Chapter 18.150


18.150.010    Accessory uses and structures.

18.150.020    Fences.

18.150.030    Satellite dishes – Applicability and administration.

18.150.040    Projections from buildings.

18.150.050    General exception to building height limitations.

18.150.060    Uses requiring special regulation.

18.150.070    Clear vision zones.

18.150.080    Model homes.

18.150.010 Accessory uses and structures.

(A) Uses and structures normal, incidental and subordinate to the uses allowed as permitted uses in any zone are allowed as accessory uses and structures subject to the provisions of this section.

(B) Accessory uses and structures for conditional uses shall be allowed only after approval has been granted through the conditional use permit process.

(C) All accessory structures must comply with the following provisions:

(1) They shall have no more than 450 square feet of floor area if incidental to residential structures;

(2) They shall not exceed one story, a maximum of 12 feet, unless the structure meets all standard setbacks for the zone, in which case the height limit shall be consistent with the underlying zone;

(3) They shall not be allowed in a required front yard;

(4) They shall not be located within six feet of main building or other accessory building unless attached to that building;

(5) They shall be located no closer than three feet to any lot line nor built over an easement, whichever is the most restrictive;

(6) They shall cause no encroachment upon or interference with the use of any adjoining property or public right-of-way;

(7) They shall be built in accordance with building codes.

(D) Accessory structures that do not comply with the above provisions are subject to either a Type II or Type III conditional use permit approval, as determined by the community development director. See Chapter 18.105 CMC.

(E) Decks, porches and steps may be constructed within a residential yard setback area; provided, that the intruding portion meets all of the following requirements:

(1) The finished floor and/or step does not exceed 30 inches in height above existing grade; and

(2) Any fixed bench, railing, or other attachment does not exceed 40 inches in height above the existing grade; and

(3) Maintains a minimum three-foot setback in the side and rear yard. All front yard and/or corner lot setbacks must be met as required by the specific zoning district.

(4) All other uncovered decks, porches and steps shall not project more than 24 inches into a required rear or side yard setback. [Ord. 709 § 2, 1991; Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.21; Ord. 916 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2018-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 2020-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020.]

18.150.020 Fences.

(A) Regardless of the front, side or rear yard requirements of the zone, fences and hedges may be located within yards as follows:

(1) Adequate sight distances shall be maintained and unobstructed at street intersections and driveways.

(2) Fences and hedges up to six feet in height may be located within the side or rear yard behind the front yard setback.

(3) Fences and hedges up to four feet in height may be located within the front yard setback within six inches of a sidewalk, or, if no sidewalk exists, where the sidewalk would be constructed.

(B) Fences and hedges up to six feet in height may be located within a side or rear yard facing a street; provided, that adequate sight distances are maintained and unobstructed at street intersections and driveways.

(C) All nonresidential fences shall be subject to design review relative to screening, buffering, safety and security. [Ord. 638 § 1, 1985; Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.23; Ord. 2020-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020.]

18.150.030 Satellite dishes – Applicability and administration.

(A) The approval standards contained within this section apply to satellite dishes over four feet in diameter. Satellite dishes four feet or less in diameter shall be subject to the provisions of CMC 18.150.010, Accessory uses and structures.

(B) A satellite dish shall be a use permitted outright in any zone provided the approval standards within this section are satisfied.

(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of the code, the provisions of this section shall be administered and enforced by the community development director.

(D) Any decision of the community development director relating to the landscaping requirements of this section may be appealed by the applicant to the planning commission. The applicant shall file a notice of appeal of the community development director’s decision with the community development director not more than 10 days after the date of the community development director’s decision. The appeal shall be scheduled on the agenda of the planning commission within 45 days of the date the notice of appeal is filed with the community development director. The decision of the planning commission may be appealed to the council in accordance with the provisions and procedure of CMC 18.15.090.

(E) Approval Standards. No satellite dish shall be located within:

(1) Any required yard area within any zone; and

(2) A front yard or street side yard in any residential zone.

(F) When a satellite dish is placed within the front yard or a street side yard in a nonresidential zone, the dish shall be screened by landscaping materials selected by the community development director from a landscaping materials list adopted by the city council to be used in connection with the administration and enforcement of this section. The materials at the time of planting shall be at least four feet in height above the ground level, shall be fully branched and shall be planted at such distance apart as to create a sight-obscuring screen. The owner of the property or the person or entity having the use and possession of the property shall be required to maintain the landscaping materials so that the same are living, free from disease and provide the screening in conformance with the standards of this section.

(G) Exception. A landscaping screen shall not be required in situations where the satellite dish is screened from view from adjoining properties by an existing fence, hedge or landscaping screen.

