Village of Clayton, NY
Jefferson County
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A. 
Construction of words.
(1) 
Words in this chapter shall be construed in accordance with their common meaning unless their context requires a different interpretation or unless they are otherwise defined in this chapter.
(2) 
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms or words herein shall be interpreted or defined as follows:
(a) 
Words in the present tense shall include the future tense and the future tense shall include the present tense.
(b) 
The singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular.
(c) 
The word "person" includes a corporation, company, partnership or association as well as an individual.
(d) 
The word "lot" includes the word "plot" or "parcel."
(e) 
The words "shall" and "must" are always mandatory.
(f) 
The word "used" or "occupied" as applied to any land or building shall be construed to include the words "intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied."
(g) 
The word "building" includes the word "structure."
B. 
Terms defined. When used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall have the meanings indicated.
ACCESSORY BUILDING/STRUCTURE
A building, the use of which is customarily incidental to that of the principal building or use, which is located on the same lot as that occupied by the principal building or use. Examples include but are not limited to: private boathouse; carport; unattached deck; unattached garage; patio; pump house; small storage building; large storage building; or swimming pool.
ACCESSORY USE
A use customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use and conducted on the same lot therewith.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS
See Article IX, § 132-57.
AGRICULTURAL OPERATION
The raising for compensation of crops, livestock and agricultural or dairy products, fish or game, and the structures and storage incidental thereto. The term includes plant, crop and tree growing and harvesting, animal husbandry, horticulture, forestry, fish for bait or harvest.
ALTER
To change or rearrange any structural part of the existing facilities of a building or structure, or to enlarge the building or structure whether by extending any side or increasing the height thereof, or to move the same from one location or position to another.
ANTENNA
A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency waves. Such waves shall include but not be limited to radio navigation, radio, television, personal communication systems, and microwave communications. The frequencies of these waves generally range from 10 hertz to 300,000 megahertz.
AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATION
A building where gasoline, diesel fuel, oil, lubricants, batteries, tires and/or automotive accessories are supplied and dispensed directly to the consumer or where repair, service, or washing is rendered.
BED-AND-BREAKFAST
An owner-occupied one-family dwelling used for providing overnight accommodations and a morning meal to not more than 10 transient lodgers containing not more than five rental bedrooms for such lodgers.
BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN TRAIL FACILITIES
An improved path or trail that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic by an open space or barrier and either within the street right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way which is intended for pedestrian use or use by bicycle or other nonmotorized means of transportation.
[Added 6-10-2019 by L.L. No. 2-2019]
BOATHOUSE, PRIVATE
A building, accessory to a dwelling, containing not more than three slips used exclusively for the noncommercial docking or storage of motorboats, sailboats or other similar vessels.
BUFFER
A designated area used to screen adjoining properties.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or by walls which is used or intended for use for the shelter, housing, protection or enclosure of persons, animals or tangible property. The term, unless differentiated, includes both principal and accessory buildings.
BUILDING LINE
The line parallel to a lot line; touching that part of the building closest to the lot line.
BUILDING PERMIT
A permit issued by the designated Town/Village of Clayton Code Officer pursuant to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.[1]
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A structure in which is conducted the main, dominant or principal use of the lot on which such structure is located.
CARPORT
A roofed structure without enclosing walls used for the storage of one or more automobiles. Considered an accessory building.
CHILD DAY CARE
A facility duly licensed or approved by the applicable New York State regulations for the daytime accommodation of small children where the care is provided in a family home.
CIVIC EVENT
Includes any type of race, parade, art show, competition, entertainment or community activity to which the general public is invited, either expressly or by implication that is conducted by a not-for-profit agency or as a fund-raiser.
COMMERCIAL STORAGE FACILITY
A building or group of buildings that provides storage space available for lease or rent for varying periods of time. It may contain separate, individual, and private spaces or consist of an open area where larger items are stored. Includes the term self-storage facility.
