This chapter shall be known as the "Zoning Ordinance for Sussex County, Delaware."
This chapter shall apply to the unincorporated territory of Sussex County and to incorporated municipalities without zoning provisions which have or may petition the Sussex County Council for inclusion under the Zoning Ordinance and which have complied with the stipulations prescribed by the County Council for inclusion thereunder.
The zoning regulations and districts as herein established are designated and adopted in accordance with a Comprehensive Plan to promote, in accordance with the present and future needs, the health, safety, morals, convenience, order, prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of Sussex County, Delaware, including, among other things, the lessening of congestion in the streets or roads or reducing the waste of excessive amounts of roads; securing safety from fire, flood and other dangers; providing adequate light and air; preventing on the one hand excessive concentration of population and on the other hand excessive and wasteful scattering of population or settlement; promoting such distribution of population and such classification of land uses and distribution of land development and utilization as will tend to facilitate and provide adequate provisions for public requirements, transportation, water flowage, water supply, water- and air-pollution abatement, drainage, sanitation, education opportunities, recreation, soil fertility, food supply and protection of the tax base; securing economy and governing expenses; fostering the state's agricultural and other industries and protecting both urban and nonurban development. The regulations are made with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of the particular district involved, its particular suitability for particular uses, the conservation of property values and natural resources and the general and appropriate trend and character of land, building and population development.
General rules of construction. The following general rules of construction shall apply to the regulations of this chapter:
The singular number includes the plural, and the plural, the singular, unless the context clearly indicates the contrary.
Words used in the present tense include the past and future tenses, and the future, the present.
The word "shall" is always mandatory. The word "may" is permissive.
The word "building" or "structure" includes any part thereof, and the word "building" includes the word "structure."
Words and terms not defined herein shall be interpreted in accord with their normal dictionary meanings and customary usage.
General definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are hereby defined as follows:
- ACCESSORY BUILDING
- A detached/unattached subordinate building, the use of which
is incidental to or customarily found in connection with and, except
as otherwise provided in this chapter, is located on the same lot
as the main building or principal use of the land. Examples of an
accessory building may include a shed, a storage building, garage,
gazebo or similar structure.[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
- ACCESSORY USE
- One which is clearly incidental to or customarily found in connection with and, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, is located on the same lot as the principal use of the premises. When the term "accessory" is used in this chapter, it shall have the same meaning as "accessory use."
- A measurement of land area equivalent to approximately 43,560
square feet.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- Physically touching or bordering upon; sharing a common boundary,
but not overlapping.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- AGGREGATE AREA or WIDTH
- The sum of two or more designated areas or widths to be measured, limited or determined under the provisions of this chapter.
- AGRICULTURAL RELATED INDUSTRY
- Business establishments that rely on farm or forest products
for a substantial portion of their material inputs and that obtain
at least 51 percent of their inputs either directly from the local
farm or forest/logging industry or indirectly through local early
stage processors or wholesalers. For the purpose of this definition,
"local" is interpreted to mean the Delmarva Peninsula.[Added 1-27-2004 by Ord. No. 1658]
- ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE SALES
- The retail sale of beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages
for on- or off-premises consumption in compliance with the Office
of the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner (OABCC).[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A narrow public or private thoroughfare, not exceeding 16 feet in width, which provides only a secondary means of vehicular access to abutting properties and which is not intended for general traffic circulation.
- ANIMAL HOSPITAL
- A place where animals are given medical care and the boarding
of animals is limited to short-term care incidental to the hospital
use.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A dwelling unit held in common ownership with other units
in a building, and subject to a leasehold arrangement between the
owner of the building and a tenant.[Added 5-2-2000 by Ord. No. 1371]
- APARTMENT BUILDING
- A building in which two or more apartments are located.[Added 5-2-2000 by Ord. No. 1371]
- Any individual submitting a plan for development under the
provisions of this chapter.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- The cultivation, production or marketing of any fish, aquatic
invertebrate or aquatic plant that is spawned, produced or marketed
as a cultivated crop in waters of the State of Delaware.[Added 11-26-1991 by Ord. No. 806]
- AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC (ADT)
- The total volume of traffic during a given time period in
whole days greater than one day and less than one year, divided by
the number of days in that time period.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- That portion of a building between the floor and ceiling which is wholly or partly below grade and having more than 1/2 of its height below grade.
- A lodging place with no more than six guest rooms, or suites
of rooms, available for temporary occupancy, whose owner resides at
the facility, and where meals are available only to guests at the
facility.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- BIOTECH INDUSTRY
- The research, development and manufacture of products by
using biotechnology primarily for agricultural application. For the
purposes of this chapter, "biotechnology" is defined as the scientific
manipulation of living organisms especially at the molecular genetic
level to produce useful products. Examples of this include, but are
not limited to, herbicide-tolerant soybeans and insect and herbicide-resistant
cotton. Gene splicing and the use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) are major
techniques used. Applications also include the production of certain
drugs, synthetic hormones and bulk foodstuffs as well as the bioconversion
of organic waste and use of genetically altered bacteria in the cleanup
of oil spills.[Added 1-27-2004 by Ord. No. 1659]
- BIOTECH CAMPUS
- An area consisting of at least 20 acres under one ownership and:
- (1) Developed in such a way that there is a common theme of construction in bulk, area, height and the facade of multiple buildings;
- (2) With substantial landscaping throughout the entire site;
- (3) With natural, landscaped buffers using native vegetative species and surrounding the site;
- (4) Within the site, buildings are used predominately by the biotech industry in a multipurposed and interdisciplinary association with college or university level research, or research by an agri-chemical or related agricultural industry or research carried out jointly by an institution of higher education and an agri-chemical or related industry that is engaged in biotech research.[Added 1-27-2004 by Ord. No. 1659]
- The Board of Adjustment of Sussex County.
