Chapter 101 - General Provisions



Sec. 101-1. - Title. Chapters 101 - 107 of the Panama City Municipal Code shall be entitled the “Land Development Regulation” & may be hereinafter referred to as “the Code.”


Sec. 101-2. - Interpretation. The following rules of interpretation & construction shall apply to this Land Development Regulation:


a) All words used in the present tense include the future; all words in the single number include the plural & the plural the singular; the words “person,” “developer,” “occupant,” “lessee,” “builder,” & “owner” include a firm, corporation, or other corporate entity as well as a natural person. The word “used” shall be deemed to include the words “arranged,” “designed,” or “intended to be used,” & the word “occupied” shall be deemed to include the words “arranged,” “designed,” or “intended to be occupied.”


b) In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this Land Development Regulation, the day of the act, event or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in which event the period shall run until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays & legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.


c) Unless otherwise defined in this Land Development Regulation, words & phrases shall be construed according to the common & approved usage of the language. Technical words & phrases & such others as may have acquired a peculiar & appropriate meaning in law shall be construed & understood according to such meaning.


d) In the interpretation of an application of this Land Development Regulation all provisions shall be liberally construed in favor of the objectives & purposes of the city & deemed neither to limit nor repeal other powers granted under state statutes.


Sec. 101-3. - Definitions. The following words, terms & phrases, when used in this Land Development Regulation, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:


Abutting. Having a common border with, or being separated by such a common border, by an alley, right-of-way, or easement.


Access. A means of vehicular or pedestrian approach, entry to, or exit from property.


Access management. The process of providing & managing access to land development while preserving the flow of traffic in terms of safety, capacity, speed, & concurrency.


Access point (or connection). That place or location where either of these occur:


(1) A driveway, a local street, or a collector street intersecting an arterial street;


(2) A driveway or a local street intersecting a collector street; or


(3) A driveway or a local street intersecting a local street.


Accessory structure. A subordinate, ancillary, & detached structure customarily used in connection with the principal use or structure on the same lot, parcel or property. At a minimum, accessory structures can be no larger than 60% of the principal structure & shall include, but are not limited to apartments, storage buildings, shops, garages, carports, utility buildings, private kennels, greenhouses, swimming pools, & patios.


Accessory use. A subordinate or ancillary use of land, or structure or improvements thereon, customarily used in connection with the occupation of the principal use or structure upon the same lot, parcel or property.


Adaptive reuse. Rehabilitation or renovation of existing building(s) or structures, including historic building(s), for any use(s) other than the present use(s).


Adult congregate living facility (ACLF). A type of residential care facility as defined in F.S. § 400.402.


Adverse impact. A negative consequence for the physical, social, or economic environment resulting from an action or project.


Affordable housing. Dwelling accommodations for which no more than 30% of the occupant’s gross income is spent for rent or PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes & Insurance) payments.


Alley. A roadway generally dedicated to public use affording only a secondary means of access to abutting property & not intended for general traffic circulation.


Ambient. Surrounding on all sides; used to describe measurements of existing conditions with respect to traffic, noise, air, & other environments.


Amenity. Aesthetic or other characteristics of a development that increase desirability to a community or its marketability to the public. Although they may vary from one development to the other, amenities may include unified building design, recreational facilities (e.g., a swimming pool or a tennis court), security systems, riparian or other views, landscaping & tree preservation, or attractive site design.


Apartment. Any building or portion thereof used to provide 3 or more separate dwelling units, which may share means of ingress & egress & other essential facilities, & which is renter-occupied rather than owner-occupied.


Applicant.  A person, corporation, partnership, joint venture, governmental body, agency, or authorized representative who files an application for any purpose to the City for approval.


Application. Any document submitted by an applicant for the following purpose:

1. Concurrency management purposes, to include Concurrency Encumbrance Certificates.

2. Approval of a development.

3. Approval of signage.

4. Proportionate fair share analysis or agreement.

5. Request for a Future Land Use Map amendment, or any text amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.

6. Request for a zoning change to the official Zoning Map, or any text amendment to the City Land Development Regulation.

7. Any other permit granted by the Planning & Land Use Division.


Area or area of jurisdiction. The total area of jurisdiction for the City of Panama City as established by its municipal Charter & any subsequent annexations, including those boards & agencies of & sponsored by the City.


