Town of Ghent, NY
Columbia County
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A. 
Title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Ghent Zoning Law."
B. 
In 2009, the Town of Ghent adopted a Comprehensive Plan that included the following goals. This chapter is adopted for the purposes of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community, and to further the orderly growth, development and redevelopment of the municipality in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan, and with long-term objectives, principles and standards deemed beneficial to the interests and welfare of the people.
[Amended 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
(1) 
Maintain and enhance the Town's natural beauty and rural character;
(2) 
Protect natural environmental features and preserve open spaces for wildlife, environmental health and outdoor recreation;
(3) 
Promote a sense of community, small-town atmosphere, neighborliness and civic pride;
(4) 
Provide for quality road maintenance while retaining the rural character of Town roads;
(5) 
Provide for new modes of transportation, including public and pedestrian opportunities;
(6) 
Provide for small business development that provides quality employment opportunities in a manner that protects the environment and rural character;
(7) 
Maintain quality emergency services and promote safety;
(8) 
Preserve the historic heritage, structures, views and landscapes;
(9) 
Promote agricultural activities and protect farmlands;
(10) 
Provide for a diversity of housing opportunities for residents of all ages and income levels;
(11) 
Enhance the quality of life of residents through diverse and accessible recreational and cultural opportunities;
(12) 
Ensure that local government remains responsive, fiscally responsible and forward thinking in its approach to meeting the needs of residents;
(13) 
Support zoning and planning laws and other strategies that address aging in place issues. Maintain quality health and human services;
(14) 
Support the relationship between protection of the rural character of the Town, ecotourism and education with zoning code changes that provide support and incentive to nontraditional educational venues and activities.
C. 
No reliance. The inspections, proceedings, determinations and actions taken herein by the Building Inspector, Deputy Building Inspector and/or Zoning Enforcement Officer are taken solely for the benefit of the Town of Ghent and not for the benefit of any other person or entity. No claim for damages shall be made by any person or entity against the Town of Ghent on the basis that any such inspections, proceedings, determinations or actions are incorrect.
A. 
Scope and meaning of certain words and terms.
(1) 
The word "person" includes a profit or nonprofit corporation, company, partnership, individual or other legal entity.
(2) 
The word "shall" indicates a requirement; the word "may" is permissive.
(3) 
The words "lot," "plot" and "land" are interchangeable.
(4) 
The word "use" means any purpose or event for which a structure or premises or part thereof is occupied, constructed, maintained, designed, arranged, employed, made available, offered or intended. Any such purpose or event constitutes a use, whether same is temporary or permanent.
[Amended 2-16-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(5) 
The word "used" refers to the actual fact that a lot or land, building or structure, or part thereof, is being occupied or maintained for a particular use.
B. 
Definitions of words and terms.
ACCESSORY USE, BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
A subordinate use, building or structure customarily incidental to and located on the same lot occupied by the main use, building or structure. The term "accessory building" may include a private garage, garden shed, a private playhouse and a private greenhouse. Any structure having an area of more than 1,000 square feet shall not be considered an accessory building or structure, but rather shall be considered to be a separate structure.
ADULT ARCADE
Any place to which the public is permitted or invited wherein coin-operated or slug-operated or electronically, electrically or mechanically controlled still or motion picture machines, projectors or other image-producing devices are maintained to show images to five or fewer persons per machine at any one time, and where the images so displayed are distinguished or characterized by depicting or describing specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
ADULT CABARET
A nightclub, bar, restaurant, nonalcoholic bar or similar commercial establishment, either public or private, which regularly features:
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(1) 
Persons who appear in a state of nudity;
(2) 
Live performances which are characterized by the exposure of specified anatomical areas or by specified sexual activities; or
(3) 
Films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other photographic reproductions which are characterized by the depiction or description of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.
ADULT HOME
A home for adults conforming to the standards of adult homes as established by the State of New York and providing a residence for adults and/or children who need care or assistance or a place to live, but who do not require assistance for basic living functions.
ADULT MOTEL
A hotel, motel or similar commercial establishment which offers accommodations to the public for any form of consideration, provides patrons with closed-circuit television transmissions, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other photographic reproductions that are characterized by the depiction or description of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas and has a sign visible from the public right-of-way which advertises the availability of this adult type of photographic reproductions.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
ADULT MOTION PICTURE THEATER
A commercial establishment where, for any form of consideration, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or similar photographic reproductions are regularly shown that are characterized by the depiction or description of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(1) 
A commercial establishment which, as one of its significant business purposes, offers for sale or rental for any form of consideration any one or more of the following:
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(a) 
Books, magazines, periodicals or other printed matter, or photographs, films, motion picture, video cassettes or video reproductions, slides, or other visual representations which depict or describe specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas; or
(b) 
Instruments, equipment, devices or paraphernalia primarily intended, labeled, designed, advertised or promoted for use in connection with specified sexual activities.
