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Land Development Code - City of Hudson, Ohio

Chapter 1201    General Provisions

Section 1201.01    Title

The regulations of this Part Twelve shall be officially known and cited as the "Land Development Code of the City of Hudson, Ohio," although it may be referred to hereafter as the "land development code," or "this Code."

Section 1201.02    Authority

This land development code is enacted pursuant to the City of Hudson Charter and the powers granted and limitations imposed on municipalities by the Constitution and laws of the State of Ohio.

Section 1201.03    Purpose And Intent

The regulations of this land development code are intended to implement the City of Hudson
Comprehensive Plan, as amended, and more specifically are intended to:

  1. Promote the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity, and general

  2. Secure safety of persons and property from fire, flood, and other dangers, and to
    secure adequate open spaces for light, air, and amenity;

  3. Conserve and stabilize property values through the most appropriate uses of land
    in relation to one another;

  4. Preserve and protect forests and woodlands, existing trees and vegetation,
    agricultural lands, floodplains, stream corridors, wetlands, and other sensitive
    environmental areas from adverse impacts of urban and suburban development;

  5. Facilitate the economic provision of adequate public facilities such as
    transportation, water supply, sewage disposal, drainage, electricity, public
    schools, parks, and other public services and requirements;

  6. Prevent congestion in travel and transportation, reduce community dependence on
    automobile travel, and encourage trip consolidation;

  7. Preserve and protect the architecture, history, and small-town character of the
    historic village core;

  8. Encourage innovative residential development so that growing demand for
    housing may be met by greater variety in type, design, and layout of dwellings,
    and by conservation and more efficient use of open space ancillary to such

  9. Encourage nonresidential development that preserves and protects the character of
    the community, including its natural landscape, and that minimizes objectionable
    noise, glare, odor, traffic and other impacts of such development, especially when
    adjacent to residential uses or to the historic village core;

  10. Manage overall community growth, including population and employment growth,
    to benefit the community and to encourage fiscally efficient and orderly
    development; and

  11. Encourage a balance of residential and non-residential uses and development in the
    community so that future growth occurs in a fiscally prudent manner.

Section 1201.04    Applicability and Jurisdiction

The provisions of this land development code shall apply to:

  1. All land and land development within the incorporated areas of the City of Hudson; and

  2. Use of all structures and land within the incorporated areas of the City of Hudson; and

  3. All structures and land owned by the city or by city agencies, departments, districts, or utilities, except that the city or city agency, department, district, or utility may be exempt from the provisions of this code when an emergency exists such that it is impossible to submit to the normal procedures and requirements of this land development code and quick and instant action is necessary to secure the public health, safety, or welfare. The City Council shall ratify such exemption after-thefact at its next regularly scheduled public meeting, and shall base its ratification on specified findings of fact related to the emergency involved.

Section 1201.05    Minimum Standards

The provisions of this land development code shall be considered the minimum requirements
necessary for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare.

Section 1201.06    Rules of Construction and Interpretation

  1. Meaning and Intent
    All provisions, terms, phrases, and expressions contained in this land development code shall be construed according to this Code's stated purpose and intent.

  2. Text
    In case of any difference of meaning or implication between the text of this Code and any heading, drawing, table, or figure, the text shall control.

  3. Computation of Time
    Periods of time defined by a number of days shall mean a number of consecutive
    calendar days, including all weekend days, holidays, and other non-business days;
    however, if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, that day shall be

  4. Delegation of Authority
    Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department or another officer
    or employee of the City to perform an act or duty, that provision shall be construed
    as authorizing the department head or officer to delegate the responsibility to
    subordinates, unless the terms of the provision specify otherwise.

  5. Technical and Non-Technical Words
    Words and phrases not otherwise defined in this Code shall be construed according
    to the common and approved usage of the language, but technical words and
    phrases not otherwise defined in this Code that may have acquired a peculiar and
    appropriate meaning in law shall be construed and understood according to such

  6. Mandatory and Discretionary Terms
    The word "shall" is always mandatory, and the words "may" or "should" are always permissive.

  7. Conjunctions
    Unless the context clearly suggests the contrary, conjunctions shall be interpreted as
    1. "And" indicates that all connected items, conditions, provisions, or events shall apply; and

    2. "Or" indicates that one or more of the connected items, conditions, provisions, or events shall apply.

  8. Tense and Usage
    Words used in one tense (past, present, or future) include all other tenses, unless the
    context clearly indicates the contrary. The singular shall include the plural, and the
    plural shall include the singular.

  9. Gender
    The masculine shall include the feminine.

  10. Interpretation of Zone District Boundaries
    Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of zone districts as shown on the
    Official Zoning Map, the following rules shall apply:
    1. Boundaries indicated as appearing to follow the center lines of streets or
      highways shall be construed as following such center lines;

    2. Boundaries indicated as appearing to follow platted lot lines shall be
      construed as following such platted lot lines;

    3. Boundaries indicated as appearing to follow City limits shall be construed
      as following City limits;

    4. Boundaries indicated as following railroad lines shall be construed as
      midway between the main tracks;

    5. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines of
      streams or other bodies of water shall be construed as moving with the
      actual body of water and following the centerline; and

    6. When there is disagreement over the location of zone district boundaries, a
      decision on the correct location shall be rendered by the City Manager with
      an appeal from this decision made to the Board of Zoning and Building
      Appeals. In making his decision, the City Manager shall consider the rules
      set forth in this subsection, the comprehensive plan policies and map of the
      area in dispute, adjacent and surrounding land uses, and if deemed
      necessary, an inspection of the area in dispute.