Arterial road. A roadway providing service which is relatively continuous & of relatively high traffic volume, long trip length, & high operating speed, as classified by the Florida Dept. of Transportation.


Beach. The zone of unconsolidated material that extends landward from the mean low-water line to the place where there is marked change in material or physiographic form, or to the line of permanent vegetation, usually the effective limit of storm waves.


Bicycle & pedestrian ways. Any road, path or way, which is open to bicycle travel & foot traffic & from which motor vehicles are excluded.


Block. Land usually bounded on all sides by roadways or other physical boundaries such as water or public space, & not traversed by a through roadway (not including alleys).


Board of administrative appeals. The duly appointed appeals board for the City.


Boardinghouse. An establishment, which provides, in return for compensation, lodging for 5 or more persons & regularly prepared meals served without the ordering of portions from a menu.


Boathouse. A partially or fully enclosed structure including a roof located over a water body & used for the storage or mooring of boats or vessels.


Boatyard. See Marine facility.


Buffer. A specified land area, together with any planting, landscaping, fencing or any physical structure erected on the land used to visibly separate, shield or block noise, lights, or other incompatibilities between land uses.


Buildable area. The area of a lot remaining after the minimum yard & open space requirements of this Land Development Regulation have been met.


Building. Any structure that encloses a space used for sheltering any occupancy. Each portion of a building separated from other portions by a firewall shall be considered as a separate building.


Building official. The chief building official, building inspector for Bay County or the City’s Building Contractor.


Building permit. An official document or certificate issued by the city-approved agency authorizing performance of building or construction activity.


Bulk regulations. Standards & controls that establish the maximum size of buildings & structures on a lot & the buildable area within which buildings can be located, including coverage, setbacks, height, impervious surface ratio, floor area ratio, & yard requirements.


Capacity. The availability of a public service or facility to accommodate users, expressed in an appropriate unit of measure, such as gallons per day or average daily trips.


Capacity, available. Capacity of a particular facility or service which is available & not encumbered or reserved through the development order or building permit process.


Capacity, encumbered. Capacity which is reserved & has been removed from the available capacity bank through the issuance of Concurrency Encumbrance Certificate.


Capacity, permitted. Capacity which has been removed from the encumbered capacity bank & has been committed to a particular property as the result of the issuance of a building permit.


Capacity, programmed. The capacity of a facility or service at some time in the future as a result of planned, but not completed, improvements.


Capacity, vested. Capacity which has been withdrawn from the available capacity bank through issuance of a trip-based vesting determination, Planned Unit Development, developers agreement, or other phasing agreement.


Central business district (CBD). That area established by the city commission that delineates a specific geographic area where businesses, offices, residential, & mixed use form an urbanized downtown.


Certificate of acceptance. A written document issued by the city when the applicant for a development order has requested an inspection & has been found to be fully & completely in compliance with the pertinent requirements of this Land Development Regulation. This issuance of this certificate is mandatory prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the building official.


Child care facility. Any establishment, which provides child care for more than 5 children, unrelated to the operator, for compensation.


Child care, family day care home. An occupied residence in which child care is regularly provided for no more than 5 children, for compensation.


City. The City of Panama City, a municipal corporation.


City clerk. The duly appointed clerk of the city.


City commission. The elected legislative body of the city.


City manager. The duly appointed city manager of the city.


Civic. Of or relating or belonging to a governmental entity.


Clinic. A structure where patients who are not lodged overnight are admitted for examination & treatment by any health care provider.


Clubs, neighborhood recreation or social. Buildings or facilities owned & operated by a corporation or association for neighborhood social or recreational purposes but not operated primarily for profit or the rendering of services which are customarily carried on as a business & not limited to special interest groups or gatherings.


Clustering. The grouping together of structures & infrastructure on a portion of a development site.


Coastal planning area. The land area seaward of the Category 3 hurricane evacuation zone limit & all included coastal resources.


Coastal or shore protection structures. Shore-hardening structures, such as seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, rubblemound structures, groins, breakwaters, & aggregates of materials other than natural beach sand used for beach or shore protection to prevent erosion or to protect other structures from waves & hydrodynamic forces including beach & dune restoration.


