City of Troy, NY
Rensselaer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Yard and open space for every building. No yard or other open space provided about any building for the purpose of complying with the provisions of these regulations shall be included as any part of the yard or open space for any other building on the lot or on any other lot.
B. 
Subdivision of a lot. Where a lot is formed hereafter from part of a lot already occupied by a building, such separation shall be effected in such manner as not to impair conformity with any of the requirements of this chapter with respect to the existing building and all yards and other required spaces in connection therewith; and no permit shall be issued for the establishment of a land use or erection of a building on the new lot thus created unless it complies with all the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Irregularly shaped lots. Where a question exists as to the proper application of any of the requirements of this chapter to a particular lot or parcel because of the peculiar or irregular shape of the lot or parcel, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall determine how the requirements shall be applied, after written request by the Director.
D. 
New buildings on lots less than the minimum area. A permit may be issued for the erection of a building for a permitted use on a lot for which a valid conveyance has been recorded prior to the adoption of this chapter, notwithstanding that the area or dimensions of such lot are less than that required for the district in which such lot lies, providing:
(1) 
That all yard setbacks and other requirements which are in effect at the time of the obtaining of the building permit are complied with; and
(2) 
That the owner of such a lot did not own other lots contiguous thereto at the time of the adoption of this chapter. If he/she did (and still does), such other lot, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be combined with the first named lot to make one or more conforming lots, whereupon a permit may be issued, but only for such combined lots. If he/she does own contiguous property, a permit may not be issued until the lot shall have been made contiguous. Where the required area or dimensions of lots are changed by an amendment to this chapter, any legal lot existing at that date and made nonconforming by such amendment may be built upon within the limits of the two conditions mentioned above.
E. 
Front yard extension. When an unimproved lot is situated between two improved lots, each having a principal building within 20 feet of the side line of the unimproved lot, the front yard may be reduced to a depth equal to that of the greater front yard of the two adjoining lots.
F. 
Lots without public water or sewer facilities. No building permit shall be issued for any use on a lot which is not served by both public water and a public sanitary sewer system, if the Director deems them necessary for such use, unless such deficiency is allowed by both the Rensselaer County Health Department and the Mayor.
G. 
Projections about height limits. The height limitations of this chapter shall not apply to projections of buildings which are usually carried above the roof level, such as flagpoles, church spires, belfries, cupolas and domes not used for human occupancy, nor to chimneys, ventilators, skylights, water tanks, bulkheads or similar features, radio and television antennas for the use of residents of dwellings in apartments, and necessary mechanical appurtenances. Such projections, however, shall be erected only to a height necessary to accomplish the purpose they are intended to serve but in no case more than 15 feet above the projection's lowest point of contact with the roof. The total area covered by such features shall not exceed in cross-sectional area 15% of the area of the section of roof upon which they are located. Such features as water tanks, cooling towers and bulkheads shall be enclosed within walls of material and design in harmony with the main walls of the building on which they are located.
H. 
Required street frontage. No permit shall be issued for any land use or structure unless the lot upon which such land use is to be established or structure is to be built has the required frontage on a street or alley as defined herein, which street or alley frontage provides the actual access to such land use or structure, and which street or alley shall have been suitably improved or a performance bond posted therefor, as provided by applicable provisions of law.
I. 
Yards, yard improvements, building projections and setbacks.
(1) 
Terraces (porch, open). A terrace shall not be considered in the determination of lot coverage or yard requirements, except as otherwise specified in this chapter; provided, however, that such terrace is without roof, awnings, screens, walls, parapets or other forms of enclosure and is not more than three feet above the level of the floor of the ground story. Such terrace, however, may have a guard railing, wall or fence, none of which shall exceed four feet in height.
(2) 
Porches (roofed). No porch may project into any required yard, except as otherwise specified in this chapter. Any two-story porch shall be considered a part of the building in determining setback distances.
(3) 
Projecting architectural features. Architectural features such as windowsills, belt courses, chimneys, cornices, eaves or bay windows may project not more than three feet into any required yard. The sum of any bay window projections on any wall shall not exceed one-fourth the length of said wall.
J. 
Accessory buildings and uses. All accessory buildings shall conform with the minimum yard regulations established in Article IV of this chapter, except as permitted below:
(1) 
Unattached, accessory to residential buildings. Buildings accessory to residential buildings and which are not attached to any main building shall be no higher than 16 feet from the adjacent ground surface to the highest point of the roof, if newly constructed. Existing unattached accessory buildings that are higher than 16 feet on the effective date of this chapter shall not be made higher. Unattached accessory buildings may be erected in the required rear and side setback areas of the principal structure provided that:
(a) 
A minimum distance of 12 feet be maintained between the principal building and the accessory building.
(b) 
A minimum side and rear accessory setback equal to one-quarter of the accessory building height be maintained in all zones except the R-1 Zone district. In no case may this setback be less than three feet.
