Village of Lawrence, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 212-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Building Zone Ordinance of the Village of Lawrence."

§ 212-2 Word usage and definitions.

A. 
Words used in the present tense include the future, the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular.
B. 
Certain words in this chapter are defined for the purpose thereof as follows:
ACCESSORY BUILDING
Includes every building devoted solely to an accessory use. It does not include any portion of the main or principal building which is devoted to an accessory use. If such a building or use is not located on the same lot as that of the building or use to which it is accessory, it is not an "accessory building" or use and must comply with the regulations applicable to a principal building or use.
ACCESSORY USE
Includes every use customarily incident to the principal building or use, and includes all of the uses specified as accessory elsewhere in this chapter. If such a use is not located on the same lot as that of the building or use to which it is accessory, it is not an "accessory use" and must comply with the regulations applicable to a principal building or use.
ADULT BOOKSTORE
An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade books, magazines, other periodicals, film, slides and videotapes and which establishment is customarily not open to the public generally but excludes any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
ADULT DRIVE-IN THEATER
A drive-in theater that customarily presents motion pictures and that is not open to the public generally but excludes any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT CABARET
A public or private establishment which presents topless dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators or exotic dancers or other similar entertainments and which establishment is customarily not open to the public generally but excludes any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
ADULT MOTEL
A motel which is not open to the public generally but excludes minors by reason of age or which makes available to its patrons in their rooms films, slideshows or videotapes which, if presented in a public movie theater, would not be open to the public generally but would exclude any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
ADULT THEATER
A theater that customarily presents motion pictures, films, videotapes or slideshows and that is not open to the public generally but excludes any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
ALTERATION
As applied to any building or structure, means any change or rearrangement in the structural parts or exterior wall or framework of existing facilities. It includes any enlargement, whether by extending any side, front or rear building line or by increasing any height or by moving from one location or position to another. It also includes the enclosure of a space previously open, such as the enclosure of an open porch or patio or the construction of a roof over it.
ATTIC
Space between the top of uppermost floor construction and underside of roof.
[Added 9-13-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995]
BASE PLANE
The mean elevation of the crown of the street along the front yard of a property on which a building is situated.
[Added 11-10-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or chattels. For purposes of setback regulations, with the exception of §§ 212-35C and 212-35D, uncovered porches and decks will be defined as buildings.
[Amended 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997; 3-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
BUILDING AREA
The maximum horizontal cross-sectional area of all buildings on a lot, excluding uncovered porches and decks; bay windows and other similar architectural features which are not more than six feet in height and do not project more than 18 inches; and gutters and chimneys projecting not more than 18 inches.
[Amended 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
CLUB
A nonprofit organization or corporation or one owned and operated by a membership corporation or an unincorporated association for social, musical, dramatic, literary, artistic, gardening, yachting, boating, hunting, shooting, fishing, bathing, golf, tennis, squash, racquets or other lawful sporting purposes, excepting and not including an athletic organization, a political organization, a day camp, a youth house, a club for boys or girls, an organization for the improvement of the social, mental, moral or physical condition of children or of young men and women or an organization the chief activity of which is a service customarily carried on as a business.
CORNER LOT
A parcel of land at the junction of two or more intersecting streets.
CURB
Established elevation of the curb directly in front of or surrounding subject premises. Where no curb exists, the lowest established elevation of the edge of the street is used.
[Added 6-8-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
DWELLING
A place of abode of one or more families. It does not include a housecoach or a trailer used or designed to be used in connection with a motor vehicle.
EXTERIOR WALL HEIGHT
The vertical height of an exterior wall of a building or structure measured from the base plane to the underside of the eaves.
[Added 11-10-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
FAMILY
A group of persons, including servants or employees, forming a single housekeeping unit. It does not include a boarder or lodger, each of whom shall be regarded as a separate "family" and who are permitted only in districts that allow more than one family. Where there is more than one kitchen, there is presumptively more than one family.
FLEA MARKET
