Municipality of Kingston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall be used in the interpretation and construction of this chapter. Words used in the present tense include the future, the singular number shall include the plural, and the plural the singular; the word "building" shall include the word "structure;" the word "used" shall include arranged, designed, constructed, altered, converted, rented, leased, or intended to be used; the word "shall" is mandatory and not optional; the word "abut" shall include the words "directly across from."
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE
A use or structure subordinate to the principal use of a building on the same lot and serving a purpose customarily incidental to the use of the principal building, including but not limited to garages, carports, storage sheds, animal shelters and runs.
AGENT OF OWNER
Any person who can show written proof that he has authority to act for the property owner.
ALLEY
A public thoroughfare which affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property.
AUTOMOBILE OR TRAILER SALES AREA
An open area, other than a street, used for the display, sale or rental of new or used motor vehicles or trailers in operable condition and where no repair work is done.
AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATION OR FILLING STATION
A building or place of business where gasoline, oil and greases, batteries, tires and automobile accessories are supplied and dispensed directly to the motor vehicles trade at retail, and where the following services may be rendered:
A. 
MINOR REPAIR:
(1) 
Sale and servicing of spark plugs and batteries.
(2) 
Tire repair and servicing, no recapping.
(3) 
Replacement of mufflers and tailpipes, water hose, fan belts, brake and transmission fluids, light bulbs, floor mats, seat covers (where this shall not be the principal use), windshield wipers, grease retainers and wheel bearings.
(4) 
Radiator cleaning and flushing.
(5) 
Washing and polishing, not including mechanical and/or automatic car wash establishments.
(6) 
Installation of fuel pumps and fuel lines.
(7) 
Minor servicing and replacement of carburetors.
(8) 
Adjustment and installation of brakes.
(9) 
Tuning engines, except for grinding valves, cleaning carbon or removing the head of engines and/or crankcases.
(10) 
Any similar minor service or repair not listed below under "major repair."
B. 
In addition to those repairs and services listed above as "minor repair," any general repair, rebuilding or reconditioning not listed above; collision service, including body, frame or fender straightening or repair; painting or paint shops; mechanical car wash establishments; but not including any operations which require the heating or burning of rubber.
BAKERY
Bakeries which are first permitted in the M-1 District only, includes such baking establishments which manufacture quantities of goods for retail elsewhere than on the premises.
BASEMENT
A floor level partly or completely below grade. It shall be considered a story if more than thirty-three and one-third percent (331/3%) of the perimeter walls of a basement are five feet or more above grade.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls, used or intended to be used for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property. When such a structure is divided into separate parts by one or more unpierced walls extending from the ground up, each part is deemed a separate "building," except as regards minimum side yard requirements.
BUILDING GROUP
Any building, such as a store group, which is divided into separate parts by one or more unpierced walls extending from the ground up.
BUILDING HEIGHT
The vertical distance measured from the mean level of the ground surrounding the building to a point midway between the highest and lowest point of the roof, but not including chimneys, spires, towers, elevator penthouses, tanks and similar projections.
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A building in which is conducted the principal use of the building site on which it is situated. In any residential district, any dwelling shall be deemed to be a principal building on the zone lot on which the same is located.
CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT
A residential cluster shall include an area to be developed as a single entity according to a plan containing residential housing units in which the individual lots have a common or public open space as an appurtenance. Such common or public open space shall be assured of continued operation and maintenance, either through the dedication of such area to the municipality, and the municipality's acceptance thereof, or through the creation of a homeowners' association, or through the developer's acceptance of such responsibility, including such legally binding agreements as may be required to achieve such assurances.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
Any vehicle other than a private passenger vehicle, including trucks, trailers and construction equipment.
COURT
Any open, unoccupied area which is bounded by three or more attached building walls.
DEVELOPMENT SECTION
Within any large-scale development, the developer may select a portion of the entire approved large-scale development area to be developed in stages or phases; any such area shall be considered as a "development section."
DISTRICT
A district or a zone shall be any portion of the territory of the municipality within which certain uniform regulations and requirements or various combinations thereof apply under the provisions of this chapter.
