City of Watertown, NY
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In Residence A Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
One-family dwelling.
[Amended 7-14-1964; 10-30-1972]
B. 
Church or other place of worship, convent, parish house.
C. 
Public library or public museum, public school, parochial school, school operated by a nonstock corporation under the education laws of the state, any institution of higher learning, but not dormitory accommodations.
D. 
Public park not conducted for profit, public playground or athletic field and field houses or other accessory buildings are permitted; no such building shall be located nearer than 100 feet to any lot line, except upon approval by the City Council.
[Amended 5-4-1970]
E. 
Golf course, except a miniature golf course operated on a commercial basis.
F. 
Municipal or public utility structures or facilities when necessary to the servicing of a neighborhood and of a kind and character in keeping with the residential character of the neighborhood, but only upon approval of the Council after a public hearing. The Council shall require the submission of plans and specifications of the proposed structures or facility prior to taking action.
[Amended 11-27-1972]
G. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, as amended, which dealt with bulletin boards and signs, was repealed 6-17-1996.
H. 
Such accessory uses as are customarily incidental to the above uses, subject to the provisions of § § 310-34, 310-35 and 310-36.
[Amended 11-27-1972]
In Residence B Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any use permitted in Residence A Districts.
B. 
Two-family dwelling and three-family dwelling.
[Added 10-30-1972]
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, which listed hospital and sanitarium, as amended, was repealed 1-6-1997.
D. 
Boardinghouse, lodging house, rooming house or tourist house, but not tourist camps or cabins, trailers or mobile homes.
[Amended 3-23-1959]
E. 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, as amended, which dealt with signs, was repealed 6-17-1996.
F. 
Such accessory uses as are customarily incidental to any of the above uses, subject to the provisions of § § 310-34, 310-35 and 310-36.
[Amended 2-13-1968; 10-21-1968; 10-30-1972]
In Residence C Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any use permitted in Residence B Districts.
B. 
Fraternity, sorority, dormitory, clubhouse, except a club the chief activity of which is a service customarily carried on as a business.
C. 
Undertaker, upon approval of the Board of Appeals after a public hearing.
D. 
Physicians and/or dental offices, but not to exceed four offices in a single structure. An office shall constitute one unit of one or more rooms for use by one physician or dentist, each with not more than one paid assistant of his profession, or by a partnership or association of physicians or dentists comprised of not more than three members of either profession and each with not more than one paid assistant of his profession. For each office, vehicle storage or off-street parking facilities shall be provided on the same or land adjacent and in the same ownership and used in connection therewith of 1,500 square feet for each 1,000 square feet of floor area.
[Amended 6-3-1963]
E. 
Private nursery school or kindergarten.
F. 
Garden, nursery, greenhouse.
G. 
Such accessory uses as are customarily incidental to any of the above uses, subject to the provisions of § § 310-34, 310-35 and 310-36.
H. 
Multifamily dwellings (only by special approval of City Council).
[Added 6-19-1967]
I. 
Nursing home.
[Added 1-6-1997]
In Limited Business Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any use permitted in Residence C Districts.
B. 
Banks or monetary institutions.
C. 
Insurance companies.
D. 
Business or professional offices.
E. 
Accessory uses, subject to the provisions of § 310-37.
F. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, as amended, which dealt with signs, was repealed 6-17-1996.
G. 
Interior designer offices.
[Added 11-26-1962]
H. 
Radio and television studios.
[Added 11-14-1966]
I. 
Multifamily dwellings (only by special approval of City Council).
[Added 6-19-1967]
[Amended 10-16-1961]
In Neighborhood Business Districts no building or structures shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building or structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses, subject to the provisions of Article IV and other applicable Articles:
A. 
Any use permitted in Limited Business Districts.
B. 
Retail store.
C. 
Restaurant or other place for the serving of food and beverages.
D. 
Commercial printer or publisher.
E. 
Hotel, motel, cabins, mobile home park (only by special approval of the City Council).
[Added 5-11-1970; amended 10-5-1970]
F. 
Theater, dance hall, billiard room, bowling alley, skating rink or other place of amusement or assembly.
G. 
