City of Ithaca, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "City of Ithaca, New York, Zoning Ordinance."
[Amended 6-6-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-03]
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority and provisions of the General City Law to promote public health, safety and welfare and the most desirable use of land and to conserve the value of buildings and enhance the value and appearance of land throughout the City. Each article and section in this chapter is intended to operate and be interpreted in the context of the chapter as a whole, and in relation to other applicable articles and sections (including the definitions in § 325-3, the District Regulations Chart, and the special, overriding limitations that are placed upon nonconforming uses and structures by Article III), rather than separately or independently.
A. 
General rules and interpretation.
(1) 
Words in the present tense shall imply also the future tense.
(2) 
The singular includes the plural.
(3) 
The word "lot" includes the word "plot" or "parcel."
(4) 
The words "shall" and "must" are always mandatory.
(5) 
The word "used" or "occupied," as applied to any land or building, shall be construed to include the words "intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied."
B. 
Specific terms or words. For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms or words herein, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, shall be interpreted or defined as follows. These definitions apply to this chapter; and, in order to retain conformity, they are applied also to the Housing Code and Building Code of the City.[1] Some of the definitions, therefore, will not appear in this chapter. Amendments or changes to this section shall also be made in the definitions sections in the other heretofore mentioned chapters in order to retain conformity.
ACCESSORY APARTMENT
A small dwelling unit, added to an owner-occupied single-family residential property, which is subordinate to the principal residential use in terms of size and appearance.
[Added 8-5-1984 by Ord. No. 84-15]
ACCESSORY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
A structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is located on the same premises.
ACCESSORY USE
A use, occupancy or tenancy customarily incidental to the principal use or occupancy of the main building. Such accessory uses may include, among others, the following:
(1) 
Offices for building management.
(2) 
Dining rooms, banquet rooms, public kitchens and ballrooms.
(3) 
Recreation and play rooms.
(4) 
Laundries for the use of tenants and occupants related to the management and operation of a residential building.
(5) 
Maintenance and work shops and storage rooms for linen, bedding, furniture, supplies and tenants' equipment and effects.
(6) 
Rooms or space for the incidental sale or display of merchandise to occupants and tenants.
(7) 
Garages within a residential building or on the premises thereof used primarily for the storage of passenger-type motor vehicles.
ADULT DAY CARE
Provision of daytime care to adults whose ability to independently perform the normal activities of daily life is limited by age or physical or other impairment but who do not require the level of care provided by nursing homes or medical facilities.
[Added 5-6-1987 by Ord. No. 87-13]
ADULT DAY-CARE FACILITY, GROUP
[Added 5-6-1987 by Ord. No. 87-13]
Any habitable structure or habitable part of any structure in which adult day care is provided:
(1) 
To more than six adults at one time; or
(2) 
To more than two adults when such day care is not conducted by a resident of the facility.
ADULT DAY-CARE HOME
A dwelling unit in which adult day care is provided to not more than six adults at one time by a resident of the dwelling.[2]
[Added 5-6-1987 by Ord. No. 87-13]
AGRICULTURE
Farming and similar commercial endeavors relating to the land and its use for growing crops for profit.
ALLEY
A narrow serviceway providing a secondary means of access to abutting properties.
ALTERATION
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 the front, rear or on a side or by increasing in height, or the moving from one location or position to another.
APPROVED
Approved by the Director of Planning and Development or his/her designee under the regulations of this chapter or approved by an authority designated by law or this chapter.
[Amended 6-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-15[3]]
BASEMENT
That space of a building that is partly below grade which has more than half of its height, measured from floor to ceiling, above the average established curb level or finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
BATHROOM
Enclosed space containing one or more bathtubs or showers, or both, and which may also contain water closets, lavatories or fixtures serving similar purposes. (See "toilet room.")
BED-AND-BREAKFAST HOME
An owner-managed occupation conducted by the owner-occupant of a one- or two-family home that provides one to four rooms for paying guests on an overnight basis. Guest occupancy periods shall not exceed 21 consecutive days. The occupancy of such a bed-and-breakfast home is limited to two persons or one family per lodging unit or guest room.
[Added 9-6-1995 by Ord. No. 95-10]
BED-AND-BREAKFAST INN
An owner-managed occupation that provides five to 10 guest rooms, limited to two persons or one family per lodging unit or guest room, on an overnight basis for periods not to exceed 21 days.
[Added 9-6-1995 by Ord. No. 95-10]
BOARDINGHOUSE
A multiple dwelling where sleeping facilities and meals are provided, for compensation, to long-term guests. (See also "rooming house.")
[Amended 9-6-1995 by Ord. No. 95-10]
BOATEL
See "motel or boatel."
BUILDING
Any structure wholly or partially enclosed within exterior walls or within exterior and/or party walls and a roof, affording shelter to persons, animals, or property, including porches. (See "structure".)
[Amended 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
BUILDING AREA
The total area (taken on a horizontal plane at the main grade level) of the principal building and all accessory buildings, including porches, attached or free standing decks, balconies projecting more than two feet from a building or structure, ramps, and/or landings. The total building area shall be used for determining required yards and maximum percentage of allowed lot coverage but shall not include parking areas and parking spaces. Pergolas and terraces and patios shall be exempt from total lot coverage requirements. However, neither pergolas or terraces and patios above grade shall be located in a required yard.
