Chapter 18.230
DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

18.230.010    General.

18.230.020    General lot requirements.

18.230.030    General yard requirements.

18.230.040    Permitted encroachments in required yards.

18.230.050    Exceptions to height limitations.

18.230.060    Restrictions on access.

18.230.010 General.

Any building, structure or use hereafter erected, enlarged or structurally altered, shall comply with the lot, yard and height requirements of the district in which located, except as specified herein. (Code 1995 § 48-27.00.)

18.230.020 General lot requirements.

(a) Existing Lots of Record. An individual lot (platted or unplatted) of record in the office of the Shawnee County register of deeds on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this division which has less than the minimum required lot area, lot width, or lot depth, and where no adjoining undeveloped land fronting on the same street was under the same ownership on said effective date, may be occupied according to the permitted uses of the district on which the lot is located, provided, all front, side and rear yard requirements are met and all other requirements of this division are complied with.

(b) Street Frontage and Access Required. No lot shall hereafter be created nor shall any principal building be constructed or placed on any lot unless such lot has frontage on either a public street or on a private street which has been approved as part of a planned unit development. In order to be approved such street shall provide permanent and unobstructed vehicular access, have a roadway of adequate width and surface, and meet all other applicable standards and requirements established by the applicable city or county engineer.

(c) Number of Structures per Zoning Lot. Every building or structure hereafter erected, enlarged or structurally altered shall be located on a lot as herein defined, and in no case shall there be more than one principal building or structure located upon such lot or zoning lot as proposed in conjunction with submission of a site plan. Site plans shall be submitted to the planning department for review and approval in accordance with city of Topeka Ordinance 17913 and Shawnee County Resolution 2002-272. The site plan shall state the intended purpose, design and character of the proposed development along with the arrangements to be made with respect to common area maintenance, access drives, parking, and, any other common amenities. All other requirements of this division shall be met except for internal adjustments which may be approved by the planning director consistent with the stated design, purpose and character of the project.

(d) Lots Held in Common Ownership. Where two or more contiguous substandard recorded lots are in common ownership and are of a size as together constitute at least one conforming zoning lot, such lots or portions thereof shall be joined, developed, and used for the purpose of forming an effective and conforming zoning lot or lots.

(e) Public Improvement Projects. Where a public improvement project results in the creation of a setback, yard or other deviation from the requirements of this division, the same shall be deemed to be in accordance with the requirements of this division.

(f) Administrative Variances to Minimum Lot Size Requirements. An individual lot (platted or unplatted) of record in the office of the Shawnee County register of deeds, for which application for zoning reclassification of said lot has been filed with the Topeka-Shawnee County metropolitan planning department and which does not comply with the minimum lot size requirements as set forth for the desired zoning classification may be granted an administrative variance by the director of the planning department; provided, that:

(1) The individual lot of record comprises 90 percent or greater of the minimum lot size requirement of the desired zoning district;

(2) The use group of the desired zoning district will be comparable to that of surrounding properties in the neighborhood;

(3) The proposed zoning reclassification of the individual lot does not conflict with, or alternatively, promotes the policies or objectives as stated in the adopted metropolitan comprehensive plan. (Ord. 18085 § 1, 9-9-03; Ord. 17912 § 1, 11-21-02. Code 1995 § 48-27.01.)

    Cross References: Planning department, TMC 2.25.090; city engineer, TMC 2.25.110.

18.230.030 General yard requirements.

(a) Location of Required Yards. The required yard space for any building, structure or use shall be contained on the same zoning lot as the building, structure or use and such required yard space shall be entirely upon land in a district in which the principal use is permitted.

(b) Yard Requirements for Open Land. If a zoning lot is, or will be, occupied by a permitted use without buildings or structures, then the minimum yards that would otherwise be required for said zoning lot shall be provided and maintained unless some other provision of this division requires or permits a different minimum yard. The minimum yards shall not be required on zoning lots used for gardening purposes without structures except for community gardens as described in TMC 18.225.010, or on zoning lots used for public recreational areas.