Automobile sales lot or automobile parking lot (only by special approval of City Council).
[Amended 2-25-1963]
H. 
Garage for storage and adjusting and repairing motor vehicles (only by special approval of City Council).
I. 
Gasoline sales station or car wash (only by special approval of City Council).
[Added 11-21-1966; amended 4-29-1968]
J. 
Place of business of the following and businesses of a similar nature, provided that any manufacture or processing of goods on the premises is clearly incidental to a retail business conducted on the premises:
Baker
Barber
Caterer
Cleaner
Confectioner
Decorator
Dressmaker
Dyer
Florist
Furrier
Hairdresser
Laundry
Milliner
Optician
Photographer
Printer
Shoemaker or repairer
Shoeshiner
K. 
Multifamily dwellings (only by special approval of City Council).
[Added 6-19-1967]
L. 
Animal hospital, constructed with enclosed, soundproof ward and run areas. Such hospital shall be restricted to three examination rooms (only upon special approval of the City Council).
[Added 6-3-1968; amended 2-2-1970]
M. 
Other uses. Upon the recommendation of the Planning Board that such use is of the same general character as those permitted and will not be detrimental to the other uses within the district or to the adjoining land uses and by special approval of the City Council, only after a public hearing.
[Added 6-3-1968; amended 2-2-1970]
N. 
Redemption center.
[Added 3-2-1998]
[Amended 10-16-1961]
In Commercial Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any use permitted in Neighborhood Business Districts.
[Amended 6-19-1967; 5-19-1975; 8-20-2007]
B. 
Medical office or clinic.[1]
[Added 1-6-1997]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, as amended, which dealt with signs within commercial districts, was repealed 6-17-1996.
C. 
Garage for storage and adjusting and repairing of motor vehicles.
D. 
Gasoline sales station.
E. 
Automobile sales lot or automobile parking lot.
[Added 11-30-1964]
F. 
Multifamily dwellings.
[Added 6-19-1967; amended 2-2-1987; 8-20-2007]
G. 
Snowmobile sales lot.
[Added 12-4-1972]
H. 
Mobile home sales lot (only by special approval of City Council).
[Added 12-4-1972]
I. 
Other uses upon the recommendation of the Planning Board that such use is of the same general character as those permitted and will not be detrimental to the other uses within the district or to the adjoining land uses and by special approval of the City Council, only after a public hearing.
[Added 2-13-1968; amended 12-4-1972]
J. 
Animal hospital.
[Added 7-6-2015]
[Added 6-6-2011]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose and intent of this district is to regulate development in such a way that the compact pedestrian-oriented quality of the downtown area is maintained. This is primarily a commercially oriented district with a significant amount of upper floor housing where the synergy between the uses is intended to revitalize the activity in the area.
B. 
Permitted principal uses. In Downtown Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
(1) 
Multifamily dwelling, except on any street-level floor.
(2) 
Office.
(3) 
Retail sales and service.
(4) 
Religious assembly.
(5) 
Parks and open areas.
(6) 
Commercial parking.
(7) 
Microbrewery.
[Added 4-3-2017]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 310-9.1, City Center District (overlay), as amended, was repealed 6-17-1996.
[Added 1-6-1997]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose and intent of this district is to provide areas in appropriate locations where medical facilities may be established, while protecting the surrounding neighborhood.
B. 
Permitted principal uses. In Health Services Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, buildings, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
(1) 
Single-family, two-family or three-family dwelling.
(2) 
Place of religious worship.
(3) 
Hospital.
(4) 
Nursing home.
(5) 
Medical office or clinic.
(6) 
Adult or child day-care.
(7) 
Hostel.
(8) 
Offices.
[Added 1-3-2017]
C. 
Permitted accessory uses. One or more of the following uses may take place on a parcel in conjunction with a permitted principal use:
(1) 
Accessory structure.
(2) 
Medical waste autoclave.
(3) 
Administrative staff office.
(4) 
Vehicle storage.
(5) 
Education and research facility.
(6) 
Medical laboratory.
(7) 
Rehabilitation or therapy center.
(8) 
Retail business.
(9) 
Food service.
In Light Industrial Districts no building shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
A. 
