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Town of Rotterdam, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In the construction of this chapter, the rules and definitions contained in this article shall be observed and applied, except where the word usage clearly indicates otherwise. For clarity of interpretation of the context, the following definitions of word use shall apply:
A. 
Words used in the present tense shall include the future tense.
B. 
Words used in the singular number shall include the plural number, and the plural the singular.
C. 
The word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary.
D. 
The word "lot" shall include the words "piece," "parcel," "plat" and "plots," and the phrase "used for" shall include the phrases "arranged for," "designed for," "intended for," "maintained for" and "occupied for."
E. 
The word "person" includes a corporation or partnership, as well as an individual.
F. 
The word "town" means the Town of Rotterdam.
G. 
The words "this local law" or "this chapter" shall mean the Rotterdam Zoning Local Law as originally adopted and as amended from time to time.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDON
To cease, for more than six months, the use and maintenance of land, buildings or structures which have been nonconforming uses; or to change from one nonconforming use to another or to a conforming use.
ACCESS
Permission or ability to enter, approach, or pass to and from public and private property.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
ACCESS MANAGEMENT
The control of street (or highway) access for the purpose of improving the efficiency, safety, and/or operation of the roadway for vehicles, including, as applicable, prohibiting, closing, or limiting direct vehicle access to a roadway from abutting properties, either with physical barriers (curbs, medians, etc.) or by land dedication or easement.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
ACCESSORY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE, HEIGHT OF
The vertical distance measured from average grade to the apex of the uppermost structural member.
[Added 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 11-2003]
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE OR USE
A structure or use which is:
A. 
Conducted or located on the same zoning lot as the principal building or use served, except as may be specifically provided elsewhere in this chapter.
B. 
Clearly incidental to, subordinate to and serves the principal use.
C. 
Either in the same ownership as the principal use or is clearly operated and maintained solely for the comfort, convenience, necessity or benefit of the occupants, employees, customers or visitors of or to the principal use.
AGRICULTURE
The use of land for agricultural purposes, including farming, dairying, pasturage, horse boarding; agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture and animal and poultry husbandry, and the necessary accessory uses for packing, treating or storing produce; provided, however, that the operation of any such accessory use shall be secondary to that of the normal agricultural activities.
[Amended 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
ALLEY
A public thoroughfare which affords only a secondary means of access to abutting property and is not intended for general traffic circulation.
ALTERATIONS
As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts or in the exit facilities; or an enlargement, whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height; or the moving from one location or position to another.
ALTERATIONS, STRUCTURAL
Any change in the supporting members of a building, such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders.
AMENITIES, PEDESTRIAN
Pedestrian amenities serve as informal gathering places for socializing, resting, and enjoyment of a particular area and contribute to a walkable district. Typical amenities include extrawide sidewalks, street trees, sitting spaces, weather protection (including, for example, awnings or canopies), pedestrian-scale lighting, trash receptacles, bus stop seating, and similar features.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
ANIMAL HOSPITAL
See "hospital, animal."
AREA, BUILDING
The total of areas taken on a horizontal plane at the main grade level of the principal building and all accessory buildings, including porches, covered and uncovered, terraces and steps attached directly to the dwelling.
AREA, LOT
The total area within the property lines of a project, excluding external streets.
ARTICULATION
Offsets, projections, recessed wall, windows, doors, and similar features that provide variation to a building facade.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
AUTOMOBILE REPAIR SHOP
Any area of land, including any structure or structures thereon, that is or are used or designated to be used for the repair of motor vehicles. This shall include major or minor motor vehicle repairs as may be authorized by this chapter.
BASEMENT
A story partly underground but having at least 1/2 of its height above the average level of the adjoining ground. A basement shall be counted as a story for the purpose of height measurement if the vertical distance between the ceiling and the average level of the adjoining ground is more than five feet or is used for business or dwelling purposes.
BED-AND-BREAKFAST
Any dwelling in which one or more persons, either individually or as families, are provided sleeping accommodations, with or without meals, in exchange for payment.
[Added 11-24-1999 by L.L. No. 17-1999]
BILLBOARD
See § 270-151.
BOARDINGHOUSE
See "bed-and-breakfast."
[Amended 11-24-1999 by L.L. No. 17-1999]
BUILDING
Any structure built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or movable property of any kind and which is permanently affixed to the land.
BUILDING, DETACHED
A building surrounded by open space on the same lot.
BUILDING, FRONT LINE OF
The line of that face of the building nearest the front line of the lot.
BUILDING, HEIGHT OF
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the proposed finished grade at the front of the building to the highest point of the roof for flat roofs, to the deck line of mansard roofs and to the mean height between eaves and ridge for gable, hip and gambrel roofs.
BUILDING-INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC (BIPV) SYSTEMS
A solar energy system that consists of integrating photovoltaic modules into the building materials comprising the structure, such as the roof material or the facade material, and which does not constitute a rooftop or building-mounted solar system.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A building in which is conducted the main or principal use of the lot on which said building is situated.