(2) 
A commercial establishment may have other significant business purposes that do not involve the offering for sale or rental of material depicting or describing specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas and still be categorized as an "adult retail store" so long as one of its significant business purposes is the offering for sale or rental for consideration the specified materials which depict or describe specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas. For purposes of this definition, "significant business purpose" shall mean 25% or more of any of the following:
(a) 
The number of different titles or kinds of merchandise;
(b) 
The number of copies or pieces of such merchandise;
(c) 
The amount of floor space devoted to the sale and/or display of such merchandise; or
(d) 
The amount of advertising which is devoted to such merchandise, either in print or broadcast media.
ADULT THEATER
A theater, concert hall, auditorium or similar commercial establishment which regularly features persons who appear in a state of nudity or live performances that are characterized by the exposure of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
ADULT USE AND ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT
A public or private establishment, or any part thereof, which presents any of the following entertainments, exhibitions or services: topless and/or bottomless dancers; strippers; topless waitressing, busing or service; topless hair care or massages; service or entertainment where the servers or entertainers wear pasties or g-strings or both; adult arcade; adult bookstore or adult video stores; adult cabarets; adult motels; adult motion picture theaters; and sexual encounter centers. Adult use and entertainment establishments customarily exclude minors by reason of age.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
AGRICULTURE
The raising of agriculture and dairy products for sale. For the purpose of this chapter, agriculture shall specifically include dairy farms, but not horse breeding farms.
AIRCRAFT REPAIR OR RESTORATION
An establishment that engages in the repair and/or restoration of modern, classic or antique aircraft. The facility operator must employ only FAA certified mechanics and shall submit documentation of such to the fixed based operator of the Columbia County Airport.
AIRPORT AND ANCILLARY USES
A facility where aircraft can land and take off. Ancillary uses shall include hangers for aircraft storage, whether owned or leased, refueling facilities, tiedown areas and sales and service of aircraft and products accessory to aircraft or those required by pilots and/or owners. The sale, installation and repair of electronic equipment shall be included.
ALTERATION
As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts or in the exit facilities; or an enlargement whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height; or moving from one location or position to another; the term "alter" in its various modes and tenses and its participial form refers to the making of an alteration.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
The harboring and keeping of domesticated farm animals such as horses, cows, steers, goats and fowl, on any lot or parcel other than an active farm. Active farms are classified as agriculture. The keeping of household pets for personal enjoyment shall not be deemed animal husbandry and shall be allowed in all zones.
ARTISTS CULTURAL CENTER OR RETREAT
Land and buildings used as a meeting place, retreat and/or exhibition center for the exchange of ideas between artists, members of the professional art community and the general public. Artists shall include persons working in all art forms and mediums, including, but not limited to, painters, sculptors, authors, screen writers, playwrights, film makers, musicians and photographers. A cultural center or retreat may provide indoor and outdoor exhibition space, work space, meeting space, lecture halls, performance space and sculpture parks, as well as living and dining facilities for the staff, artists and participants in the center's or retreat's programs.[1]
AUTOMOBILE LEASE/RENTAL FACILITY
A facility where vehicles are leased or rented. This use shall include all areas, whether enclosed or open, where such vehicles are stored. No repair services other than necessary washing and cleaning or fueling shall be performed on the premises.[2]
BED-AND-BREAKFAST FACILITY
A dwelling that offers overnight lodging consisting of up to four rooms to guests on a temporary basis and that may also offer breakfast to its guests only. A facility that qualifies as a motel, hotel, restaurant or camp ground shall not be considered to be a bed-and-breakfast facility.
BILLBOARD
A sign that directs attention to a business, commodity, service, entertainment or attraction sold, offered or existing elsewhere than upon the same lot where such sign is displayed, or only incidentally sold, offered or existing upon such lot.
BUILDING
A structure with a roof supported by columns or walls and having a ground area of more than 50 square feet.
BUILDING INSPECTOR OR ZONING OFFICER
The official Building Inspector, Deputy Building Inspector or Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Ghent.
CABIN
Any structure designed primarily for seasonal use, not greater than 500 square feet, and not used or capable of being used for year-round residency.
CAMPGROUND
Parcel of land designed for temporary use of travel trailers, tents, campers, etc.
CAR WASH
A structure or building designed for the washing, waxing, simonizing or similar treatment of automotive vehicles as its principal function. A filling station having portable washing equipment shall not be deemed to be a car wash where such use is an accessory service to the principal service of the filling station.