A sale or exchange of tangible personal property of every kind and description or of services or repairs to such personal property conducted at a location where there are multiple vendors who have paid a fee or charge or who have been allowed to occupy indoor or outdoor space without charge, for the privilege and purpose of displaying or selling items of tangible personal property or furnishing services or repairs thereto, all for a price or consideration, where such conduct is available to the general public.[1]
[Added 2-13-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992]
FRONT YARD
A yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the front lot line and the nearest point of the building. In the case of a lot where the front lot line is nearer than 10 feet to the front curbline, the front yard shall be measured from a line located 10 feet in from the front curbline.[2]
[Amended 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997; 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
HEIGHT OF BUILDING or BUILDING HEIGHT
The vertical distance from the base plane to the highest point of the roof. A pitched roof is a roof with a slope of three to 12 or greater.
[Amended 6-8-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994; 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997; 12-12-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001; 11-10-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
HEIGHT/SETBACK RATIO
A calculation designed to regulate the height of a building in relation to its setback from a lot line. It is in the form of an inclined plane beginning at the lot line from which the setback is being measured and rising toward the building at the ratio specified in this chapter. The mean grade along the foundation of that wall of the building nearest the lot line shall be the base elevation for measurement purposes. No part of any building, other than minor architectural features such as chimneys, skylights and dormer windows not covering more than 10% of the roof area shall be permitted to extend above said inclined plane. The graphic sketches located at the end of this chapter illustrate the application of the height/setback ratio to hypothetical lots in the 20,000 to 29,999 and 9,000 to 11,999 square foot lot size ranges.
[Added 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
LOT
A parcel of land occupied or designed to be occupied by one main building or use and the accessory building or uses customarily incident to it, including such open spaces as are arranged or designed to be used in connection with such building or use. It includes the word "plot." A "lot" may or may not be the land shown as a separate parcel on a duly filed map, Tax Map or developer's diagram. All adjoining parcels of property now or hereafter held in common ownership, regardless of the nature of the constituent parcels or the date, source or manner of acquisition, shall be deemed merged into a single lot and shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter to the same effect as if they had constituted a single lot at the date this chapter was adopted.
MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT
Any establishment having a fixed place of business where massages are administered for pay, including but not limited to massage parlors, sauna baths and steam baths. This definition shall not be construed to include a hospital, nursing home or medical clinic or the office of a physician, surgeon, chiropractor, osteopath or duly licensed physical therapist or barbershops or beauty salons in which massages are administered only to the scalp, face, neck or shoulders. The definition also shall exclude health clubs which have facilities for physical exercise, such as tennis courts, racquetball courts or exercise rooms and which do not receive their primary source of revenue through the administration of massages.[3]
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
MEAN GRADE LEVEL
The mean final grade or mean existing grade as of the date of the adoption of this definition, whichever is lower, measured around the entire foundation of the building.
[Added 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
MULTIPLE DWELLING
A dwelling which is occupied as the abode, residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other.
PEEP SHOWS
A theater which presents material in the form of live shows, films or videotapes viewed from an individual enclosure, for which a fee is charged and which is not open to the public generally but excludes any minor by reason of age.
[Added 6-9-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993]
PRIVATE GARAGE
A building used for the storage of one or more automobiles owned and used by the owner or tenant of the lot on which it is erected, for a purpose accessory to the use of the lot.
PUBLIC GARAGE
A building, other than a private garage, one or more stories in height, used for the storage, servicing or repair of automobiles.
[4]
REAR YARD
A yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the rear lot line and the nearest point of the principal building.
[Amended 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
RECREATIONAL STRUCTURES
Tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, handball courts, basketball courts and facilities of similar character, including all adjacent man-made surfaces and the required fencing accessory to the use of such facility.
[Added 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
REQUIRED YARD
The portion of the yard lying within the minimum limits provided by this chapter for the district in which the lot is situated.
SCHOOL
