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Town of Massena, NY
St. Lawrence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
As used in this chapter, words in the singular include the plural and those in the plural include the singular; words used in the present tense include the future; the word "person" includes a corporation as well as an individual; the word "lot" includes the word "plot." The term "occupied or used" as applied to any building shall be construed as though followed by the words "or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied or used." The words "shall" and "will," for the purpose of this chapter, are defined as mandatory.
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall be considered interchangeable:
(1) 
The words "law," "regulation(s)" and "law."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: So in original.
(2) 
The terms "Town" and "Town of Massena."
(3) 
The terms "subdivider" and "developer" and the terms "subdivision" and "development."
(4) 
The terms "State Environmental Quality Review Act" and "SEQRA."
B. 
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following definitions shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meaning herein indicated. Any pertinent word or term not a part of this listing shall be construed to have its legal definition, as may be defined in "The Latest Illustrated Book of Development Terms: New Expanded Edition" by Moskowitz and Lindbloom, 2004 CUPR Press.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings herein indicated:
ACCESSORY
A building or use clearly incidental or subordinate to and customary in connection with the principal building or use on the same lot.
ADJOINING LOT
A lot or parcel of land that shares all or part of a common lot line with another lot or parcel of land.
AGRICULTURAL BUILDING
A structure on agricultural land designated, constructed, and used to house farm implements, livestock or agricultural produce or products grown or raised on the premises.
AGRICULTURAL LAND
Land used for the production, preparation, and marketing of crops, livestock or livestock products.
AGRICULTURAL SERVICES
Establishments primarily engaged in supplying soil preparation services, crop services, landscaping, horticultural services, veterinary and other animal services, and farm labor and management services.
BASEMENT
A story in a building, the structural ceiling level of which is four feet or more above the average level of finished grade of the exterior wall of such building and the floor level of which is below finished grade at any point on the periphery of the building.
BERMS
A mound of earth or the act of pushing earth into a mound.
BILLBOARD
A sign of more than 100 square feet in sign area that is employed for commercial, industrial, institutional, service or entertainment purposes, promoting products, or services conducted, sold or offered somewhere other than upon the same premises where the sign is located, and whose purpose is to sell or identify a product, service or activity. The word "premises" shall be interpreted, in the context of this section, as being a separate tract or parcel of land that has been or may be conveyed by deed or has otherwise been specified as a separate lot.
BOARDINGHOUSE
A dwelling unit or part thereof in which, for compensation, lodging and meals are provided and personal and financial services may be offered.
BUILDING
Any combination of materials forming any construction, except where entirely underground so as to permit the use of the ground above the same as if no building was present. The term "building" shall include the term "structure" as well as the following:
A. 
Signs.
B. 
Fences.
C. 
Walls, other than retaining walls projecting above the ground more than three feet at the higher ground level and not more than six feet at the lower ground level.
D. 
Radio and television receiving and transmitting towers and antennas, except for such antennas installed on the roof of a building and extending not more than 20 feet above the highest level of the roof of such building.
E. 
Porches, outdoor bins and other similar structures.
CAMPGROUND
A plot of ground on which two or more campsites are located, established, or maintained for occupancy by camping units as temporary living quarters for recreation, education, or vacation purposes.
CELLAR
Any space in a building, the structural ceiling level of which is less than four feet above the average finished grade of the exterior wall of such building. A cellar shall not be considered in determining the permissible number of stories.
CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT
A development design technique that concentrates buildings on a part of the site to allow the remaining land to be used for recreation, common open space, and preservation of environmentally sensitive features.
COMMERCIAL GREENHOUSE
A structure utilized for seed germination, plant propagation, hardening-off or forcing or maintenance of a controlled climate to sustain plant growth otherwise not possible in natural out-of-door surroundings. The retail or wholesale sale of such products raised on premises is permitted, as is the sale of live or fresh products not raised or produced on the premises. The sale of other products produced or otherwise prepared or manufactured off-premises shall be permitted only if such products are related to agriculture or horticulture. (Requires Agriculture and Markets Department license to sell.)
CONFORMING USE
All uses that are consistent or permitted by this chapter.
COURT, INNER
An open space enclosed on all sides by exterior walls of a building.
COURT, OUTER
An open rectangular space enclosed on three sides by exterior walls of a building.
DEVELOPMENT
The division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels; the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any structure; any mining, excavation, landfill, or land disturbance; or any use or extension of the use of land.