- Same as "tourist home."[Amended 5-16-1989 by Ord. No. 585]
- BREW/DISTILLING PUB
- An establishment in which beer or liquor is manufactured
on the premises of the licensed establishment, limited to restaurants
owned or leased by the pub applicant; and where alcohol is manufactured
in the establishment, and is sold for on-premises consumption, in
conjunction with the service of complete meals.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- Establishments that are primarily a brewery, which produce
more than 15,000 barrels per year. A regional (small) brewery typically
has an annual beer production of between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels.
A large brewery typically has an annual beer production of more than
6,000,000 barrels.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- BUILDABLE AREA
- The area of that part of the lot not included within the yards or open spaces herein required.
- BUILDABLE WIDTH
- The width of that part of a lot not included within the open spaces herein required.
- Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls for the housing or enclosure of persons or property of any kind.
- BUILDING, HEIGHT OF
- The vertical distance from the grade or the one-hundred-year
flood zone requirement, whichever is required, to the highest point
of any portion of a structure, including, but not limited to, any
ornamental improvements, such as cupola, widow's watches, crow's nest
or similar.[Amended 10-31-1995 by Ord. No. 1062]
- A term used in this chapter to describe the size and shape of a building or structure and its relationship to other buildings, to the lot area for a building and to open spaces and yards.
- BULK GRADING PLAN
- An overall grading plan prepared by a licensed professional
who is permitted to prepare detailed sediment and stormwater plans
specifying the elevation, surface gradients, lot types, swale locations,
driveway pipe sizes and other drainage information required for grading,
as further set forth in the Sussex Conservation District Technical
Drainage and Grading Requirements. A bulk grading plan shall confirm
that all conveyance features must be located in deeded open space
or the subject of a permanent easement and satisfy the following requirements:[Added 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- (1) Conveyance swale design criteria:
- (a) A minimum longitudinal swale slope of 1.0% if contiguous to a dwelling excluding roadside swales. If the slope is greater than 0.5% but less than 1%, then no more than 300 feet of conveyance swale can be routed through an adjacent lot, not to exceed three side-by-side lots, prior to entering a closed drainage system. All other conveyance swale design criteria shall apply.
- (b) Maximum side slopes of 3:1 or flatter.
- (c) Must contain the ten-year design storm within the banks.
- (d) Conveyance must be nonerosive.
- (e) Must show spot elevations at grade breaks in the proposed conveyance swales as applicable.
- (f) Must include flow direction arrows.
- (g) Pipe/inlet size, type, inverts, slope, rim elevations must be labeled on the plan view.
- (h) Must include a summary table listing conveyance swale drainage area, discharge (Q10), velocity and depth of flow.
- (2) Closed drainage system design criteria:
- (a) Must include yard basins where required within the drainage easement or open space to capture and convey lot surface runoff via a closed system to a positive outfall location.
- (b) Must show spot elevations at grade breaks in the proposed conveyance swales as applicable.
- (c) Must include flow direction arrows.
- (d) Pipe/inlet size, type, inverts, slope, rim elevations must be labeled on the plan view.
- (e) Profiles for closed drainage systems receiving residential lot drainage shall only be required on multiruns.
- (f) Must include a summary table listing conveyance swale drainage area, discharge (Q10), velocity and depth of flow.
- BULK REQUIREMENTS
- A term used in this chapter to describe the size and shape
of a building or structure and its relationship to other buildings;
to the lot area for a building and yards. See: 115 Attachment 1.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- BUSINESS DISTRICT
- See "district, commercial."
- A detachable roof-like cover, supported from the ground or deck, floor or walls of a building, for protection from sun or weather.
- CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
- A statement, signed by a duly authorized county officer, setting forth that a building, structure or use legally complies with the Zoning Code and that the same may be used for the purposes stated therein.
- CLINIC, MEDICAL
- A building or portion thereof designed for, constructed or
under construction or alteration for or used by two or more physicians,
surgeons, dentists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists or practitioners
in related specialties or a combination of persons in these professions,
but not including lodging of patients overnight.[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- CLUB INDOOR, PRIVATE
- Buildings and facilities owned or operated by a corporation,
association, person or persons for a social, educational or recreational
purpose but not primarily for profit which insures to any individual
and not primarily to render a service which is customarily looked
on as a business. For outdoor private recreational clubs, see "Recreational
Facility, Private."[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT
- A development concept which encourages and permits variations
in residential developments by allowing deviation in lot size, type
of dwelling, lot coverage and open space from that which is normally
required as further described in the applicable residential districts.[Added 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 1709]
- COLLECTOR STREET
- A street which is intended to collect traffic from the minor
streets within a neighborhood or a portion thereof and to distribute
such traffic to major thoroughfares.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- COMMERCIAL FEED LOT AND STRUCTURE
- A facility for housing or feeding cattle, hogs and sheep or goats on a farm of five acres or more for more than four cattle, eight sheep, eight goats and eight hogs.
- COMMERCIAL POULTRY HOUSE
- A facility for housing and feeding more than 100 poultry.