Section 1201.07    Rules of Measurement

  1. Lot Area Measurement
    Lot area refers to the amount of horizontal land area within lot lines. Public rights of way shall not be included in calculating lot area. No site plan, subdivision
    Figure 1: Lot Width
    approval, zoning certificate, or other development approval shall be issued for a lot that does not meet the minimum lot area requirements of this Code, except as otherwise allowed in this Code.

  2. Lot Width Measurement
    Lot width refers to the horizontal distance between the side lot lines as measured a
    straight line parallel to the front lot line (the lot line abutting the street on which the
    property has its principal access) or the chord thereof. The minimum lot width shall
    be measured between the side lot lines along a line that is parallel to the front lot
    line and located the minimum front setback distance from the front lot line. (See
    Figure 1)

  3. Setbacks--Building and Structure Setbacks from Lot Line
    Setbacks shall be measured as the distance between the nearest lot line and the furthermost projection of a building or structure along a line at right angles to the lot line. Setbacks shall be unobstructed from the ground to the sky except as otherwise specifically allowed in this section. (See Figure 2.)

    1. Features Allowed Within Setbacks:
      1. Driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks, provided that the edge of a driveway shall be set back at least three (3) feet from an adjacent property line;
      2. Steps to the principal entrance and necessary landings, together with railings no more than three (3) feet in height, and associated roofs, provided they do not extend more than six (6) feet into the required yard setback;
      3. Trees, vegetation, or other features of natural growth;
      4. Fences or walls subject to height restrictions set forth in this Code;
      5. Chimneys not more than eight (8) feet in width, bay windows, balconies on second and third floor levels, buttresses, piers, pilasters, outdoor access ways to basement areas protected by railings at least two feet six inches (2'6") high on two sides, and roof overhangs may project no more than three (3) feet into a required yard;
      6. Cornices, canopies, eaves, or other similar architectural features may extend no more than two (2) feet, six (6) inches into a required yard;
      7. Fire escapes and handicap ramps, together with associated roofs provided they project no more than thirty (30) percent of the required yard setback dimension;
      8. Utility lines, wires, and associated structures such as power poles; and
      9. Signs if permitted by the sign regulations of this Code.

    2. Front Setbacks on Corner Lots.
      For corner lots, one side of the lot with street frontage shall be designated the "front" and required to establish the applicable front yard setbacks.

    3. Yards Abutting Alleys.
      1.  In computing the depth of a rear yard or the width of a side yard, where the rear or side yard abuts an alley, one-half (2) of the width of the alley may be included as a portion of the required rear or side yard, subject to the limits in paragraph B of this subsection. (See Figure 3)

      2. No building where a side or rear yard is required shall be closer than three (3) feet to a side alley lot line or ten (10) feet to a rear alley lot line, except that an accessory residential garage structure may be no closer than three (3) feet to a rear alley lot line.

  4. Setbacks--Development Setbacks from Stream Corridors or Wetlands
    1. Stream Corridors. Setbacks from stream corridors shall be measured from the ordinary high water mark, as "ordinary high water mark" is defined in Chapter 1213.
    2. Wetlands. Setbacks from wetlands shall be measured from the delineated wetland edge. See Section 1207.03, "Wetlands/Stream Corridor Protection" re. delineation of wetlands.

  5. Height
    1. Measurement of Maximum Building Height in Feet. Height shall be measured as the vertical distance in feet between finished grade (including finished grade of a basement with direct, at-grade walk-out access) to the top of the highest roof beam on a flat or shed roof, the deck level on a mansard roof, or the average distance between the eaves and the apex of a gable, hip, or gambrel roof. (See Figure 4.)

    2. Exemptions from Height Standards. The following structures and features shall be exempt from the height requirements of this Code, but in no case shall such structures or features be greater than any height specified below or one-hundred (100) feet, whichever is less, unless a variance is granted.
      1. Chimneys, smokestacks, or flues that cover no more than five (5) percent of the horizontal surface area of the roof and extend no more than four (4) feet above the maximum structure height permitted in the zone district;
      2. Cooling towers and ventilators that cover no more than five (5) percent of the horizontal surface area of the roof and extend no more than four (4) feet above the maximum structure height permitted in the zone district;
      3. Elevator bulkheads and stairway enclosures;
      4. Water towers and fire towers that extend no more than four (4) feet above the maximum structure height permitted in the zone district;
      5. Utility poles and support structures;
      6. Belfries, spires, steeples, cupolas, and domes provided they are not used for dwelling purposes; and
      7. Barns, silos, or other farm structures or buildings on farms used for agricultural purposes.