CEMETERY
Licensed human burial grounds.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
CLUB, COUNTRY
A club for golfing, tennis, swimming, hunting, fishing, horseback riding or similar sports.
CLUB, MEMBERSHIP, NONPROFIT
The premises and buildings used by a local chapter holding a valid charter from an international, national or state organization or by a bona fide local civic association catering exclusively to members and their guests primarily for a patriotic, fraternal, benevolent, social, educational, religious or political purpose. The club shall not be used in whole or in part for the conduct of any business or enterprise for profit, but this shall not be construed as preventing the utilization of a club for benefits or performances for a recognized charity; nor for the meeting of other organizations, nor for educational and cultural purposes.
CONCERT
A program of vocal or instrumental music.
[Added 8-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
CONTRACTOR FACILITY
A parcel of land used for the storage of vehicles, equipment and materials used by a general contractor, excavation contractor, plumber contractor, electrical contractor or similar business including any office space and the repair and maintenance of vehicles and equipment owned by the on-premises business. This use shall also allow for the fabrication of components used as part of the contractor’s normal course of business (i.e., a general contractor may have a woodworking shop, an electrical contractor may assemble lighting components, etc.).
COURT
An open, unoccupied space, other than a yard, on the same lot with a building or group of buildings, which is bounded on two or more sides by such building or buildings. An offset to a court shall be deemed a separate court for the purpose of determining its required dimensions.
COURT, DEPTH OF
The maximum horizontal dimension at right angles to the width.
COURT, HEIGHT OF
The greatest vertical distance measured from the lowest level of such court up to the roof of the building.
COURT, INNER
Any court which is not an outer court.
COURT, OUTER
A court extending to a street line or opening on another outer court or any required front, side or rear yard.
COURT, WIDTH OF
The horizontal dimension parallel to the principal open side in the case of an outer court; and the least horizontal dimension in the case of an inner court.
CUSTOM WORK, SHOP FOR
A business premises used for the making of clothing, millinery, shoes or other personal articles to individual order and measure, for sale at retail on the premises only, and not including the manufacture of ready-to-wear or standardized products.
DWELLING
A building (other than a mobile home) arranged, intended or designed to be occupied by one or more families living independently of each other upon the premises.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE
A building or portion thereof containing more than two dwelling units.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms with provisions for cooking, living, sanitary and sleeping facilities arranged for the use of one family.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION
An accessory use and element of an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
EXHIBITION
A show or display for entertainment or competition.
[Added 8-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
FAMILY
One or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single, nonprofit housekeeping unit. For the purposes of this chapter, there shall be a presumption that more than three persons exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption and occupying the dwelling unit as a single, nonprofit housekeeping unit shall not constitute one family, except for a foster home. This presumption may be rebutted by an applicant in accordance with the procedure set forth in § 190-57 of this chapter.
FARM
Any parcel of land used for gain in the raising of agricultural products.
FENCE
A structure designed either to limit access to a land area or to screen such area from view, or both.
FESTIVAL
An occasion or event for celebration including cultural performances, entertainment or exhibitions. This does not include a private party hosted at a private residence and not open to the general public for attendance, which is considered to be an accessory use to the private residence.
[Added 8-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
FILLING STATION
A building or lot or part thereof supplying or selling gasoline or other equivalent fuel for motor vehicles at retail direct from pumps and storage tanks. A filling station may include a convenience store or accessory facilities for rendering service for motor vehicles, such as lubrication, washing, and minor repairs. It shall not include a used car lot.
[Amended 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
FLOOD AREA OVERZONE (FAO)
Provisions regarding regulations for flood zones are now covered separately by Local Law No. 1 of the year 1987, entitled a "Local Law Regulating The Flood Area Overzone in the Town of Ghent."[3]
FOOD PROCESSING FACILITY
A business premises used for the transformation of raw ingredients, by physical or chemical means, into food, or of food products into other forms. Food processing may include the cutting and packaging of meat, poultry and fish, baking, blending, curing or brining, grinding, roasting, smoking, or packing or repacking from bulk. This does not include slaughterhouses.
[Added 4-7-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
FRONTAGE
The linear distance between the side lots measured parallel and adjacent to the roadway on which the parcel fronts at the edge of the roadway.
GARAGE, PARKING
A building designed for the parking or storage of vehicles or trailers.[4]
[Amended 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
HEALTH CLUB
An entity providing space and equipment for health and athletic purposes or providing exercise and physical benefit to members and guests on the premises.
HEIGHT OF STRUCTURE OR BUILDING
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the finished grade along the side of the structure fronting on the nearest street to the highest point of such structure.
HOME OCCUPATION
Any gainful occupation customarily conducted within a dwelling or outbuilding by the residents thereof that is clearly secondary to the residential use and that does not change the character of the structure as a residence. The granting of a permit for home occupation is subject to the requirements and provisions of § 190-8.