- COMMUNICATION TOWER
- The antenna(s), antenna support structure, wireless communications
equipment building, parking and/or other structures, building, cabinets
and equipment involved in receiving or transmitting wireless communications
or radio signals.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- COMMUNITY CENTER
- A building used for recreational, social, educational, and
cultural activities, open to the public or a designated part of the
public, usually owned and operated by a public or nonprofit group
or agency.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL
- Conditions, placed on the final approval of an applicant's
plan, that are both consistent with the guidelines for development
review and do not allow for the denial of a plan that is consistent
with the objectives of the guidelines for development review and appropriate
uses and intensities of use set forth in this chapter.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- CONSTRUCTION, STARTING OF
- The combining of labor and material into any portion of the structure on the site thereof.
- CONVENIENCE STORE
- Any retail establishment offering for sale prepackaged food
products, household items, newspapers, and prepared foods, usually
for off-site consumption.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- DETAILED GRADING PLAN
- A plan depicting final grades for land development prepared
by a licensed professional who is permitted to prepare detailed sediment
and stormwater plans, including dwelling perimeter spot elevations
and conveyance features to ensure positive drainage under the minimum
slope requirements. A detailed grading plan shall satisfy the following
requirements;[Added 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- (1) It must demonstrate that sites adjacent to dwellings can be graded with a minimum slope of 5% the first 10 feet from the dwelling or as required by building/residential codes and 1% beyond a point 10 feet from the side and rear swales or a closed pipe or swale positive outfall.
- (2) It must show spot elevations delineating grade breaks at all property and right-of-way lines, including finished grades at all dwelling corners.
- (3) It must show first floor and slab elevations.
- (4) Relief from the foregoing standards may be granted by the Sussex County Engineer for environmental, topographical, archeological or site constraints or low-impact development (i.e., rain gardens, bioswales, etc.).
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate,
including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining,
dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavating or drilling operations
or storage of equipment or materials.[Amended 6-6-1995 by Ord. No. 1032]
- The Planning and Zoning Director of Sussex County.
- A facility that distills alcoholic beverages or spirits and
may include the intake of grains, fruits, sugars or other products,
their fermentation, distilling, aging, and bottling. Products may
include liquors, liqueurs, brandies, etc. Such facilities may include
a tasting room or retail space to sell the products to patrons on
site.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- DISTRIBUTION CENTER
- An establishment that distributes and stores goods, products,
cargo, and materials, including transshipment by boat, rail, air,
or motor vehicle.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- Any section of Sussex County in which the zoning regulations are uniform.
- DISTRICT, COMMERCIAL
- Any district designated in these regulations as a business
or commercial district or special commercial district of this chapter
or containing the word "business" or "commercial" in its title.[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL
- Any district established in this chapter whose designation includes the letter "l" and contains the word "industrial" and/or the letter "M," representing the Marine District.
- DISTRICT, RESIDENTIAL
- Any district designated in this chapter as a residential district under Articles II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XVI and XVII of this chapter.
- A term used to describe an establishment designed or operated to serve a patron while seated in an automobile parked in an off-street parking space.
- Any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied
as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence; and any
vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction
or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.
"Dwelling" shall not include hotels, motels, motor lodges, boarding-
and lodging houses, tourist houses, or similar structures.[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152; 12-2-2014 by Ord. No. 2374]
- (1) A dwelling designed or occupied exclusively by two or more of the following living independently of each other, each with single culinary facilities:
- (a) One family, which may consist of one person or two or more persons related by blood or marriage with any number of natural children, foster children, stepchildren or adopted children.
- (b) Two single parents or guardians with any number of their natural children, foster children, stepchildren or adopted children functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
- (c) A group of not more than four persons not necessarily related by blood or marriage functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
- (d) A group residential facility licensed and approved by the appropriate state agencies serving 10 or fewer persons with disabilities on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis.
- (e) One person or two persons, one of whom shall be elderly and/or disabled, and one or both of whom own the dwelling unit, plus one family, which may consist of one person or two persons related by blood or marriage, and with any number of natural children, foster children, stepchildren or adopted children.
- (f) For the purpose of this Section, "disabled" or "persons with disabilities" includes any person or persons with a handicap or disability as those terms are defined in the Delaware Fair Housing Act, Title 6, Chapter 46 of the Delaware Code, as may be amended.
- (2) "Multifamily dwellings" shall be considered as apartments, garden apartments, condominiums, duplexes or similar structures.
[Amended 3-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1131; 12-2-2014 by Ord. No. 2374]
- DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY CONVERTED
- A structure converted from a single-family dwelling unit
into a multifamily dwelling unit.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- DWELLING, SINGLE FAMILY
- A detached dwelling designed or occupied by not more than
one of the following as a single housekeeping unit with single culinary
facilities:[Amended 3-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1131; 12-2-2014 by Ord. No. 2374]
- (2) Two single parents or guardians with any number of their natural children, foster children, stepchildren or adopted children, functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
- (3) A group of not more than four persons not necessarily related by blood or marriage functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
- (4) A group residential facility licensed and approved by the appropriate state agencies serving 10 or fewer persons with disabilities on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis.
- (5) One person or two persons, one of whom shall be elderly and/or disabled, and one or both of whom own the dwelling unit, plus one family, which may consist of one person or two persons related by blood or marriage, and with any number of natural children, foster children, stepchildren or adopted children.
- (6) For the purpose of this section, "disabled" or "persons with disabilities" includes any person or persons with a handicap or disability as those terms are defined in the Delaware Fair Housing Act, Title 6, Chapter 46, of the Delaware Code, as may be amended.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A room or group of rooms occupied or intended to be occupied as separate living quarters by a single family or other group of persons living together as a household or by a person living alone.
