), excluding such enclosed places as closets, pantries, bath or toilet rooms, service rooms, connecting corridors, laundries, unfinished attics, foyers, storage spaces, cellars, utility rooms, garages, and similar spaces.

Senior citizen housing development. A housing development as defined in California Civil Code section 51.3(b)(4). (Gov’t Code § 65915(b)(3).)

Setback line. A line within a lot parallel to a corresponding lot line, which is the boundary of any specified front, side, corner side or rear yard, or a line otherwise established to govern the location of buildings, structures or uses. Where no minimum front, side, corner side or rear yards are specified, the setback line shall be coterminous with the corresponding lot line.

Shopping center. A unified group of retail businesses and service uses on a single site with common parking facilities. A shopping center may include pads for future buildings.

Sign. Any identification, description, illustration, or device, illuminated or nonilluminated, which is visible to the general public and directs attention to a product, service, place, activity, person, institution, business or solicitation, including any permanently installed or situated merchandise; or any emblem, painting, flag, banner, pennant, or placard designed to advertise, identify, or convey information.

Sign types.

Animated sign. Any sign which uses mechanical or electrical movement or change of lighting, either natural or artificial, to depict action or to create a special effect or scene.

Banner. Any sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a pole or a building at one or more edges.

Business identification sign. A sign that serves to identify only the name and address of the premises, business, building or portion of building upon which it is located and includes no other advertising such as product lists, phone numbers and hours of operation. Such a sign may include a logo or business symbol.

Commercial sign. A sign that is intended to attract attention to a commercial or industrial business, occupancy, product, good, service or other commercial or industrial activity for a commercial or industrial purpose.

Directional or informational sign. Any sign erected for the sole purpose of indicating the route to, direction of or location of a given goal, or which provides regulatory or service information of a nonadvertising character. Directional and informational signs include but are not limited to: signs that denote the route to any city, community facility, historic place, or hospital; signs directing and regulating traffic; signs directing visitors to tourist-oriented businesses; notices of any utility or transmission company necessary for the direction or safety of the public; and signs, notices or symbols as to the time and place of civic meetings.

Directory sign. A pedestrian-oriented sign which identifies or lists the names and locations of tenants at a multi-tenant site.

Electronic readerboard. A changeable, moving message sign consisting of a matrix of lamps, light emitting diodes (LEDs), or similar devices which are computer-controlled.

Flag. Any fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns, or design, used as a symbol.

Flashing sign. An illuminated sign which exhibits changing light or color effect by blinking or any other such means so as to provide a nonconstant illumination.

Freestanding sign. A sign which is self-supporting in a fixed location and not attached to a building. It includes a sign connected or attached to a sign structure, fence, pole, wall, tree or other vegetation and which is not an integral part of a building.

Grand opening sign. A sign used by newly established businesses to inform the public of their location and services.

Incidental sign. A small sign less than one square foot pertaining to goods, products, services or facilities that are available on the premises where the sign occurs and intended primarily for the convenience of the public.

Logo. A trademark or company name symbol.

Master sign program. A coordinated sign plan which includes details of all signs (not including exempt or temporary signs) which are or will be placed on a site, including master identification, individual business and directory signs.

Multiple-story office sign. A wall sign used to identify an office building with three or more above-ground levels.

Neon or other gas tube illumination. Illumination affected by a light source consisting of a neon or other gas tube which is bent to form letters, symbols or other shapes.

Noncommercial sign. A sign that does not name, advertise or call attention to a commercial or industrial business, commodity, product, good, service or other commercial or industrial activity for a commercial or industrial purpose.

Off-premises sign. An outdoor advertising sign advertising a business, product or service not offered on the premises where the sign is located.

Open house sign. A temporary portable sign providing direction to residential real property during the period it is on public display for purposes of sale or lease.

Panel sign. A wall sign with a background panel integrated into the sign. The background panel is typically treated with paint, tile, metal, wood, mosaic, decorative stone or similar materials to complement the sign design.

Portable sign. A sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to, signs with wheels, A-frames, H-frames, menu and sandwich board signs, balloons used as signs, and umbrellas used for advertising.

Projecting sign. A sign which is either suspended from an overhang, canopy, or awning, or is suspended from a mounting attached directly to the building wall, and hangs perpendicular to the building wall (also known as a blade sign or shingle sign).