CAMPING GROUND
A parcel of land designed for the accommodation of tourists and campers. Such accommodations are deemed to include space for parking automobiles, erection of tents and overnight cabins, tables and cooking facilities, excluding, however, mobile homes.
CARE HOMES
Any facility offering any of the following types of care:
[Amended 11-24-1999 by L.L. No. 17-1999]
A. 
Skilled nursing care, including, in addition to room and board, those nursing services and procedures employed in caring for the sick which require specialized training, judgment, technical knowledge and skills.
B. 
Housing arrangements provided to meet the needs of the elderly and/or disabled population in the community by affording an opportunity for them to live in close proximity to family members who can help maintain their health, independence and privacy.
CAR WASH
A building, or portion thereof, containing facilities for washing automobiles, using production-line methods or other mechanical devices or providing space, water, equipment or soap for the complete or partial handwashing of automobiles, whether by operator or by customer.
CELLAR
A story partly underground and having more than 1/2 of its clear height below the average level of the adjoining ground. A cellar shall not be considered a story for the purposes of height measurement in determining the permissible number of stories.
CEMETERY
All property and appurtenances thereto used or held exclusively for the burial or other permanent deposit of the human dead, excluding crematoriums.
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL (CPESC)
A person who has received training and is certified by CPESC Inc., to review, inspect and/or maintain erosion and sediment control practices.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
CHANNEL
A natural or artificial watercourse with a definite bed and banks that conducts continuously or periodically flowing water.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
CLEARING
Any activity that removes the vegetative ground cover and/or trees, including, but not limited to, root mat removal and/or topsoil removal.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
CLINIC
A facility for treatment of human ailments, operated by a group of physicians, dentists or other licensed practitioners for the treatment and examination of outpatients.
CLUB, PRIVATE
An organization, lodge or service organization catering exclusively to members and their guests; or premises and buildings for recreational or athletic purposes which are not conducted primarily for gain, provided that there are not conducted any vending stands or merchandising or commercial activities, except as required generally for the membership and purpose of such club.
COMMERCIAL EXTRACTION OF TOPSOIL, SAND, GRAVEL OR STONE
The extraction of stone, sand, gravel or topsoil for sale, as an industrial operation, and exclusive of the extraction of stone, sand, gravel or topsoil solely in furtherance of on-site construction projects which are permitted uses in the district in which they are to be undertaken and for which a building permit has been lawfully issued by the Town of Rotterdam Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and which does not constitute mining, as defined herein.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 11-22-1989 by L.L. No. 20-1989; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
Every type of motor-driven vehicle used for commercial purposes on the highways, such as the transportation of persons, goods, wares and merchandise, including tow trucks, contractors' trucks, trailers and machinery, tractor-drawn trailers and semitrailers and tractors, except where such vehicle is used as a recreational vehicle or is used on a day-to-day basis by a family.
COMMON OPEN SPACE
An area of land within a site designated for residential development and designed, intended and reserved for the use of residents of the development. Common open space may include such complementary structures and facilities as are appropriate for the recreational needs of the residents of the development.
COMMUNITY HOUSE
A place of assemblage of people of a particular religion with common interests to advance the general welfare of such people as a group as well as the welfare of the community at large. Such meeting places exclude the use of any pinball machines or other mechanical devices from which a profit may be derived, except, however, food- , soda- , candy- and cigarette-dispensing devices.
CONSERVATION AREA
Land which exhibits environmental sensitivity but is developable as long as the natural vegetation, character, and environmental sensitivity are considered through the use of clustering and reservation of open space implemented through flexible zoning techniques such as planned unit developments, transfer of development rights, tree protection and other regulations.
[Added 9-15-2005 by L.L. No. 16-2005]
CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
A voluntary agreement made between a property owner and an appropriate third party, such as a land trust or public agency. The easement is a legal device for conveying the right to enforce restrictions on the use of the land. These restrictions are intended to conserve open space or to protect valuable environmental areas.
[Added 9-15-2005 by L.L. No. 16-2005]
CONVENIENCE STORE
A place of business being operated for the sale and purchase, at retail, of cold drinks, packaged foods, tobacco and similar convenience goods.
[Amended 4-11-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
CUL-DE-SAC STREET
A street or a portion of a street with only one vehicular outlet and having a turning loop or similar arrangement at the closed end.
[Added 9-26-1990 by L.L. No. 19-1990]
DAY-CARE CENTER
A private residence where six or fewer children receive day care and supervision for periods of less than 24 hours per day.
DEED RESTRICTIONS/RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
The prohibition of use of a portion of property in order to provide an amenity such as open space through deed covenants, restrictions and easements. The deed that a lot owner receives may also convey ownership in common with other lot owners to a common area. The easement provides that the common area may not be developed except for specified purposes relating to open space and recreation.
[Added 9-15-2005 by L.L. No. 16-2005]
DESIGN MANUAL
The New York State Storm water Management Design Manual, most recent version, including applicable updates that serves as the official guide for stormwater management principles, methods and practices.
[Amended 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
DISH ANTENNA DISTRICT
A portion of the territory of the Town within which certain uniform regulations and requirements, or various combinations thereof, apply under the provisions of this chapter.