Coastal resources. Estuarine shorelines, marine wetlands, water-dependent land uses, public waterfront access areas, waterfront recreation areas, estuarine, oceanic waters, & submerged lands.


Code enforcement officer. Any duly authorized code enforcement official of the city or county if this responsibility has been so delegated.


Collector road. A roadway providing service for moderate traffic volume, moderate trip length, & moderate operating speed, as classified by the Florida Dept. of Transportation.


Commercial uses. Activities within land areas, which are predominately connected with the sale, rental & distribution of products, or performance of services.


Community development department. The duly established community development dept. of the city.


Community residential home. A dwelling licensed by the state which provides a living environment for seven to 14 unrelated individuals including disabled or handicapped persons, developmentally disabled or non-dangerous mentally ill persons or children.


Comprehensive plan. The adopted comprehensive plan for the city, pursuant to Section 163.3177 F.S.


Concurrency. A growth management concept intended to ensure that the necessary public facilities & services are available concurrent with the impacts of development.


Concurrency Encumbrance Certificate. A letter or certificate issued by the City based upon a determination by the Planning & Land Use Division that adequate capacity exists for each public service & facility that is impacted by a proposed development, which reserves such capacity for a time certain.


Concurrency Evaluation. An evaluation by the Planning & Land Use Division based on adopted level of service standards to assess whether or not public facilities & services needed to support development are available concurrent with the impacts of such development.


Condominium. That form of ownership by one or more persons of a unit of real property in which there is, appurtenant to each unit, an undivided share in common elements.


Conservation uses. Land uses, which conserve or protect natural resources or environmental quality within areas designated for flood control, protection of coastal resources, protection of quality or quantity of groundwater or surface water, floodplain management, fisheries management, or protection of vegetative communities or wildlife habitats & similar uses meant to protect natural resources of the city.


Consistency. Furthers or does not contradict with.


Consistency evaluation. The study of how particular uses can exist in harmony to each other, or the study of how the use of land corresponds to City adopted documents.


Contiguous. Directly adjoining (also can be defined as abutting).


Convalescent home. An institution for the care of recovering patients.


County. Bay County, Florida.


Demand. The requirements or burden placed on public facilities or services at the present time or projected future time.


Density, gross. The total number of dwelling units divided by the total site area, less rights-of-way.


Density, net. The total number of dwelling units divided by the buildable area of the overall site, less rights-of-way, water bodies, wetlands or other areas that are unbuildable.


Developer. Any person, including a governmental agency, undertaking any development.


Developer’s agreement. A city commission approved agreement between a person or entity associated with the development of land including, but not limited to, agreements associated with development orders issued pursuant to Section 380.06. F.S. & the City as defined by F.S. §§ 163.3220—163.3243.


Development. The word “development” shall have the same meaning as set forth in F.S. § 380.04, as may be amended or superseded. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the term “clearing of land” shall have the meaning as set forth in this Land Development Regulation.


Development activities, large-scale. Residential development involving more than 5 acres of land & a density of more than 5 dwelling units per acre, or developments, singularly or in combination with residential development, of more than 3 acres of land.


Development activities, small-scale. Residential development involving 5 acres of land or less & a density of 5 dwelling units per acre or less or developments, singularly or in combination with residential development, of 3 acres or less of land.


Development order. Any order granting, denying, or granting with conditions an application for permitting the development of land.


Director. The city officer or employee designated by the City Manager to administer or enforce any part of this Land Development Regulation.


District. An area designated within the city.


Division (Planning). The division of planning & land use services of the City.


Dock. A fixed or floating structure, including moorings, used for berthing buoyant vessels.


Docks, common. A dock owned & maintained by common ownership agreement such as, but not limited to, a condominium or home owners association.


Docks, shared. A dock shared between 2 adjacent properties or property owners, of which the properties are used residentially, which is subject to an access & maintenance easement.


Drainage basin. The area defined by topographic boundaries which carries stormwater to a drainage system, estuarine waters, or oceanic waters, including all areas artificially added to the basin.


Drainage detention structure. A structure which collects & temporarily stores stormwater for the purpose of treatment through physical, chemical, or biological processes & is designed to provide for the gradual release of the stormwater.


Drainage facility. A system designed to collect, convey, hold, divert or discharge stormwater, including stormwater sewers, canals, detention structures, & retention structures.