[Amended 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
BUSINESS OR PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
Offices where services are provided that require specialized training or professional certification, including but not limited to accountant, appraiser, attorney, architect, engineer, surveyor, stockbroker, physician, dentist, chiropractor, massage therapist, psychologist, and optometrist.
[Added 10-3-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-10]
CARPORT
A roofed structure, with or without enclosing walls, used for the storage of one or more automobiles.
CELLAR
That space of a building that is partly or entirely below grade which has more than half of its height, measured from floor to ceiling, below the average established curb level or finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
CHURCH
Any structure used for worship or religious instruction, including social and administrative rooms accessory thereto.
CLUB
Any 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, merchandising or commercial activities, except as required for the membership and purposes of such club. It shall include fraternal, social and service organizations. Any such organization's premises or building which provides sleeping accommodations for more than five persons shall be considered a multiple dwelling.
CLUSTER SUBDIVISION
A subdivision in which limited deviations from the regulations of the zoning district in which it is built are permitted in accordance with the provisions of § 325-11 of this chapter.
[Added 2-1-1989 by Ord. No. 89-2]
COMMUNITY OR NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN
An area used by several individuals or families, operating in association with each other and under sponsorship by a nonprofit or voluntary organization, for seasonal production of vegetables and other garden produce for home consumption by the individuals or families directly engaged in such production.
[Added 7-10-1985 by Ord. No. 85-6]
CONVERSION
The changing of use or occupancy by alteration, addition or by other reorganization.
COOPERATIVE HOUSEHOLD
A group of four or more unrelated persons, exclusive of minor dependent children in the care of a parent or relative, occupying a dwelling unit without auxiliary social facilities. Any dwelling unit occupied by a cooperative household shall be considered a multiple dwelling. This category shall not be construed to permit facilities which provide living accommodations for persons requiring supervised residential care, such as halfway houses, hostels or group homes. (See "group-care residence.")
CORNER LOT
A parcel of land at the junction of and bounded by two or more intersecting streets.
DECK
A structure freestanding or attached to a building or an aboveground swimming pool, consisting of one or more planes constructed of wood, metal, and/or other materials including a support system of footings and foundation walls and/or piers, pilasters, columns, and posts, joists, beams, stringers, floor boards, and/or similar structural members, and including, any open enclosure, ramps, and/or landings and other devices connecting one level with another, with the ground and/or an adjoining structure and, if required by building code, balusters and railings.
[Added 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
DIGITAL ZONING MAP
The set of electronic files which store the boundaries of the zoning districts, including the historic districts, and which are maintained as the Official Zoning Map of the City of Ithaca, New York, including any accompanying files which store the legend, certifications, titles and all other graphic devices necessary to produce the Zoning Map in analog format.
[Added 11-4-1998 by Ord. No. 98-28]
DORMITORY
A multiple dwelling which provides sleeping accommodations and domestic facilities and services for a group of college, university or secondary school students.
DRIVEWAY
A means of vehicular access from a street to the interior of a lot.
[Added 11-5-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-5]
DRIVEWAY AISLE
The portion of a driveway which gives immediate vehicular access to two or more parking spaces.
[Added 11-5-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-5]
DWELLING
Any building or structure or part thereof used and occupied for human habitation or intended to be so used. (See "habitable space.")
(1) 
A building containing three or more dwelling units.
(2) 
A single dwelling unit, without auxiliary social facilities, occupied by a group of four or more unrelated persons, exclusive of minor dependent children in the care of a parent or relative. (See the definition of "cooperative household" of this section.)
(3) 
A building containing living, sanitary and sleeping facilities occupied by one or two families and more than two roomers or boarders, exclusive of minor dependent children in the care of a parent or relative, residing with either one of such families.
(4) 
A building with one or more sleeping rooms, other than a one- or two-family dwelling, used or occupied by permanent or transient paying guests or tenants.
(5) 
A building with sleeping accommodations for more than five persons used or occupied as a club, dormitory, fraternity, sorority or group house or for similar uses.
(6) 
A building used or occupied as a convalescent, old-age or nursing home, but not including private or public hospitals or public institutions.
DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
[Amended 4-1-1981 by Ord. No. 81-2; 1-8-1990 by Ord. No. 90-2]
A dwelling unit occupied exclusively for residential purposes by an individual or family and not more than one unrelated individual or a functional family unit. In the R-1 Zones, occupancy by an individual or a family and not more than two unrelated individuals is permitted if the dwelling is owner-occupied. In the R-2 and R-3 Zones, occupancy by an individual or a family and not more than two unrelated individuals is permitted. A one-family dwelling may be constructed in any of the following configurations, as permitted in specific zoning districts:
(1) 
A building containing not more than one dwelling unit.
(2) 
A building containing not more than one dwelling unit which is sited so that the side of the building is on or near the side property line of the parcel on which it is built.