DRIVE-IN ESTABLISHMENT
A place of business being operated for the sale and purchase, at retail, of food and other goods, services or entertainment, which is laid out and equipped so as to allow its patrons to be served or accommodated while remaining in their automobiles, or which allows the consumption of any food or beverage in automobiles on the premises or elsewhere on the premises but outside any completely enclosed structures.
DWELLING
A residential building, or one or more portions thereof, occupied or intended to be occupied exclusively for residential purposes, but not including habitations provided in nonresidential uses, such as lodging rooms.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, ATTACHED
A dwelling that is joined to another dwelling at one or more sides by a party wall or walls.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, DETACHED
A dwelling that is entirely surrounded by open space on the same lot designed for or occupied exclusively by one single-family residence having no roof, wall, or floor in common with any other dwelling unit.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, MULTIPLE-FAMILY
An attached dwelling with three or more dwelling units situated on one lot.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
A detached building designed for or occupied exclusively by one family situated on one lot. One-family dwelling includes manufactured homes that meet the requirements of the New York State Building Codes.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, SMALL ONE-FAMILY
A detached building under 2,000 square feet of habitable space that is designed for or occupied exclusively by one family situated on one lot. One-family dwelling includes manufactured homes that meet the requirements of the New York State Building Codes.
[Added 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, TOWNHOUSE
A building not more than three stories in height consisting of one-family dwelling units constructed in a group of three to eight attached units, in which each unit extends from foundation to roof and with open space on at least two sides. Each dwelling unit shall be on a separate, individual lot.
[Added 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A single detached building designed for or occupied exclusively by two families situated on one lot.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms with provision for living, cooking, sanitary and sleeping facilities arranged for the use of one family.
[1]
EROSION
The wearing away of the land surface by action of wind, water, gravity, or other natural forces.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN
A set of plans prepared by or under the direction of a licensed/certified professional indicating the specific measures and sequencing to be used to control sediment and erosion on a development site during and after construction.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
EROSION CONTROL MANUAL
The most recent version of the "New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" manual, most commonly known as the "Blue Book."
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
EXCAVATION
Digging, scooping or other methods of removing earth materials.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
FACADE
The exterior walls of a building facing a street line. A building on a corner lot shall be deemed to have two facades.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
FAMILY
Any number of individuals occupying the premises and living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit. This term shall not be deemed to include a group occupying a boardinghouse, lodging house, club, fraternity, hotel or similar premises.
FARM
Any parcel of land containing at least five acres, which is used for gain in the raising of agricultural products, livestock, poultry and/or dairy products. It includes necessary farm structures within the prescribed limits and the storage of equipment used. It excludes the raising of fur-bearing animals, riding academies, liveries or boarding stables and dog kennels.
FENCE
Any structure or device, regardless of composition, which encloses a parcel of land or divides a parcel of land into more than one portion or serves as a barrier, but shall not include a building or growing plants or trees.
FILLING
Depositing or stockpiling of earth materials.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
FLOOD
A temporary rise in stream flow or stage that results in significant adverse effects in the immediate vicinity.
FLOODWAY CHANNEL
A passageway for storm-and/or surface waters along a natural watercourse and/or along an artificial channel constructed under due process of law for passage of storm- and/or surface waters.
FLOOR AREA
The sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of the building measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the center line of walls separating two buildings. All roofed areas, except porches, terraces, cellars, basements and enclosed off-street parking areas, shall be included in the calculation of floor area.
FLUSH-MOUNTED SOLAR PANEL
A photovoltaic panel or tile that is installed flush to the surface of a roof and which cannot be angled or raised.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
FOOTCANDLES
A unit of illuminance on a surface that is everywhere one foot from a uniform point source of light of one candle and equal to one lumen per square foot.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
FREESTANDING OR GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system that is directly installed in the ground and is not attached or affixed to an existing structure. Pole-mounted solar energy systems shall be considered freestanding or ground-mounted solar energy systems.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
FUEL-OIL STORAGE TANKS
Tanks intended or used for the storage of fuel oil, kerosene or any combustible fuel intended for sale by truck or other means of conveyance to purchasers at some other destination, excluding, however, from the above definition, all gasoline storage tanks used at gasoline filling stations for retail sale.
GARAGE, PRIVATE
An enclosed space for the storage of one or more motor vehicles, provided that no business, occupation or service is conducted for profit therein nor space therein for more than two cars is leased to a nonresident of the premises.
GRADE, ESTABLISHED
The elevation of the center line of the streets as officially established by Town authorities.
GRADE, FINISHED
The completed surfaces of lawns, walks and roads brought to grades as shown on the official plan or designs relating thereto.
GRADING
Excavation of fill, rock, gravel, sand, soil, or other natural material including the resulting conditions therefrom.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
GROSS FLOOR AREA
For computing off-street parking requirements, the sum of the gross horizontal area(s) of the floor(s) of the building(s) measured from the interior faces of the walls. All roofed areas, except porches, terraces, cellars, basements, enclosed off-street parking areas and pedestrian walkways in an enclosed mail, shall be included in calculation of floor areas.