Real estate sign. Any temporary sign pertaining to the sale, exchange, lease or rental of buildings or real property.

Roof sign. A sign installed on a roof or projecting above the eave of a building or mounted on an arcade or parapet.

Subdivision directional sign. A sign providing direction to a land development project within the county pursuant to this chapter.

Temporary sign. A sign with commercial or noncommercial text which is intended to be displayed for a limited time. Temporary signs shall include banners or light, rigid material which is not affixed in a permanent manner to the ground or to any structure. Awning signs shall not be considered temporary signs.

Theater/cinema sign. A sign, such as a marquee, designed for a theater or cinema, with changeable letters, brighter lights, or other attention-getting features.

Time/temperature sign. An electronic or mechanical device which shows time and/or temperature, but contains no business identification or advertising. The surface area of the time/temperature display shall be included in the total aggregate sign area of the business.

Wall sign. A sign attached directly to an exterior wall of a building or dependent upon a building for support with the exposed face of the sign located in a place substantially parallel to such exterior building wall to which the sign is attached or supported by. An overhang, attached framework, or other substantial architectural appurtenance may be considered an extension of the building wall.

Window sign. A sign attached to, suspended or placed within five feet behind, placed or painted upon, the window or glass door of a building which is intended for viewing from the exterior of such building.

Site. A lot, or group of contiguous lots not divided by a street, other right-of-way, or city limit, and under single ownership or unified control.

Specific plan. A plan for a defined area that is consistent with the general plan and with the provisions of the California Government Code authorizing specific plans.

Story. The portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor next above. The topmost story is that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling of the roof above.

Story, half. A half-story is one-half the portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. If the finished floor level directly above a useable or unused underfloor space is more than six feet above grade as defined herein for more than 50% of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet above grade as defined herein at any point, such useable or unused underfloor space shall be considered a story.

Structure. Anything constructed or erected that requires a location on the ground, including a building, a deck, or a swimming pool, but not including a fence or a wall used as a fence, if the height does not exceed eight feet, or access drives or walks.

Structure, accessory. An accessory structure is a structure placed on a site, other than the principal, permanent residential structure. Temporary containers or storage units regulated by PHMC § 18.20.140, fences or walls eight feet or less in height, decks attached to the principal permanent residential structure, free-standing decks 18 inches or less in height above ground, in-ground pools, and permanent basketball hoops shall not be considered accessory structures.

Swimming pools and hot tubs. Water-filled enclosures having a depth of 18 inches or more used for swimming or recreation.

Target unit. A dwelling unit within a housing development which will be reserved for sale or rent to, and is made available at an affordable rent or affordable ownership cost to, very low-, low-, or moderate-income households, or is a unit in a senior citizen housing development.

Very low-income household. A household whose income does not exceed the very low-income limits applicable to Contra Costa County, as published and periodically updated by the State Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to California Health and Safety Code section 50105. (Gov’t Code §§ 65915(b)(2) and (c)(1).

Yard types.

Corner side yard. A side yard on the street side of a corner lot. The depth of the corner side yard is the minimum horizontal distance between the corner side property line and a line parallel to it on the site. If a public or private vehicular easement exists, the measurement is from the edge of the easement closest to the structure.

Front yard. 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 it on the site. If a public or private vehicular easement exists, the measurement is from the edge of the easement closest to the structure.

Rear yard. 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 it on the site. On a corner lot, the rear yard extends only to the corner side yard. If a public or private vehicular easement exists, the measurement is from the edge of the easement closest to the structure.

Side yard. 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 rear property line of the site where no rear yard is required, the width of which is the horizontal distance between the side property line and a line parallel thereto on the site, except that the corner side yard shall extend to the rear lot line.

YARD TYPES

(Ord. 915 § 13, 2017; Ord. 906 § 15, 2016; Ord. 903 § 3, 2016; Ord. 890 § 34, 2015; Ord. 870 § 1, 2012; Ord. 856 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011; Ord. 854 § 4, 2011; Ord. 819 § 6, 2007; Ord. 804 § 2, 2005; Ord. 800 § 3, 2005; Ord. 791 § 2, 2004; Ord. 768 § 3, 2003; Ord. 757 § 5, 2001; Ord. 745 § 8, 2000; Ord. 710 § 35-40, 1996; 1991 code § 35-40)