- Authorization by a property owner for another to use the
owner's property for a specified purpose.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION
- Any school, educational institution or training institution,
however designated, which offers a program of college, professional,
preparatory, high school, junior high school, middle school, elementary
school, kindergarten, or nursery school jurisdiction, or any combination
thereof, or any other program of trade, technical or artistic instruction.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- FAMILY DAY-CARE HOME
- A home occupation providing care, protection, supervision
and guidance in private homes for one to six children, excluding care
provided by relatives. Service is provided for part of the twenty-four-hour
day, unattended by parent or guardian, and for compensation. Due to
a change in shifts or because of before- and after-school care, the
number of children in care may exceed the licensed capacity by two
children for a period of time not to exceed two hours in any child
care day. These facilities are required by state law to be licensed
by the State Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their
Families.[Added 7-28-1992 by Ord. No. 847]
- FILLING OR SERVICE STATION
- Any building, structure or land used for the sale, at retail,
of motor vehicle fuels, lubricants or accessories or for the servicing
of automobiles or repairing of automobiles or repairing of minor parts
and accessories.[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- FITNESS CENTER
- A private health, athletic or recreational club facility
that provides fitness services including, but not limited to, gymnasiums
(except public), weight-training facilities, aerobic floors, tennis/racquetball
courts, swimming pools, and similar athletic facilities, with full
service amenities including but not limited to showers, lockers, baths
and saunas.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- (1) For commercial, business and industrial buildings or buildings containing mixed uses, the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a building measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the center line of walls separating two buildings, but not including attic or basement storage space, accessory off-street parking spaces, accessory off-street loading spaces, mechanical utility equipment areas, rest rooms and stairs.
- (2) For residential buildings, the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a dwelling, exclusive of garages, open breezeways and open porches, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls.
- FUEL STATION
- An accessory use for the retail dispensing or sales of vehicular
fuels consisting of fuel pumps.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- FUNERAL HOME
- A building or part thereof used for human funeral services,
including chapels, embalming, autopsies, storage of caskets, funeral
urns and other related funeral supplies, and the storage of funeral
vehicles, but does not include facilities for cremation.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- GARAGE, COMMERCIAL
- A deck, building, structure, or part thereof used for the
parking and storage of vehicles for a commercial application.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- GARAGE, PRIVATE
- A garage used for storage purposes only and having a capacity of not more than four automobiles. Space therein may be used for not more than one commercial vehicle of not more than a one-ton capacity.
- GARAGE/STUDIO APARTMENT
- A building or use designed and used as a single apartment unit containing not more than 800 square feet of total floor area and accessory to the single-family dwelling. Garage/studio apartments do not include duplexes, tourist homes, servant quarters, or guest homes. Prior to use, a garage/studio apartment shall obtain a special use exception under the provisions of Article XXVII, Board of Adjustment, and all necessary state and local permits.[Added 3-18-2008 by Ord. No. 1959]
- GRADE ELEVATION
- Determined by averaging the elevations of the finished ground at all the corners and/or other principal points in the perimeter wall of the building, except that grade elevation for any building which is required to be elevated in accordance with the provisions of § 115-189 shall be measured from the minimum elevation required for the site by the Flood Zone.
- GRADING CERTIFICATE
- A certification prepared by a licensed professional who is
permitted to prepare detailed sediment and stormwater plans that a
site, as graded, is in general conformity with the individual site
grading plan. A lot grading certificate shall include the following
information:[Added 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- (1) North arrow.
- (2) Tax Map and parcel number(s).
- (3) Subdivision name and lot number.
- (4) Property lines, lot dimensions, drainage easements and adjacent rights-of-way.
- (5) The location of the following items:
- (a) Elevations at four corners of the structure and at the location of the spot elevations indicated on the detailed grading plan, as applicable.
- (b) Inverts of drainage structures receiving runoff from the site.
- (c) Top and bottom of curb and gutter (if applicable).
- (d) Driveway culvert pipe material, size and inverts, where applicable.
- (e) Immediately adjacent upstream and downstream driveway culverts, including inverts and pipe sizes (if applicable).
- (f) Swale inverts along property frontage.
- (6) Finished floor and slab elevations.
- (7) A description of any discrepancies or variations from the approved plans (including site plans, detailed grading plan, construction plans or calculations and specifications) and any approved revisions as a result thereof.
- A civic space for passive recreation, spatially defined by
landscaping rather than buildings.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- GREENHOUSE, COMMERCIAL
- A structure in which plants, vegetables, flowers, and similar
materials are grown for sale.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- An open-space corridor in largely natural conditions which
may include trails for bicycles and pedestrians.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- GROUP HOME
- A residential facility licensed or approved by a state agency
serving three to 10 developmentally disabled persons on a twenty-four-hour-per-day
basis pursuant to 16 Del. C. § 1101 which must meet minimum
acceptable standards for living conditions and supports.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- GUEST HOUSE
- Living quarters within a detached accessory building located on the same premises with the main building for use by temporary guests of the occupants of the premises, such quarters having no kitchen facilities or separate utility meters and not rented or otherwise used as a separate dwelling.
- HOME OCCUPATION[Amended 7-28-1992 by Ord. No. 847]
- Any occupation, profession, enterprise or activity, conducted solely by one or more members of a family on the premises, which is incidental and secondary to the use of the premises for dwelling, provided that no commodity is stored or sold, except such as is made on the premises, and there shall be no group instruction, assembly or activity and no outside storage or display material on the premises.
- (1) When within the above requirement, a "home occupation" includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- (a) Art or craft studio.
- (b) The practice of cosmetology or barbering in AR and GR Districts, limited to one chair.
- (c) Dressmaking or custom baking.
- (d) Professional office of a physician, dentist, lawyer, engineer, architect, accountant or salesman.