(3) 
A building containing not more than two one-family dwellings, each of which shares a party wall or other common structural elements with the other dwelling unit in the building and which has direct exterior access from the ground floor.
(4) 
A building containing three or more one-family dwellings, each of which shares one or more party walls or structural elements with the other one-family dwellings in the building and which has direct exterior access from the ground floor. A maximum of six one-family dwelling units may be attached to form a single building.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY[4]
A building containing not more than two dwelling units occupied exclusively for residential purposes, each unit of which may be occupied by an individual or family and not more than one unrelated individual, except that if one unit is occupied by a single individual, the other may be occupied by not more than three individuals if unrelated; and if not owner-occupied, one unit may be no larger than 50% of the floor area of the larger, and each unit may be occupied by no more than two persons, if unrelated, in R-1 Zones. In R-2 and R-3 Zones, each unit of a two-family dwelling may be occupied by an individual or family and not more than two unrelated individuals.
[Amended 4-1-1981 by Ord. No. 81-2]
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms designed or used for living quarters by one household, including provisions for living, cooking, sanitary and sleeping facilities, and having a separate entrance from the outside of the building or through a common hall.
ENLARGEMENT
Additions to buildings, structures or land with respect to bulk, mass or other measures regulated by this chapter. Enlargements include but are not necessarily limited to: additional numbers of dwelling units, additional numbers of unrelated individuals occupying residential buildings, and projects that create additional space physically attached to a building or structure or convert existing space to a different use.
[Added 7-1-1998 by Ord. No. 98-10]
EXIT
A way of departure from the interior of a building or structure to the exterior at street or grade, including doorways, passageways, hallways, corridors, stairways, ramps, fire escapes and all other elements necessary for egress or escape.
EXTENSION
To make a greater or expanded use of a property. This term applies to both uses of structures and to uses of land and indicates a larger scope of operations on the property, including projects that create additional space physically attached to a building or structure. An addition of unrelated individuals residing in a residential structure without a physical addition of space is considered an extension. Extensions also include a greater use of land or property for the operation of any aspect of a use.
[Added 7-1-1998 by Ord. No. 98-10]
FAMILY
One or more persons occupying a dwelling unit, all of whom are related by blood, marriage or adoption.
FAST-TRACKING
That type of construction which divides the design stage into component parts, each story or stage of the building or structure requiring approval by the Director of Planning and Development or designee previous to construction: Each story or stage of the building or structure can be built before the design for any subsequent story need to be completed or approved. Fast-tracking does not exempt the owner from any other provisions of this chapter or any other City ordinance. The initial application for fast-tracking shall include the submission of architectural preliminary drawings of the conceptual plan and design, including at least ground plan dimensions and building height, which shall not be altered at any later stage except by express consent of the Director of Planning and Development or designee.[5]
[Amended 4-1-1981 by Ord. No. 81-2; 6-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-15[6]]
FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY
Any facility that is used to transform raw ingredients, by physical or chemical means, into food or other items meant for human consumption, or for food into other forms, including the processing and packaging of the food items. Food production facilities may include, but are not limited to, bakeries, brew pubs, coffee roasters, wineries and food-packaging facilities.
[Added 8-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
FRATERNITY HOUSE, SORORITY HOUSE OR GROUP HOUSE
A multiple dwelling used and occupied by a cooperating group of college or university students and containing and providing domestic and social facilities and services thereto.
FUNCTIONAL FAMILY UNIT
[Added 2-4-1987 by Ord. No. 87-2]
A group of individuals living together in a single dwelling unit and functioning as a family with respect to those characteristics that are consistent with the purposes of zoning restrictions in residential neighborhoods.
(1) 
In determining whether or not a group of unrelated individuals is a functional family unit under the definition set forth above, the following criteria must be present:
(a) 
The occupants must share the entire dwelling unit. A unit in which the various occupants act as separate roomers cannot be deemed to be occupied by a functional family unit.
(b) 
The household must have stability with respect to the purpose of this chapter. Evidence of such stability may include the following:
[1] 
The presence of minor dependent children regularly residing in the household.
[2] 
Proof of the sharing of expenses for food, rent or ownership costs, utilities and other household expenses and sharing in the preparation, storage and consumption of food.
[3] 
Whether or not different members of the household have the same address for the purposes of:
[a] 
Voter registration.
[b] 
Drivers' licenses.
[c] 
Motor vehicle registration.
[d] 
Summer or other residences.
[e] 
The filing of taxes.
[4] 
Common ownership of furniture and appliances among the members of the household.
[5] 
Enrollment of dependent children in local schools.
[6] 
Employment of householders in the local area.
[7] 
A showing that the household has been living together as a unit for a year or more, whether in the current dwelling unit or other dwelling units.
[8] 
Any other factor reasonably related to whether or not the group or persons is the functional equivalent of a family.
(2) 
A group of individuals living in the same dwelling unit shall be presumed not to be a functional family unit, as defined in this section, if such dwelling unit contains four or more college students over the age of 16 years.
(a) 
A college student is a person who attends, at least half time, any college, university or other institution authorized to confer degrees by the State of New York.