COMMUNITY FACILITY
A building or use that is operated by a not-for-profit, service organization or governmental unit for the general well-being, health, safety, welfare and enjoyment of the public. Examples of such facilities include: emergency services, libraries, hospitals, educational institutions, religious use, and municipally owned buildings.
CONTIGUOUS
Two lots that share a lot line are considered to be contiguous.
CONVENIENCE STORE
A retail store that sells gasoline products and carries a limited selection of basic items, packaged foods, drugstore items and may provide food services.
CONVERSION
The changing of use or occupancy of a building, structure or land.
COTTAGE
A small residence, with or without heating, used seasonally.
COTTAGE COLONY
Two or more cottages used for commercial rentals.
DAY-CARE CENTER
A facility licensed or registered under Section 390 of the NYS Social Services Law for the caring of children for more than three hours per day per child in which child day care is provided outside of a family home.
DECK
Any outside, uncovered, aboveground, platform six inches or higher used as a floor. Considered an accessory building.
DRIVEWAY
A means of ingress or egress to a lot or property.
DWELLING
A building designed or used primarily as living quarters for one or more families. The term shall not be deemed to include tents, travel trailers, recreational vehicles or other places of temporary abode.
DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY
A building containing three or more dwelling units that may include common entrances or where dwelling units are located one over another. Other common terms used are garden apartments, apartment building, mid-rise or high-rise dwelling.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY
A detached building, designed for or occupied exclusively by one family and containing not more than one dwelling unit having a minimum of 720 square feet of floor area at ground level exclusive of garages, porches and other similar accessory attachments. A modular home is considered a single-family dwelling.
DWELLING, TOWNHOUSE
Dwelling units in a row of at least three such units in which each unit has its own front and rear access to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separate from any other unit by one or more vertical common fire-resistant walls.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A building designed for two individual families living independently of each other.
DWELLING UNIT
Any building or portion thereof providing complete living facilities for one family.
DWELLING UNIT ABOVE COMMERCIAL
A dwelling unit located on the second or higher floor in a structure where the street level contains a permitted commercial use.
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION
Any school licensed by the State of New York that provides organized courses of study by or under the guidance of a teacher. Considered a community facility under this chapter.
ERECT
To construct, build, re-erect, reconstruct, rebuild or excavate for a building or structure.
FAMILY
One or more persons living together as a single housekeeping unit.
FENCE, WALL, HEDGE
A freestanding, vertical barrier, typically consisting of wood, metal, or plastic used for confinement, enclosure, partition, privacy, protection, or screening. The components of the fence shall be contained within the lot where the fence is located. A contiguous row of shrubs or evergreen trees serving the purpose of a fence shall be considered a fence.
FOUNDATION
A wall or pier having a fixed location on the ground and capable of serving as a support for a structure or structural part of a building, such as a wall, pier or column.
GARAGE, PRIVATE
A detached accessory building or portion of a principal building used exclusively for the noncommercial parking or storage of motor vehicles, boats, trailers, or household goods.
HEDGE
A row of closely planted shrubs or low-growing trees forming a fence or boundary.
HEIGHT
In all zoning districts except RW-A and RW-B, the vertical distance to the highest point of the ridgeline measured from the average level of the finished ground surface at the exterior walls of the building. Chimneys, elevator penthouses, ventilators and similar projection shall not be included in the measurement providing that such projection does not occupy more than 10% of the roof area nor exceed 10 feet in height above the highest point of the ridgeline. In RW-A and RW-B the vertical distance is measured from the street level.
HIGH WATER MARK
That point on the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River or its tributary waterways reached by the highest historically recorded water level of said river, established by chart, datum of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and determined by the sloping surface of said River with Lake Ontario at a level of 248.58 (24C.28 + E.30) feet above mean sea level at Father Point, Quebec (International Great Lakes Datum, 1985).