DWELLING
Any building or portion thereof designed or used exclusively as the residence or sleeping place of one or more persons, except a mobile home and as otherwise provided herein.
A. 
A detached building designated for or occupied exclusively by one family and containing not more than one dwelling unit.
B. 
A detached or semidetached building where not more than two individual family or dwelling units are entirely separated by vertical walls or horizontal floors, unpierced except for access to the outside or to a common cellar.
C. 
A townhouse shall include a group of not more than eight single-family attached dwellings separated from each other by common walls, where each unit contains a separate and private entrance to the outside.
D. 
A group of rental units, generally under single ownership (but a condominium is not precluded), where there shall not be more than eight dwelling units contained within each structure; such structures containing garden apartment units are generally fewer than four stories in height, although in the municipality they shall not exceed a height of 2.5 stories or 35 feet.
E. 
A structure containing three or more dwelling units, including but not limited to garden apartments, condominiums and townhouses.
DWELLING STRUCTURE
Any structure which shall contain one or more dwelling units, not including a hotel, hospital, nursing home, dormitory, fraternity or sorority house, room house, boarding house or similar structure.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms, including a kitchen or kitchenette, and sanitary facilities in a dwelling structure, designed as a unit for occupancy by not more than one family for living and sleeping purposes.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
The erection, construction, alteration or maintenance, by public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies, of underground or overhead gas, electrical, steam or water transmission or distribution systems, including poles, wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic light signals, hydrants and other similar equipment and accessories in connection therewith, reasonably necessary for the furnishing of adequate service by such public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies or for the public health or safety or general welfare, but not including buildings.
FAMILY
An individual, or two or more persons related by blood or marriage, or a group of not more than three persons, who are not related by blood or marriage, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit. For the purpose of this chapter, a family will also include up to four individuals with intellectual disabilities in need of assistance with basic skills necessary for daily living and receiving twenty-four-hour-per-day supervision in a community home owned by a nonprofit organization which has its purpose to enhance the quality of life and personal growth of client individuals, which clients may or may not be related by blood or marriage, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.
[Amended 10-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-6]
FLOOR AREA
For the purposes of applying the requirements for off-street parking and loading, "floor area," in the case of offices, merchandising or service type of uses, shall mean the gross floor area used or intended to be used by tenants or for service to the public as customers, patrons, clients or patients, including areas occupied by fixtures and equipment used for display or sales of merchandise. It shall not include areas used principally for nonpublic purposes, such as storage, incidental repair, processing or packaging of merchandise, for shop windows, for offices incident to the management or maintenance of stores or buildings, for toilet or rest rooms, for utilities or for dressing rooms, fitting or alteration rooms.
GARAGE, PRIVATE PARKING
A detached accessory building or a portion of a principal building used only for the storage of automobiles by the families resident upon the premises; and provided that such garage shall not be used for storage of more than one commercial vehicle per family, and such vehicle shall not exceed a one-ton rated capacity.
GARAGE, PUBLIC PARKING
A structure or portion thereof, other than a private garage, used for the storage, sale, hire, care, repair or refinishing of automobiles, not including a structure or part thereof used only for storage or display of automobiles for other than transients.
GOVERNING BODY
The Council of the Municipality of Kingston.
HOTEL
A building designed for occupancy as the temporary residence of individuals who are lodged with or without meals and in which no provision is made for cooking in individual rooms or suites.
A. 
A large-scale residential development shall be planned for a site of not less than one acre.
B. 
A large-scale commercial development shall be planned for a site of not less than three acres.
C. 
A large scale manufacturing development shall be planned for a site of not less than 10 acres.
LAUNDERETTE
Any establishment within the Municipality of Kingston where articles of apparel are brought in by the customer to be washed and/or dried and the washing and drying are done by the employees of the establishment and then the articles of apparel are taken away by the customer.
[Added 2-11-1985]
LIMITED-ACCESS HIGHWAY
A highway designed in such a manner so as to provide no direct access to properties abutting its right-of-way and including all highways designated as limited-access highways as adopted by the Planning Commission.
LOT AREA
The computed area contained within the lot lines and the ultimate right-of-way line. The area within the right-of-way shall not be computed as part of the lot area.