- (e) Private instruction limited to one or two pupils at a time.
- (f) Family day-care homes.
- (2) A "home occupation," however, shall not be interpreted to include nursing homes, convalescent homes, rest homes, restaurants, tearooms, tourist homes or similar establishments.
- A building or group of buildings having room facilities for
overnight patients, used for providing services for the inpatient
medical or surgical care of sick or injured humans and which may include
related facilities, central service facilities and staff offices;
provided, however, that such related facility must be incidental and
subordinate to the main use and must be an integral part of the hospital
operations. This use requires a license issued under Delaware Code,
Title 16, Chapter 10, § 1003, but does not include sanatoriums,
rest homes, nursing homes or boarding homes.[Amended 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A building in which lodging or boarding and lodging are provided for more than 15 persons, primarily transient, or with more than 10 guest rooms offered to the public for compensation. Ingress and egress to and from all rooms is made through an inside lobby or office supervised by a person in charge at all hours. As such, it is open to the public, in contradistinction to a boarding-, rooming or lodging house or an apartment house, which are herein separately defined. A "hotel" may include restaurants, taverns, club rooms, public banquet halls, ballrooms and meeting rooms.
- INDIVIDUAL SITE GRADING PLAN
- A lot grading plan prepared by a licensed professional who
is permitted to prepare detailed sediment and stormwater plans conforming
to the approved detailed grading plan submitted simultaneously with
a building permit for construction. An individual site grading plan
shall satisfy the following requirements:[Added 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- (1) It must show compliance with a minimum slope of 5% the first 10 feet from a dwelling or as required by building/residential codes and 1% beyond a point 10 feet from the side and rear swales or a closed pipe or swale positive outfall.
- (2) It must show spot elevations delineating grade breaks at all property and right-of-way lines, including finished grades at all dwelling corners.
- (3) It must show first floor and slab elevations.
- (4) Relief from the foregoing standards may be granted by the Sussex County Engineer for environmental, topographic, archeological or site constraints or low-impact development (i.e., rain gardens, bio swales, etc.).
- Dilapidated automobiles, trucks, tractors and other such vehicles and parts thereof, dilapidated wagons, trailers and other kinds of vehicles and parts thereof, scrap building materials, scrap contractor's equipment, tanks, casks, cans, barrels, boxes, drums, piping, bottles, glass, old iron, machinery, rags, paper, excelsior, hair, mattresses, beds or bedding or any other kind of scrap or waste material which is stored, kept, handled or displayed.
- KENNEL, COMMERCIAL
- The keeping of any dog or dogs, regardless of number, for sale, breeding, boarding or treatment purposes, except in an animal hospital, dog beauty parlor or pet shop as permitted by these regulations, or the keeping of five or more dogs, six months or older, for any purpose.
- KENNEL, PRIVATE
- A structure used for the keeping of domestic dogs and cats.
- A business that provides washing, drying and/or ironing machines or dry-cleaning machines for hire to be used by customers on the premises.
- LOADING SPACE
- A space within the main building or on the same lot, providing for the standing, loading or unloading of trucks, having a minimum width of 12 feet, a minimum depth of 40 feet and a vertical clearance of at least 14 feet.
- LODGING HOUSE
- Same as "tourist home."[Amended 5-16-1989 by Ord. No. 585]
- A fractional portion of a subdivision, measured, surveyed and platted and set apart, for separate use and occupancy, from contiguous parcels of land and having its principal frontage upon a street.
- LOT AREA
- The total horizontal area within the lot lines of the lot.
- LOT, CORNER
- A lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection.
- LOT COVERAGE
- That portion of the lot area that is covered by buildings; the building area divided by the lot area, e.g., a lot containing 10,000 square feet has principal and accessory buildings planned or existing whose area is 2,500 square feet, thus the lot coverage is 25%.
- LOT, DEPTH OF
- The average horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
- LOT, INTERIOR
- A lot other than a corner lot.
- LOT LINE
- The boundary line of a lot.
- LOT THROUGH (DOUBLE-FRONTAGE)
- A lot having a frontage on two approximately parallel streets.
- LOT WIDTH
- The shortest horizontal distance between the side lot lines measured at the required building setback line. If the angle between the front and side lines is less than 90°, the "lot width" shall be measured from side to side of the right angle to the length of the setback line. (See diagram below for example.)
- MAJOR ARTERIAL ROADWAYS
- Those roadways in the unincorporated areas of Sussex County
or subject to the zoning regulations of Sussex County, Delaware, which
because of the traffic patterns of Sussex County operate at capacity
and which are designated as follows:[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- (1) Delaware Route 1 from the Kent County line to the Worcester County, Maryland, line.
- (2) U.S. Route 113 from the Kent County line to the Worcester County, Maryland, line.
- (3) U.S. Route 13 from the Kent County line to the Wicomico County, Maryland, line.
- (4) Delaware Route 404 from the Caroline County, Maryland, line to its intersection with Delaware Route 18.
- (5) Delaware Route 18 from its intersection with Delaware Route 404 to its intersection with U.S. Route 113.
- (6) U.S. Route 9 from its intersection with U.S. Route 13 to its intersection with Delaware Route 1.
- (7) U.S. Route 9 from its intersection with Delaware Route 1 to the southwesterly town limit of the Town of Lewes.
- MAJOR STREET OR HIGHWAY
- A street or highway designated as a primary highway by the Delaware State Division of Highways.
