Chapter 17.12
GENERAL STANDARDS

Sections:

17.12.010    Standards for principal structures and uses on individual lots.

17.12.020    Minimum floor area.

17.12.030    Platting and replatting.

17.12.040    Street frontage.

17.12.050    Setback requirements.

17.12.060    Fences, walls and hedges.

17.12.070    Accessory uses and structures.

17.12.080    Exclusion from height limitation.

17.12.090    Standards for mixed uses.

17.12.100    Commercial vehicle parking.

17.12.110    Use of residentially zoned property.

17.12.120    Residential lots of record.

17.12.130    House cars, trailers and mobile homes.

17.12.140    Garage or yard sale.

17.12.150    Nonconforming uses.

17.12.160    Standards for small cell facilities.

17.12.010 Standards for principal structures and uses on individual lots.

The standards established by Table A, at the end of this title, are the standards for principal structures or uses on individual lots.

(Prior code § 153.015)

17.12.020 Minimum floor area.

Standards for minimum floor area are as follows:

Single-family dwelling

720 sq. ft. or as per Indiana State Building Code Requirements*

Duplex and multiple dwellings:

 

Efficiency unit

400 sq. ft. or as per Indiana State Building Code Requirements*

 

One-bedroom unit

500 sq. ft. or as per Indiana State Building Code Requirements*

 

Two-bedroom unit

600 sq. ft. or as per Indiana State Building Code Requirements*

 

Three plus bedroom unit

700 sq. ft. or as per Indiana State Building Code Requirements*

*Floor area per unit measured by outside measurements. Subject to any applicable Covenants and Restrictions.

(Ord. 07-19-016 § 1, amended, 02/11/2020; prior code § 153.016)

17.12.030 Platting and replatting.

A.    A building or structure, except a building for agricultural uses, may not be constructed on unplatted ground.

B.    A parcel of land platted after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title must conform to the minimum lot area and lot width established for the district in which it is located.

C.    In all districts, a parcel of land may not be divided into two or more lots until a subdivision plat has been approved and recorded, with the exception of divisions of land qualifying as a parcelization, in accordance with Title 16 of this Code; however, parcels and lots established by a deed containing a legal description thereof and recorded prior to April 30, 2019, shall not be considered the result of an unlawful subdivision. Subdivision plats, including amended subdivision plats, must conform to the minimum lot area and lot widths established for the district in which they are located. (See Title 16, Subdivisions)

D.    In all districts, adjoining platted lots, those lots having a common lot line in common zoning, may adjust their common lot lines without replatting, provided that the newly-created sites meet all requirements of the zoning code for the district and create no additional lot(s).

E.    Corner lots may be refaced provided that the newly-created sites meet the minimum lot requirements for the district.

(Ord. 05-19-008 § 2, amended, 12/10/2019; prior code § 153.017)

17.12.040 Street frontage.

A.    A residential lot must meet the requirements for minimum front lot width in Table A, at the end of this title. On a curve, frontage may be measured at the building line.

B.    If a lot is bound on two opposite sides by streets, minimum front yard setbacks shall be maintained on both front yards. Accessory buildings or structures may not be located in either front yard setback. The area plan commission may make exceptions to this requirement through the subdivision approval process.

(Prior code § 153.018)

17.12.050 Setback requirements.

A.    In all districts, the requirements of Table A, at the end of this title, apply to minimum front, rear, and side yards.

B.    If the permitted use does not include buildings, the required yards must still be maintained.

C.    Every part of every required yard shall be open and unobstructed from the ground to the sky except as follows:

1.    Sills or belt courses may project not over twelve (12) inches into required yard;

2.    Cornices, eaves, gutters, or other projections from a building or structure may project not over three feet into a required yard, but may not extend closer than one foot to any lot line;

3.    Chimneys, fireplaces, pilasters, bay windows, or similar uses may project not over two feet into a required yard;

4.    Movable awnings may be placed over doors or windows in any required yard, but awnings may not project closer than two feet to any lot line, and may not be vertically supported;

5.    Unenclosed fire escapes, stairways, decks, and balconies may project not over five feet into a required rear yard and not over three feet, eight inches into a required side yard. Unenclosed decks and balconies may not project over three feet into a required front yard, but may not extend closer than one foot to any lot line;

6.    Unroofed terraces, patios, or decks, not over three feet six inches above the ground except for railings, may extend five feet into a required front yard, ten (10) feet into a required rear yard, and three feet into a required side yard, but may not extend closer than one foot to any lot line;

7.    Hoods, canopies, or marquees may project not over three feet into a required yard, but may not extend closer than one foot to any lot line;

8.    With the exception of permitted driveways, all required front yards shall be planted and maintained in grass and/or other natural ground cover which establishes comparable aesthetic standards.