Drainage retention structure. A structure designed to collect & completely retain a given volume of stormwater upon the premises.


Dripline. The outermost perimeter of the crown of a tree as projected vertically to the ground.


Duplex. A residential building containing 2 separate dwelling units joined by a common wall.


Dwelling or dwelling unit. A single housing unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one housekeeping unit.


Dwelling, detached single-family. A building containing one dwelling unit not attached to any other dwelling unit.


Dwelling, multifamily. A residential building containing 3 or more separate dwelling units, including triplexes, quadraplexes, or apartments.


Easement. An implied grant of a way of necessity or a statutory way of necessity exclusive of common-law rights as defined in the pertinent Florida Statutes or an implied or express right to use a parcel of property for a particular purpose or purposes.


Educational uses. Any land or structure used for educational purposes that are licensed by the Florida Dept. of Education, whether public or private.


Extended care facility. An institution devoted to providing medical, nursing, or custodial care for an individual over a prolonged period, such as the course of a chronic disease or the rehabilitation phase after an acute illness.


Family. 2 or more persons residing together in a house, apartment, or dwelling unit, where the association of the occupants is premised upon or based upon a legal or moral obligation of mutual support or the dependency of an occupant upon the support of another in the household.


FDOT. The Florida Dept. of Transportation.


FEMA Park Model Trailer. A term which refers to Park Model Trailers. See “Park Model Trailer”.


Fence. A barrier erected to prevent escape or intrusion, to mark a boundary or border, or to provide a buffer between properties, land uses, or land use districts.


Filling (service) station. Any building, structure, or land used for the dispensing & sale, or offering for sale at retail, any motor fuels, oils, or accessories, & which may offer in conjunction therewith a minor motor vehicle repair as distinguished from general motor vehicle repairs.


Flood insurance rate map (FIRM). The official map of the city on which the federal insurance administrator has delineated both special areas & risk zones applicable to the city.


Floodplains or flood zone. Areas subject to flooding as identified on flood insurance rate map or flood hazard boundary maps.


Foster care facility. A structure which houses foster residents & provides a family living environment for the residents, including such supervision & care as may be necessary to meet the physical, emotional or social needs of the residents.


FSUTMS. The Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure, as established by the Florida Dept. of Transportation for the use in travel demand forecasting.


Garage apartment. An accessory building with storage capacity for not less than 2 motor vehicles, the second floor of which is designed as a residence for not more than one family & is subordinate to the principal structure.


Group home. (See Community residential home.)


Hard surface. Compacted shell, limestone, asphalt, concrete, or other similar substances.


Hazardous waste. Waste, which, because of its physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may significantly contribute to an increase in mortality, cause a serious illness or pose a potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly transported, disposed of, stored, treated or otherwise managed.


Height. The vertical distance from the highest point on a structure, excepting any chimney or antenna, to the pre-developed average ground level where the walls or other structural elements attach to the ground, except where the requirements of Section 9-85 apply to development within areas of Special Flood Hazard.


Historic resources. All areas, districts or sites containing properties listed on the Florida Master Site File, the National Register of Historic Places, or designated by the city as historically, architecturally, or archaeologically significant via the placement on the Historic Site Survey of 1987 or subsequent updates.


Historical nonconforming waterfront development. Development containing a principal, waterfront building or structure which has been used continuously for 50 years or more for nonprofit, water dependent activities.


Home occupation. Any occupation, profession or service conducted entirely within a dwelling & carried on by a resident thereof, the conduct of which is clearly incidental to the use of the structure for residential purposes. A “home occupation” shall not include retail sales on the premises.


Home office of convenience. A use where the occupant of a home conducts no business other than by phone or mail, where no persons are employed by the resident, & where an office is needed for the purpose of sending & receiving mail & telephone calls, maintaining records, & other similar functions.


Hospice center. A facility for the care of terminally ill patients.


Hotel. A facility offering transient lodging accommodations to the general public & providing additional services such as restaurants, meeting rooms, entertainment & recreation facilities ancillary to the hotel use, & is licensed as a public lodging establishment by the state.


Impervious surface. Any surface or material which prevents the absorption of water into soil, including buildings, structures, & pavement.