HOME OCCUPIED BUSINESS
A business which is carried out in an outbuilding of a lot which also contains the principal residence of the owner of the business. A home occupied business must meet all of the requirements set forth in § 190-9 of this Zoning Chapter.
HOME PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
The office or studio of a resident physician, surgeon, dentist or other person licensed by the State of New York to practice a healing art, lawyer, architect, artist, engineer or teacher, with a limitation of no more than five personnel, including the proprietor(s), and with a maximum square footage of 1,600 square feet. Any such use involving more personnel or more square footage shall be considered to be a commercial use and shall not be considered to be a professional office, nor permitted in a residential zone. The square footage requirement referred to herein for a new building shall include the total of all floor areas except for any floor area where the floor to ceiling height requirement is less than six feet. The square footage referred to herein for an existing building shall be the area which is actually being used for a professional office. Only one professional office is permitted per dwelling, and to qualify as a home professional office, the operator(s) of the office must live in the dwelling.
HORSE BOARDING AND STABLES
The keeping of horses on the subject property for private or public use, including riding lessons and the rental of horses for riding.
HORSE BREEDING FARMS
The raising and breeding of thoroughbred and standard bred horses for profit.
JUNKYARD
Any land or structure, or part thereof, exceeding 300 square feet in area, used for collecting, storage or sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or other scrap or discarded material; or for the collecting, dismantling, storage or salvage of machinery or vehicles not in running condition, or for the sale of the parts thereof.
KENNELS
The keeping of two or more dogs over six months of age for sale or for boarding purposes, if the dogs are not owned by the owner or occupant of the premises. Also, the keeping of four or more dogs over six months of age for any purpose if the dogs are owned by the owner or occupant of the premises.
LODGINGS
A building or group of buildings, whether detached or in connected units, used as individual sleeping or dwelling units with direct access and related office, and with or without restaurant facilities, designed primarily for transient automobile travelers and provided with accessory off-street parking facilities. The term "lodging" includes buildings designed as inns, tourist courts, motor lodges, motels, hotels, auto courts and other similar appellations, excluding bed-and-breakfasts, but shall not be construed to include parking areas for house trailers or mobile homes or dwelling units except for that of a manager or property caretaker.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
LOT
A parcel of land occupied or used by one main building or use with its accessory buildings and the required open spaces. For the purposes of this chapter, any real property owned by the same party or parties which is contiguous, and regardless of when obtained, shall constitute one lot, subject, however, to the provisions of Article IX. For the purposes of this chapter, any parcel which is completely divided by a Town, County or state highway shall constitute a separate lot. Each lot shall be fully subject to the dimensional requirements of this chapter.
LOT AREA
The total horizontal area included within lot lines.
LOT, CORNER
A lot at the junction of and fronting on two or more intersecting streets.
LOT COVERAGE
The percentage of the area of the lot covered by a building or buildings.
LOT, INTERIOR
Any lot other than a corner lot.
LOT LINE
Any boundary of a lot. Any lot line not a rear lot line nor a front lot line shall be deemed a side lot line.
LOT LINE, FRONT
The street right-of-way line at the front of a lot. On a corner lot, the owner may specify the front lot line on the plot plan.
LOT LINE, REAR
The lot line opposite to the front lot line.
LOT, THROUGH
A lot extending from one street to another.
LOT WIDTH
The dimension measured from side lot to side lot, measured at the place where the main improvement is to be located.
MINING
The excavation or extraction of earth, sand, gravel, stone, quarry material, clay, loam, humus, top soil or other earth material from a lot and removal thereof from that lot; or any temporary storage of such materials by stockpiling, or any processing of excavated or stockpiled materials, or any of the related land use activities engaged in during the above activities, such as construction of buildings, barriers and other structures, clearing of property, removal or placement of trees, vegetation and earth material, or the regrading or movement of earth material within the boundaries of a single lot or subdivision.
[Added 4-21-2005 by L.L. No. 3-2005]
MINING OVERZONE MAP
The map established by the Town of Ghent showing those areas in the Town where mining shall be permitted by special permit subject to the regulations set forth in this chapter. Mining shall not be permitted in any other areas in the Town of Ghent except as expressly otherwise permitted in the mining law set forth in this chapter.
[Added 4-21-2005 by L.L. No. 3-2005]
MINOR
A person less than 18 years of age.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
MIXED-USE BUILDING
A building with space for permitted commercial, business, or office use, and space for residential use.
[Added 4-7-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
MOBILE HOME
Any vehicle which is designed to be transported on its own wheels or those of another vehicle; which is used or was at any time capable of being used as a detached single-family residence; or which is or at one time was capable of being occupied as living quarters.