HOME OCCUPATION
A business, profession, occupation or trade conducted for gain or support entirely within a residential building, or a structure accessory thereto, which is incidental and secondary to the use of such building for dwelling purposes and which does not change the essential residential character of such premises.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
HOSPITAL/HEALTH CARE FACILITY
An institution or facility providing health services and medical or surgical care, including prevention, diagnosis or treatment, to persons, on a nonresidential basis or on a temporary inpatient or outpatient basis, suffering from pain, illness, disease, injury, deformity or other abnormal physical or mental condition. As an integral part of the institution or facility, other uses or facilities are included (but not limited to) such as laboratories, outpatient facilities, therapy facilities, training facilities, adult daycare facilities, and medical or other professional offices. The foregoing shall not include an outpatient chemical dependence treatment clinic requiring a license or operating certificate under applicable law.
[Amended 12-12-2018 by L.L. No. 11-2018]
HOSPITAL, ANIMAL or VETERINARY CLINIC
An establishment where a full range of medical services are provided to small and/or large animals by one or more veterinary doctors and staff. This use shall be deemed to include, as necessary for treatment or observation, overnight animal boarding for not more than five animals.
HOTEL or MOTEL
An establishment which is open to transient guests, in contradistinction to a boarding, rooming or lodging house, and is commonly known as a "hotel" or "motel" in the community in which it is located, and which provides customary hotel services such as maid service, the furnishing and laundering of linen, telephone and secretarial or desk service and the use and upkeep of furniture. A hotel or motel may include dining facilities located on the premises.
JUNKYARD
The use of more than 200 square feet of the area of any lot, whether inside or outside a building, or the use of any portion of that half of any lot that joins any street for the storage, keeping or abandonment of junk, including scrap metals or other scrap materials, or the dismantling, demolition or abandonment of automobiles or other vehicles or machinery or parts thereof.
KENNEL
A use or building in which the principal activity is the keeping, raising, breeding or boarding of dogs, cats or other animals, which may be considered household pets, in return for remuneration or for personal gain. For the purpose of this chapter, any such activity, excluding boarding, shall not be considered a kennel where accessory to a principal residential use, provided that not more than three animals exceeding six months of age are kept.
LAND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY
Construction activity including clearing, grading, excavating, soil disturbance, or placement of fill resulting in land disturbance of equal to or greater the one acre. Also includes activities disturbing less than one acre of total land area that is part of a larger common plan of development or sale, even though multiple separate and distinct land development activities may take place at different times on different schedules.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005; amended 10-27-2010 by L.L. No. 12-2010]
LANDFILL
Any lands used, acquired or leased for the purpose of disposal of garbage, hazardous waste, solid waste and/or sanitary landfill as defined in Chapter 244, § 244-1, of the Rotterdam Code, entitled "Solid Waste."
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner of land, including those holding the right to purchase or lease the land, or any other person holding proprietary rights in the land.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
LANDSCAPING
Any additions or modifications to the natural features of a site to restore construction disturbance and to make it more attractive, as by adding lawns, trees, and shrubs to the natural environment.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
LAND TRUST
An independent organization that works with landowners interested in protecting open space, often working cooperatively with government agencies. A land trust may accept donations of land, funds to purchase land, or development rights that permanently limit land development, or can purchase land for permanent protection.
[Added 9-15-2005 by L.L. No. 16-2005]
LARGER COMMON PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT OR SALE
A contiguous area where multiple separate and distinct construction activities are occurring under one plan. A "plan" shall be thither defined as inclusive of any announcement or piece of a documentation (including a sign, public notice or hearing, sales pitch, advertisement, drawing, permit application, zoning request, computer design, etc.) or physical demarcation, indicating that construction activities may occur on a specific plot.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
LAUNDROMAT
A business premises equipped with individual clothes washing machines for the use of retail customers, exclusive of any laundry facilities provided as an accessory use in multiple-family apartment development.
LICENSED/CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL
A person currently licensed to practice engineering in New York State or who is a certified professional in erosion and sediment control (CPESC).
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
LINE, STREET
The dividing line between the street and lot.
LOT
A portion or parcel of land considered as a unit and devoted to a certain use or occupied by a building or a group of buildings that are united by a common interest of use, and the customary accessories and open spaces belonging to the same. Such lot shall have frontage on an improved public street.
LOT, CORNER
A parcel of land at the junction of and fronting on two or more intersecting streets. A lot shall be deemed to front on each highway it abuts and be subject to the requirements of a front yard on each such highway, with the yards opposite thereto on corner lots subject to side yard requirements only.
LOT COVERAGE
That percentage of the plot or lot area covered by the area of all principal and accessory buildings.
LOT, DEPTH OF
A mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines, measured in the general direction of its side lot lines.
LOT, INTERIOR
A lot other than a corner lot.
LOT LINES
Any line dividing one lot from another.
LOT OF RECORD
Any lot which has been established as such by plat, survey, record or deed prior to the effective date of this chapter, as shown in the records of the office of the Assessor, Town of Rotterdam.
LOT, THROUGH
An exterior lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets.