Impervious surface ratio (ISR). The ratio of the total impervious surface area to the gross area of a lot or parcel.


Industrial uses. Any activity within land areas predominantly connected with manufacturing, assembly, processing, or storage of products resulting from such activities.


Infrastructure. Structures which serve the common needs of the city, such as: sewage disposal systems; potable water systems; potable water well system; solid waste disposal sites or retention areas; stormwater systems; utilities; piers; docks; wharves; breakwaters; bulkheads; seawalls; bulwarks; revetments; causeways; marinas; navigation channels; bridges; & roadways.


Intensity. The degree to which land is used, developed, or otherwise altered from its natural undeveloped state.


Junkyard. An open area where used or secondhand parts & materials are salvaged, recycled, bought, sold, exchanged, stored, baled, packed, disassembled, or handled, including, but not limited to, scrap iron & other metals, cloths, paper, rags, plumbing fixtures, rubber tires & bottles, but excluding motor vehicle wrecking yards.


Kennel. An establishment which houses & provides care for household pets & where grooming, breeding, boarding, training or selling of animals is conducted for profit.


Kennel, private. An accessory structure used for purposes of providing shelter, or restraining household pets.


Land. The earth, water, & air, above & below, or ground surface, & including any improvements or structures affixed to or customarily regarded as land.


Land Development Regulation. Those portions of the municipal code that the City is obligated to enforce pursuant to Chapter 163, F.S., which regulate the development &/or use of real property within the City limits.


Land use. Development that has occurred on the land, the development that is proposed by a developer on the land, or the use that is permitted or permissible on the land under an adopted comprehensive plan or element or portion thereof, land development regulations, or a land development code, as the context may indicate.


Land use district. A categorization or grouping of activities, uses, types of developments (land uses) according to common characteristics as established in the future land use element of the City of Panama City Comprehensive Plan & shown on the official land use map.


Landscaping. Land enhancement or beautification resulting from planting of trees, grass, shrubs, or other plant materials, or by altering ground contours.


Laundry, self-service (laundromat). A business renting machines & equipment to individual customers for the washing, drying & otherwise processing of laundry, under supervision.


Level of service. An indicator of the extent or degree of service provided by, or proposed to be provided by, a facility based on or related to the operational characteristics of the facility.


Local planning agency. An appointed commission or board designated to make recommendations to the city commission regarding the comprehensive plan, land development regulations, or other tasks as assigned by the elected governing body.


Local road. A roadway providing service which is of relatively low traffic volume, short average trip length or minimal through traffic movement, & high-volume land need access for abutting property.


Lot. A parcel, tract, or area of land established by plat, subdivision, deed, or other instrument of conveyance.


Lot, corner. A lot abutting 2 or more intersecting streets.


Lot coverage. The area of a lot or parcel covered by buildings, structures, pavement, or other impervious surface.


Lot depth. The depth of lot is the distance measured from the midpoint of the front lot line to the midpoint of the opposite rear lot line.


Lot, flag. A lot which is only accessible from the right-of-way by a very long & narrow strip of the same lot, & where the bulk of the lot has no right-of-way frontage. (See Diagram 1.1)


Lot, frontage. The property line affronting a roadway right-of-way which provides the principal access & is used by the U.S. Postal Service for the delivery of mail to the structure located on the property.


Lot, interior. A lot abutting only one street or vehicular right-of-way (see Diagram 1.1).


Lot of record. A subdivision lot, the title to which has been recorded in the official records of Bay County, Florida.


Lot split. Division of land into 2 lots where no drainage, roadway or other improvement except installation of utilities is required.


Lot, substandard. Any lot that does not conform in area or width to the minimum requirements of this Land Development Regulation.


Lot, through. A lot that extends through the block from one street right-of-way to another street right-of-way. (see Diagram 1.1 below)


Diagram 1.1 - Definitions of Types of Lots




Lot width. The mean horizontal distance between the side lot lines, measured at right angles to the depth.


Low income families. “Lower income families” as defined under the applicable Florida State guidelines.


Major thoroughfare. Any principal arterial, minor arterial or collector roadway as classified by the Florida Dept. of Transportation.