LOT, CORNER
A lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection or upon two parts of the same street, such streets or parts of the same street forming an interior angle of less than 135°. The point of intersection of the street lot lines is the corner.
LOT DEPTH
The mean horizontal distance between the front and the rear lot lines.
LOT LINES
The property lines bounding the lot.
A. 
The ultimate right-of-way line of the street or road.
B. 
The lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line.
C. 
Any lot line other than a front or rear lot line. A "side lot line" separating a lot from a street is called a "side street lot line."
D. 
A lot line separating the lot from a street or alley.
LOT WIDTH
The mean width of the lot measured at right angles to its depth; such a line along which this minimum lot frontage shall be measured at a point which shall coincide with the building setback or front yard line.
LOT OR ZONE LOT
A piece or parcel of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a principal building or a group of such buildings and accessory buildings, or utilized for a principal use and uses accessory or incidental to the operation thereof, together with such open spaces as required by this chapter, and having frontage on a public street.
MOTELS, MOTOR COURTS AND MOTOR HOTELS
A series of attached or semiattached dwelling structures where each unit has convenient access to parking space for the use of the unit's occupants. The units, with the exception of the manager's office or caretaker's unit, are designed to provide sleeping accommodations for automobile transients or overnight guests.
MUNICIPALITY
The Municipality of Kingston.
NET LAND AREA
The net land area of any development parcel shall include only the area contained within the property line and the ultimate right-of-way line. The area within the right-of-way (public right-of-way or other thoroughfare) shall not be computed as part of the "net land area."
NONCONFORMING LOT
Any zone lot in single ownership, where the owner of said lot does not own any adjoining property, the subdivision of which could create one or more conforming lots, which does not conform with the minimum area and/or dimensions required in the district where such lot is situated or for any special use, as the case may be.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A sign or structure, the design or size of which does not conform to the regulations of this chapter for the district in which it is located.
NONCONFORMING USE
A building, structure or premises legally existing and/or used at the time of adoption of this chapter, or any amendment thereto, and which does not conform with the use regulations of the district in which it is located. A nonconforming use is not intended to include the nonconformance standards specified in Article VI hereof. A zoning permit will be required for a change of use only when a use is proposed to be changed to a less restrictive use, as set forth in § 181-12 hereof.
NURSING HOME
Any premises with fewer than 15 sleeping rooms where persons are lodged and furnished with meals and nursing care.
PARKING AREA, PRIVATE
An open area for the same uses as a private garage, and regulated as a private garage.
PARKING AREA, PUBLIC
An open area, other than a street or other public way, used for the parking of automobiles and available to the public whether for a fee, free or as an accommodation for clients or customers.
PLANNING COMMISSION
The Planning Commission of the Municipality of Kingston.
PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
The office of a member of a recognized profession. When conducted in a residential district, a "professional office" shall be incidental to the residential occupation, shall be conducted by a member of the residential family entirely within a residential building and shall include only the offices of doctors or physicians, dentists, optometrists, ministers, architects, landscape architects, professional engineers, lawyers, artists, authors, musicians and such other similar professional occupations which may be so designated by the Zoning Hearing Board upon finding by the Board that such occupation is truly professional in character by virtue of the need for similar training and experience as a condition for the practice thereof and that the practice of such occupation shall in no way adversely affect the safe and comfortable enjoyment of property rights in any zone to a greater extent than for the professional activities listed herein. The issuance of a state or local license for regulations of any gainful occupation need not be deemed indicative of professional standing.
PUBLIC USES
Public schools, parks and administrative, cultural and service buildings, but not including public land or buildings devoted primarily or solely to the storage and maintenance of equipment and material.
[Added 7-7-1986]
A. 
Recreation facilities operated as a business and open to the general public for a fee.
B. 
Clubs or recreation facilities operated by a nonprofit organization and open only to bona fide members of such organization.
C. 
Recreation facilities operated as a nonprofit enterprise by the municipality, any other governmental entity or any nonprofit organization and open to the general public.
RESIDENTIAL STREET
A street, between two intersecting streets, upon which an R District abuts or where 50% or more of the abutting street frontage is in predominantly residential use.