DISMANTLER
Any person engaged in the business of buying, selling, or dealing in vehicles, including nonrepairable vehicles, for the purpose of dismantling the vehicles, who buys or sells the integral parts and component materials thereof, in whole or in part, or deals in used motor vehicle parts. This definition does not apply to the occasional and incidental dismantling of vehicles by DMV-registered dealers whose principal business is buying and selling new and used vehicles, or by owners who desire to dismantle not more than two personal vehicles within any twelve-month period. A "dismantler" is also a person who for longer than 12 months keeps or maintains on real property owned by him, or under his possession or control, two or more unregistered motor vehicles no longer intended for, or in condition for, legal use on the highways, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts, for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials, whether metal, glass, fabric, or otherwise, or to dispose of them, or for any other purpose.
DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY
A building containing three or more dwelling units, including units that are located one over another.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE
A building or portion thereof containing three or more dwelling units.
DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
A detached building containing one dwelling unit only.
DWELLING, ROW OR ATTACHED
A one-family dwelling with common or party walls separating it from adjacent units.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A detached building containing two dwelling units only.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms designed, occupied, or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters, with cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities provided within the dwelling unit for the exclusive use of a single family maintaining a household.
FACTORY-MANUFACTURED (MODULAR) HOME
See "modular home."
FAMILY
One or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit. More than five persons, exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption, shall not be considered to constitute a family.
FARM
Definitions from the Agricultural Districts Law.
A. 
The land and on-farm buildings, equipment, manure processing and handling facilities, and practices which contribute to the production, preparation and marketing of crops, livestock and livestock products as a commercial enterprise, including a "commercial horse boarding operation" as defined in Subdivision 13 of this section and "timber processing" as defined in Subdivision 14 of this section and "compost, mulch or other biomass crops" as defined in Subdivision 16 of this section.[1] For the purposes of this section, such farm operation shall also include the production, management and harvesting of "farm woodland," as defined in Subdivision 3 of this section. Such farm operation may consist of one or more parcels of owned or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous to each other. [Note: The definition of "farm operation" was separately amended by Chapters 374 and 388 of the Laws of 2001 to add "manure processing and handling facilities" (Chapter 374) and "commercial horse boarding operations" (Chapter 388) and in 2005, "timber processing" (Chapter 573).] [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(11).]
B. 
Shall include but not be limited to the following [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(2).]:
(1) 
Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
(2) 
Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
(3) 
Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets and onions.
(4) 
Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
(5) 
Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, horses, poultry, ratites, such as ostriches, emus, rheas and kiwis, farmed deer, farmed buffalo, fur-bearing animals, wool bearing animals, such as alpacas and llamas, milk, eggs and furs.
(6) 
Maple sap.
(7) 
Christmas trees derived from a managed Christmas tree operation whether dug for transplanting or cut from the stump.
(8) 
Aquaculture products, including fish, fish products, water plants and shellfish.
(9) 
Woody biomass, which means short rotation woody crops raised for bioenergy, and shall not include farm woodland.
(10) 
Apiary products, including honey, beeswax, royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis, package bees, nucs and queens. For the purposes of this subsection, "nucs" shall mean small honey bee colonies created from larger colonies including the nuc box, which is a smaller version of a beehive, designed to hold up to five frames from an existing colony.
C. 
Land used for the production for sale of woodland products, including but not limited to logs, lumber, posts and firewood. Farm woodland shall not include land used to produce Christmas trees or land used for the processing or retail merchandising of woodland products. [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(3).]
D. 
An agricultural enterprise, consisting of at least seven acres and boarding at least 10 horses, regardless of ownership, that receives $10,000 or more in gross receipts annually from fees generated either through the boarding of horses or through the production for sale of crops, livestock, and livestock products, or through both such boarding and such production. Under no circumstances shall this subdivision be construed to include operations whose primary on-site function is horse racing. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subdivision, a commercial horse boarding operation that is proposed or in its first or second year of operation may qualify as a farm operation if it is an agricultural enterprise, consisting of at least seven acres, and boarding at least 10 horses, regardless of ownership, by the end of the first year of operation. [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(13).]
E. 
The on-farm processing of timber grown on a farm operation into woodland products, including but not limited to logs, lumber, posts and firewood, through the use of a readily movable, nonpermanent saw mill, provided that such farm operation consists of at least seven acres and produces for sale crops, livestock or livestock products of an annual gross sales value of $10,000 or more and that the annual gross sales value of such processed woodland products does not exceed the annual gross sales value of such crops, livestock or livestock products. [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(14).]