LOT, WIDTH OF
The width measured at right angles to its depth. The width of a lot (frontage) shall be considered to be the distance between the straight lines connecting front and rear lot lines at each side of the lot, measured across the two front property points where they intersect with the street line. The lot width at the street line shall meet the minimum requirements specified for each respective zoning district, except in the case of lots on the turning circle of culs-de-sac, where the definition of "lot, width of, cul-de-sac" shall apply.
[Amended 9-26-1990 by L.L. No. 19-1990]
LOT, WIDTH OF, CUL-DE-SAC
The width measured at right angles to its depth. The width of lot, cul-de-sac shall be considered to be the distance between straight lines connecting front and rear lot lines at each side of the lot, measured across the two front property points where they intersect with the street line. However, at the line approximately parallel to the front lot line and measured across the rear of the required front yard, the width shall be equal to the required lot width specified in the required zoning classification. The width between the front property boundaries where they intersect with the street line shall not be reduced more than 25% of the required lot width specified in the respective zoning classification set forth in this chapter.
[Added 9-26-1990 by L.L. No. 19-1990]
MAJOR PROJECT
Clearing, grading and excavating resulting in a land disturbance that will disturb equal to or greater than five acres of land, or will disturb less than five acres of total land area, but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or greater than five acres.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is 300 or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include and structure which meets all the requirements of this definition except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and complies with the standards established under 42 U.S.C. Chapter 70.
[Added 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
MINING
Any activity regulated by the New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 23, Title 27), including, but not limited to, the extraction of overburden and minerals from the earth; the preparation and processing of minerals, including any activities or processes or parts thereof for the extraction or removal of minerals from their original location and the preparation, washing, cleaning, crushing, stockpiling or other processing of minerals at the mine location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial or construction use, exclusive of manufacturing processes, at the mine location; the removal of such materials through sale or exchange or for commercial, industrial or municipal use; and the disposition of overburden, tailings and waste at the mine location. Mining shall not include the excavation, removal and disposition of minerals from construction projects, exclusive of the creation of water bodies or excavations in aid of agricultural activities. For the purposes of this provision, the term "construction projects" shall mean the excavation, removal and disposition of minerals solely in the furtherance of on-site construction projects which are permitted uses in the district in which they are to be undertaken and for which a building permit has been lawfully issued by the Town of Rotterdam Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer.
[Added 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; amended 11-22-1989 by L.L. No. 20-1989; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
MINOR PROJECT
Clearing, grading and excavating resulting in a land disturbance that will disturb equal to or greater than one acre and less then five acres of land, or will disturb less than one acre of total area but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005; amended 10-27-2010 by L.L. No. 12-2010]
MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT
Mixed-use development refers to the combining of retail/commercial and/or service uses with residential or office use in the same building or on the same site in one of the following ways:
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
A. 
A single structure with the above floors used for residential or office use and a portion of the ground floor for retail/commercial or service uses.
B. 
A single structure which provides retail/commercial or service use in the portion fronting the public or private street with attached residential or office uses behind.
C. 
Two or more structures on one site which provide retail/commercial or service uses in the structure(s) fronting the public or private street, and residential or office uses in separate structure(s) behind or to the side.
MOBILE HOME
A portable unit designed and built to be towed on its own chassis, comprised of frame and wheels, connected to utilities and designed to be without a permanent foundation for year-round living. A unit may contain parts that may be folded, collapsed or telescoped when being towed and expanded later to provide additional cubic capacity, as well as two or more separately towable components designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of being again separated into the components for repeated towing. Mobile units can be designed to be used for residential, commercial, educational or industrial purposes; excluded, however, are travel trailers, motorized homes, pickup coaches and camping trailers.
MOBILE HOME PARK
A land area occupied or designed for occupancy by two or more mobile homes for living purposes.
MOTEL
See "hotel or motel."
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any passenger vehicle, truck, truck-trailer, trailer or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power.
MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL FILLING STATION
Any area of land, including any structure or structures thereon, that is used for the dispensing of gasoline or oil or other fuel for the propulsion of vehicles, excluding, however, motor vehicle repair shops, as defined in this section. This definition shall include any convenience store, as defined in this chapter, which engages in sale and/or dispensing of gasoline. For the purpose of this chapter, there shall be included within this term any area of land or structure designed to be used for polishing, greasing, washing, spraying, dry cleaning or otherwise cleaning or servicing motor vehicles.
[Added 9-12-1990 by L.L. No. 18-1990; amended 4-11-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR, MAJOR
General repair, rebuilding or reconditioning of engines, motor vehicles or trailers, such as collision service, body repair and frame straightening; painting and upholstering; vehicle steam cleaning; and undercoating. The sale of gasoline or oil or other fuel for the propulsion of motor vehicles shall also be deemed to be included in this term.
MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR, MINOR
Minor repairs, incidental replacement of parts and motor service to passenger automobiles and trucks not exceeding 1 1/2, tons' capacity, but not including any operation included in the definition of "motor vehicle repairs, major." The sale of gasoline or oil or other fuel for the propulsion of motor vehicles shall also be deemed to be included in this term.
