City of Watertown, NY
Jefferson County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 5-11-1964; 1-11-1971; 4-12-1971; 3-20-1978; 6-6-2011]
Every parcel of land shall meet the following minimum sizes for the district it is located in:
District
Lot Size
(square feet)
Lot Size/Household
(square feet)
Lot Width
(feet)
Residence A
7,500
7,500
75
Residence B
6,000
3,000
60
Residence C
5,000
2,500
50
Limited Business
1,000
Neighborhood Business
1,000
Commercial
1,000
Downtown
250
Health Services
2,500
Light Industrial
N.A.
Heavy Industrial
N.A.
Open Space and Recreation
N.A.
Waterfront
500
Other provisions of this chapter notwithstanding, nothing shall prohibit the use of a lot of less than the required area for a single-family dwelling in any district, provided that all the other provisions of this chapter are complied with, when such lot, at the time of the passage of this chapter, was held under separate ownership or lessee-ship from the adjoining lots.
[Amended 6-6-2011]
The total area of each parcel covered by buildings shall not exceed the following percentages:
District
Maximum Lot Area Covered by Buildings
Residence A
30%
Residence B
35%
Residence C
40%
Neighborhood Business
40%
Downtown
100%
Open Space and Recreation
10%
Waterfront
30%
[Amended 7-6-1999; 6-6-2011]
Every building shall be set back from property lines according to the minimum distances listed below:
District
Front Yard
(feet)
Side Yard
(feet)
Rear Yard
(feet)
Residence A
20
5
25
Residence B
20
5
25
Residence C
20
5
25
Limited Business
20
5
25
Neighborhood Business
20
5
25
Commercial
20
5
25
Downtown
0
0
0
Health Services
20
5
25
Light Industrial
0
0
0
Heavy Industrial
0
0
0
Open Space and Recreation
50
50
50
Waterfront
20
5
50*
* Except as allowed by § 310-21.1
In cases other than corner lots, other provisions of this chapter notwithstanding, no building in any district need have a front yard greater in depth than the average depth of the front yards of the lots next thereto on either side, a vacant lot or lot with a front yard greater than the minimum depth being counted as if it were the minimum front yard for the district in which it is located, but in no case shall the front yard in any residence district be less than 10 feet in depth.
Where a Commercial, Light Industrial or Heavy Industrial District abuts a Residence District on a street line, there shall be provided, for a distance of 50 feet from the district boundary line into such Commercial, Light Industrial or Heavy Industrial District, a front yard equal in depth to 1/2 of the required front yard depth for such Residence District.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 310-19, Required side yards, as amended, was repealed 6-6-2011.
[Amended 4-4-1960; 7-6-1999]
A. 
On a corner lot in a Residence District, the side yard on the street side shall be 20 feet.
B. 
The side yard on the street side of a corner lot in Limited Business, Neighborhood Business and Health Services Districts shall be 10 feet.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 310-21, Required rear yards, as amended, was repealed 6-6-2011.
[Added 8-7-2000; amended 6-6-2011]
A. 
No building, structure or parking area shall be constructed within 50 feet of the top-of-bank of any river or stream, except for structures built for water-dependent uses or that are designed and built specifically for the purpose of providing pedestrian access and travel along the bank, for improving the safety of such access and travel, or for facilitating boat access to the river without disturbing pedestrian access.
B. 
The setback from the top-of-bank may be reduced to 30 feet if public access to the river or stream bank, which has the potential for connecting with a continuous pedestrian trail along the river or stream, is provided through a permanent easement. A licensed engineer must certify that the soils within the reduced setback area are stable and suitable for development.
On every lot in a Limited Business, Commercial, Light Industrial or Heavy Industrial District that abuts directly a Residence District, there shall be provided a yard of at least five feet on such lot along the line or lines where it abuts such Residence District.
The minimum required yards in any Residence District shall be increased by one foot for each foot that the perpendicular wall or walls facing thereon exceeds 20 feet in height.
No building in the rear of a principal building on the same lot shall be used for residence purposes, except that an accessory building may house domestic employees of the occupants of the principal building.
In determining the percentage of building coverage of a lot or the size of yards for the purpose of this chapter, porches or carports open at the sides but roofed shall be considered a part of the building.
[Amended 2-18-2003]
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to terraces, steps, unroofed decks or other similar features at or below the level of the floor of the first story.
[Added 2-18-2003; amended 3-20-2006; 6-19-2006; 12-5-2011]
A. 
No person, firm or corporation shall commence the erection, construction, or alteration of any fence without first applying for, and obtaining, a fence permit from Code personnel for each such fence.
B. 
Application for a fence permit shall be made to Code personnel on forms provided by Code personnel and shall contain the information requested on such forms plus any additional information as may be determined as necessary by Code personnel for duly processing such application.
