Town of Westerly, RI
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
See Schedules of Dimensional Regulations included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
Building height. For a vacant parcel of land, building height shall be measured from the average existing grade elevation where the foundation of the structure is proposed. For an existing structure, building height shall be measured from average grade taken from the outermost four corners of the existing foundation. In all cases, building height is measured to the top of the highest point of the existing/proposed roof or structure. For any property located in a Flood Hazard Overlay District, maximum height shall be measured from the base flood elevation (BFE) where the structure is located, as shown on the official FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Additionally, for any property located in a Flood Hazard Overlay District within an HDR-10 (High Density Residential), SC-G (Shore Commercial — General), or SC-WH (Shore Commercial — Watch Hill) Zoning District, maximum height may be measured from up to three feet above the BFE when an additional and proportional amount of freeboard is being utilized. In no case shall any designated freeboard or any area beneath the BFE in a flood zone be used as habitable space.
[Amended 4-23-2012 by Ch. No. 1768; 10-21-2013 by Ch. No. 1800]
B. 
Limitation on fill. The finished grade surrounding a building may be raised to a level not to exceed four feet above the elevation of the center of the street measured at the midpoint of the lot frontage. For any property located in a Coastal A or VE Flood Zone, the finished grade may be raised to a level not to exceed two feet above existing grade throughout the property.
[Amended 10-21-2013 by Ch. No. 1800]
C. 
Lot width. In the event that a lot contains only three sides, the width of the lot shall be the distance between side lot lines, measured at the required front yard depth. The rear yard shall be measured from a line 10 feet in length entirely within the lot parallel to the front lot line.
D. 
Lot frontage. The following rules apply to measuring lot frontage:
(1) 
Only contiguous road frontage shall be used in measuring lot frontage.
(2) 
If the front yard of a lot abuts a curve or a cul-de-sac, the frontage of the lot shall be the distance between the two side lot lines measured at the required front yard depth.
(3) 
On a corner lot, the shorter street frontage shall be considered the front lot line, and the longer street frontage shall be considered a side lot line. The front yard depth shall conform to the requirement in § 260-19. The street side yard shall be equal to the average of the required front yard and side yard dimensions.
E. 
Required yards/open space.
(1) 
No lot area shall be reduced so that yard, total area and lot frontage shall be less than prescribed for the district in which the lot is located. No yard or open space required by this chapter for any building shall be deemed to satisfy the yard or open space requirement for any other building.
(2) 
The space in a required front, side, or rear yard shall be open and unobstructed and in accordance with the following:
(a) 
Open or semi-enclosed structures such as porches, canopies, balconies, platforms, garages, covered patios, decks and similar projections attached to a principal building shall be considered parts of the building and shall not project into the required yards. When such structures are not attached to the principal building they shall be considered accessory structures and shall be governed by the provisions of § 260-66.
(b) 
A building may not overhang its foundation and project into a required yard. Ordinary projections of window sills, cornices and other ornamental features may extend up to 12 inches into a required yard. Stairways shall not extend into the required yard more than three feet.
F. 
Vision clearance at corners. At street intersections in all districts, except Downtown Commercial 1, no building or structure shall be erected and no vegetation shall be maintained between the heights of two feet and 10 feet above the triangle formed by the two street lines and a third line joining points of the street lines 30 feet from the intersection. It shall be the duty of the Director of Public Works to enforce this provision on vision clearance.