HISTORIC RESOURCE
Any historic building, structure, facility, site or district, or prehistoric site that is listed on the State and/or National Registers of Historic Places. Any historic building, structure, facility, site or district, or prehistoric site that has been proposed by the New York Board on Historic Preservation for a recommendation to the State Historic Preservation Officer for nomination for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Any locally significant historic resource designated pursuant to Article 5-K of the New York State General Municipal Law.
HOME OCCUPATION
An accessory use that is conducted entirely within a single or two-family dwelling or an accessory building by the residents of the dwelling.
HOTEL/MOTEL
A building or group of buildings, whether in detached or connected units, with or without direct outside access, used primarily to provide sleeping accommodations, with or without restaurant facilities, for the transient public and including accessory off-street parking facilities and/or docking.
JUNKYARD/SALVAGE YARD
A lot, land or structure, or portion thereof used primarily for the collecting, storage and sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or other scrap or discarded material; or for the collecting, dismantling, storage and salvaging of machinery, implements or vehicles not in running condition; and for the sale of parts thereof. Not to include an establishment devoted solely to receiving redeemable cans and bottles or one for recycling electronic equipment.
KENNEL
Any commercial establishment, including cages, animal runs and structures, where animals are bred and/or boarded.
LEAD AGENCY
The governmental agency that oversees the environmental impact process and makes final decisions.
LIBRARY
A room or building where a collection of books, periodicals, tapes, audio or visual discs, or other similar devices containing reading materials are kept for reading or reference. Considered a community facility under this chapter.
LOT
A parcel of land used or occupied or capable of being used or occupied by one or more building or structures and the accessory buildings, structures or uses customarily incidental to it, including such yards and open spaces as required by this chapter.
LOT AREA
The total area contained within the property lines of an individual parcel of land.
LOT, CORNER
A parcel of land that adjoins multiple streets.
LOT, ILLEGAL
A lot that did not meet the minimum dimensional requirements of the Village of Clayton Zoning Law in effect at the time of recording.
LOT LINE
Any boundary of a lot, dividing one lot from another, or from the street or roadway, or from the St. Lawrence River or other waterway.
LOT LINE, FRONT
The lot line adjoining any street line or road right-of-way line or waterfront lot line at the high water mark. Where a lot adjoins two or more streets or roadways, it shall be deemed to have a front lot line respectively on each. Where a lot has both water frontage and road frontage, the waterfront lot line shall always be considered the front lot line and the street line shall be considered the rear lot line.
LOT LINE, REAR
The lot line opposite to and most distant from the front lot line.
LOT LINE, SIDE
Any lot line other than the front or rear lot lines shall be deemed a sideline.
LOT LINE, WATERFRONT
That line along the shoreline of waterfront property determined by the official high water mark as established by International Great Lakes Datum.
LOT OF RECORD
Any lot which has been recorded in the County Clerk's Office.
LOT OF RECORD, NONCONFORMING
A lot of record that was recorded in the County Clerk's Office prior to the adoption of the Village of Clayton Zoning Law or prior to any adopted amendments and met the minimum dimensional requirements of the Zoning Law in effect at the time of recording.
LOT WIDTH
The distance between the boundaries of a lot measured at their points of intersection with the street or road right-of-way line and/or at their points of intersection with the property line along the waterfront.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A dwelling manufactured off site, consisting of one or more sectional units and constructed to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 5401 et seq., which went into effect on July 15, 1976.
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK
Any lot on which two or more manufactured homes are located regardless of whether or not a charge is made for such lot accommodations.
MANUFACTURING OPERATION, SMALL
A use engaged in the processing, fabricating, manufacturing, compounding, packaging, treatment, assembly or disassembly of materials and products from processed or previously manufactured materials. This use does not include the processing of raw materials. Some examples include apparel, food, decorations, artificial plants, jewelry, instruments, computers, and electronic devices. Such uses may include but not be limited to: machine shop; welding shop; tent manufacturing; cabinet makers; furniture making.