(b) 
For the purpose of this presumption, minor dependent children of any other member of the household shall be excluded in calculating the number of college students in the household.
(3) 
A group of individuals living together in the same dwelling unit shall be presumed not to be a functional family unit, as defined in this section, if the dwelling unit is occupied by four or more unrelated adults over the age of 18 years and is not occupied by minor dependent children.
(4) 
The presumptions set forth in Subsections (2) and (3) of this definition may be rebutted by sufficient evidence of the characteristics set forth in Subsection (1) of this definition.
FUNERAL HOME
A structure used and occupied by a professional licensed mortician for burial preparation and funeral services.
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.
GARAGE, PUBLIC REPAIR
An enclosed space designed primarily for repair and service of motor vehicles.
[Amended 8-5-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992]
GARDEN APARTMENT
A dwelling unit in a structure containing three or more dwelling units which may share one or two walls with other dwelling units or structures, the distinguishing feature of such apartment being that it shall have access to private or semiprivate open space located on the same premises.
GASOLINE SERVICE STATION
Any area of land, including structures thereon, that is used for the sale of gasoline or any other motor vehicle fuel and may include oil and other lubricating substances, including any sale of motor vehicle accessories, and which may or may not include facilities for lubricating, washing or otherwise servicing motor vehicles except painting.
GENERALLY ACCEPTED STANDARD
A specification, code, rule, guide or procedure in the field of construction or related thereto, recognized and accepted as authoritative.
GRADE, FINISHED
The natural surface of the ground or the surface of the ground after completion of any change in contour abutting a building or premises.
GRADE PLANE
A reference plane representing the average of finished ground level on each side of the building at exterior walls. On the sides of the building where grade is level, the measurement will be taken at a point adjoining the building. Where the finished ground level slopes away from the exterior walls, the measurement shall be taken at the lowest point within the area between the building and the lot line or, where the lot line is more than 10 feet from the building, between the building and a point 10 feet from the building.
[Added 6-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-09]
GREEN AREA
That portion of any lot treated in such a manner as to provide light, air and landscaped open space for the recreational and visual enjoyment of the occupants of any dwelling built on said lot. Green areas may include lawns, trees, shrubbery, garden areas, footpaths, play areas, fountains, pools, watercourses and wooded areas but shall not include required parking spaces and service areas or vehicular surfaces other than access drives which are not used for vehicular parking.[7]
GREEN SPACE
A portion of a lot that is set aside for public or private use without any construction or parking areas. The space may be used for passive or active recreation, may be reserved to protect natural areas, or may serve as a buffer between adjacent lots or uses. The area may be naturally occurring or landscaped. Where a minimum green space requirement applies, at least 75% of the required area shall be softscape including trees, shrubs, natural plantings, garden areas, lawns, and other live vegetative coverings. The remaining area may include pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks or patios. Required green space must be permanently maintained in a healthy growing condition at all times.
[Added 6-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-08]
HABITABLE SPACE
Space occupied by one or more persons for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Kitchenettes shall not be deemed to be habitable space. (See "nonhabitable space," "public space" and "exit.")
HEALTH CARE FACILITY
Places that provide health care services, but are not intended for overnight stay. Health care facilities may include clinics, outpatient care centers, and urgent care facilities.
[Added 8-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
HEAVY INDUSTRIAL
Fabrication, processing, manufacturing, converting, altering, assembling or other handling of products. Heavy industrial uses may result in loud noises, vibrations, or odors. These negative effects must be mitigated, so that the impacts do not reach beyond the boundaries of the district where the use is permitted.
[Added 8-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
HEIGHT OF BUILDING
he vertical distance measured from grade plane to the highest level of a flat or mansard roof or to the average height of a pitched, gabled, hip or gambrel roof, excluding bulkheads, housing for mechanical equipment, towers and similar constructions not intended for human occupancy or necessary equipment carried above roof level. Where a building contains sections of a roof of varying heights, the height of that building shall be measured using that section of the roof that has the highest elevation from grade plane. See the definition for determining grade plane.
[Amended 4-1-1981 by Ord. No. 81-2; 9-6-1989 by Ord. No. 89-12; 6-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-09]
(1) 
A subordinate use of a nonresidential nature which is conducted within a dwelling unit or a building accessory thereto by a resident of the dwelling unit, who maintains the dwelling unit as his or her principal residence, which is clearly incidental and accessory or secondary to the use of the property for residential purposes and which meets the following additional conditions:
(a) 
The occupation or activity is carried on wholly within the principal building or within a building or other structure accessory thereto. The purpose of the occupation or activity may be the administration or management of a business that has no impact on the surrounding neighborhood other than that permitted by the following criteria. (See the definition of "accessory building.")
(b) 
Not more than two persons who are not residents of the household are employed or participate in the occupation at the residence.
(c) 
There are no exterior displays or signs, including those on vehicles parked outdoors, except as permitted under Chapter 272, Signs, of this Code.
(d) 
No offensive odor, noise, vibration, smoke, dust, heat or glare is produced. (See § 325-23 of this chapter.)
(e) 
The home occupation does not generate traffic in any greater volume than would normally be expected in the affected residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by the occupation is met, off the street and in accordance with the regulations of § 325-20 of this chapter.