- MANUFACTURED HOME (a.k.a. HOUSE TRAILER, SINGLE-WIDE, DOUBLE-WIDE, MOBILE HOME)
- A movable or portable dwelling not less than 450 square feet
in size, constructed to be towed on its own chassis, connected to
utilities and designed with or without a permanent foundation for
year-round occupancy, which can consist of one or more components
that can be retracted for towing purposes and subsequently expanded
for additional capacity or of two or more units separately towable
but designed to be joined into one integral unit.[Added 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
- MANUFACTURED HOME PARK (a.k.a. TRAILER PARK, TRAILER COURT, MOBILE HOME PARK OR COMMUNITY)
- Any tract of land used or offered for use for the location
of manufactured homes of other ownership to be occupied as dwellings.[Added 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
- Establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products, including the assembling of component parts, the creation of products, and the blending of materials, such as lubricating oils, plastics, resins, or liquors.
- (1) Manufacturing includes all mechanical or chemical transformations regardless of whether the new product is finished or semi-finished as a raw material for further processing.
- (2) The processing of farm products grown on a farm is not manufacturing, but rather an accessory use to farming operations.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A place for docking pleasure boats or providing services
to pleasure boats and the occupants thereof, including minor servicing
and repair to boats while in the water, sale of fuel and supplies
and provision of lodging, food, beverages and entertainment as accessory
uses. "Marina" shall also include a dry stack boat storage facility
(also known as a "boatel," "valet storage," "pigeonhole storage and
"stackominium") whereby pleasure boats are stored in an enclosed structure
on dry land, with direct loading and unloading capabilities to a waterway
or body of water. A yacht club shall be considered as a "marina,"
but a hotel, motel or similar use, where docking of boats and provision
of services thereto is incidental to other activities, shall not be
considered a "marina," nor shall boat docks accessory to a multiple
dwelling where no boat-related services are rendered.[Amended 2-27-1990 by Ord. No. 665]
- MARINE CONTRACTING
- Development, redevelopment or renovation development in or
adjacent to a water body, including but not limited to any original
construction or extension, modification or alteration of any dock,
seawall, retaining wall, pier, finger pier, dolphin, bulkhead, dock
house, boat house or boat lift.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- MATERIAL STORAGE YARD
- An outdoor area where vehicles, equipment, merchandise, raw
materials, or other items are accumulated and stored for an indefinite
period until needed. Storage yards are often used in conjunction with
a warehouse, storage buildings, sheds or other structures and may
be public or private. Unless a function of a government agency or
public utility, storage yards are considered accessory to a business
or other principal use.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- MOTEL, MOTOR COURT, TOURIST COURT or MOTOR LODGE
- A building without cooking facilities in which lodging or boarding and lodging are provided and offered to the public for compensation. As such, it is open to the public, in contradistinction to a boarding- or lodging house or a multiple dwelling; same as a hotel, except that the buildings are usually designed to serve tourists traveling by automobile, ingress and egress to rooms need not be through a lobby or office and parking usually is adjacent to the rooms.
- NONCONFORMING USE
- A building or land which does not conform to the height, area or use regulations of the district in which it is located.
- NURSING AND SIMILAR CARE FACILITIES
- A facility that offers any of the following types of care
or services and including, but not limited to, facilities regulated
by the State Department of Health and Social Services:[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- NURSING HOME
- Same as "convalescent home."
- A room or group of rooms used for conducting the affairs
of a business, profession, service, industry, or government and generally
furnished with desks, tables, files, and communications equipment.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- OPEN AREA
- That portion of a lot excluding area set aside or used for
buildings, parking, loading and streets.[Amended 12-16-2008 by Ord. No. 2022]
- OPEN SPACE
- Those land areas within all major residential subdivisions,
residential planned communities or developments which have a purpose
to provide active and/or passive recreational opportunities, maintain
land in a predominantly undeveloped or natural state, including lands
used for agricultural purposes, promote conservation, protect wildlife
or serve as a buffer between residential and nonresidential areas
and/or commercial and noncommercial areas.[Added 12-16-2008 by Ord. No. 2022]
- (1) The following uses are permitted and the land area devoted to said uses will be included in the calculation of open space:
- (a) Recreational facilities, including swimming pools, game courts, play areas, walking paths, bike paths and multimodal paths that are not located on state road rights-of-way, provided that impervious cover does not exceed 15% of calculated open space area.
- (b) Ponds which have a demonstrated recreational value.
- (c) Buffers and forested areas.
- (d) Areas protected by perpetual conservation easements.
- (e) Areas providing scenic vistas, areas providing wildlife corridors.
- (f) Sidewalks not located within street rights-of-way.
- (g) Areas designated as "safe zones" under the Source Water Protection Ordinance contained in Chapter 89.
- (h) Spray irrigation areas, not including areas occupied by rapid infiltration basins.
- (i) Tidal and nontidal wetlands.
- (j) Stormwater management facility area.
- (2) The following uses are not permitted and the land area devoted to said uses will not be included in the calculation of open space:
- (a) Land area included within designated lot lines.
- (b) Building footprints.
- (c) Predominantly impervious surfaces such as street rights-of-way, sidewalks within street rights-of-way, parking and/or loading areas.
- (d) Utility facilities, including but not limited to, any building, plant, equipment for treatment or pumping, lagoons and rapid infiltration basins, for sewer, water, gas, and/or electric utilities.
- (3) Any reference in this chapter to "open space" shall be subject to and governed by this definition.
- PARKING LOT, COMMERCIAL
- An area used for the storage or parking of automobiles, not including mobile dwelling units, for any period of time and operated for gain.