MARINA
Any lot, building, structure, pier, dock or portion thereof located on the waterfront providing commercial facilities for the sale, rental, docking, secure mooring and/or storage of yachts, cruisers, motorboats, sailboats and other vessels, as well as supplies, service, fueling, repair and other related facilities and/or operations necessary to maintain such craft.
MEDICAL/THERAPY FACILITY
Any building or group of buildings used, or intended to be used, for the health care or therapy of individuals.
MINING OPERATION
A plot of land or any portion thereof used for the purpose of extracting quantities of stone, sand, gravel, clay or topsoil, as defined under New York State Environmental Conservation Law, exclusive of the process of preparing a lot prior to the construction of a building or structure thereon or of grading the site following completion of construction.
MOBILE HOME
A dwelling manufactured off site in one section, designed for permanent occupancy, and built prior to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 5401 et seq., which went into effect on July 15, 1976.
MODULAR HOME
A dwelling unit manufactured off site in accordance with the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.[2]
MOTOR VEHICLE, INOPERATIVE
Any motor vehicle or used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk one or more such vehicles, which is:
(1) 
Unlicensed or unregistered for a period of three consecutive months or longer; or
(2) 
Abandoned, wrecked, stored, discarded, dismantled, or partly dismantled; or
(3) 
Not in condition for legal use upon the public highways.
MUNICIPAL PARK
A plot of land set aside for public use owned and maintained by a municipality.
MUSEUM
A building, place, or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition, and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical, or artistic value.
NONCONFORMING BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
A building or structure, the size, dimension or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption or amendment of this chapter but which fails to conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption or amendment.
NONCONFORMING USE
A use of land or building which was lawful prior to the adoption or amendment of this chapter which does not conform to the regulations of the district or districts in which it is located by reasons of such adoption or amendment.
NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
A group of people formally chartered and organized for a common interest. May also be termed a nonprofit organization.
NURSING OR CONVALESCENT HOME
A building other than a hospital where persons, except for the mentally ill, mentally handicapped and/or drug or alcohol abuse patients, are lodged, furnished with meals and nursing or custodial care for payment or compensation.
PARCEL
That portion of land falling under a single deed of ownership. If a parcel is dissected by a roadway, stream or other man-made or natural feature(s), it is still deemed to be one parcel.
PARKING SPACE
An off-street space available for parking of one motor vehicle. It shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide by 20 feet long exclusive of passageways and having direct access to a street or highway.
PATIO
An uncovered area adjacent to a house for outdoor lounging, dining or entertainment. An accessory structure.
PROFESSIONAL OR BUSINESS OFFICE
The business place of an accountant, architect, attorney, engineer, social worker, or surveyor or any other similar profession or business.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any person, firm, corporation or governmental agency, duly authorized to furnish to the public, under governmental regulation, electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, steam or communication service. This definition shall not bestow any special status or standing not already provided by state or federal law.
PUBLIC UTILITY FACILITY
Any building or structure designed and/or used to service a public utility.
RECREATIONAL FACILITY
A publicly, quasi-publicly or privately owned and operated swimming pool, defined space, tennis court, athletic field, playground or other similar facility, operated for the general public or members of a private organization such as a country club.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicular camping unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use that either has its own mode of power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. Recreational vehicles include, but are not limited to, camping trailers, fifth wheel trailers, motor homes, park trailers, travel trailers, and truck campers.
REDEMPTION CENTER
A facility used for the collection of bottles and cans returned for redeemable deposits.
RELIGIOUS USE
A structure primarily used for worship by a recognized religion. Considered a community facility under this chapter.
RESTAURANT/BAR
A building or portion thereof where food and/or beverages, whether or not alcoholic, are sold to the public.