(f) 
The occupation occupies no more than 25% of the dwelling unit and no more than a total of 500 indoor square feet, including accessory structures.
(g) 
There is no exterior storage of materials nor, in an R-1 Zone, more than a single marked or signed vehicle used by or advertising the occupation that is not stored in a building and similarly no more than two such vehicles in R-2 Zones and in R-3 and in all other zones no more than three such vehicles; and there is no other exterior indication of the home occupation or variation from the residential character of the lot or of the surrounding neighborhood.
(2) 
In particular, a home occupation includes but is not limited to the following: an art studio, dressmaking, teaching, telecommuting, conducting a computer-based business and the professional office of a lawyer, engineer, architect, real estate broker or insurance agent within a dwelling unit which is his or her principal residence. Home occupations include the use of space in the home for business recordkeeping, storage of goods used or sold by the occupation or parking vehicles used in the occupation even if occupation primarily conducts business off premises.
(3) 
The term "home occupation" shall not be construed to authorize retail uses in any residential zoning district.
HOTEL
A building containing rooms occupied for sleeping purposes by guests and where a general kitchen and dining room are provided within the building or in an accessory building.
HUMAN SERVICE AGENCY
An organization providing assistance to people in obtaining services to meet their needs. Services provided may include but are not limited to one or more of the following: information, guidance, counseling, therapy, group social activity, remedial instruction, self-help and support. Services may not include the provision of alcohol.
[Added 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 96-9]
INFESTATION
The presence within or contiguous to a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or premises of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
JUNKYARD
A lot, land or structure or part thereof used for the collecting, storage or sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or discarded material or for the collecting, dismantling, storage or salvaging of machinery or vehicles not in running condition or for the sale of parts thereof.
KITCHEN
Space, 60 square feet or more in floor area, with a minimum width of five feet, used for cooking or preparation of food.
KITCHENETTE
Space, less than 60 square feet in floor area, used for cooking or preparation of food.
LANDMARK
A natural or human-made feature of the City of Ithaca, so designated by the Common Council, deserving special recognition and protection for its historic, cultural or aesthetic value, as further described in Chapter 228, Landmarks Preservation, of this Code.
LANDMARK DISTRICT
An area of the City, so designated by the Common Council, containing one or more landmarks.
LARGE BEVERAGE PRODUCER
An establishment licensed by the State of New York to manufacture alcohol (whether beer, cider, wine and/or liquor) with wholesale and retail privileges. A large producer may not produce more than 75,000 barrels (beer) or 250,000 gallons (wine, cider, other beverages) of alcoholic beverages annually at any location. A large producer may have a restaurant in or adjacent to it, as permitted by law. Any silos for storage of raw materials must be no more than 25 feet in height, including any supporting structures, for areas where there is no fire department ladder truck access, and a maximum of 40 feet in height, including any supporting structures, in areas where there is fire department ladder truck access. In addition, silos must contain some sort of filtration to prevent grain or dust from escaping when the silo is being filled or emptied.
[Added 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-08]
LIGHT INDUSTRIAL
Fabrication, processing, manufacturing, converting, altering, assembling or other handling of products that does not result in:
[Added 8-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
(1) 
Dissemination of noise, vibration, odor, dust, smoke, detectable gas or fumes or their atmospheric pollutant beyond the boundaries of the property lines in which such use is conducted;
(2) 
Unusual hazard of fire, explosion or other physical danger to any person, building or vegetation;
(3) 
Radiation or interference with radio or television reception beyond the boundary of the property;
(4) 
A harmful discharge of waste material or any other means of disposal of waste material other than by delivery to an authorized, off-site treatment facility;
LOT
A portion or parcel of land, considered as a unit, devoted to a certain use or occupied by a building or a group of buildings that are united by a common interest or use and the customary accessories and open spaces belonging to the same.
LOT, BUILDING
A parcel of land occupied or to be occupied by one or more buildings and any accessory buildings, together with such open spaces as are required under the provisions of this chapter, having not less than the minimum area and width required by this chapter for a lot in the district in which such land is situated and having frontage on a street or on such other means of access as may be determined, in accordance with the provisions of law, to be adequate as a condition of the issuance of a building permit for a building on such land.
LUMBERYARD
Any establishment maintaining on its premises for sale to the public more than 100,000 board feet of lumber or other forest product.
MEZZANINE
An intermediate level or levels between the floor and ceiling of any space as defined in the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Added 11-2-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
MIXED OCCUPANCY
Occupancy of a building in part for residential use and in part for some other use not accessory thereto.
MIXED USE
Two or more uses conducted on the same property, by one or more occupants, either in the same structure or separate structures, or in the open.
[Added 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 96-9]
MOBILE HOME
A transportable, single-family dwelling unit suitable for year-round occupancy and containing the same conveniences as immobile housing with respect to water supply, light, heat, power and waste disposal. A mobile home is a portable unit designed and built to be towed on its own chassis, comprised of a frame and wheels, connected to utilities and designed 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 units; excluding, however, travel trailers, motorized homes, pickup coaches and camping trailers. (See also "trailer or travel trailer.")