(c) Restrictions on Allocation and Disposition of Required Yards or Space.

(1) No part of a lot, yard, off-street parking space, open space or other space provided in connection with any building, structure or use in order to comply with this division shall, by reason of change of ownership or otherwise, be included as part of the minimum lot area, yard, off-street parking space, open space or other space required for any other building, structure or use, except as specifically provided herein.

(2) All of the lot area, yards, off-street parking, open space or other space provided in connection with any building, structure or use in order to comply with this division shall be located on the same zoning lot as such building, structure or use.

(3) No part of a lot, yard, off-street parking, open space or other space provided in connection with any building, structure or use (including, but not limited to, any building, structure or use existing on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this division) shall be subsequently reduced below, or further reduced if already less than, the minimum requirements of this division for the equivalent new construction.

(d) Computing Rear Yard. In computing the required minimum depth of a rear yard for any principal building, principal structure or principal use where such yard abuts on an alley, one-half of the alley right-of-way width may be included as part of the required minimum rear yard.

(e) Yards for Corner and Double Frontage Lots. Front yard requirements included in the district regulations within which the zoning lot is located shall apply on both frontages. A double frontage lot shall have two front yards, two side yards, and no rear yard. A corner lot shall have two front yards, one side yard, and one rear yard. The corner lot’s rear yard shall be opposite the front yard, which is the yard having the least street frontage, unless the applicant desires otherwise or doing so would create a reversed corner lot. The planning director may approve the creation of an alternative layout when doing so would result in a better development pattern based on existing and anticipated future development. A property owner may appeal the decision of the planning director by filing an appeal to the planning commission within 10 days of receiving written notification of the decision. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the planning director and shall be considered by the planning commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

(f) Front Yard Building Setbacks on Existing Lots of Record. An individual lot of record may be developed with revised minimum front yard setback requirements, as determined by the planning director, subject to the following requirements:

(1) The proposed development of said property does not conflict with or, alternatively, promotes the policies and objectives as stated in the adopted comprehensive metropolitan plan or an adopted neighborhood plan;

(2) The proposed development is intended to complement the existing character and architecture of the surrounding properties in the neighborhood, or the proposed development complies with any adopted design guidelines or standards of the city;

(3) The proposed development will be consistent with the established building front yard setbacks so as to reflect and align with existing setbacks of buildings on the block face or, alternatively, will comply with any adopted design guidelines or standards of the city. Where variable building setbacks exist, an average of the building setbacks may be applied.

(g) Platted Building and Setback Lines. If a recorded plat imposes a building or setback line for a lot which is greater than the minimum front yard of the district in which located, then notwithstanding any other provisions of this division, the minimum setback shall be the setback as imposed by the plat.

(h) Where a lot in the O&I, C, I or MS district abuts an R district, a yard at least equal to the abutting yard required in the R district shall be provided along the R district boundary line.

(i) An owner of an existing improved property who desires to undertake further improvements to the property, but which property does not comply with the yard requirements, shall not be required to file a variance with the board of zoning appeals for such further improvement, provided the following conditions are met:

(1) The additional improvement will not result in any less yard than that observed by the existing structure; and

(2) The original structure was in compliance with regulations existing at the time the original structure was built, or a variance was previously granted which allowed for the deviation from the dimensional requirements; and

(3) Applicable designated yard requirements with which the existing improvements are in conformance shall continue to be observed and conformed to, unless an official variance is granted by the board of zoning appeals. (Ord. 20150 § 3, 10-23-18.)

    Cross References: Planning department, TMC 2.25.090; board of zoning appeals, Chapter 2.120 TMC.

18.230.040 Permitted encroachments in required yards.

Under the terms of this division, a required yard shall be open, unoccupied, and unobstructed from grade to the sky. The following are permitted encroachments in required yards:

(a) Accessory Building. Accessory buildings may be located in any yard except the front yard, provided they shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 18.210 TMC.

(b) Architectural Features. Eaves, cornices, marquees, awnings, canopies, belt courses, sills, buttresses or other similar features which extend beyond the wall of a building may encroach into any required yard by not more than 30 inches.