RETAIL/SERVICE, LARGE
A use where the intent is to sell goods or services to clientele from a wide area. Such uses may include, but are not limited to: department stores; appliance stores; furniture stores; hardware stores; new and used motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, boats, or manufactured homes; large farm implements, lumber and building supplies; landscape nurseries; wholesale business; auctioneers, where auctions take place on site; and similar-type uses.
RETAIL/SERVICE, SMALL
A use engaged in selling goods or services to residents of the immediate area in a building not exceeding 5,000 square feet. A small retail/service use in a building exceeding 5,000 square feet shall be classified as a large retail/service. Such uses may include, but are not limited to: grocery stores, small implement dealers, barber shops, beauty parlors, shoe repair, photography studio, laundromat, drugstores, dry cleaning, mortuaries, and similar-type uses.
RIDGELINE
The intersection of two roof surfaces forming the highest horizontal line of the roof.
RIGHT-OF-WAY/EASEMENT
An area of land dedicated to infrastructure, including but not limited to streets, sewer lines, waterlines, electric lines and gas lines.
SCENIC RESOURCE
Any road, highway, lane, district, or corridor designated pursuant to Article 49 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. Any area designated a scenic area of statewide significance pursuant to New York State's Coastal Management Program (19 NYCRR 60B.5). The Seaway Trail, Zenda Farms, and French Creek Wetlands are some examples of scenic resources.
SETBACK
The horizontal distance from the curb, if no curb is present the edge of the pavement, or the waterfront lot line to that portion of a building, structure, or use or any appurtenance thereto, exclusive of steps, handicap-accessible ramps, and a maximum of four-foot-by-six-foot landing areas, that is nearest to such lot line.
SETBACK, FRONT
The horizontal distance from the curb, or if no curb is present the edge of the pavement or waterfront lot line, to that portion of a building, structure, or use or any appurtenance thereto, exclusive of steps, handicap-accessible ramps, and a maximum of four-foot-by-six-foot landing areas, that is nearest to the curb, edge of pavement, or waterfront lot line.
SETBACK, SIDE
The horizontal distance from the side lot line to that portion of a building, structure, or use or any appurtenance thereto, exclusive of steps, handicap-accessible ramps, and a maximum of four-foot-by-six-foot landing areas, that is nearest to such lot line.
SETBACK, REAR
The horizontal distance from the rear lot line to that portion of a building, structure, or use or any appurtenance thereto, exclusive of steps, handicap-accessible ramps, and a maximum of four-foot-by-six-foot landing areas, that is nearest to such lot line.
SHOPPING CENTER
A group of stores, shops and similar commercial establishments occupying adjoining structures or adjoining portions of a single architectural unit that is planned, developed, owned and managed as an operating unit, together with its related loading areas, parking spaces, walkways and access roadways.
SIGN
Any display of letters, words, numerals, figures, devices, emblems, pictures, or any parts or combinations thereof, by any means whereby the same are made visible for the purpose of making anything known.
SIGN, DIGITAL
A sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures, or images that can be electronically or mechanically changed by remote or automatic means, including animated graphics and video.
SIGN, OFF-PREMISES
A sign which directs attention to a business, product, commodity, service, entertainment, or attraction sold, produced, offered or existing elsewhere than upon the lot where the sign is located.
SMALL-TOWN ATMOSPHERE
The ability of a group of people, in a defined area, with varied backgrounds and social status, to coexist in harmony and with respect for their neighbor's beliefs and desires. This would include the respect for neighboring property and the owner's stewardship of it.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
Any solar collector or other solar energy device whose primary purpose is to provide for the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy directly into electricity for on-site use. An accessory structure.
STORAGE BUILDING, LARGE
An accessory structure of more than 140 square feet in area that is used to house residential tools, implements and other material for yard and garden use.
STORAGE BUILDING, SMALL
An accessory structure of 140 square feet or less in area that is used to house residential tools, implements and other material for yard and garden use.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between the street or road right-of-way and the lot. The street line shall be the same as the legal right-of-way.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed, erected or moved onto a site, the use of which requires location on the ground, or attachment to something having location on the ground. The term includes buildings, dwelling units, swimming pools, stadiums, towers, billboards, signs, fences, freestanding antennas and flagpoles, but is not intended to include sidewalks, driveways, curbs.