MOBILE HOME PARK
A parcel of land under single ownership which has been planned and improved for the placement of mobile homes for nontransient use, consisting of not less than five acres and not fewer than 25 mobile home lots. (See also "trailer camp.")
MOTEL OR BOATEL
A building or group of buildings, whether detached or in connected units, designed and used as individual sleeping units primarily for transient automobile or boat travelers and providing accessory off-street parking facilities.
MUNICIPALITY OR CITY
The City of Ithaca in the County of Tompkins in the State of New York.
NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL FACILITY
A retail or service facility catering to the day-to-day commercial needs of the surrounding neighborhood. Such facility shall be limited to the retail sale of convenience goods, such as groceries, pharmaceuticals and sundries, and to personal service facilities, such as barber- and beauty shops, self-service laundromats and dry-cleaning establishments.
NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE OR CENTER
A neighborhood recreation and/or neighborhood service facility open to and providing programs for neighborhood residents.
NONCONFORMING BUILDING, STRUCTURE OR LOT
A building, structure or lot of record legally existing at the time of enactment of this chapter, or any subsequent amendment, which does not conform to the minimum parking or dimension requirements for the district in which it is located.
NONCONFORMING USE
A property use of record legally existing at the time of enactment of this chapter, or any subsequent amendment, which does not conform to the use regulations of the district in which it is situated.
NONHABITABLE SPACE
Space used as kitchenettes; pantries, bath-, toilet, laundry, rest, dressing, locker, storage, utility, heater and boiler rooms; closets and other spaces for service and maintenance of the building; and those spaces used for access and vertical travel between stories. (See definitions of "habitable space," "public space" and "exit.")
NURSERY SCHOOL
A facility designed to provide daytime care or instruction for two or more children from two to five years of age, inclusive, and operated on a regular basis.
OCCUPANT
[Added 1-8-1990 by Ord. No. 90-2; amended 3-6-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-05]
In R-2c Zones only, a person that is permitted to occupy a dwelling unit or building in an R-2c Zone.
(1) 
For the purposes of determining the number of occupants for all provisions of this chapter, an occupant is defined as person that has the right to occupy a dwelling unit or building notwithstanding actual occupation. Such a right to occupy may be demonstrated by any one of the following:
(a) 
Payment of rent;
(b) 
Being a lessee;
(c) 
Having permission of the owner to occupy a dwelling unit or building;
(d) 
Other evidence of a right to occupy.
(2) 
The number of such occupants that are permitted to legally occupy a dwelling unit or building is based on the amount of habitable space in the dwelling unit or building and on the basis of lot size. The minimum amounts of habitable space that are required for occupancy by one or more persons as shown in the following table. In any other lodging units permitted in R-2c Zones, the maximum number of occupants shall be limited to the number determined on the same basis as for dwelling units.
Number of Persons
Type of Space
1
2
3
4 or more
Sleeping room, minimum square feet
80
120
180
240, plus 60 for each additional person
Dwelling unit (other than kitchen), minimum square feet
150
250
350
450, plus 100 for each additional person
(3) 
Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the maximum size of any room in a dwelling unit. Bedrooms that exceed the minimum square footage in the above chart may not sleep more persons unless the appropriate lot size requirements are met.
(4) 
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, once an R-2c dwelling unit is constructed and legally occupied, the term "occupant" shall not include additional family members or members of a functional family unit that are added to a household.
OCCUPIABLE SPACE
A space that is in compliance with building, housing and zoning codes, that is eligible to receive a certificate of occupancy for commercial, residential, institutional, educational, or other similar uses, not to include storage or warehousing uses.
[Added 3-26-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-3]
OWNER
[Added 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-16]
In instances where owner-occupancy is required, "owner" shall be defined as follows: A person who maintains his/her principal residence in property for more than six months of each calendar year and who is:
(1) 
The sole owner of record of the property, as reflected in a deed recorded in the Tompkins County Clerk's Office;
(2) 
A tenant by the entirety or joint tenant with right of survivorship, as reflected in a deed recorded in the Tompkins County Clerk's Office; or
(3) 
A tenant in common of at least a 50% interest in the property, as reflected in a deed recorded in the Tompkins County Clerk's Office, provided that such interest was acquired:
(a) 
For full market value, paid to the grantor; or
(b) 
By descent or devise following the death of the former owner.
(1) 
Employee, customer and/or public parking: all or part of a lot or structure devoted to the parking of motor vehicles for occupants of or visitors to adjoining or nearby buildings.
(2) 
Neighborhood parking: all or part of a lot or structure devoted to the parking of motor vehicles for occupants of adjoining or nearby dwellings and their guests exclusively, which may be rented to such residents. Nearby dwellings shall constitute those dwellings within 500 feet of the boundaries of the parking lot.
(3) 
Private parking: an area or structure or portion of a structure devoted to the parking of motor vehicles by the occupants of a dwelling located on the same building lot.
PARKING GARAGE
A building or part thereof which is designed specifically for vehicle parking.
[Added 8-3-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-18]
PARKING SPACE
An off-street area intended for parking a vehicle. See § 325-20 for standards and specifications for parking space sizes, locations and requirements.