D.    All required yards and setbacks are measured from the property line or the right-of-way line, whichever is more restrictive.

E.    “Front yard” means the yard extending across the full width of the lot between the front line of the building and the front lot line. On a corner lot, the front lot line is the shorter of any two adjacent lot lines having frontage on a street.

F.    “Rear yard” means the yard extending across the full width of the lot between the rear line of the building, structure, or use and the rear line of the lot.

G.    “Side yard” means the yard between the foundation line of any part of the building, structure, or use and the side line of the lot, and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.

H.    If a commercial lot abuts a residential lot, an unobstructed yard at least ten (10) feet wide shall be provided adjacent to the residential lot. No primary or accessory uses or structures may be placed in this ten (10) foot yard.

I.    If an industrial lot abuts a residential lot, an unobstructed yard at least twenty (20) feet wide shall be provided adjacent to the residential lot. No primary or accessory uses or structures may be placed in this twenty (20) foot yard.

J.    If a commercial or industrial lot abuts a residential lot in the same block frontage, the yard requirements in the residential district apply to the commercial or industrial district.

(Prior code § 153.019)

17.12.060 Fences, walls and hedges.

A.    The height of fences, walls, or hedges in required yard setbacks may not exceed the following:

1.    Three feet in all required front yards on corner lots, and four feet in all other required front yards;

2.    Six feet along a side or rear lot line of residential property; and

3.    Eight feet along a side or rear lot line of nonresidential property.

B.    A six-foot impassable fence shall surround all swimming pools, all accessories thereto, and all entries thereto. Swimming pools shall include but are not necessarily limited to pools over two feet in depth at any point. Swimming pools shall not include lakes.

C.    All junkyards, salvage yards, storage yards, outside storage areas, commercial vehicle and equipment parking lots, scrap yards, scrap metal reduction operations, garbage reduction operations, or similar operations to any of the above shall be completely enclosed with an opaque fence not less than eight feet high. This fencing requirement is mandatory for all storage areas for inoperable vehicles or inoperable equipment in conjunction with repair shops or similar operations when such storage areas abut residential areas or are visible from public thoroughfares.

(Prior code § 153.020)

17.12.070 Accessory uses and structures.

A.     A structure or use that is clearly incidental to a principal structure or use, and which is located on the same lot or an adjacent undeveloped lot with the principal structure or use and with the same ownership, is an accessory use. All accessory uses are subject to the restrictions in this section.

B.    All accessory uses and structures must meet the following requirements:

1.    Accessory uses and structures must be operated and maintained under the same ownership and use as the principal use or structure, and must be a permitted use in the zoning classification in which they are located.

2.    Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, accessory structures and uses must be subordinate in height, area (lot coverage), and purpose to the principal residential structure or use.

3.    Total lot coverage for all structures on the lot must not exceed the maximum allowed per Table A, at the end of this Title.

4.    Accessory structures must not be located in front of the principal residential structure or use unless the accessory structure is at least two hundred (200) feet from the front property line.

5.    Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, in a rear or side yard, all residential accessory structures and uses not attached to or part of the principal residential structure or use shall be located at least two (2) feet from any lot line. All residential accessory uses attached to or part of the principal residential structure must meet all minimum requirements established by Table A, at the end of this title.

6.    In the “A” Agricultural zoning district, on a lot or parcel of 2.50 acres or more, the following apply notwithstanding any other provision in this subsection:

a.    Accessory structures and uses may be constructed prior to the principal structure if, and only if, the owner records a commitment guaranteeing that the principal structure will be completed, and a Certificate of Occupancy granted and provided to the Area Plan Commission Office, within eighteen (18) months from the issuance of the Improvement Location Permit for the accessory structure.

b.    Accessory structures may exceed the height and area of the principal residential structure, provided that:

i.    the aggregate lot coverage of all accessory structure(s) must not exceed the greater of five thousand (5,000) sq. ft; and;

ii.    accessory structures exceeding the height of the principal structure must be set back from any lot line by an amount equal to or greater than the height of the accessory structure.

7.    No structure shall be located in or over any easement or within the right of entry of any regulated drain as defined in Indiana Code 36-9-27.

C.    Docks for noncommercial watercraft are permitted as an accessory use. A dock may not project more than ten (10) feet beyond the waterway, property, or bulkhead line, or ten (10) percent of the width of the waterway, whichever is less.