An institution of learning chartered by the State Board of Regents. It does not include a day camp, a summer camp or a recreational or athletic institution, organization, conservatory, group or center. It does not include an institution, organization, group or center, whether operated or managed by one or more persons, of which the principal object or one of the principal objects is physical education, teaching of dancing, singing, dramatics, music, playing of musical instruments, calisthenics, typewriting, stenography, dressmaking, designing or millinery or the giving of instruction in beauty parlor operation, business courses or instruction of a similar nature.
[5]
SIDE YARD
A yard between a side lot line and the nearest point of the principal building on that lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard. In the case of a corner lot where the side lot line is nearer than eight feet to the side curbline, the side yard shall be measured from a line located eight feet in from the side curbline.
[Amended 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997; 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
SIGN
Any message attached to any structure or part thereof or painted or represented thereon, which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as or which is in the nature of an announcement, direction or advertisement or intended to attract the attention of the public when the same is placed or located within its view. The word "sign" includes the words "billboard," "freestanding sign," and "interior sign," as well as any message, neon or illuminated tube or string, group or arrangement of lights, or other device, material hung, outlining, painted upon or attached to part of a building or lot, including lettering and other information on canopies and awnings, and graphic displays and murals on walls and window surfaces.
[Added 1-9-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
STORY
That part of a building between any floor and the floor or roof above. In computing the number of stories, any story, the ceiling of which is more than seven feet above the mean ground level along the foundation of the building, shall be deemed the first story.
STREET
An existing state, county or Village road or a road shown upon a subdivision plat duly filed and recorded in the office of the Nassau County Clerk.
[Amended 6-12-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996]
STREET FRONTAGE
The extent of a lot along a street or, in the case of a lot fronting on the outside of a curvilinear section of street or on a turnaround, the length of a line parallel to the street line drawn at the minimum front yard setback depth and extended in each direction to the side lot lines. For each additional principal building or use on the same lot, an additional street frontage of the same length shall be required. In the case of a lot, other than a corner lot, adjoining more than one street, the lot owner may elect which street shall be used for computing "street frontage."
[Amended 6-12-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996]
STREET LINE
The dividing line between the lot and the side line of a street. Where the lot adjoins a public street, it is ordinarily the property line. It is not the curbline, unless the curb runs along the property line.
STRUCTURE
Any combination of materials forming any construction, including, without limitation, buildings, swimming pools and other recreational structures as defined herein, walls, fences, signs, antennas, gazebos, gate posts, platforms and towers. The word "structure" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or part thereof."
[Added 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
SURFACE COVERAGE
The horizontal area of a lot covered by all buildings, structures and other man-made surfaces, including but not limited to driveways, parking areas, patios, terraces and other similar features not less than four feet in width. If a detached garage is located in the rear yard of a dwelling, an area equal to 10 feet times the perpendicular distance from the frontmost wall of such garage to the front building line shall be excluded from surface coverage.
[Added 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997; amended 5-14-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997; 3-10-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]
TWO-FAMILY DWELLING
A building designed or occupied exclusively as the home or residence of two families living independently of each other.
USE
Includes both the purposes for which a building or lot is or may be devoted and the building or lot itself.
[6]
WINDOW SIGN
A sign which is either temporarily or permanently attached or affixed to the interior or exterior surface of a display window and is used for advertisement, announcement, or notice, directional matter, company name or trade name which is relative to the business products or services provided.
[Added 1-9-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
YARD
An open, unoccupied space on the same lot as the principal building or use, which is and must be open and unobstructed from the ground to the sky, except by trees, shrubbery, telephone or electric light wires and poles, hedges, retaining walls and fences six feet or less in height.
[Amended 6-8-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of "front building line," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997.
[2]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Ground Level," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-8-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994.
[3]
Editor's Note: The definition of "minimum street frontage," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-12-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996.
[4]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Rear Building Line," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997.
[5]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Side Building Line," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997.
[6]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Wall," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997.