[Amended 8-5-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992]
PEDESTRIANWAY
A public right-of-way primarily for pedestrians, from which all motor vehicles are barred.
PERGOLA
An arbor or passageway for climbing plants with an overhead frame supporting open lattice work.
[Added 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
PLUMBING SYSTEM
The water supply system, drainage system, vent system, fixtures and traps, including their respective connections, devices and appurtenances, within the property lines of the premises.
PORCH
A structure projecting from the wall or walls of a building, with a roof, that may be open to weather or wholly or partially enclosed with walls. A porch shall be deemed part of the building.
[Added 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
POTABLE WATER
Water which is approved for drinking, culinary and domestic purposes.
PREMISES
A portion or parcel of real property, including appurtenances and improvements therein, used and devoted to a common use or facility.
PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED VACANT LOT OR PARCEL
A lot or parcel of land upon which one or more buildings have been erected at some time in the past but upon which no buildings now stand.
[Added 5-1-1985 by Ord. No. 85-5]
PRIMARY STRUCTURE
A single structure (located on a parcel) containing a use permitted in the zoning district in which it is located.
[Added 11-1-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-14]
PUBLIC SPACE
Space within a residential building for public use, such as lobbies; lounges; reception, ball-, meeting, lecture and recreation rooms; banquet and dining rooms and their kitchens; and swimming pools.
REDEMPTION CENTER
A New York State registered facility for the collection of mandated, clean, source-separated, recyclable materials such as glass, aluminum, bimetal and plastic containers.
[Added 10-6-1993 by Ord. No. 93-19]
ROOMING HOUSE
One or more rooms designed or used for living quarters by one household, which may or may not include separate sanitary facilities and which must include either complete kitchen facilities or a separate entrance from the outside of the building or through a common hall. (See also "boardinghouse.")
ROOMING UNIT
One or more rooms designed or used for living quarters by one household, which may or may not include separate sanitary facilities and which must include either complete kitchen facilities or a separate entrance from the outside of the building or through a common hall.
SCHOOL
A public, private or church-affiliated establishment for the education at all levels of children and/or adults in subjects or skills.
[Amended 11-6-1985 by Ord. No. 84-14]
SERVICE AREA
Paved, enclosed or visually screened areas which are used for maintenance or service purposes.
SEWAGE
Liquid waste containing animal or vegetable matter in suspension or solution and which may include industrial wastes and liquids containing chemicals.
SIGN, ADVERTISING
Any material, symbol, emblem, structure or device or part thereof composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is placed when used or located out of doors or outside or on the exterior of a building, including exterior and interior window surfaces, for display of an advertisement, and includes sign frames, billboards, signboards, painted wall signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, pennants, fluttering devices, projecting signs and ground signs and shall also include any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business when the same is placed in the view of the public.
SPECIAL PERMIT
The written authorization by the Board of Appeals to permit, in a given district, a property use which, because of its nature, location or effect on the surrounding neighborhood, warrants special evaluation of each individual case.
STANDARD CANOPY
A nonstructural addition to the facade of any building which is covered in fabric or other flexible membrane. The fabric or membrane is supported by a rigid frame of tubing or other noncombustible material. A standard canopy is one that is constructed so that it cannot be retracted. Such standard canopy may only project from the face of the structure upon which it is mounted four feet from the face of the structure and be no taller than four feet. The standard canopy must be mounted on the face of the structure to provide for an unobstructed clearance below the rigid frame of the standard canopy of eight feet above the sidewalk below. A nonrigid valance may hang no greater than one foot below the rigid frame.
[Added 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-21]
STANDARD AWNING
A nonstructural addition to the facade of any building which is covered in fabric or other flexible membrane. The fabric or membrane is supported by a rigid frame of tubing or other noncombustible material. A standard awning must be capable of being rolled up or retracted to within one foot of the face of the structure to which it is attached. Such standard awning must not be capable of projecting from the face of the structure upon which it is mounted more than four feet from the face of the structure and be no taller than four feet. The standard awning must be mounted on the face of the structure to provide for an unobstructed clearance below the rigid frame of the standard awning of seven feet above the sidewalk below. A nonrigid valance may hang no greater than one foot below the rigid frame.
[Added 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-21]
STORY
The portion of a building which is between one floor level and the next higher floor level or the roof. A mezzanine, as defined in the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, is not a story. A basement shall be deemed to be a story when its ceiling is six or more feet above the finished grade. A cellar shall not be deemed a story. An attic shall not be deemed to be a story if unfinished and without human occupancy.
[Amended 11-2-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-14]
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected on the ground or which is attached to another structure or building. Structures shall not include patios or terraces.
[Amended 12-3-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-21; 6-6-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-03; 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
TAVERN
An establishment for the sale of beer and other alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the premises, sometimes also serving food.
[Added 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-08]
TERRACE OR PATIO
A level plane or surfaced patio that is less than 18 inches above grade, without a roof, and not supported by any permanent structure. Terraces and patios above grade shall not encroach into required yards.