Any use permitted in Commercial Districts, except all residential uses.
[Amended 6-19-1967]
B. 
Wholesale, storage and warehouse facilities, but not junkyards.
C. 
Lumber, wood, new building material, feed or other similar storage yards and coal yards.
D. 
Light manufacturing, employing electricity or other unobjectionable motor power, utilizing hand labor or unobjectionable machinery or processes, and free from any objectionable odors, fumes, dirt, vibration or noise.
E. 
Electric substation, freight yard.
F. 
Those uses listed in § 310-11 and the following are specifically prohibited:
[Amended 9-7-2010]
Ammonia, bleaching powder or chlorine manufacture
Arsenal
Asphalt manufacturing or refining
Automobile wrecking
Bag cleaning
Blast furnace
Boiler works
Brick, tile or terra-cotta manufacture
Candle manufacture
Celluloid manufacture
Central mixing plant for cement, mortar, plaster or paving materials
Coke oven
Creosote treatment or manufacture
Disinfectants manufacture
Dye-stuff manufacture
Emery cloth and sandpaper manufacture
Extermination and insect poison manufacture
Iron, steel, brass or copper foundry fabrication plant
Lampblack manufacture
Match manufacture
Oilcloth or linoleum manufacture
Oiled or rubber goods manufacture
Paint, oil, shellac, turpentine or varnish manufacture
Planing mill (except a small woodworking plant)
Potash works
Pyroxylin manufacture
Rolling mill
Sauerkraut manufacture
Shoe polish manufacture
Soap manufacture
Soda and compound manufacture
Stock feeding pen
Stone crusher or quarry
Stove polish manufacture
Tallow, grease or lard manufacture or refining from animal fat
Tar distillation or manufacture
Tar roofing or waterproofing manufacture
Vinegar manufacture
Wool pulling
Yeast production
In general those uses which may be obnoxious or offensive by reason of emission of odor, dust, smoke, gas, noise, vibration or danger of fire or explosion
G. 
A trailer may be occupied as an accessory use for security personnel, provided that such trailer is not used for dwelling purposes and that it is completely enclosed (only by special approval of the Council).
[Added 6-7-1971]
H. 
Recycling facility (with special use permit).
[Added 3-2-1998]
I. 
Beer production.
[Added 9-7-2010]
[Amended 10-16-1967; 2-22-1972]
A. 
In Heavy Industrial Districts buildings and land may be used for any lawful purpose, except for any residential use.
B. 
The following trades, industries or uses may be permitted in such districts only upon recommendation of the Planning Board:
Acid manufacture
Cement, lime, gypsum or plaster of paris manufacture
Distillation of bones, coal or wood
Explosives manufacture or storage
Fat rendering
Fertilizer manufacture
Garbage, offal or dead animal reduction or dumping
Gas manufacture
Glue manufacture
Junkyards (only by special approval of the City Council)
Petroleum products refining or reclaiming
Rubber or gutta-percha manufacture or treatment
Smelting of tin, copper, zinc or iron ores
Stockyards or slaughter of animals
Storage of gasoline, oil or other flammable liquids, except for purposes of immediate retail
Tanning, curing or storage of raw hides or skins
C. 
A trailer may be occupied as an accessory use for security personnel, provided that such trailer is not used for dwelling purposes and that is completely enclosed (only by special approval of the Council).
[Added 6-7-1971]
[Added 6-6-2011[1]]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose and intent of this district is to provide a suitable classification for sites designated for park, open space and/or recreational use.
B. 
Permitted principal uses. In Open Space and Recreation Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
(1) 
Parks and open areas.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 310-11.1, Riverfront Development Overlay Districts, added 8-7-2000.
[Added 6-6-2011]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose and intent of this district is to allow the Black River to be used as an economic development catalyst while protecting its environmental characteristics. Priority is given to water-dependent uses and then water-enhanced uses. Providing public access to the river is an important policy that is promoted through these regulations.
B. 
Permitted principal uses. In Waterfront Districts no building or structure shall be erected, altered or extended, and no land, building, structure or part thereof shall be used for other than one or more of the following uses:
(1) 
Water-dependent use.