F. 
The on-farm processing, mixing, handling or marketing of organic matter that is grown or produced by such farm operation to rid such farm operation of its excess agricultural waste; and the on-farm processing, mixing or handling of off-farm generated organic matter that is transported to such farm operation and is necessary to facilitate the composting of such farm operation's agricultural waste. This shall also include the on-farm processing, mixing or handling of off-farm generated organic matter for use only on that farm operation. Such organic matter shall include, but not be limited to, manure, hay, leaves, yard waste, silage, organic farm waste, vegetation, wood biomass or by-products of agricultural products that have been processed on such farm operation. The resulting products shall be converted into compost, mulch or other organic biomass crops that can be used as fertilizers, soil enhancers or supplements, or bedding materials. For purposes of this section, "compost" shall be processed by the aerobic, thermophilic decomposition of solid organic constituents of solid waste to produce a stable, humuslike material. [See Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(16).]
FLAG LOT
See "lot, flag."
HEIGHT
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the finished grade at the front of a building to the highest point of the roof, for flat and mansard roofs, and to the mean height between the eaves and the ridge, for all other types of roofs.
HOBBY FARM
Production of crops, livestock and livestock products that does not meet the definition of "farm operation" as defined within the Code, is considered a hobby farm. The Planning Board will determine limits, such as the raising of livestock in the R-A Zoning District and not to exceed "x" number of animals unless it is part of a farm operation as defined herein (three to five acres required).
HOME OCCUPATION
A customary personal service occupation, such as dressmaking, millinery and home cooking, provided that such occupation shall be conducted solely by members of the resident family and in the main building only, that not more than the equivalent of 1/3 the total floor area shall be used for such purposes, that no display of advertising other than a small nameplate and no display of products shall be made visible from the street, that no stock-in-trade shall be kept and that no mechanical or electrical equipment is used except customary household equipment. Beauty parlors, barbershops, and hairdressing and manicuring establishments shall not be deemed to be home occupations.
HOUSEHOLD
A family living together in a single dwelling unit, with common access to and common uses of all living and eating areas and all areas and facilities for the preparation and serving of food within the dwelling unit.
INDUSTRY, LIGHT
Industrial uses that meet the performance standards, bulk controls, and other requirements contained in this chapter.
JUNKYARD
Any lot, land, parcel, building, or structure, or part thereof, used for the storage, collection, processing, purchase, sale, salvage, or disposal of junk.
LOCAL WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION PROGRAM
A planning program that has been jointly undertaken by the Towns of Louisville and Massena and the Village of Massena and approved by the New York State Department of State. One of the key features of the program is the articulation of coastal policies that apply in the waterfront revitalization area and with which actions must be consistent.
LOT
Any parcel of land, not necessarily coincident with a lot or lots shown on a map of record, which is occupied or which is to be occupied by a building and its necessary buildings, if any, or by a group of buildings accessory thereto, if any, together with the required open spaces appurtenant to such building or group of buildings (see Figure 1).
LOT, CORNER
A lot at the junction of and abutting on two or more intersecting streets where the interior angle of intersection does not exceed 135°. A lot abutting a curved street shall be deemed a corner lot if the tangents to the curve at the points of intersection of the side lot lines with the street lines intersect at an interior angle of less than 135° (see Figure 1).
LOT DEPTH
The minimum distance from the street line of a lot to the rear lot line of such lot (see Figure 1).
207 Lot Depth.tif
Figure 1, Lot definitions (see also Figure 3)
LOT, FLAG
A lot not meeting minimum frontage requirements and where access to the public road is by a private right-of-way or driveway (see Figure 1 and Figure 2).
207 Flag Lot.tif
Figure 2, Flag lot definition
LOT LINE
Any boundary of a lot (see Figure 1).
LOT LINE, REAR
The lot line generally opposite to the street line; if the rear lot line is less than 10 feet in length or if the lot comes to a point in the rear, the rear lot line shall be deemed to be a line parallel to the front lot line not less than 10 feet long lying farthest from the front lot line (see Figure 3).[2]
LOT WIDTH
The average distance between side lot lines taken at the front yard or setback line and measured at right angles to the side lot lines or along a line parallel to the street (see Figure 1).
MANUFACTURED HOME
A factory-built, single family structure that meets the Federal Manufacture Home Construction and Safety Standards Act (42 U.S.C. § 54-01), commonly known as "HUD Code." Manufactured homes were formerly referred to as "mobile homes."