[Added 10-1-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
THEATER
A structure or part of a structure devoted to showing moving pictures or stage productions.
TOILET ROOM
An enclosed space containing one or more water closets, which may also contain one or more lavatories, urinals and other plumbing fixtures. (See "bathroom.")[8]
TOWNHOUSE
A dwelling unit sharing a minimum of one and a maximum of two walls with an adjoining dwelling unit and having direct exterior access from the ground floor.
TRAILER CAMP
A parcel of land under single ownership which has been planned and improved for the temporary placement of travel trailers for transient use, consisting of not less than five acres and not fewer than 25 trailer lots. (See also "mobile home park.")
TRAILER OR TRAVEL TRAILER
A portable unit designed and built to be towed by an automobile, which can be operated independently of utility connections, is limited in width to eight feet in length to 32 feet and is designed to be principally used as a temporary dwelling. It shall, for the purposes of this chapter, also include motorized homes, pickup coaches and camping trailers. (See also "mobile home.")
TRANSFER STATION FOR RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
A completely enclosed facility for the bulk sorting and/or packaging of glass, paper and other light recyclable materials.
[Amended 4-7-1993 by Ord. No. 93-8]
URBAN BEVERAGE PRODUCER
An establishment licensed by the State of New York to sell beverages containing less than 16% alcohol (whether beer, cider or wine) at retail with limited manufacturing and wholesale privileges. An urban beverage manufacturer may not produce more than 5,000 barrels (beer) or 75,000 gallons (wine, cider, other beverages) of alcoholic beverages annually at any location. An urban beverage producer must offer on-site consumption, but may also produce beverages for off-site sale. An urban beverage producer may also have a restaurant in or adjacent to it, as permitted by law. Any silos for storage of raw materials may not exceed 25 feet in height (including any supporting structures) in areas where there is no fire department ladder truck access, and may not exceed 40 feet in height (including any supporting structures) in areas where there is fire department ladder truck access. In addition, silos must contain some sort of filtration to prevent grain or dust from escaping when the silo is being filled or emptied.
[Added 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-08]
USE
The specific purpose for which land or a building is designed, arranged or intended or for which it is or may be occupied or maintained.
VARIANCE
The authorization by the Board of Appeals to vary or modify the application of any of the regulations or provisions of this chapter relating to the use, construction, structural changes in, equipment or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land pursuant to Subdivision 4 of § 81-a of the General City Law. A use variance will refer to a modification of the use of the structure or land, whereas an area variance (formerly called "exception") will refer to changes in lot size, yard size, building coverage, building height, off-street parking, etc., as set forth in § 325-8 hereunder.
VENTILATION
The supply and removal of air to and from a space by natural or mechanical means.
VENTILATION, MECHANICAL
Ventilation by power-driven devices.
VENTILATION, NATURAL
Ventilation by opening to the outer air through windows, skylights, doors, louvers or stacks, with or without wind-driven devices.
WATER-DEPENDENT ACTIVITY
An activity that cannot exist outside of the waterfront area and is dependent on the water by reason of the intrinsic nature of its operation. These activities include, but are not limited to, ports, water-use industries, marinas and other boat docking structures, public beaches and other public water-oriented recreation areas, and fisheries activities.
[Added 10-5-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-13]
WATER-DEPENDENT FACILITIES
Those structures or works associated with industrial, maritime, recreational, educational, or fisheries activities that require location at or near the shoreline.
[Added 10-5-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-13]
YARD
That part of a lot not occupied by the principal building or structure and which shall not be occupied by any other building or structure from the ground upward unless specifically authorized in this chapter or other provisions of the City of Ithaca Code.
(1) 
An open space extending the full width of the lot between a main building and the front lot line, unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings or structures from the ground upward, the depth of which shall be the least distance between the front lot line and the front of such main building.
(2) 
An open space extending from the front yard to the rear yard between any building and the side lot line, unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings or structures from the ground upward. The required width of side yards shall be measured horizontally from the nearest point of the side lot line to the nearest part of any building.
(3) 
An open space extending the full width of a lot between the rearmost main building and the rear lot line, unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings or structures from the ground upward except as hereinafter specified, the depth of which shall be the least distance between the rear lot line and the rear of such main building.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 210, Housing Standards, and Ch. 146, Building Construction.
[2]
Editor's Note: The definition of "adult entertainment establishment," added 7-5-1995 by Ord. No. 95-8, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 10-4-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-10; 8-7-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-5. See now § 325-29.1.
[3]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided for an effective date of 1-1-2014.
[4]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Dwelling, Owner-Occupied," which immediately preceded this definition, was deleted 8-5-1998 by Ord. No. 98-16.
[5]
Editor's Note: The formers definitions of "flood or flooding," "flood hazard area," "floodplain or flood-prone area," "floodplain management," "floodproofing" and "floodway," which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 12-6-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-12.
[6]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided for an effective date of 1-1-2014.
[7]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "group care residence," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 1-14-1993 by Ord. No. 93-2.
[8]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "tourist home," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 9-6-1995 by Ord. No. 95-10, which ordinance also provided that an historical note be added noting that this former use required one off-street parking space per guest room.