(Ord. 08-18-015 § 1, Amended, 8/22/2017; Ord. 04-17-007 § 2, Amended, 4/4/2017; prior code § 153.021)

17.12.080 Exclusion from height limitation.

Penthouse or roof structures for the housing of elevators, stairways, tanks, ventilating fans, or similar equipment required to operate and maintain the building; fire or parapet walls; skylights; television aerials; steeples; cupolas, flagpoles; chimneys; smokestacks; wireless masts; water tanks; grain elevators; silos; gas containers; industrial installations requiring a vertical production procedure such as flour mills, steel mills and refineries or similar structures may be erected above the height limits. However, no penthouse or roof structure or any space above the height limit may be used for residential, commercial, or industrial use.

(Prior code § 153.022)

17.12.090 Standards for mixed uses.

A.    If a structure contains both residential use and a nonresidential use and the gross floor area occupied by the residential use exceeds twenty-five (25) percent of the total floor area of the structure, the structure is a residential use and must conform with the regulations of the R-5 residential district.

B.    If the gross floor area occupied by the residential use is twenty-five (25) percent or less of the total floor area of the structure, the structure is a nonresidential use and must conform with the regulations of the commercial district in which it is located.

(Prior code § 153.023)

17.12.100 Commercial vehicle parking.

A.    Commercial vehicles and equipment, other than those used in the principal use, may not be parked or stored on property in an A, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, CO-1, CO-2, C-1 or C-2 district. Vehicles designed and intended for agricultural use are permitted in agricultural zoning districts.

B.    A commercial vehicle originally designed or intended as a private passenger vehicle (pick-up truck up to and including one-ton pick-up truck, passenger van, automobile, or station wagon) which has been materially or structurally altered for use in connection with a commercial use may be parked on residential property when used as a commuter vehicle by the owner or resident of the premises. However, said vehicles while parked on the property may not be loaded with trash or debris.

(Prior code § 153.024)

17.12.110 Use of residentially zoned property.

Residentially zoned property may not be used for public access to nonresidential property.

(Prior code § 153.025)

17.12.120 Residential lots of record.

Any lot in a recorded subdivision may be considered a lot suitable for building purposes. A lot of record which existed in its present configuration and size prior to 1957, may be considered a lot suitable for building purposes.

(Prior code § 153.026)

17.12.130 House cars, trailers and mobile homes.

The following may not be used as living or sleeping quarters within the county except within the confines of an approved mobile home court:

A.    Recreational vehicles;

B.    Trailers;

C.    Mobile homes;

D.    Manufactured homes with an inside area of less than seven hundred twenty (720) square feet.

(Prior code § 153.027)

17.12.140 Garage or yard sale.

A.    A garage or yard sale may be conducted not more than two times in any one calendar year on any premises located in any R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, CO-1 and CO-2 zones; no sale shall be conducted for more than three consecutive days.

B.    All personal property exhibited for sale outside any structure during such garage or yard sale shall be removed from the outside and placed within a structure immediately following the last day of such sale. All signs erected for such garage or yard sale shall likewise be removed.

(Prior code § 153.028)

17.12.150 Nonconforming uses.

Within the zoning districts of this title or by amendments which may later be adopted, there exist nonconforming structures; nonconforming uses of land; nonconforming uses of land and structures in combination; and nonconforming characteristics of uses which lawfully exist as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, but which would be prohibited, regulated, or restricted under the terms of this title or future amendments thereto. It is the intent of this title to permit these nonconforming uses to continue until they are removed, but not to encourage their survival. It is further the intent of this title that nonconforming uses shall not be enlarged upon, expanded, or extended, nor be used as grounds for adding other uses or structures which are prohibited elsewhere in the same zoning district. Note: illegal uses existing at the time the ordinance codified in this title is enacted shall not be validated by virtue of its enactment.

A.    Nonconforming Uses of Land. Where, at the time of enactment of the ordinance codified in this title, lawful uses of land exist which would not be permitted by the regulations imposed by this title, the uses may be continued so long as they remain otherwise lawful, provided:

1.    No such nonconforming uses shall be enlarged or increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied at the effective date of adoption or amendment of the ordinance codified in this title.

2.    No such nonconforming uses shall be moved in whole or in part to any portion of the lot or parcel other than that occupied by such uses at the effective date of adoption or amendment of the ordinance codified in this title.

3.    If any such nonconforming uses of land are discontinued, or if such nonconforming uses are abandoned for more than six months, any subsequent use of such land shall conform to the regulations specified by this title for the district in which such land is located.

4.    No additional structure not conforming to the requirements of this title shall be erected in connection with such nonconforming use of land.

B.    Nonconforming Structures. Where a lawful structure exists at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title that could not now be built under the terms of this title by reason of restrictions on area, lot coverage, height, yards, its location on the lot, bulk, or other requirements concerning the structure, such structure may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following restrictions:

1.    No such nonconforming structure may be enlarged or altered in any way which increases its nonconformity, but any structure or portion thereof may be altered to decrease its nonconformity.