C. 
All applications shall be signed by the owner of the real property upon which such work is to be performed. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by written authorization of the owner that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
D. 
In all districts, except Light and Heavy Industrial Districts, no fence shall be more than six feet in height, except as otherwise restricted below. In Light and Heavy Industrial Districts no fence shall be more than eight feet in height.
E. 
Fences located less than 20 feet from a street line shall not be more than four feet in height, except in Light and Heavy Industrial Districts.
F. 
The height of a fence shall not include post finials extending above the fence panels.
G. 
Fences located less than 20 feet from a street line shall have open spaces equal to at least 50% of the area of each panel, except as otherwise restricted below.
H. 
Fences located less than five feet from a street line shall have the open spaces equal to at least 80% of the area of each panel.
I. 
Fences located less than 20 feet from a street line shall not be located less than five (5) feet from a neighbor’s driveway or a shared driveway.
J. 
The side of the fence facing away from the fence owner's property shall have a finished quality
K. 
Chainlink fences shall not be located less than 20 feet from a street line, except in Light and Heavy Industrial Districts.
L. 
Electric fences shall not be allowed.
M. 
Barbed-wire fences shall not be allowed, except on top of chain link fences at least six feet in height in Light and Heavy Industrial Districts.
[Amended 6-19-2006; 12-5-2011]
In any Residence District, no structure (other than a fence meeting the requirements of § 310-26.1) or shrubbery over three feet in height shall be maintained on any corner lot within a triangular area formed by street lines to the points on such lines a distance of 40 feet from their intersection and a line connecting such points.
Every part of a required yard shall be open from its lowest part to the sky unobstructed, except for the ordinary projections of sills, belt cornices, pilasters, leaders, chimneys, eaves and ornamental features, provided that no such projections may extend more then three feet into any required yard. Open or enclosed fire escapes, fireproof outside stairways and balconies projecting into a required yard not more than 4 1/2 feet may be permitted by the City Engineer where such projections are so placed as not to obstruct light and ventilation.
Whenever a lot, upon which stands a building or structure, is changed in size or shape so that the area and yard requirements of this chapter are no longer complied with, such building shall not thereafter be used until it is altered, reconstructed or relocated so as to comply with those requirements. The provisions of this section shall not apply when a portion of a lot is taken for a public purpose.
[Added 10-5-1970]
It shall be unlawful for any person to park a mobile home on any public or private property, except as follows:
A. 
In an approved mobile home park.
B. 
In an approved mobile home sales lot.
[Added 10-5-1970]
A. 
No person shall construct or operate a mobile home park without first obtaining site plan approval from the Planning Board and a permit from the City Engineer.
B. 
Application for a mobile home park site plan approval shall be made to the Planning Board. The application shall be accompanied by a site plan and drawings showing property lines, area, contours showing any proposed grading, roads, walkways, lots, parking, waterlines, sanitary sewer and storm sewer drainage facilities, garbage collection stations and electrical distribution.
[Added 10-5-1970]
The following regulations shall apply to all mobile homes in mobile home parks:
A. 
The mobile home park area shall be not less then three acres, with 10% of the total area developed for recreational purposes.
B. 
Mobile home lots shall be at least 3,200 square feet in area, with a minimum width of at least 40 feet.
C. 
There shall be paved-surface access driveways at least 24 feet wide with 10 feet of clearance on each side.
D. 
There shall be parking with at least two paved spaces for each lot.
E. 
No mobile home lot shall be closer to a public street or a property line than 25 feet.
F. 
A strip of land at least 15 feet in width shall be maintained as a landscaped area abutting all mobile home park property lines.
G. 
No mobile home, addition or other accessory structure shall be closer than five feet to an internal lot line.
H. 
No additions shall be made to a mobile home, except a canopy and/or porch open on three sides or an addition made by a mobile home manufacturer. One accessory building of metal construction, not to exceed more than 100 square feet, may be permitted on each mobile home lot.
I. 
Each lot shall have a water supply source approved by the City Department of Health.
J. 
Each lot shall have attachment for sewage disposal approved by the City Department of Health.
K. 
Mobile homes and mobile home parks shall comply with all appropriate provisions of the City Housing Code.
L. 
All utility lines shall be underground.
[Added 10-5-1970]
A. 
No person or persons shall construct or operate a trailer camp without first obtaining site plan approval from the Planning Board and City Council and a permit the City Engineer.
B. 
Application for a trailer camp site plan approval shall be made to the Planning  Board. The application shall be accompanied by a site plan and drawings showing property lines, area, contours, roads, walkways, lots, parking, waterlines, sanitary sewer and storm sewer drainage facilities, garbage collection stations and electrical distribution.
C. 
Trailer camps shall comply with the standards established for mobile home parks under § 310-32.