- PARKING LOT DRIVE
- A paved drive or network of drives for the exclusive access to perpendicular and/or angled parking spaces and connected to a street via an intersection in accordance with Chapter 99.[Added 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- PARKING SPACE, OFF-STREET
- A paved area not part of a street or alley, exclusive of
driveways and parking lot drives, permanently reserved for the temporary
storage of one vehicle and connected with the street or alley by a
paved surface which affords ingress and egress for an automobile without
requiring another automobile to be moved.[Amended 3-14-2006 by Ord. No. 1831; 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- PARKING STRUCTURE
- A building containing two or more stories of parking.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A pedestrian way traversing open space or rural area, with
landscape consistent with the preservation of ecological functions
of the open space, ideally connecting directly with the sidewalk network.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A building or structure that is intended to provide prescribed
or nonprescribed medication along with medical equipment and other
items that can be used for improving health and quality of life.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- An open unoccupied space, other than a street or alley, permanently reserved as a principal means of access to abutting property.
- PLACE OF WORSHIP
- A building or structure, or groups of buildings or structures,
that by design and construction are primarily intended for conducting
organized religious services and associated accessory uses.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A lot, together with all buildings and structures thereon.
- PRIVATE FEED LOT AND STRUCTURE
- A facility for housing or feeding cattle, hogs, sheep and goats for not more than four cattle, eight sheep, eight goats and eight hogs.
- Open to common use-, whether or not public ownership is involved.
- PUBLIC BUILDING
- A building, owned or leased, occupied, and used by an agency
or political subdivision of the federal, state, county, or municipal
government.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY
- A building or structure used for the provision of public
safety services, such as police protection, fire protection, emergency
medical service, and rescue operations.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICE
- The generation, transmission, and/or distribution of electricity,
gas, steam, communications, and water; the collection and treatment
of sewage and solid waste; and the provision of mass transit to the
public.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICE FACILITY
- Any use or structure associated with the provision of utility
services.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICE LINES
- The system of lines, pipes, wires, or tracks that distributes,
transmits, or provides a utility service. This includes equipment
that is incidental and necessary to the lines and that is located
on the lines.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM
- Any system, other than an individual septic tank, tile field,
or individual well, that is operated by a governmental agency, a public
utility, or a private individual or corporation licensed by the appropriate
state agency, for the collection, treatment, and disposal of wastes
and the furnishing of potable water.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- RECREATION FACILITY
- A place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- The whole body of regulations, text, charts, tables, diagrams, maps, notations, references and symbols contained or referred to in this chapter.
- RENTAL UNIT
- A dwelling unit intended for rental to transients on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, but not intended for use or used as a permanent dwelling and not including culinary facilities.
- "Restaurant" includes the following:[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- (1) Establishments where food and drink are prepared, served, and sold primarily for consumption within the principal building.
- (2) Establishments where food and/or beverages are sold in a form ready for consumption, where all or a significant portion of the consumption takes place or is designed to take place outside of the confines of the restaurant, and where ordering and pickup of food may take place from an automobile.
- RETAIL SALES
- Establishments engaged in selling goods or merchandise to
the general public for personal or household consumption and rendering
services incidental to the sale of such goods. Characteristics of
such uses include:[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- (1) Usually a business place engaged in activity to attract the general public to buy.
- (2) Buys and receives as well as sells merchandise.
- (3) May process or manufacture some of its products (e.g., a jeweler or a bakery), but processing is secondary to principal use.
- (4) Generally sells to customers for personal or household use.
- RIDING ACADEMY
- Any structure or place where horses or ponies are kept for riding, driving or stabling for compensation or incidental to the operation of any club, association, ranch or similar establishment.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- See "tourist home."
- SELF-STORAGE FACILITY
- A structure containing separate, individual, and private
storage spaces of varying sizes leased or rented on an individual
basis for varying amounts of time.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- SERVANTS' QUARTERS
- Living quarters within a portion of a main building or in an accessory building located on the same lot with the main building used for servants employed on the premises, such quarters having no kitchen facilities or separate utility meters and not rented or otherwise used as a separate dwelling.
- SERVICES, COMMERCIAL
- Establishments primarily engaged in providing assistance,
as opposed to products, to individuals, businesses, industry, government,
and other enterprises, including hotels and other lodging places;
personal, business, repair, and amusement services; health, legal,
engineering, and other professional services; educational services;
membership organizations; and other miscellaneous services.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- An area extending from the lot lines to the building setback lines within which no buildings or other structures may be erected.
- SETBACK LINE or BUILDING SETBACK LINE
- A line parallel to the front or street line and distant from it the least minimum depth of a required front yard; a line parallel to a side boundary line and distant from it the least minimum depth of a required side yard; a line parallel to the rear boundary line and distant from it the least minimum depth of a required rear yard.
- SHOPPING CENTER
- A group of commercial establishments planned, constructed
and managed as a total entity in accordance with an approved plan,
with customer and employee parking provided on site, provision for
goods delivery separated from customer access, aesthetic considerations
and protection from the elements, and landscaping and signage.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- SITE PLAN
- A drawing illustrating a proposed development and prepared in accordance with the specifications of Article XXVIII.
- STABLE, PRIVATE
- An accessory building, not related to the ordinary operation of a farm, for the housing of not more than four horses or mules owned by a person or persons living on the premises and which horses or mules are not for hire or sale.
- STABLE, PUBLIC
- Any stable for the housing of horses or mules, operated for remuneration, hire, sale or stabling, or any stable, not related to the ordinary operation of a farm, with a capacity for more than four horses or mules, whether or not such stable is operated for remuneration, hire, sale or stabling.
- That portion of a building, other than a basement, included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it or, if there is no floor next above it, then the space between such floor and the ceiling next above it.