MANUFACTURED HOME BASE
A permanent base located on a manufactured home lot which is capable of supporting and which is used for placement of a manufactured home. Such base may consist of a concrete pad or system of concrete piers or runners.
MANUFACTURED HOME LOT
A designated site of specific total land area which is located within a manufactured home park for the accommodation of one manufactured home and its occupants.
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK
A parcel or contiguous parcels of land which has been designated and improved for the purpose of placing three or more manufactured homes for occupancy as single-family dwellings.
MANUFACTURING
Any process whereby the nature, size or shape of articles or raw materials is changed or where articles are assembled or packaged.
MOBILE HOME
See "manufactured home."
MOBILE HOME PARK
See "manufactured home park."
MODULAR HOME
A structure intended for residential use and manufactured off site, in accordance with local or state code, transportable in two or more sections, and intended for installation on a permanent foundation. A modular home is treated as a standard stick-built (on-site-built) home.
NONAGRICULTURAL
Anything other than agricultural. See "agricultural land," "agricultural building," and "agricultural services."
NONCONFORMING USE
A use or activity that was lawful prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment of this chapter but that fails by reason of such adoption, revision, or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the zoning district.
NURSERY
The growing, cultivation, storage, and sale of garden plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and fertilizers, as well as the sale of garden tools and similar accessory and ancillary products to landscapers and the general public. (Requires Agriculture and Markets Department license to sell.)
OFF-SITE SEWER SYSTEM
A system of collection lines and treatment facilities that:
A. 
Discharges treated effluent to a stream pursuant to the discharge requirements of New York State;
B. 
Utilizes community subsurface sewage disposal systems serving five or more dwelling units each; or
C. 
Utilizes other central treatment options approved by New York State.
PAVEMENT
An all-weather road surface constructed upon a minimum four-inch base of three-fourths-inch crushed stone.
PLAN ELEMENTS
Elements needed for the preparation of a subdivision or development plan, as required by this chapter and Chapter 191, Subdivision of Land.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING
A building in which is conducted the main or principal use of the lot on which said building is located.
PUBLIC WATER; PUBLIC SEWER
Sewage disposal and water supply systems approved by the Town Board for municipal operation.
RECREATIONAL FACILTIES
A place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports and leisure-time activities.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
A transportation structure, self-propelled or capable of being towed by a passenger car, station wagon or small pickup truck, or such size and weight as not to require any special highway movement permits and primarily designed to provide temporary movable living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use or to carry such equipment, but not for profit nor for commercial use. Included as recreational vehicles, but not to the exclusion of any other types not mentioned in this definition, are trailers; trailer coaches; camping trailers; motor homes; pickup (slide-in) campers; chassis mounts; converted vans; chopped vans; mini motor homes; fifth-wheel trailers of recreational vehicle construction, design and intent (as opposed to commercial fifth-wheel trailers); boat trailers, with or without boats mounted thereon; snowmobile trailers, with or without snowmobiles mounted thereon; and truck caps.
A. 
Recreational vehicles constructed with integral wheels to make them mobile and intended to be towed by passenger cars, station wagons and/or light pickup or panel trucks and similar motor vehicles, but not including truck tractors of any type.
B. 
A type of trailer or trailer coach, the walls of which are so constructed as to be collapsible and made out of either canvas or similar cloth or some form of rigid material, such as fiberglass or plastic or metal. The walls are collapsed while the recreational vehicle is being towed and are raised or unfolded when the vehicle becomes temporary living quarters and is not being moved.
C. 
Recreational structures designed to be mounted temporarily or permanently in the beds of light trucks, with the trucks having either single or double rear wheels and with or without an assisting extra tag axle and wheels mounted either on the camper chassis or the truck chassis behind the truck's rear wheels. These campers can be readily demounted from the truck beds. When removed from their respective truck beds, pickup (slide-in) campers and truck caps are called "unmounted campers."
D. 
Recreational structures constructed integrally with a truck or motor-van chassis and incapable of being separated therefrom. The truck or motor-van chassis may have single or double rear wheels.
E. 
Recreational structures which are created by altering or changing an existing auto van to make it into a recreational vehicle meeting the requirements of Subsection C above.
F. 
A vehicle on which a boat or snowmobile may be transported and which is towable by a passenger car, station wagon, pickup truck or mobile recreational vehicle as defined above. When removed from the trailer, a boat or snowmobile, for the purposes of this chapter, is termed an "unmounted boat or snowmobile."