(H) Enforcement. Failure to replace diseased or dead plant material which screens a satellite dish shall be a violation of this title and shall require the removal of the satellite dish from the front yard area. [Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.24; Ord. 841 Exh. 2, 2003.]

18.150.040 Projections from buildings.

Cornices, eaves, canopies, sunshades, gutters, chimneys, flues, belt courses, leaders, sills, pilasters, lintels, ornamental features, and other similar architectural features may project not more than two feet into a required yard or into required open space as established by coverage standards. [Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.24.]

18.150.050 General exception to building height limitations.

The following types of structures or structural parts are not subject to the building height limitations of this title: chimneys, tanks, spires, belfries, domes, monuments, fire and hose towers, observation towers, masts, antennas, aerials, ventilators, cooling towers, elevator shafts, transmission towers, smokestacks, flagpoles, solar panels, and other similar projections. [Ord. 916 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010.]

18.150.060 Uses requiring special regulation.

In addition to other standards and requirements by this title, all uses included in this section shall comply with the provisions stated herein. Should a conflict arise between the requirements of this section and other requirements of this title, the more restrictive provision shall control.

(A) Kennels, Riding Academies and Stables. Kennels, riding academies and stables shall be located not less than 200 feet from any lot line. Applications for such use when required by this title shall include information which describes the applicant’s intended actions to ensure that odors, dust, noise, and drainage from the use will not create a nuisance, hazard or health problem to adjoining property uses.

(B) Nursery Schools, Day or Child Care Facilities. Nursery schools and day or child care facilities shall provide and thereafter maintain outdoor play areas with a minimum area of 100 square feet per one-third the total licensed capacity of children. The community development director may approve reduction of this requirement if the facility cares only for infants up to six months in age. In all districts, a fence of at least five feet but not more than six feet in height shall be provided separating the outdoor play area from abutting lots.

Facilities licensed for 40 or more children may be required to have a driveway designed for continuous forward flow of passenger vehicles for the purpose of loading and unloading children. The facilities and design review committee shall determine whether the special driveway design is required.

If a conditional use permit is required, in addition to that normally required for a conditional use permit, the following information shall also be supplied:

(1) The maximum number of children the facility is proposed to be licensed to care for;

(2) Ages of the children to be cared for;

(3) List of any exceptions to the rules governing standards for day care facilities the applicant will be applying for to the children’s services division.

(C) Drop Boxes. Recycling receptacles or charity drop boxes shall not be located in any residential district or in any public right-of-way. Recycling receptacles or charity drop boxes are permitted in any commercial or industrial zone. Recycling receptacles and charity boxes proposed for a mixed use zone (e.g., central mixed use and gateway mixed use zoning districts) shall apply for the appropriate permits to authorize placement.

(D) Park’n Ride Facilities. A Park’n Ride facility is a parking facility near a transit station or stop for the purpose of parking motor vehicles by transit riders. Approved off-street parking lots connected with a nonresidential use may be used jointly as Park’n Ride lots if, by determination of the facilities and design review committee, the Park’n Ride use will not conflict with the parking needs of the site’s principal use both in terms of traffic volume and hours of use, and as long as there are no specific conditions placed on the site by facilities and design review, the planning commission, or the city council which would preclude such use. Park’n Ride lots as principal uses are permitted in those zones allowing parking structures and surface parking lots. [Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.26; Ord. 841 Exh. 2, 2003; Ord. 2019-10 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019.]

18.150.070 Clear vision zones.

Except in the central mixed use (CMU) zoning district, a clear vision zone shall be maintained on the corners of all property adjacent to the intersection of two streets, a street and a railroad, or a driveway providing vehicular access to a public street.

(A) The clear vision zone is defined as the triangular area beginning at the intersection of the projected curb lines, and extending 15 feet along the leg of each intersection. No fence, berm, wall, hedge or other planting or structure shall be placed within the clear vision zone that would impede visibility between a height of 30 inches and 10 feet as measured from the top of curb, or in the absence of a curb, from the established street center line grades. If the relation of the surface of the lot to the streets is such that visibility is already obscured, nothing shall be done to increase the impediment to visibility within the vertical and horizontal limits set forth above. Poles, tree trunks, and similar objects less than 12 inches in width may be allowed in the clear vision zone if they meet the vertical requirements noted above.

(B) A private access shall be treated as a public street for the purpose of this section. The edge of the paved surface area of the private access, be it roadway, curb or sidewalk, shall be treated as the curb line in determining the vision clearance zone.