(c) Canopy, Gas Pump Island. Unenclosed canopies over gas pump islands may encroach into any required yard, provided the supports shall be no closer than 10 feet to the right-of-way line and do not conflict with the sight distance triangle as established by the city or county.

(d) Chimneys, Bay Windows and Balconies. Chimneys, bay windows and balconies may encroach into any yard not more than 30 inches, provided such features do not occupy, in the aggregate, more than one-third of the length of the building wall on which they are located.

(e) Fences, Hedges and Walls. Fences, hedges and walls may be located in any yard, subject to the requirements of TMC 18.210.040.

(f) Fire Escapes and Unenclosed Stairways. Fire escapes and unenclosed stairways exceeding a height of six feet may encroach into any yard, provided they shall not extend into a side yard more than three feet or into a rear yard more than five feet. Fire escapes and unenclosed stairways that are six feet or less in height are subject to subsection (i) of this section.

(g) Dispensing Equipment and Devices. Fuel pump and air dispensing devices located in districts where allowed shall be exempt from the front yard requirement, but, on a corner lot all such dispensing equipment and devices shall be subject to the sight distance triangle as established by the city or county.

(h) Off-Street Parking and Driveway Access. Except as otherwise provided in Chapters 18.235 and 18.240 TMC, open off-street parking and driveway access may be located in any yard.

(i) Uncovered Horizontal Structures. Uncovered horizontal structures such as porches, decks, stoops, and stair landings may encroach into required yards as follows:

(1) Uncovered horizontal structures of a height of six inches or less may encroach entirely into required yards but shall maintain a minimum distance of 12.5 feet from street rights-of-way.

(2) Uncovered horizontal structures of a height greater than six inches and no greater than 30 inches may encroach into required yards but shall maintain a minimum three-foot setback from side and rear property lines and a minimum setback of 12.5 feet from street rights-of-way.

(3) Uncovered horizontal structures of a height greater than 30 inches may encroach not more than 10 feet into the required front or rear yards but shall maintain a minimum distance of 12.5 feet from street rights-of-way.

(4) The height of a porch, deck, patio, stoop, stair landing or similar structure is measured from the deck or walking surface to surrounding grade.

(j) Signs. Signs may be located in any yard except as provided in Chapter 18.10 TMC. (Ord. 20062 § 36, 4-18-17.)

18.230.050 Exceptions to height limitations.

The following structures or parts thereof shall be exempt from the height limitations set forth in the zones indicated; provided, that an increase in height shall not conflict with the provisions of the airport hazard zones of Forbes Field and Philip Billard Airport as set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(a) In all districts:

(1) Chimneys or flues.

(2) Church spires.

(3) Cupolas, domes, skylights and other similar roof protrusions not used for the purpose of obtaining habitable floor space.

(4) Farm structures.

(5) Parapet or firewalls extending not more than three feet above the limiting height of the building.

(6) Poles, towers, television and amateur radio antenna support systems and similar apparatus, flagpoles, erected for noncommercial purposes shall not exceed 62 feet in height. Poles, towers, etc., shall be a minimum distance of 80 percent of that structure’s height from public right-of-way and from adjacent property belonging to other than the owner of the structure being erected, unless anchored to a permanent building at a point above the ground at a distance of at least 20 percent of the height of the structure being erected.

(7) Roof structures, including elevator bulkheads, stairways, ventilating fans, cooling towers and similar necessary mechanical and electrical appurtenances required to operate and maintain the building.

(b) In the C and I districts:

(1) Grain elevators.

(2) Communication tower except as otherwise provided in this division.

(3) Stacks.

(4) Storage tanks and water towers. (Ord. 17138 § 4, 7-1-97; Ord. 16754 § 19, 9-13-94. Code 1995 § 48-27.04.)

18.230.060 Restrictions on access.

The use regulations of a district shall also include and apply to the access to be provided in conjunction with such uses. No part of any lot located in a more restrictive district shall be used for vehicular access to a more intensive use. (Code 1995 § 48-27.05.)