ROOMING HOUSE
See "boardinghouse."
SEQR
New York State's State Environmental Quality Review Act that requires all state and local government agencies to consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors during discretionary decisionmaking.
SHOPPING CENTER
Two or more stores under single ownership or control, containing a total floor area of at least 20,000 square feet.
SIGN
Any structure or part thereof or any device attached to a building or painted or represented thereon which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, pennant, insignia, device, trade flag or representation which is in the nature of or which is used as an announcement, direction or advertisement for commercial purposes or otherwise. A sign includes a billboard and a neon tube, string of lights or similar device outlining or hung upon any part of a building or lot but does not include the flag or insignia of any nation or group of nations or of any governmental agency or of any political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive, movement or event. Excluded from this definition are signs which are solely devoted to prohibiting trespassing, hunting or fishing.
SIGN AREA
Includes all faces of a sign measured as follows:
A. 
When such a sign is on a plate or framed or outlined, all of the area of such plate or the area enclosed by such frame or outline shall be included.
B. 
When such sign consists only of letters, designs or figures engraved, painted, projected or in any manner affixed on a wall, the total area of such sign shall be deemed the area within which all of the matter of which such sign consists may be described.
SMALL RURAL BUSINESS
A retail business or personal service business of a limited size to meet the needs of residents and visitors, provided such business complies with all appropriate standards established in the Town of Massena Zoning Code. The Planning Board shall determine whether a proposed use constitutes a small rural business in accordance with the standards prescribed in § 207-16B of the Town of Massena Zoning Code.
[Added 10-20-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
STORY
The part of any building, exclusive of cellars but inclusive of basements, comprised between the level of one finished floor and the level of the next higher finished floor or, if there is no higher finished floor, then that part of the building comprised between the level of the highest finished floor and the top of the roof beams.
STORY, HALF
Any space partially within the roof framing, where the clear height of not more than 50% of such space between the top of the floor beams and the structural ceiling level is seven feet six inches or more.
STREET
A street, improved to the satisfaction of the Planning Board, which is one of the following: an existing Town, county or state highway or street; a street shown on an approved subdivision final plat; a street shown on a map filed with the County Clerk (in accordance with § 280-a of the Town Law) prior to Planning Board authorization to review subdivisions; or a street shown on the Town Official Map.
STREET LINE
Edge of the street right-of-way; front lot line.
STRUCTURAL CHANGE
Any change in supporting members of a building, such as beams, columns or girders.
USABLE OPEN SPACE
An unenclosed portion of the ground of a lot which is not devoted to driveways or parking spaces, which is free of structures of any kind, of which not more than 25% is roofed for shelter purposes only, the minimum dimension of which is 40 feet and which is available and accessible to all occupants of the building or buildings on said lot for purposes of active or passive outdoor recreation.
USE, ACCESSORY
A use customarily incidental and subordinate to the main use on a lot, whether such accessory use is conducted in a principal or accessory building.
A. 
The authorization of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the use of land in a manner which is not allowed by the dimensional or topographical requirements of this chapter.
B. 
The authorization of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the use of land in a manner or for a purpose which is otherwise not allowed or is prohibited by this chapter.
WAREHOUSE
A building used primarily for the storage of goods and materials.
WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION BOUNDARY
The waterfront revitalization boundary within the Town of Massena is a portion of a larger waterfront revitalization boundary that extends to coastal areas in the Village of Massena and Town of Louisville. The boundary was adopted as part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Planning Program.
WHOLESALE TRADE
Establishments or places of business primarily engaged in selling merchandise to other businesses, including retailers, industrial, commercial, institutional, or professional business users, other wholesalers, or acting as agents or brokers and buying merchandise for, or selling merchandise to, such individuals or companies.
YARD, FRONT
An unoccupied ground area fully open to the sky between the street line or between the street line established by the Official Map of the Town or an approved subdivision plat and a line drawn parallel thereto (see Figure 3).
YARD, REAR
An unoccupied ground area fully open to the sky, extending across the full width of that portion of the lot situated between the rear line of the lot and the rear line of the building (see Figure 3).
YARD, SIDE
An unoccupied ground area fully open to the sky between any property line other than a street or rear lot line and a line drawn parallel thereto between the front and rear yards (see Figure 3).
207 Lot Line Yard and Setback.tif
Figure 3, Lot line, yard and setback definitions
[1]
Editor's Note: "This section" refers to § 301 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure 3 is included after the definition of "yard, side."