Division VI. Glossary

Chapter 17.68


17.68.010    Purpose.

17.68.020    Universal definitions.

17.68.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide definitions for unique terms used throughout this title that are general in nature. (Ord. 2015-002 § 3 (Exh. 1)(part), 2015)

17.68.020 Universal definitions.

Abutting. Having lot lines or zone boundaries in common.

Accessory Dwelling Unit. An attached or detached accessory residential dwelling unit per state law that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on the same lot with a proposed or existing primary residence. It shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same lot as the single-family or multifamily dwelling is or will be situated. An accessory dwelling unit also includes the following: (A) an efficiency unit, as defined in Section 17958.1 of the Health and Safety Code; and (B) a manufactured home, as defined in Section 18007 of the Health and Safety Code. The accessory dwelling unit is either attached to, or located within, the proposed or existing primary dwelling, including attached garages, storage areas or similar uses, or an accessory structure detached from the proposed or existing primary dwelling and located on the same lot as the proposed or existing primary dwelling.

Addition. Any construction which increases the size of a building or facility in terms of site coverage, height, length, width, or gross floor area.

Alley. A public thoroughfare for the use of pedestrians and/or vehicles, producing only a secondary means of access to the abutting property.

Alteration. Any construction or physical change in the internal arrangement of rooms or the supporting members of a building or structure or change in the appearance of any building or structure.

Basement. A portion of building partly or wholly underground and having more than one-half of its height below the average level of the adjoining ground.

Building. Any structure built for the support, shelter, or enclosure of persons, animals, fowl, chattels, or personal property of any kind.

Building Height. The vertical distance from the highest point of any structure to the ground level directly below, except as otherwise provided in this title. On sloped lots, height shall be measured from any point on top of the building to a line directly below which connects to opposite perimeter walls, or other perimeter support systems, at the lower of natural or finished grade.

Building Site. A lot or contiguous lots of land in single, multiple, or joint ownership (exclusive of all rights-of-way and all easements, except open space easements, that prohibit the surface use of the property by its owner), which provides the area and open spaces required by this title for construction of a building or buildings, and which abuts a public or private street or alley, or easement determined by the planning director to be adequate for the purpose of access.

Conversion. The creation of separate ownership of existing real property together with a separate interest in space of residential, industrial, or commercial buildings thereon.

Court. An open, unoccupied space, other than a yard, unobstructed from ground to sky on the same lot with a building or buildings and which is bounded on two or more sides by the walls of a building.

Days. Unless otherwise specified in this title, “days” shall mean calendar days.

Decibel. Or “db,” means a unit of sound pressure level.

Deck. An open, unroofed porch or platform, either freestanding or attached to a building, that is supported above grade.

Density. The total number of dwelling units in a project site divided by the gross area of the project site. The dwelling unit density range permitted under the applicable land use classification shall apply to the overall project site and shall not be literal to any division thereof.

Development. The division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels; the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of any structure; any mining, excavation, landfill, or land disturbance; and any use or extension of the use of land.

District, Base. A specifically delineated district in the city within which regulations and requirements uniformly govern the use, placement, spacing, and size of land and buildings. Not more than one base district designation shall apply to the same portion of a lot.

Driveway. A permanently surfaced area providing direct access for vehicles between a street and a permitted off-street parking or loading area.

Dwelling. A structure or portion thereof which is used for human habitation.

Existing Structure. For the purposes of defining an allowable space that can be converted to an accessory dwelling unit “existing structure” means within the four walls and roofline of any structure existing on or after January 1, 2017, that can be made safely habitable under local building codes at the determination of the building official regardless of any noncompliance with zoning standards.

Facade. The exterior wall of a building exposed to public view or that wall viewed by persons not within the building.

Family. One or more individuals occupying a dwelling unit and living as a single household unit.

Fence. A natural or artificially constructed barrier of any material or combination of materials erected to enclose or screen areas of land.

Floor Area Ratio. The ratio divided between gross floor area of the primary structure(s) on a site and gross site area. It includes all occupiable floors of a building, making it a three-dimensional unit of measure.