NONCONFORMING BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
Any building or structure which does not comply with all of the regulations of this chapter or of any amendment hereto governing bulk for the zoning district in which such building or structure is located or which is designed or intended for a nonconforming use.
NONCONFORMING USE
A structure or land lawfully occupied by a use at the time of the passage of this chapter or of any amendment hereto that does not conform after the passage of this chapter or amendment hereto to the regulations of the district in which it is is situated. "Nonconforming use" shall include any building containing one or more dwelling units in addition to the number permitted by the district regulations where such building is located.
NOTICE OF INTENT (NOI)
A permit application prepared and filed by an owner or operator with the Department of Environmental Conservation as an affirmation that a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) has been prepared and will be implemented in compliance with the state pollution discharge elimination system general permit for stormwater runoff for construction activity (GP-02-01).
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
NURSING OR CONVALESCENT HOME
See "care homes."
OPERATOR
A party associated with a construction project that meets either of the following two criteria:
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
A. 
The party has operational control over construction plans and specifications, including the ability to make modifications to those plans and specifications; or
B. 
The party has day-to-day operational control of those activities at a project which are necessary to ensure compliance with a SWPPP for the site or other permit conditions (e.g., they are authorized to direct workers at a site to carry out activities required by the SWPPP or comply with other permit conditions).
OUTPARCEL
A portion of a larger parcel of land generally designated as a site for a separate structure and commercial establishment for a larger tract. An outparcel may or may not be a subdivision of a larger parcel. To be recognized as an outparcel, the portion must be identified on a site plan approved for the larger parcel.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
OWNER
The titleholder of record of real property; or if he is deceased, then his estate.
PARKING SPACE
The area required for parking one automobile, truck or vehicle, which, for the purposes of this chapter, is held to be an area nine feet wide and 18 feet long, not including passageways.
PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY/PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED
Development which is designed with an emphasis primarily on the street sidewalk and on pedestrian access to the site and building, rather than on auto access and parking areas. The building is generally placed close to the street, and the main entrance is oriented to the street sidewalk. There are generally windows or display cases along building facades which face the street. Typically, buildings cover a large portion of the site. When parking areas are provided, they are generally limited in size, and they are not emphasized by the design of the site.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
PHASING
Development activities on a parcel of land performed in distinct sections, with the stabilization of each section completed before development of the next.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEMS
A solar energy system that produces electricity by the use of semiconductor devices, called "photovoltaic cells," that generate electricity whenever light strikes them.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
PLOT
A map, plan or layout of the Town or section or subdivision thereof, indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties and streets.
PRIMARY ENTRANCE
The entrance to a building that most pedestrians expect to use. Generally, each building has one primary entrance. It is the widest entrance of those provided for use by pedestrians. In multitenant buildings, primary entrances open directly into the building's lobby or principal interior ground level circulation space. When a multitenant building does not have a lobby or common interior circulation space, each tenant's outside entrance is a primary entrance. In single-tenant buildings, primary entrances open directly into lobby, reception, or sales areas.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
PRIVATE RECREATIONAL USE
A use of land or buildings for athletics, including incidental retail sale of athletic accessories and apparel, hiking or bicycle trails, picnic grounds, and similar uses.
[Added 6-12-2002 by L.L. No. 11-2002]
PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
An office maintained by an individual or firm for the practice of one or more of the following professions: medicine, dentistry, law, engineering, architecture, teaching, accounting, or any profession regulated pursuant to Title VIII of the New York State Education Law.
[Amended 6-26-2019 by L.L. No. 9-2019]
PUBLIC PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
A lot or parcel in the Town of Rotterdam, owned or operated by the town, the county, the state or the federal government or a nonprofit agency, used for open space or recreational purposes and open to the general public.
PUBLIC UTILITY
A corporation or business rendering and devoting its property to the provision of services which are essential to the public interest.
QUALIFIED SOLAR INSTALLER
A person who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of solar electrical equipment and installation and has received safety training on the hazards involved. Persons who are on the list of eligible photovoltaic installers maintained by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), or who are certified as a solar installer by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), shall be deemed to be qualified solar installers for the purposes of this definition. Persons who are not on NYSERDA's list of eligible installers or NABCEP's list of certified installers may be deemed to be qualified solar installers if the Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or such other Town officer or employee as the Town Board designates determines such persons have had adequate training to determine the degree and extent of the hazard and the personal protective equipment and job planning necessary to perform the installation safely. Such training shall include the proper use of special precautionary techniques and personal protective equipment, as well as the skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed energized parts from other parts of electrical equipment and to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
RECLAMATION
The conditioning of the land affected by mining to make it suitable for any uses or purposes consistent with the provisions of the New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 23, Title 27) and this chapter.[2]
[Added 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; amended 11-22-1989 by Ord. No. 20-1989; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Every type of motor-driven vehicle used primarily for recreational purposes and including living and/or sleeping facilities.
REST HOMES
See "care homes."
ROADSIDE STAND
A structure for the display and sale of agricultural products.