ROOMING HOUSE
A building containing a single dwelling unit and rooms for the rooming and/or boarding of at least three persons, but not more than 25 persons by prearrangement for definite period of not less than one week.
SEASONAL DWELLING
Any detached dwelling not designed for year-round use by virtue of the absence of central heating and similar facilities.
SEMIPUBLIC USES
Churches, Sunday schools, parochial schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions of an educational, religious, charitable or philanthropic nature.
[Added 7-7-1986]
SIDE STREET
Any street, the length of which shall be not more than 50% of the length of the largest street line of the municipality's blocks of which it is part.
SIGN
A name, identification, description, display or illustration which is affixed to or painted or represented directly or indirectly upon a building structure or piece of land and which directs attention to an object, product, place, activity, person, institution, organization or business. However, a "sign" shall not include any display of official court, or public office notices, nor any official traffic control device, nor shall it include the flag, emblem or insignia of a nation, state, county, municipality, school or a religious group. A "sign" shall not include a sign located completely within an enclosed building except for illuminated or animated signs within show windows. Each display surface of a "sign" shall be considered to be a "sign."
SIGN, BUSINESS
A sign which directs attention to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity, service or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located or to which it is affixed.
SIGN, FLASHING
Any illuminated sign on which the artificial light is not maintained stationary or constant in intensity and color at all times when such sign is in use. For the purpose of this chapter, any revolving, illuminated sign shall be considered a "flashing sign."
SIGN, GROSS SURFACE AREA OF
The entire area (including both sides) within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of such and in no case passing through or between any adjacent elements of same. However, such perimeter shall not include any structural or framing elements lying outside the limits of such sign and not forming an integral part of the display.
SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS
A use which, because of its unique characteristics, requires individual consideration in each case by the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board, as specified in Article IX, before it may be permitted in the district enumerated in Article IV. In accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board may require certain conditions and safeguards before such a use is permitted.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the next floor above it or, if there is no floor above it, then the space between the floor and the ceiling above it.
A. 
A partial story under gable, hip or gambrel roof, the wall plates of which on at least two opposite exterior walls are not more than four feet above the floor of such story; provided, however, that any partial story shall not be used for residence purposes, other than for a janitor or caretaker or his family.
B. 
The lowest story or the ground story of any building, the floor of which is not more than 12 inches below the average contact ground level at the exterior walls of the building.
STREET
A public or private thoroughfare not less than 30 feet in width, if in existence prior to the passage of this chapter, nor less than 50 feet in width if established subsequent to the passage of this chapter which affords the principal means of access to abutting property, including avenue, place, way, drive, lane, boulevard, highway, road and any other thoroughfare except an alley.
STRUCTURAL CHANGE
Any change in the structural members of a building, such as walls, beams, columns or girders.
ULTIMATE RIGHT-OF-WAY
The full width of the road designated by the governing body to be the minimum required width of any public right-of-way.
VARIANCES
The Zoning Hearing Board is authorized departure to a minor degree from the terms of this chapter in direct regard to hardship peculiar to an individual lot in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
YARD
An open space, as may be required by this chapter, of uniform width or depth on the same lot with a building or a group of buildings, which open space lies between the principal building or group of buildings and the nearest lot line and is unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as herein permitted.
A. 
An open space extending the full width of the lot between the front of the building and the ultimate right-of-way line unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, except as specified elsewhere in this chapter.
B. 
An open space extending the full width of the lot between a building and the rear lot line, unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, except as specified elsewhere in this chapter.
C. 
An open space extending from the front yard to the rear yard between a building and the nearest side lot line, which shall, exclusive of an eighteen-inch eve, not be less than five feet.
ZONING HEARING BOARD
The Zoning Hearing Board of the Municipality of Kingston.
ZONING MAP
The Zoning Map or Maps of the Municipality of Kingston, Pennsylvania, dated 7-11-1977, together with all amendments subsequently adopted.
ZONING OFFICER
The administrative officer, appointed under the provisions of the Administrative Code,[1] or his authorized representative who shall administer and enforce the provisions of the Zoning chapter.
[Amended 7-7-1986]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 3, Administration.