Frontage. The side of a lot abutting a street, the front lot line, except the side of a corner lot.

General plan. The general plan of the city of San Pablo, including all maps, reports, and related plan elements adopted by the city council.

Glare. The effect produced by brightness sufficient to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility.

Grade, Finished. The final grade of a building site as shown on the survey at the time of issuance of a building permit or, in the case of a subdivision, the approved grade shown on the as-built grading plan of the subdivision.

Grade, Natural. The elevation of the ground surface in its natural state before human-caused alterations.

Grading. Any stripping, cutting, filling, stockpiling of earth or land, including the land in its cut or filled condition.

Grading, Contour. A grading concept designed to result in earth forms and contours which resemble natural terrain characteristics, with generally curving, nonlinear slope banks having variations in the slope ratios of the horizontal and vertical curves.

Guesthouse. A detached accessory building of a permanent type of construction which includes living area with no provisions for appliances or fixtures for the storage and/or preparation of food, including, but not limited to, refrigeration, dishwashers, or cooking facilities. Living area may include a full or half bath. A guest house cannot be leased, subleased, rented, or sub-rented separately from the main dwelling.

Improvement. Any item which becomes part of, placed upon, or is affixed to real estate.

Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. A junior accessory dwelling unit has the meaning set forth in Government Code Section 65852.22, as it may be amended: a unit that is no more than five hundred square feet in size and contained entirely within an existing single-family residence and/or attached garage. A junior accessory dwelling unit may include separate sanitation facilities or may share sanitation facilities with the existing structure. It is required to have a separate entrance from the main entrance to the proposed or existing single-family residence and to include an efficiency kitchen which shall include a cooking facility with appliances and a food preparation counter and storage cabinets that are of reasonable size in relation to the size of the unit.

Kitchen. Any room, all or any part of which is designed and/or used for cooking and the preparation of food.

Landscaping. An area devoted to or developed and maintained predominantly with native or exotic plant materials including turf (natural or synthetic), ground cover, trees, shrubs, and other plant materials.

Land Use. A description of how land (real estate) is occupied or utilized.

Living Area. “Living area” means the interior habitable area of a dwelling unit as defined by the Uniform Building Code, including basements and attics, but does not include a garage or any accessory structure.

Loading Space. An off-street space or berth on the same lot with 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. Any parcel of real property approved by a record of survey, plat, parcel map, subdivision map, or certificate of compliance, or any parcel legally created or established pursuant to the applicable zoning or subdivision regulations in effect prior to the effective date of application of this code to such parcel. See lot types in Figure 17.68-A:

Figure 17.68-A—Lot Types

Lot Area. The net horizontal area within bounding lot lines after dedication.

Lot, Corner. A lot or parcel of land abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection, or upon two parts of the same street forming an interior angle of less than one hundred thirty-five degrees.

Lot Coverage. The area of a lot covered by buildings excluding eaves, projecting balconies, ground-level paving, landscaping, and open recreational facilities.

Lot Depth. The horizontal distance between the midpoint of the front lot line and the midpoint of the rear lot line.

Lot, Flag. A lot or parcel of land shaped like a flag; the staff is a narrow strip of land providing vehicular and pedestrian access to a street, with the bulk of the property lying to the rear of other lots.

Lot, Interior. A lot other than a corner lot.

Lot, Key. The first lot to the rear of a reversed corner lot and not separated therefrom by an alley.

Lot Line. A line bounding a lot.

Lot Line, Front. A lot line parallel to the street. On a corner lot, the shorter lot line abutting a street or the line designated as the front lot line by a subdivision or parcel map.

Lot, Reversed Corner. A corner lot where the rear yard abuts the side yard of a key lot.

Lot, Through. A lot or parcel with frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets.

Lot Width. The horizontal distance between side lot lines, measured at the front setback line.

Mobile Vending. Mobile food trucks on private or public property as defined in California Vehicle Code Section 670 as any vehicle that is equipped and used for retail sales of prepared, prepackaged or unprepared, unpackaged food or foodstuffs of any kind. Push carts are not included.