§ 212-3 Districts established.

A. 
The Village of Lawrence is hereby divided into districts, which are hereby designated as follows:
Residence AA District
Residence A District
Residence BB District
Residence B District
Residence C-1 District
Residence C-2 District
Residence D District
Residence E District
Residence FF District
Residence F District
Business K District
B. 
Such districts shall be as shown on the Building Zone Map which accompanies this chapter and which is hereby declared to be a part hereof.[1] The districts designated on said map are hereby established. The district designations which accompany said Building Zone Map are hereby declared to be a part thereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Building Zone Map may be found at the end of this chapter.

§ 212-4 Effect of changes in districts.

In case of any amendment to this chapter which creates new districts or which changes district boundaries or which transfers property from one district to another, the Building Zone Map shall be deemed amended accordingly. It shall not be necessary to prepare or adopt a new or amended Building Zone Map showing such new districts, such changes in district boundaries or such transfer of property from one district to another, but such new districts, changes and transfers of property may be identified by words of description.

§ 212-5 Interpretation of district boundaries.

A. 
Boundaries of districts fronting on Central Avenue extend from the street line to the rear property lines existing at the date of the adoption of this chapter, provided that in no case shall the Residence FF District extend more than 300 feet south of Central Avenue. In the case of any lot in the Residence FF District fronting on Central Avenue and extending more than 300 feet south thereof, that portion of such lot situated more than 300 feet from Central Avenue may be considered in computing the building area, the size of the lot and the depth of the rear yard.
B. 
Building zone districts include all public or private streets, ponds, streams and waterways adjacent thereto, whether or not so designated upon the Building Zone Map, including lands under water and lands hereafter formed by filling, accretion, emergence, avulsion or otherwise. In case a public or private street, pond, stream or waterway shown on said map forms the boundary between two or more districts of the same class, the district shall be considered as continuous. In case a public or private street, pond, stream or waterway shown on said map forms the boundary between two or more districts of different classes, each district shall be deemed to extend to the center of the street, the center of the pond or the thread of the stream or waterway, as the case may be. Building zone boundaries shown upon the Building Zone Map, except where they follow streets or watercourses and except as provided in Subsection A of this section, are intended to follow existing property lines.
C. 
Property of the Long Island Rail Road Company is intended to be included in the building zone districts to which it is adjacent, and, in case any part of such property should cease to be used for railway purposes, the regulations of the building zone district in which it is situated or to which it is adjacent shall apply.

§ 212-6 Applicability.

This chapter is intended to include and apply to all of the territory within the corporate limits of the Village of Lawrence.

§ 212-7 Lots in more than one district.

Except as otherwise specifically provided, where a lot is situated partly in two or more districts within the Village, no building, use or establishment shall be constructed, altered or maintained except in conformity with the regulations applying to the most highly restricted district in which such building, use or establishment; or any part thereof is situated and, except as otherwise specifically provided, no accessory building, use or establishment shall be constructed, altered or maintained unless the principal building, use or establishment to which it is accessory is one permitted in the district in which such accessory building, use or establishment is situated.

§ 212-8 Lots partially outside Village.

In the case of a lot situated partly within the Village and partly outside of the Village, the part of the lot within the Village must comply with all of the regulations prescribed for the district within the Village in which it is situated, to the same extent as if it had been a separate lot, unless the Board of Appeals should grant a special exception as hereafter provided in this chapter.

§ 212-9 Conformity required.

No lot shall be used and no building shall be erected, altered or used except in conformity with the regulations prescribed for the district in which such lot or building is situated. No lot shall be used and no building shall be erected, altered or used for any purpose other than a purpose permitted in the district in which such lot or building is situated.

§ 212-10 Subdivision creating a violation.

Unless the portion which fails to comply with the following requirements is added to and becomes part of an adjoining lot in such a way that the adjoining lot, as so enlarged, complies with all of such requirements, no lot shall be sold, divided or set off in such a manner that either the portion sold, divided or set off or the portion remaining:
A. 
Shall be less than the minimum size prescribed by the regulations relating to the district in which it is situated.
B. 
Shall fail to provide the yards or other open spaces required by the regulations relating to the district in which it is situated in respect to any building or use then existing.
C. 
Shall fail to provide the minimum building area required by the regulations relating to the district in which it is situated in respect to any building or use then existing.
D. 
Shall contain any building or use not permitted by the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Shall, directly or indirectly, violate any of the terms or conditions heretofore or hereafter imposed by the Board of Appeals in granting a variance or special exception under the provisions of the Village Law.
F. 
Notwithstanding the preceding, a lot which complied with all of the requirements of the ordinances of the Village of Lawrence at the time of its creation may be added to, in such a way as to not increase any nonconformity.
[Added 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]

§ 212-11 Approval of subdivisions and resubdivisions. [1]

[Amended 5-8-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
Any proposed subdivision of land in the Village of Lawrence, either designed to create an additional building lot or lots or to resubdivide existing lots by changing lot lines, shall be subject to the prior approval of the Village Planning Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: For related provisions, see Ch. 182, Subdivision of Land.

§ 212-12 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 212-12, Lots existing prior to change in regulations, was repealed 7-14-1999 by L.L. No. 4-1999.