MOBILE HOME LOT
A designated site of specific total land area which is located within a mobile home park for the accommodation of one mobile home or its occupants.
MOBILE HOME PARK
Any parcel of land which is planned and improved for the placement of two or more mobile homes which are used as dwellings and for occupancy of more than 90 consecutive days.
MOBILE HOME STAND
A durable surface located on a mobile home lot which is to be used for the placement and capable of supporting a mobile home.[5]
MULTIUSE COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE
A single structure which was designed for and occupied by more than one permitted commercial use. The minimum lot size required for this type of use shall be computed by adding 20,000 square feet for each use within the structure to the minimum lot size required within the zone.
[Amended 4-7-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
MULTIPLE DWELLING
A building or portion thereof containing three or more dwelling units designed or used for occupancy by three or more families living in separate areas.
MUSEUM
A place for exhibiting for public display works of art, science, invention, education, antiquities, curiosities or objects of natural history.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A structure lawfully existing at the effective date of this chapter or any amendment thereto affecting such structure, which does not conform to the Table of Dimensional Regulations of this chapter for the district in which it is situated, irrespective of the use to which such structure is put.
NONCONFORMING USE
Any use of a building, structure, lot or land or part thereof, lawfully existing at the effective date of this chapter or any amendment thereto affecting such use, which does not conform to the Table of Use Regulations of this chapter for the district in which it is situated.[6]
NONNUISANCE COMMERCIAL BUSINESS
Includes all light manufacturing and assembly, packaging, finishing or treating of products carried on completely within an enclosed structure, and involving no permanent outside storage of equipment or materials. Said use shall not include any commercial operations which would: a) cause danger of fire or explosion; or b) which shall result in significant objectionable vibration, noise, smoke, fumes, odor, dust, gas fumes, chemicals, radiation, or other waste materials, including hazardous waste, which would: i) cause a nuisance; or ii) adversely effect other private or public properties. Excludes any industrial operation and all other permitted uses in Appendix C.[7] Nothing herein shall in any way restrict or limit the requirements or language of §§ 190-12, 190-22 and 190-23.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
NUDITY or STATE OF NUDITY
The appearance of:
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(1) 
Human bare buttocks, anus, male genitals, female genitals or areola or nipple of the female breast; or
(2) 
State of dress which fails to opaquely and fully cover human bare buttocks, anus, male genitals, female genitals or areola or nipple of the female breast.
NURSERY SCHOOL
A building or structure, together with its lot and its accessory uses, building and structure, used as an organized instructional facility for five or more enrolled children other than the children of the resident family, but not provided with customary commercial public recreation such as Ferris wheel or roller coasters, and not furnishing sleeping quarters except for the resident family.
NURSING HOME
A facility licensed by the State of New York pursuant to the Public Health Law providing nursing care to sick, invalid, infirm, disabled or convalescent persons in addition to lodging and board or health-related service, or any combination of the foregoing and, in addition thereto, providing nursing care and health-related service, or either of them, to persons who are not occupants of the facility.
OFFICES: BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL OR UTILITY
A room, group of rooms or building used primarily for conducting the affairs of a business, profession, service, industry or government, or like activity, that may include ancillary services such as cafeterias and lounges. To qualify as a professional office, this use must also meet the definition of professional office as set forth herein. However, a use for conducting the affairs of a profession or service which does not meet the definition of professional office because of the number of personnel or square footage will still be deemed to be a business office if it otherwise qualifies as such under this definition.
OPEN SPACE
Land used for the purpose of recreation, resource protection, amenity or buffers; freely accessible to all residents and protected by the provisions of this chapter to ensure that it remains in such uses. Open space does not include land occupied by buildings, roads or road right-of-way; nor does it include the yard or lots of single or multifamily dwelling units or parking areas as required by the provision of this chapter. Open space shall be left in a natural state except in the case of recreation uses, including recreational buildings.
PARKING AREA
A lot or part thereof used for the storage or parking of motor vehicles, with or without the payment of rent or charges in money and/or other consideration.
PARKING SPACE
A stall or berth which is arranged and intended for parking of one motor vehicle in a garage or parking area. Each space shall be no less than nine feet by 18 feet.
PERMITTED USE
A specific main use of a building, structure, lot or land, or part thereof, allowed by this chapter in a particular district as a matter of right. Any use which is not listed as a permitted, special permit or accessory use shall be considered a prohibited use.