Noise. Any undesirable audible sound.

Noise Level. The A-weighted sound pressure level in decibels obtained by using a sound level meter at slow response with a reference pressure of twenty micropascals. The unit of measurement shall be designated as dBA.

Noise, Simple Tone. Or “pure tone noise,” means a noise characterized by the presence of a predominant frequency or frequencies such as might be produced by whistle or hum.

Noise Zone. Any defined area or region of a generally consistent land use.

Nonconforming. A building, structure, or portion thereof, or use of building or land, which does not conform to the regulations of this code and which lawfully existed at the time the regulations became effective through adoption, revision, or amendment.

Nonconforming Lot. A lot, the area, dimensions, or location of which, was lawful prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment of this code, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision, or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the district.

Nonconforming Structure. A structure or building, the size, dimensions, or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment to this code, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision, or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the district.

Nonconforming Use. A use or activity which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment of this code, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision, or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the district.

Open Space. Any parcel or area of land or water essentially unimproved and set aside, dedicated, designated, or reserved for public or private use or enjoyment or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring such open space. Does not include area covered by buildings or accessory structures (except recreational structures), paved areas (except recreational facilities), proposed and existing public and private streets or driveways, and school sites.

Overhang. The part of a roof or wall that extends beyond the facade of a lower wall.

Overlay District. A district established by this title which may be applied to a lot or portion thereof only in combination with a base district.

Parapet. The extension of the main walls of a building above the roof level.

Parcel. A lot or tract of land.

Parking Area. Any public or private land area designed and used for parking motor vehicles including parking lots, garages, private driveways, and legally designated areas of public streets.

Parking Bay. The parking module consisting of one or two rows of parking spaces and the aisle from which motor vehicles enter and leave the spaces.

Parking Lot. An off-street, ground-level area, usually surfaced and improved, for the temporary storage of motor vehicles.

Parking Space. A space for the parking of a motor vehicle within a public or private parking area.

Permit. Written governmental permission issued by an authorized official, empowering the holder thereof to do some act not forbidden by law, but not allowed without such authorization.

Planning Entitlement. A permit or other approval required for land use and development purposes to determine compliance with applicable zoning and development regulations, as well as planning and zoning laws.

Project. The total development within the boundaries as defined on the development plan.

Recycling. The series of activities by which materials that would otherwise be disposed of are collected, separated, or processed and used in the form of raw materials.

Repair. The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance.

Right-of-Way. A strip of land acquired by reservation, dedication, forced dedication, prescription, or condemnation and intended to be occupied or occupied by a road, crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission lines, oil or gas pipeline, water line, sanitary storm sewer, and other similar uses.

Screened. Shielded, concealed, and effectively hidden from view by a person standing at ground level on an abutting site, or outside the area, screened by a fence, wall, hedge, berm, or similar architectural or landscape feature that is at least ninety percent view obscuring.

Setback. The area between the setback line and property line.

Setback Line. A line within a lot parallel to and measured from a corresponding lot line, forming the boundary of a required yard and governing the placement of structures and uses on the lot.

Single Household Unit. The functional equivalent of a traditional family, whose members are an interactive group of persons jointly occupying a single dwelling unit, including the joint use of and responsibility for common areas, and sharing household activities and responsibilities such as meals, chores, household maintenance, and expenses, and where, if the unit is rented, all adult residents are parties to one written lease or rental agreement with joint responsibility for payment of rent.

Site Area. The net horizontal area included within the boundary lines of a site, not including the area within the established right-of-way of a public street, future public street, or railroad, or any other area dedicated or to be dedicated for a public use.

Site Plan. A plan, prepared to scale, showing accurately and with complete dimensioning all of the buildings, structures, and uses and the exact manner of development proposed for a specific parcel of land.

Slope. The degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal, usually expressed in percentage or degrees.

Solar Access. A property owner’s right to have sunlight shine on his property.

Sound Level Meter. An instrument meeting American National Standard Institute’s Standard S1.4-1971 for Type 2 sound level meters or an instrument and the associated recording and analyzing equipment which will provide equivalent data.