- STORY, HALF
- A space under a sloping roof which has the line of intersection of roof decking and wall face not more than three feet above the top floor level and in which space not more than two-thirds (2/3) of the floor area is finished for use. A "half-story" containing living quarters shall be counted as a full story.
- A public or private thoroughfare which affords the principal
means of access to abutting lots and whether designated as "freeway,"
"expressway," "highway," "road," "avenue," "boulevard," "lane," "place,"
"circle" or however otherwise designated.[Amended 3-28-2017 by Ord. No. 2489]
- STREET LINE
- A dividing line separating a lot, tract or parcel of land and a contiguous street; and also referred to as "right-of-way line."
- STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS
- Any change in the supporting members of a building, such as footings, bearing walls or partitions, columns, beams or girders, or any substantial change in the roof or in the exterior walls, excepting such repair as may be required for the safety of the building.
- Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires
more or less permanent location on the ground, or attached to something
having a permanent location on the ground, including, but without
limiting the generality of the foregoing, manufactured homes, signs,
swimming pools, fences, backstops for tennis courts and pergolas.[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2152]
- SURGICAL CENTER
- A facility where outpatients come for simple surgical procedures
and are not lodged overnight.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- SWIMMING POOL
- Any portable pool or permanent structure containing a body of water 18 inches or more in depth area intended for recreational purposes, including a wading pool, but not including an ornamental reflecting pool or fish pond or other type of pool located and designed so as not to create a hazard or be used for swimming or wading.
- TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- A Committee comprising the staff of the Commission, County
Engineer and representatives of the following, which shall be designated
from time to time by the Commission: the State Division of Highways,
State Division of Environmental Control, State Fire Marshal's Office
and such other professional and technical representatives as may be
deemed necessary by the Commission. The exact membership of the Committee
shall be determined by vote of the Commission, as will the number
necessary to constitute a quorum, the times and places for meetings
and such other measures necessary to create a Committee which shall
effectively function as an advisory body to the Commission with regard
to design requirements, improvement specifications and other applicable
standards relating to the design and construction of a residential
planned community or new development. [Added 4-6-2004 by Ord. No. 1678]
- TECHNOLOGY CENTER
- A repository that primarily houses computing facilities such
as servers, routers, switches and firewalls, as well as supporting
components like backup equipment, fire suppression facilities and
air conditioning.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- TELEPHONE CENTRAL OFFICE
- A building and its equipment used for facilitating transmission of telephone and radio-telephone messages between subscribers and other business of the telephone company.
- TENTING AREA
- Any park, tourist park, camp, court, site, lot, parcel or tract of land which is designed, maintained or intended for the purpose of supplying a location or accommodation for two or more tents, tent trailers, camp trailers, trailerettes or other camping vehicles or facilities as temporary living or sleeping quarters for persons engaged in recreational, educational or vacation activities.
- TOURIST HOME (ALSO REFERRED TO AS "BED-AND-BREAKFAST INN")
- A dwelling having not more than six rental rooms for guests.
No cooking facilities shall be permitted in individual rental rooms.[Amended 5-16-1989 by Ord. No. 585]
- A single-family dwelling forming one of a group or series of three or more attached single-family dwellings separated from one another by party walls and being situated on an individual lot.
- The purpose or activity for which land or buildings are designed,
arranged, or intended or for which land or buildings are occupied
or maintained.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- A building used primarily for the storage of goods and materials.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- Any body of water, including any creek, canal, river, lake or bay or any other body of water, natural or artificial, except a swimming pool or ornamental pool located on a single lot.
- WHOLESALE ESTABLISHMENT
- For the purposes of this chapter, a wholesale establishment
is a wholesale warehouse type of retail store establishment.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- WHOLESALE TRADE ESTABLISHMENT
- Establishments or places of business primarily engaged in
selling merchandise to retailers; to industrial, commercial, institutional,
or professional business users; to other wholesalers; or acting as
agents or brokers and buying merchandise for, or selling merchandise
to, such individuals or companies.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- WIND TURBINE or WINDMILL
- A device exterior to a building that is designated to convert
naturally occurring wind into usable electricity for on-site or off-site
use. Such term shall also include any supporting pole or equipment
that is attached to the wind turbine for electrical purposes. The
terms “wind turbine” and “windmill” shall
have the same meaning. Examples of similar references to wind turbines
may include but are not limited to "wind turbine," "windmill," "wind-powered
systems," "wind-powered generator," etc.[Added 9-13-2011 by Ord. No. 2213]
- A facility where wine is manufactured and packaged. Such
facilities may include a tasting room or retail space to sell the
products to patrons for on-site or off-site consumption.[Added 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550]
- An unobstructed space where no buildings or other structures are permitted on a lot, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (See diagram below for example.)
- YARD, FRONT
- A yard extending between the side lot lines and being the minimum horizontal distance between the street line, or other officially approved front line, and the main building or any projections thereof.
- YARD, REAR
- A yard extending across the rear of the lot between the side lot lines and measured between the rear lot line and the rear of the main building or any projection, other than steps, unenclosed porches or entranceways.
- YARD, SIDE
- A yard between the main building and the side line of the lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard and being a minimum horizontal distance between the side lot line and side of the main buildings or any projection thereof.
Editor's Note: See also the definition of "basement" for flood-prone districts in Subsection C below.
Editor’s Note: The former definitions of “convalescent home,” and “day-care center,” which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 2-27-2018 by Ord. No. 2550.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "family," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 12-2-2014 by Ord. No. 2374.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed the former definition of “mobile home (house trailer).”
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed the former definition of “trailer park, trailer court or mobile home park.”