PERSON
An individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.[8]
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
PLANNED RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT
Planned Residential District shall be considered a special district which may be granted as a zoning change to a developer for the purpose of building a residential community or neighborhood containing a variety of housing types. Such zoning change shall be granted according to the procedures in Article III of this chapter. A Planned Residential District is permitted in the following districts: Rural Residential /Agricultural-1 (RRA-1), Rural Residential/Agricultural-2 (RRA-2), Hamlet Residential (HR) and Village Residence (VR).
[Amended 5-17-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
PRIVATE RECREATION AREA, NONPROFIT
A park, playground or recreation area operated by a nonprofit organization for the primary purpose of providing relaxation or an opportunity for the playing of games or sporting activities.
PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
A building used for an office by a duly licensed architect, medical doctor, dentist, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, lawyer, insurance agent, real estate broker, stockbroker, ophthalmologist, optometrist, optician, engineer or surveyor, with a limitation of no more than nine personnel, including the proprietor(s) and with a maximum square footage of 1,600 square feet. Any such use involving more personnel or more square footage shall be considered to be a commercial use and shall not be considered to be a professional office, nor permitted in a residential zone. The square footage requirement referred to herein for a new building shall include the total of all floor areas except for any floor area where the floor to ceiling height requirement is less than six feet. The square footage referred to herein for an existing building shall be the area which is actually being used for a professional office.
PROHIBITED USE
A use of a building, structure, lot or land, or part thereof, which is not listed as a permitted, special permit or accessory use.
RACETRACK
A course prepared for racing. This shall include motorized racing or animal racing, but not human racing. This does not include a temporary course which will be completely dismantled immediately after the event is concluded. This does not preclude incidental items for exhibitions such as barriers, fencing and guardrails, which will be immediately dismantled after the conclusion of such exhibition. A temporary course is not a use but may be permitted in connection with an exhibition or festival.
[Added 8-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (RV)
A vehicle that is either self-propelled or towed, is primarily designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or trailer use and does not require a special permit to legally use the highways. Recreational vehicles include motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers and folding camping trailers.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
RESEARCH INSTITUTE OR LABORATORY
A building for experimentation in pure or applied research design, development and production of prototype machines or devices or of new products, and uses accessory thereto; with respect to the application of this chapter, such research institute or laboratory shall meet the standards of a nonnuisance industry.
RESTAURANT
A public eating place that may or may not have a liquor license. The principal activity shall be the service of food to the public, and a secondary activity may be alcoholic beverage sales to supplement the service of food. Music for or dancing by patrons only (but no other live entertainment) shall be considered as an accessory use to a restaurant. A patron is someone who comes to such establishment for his/her personal use and enjoyment only, and does not receive any form of remuneration or payment for being there.
RETAIL SHOPPING CENTER
A group of two or more commercial establishments planned, constructed and managed as a total entity with customer and employee parking on site, and with provisions for goods delivery separated from customer access.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
ROADSIDE STAND
A place for the sale of farm or home occupation products actually produced on the parcel on which the roadside stand is located. A roadside stand having a horizontal display area of less than 32 square feet does not require a special permit. It may have one sign with a maximum of six square feet in size. A roadside stand having a horizontal display area of 32 square feet or more requires a special permit and may have one sign not exceeding six square feet in size. A structure shall not qualify as a roadside stand if it is located within any building that is used for any other use.
SEASONAL CAMPGROUND
A property providing four or more sites for the parking of occupied travel trailers, the use of tents or the use of other shelters serving as temporary residences, and all buildings and facilities pertaining thereto. A seasonal campground may not serve as a place for permanent residency, but is a place for vacationers or for recreational purposes.
SELF-STORAGE UNITS
A facility containing a structure or structures containing separate individually leasable or rentable storage spaces varying in sizes which may be rented or made available for use by one or more persons or entities for the storage of materials and equipment of that person or entity.
[Added 5-17-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
SEMINUDE
A state of dress in which clothing covers no more than the specified anatomical areas, notwithstanding portions of the body covered by supporting straps or devices.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
SHOPS FOR CUSTOM WORK AND FOR MAKING ARTICLES TO BE SOLD AT RETAIL ON PREMISES
An establishment that produces custom made products, which due to their nature are sold on the premises only. Facilities producing articles that are wholesaled or marketed in traditional retail outlets shall be deemed industrial/commercial uses.
SIGN
Any kind of signboard, pennant or other device or display used as an advertisement or announcement or used to give directions or otherwise attract attention. Signs may be permanent or temporary.
SIGN, TEMPORARY
A temporary sign is a sign that is displayed for a limited period of time relating to a special event or activity, and is required to be removed promptly upon the completion of such special event or activity. No sign which is displayed for more than three months shall be considered a temporary sign. A sign that is lighted or that is greater than eight square feet in area does not qualify as a temporary sign.
SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED
A single-family residence on an individual lot with private yards on all four sides of the house.