Sound Pressure. A sound pressure level of a sound, in decibels, as defined in American National Standard Institute’s Standards 51.20-1962 and 51.13-1921; that is, twenty times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the pressure of the sound to a reference pressure, which reference pressure shall be explicitly stated.

Story. That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of any floor next above it, or if there be no floor above it, then the space between such floor and ceiling next above it.

Street. Any public or private thoroughfare with a width of twenty feet or more which affords a primary means of access to abutting property.

Street, Private. A street in private ownership, not dedicated as a public street, which provides the principal means of vehicular access to a property and not to be construed to mean driveways, alleys, or parking areas.

Street, Public. A street owned and maintained by the city, the county, or the state. The term includes streets offered for dedication which have been improved or for which a bonded improvement agreement is in effect.

Structural Alterations. Any change in the supporting members of a structure such as the bearing walls or partitions, columns, beams, or girders.

Structure. Anything constructed or built. An edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner.

Structure, Accessory. A subordinate building or structure which is incidental and not attached to the main building or use on the same lot. If an accessory structure is attached to the main building or if the roof is a continuation of the main building roof, the accessory structure shall be considered an addition to the main building. Includes, but is not limited to, enclosed and unenclosed patios, barns, garages, carports, storage buildings/sheds, gazebos, and decks.

Structure, Temporary. A structure without any foundation or footings and which is removed when the designated time period, activity, or use for which the temporary structure was erected has ceased.

Use. The conduct of an activity, or the performance of a function or operation, on a site or in a building or facility.

Use, Accessory. A use which is incidental to, and customarily associated with, a specified principal use and which meets the applicable conditions set forth in this title.

Use, Allowed. A use listed by the regulation of any particular district as a permitted use within that district and permitted therein as a matter of right when conducted in accord with the regulations established by this title.

Use, Conditional. A use listed by the regulations of any particular district as a conditional use within that district and allowable therein, solely on a discretionary and conditional basis, subject to development/design review or to a conditional use permit, and to all other regulations established by this code.

Use, Principal. A use which fulfills a primary function of a household, establishment, institution, or other entity.

Use, Temporary. A use established for a fixed period of time with the intent to discontinue such use upon the expiration of the time period.

Vehicle. A self-propelled device by which persons or property may be moved upon a highway, excepting a device moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

Vehicle, Recreation. A vehicle towed or self-propelled on its own chassis or attached to the chassis of another vehicle and designed or used for temporary dwelling, recreational, or sporting purposes. Includes, but shall not be limited to, motor home, travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, mounted camper, camping trailer, converted trucks and busses, boat, trailer, golf cart, all-terrain vehicle, sand buggy, dune buggy, utility terrain vehicle (side by side), personal watercraft or similar equipment.

Wall, Front. The nearest wall of a building or other structure to the street upon which the building faces, but excluding cornices, canopies, eaves, or any other architectural embellishments.

Yard. An open space that lies between the principal or accessory building or buildings and the nearest lot line.

Yard Area, Required. The required yard area (front, interior side, street side, and/or rear) of a lot is the horizontal area between the property line and the minimum setback distance for the respective yard.

Yard, Corner Side. A side yard which faces a public street on a corner lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.

Yard, Front. A yard extending the full width of the lot between the front lot line (measured from face of curb) and a line parallel thereto and passing through the nearest point of the building; provided, that if a future street right-of- way has been established, such measurement shall be from the future street curb face line.

Yard, Rear. A yard extending the full width of the lot between the rear lot line and a line parallel thereto. For through lots, if a future street right-of-way has been established, such measurement shall be from the future street right-of-way line.

Yard, Side. A yard between the side lot line and a line parallel thereto and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.

Zero Lot Line. The location of a building on a lot in such a manner that one or more of the building’s sides rest directly on a lot line. (Ord. 2020-011 § 9, 2020; Ord. 2020-002 § 28, 2020; Ord. 2017-002 § 10, 2017; Ord. 2015-002 § 3 (Exh. 1)(part), 2015)