2.    Should such nonconformity structure or nonconforming portion of structure be destroyed by any means to the extent of more than double its assessed value immediately prior to the damage, it shall not be reconstructed or repaired except in conformity with the provisions of this title.

3.    Should such structure be moved for any reason for any distance whatever, or removed from the property for any reason, it shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district in which it is located after it is moved or rebuilt.

C.    Nonconforming Uses of Structures or of Structures and Land in Combination. If a lawful use involving individual structures, or if a structure and land in combination, exists at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title that would not be an allowed use in the district under the terms of this title, the lawful use may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the following restrictions:

1.    No existing structure devoted to a use not permitted by this title in the district in which it is located shall be enlarged, extended, constructed, reconstructed, moved, or structurally altered in a way which increases its nonconformity, but any structure or portion thereof may be altered to decrease its nonconformity.

2.    A nonconformity use may be extended throughout any parts of a building which were manifestly arranged or designed for such use at the time of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, but no such use shall be extended to occupy land outside such building.

3.    If no structural alterations are made, any nonconforming use of a structure or a structure and land may, upon approval of a zoning use permit be changed to another nonconforming use provided that the proposed use is equally appropriate or more appropriate to the district than the existing nonconforming use. In permitting such a change, the area plan commission may require appropriate conditions and safeguards in accordance with other provisions of this title.

4.    Any structure, or structure and land in combination, in or on which a nonconforming use is superseded by a permitted use, shall thereafter conform to the regulations for the district, and the nonconforming use may not thereafter be resumed.

5.    When the nonconforming use of a structure, or a structure and land in combination, is discontinued, or the nonconforming use is abandoned for more than six months, the structure or structure and land in combination, shall not thereafter be used except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located.

6.    Where nonconforming use status applies to a structure and land in combination, removal or destruction of the structure shall eliminate the nonconforming status of the land.

D.    Incompatibility of Nonconforming Uses. Nonconforming uses are declared by this title to be incompatible with permitted uses in the district in which such use is located. A nonconforming use of a structure, a nonconforming use of land, or nonconforming use of a structure and land in combination shall not be extended or enlarged after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title by attachment on a building or premises of additional signs intended to be seen from off the premises, or by the addition of other uses which would be generally prohibited in the district in which such use is located.

E.    Repairs and Maintenance. On any nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing nonconforming use, work can be done in any period of twelve (12) consecutive months on ordinary repairs, or on repair or replacement of nonbearing walls, fixtures, wiring, or plumbing, to the extent not exceeding double the assessed value of the nonconforming structure, or nonconforming portion of the structure, whichever the case may be, providing that the floor area existing when it became nonconforming shall not be increased. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to safe condition of any structure or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety, upon such order from such official. If a nonconforming structure or portion of a structure containing a nonconforming use becomes physically unsafe or unlawful be reason of neglect of its physical condition, it shall not thereafter be restored, repaired, or rebuilt except in conformity with the regulations of the district in which it is located.

F.    Special Uses Are Not Nonconforming Uses. Any use which is permitted as a special use in a district under the terms of this title shall not be deemed a nonconforming use in such district, but shall be considered a conforming use.

(Prior code § 153.029)

17.12.160 Standards for small cell facilities.

A.    Small cell facilities on utility poles or other wireless support structures are permitted uses in any zoning district. Small cell facilities owned or operated by commercial telecommunication providers and placed on new (not pre-existing) support structures are subject to the requirements of this section.

B.    Site Review Committee approval must be obtained for all small cell facilities and support structures that are subject to the requirements of this section and will require submission of the following:

1.    Commercial site plans meeting the requirements for Commercial Review by the Site Review Committee, including a surveyor certification of the exact location of the support structure from property lines and center lines of abutting streets or rights-of-way;

2.    Structural plans including elevation and plan views showing height above grade level and dimensions, and information demonstrating the ability of the support structure to safely accommodate the facilities, including, if applicable, information regarding other facilities co-located or planned for co-location on the support structure;

3.    Evidence in any form, written or otherwise, demonstrating that no existing structure can accommodate applicant’s proposed facilities, either because there are no existing structures meeting the applicant’s engineering requirements within the geographic area that the facilities are intended to serve, or if there are structures in the geographic area, evidence that such structures do not have sufficient dimensions or structural strength to meet the applicant’s engineering requirements. This section shall not be interpreted to mandate, but rather only to encourage, co-location.

C.    All support structures that are no longer used shall be removed within six (6) months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the Board of Commissioners of Vanderburgh County. In the event support structures are not removed within six (6) months of the cessation of use, they may be removed by the County and the costs of removal assessed against the property.

(Ord. 05-19-005 § 2, added, 04/30/2019)