SPECIAL PERMIT USE
A use in one or more districts, for which the Board of Appeals or the Planning Board may grant a permit, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
SPECIFIED ANATOMICAL AREAS
All of the following areas unless completely and opaquely covered: human buttocks, anus, male genitals, female genitals, pubic region, breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola and, unless completely and opaquely covered, male genitals in a turgid state.
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
SPECIFIED SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
Any of the following:
[Added 12-20-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(1) 
The fondling or other erotic touching of human buttocks, anus, male genitals, female genitals, pubic region or breasts;
(2) 
Masturbation, actual or simulated; or
(3) 
Excretory functions.
STREET
Any existing federal, County or municipal highway or any existing street shown on a subdivision plan filed in the County Clerk's office, and which has been approved by the Town of Ghent Planning Board.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between a lot and a street right-of-way.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected on or under the ground or upon another structure or building.
TAVERN
A place where beverages, including alcoholic beverages, are sold to be consumed by the public on the premises. A tavern may also serve food for public consumption on the premises. Music for or dancing by patrons only (but no other live entertainment) shall be considered as an accessory use to a tavern. A patron is someone who comes to such establishment for his/her personal use and enjoyment only, and does not receive any form of remuneration or payment for being there.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The transmission and/or reception of audio, video, data, and other information by wire, radio frequency, light, and other electronic or electromagnetic systems.
[Added 6-17-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004]
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SITE
See definition for "wireless telecommunications facilities."
[Added 6-17-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004]
TELECOMMUNICATIONS STRUCTURE
A structure used in the provision of services described in the definition of "wireless telecommunications facilities."
[Added 6-17-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004[9]]
TEMPORARY BUILDING PERMIT/CONSTRUCTION
The Zoning Enforcement Officer may grant a temporary building permit for a period not to exceed one year for a nonconforming building, structure or use incidental to a building or other construction project, including such uses as the storage of building supplies and machinery, real estate office or model homes located on or near a tract of land where individual properties are being offered for sale. Such temporary permit shall be issued only upon written agreement by the owner or his agent to remove such building, structure or use or to convert it to a conforming use upon the expiration of the permit. Such permit shall also be subject to site plan review by the Planning Board.
TEMPORARY BUILDING PERMIT/MOBILE HOMES FOR FARMING PURPOSES
The Zoning Enforcement Officer may grant a temporary building permit for mobile homes utilized for farming purposes to the owner of a farm in order to set up not more than two mobile homes on his or her property to be occupied only by full-time farm workers employed by the owner and their families, provided that such mobile homes are in compliance with the provisions of § 190-7 of this chapter, except for the provisions providing for minimum distances between mobile homes, which shall not apply. Such a temporary permit shall be valid until January of the next year at which time the owner of the farm shall renew same. Such a permit is not transferable and becomes void if the ownership of the farm changes or if the occupancy of the mobile home ceases. In either of such events, the mobile home shall be removed from the premises within 90 days therefrom.
TOWNHOUSE
The townhouse is a single-family attached dwelling unit, with one dwelling unit from the ground to roof, having individual outside access.[10]
VARIANCE
A modification of the regulations of this chapter, granted on grounds specified in Article X.
VEHICLE REPAIR SHOP
Premises or building, or portion thereof, arranged, intended, or designed to be used for making repair to vehicles, including repair and paint shop, used for adjustment, painting, replacement of parts or other repair of vehicles, or parts thereof, whether or not accessory or incidental to another use. No sales are permitted.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
An educational institution whose primary purpose is the teaching of a trade, profession or occupation.
WALL
A structure of wood, stone or other materials or combination thereof intended for defense, security, screening, or enclosure, or for the retention of earth, stone, fill or other materials as in the case of retaining walls or bulkheads.
WAREHOUSE
A building or part of a building including existing structures, such as barns, for storing of goods, wares, and merchandise. A public warehouse is used primarily for the storage of goods and materials and is available to the general public for a fee. Private warehouse is a building used for the storage of goods and materials for a particular commercial establishment.
[Added 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
WILDLIFE REHABILITATION
A person or entity certified under the applicable rules and regulations of the State of New York to care for and treat animals for purposes of rehabilitating them toward the goal that such animals may ultimately be returned to their natural environment.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES
Includes a "telecommunications tower" and "tower" and "telecommunications site" and "personal wireless facility." A structure, facility or location designed, or intended to be used as, or used to support, antennas or other transmitting or receiving devices. This includes, without limit, towers of all types and kinds and structures that employ stealth technology, including, but not limited to, structures such as a multistory building, church steeple, silo, water tower, sign or other structure that can be used to mitigate the visual impact of an antenna or the functional equivalent of such, including all related facilities and equipment such as cabling, equipment shelters and other structures associated with the site. It is a structure and facility intended for transmitting and/or receiving radio, television, cellular, paging, 911, personal telecommunications services, commercial satellite services, microwave services and services not licensed by the FCC, but not expressly exempt from the Town’s siting, building and permitting authority, excluding those used exclusively for the Town’s fire, police or exclusively for private, noncommercial radio and television reception and private citizen’s bands, amateur radio and other similar noncommercial telecommunications.