(2) 
Water-enhanced use. Water-enhanced uses shall not be allowed on or over surface waters unless the proposed use meets all of the following criteria:
(a) 
The proposed use will not be sited so as to encroach upon water uses such as navigational channels.
(b) 
The proposed use will not be sited so as to degrade or diminish natural resources.
(c) 
The proposed use will not be sited so as to degrade or diminish significant scenic views.
(d) 
The proposed use will not be sited so as to degrade or diminish the reasonable exercise of riparian rights by waterfront owners.
(e) 
The proposed use will not create conflicts between potential water-dependent uses.
(f) 
The proposed use shall provide meaningful public access.
(3) 
Parks and open areas.
[Amended 6-19-1967; 4-26-1971]
A. 
Provision is included for Planned Development Districts, PD, to permit land and buildings to be used for any lawful purpose as authorized by the City Council.
B. 
Planned Development Districts shall comprise at least 40,000 square feet of land.
C. 
Procedure for obtaining a change in zoning district to a Planned Development District shall be as follows:
(1) 
Application for establishment of a Planned Development District shall be made to the City Council. The City Council shall refer the application to the City Planning Board for consideration.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall require the applicant to furnish such preliminary plans, drawings and specifications as are required for an understanding of the proposed development. The preliminary plan shall include the following:
(a) 
A survey showing existing features of the property, including contours, buildings, structures, large trees, streets, utility easements, rights-of-way and land use.
(b) 
A site plan showing proposed building locations, land use areas, traffic circulation, parking, pedestrian walks, landscaping and grading.
(c) 
Preliminary drawings for buildings delineated to be constructed in the current phase, including floor plans, exterior elevations and sections.
(d) 
Preliminary engineering plans, including street improvements, drainage system, public utility extensions and feasibility studies of any anticipated problems which might arise due to the proposed development as required by the Planning Board.
(e) 
The construction sequence and time schedule for completion of each phase for building, parking and landscaped areas.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall approve, approve with modifications or disapprove such application and shall report its recommendation to the City Council. In reaching its decision on the proposed development, the Planning Board shall consider, among other things, the need for the proposed use in the proposed location, the existing character of the neighborhood in which the use would be located and the safeguards provided to minimize possible detrimental effects of the proposed use on adjacent property.
(4) 
The City Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposal with public notice as provided by law in the case of an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.
(5) 
The City Council may then amend the Zoning Ordinance so as to define the boundaries of the Planned Development District, but such action shall have the effect only of granting permission for development of the specific proposed area in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance within the area so designated with the specifications, plans and elevations filed with the City Council.
(6) 
Final plans of all buildings and all construction shall be submitted to the Planning Board for its review and recommendation to the City Council and also to the City Council for approval by the latter, prior to issuance of a building permit.
D. 
The following standards shall apply in Planned Development Districts:
[Amended 11-15-1971]
RESIDENTIAL STANDARDS
Undeveloped Land
Redevelopment Requirement Land
District area minimum (square feet)
40,000
40,000
Lot area minimum per dwelling unit (square feet)
One-family dwelling
5,000
Two-family dwelling
3,000
Three-family dwelling
3,000
1,500
Multiple-family dwellings
Land rezoned from Residential A Districts
2,500
1,000
Land rezoned from Residential B Districts
2,000
1,000
Land rezoned from Residential C Districts
1,500
1,000
Land rezoned from Limited Business, Neighborhood Business and Commercial Districts
1,000
1,000
Yards required
Residential uses
Front yards, rear yards and side yards shall be designed so that no building is closer than 20 feet to any other building, and no building is closer than 25 feet to any boundary line of the district or public street.
Other permitted uses in residential areas, all yards (feet)
40
15
Coverage (maximum)
20%
40%
General regulations
As required in Article VII
COMMERCIAL STANDARDS
Requirement
Undeveloped Land
Redevelopment Land
District area minimum (square feet)
40,000
40,000
Yards required (feet)
Front
50
None
Rear
50
As required in § 310-22
Side
50
As required in §§ 310-20, 310-22 and 310-23
Coverage (maximum)
40%
80%
General regulations
As required in Article VII