  6. Density-Measurement of Density for Residential Development (Section 1203.09)
    1. Gross Density shall mean the measure of dwelling units permitted per gross acre of land area contained in the development.
    2. Net Density shall mean the measure of dwelling units permitted per acre of land area contained in the development, excluding streets, easements, public open space, land under water, and certified wetlands and floodplains. Wetland and other sensitive area setbacks and private open space shall not be excluded in calculating net density. Unless otherwise indicated in this Code, any specified residential density shall be net density.

  7. Exterior Lighting--Measurement of Lighting Levels
    1. Metering Equipment. Lighting levels shall be measured in footcandles with
      a direct-reading, portable light meter. The meter shall have a color and
      cosine-corrected sensor with multiple scales and shall read within an
      accuracy of plus or minus five (5) percent. The meter shall have been
      tested, calibrated, and certified by an independent commercial photometric
      laboratory or the manufacturer within one (1) year of the date of its use.
    2. Method of Measurement. The meter sensor shall be mounted not more than
      six (6) inches above the ground level in a horizontal position. Readings
      shall be taken by qualified personnel only after the cell has been exposed
      long enough to provide a constant reading. Measurement shall be made
      after dark with the light sources in question turned on and again with the
      same sources off. The difference between the two readings shall be
      compared to the maximum permitted illumination set forth in this Code.
      This procedure eliminates the effects of moonlight and other ambient light.

  8. Spacing Requirements
    Unless otherwise specified, the required minimum space between a proposed use
    and an existing use or lot shall be measured from the edge of the principal structure
    housing the proposed use to the closest edge of the principal structure housing the
    existing use or to the closest lot line.

Section 1201.08    Conflicting Provisions and Relationship with Other Ordinances

  1. Conflicts with Other Regulations
    When the provisions of this land development code are inconsistent with one another or when the provisions of this Code conflict with provisions found in other adopted ordinances or regulations, the more restrictive provision shall govern. Provisions should be interpreted to require compatibility of land subdivision and development to neighboring residential development.

  2. Relationship with Other Ordinances Regulating Residential Development
    The provisions of this land development code require a certificate of zoning compliance ("zoning certificate") for construction of a residential dwelling unit on a legal lot prior to issuance of a building permit by Summit County. In addition to compliance with the use and development standards set forth in Chapters 1205, 1206, and 1207 of this Code, there are two conditions precedent for issuance of a zoning certificate for residential development in the City:
    1. An allocation granted pursuant to the provisions and procedures established in Chapter 1211 of this Code, the "Growth Management Residential Development Rate Allocation System," and
    2. Design review and approval from the Architectural and Historic Board of Review ("AHBR") pursuant to the provisions and procedures set forth in Chapters 1202, 1203, and 1204 of this Code.

  3. Relationship with Other Ordinances and Regulations
    It shall be the applican's responsibility to determine and comply with all applicable city, county, state, or federal ordinances or regulations governing land development activities.

Section 1201.09    Transitional Provisions

This section addresses the applicability of new substantive standards enacted by this Code to
activities, actions, and other matters that are pending or occurring as of the effective date of this

  1. Violations Continue
    Any violation of the previous zoning, subdivision, or sign regulations of the City shall continue to be a violation under this land development code and shall be subject to the penalties and enforcement set forth in Chapter 1212, unless the use, development, construction, or other activity is clearly consistent with the express terms of this Code.

  2. Nonconformities Under Previous Ordinance
    Any nonconformity under the previous zoning or sign regulations of the City shall be considered a legal nonconformity under this Code, so long as the situation that resulted in the nonconforming status under the previous regulations continues to exist. If, however, a nonconformity under a previous ordinance becomes conforming as a result of the adoption of this Code, or any subsequent amendments thereto, then such situation shall no longer be considered a nonconformity. (See Section 1206.05, "Nonconforming Uses/Structures/Lots".)

  3. Completion of Development Plans Commenced or Approved Under Previous Ordinances
    1. Buildings or Developments with Previously Issued Zoning Certificates.
      Any building or development for which a zoning certificate was granted or allotted prior to the effective date of this Code shall be permitted to proceed to construction even if such building or development does not conform to the provisions of this Code. If construction is not commenced or completed in accordance with the applicable permit terms, the Municipal Planning Commission may, for good cause shown, grant not more than one extension of up to six (6) months. If the building or development is not completed within the time allowed under the original permit or any extension granted, then the building shall be constructed, completed, or occupied only in compliance with the requirements of this Code.

    2. For purposes of this subsection, "substantially completed" means where, in the judgment of the City Manager:
      1. At least ninety (90) percent (based on the cost of the required improvements for which financial security was posted) of those improvements required as a condition of final approval have been completed in accordance with the approved plan, so that the project will be able to be used, occupied, or operated for its intended use; or
      2. At least fifty (50) percent of all phases have been one-hundred (100) percent built-out with respect to lots.

Section 1201.10    Severability

If a court of competent jurisdiction declares that any section, subsection, or provision of this land development code is invalid, that ruling shall not affect the validity of any other part of this Code or of the Code as a whole, which shall remain in full force and effect.