[Added 6-17-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004]
YARD, FRONT
A space on the same lot with a building, situated between the nearest roofed portion of the main building or buildings and the rear lot line of the lot, and extending from side lot line to side lot line.
YARD, REAR
A space on the same lot with a building, situated between the nearest roofed portion of the main building or buildings and the rear lot line of the lot, and extending from side lot line to side lot line.
YARD, SIDE
A space on the same lot with a building, situated between the nearest roofed portion of the main building or buildings and the side lot line of the lot, and extending through from the front yard or from the front lot line where no front yard exists, to the rear yard or to the rear lot line where no rear yard exists.
ZONING ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The person appointed to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall have all the powers of the Building Inspector as set forth herein.
[1]
Editor's Note: The former definition of “assembly facility,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
[2]
Editor's Note: The former definition of “automobile repair shop-mechanical,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 99, Flood Damage Prevention.
[4]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "garage, repair," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
[5]
Editor's Note: The former definition of “motel,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
[6]
Editor's Note: The former definition of “nonnuisance industry,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
[7]
Editor's Note: Appendix C is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[8]
Editor's Note: The former definitions of “Planned Commercial Industrial District (PCID)” and “planned commercial industrial park,” which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 4-7-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016.
[9]
Editor’s Note: This definition also replaced the former definition of “telecommunication tower,” added 5-20-1999 by L.L. No. 4-1999.
[10]
Editor's Note: The former definition of “travel trailer,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-18-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.
A. 
General. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be specific. Those uses and procedures for which there are no specific provisions in this chapter shall be deemed to be prohibited.
B. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Except as hereinafter provided, no building or structure or part thereof and no lot or land or part thereof shall hereafter be used except for a purpose specifically permitted by the provisions of the Table of Use Regulations for the district in which such building or structure, lot or land is located on the Zoning Map. The Table of Use Regulations is set forth in Appendix A, Appendix C and Appendix E.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: These tables are included as attachments to this chapter.
(2) 
Any lawful use that does not conform to the use regulations of this chapter shall be deemed a nonconforming use.
(3) 
A special permit use authorized by the Board of Appeals or the Planning Board shall be deemed a conforming use.
(4) 
A use authorized by a variance from the use regulations of this chapter, granted by the Board of Appeals, shall be deemed a nonconforming use.
C. 
Dimensional regulations.
(1) 
Except as hereinafter provided, no building or structure or part thereof shall hereafter be erected, structurally altered, enlarged, rebuilt or moved except in conformity with the provisions of the Table of Dimensional Regulations for the district in which such building or structure is located on the Zoning Map.
(2) 
Any lawful existing building or structure that does not conform to such dimensional regulations of this chapter shall be deemed a nonconforming building or structure, irrespective of the use of which it is part.
(3) 
A lot authorized as a variance from the dimensional regulations shall be deemed a conforming lot.
(4) 
Exception to density requirements.
[Added 5-17-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
(a) 
Notwithstanding anything set forth in Appendix B[2] regarding density requirements, any person or entity who owned an improved lot with a dwelling thereon in an RRA-1 Zone as of May 18, 2006, and which lot is at least two acres, but less than six acres, shall be entitled to subdivide said property so as to create one additional lot of at least one acre, and which minor subdivision shall be exempt from the minimum density requirements for the RRA-1 Zone. However, this exception to the density requirements shall not apply where such subdivision would not otherwise qualify as a minor subdivision, and each subdivided lot must also meet all other dimensional requirements as set forth in Appendix B.
[2]
Editor’s Note: Appendix B is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(b) 
Notwithstanding anything set forth in Appendix B regarding density requirements, any person or entity who owned an improved lot with a dwelling thereon in an RRA-2 Zone as of May 18, 2006, and which lot is at least four acres, but less than 10 acres, shall be entitled to subdivide said property so as to create one additional lot of at least two acres, and which minor subdivision shall be exempt from the minimum density requirements for the RRA-2 Zone. However, this exception to the density requirements shall not apply where such subdivision does not meet all other dimensional requirements as set forth in Appendix B.
(c) 
This exception is personal to any person or entity who was an owner of record of the subject lot as of May 18, 2006, and does not inure for the benefit of any subsequent owner, assignee or mortgagee.