SWIMMING POOL
Any fabricated receptacle for water, or excavation designed to contain water, having a depth at any point greater than two feet, used or intended to be used for swimming or bathing, and constructed, installed or maintained in or above ground outside any building. An accessory structure.
TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITY
Any commercial equipment used in connection with the provision of wireless communication services, including cellular telephone service, personal communications services, radio and television broadcast communications and private radio communications services that are regulated by federal laws. A telecommunication facility shall include towers and other structures, including supporting masts and wires, on which transmitting and/or receiving antenna(s) are located as well as antenna and accessory facilities such as transmission equipment and storage buildings.
TELECOMMUNICATION TOWER
A structure on which transmitting and/or receiving antenna(s) are located.
THEATER (INDOOR)
A place where plays, operas, motion pictures or the like are presented.
TOUR BOAT LINE
A business operating a properly licensed vessel to carry paying passengers for pleasure trips.
TRUCKING TERMINAL
Any lot, building, structure or portion thereof where two or more tractor trailers or similar large trucks are parked or located for any period of time as a base of operation, regardless of whether said vehicles are serviced or maintained at the site, and regardless of whether loading, transferring or other shipping activities are carried on at the site.
USE
The specific purpose for which any land, building or structure is utilized, designed, arranged, intended or occupied.
USE, ACCESSORY
A use customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use and conducted on the same lot therewith.
USE, PERMITTED
Any use permitted under the provisions of this chapter for the district in which the land, building or structure is located.
USE, PRINCIPAL
The main, dominant or principal purpose, for which any land, building or structure is used, utilized, employed or occupied.
VARIANCE
Permission granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals to depart from the literal requirements of the zoning law.
VARIANCE, AREA
Relief from the dimensional standards contained in this chapter.
VARIANCE, USE
Permission to utilize property for a use or activity not allowed by this chapter.
WALL/FENCE
A construction of wood, stone, shrubbery, or other materials or combination thereof intended for security, screening, partitioning or enclosure, or for the retention of earth, stone, fill or other materials as in the case of retaining walls or bulkheads.
WATER-DEPENDENT USE
A business or other activity which can only be conducted in, on, over, or adjacent to a water body because such activity requires direct access to that water body, and which involves, as an integral part of such activity, the use of the water.
WATER-ENHANCED USE
A use or activity which does not require a location adjacent to coastal waters, but whose location on the waterfront adds to the public use and enjoyment of the water's edge, water-enhanced uses are primarily recreational, cultural, retail, or entertainment uses.
YACHT CLUB
An organization for the purpose of encouraging and directing the sport of sailing.
YARD
An unoccupied space, open to the sky, on the same lot with a building or structure.
YARD, FRONT
A space extending the full width of the lot between any building and the front lot line and measured perpendicular to the principal building at the closest point to the front lot line. For the purpose of this chapter the front yard of a waterfront lot shall be the yard between the building line and waterfront lot line.
YARD, REAR
A space extending the full width of the lot between any building and the rear lot line and measured perpendicular to the building at the closest point to the rear lot line. For the purpose of this chapter the rear yard of a waterfront lot shall be the yard between the building line and the street line.
YARD, SIDE
A space extending from the front yard to the rear yard between the principal building and the side lot line and measured perpendicular from the side lot line to the closest point to the principal building.
Examples of waterfront property yards
ZONING PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to the regulations of this chapter to allow a specified use or the construction and/or placement of a building, structure or other facility.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 70, Fire Prevention and Building Construction.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 70, Fire Prevention and Building Construction.
C. 
Interpretation. Whenever a word or term is defined to "include" certain matter, such inclusion is intended to be by way of specification and not of limitation.