(C) The requirements of visibility at intersections in the CMU zoning district shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the facilities and design review committee in accordance with traffic and transportation engineering standards. [Ord. 810, 2000; Code 2000 § 11.40.27; Ord. 841 Exh. 2, 2003; Ord. 2018-02 § 1 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 2019-10 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019.]

18.150.080 Model homes.

In residential projects, model homes are sometimes built to be used for lot and home sales purposes and/or as examples of available floor plans, materials and finishes. To facilitate early sales, such model homes are generally constructed prior to completion of all the streets and utility lines within the development, and temporary sales offices may be established within a constructed model home. When sales are complete, the sales office use is discontinued and the structure converts to its intended use as a dwelling unit. The permitting of model homes and associated temporary sales offices (“model homes”) shall be subject to the following regulations:

(A) This policy shall not apply to land partitions.

(B) This policy shall only apply to single-family detached units.

(C) A temporary use permit, in conformance with CMC 18.120.050(A)(2), shall be obtained prior to the installation of any model home and/or the establishment of a temporary sales office within a model home.

(D) A Type I site design review application, per CMC 18.100.030(A)(2), shall be required for each proposed model home, prior to issuance of building permit(s). The applicant shall demonstrate within the Type I site design review application that the model home will be in compliance with development standards of the approved project.

(E) If the applicant is requesting a model home building permit(s) prior to the recordation of the subdivision final plat, then the number of model homes to be permitted may not exceed the number of original legal parcels within the project area. Legal parcels that contain an existing dwelling unit may not have a model home permitted until the final subdivision plat is recorded, unless the existing dwelling unit is demolished prior to the issuance of a building permit.

(F) The applicant shall have a registered professional surveyor stake the model home foundation to demonstrate to the building inspector that the structure will be placed consistent with the preliminary subdivision plat approval and proposed final subdivision plat. If the model home is to be constructed prior to the recordation of the final subdivision plat, the model home must also comply with setback and other design standards applicable to the original legal parcel(s).

(G) A maximum of one model home is allowed for subdivisions with one to 10 lots, two model homes for subdivisions with 11 to 20 lots, and no more than three model homes for subdivisions with 21 or more lots. The limit on model homes may apply to each phase of a multi-phased master planned subdivision. In such cases, the number of lots within each phase will determine the number of model homes that may be permitted for the corresponding phase.

(H) The city engineer or their representative shall determine which lots are available for the construction of a model home. The lots shall be within close proximity to a preexisting arterial, collector, or other preexisting public street as acceptable to the city engineer. Prior to the issuance of a building permit for a model home, the base lift for access to the model home from the existing public right-of-way must be constructed and approved by the city. If the base lift or other foundational elements of the roadway are contaminated by soil or other materials prior to the final lift it will be cleaned or the contamination otherwise remedied to the sole satisfaction of the city prior to final paving.

(I) Temporary vehicle parking and maneuvering areas shall provide parking as necessary for model home and sales office employees and guests. The parking requirement for model homes is three spaces per model home plus one space per salesperson. Parking requirements may be met through a combination of (1) an off-street parking lot or model home driveway parking, and/or (2) on-street parking where the parking spots are located near the model home unit and no parking spaces shall be located in front of an occupied residence. On-street parking spaces for model homes shall have signage stating their intended use during the period when the parking spaces allocated for model home use. The parking signage shall be removed upon conversion of the model home unit into a permanent residence.

(J) The applicant shall submit a written statement in a form approved by the city attorney that holds the city of Cornelius harmless of any consequences that would arise by allowing issuance of building permits for model homes. All cost to remedy problems that arise shall be borne by the applicant. Approval of the building permit(s) for one or more model homes shall not be construed to mean that the public improvements are defect-free, complete, or accepted by the city or that the development is in compliance with any city code or requirements.

(K) No connection of the model home to any water, sanitary, or storm sewer utility shall be allowed unless the system(s) are deemed substantially complete by an authorized representative of the city.

(L) The applicant shall be responsible for location of utility connections.

(M) Fire protection shall be available to the model home(s) during both construction and occupancy as a sales office. Fire protection plans shall be submitted and shall be subject to review and approval by the Fire Marshal.

(N) Emergency vehicle access shall be provided to the model home(s) during both construction and occupancy as a sales office.

(O) No residential occupancy of a permitted model home shall be allowed until the public improvements for the subdivision have been accepted by the city engineer and a certificate of occupancy is issued by the building department.

(P) Any structural or architectural modifications or features on the model home related to its use as a sales office shall be removed before it is converted to a dwelling unit. [Ord. 2017-07 § 1 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 2020-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020.]