ROOFTOP OR BUILDING-MOUNTED SOLAR SYSTEM
A solar energy system in which solar panels are mounted on top of the structure of a roof either as a flush-mounted system or as modules fixed to frames.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SCHOOL, PRIVATE
A kindergarten, primary or secondary school not operated by a public school district but furnishing a comprehensive curriculum of academic instruction similar to that of public school.
SCHOOL, PUBLIC
An educational institution operated by a public school district under the laws of the State of New York.
SEDIMENT
Solid material, both mineral and organic, which is in suspension, is being transported, has been deposited, or has been removed from its site of origin.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
SEDIMENT CONTROL
A barrier that prevents sediment from leaving a site by filtering sediment-laden runoff or diverting it to a sediment trap or basin.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
SETBACK
The minimum distance between the front line of a building or structure and the front property line.
SEVERE SLOPES
Ground areas with a slope greater than 25% covering a minimum horizontal area of 1/4 acre or 10,890 square feet and a minimum horizontal dimension of 10 feet.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
SHOPPING CENTER
An attached building in a row or group with each building separated from adjoining building by a common wall or walls. Included is an enclosed mall characterized by business entrances facing a pedestrian walkway with a common roof covering the business area and the walkway.
SIGN
Any structure, or part thereof, or device attached thereto or painted or represented thereon, which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an announcement, direction or advertisement. The word "sign" includes the word "billboard," but does not include the flag, pennant or insignia of any nation, state, city or other political unit or of any political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive movement or event.
SIGN, ADVERTISING
A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than on the premises and only incidentally on the premises, if at all.
SIGN, TEMPORARY
A freestanding sign, with no moving parts or lights, no larger than 24 inches wide and 36 inches high and including the base shall be no higher than 48 inches from ground level (excluding real estate and construction signage).
[Added 10-27-2010 by L.L. No. 13-2010]
SITE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT
A permit issued by the municipality for the construction or alteration of ground improvements and structures for the control of erosion, runoff and grading.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
SMALL-SCALE SOLAR
Solar photovoltaic systems or solar-thermal systems which serve only the building to which they are attached or the building or buildings located on the same lot as such system. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized to require any applicant to submit proof of the last 12 months of electricity usage for such lot or building or, in the case where 12 months of electricity usage data cannot be produced, proof of the projected electricity usage for such lot or building, for purposes of determining whether an applicant's proposed solar energy system constitutes a small-scale solar energy system.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SMALL WIND ENERGY FACILITY
A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics and electrical collection and distribution equipment, and accessory facilities or equipment, which has a nameplate capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts.
[Added 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 10-2008]
SOLAR COLLECTOR
A solar photovoltaic cell, panel, or array, or solar hot air or water collector device, which relies upon solar radiation as an energy source for the generation of electricity or transfer of stored heat.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SOLAR ENERGY EQUIPMENT/SYSTEM
Solar collectors, controls, energy storage devices, heat pumps, heat exchangers, and other materials, hardware or equipment necessary to the process by which solar radiation is collected, converted into another form of energy, stored, protected from unnecessary dissipation and distributed. Solar systems include solar-thermal, photovoltaic and concentrated solar. A solar energy system does not include any solar energy system of four square feet in size or less.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SOLAR FARM or SOLAR POWER PLANT
Energy generation facility or area of land principally used to convert solar energy to electricity, whether by photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal devices or various experimental solar technologies, with the primary purpose of wholesale or retail sales of electricity or off-site consumption.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SOLAR PANEL
A device for the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SOLAR STORAGE BATTERY
A device that stores energy from the sun and makes it available in an electrical form.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
SOLAR-THERMAL SYSTEMS
Solar-thermal systems directly heat water or other liquid using sunlight. The heated liquid is used for such purposes as space heating and cooling, domestic hot water, and heating pool water.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
STABILIZATION
Covering or maintaining an existing cover or soil. Cover can be vegetative (e.g., grass, trees, seed and mulch, shrubs, or turf) or nonvegetative (e.g., geotextiles, riprap, or gabions).
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STABILIZATION (FINAL)
All soil-disturbing activities at the site have been completed, and a uniform perennial vegetative cover with a density of 80% has been established or equivalent stabilization measures (such as the use of mulches or geotextiles) have been employed on all unpaved areas and areas not covered by permanent structures.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STABLE, PRIVATE
An accessory building in which horses are kept for private use and not for hire, remuneration or sale.
STABLE, PUBLIC
A building in which horses are kept for public use for hire, remuneration or sale.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
The rust land-disturbing activity associated with a development, including land preparation such as clearing, grading, and filling.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STEEP SLOPES
Ground areas with a slope greater than 15% covering a minimum horizontal area of 1/4 acre or 10,890 square feet and a minimum horizontal dimension of 10 feet.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STOREFRONT CHARACTER
The character expressed by buildings placed close to the street with ground-floor display windows, weather protection (including, for example, awnings or canopies), corner building entrances or recessed entries, and similar features.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
The use of structural or non-structural practices that are designed to reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate its adverse impacts on property, natural resources and the environment.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER
An employee designated by the municipality to accept and review stormwater pollution prevention plans, forward the plans to the applicable municipal board(s) and inspect stormwater management practices.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN (SWPPP)
A plan for controlling stormwater runoff and pollutants from a site during and after construction activities.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it; or, if there is no floor above it, then the space between any floor level and the roof.