(c) 
Minimum side and rear accessory setback of five feet be maintained in the R-1 Zone district.
(2) 
Unattached, accessory to nonresidential buildings. Buildings accessory to nonresidential buildings shall meet the required side yard setbacks for the main building on the same lot. The required distance from the main building and from the rear lot line shall be one-fourth the height of the accessory building. No such accessory building shall exceed the main building height and in no case shall exceed 30 feet in height, and location in the front yard is not allowed unless an area variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals
A. 
Two or more buildings on a lot. Two or more main buildings located on a parcel in single ownership shall conform to all the requirements of this chapter which would normally apply to each building if each were on a separate lot.
B. 
Through lots. Where a single lot under individual ownership extends from one street to another parallel or nearly parallel street, the postal address street will be considered as the front street. No main building shall be erected on the rear of the lot except as specified in this article.
C. 
Lots fronting on an alley. Individual lots, existing on the effective date of this chapter, fronting on an alley, shall comply with all the requirements of this chapter and the district in which said lots are located.
D. 
Side yard of a corner lot. The side yard of a corner lot which abuts on a street shall be equal to at least one-half the required front yard for that street.
Whenever a buffer strip is required by this chapter, it shall meet the following standards:
A. 
Be at least five feet in width along any lot line abutting a residential lot in a residence district or three feet width in all other cases.
B. 
Be of fencing or evergreen planting of such type, height, spacing and arrangement as, in the judgment of the Planning Board, will screen the activities on a lot from the adjoining areas.
C. 
The plan and specifications for such planting shall be filed with and be part of the approved plan for the use of the lot.
D. 
Required planting shall be properly maintained throughout the continuance of the use on the lot.
E. 
A wall or fence, of location, height and design approved by the Planning Board for additional screening, may be permitted by the Planning Board in addition to or substituted for the required planting.
F. 
Additional standards for specific zone districts as required in Article IV.
On any corner lot in a district, no building, fence, wall, hedge, or other structure or planting more than three feet in height shall be erected, placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by the intersecting curblines and a straight line joining said curblines at points which are 30 feet distant from their point of intersection, measured along said curblines. The height of three feet shall be measured above the road surface at the nearest edge of the pavement. This section shall not apply to existing trees, provided that no branches are located closer than six feet to the ground.
An auto service station shall be subject to the following additional standards:
A. 
The lot upon which it is located shall have a width of at least 100 feet fronting on a public street and an area of at least 10,000 square feet.
B. 
No new or used motor vehicles shall be sold or exhibited for sale on any part of the lot.
C. 
No motor vehicles left for service shall be left on the lot for a period exceeding 30 days.
D. 
No business not incidental to the normal conduct of an auto service station shall be permitted on the same lot.
The sales or rental of cars and other motor vehicles shall be subject to the following standards:
A. 
The lot upon which the use is located shall have a width of at least 100 feet fronting on a public street and an area of at least 10,000 square feet.
B. 
No vehicles which are junked or wrecked, or being disassembled, shall be parked or stored on the lot for a period in excess of 30 days. These vehicles shall not be visible from the street or ground level from nearby uses.
C. 
Business not incidental to the normal conduct of this use shall not be conducted on lot, except the associated service and repair of said vehicles.
D. 
Strings of lights or pennants shall not be used, hung, suspended or erected on any auto sales lot.
Unless specifically noted, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to fences and freestanding walls.
A. 
Work permit must be obtained for any new or replacement fence or freestanding wall.
B. 
Visibility at intersections: See § 285-73.
C. 
Fences in B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, IND, INST and CON Zones may be erected to a maximum height of 10 feet. No barbed wire shall be permitted in the bottom eight feet of such fences. All fences or walls hereafter erected that are more than eight feet in height shall be reviewed by the Planning Board and shall be subject to all terms and conditions as required by the Planning Board.
D. 
Fences in zones other than those enumerated in C above may be erected to a maximum height of eight feet except that new fences located between the front property line and the front line of the main building in R-1, R-2 and R-3 districts shall not exceed a height of four feet.
E. 
Appearance. Fences shall be constructed of materials that are new or in good used condition and shall be maintained in a structurally sound and safe condition, in a plumb upright position, and free from excessive rust, peeling or faded coatings and damaged or deteriorated components. Materials or assemblies clearly not intended for use as fencing shall not be utilized.
A single private outdoor swimming pool per property is permitted as an accessory use provided:
A. 
That the pool is not a commercial enterprise.
B. 
That no edge of the pool walls may be closer than eight feet to any property line or main building on the property. No walking surface of any deck or platform that is at or above the water level of an aboveground swimming pool and is within five feet of the pool walls may be closer than five feet to any interior lot lines.
C. 
That the pool does not encroach on the front yard of the property, as required in the district.
Clotheslines may not be installed in the front yard within any zoning district.