STREET
A public thoroughfare which affords the principal means of access to abutting property or is legally existing on any map of a subdivision filed in a manner provided by the laws of the Town of Rotterdam.
STREETSCAPE
The portion of the right-of-way that is between the lot line and the edge of the vehicular lanes. The principal streetscape components are curbs, sidewalks, planters, street trees, and street lights.
[Added 9-27-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017]
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials, other than a building, to form a construction that is safe and stable, including, among other things, stadiums, platforms, radio towers, sheds, storage bins, fences and display signs.
THEATER, OUTDOOR DRIVE-IN
An open lot, or part thereof, with its appurtenant facilities, devoted primarily to the showing of moving pictures or theatrical productions, on a paid-admissions basis, to patrons seated in automobiles or on outdoor seats.
TOURIST HOMES
See "bed-and-breakfast."
[Amended 11-24-1999 by L.L. No. 17-1999]
TOWER
Includes any tower, edifice, pole or other structure, whether attached to a building or freestanding, and whether guyed or self-supporting, designed to be used as or for the support of devices to be used for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals, such as but not limited to broadcast, shortwave, citizens' band, and FM or television signals. Any existing tower which is not in conformance with these regulations shall be considered as a nonconforming use. Wind energy facilities, small wind energy facilities, and wind measurement towers shall conform with the requirements of Chapter 269 of the Town Code.
[Added 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 10-2008]
TOWER, ATTACHED
Includes a tower which is attached to a building by a rigid member.
TOWER, FREESTANDING
Includes a tower which is not attached to a building by a rigid member.
TOWN ENGINEER
A licensed professional engineer staffed within the Department of Public Works or a duly authorized representative appointed by the Rotterdam Town Board.
[Added 12-9-1992 by L.L. No. 37-1992]
TOWNHOUSE (ROW HOUSE)
An attached house in a row or group with each house separated from adjoining houses by a common wall or walls.
TRAVEL TRAILER
A vehicular portable structure built on a chassis, designed to be used primarily as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation uses and not placed on a foundation. For the purpose of this chapter, this term shall be construed to include self-propelled living quarters commonly called "recreation vehicles" and "pickup campers."
USE, ACCESSORY
See "accessory use."
USE OF PROPERTY
The purpose or activity for which the land or building thereon is designed, arranged or intended or for which it is occupied or maintained.
USE, PERMITTED
A use which may be lawfully established by this chapter.
USE, PRINCIPAL
Each individual use specifically named in any subdivision defining the permitted uses for each zoning district contained in this chapter.
[Added 12-28-1988 by L.L. No. 13-1988]
USE, SPECIAL
A use, either public or private, which, because of its unique characteristics, cannot be properly classified as a permitted use in any particular district. After due consideration in each case of the impact of such use upon neighboring land and of the public need for the particular use at the particular location, such special use may or may not be granted.
VEGETATIVE BUFFER
A transitional vegetated area located between upland and aquatic habitats. For the purposes of this chapter, it shall be considered the strip of natural and/or managed vegetation 25 feet, measured horizontally, from a designated U.S. Army Corps of Engineer wetland and 100 feet, measured horizontally, from a designated NYS Department of Environmental Conservation wetland.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
WATERCOURSE
Any body of water, either natural or man-made, including but not limited to lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, tributaries, drainageways, and intermittent streams.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
WATERCOURSE BUFFER
A horizontal distance of 50 feet away from and parallel to the mean high water level of a watercourse.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
WETLANDS
Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency or duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include those areas determined to be wetlands by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
[Added 4-27-2005 by L.L. No. 9-2005]
WIND ENERGY FACILITY
Any wind turbine or array of wind turbines designed to deliver electricity to the power grid for sale with a combined production capacity of more than 100 kilowatts of energy, including all related infrastructure, electrical collection and distribution lines and substations, access roads and accessory structures, including accessory facilities or equipment.
[Added 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 10-2008]
WIND MEASUREMENT TOWER
A tower used for the measurement of meteorological data such as temperature, wind speed and wind direction.
[Added 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 10-2008]
YARD, FRONT
An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a main building, extending the full width of the lot and situated between the street line and the front line of the building projected to the side lines of the lot. The depth of the front yard shall be measured between the front line of the building and the street line. Covered or uncovered porches, whether enclosed or unenclosed, shall be considered as part of the main building and shall not project into a required front yard.
YARD, REAR
An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a main building, extending the full width of the lot and situated between the rear line of the lot and the rear line of the building projected to the side lines of the lot. The depth of the rear yard shall be measured between the rear line of the lot and the rear line of the building.
YARD, SIDE
An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a main building, situated between the side line of the building and the adjacent side line of the lot and extending from the rear line of the front yard to the front line of the rear yard.
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of "factory manufactured home," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003. See now the definition of "manufactured home."
[2]
Editor's Note: The definition of "recreational use," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-12-2002 by L.L. No. 11-2002.