Manufactured building. A closed structure, building assembly, or system of subassemblies, which may include structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, or other service systems manufactured for installation or erection as a finished building or as part of a finished building, which shall include, but not be limited to, residential, commercial, institutional, storage, & industrial structures. The term includes buildings not intended for human habitation such as lawn storage buildings & storage sheds manufactured & assembled off site by a manufacturer certified in conformance with this part. This does not apply to mobile homes.


Manufactured home. A mobile home fabricated on or after June 15, 1976, in an offsite manufacturing facility for installation or assembly at the building site, with each section bearing a seal certifying that it is built in compliance with the National Manufactured Home Construction & Safety Standards Act.  Such home is not constructed with a permanent hitch or other device allowing it to be moved other than for the purpose of moving to a permanent site & which does not have permanently attached to its body or frame any wheels or axles.


Manufactured home subdivision. Two or more contiguous platted lots which have been improved for the placement of manufactured homes for residential use on single lots with private ownership of the lots.


Manufacturing. The mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products, including the assembling of component parts., the manufacturing of products, & the blending of materials. Manufacturing does not include artisan or craftsman type activities when such activities do not produce noise, dust, glare, odors, or vibration beyond the property line of the location of such activity.


Manufacturing, heavy. The manufacture or compounding process of raw materials. Any activity engaged in manufacturing, assembly, fabrication, packaging or other industrial processing of products primarily from extracted or raw materials or the bulk storage & handling of such products & materials, or an industrial establishment having potential to produce noise, dust, glare, odors, or vibration beyond its property line.


Manufacturing, light. The manufacture, predominately from previously prepared materials, of finished products or parts, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment & packaging of such products, & incidental storage, sales, & distribution of such products, provided all manufacturing activities are contained entirely within a building & noise, dust, glare, odors, or vibration resulting from the manufacturing activity are confined within the building.


Marina, commercial. Any dock or facility offering spaces for boat dockage or slip rentals not associated with the regular fabrication, repair, construction or maintenance of boats or vessels or the removal of boats or vessels from the water for such purposes. Any dock, with or without spaces for slip rental, where fuel or merchandise may be purchased, shall be deemed a commercial marina.


Marina, private. Any dock or facility having spaces for boat dockage or slip rentals, the use of which is restricted to membership of a private club or organization, including yacht clubs, sailing associations & other like & similar types or [of] organizations.


Marine facility. Any business associated with the construction, fabrication, refurbishing, repair or maintenance of boats or vessels, including equipment installation thereon or the removal of any boat or vessel from the water for any such purpose.


Mitigation, development. The improvement to a public facility or service to reduce the impact of a proposed development.


Mitigation, hazard. The reduction, elimination, redirection, or avoidance of the effect of the impact or risk of a hazard to human life or personal property.


Mixed use. Areas intended to provide a functional mix of residential &/or non-residential activities or uses.


Mobile home. An obsolete term used herein to describe a single-wide home or trailer, prefabricated in whole or part and not complying with the HUD Code or DCA requirements and without DCA insignia.  A newer mobile home is allowed in a mobile home park as a replacement for an older mobile home, provided that it is not older than fifteen (15) years old.


Mobile home park. An obsolete term used to describe an area where spaces are rented to mobile home owners.  It is no longer authorized for new developments in the City.


Motel, tourist court, motor lodge. A group of attached or detached buildings containing individual sleeping units & providing automobile storage or parking space, in connection therewith, for transients.


Motor vehicle. The word “motor vehicle” shall have the meaning set forth in F.S. ch. 320.


Multifamily attached dwellings. A structure that contains 3 or more dwelling units that share common walls or floor/ceilings with one or more units. Multifamily attached dwellings includes structures commonly called apartments, condominiums, & townhouses.


Multiple-resident dwelling. A structure designed or used for residential occupancy by more than 2 people, with or without separate kitchen or dining facilities, rooming houses, boarding houses, fraternities, sororities, dormitories, & like accommodations.


Neighborhood park. A park which serves the population of a neighborhood & is generally accessible by bicycle or pedestrian ways.


Newspaper of general circulation. A newspaper published at least on a weekly basis & printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates (but not including those newspapers intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper whose primary function is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising).


Nonconforming structure. A structure that does not conform to the provisions of this Land Development Regulation as of the date of adoption.


Nonconforming use. A lawful land use existing at the time of passage of this Land Development Regulation or amendments thereto, which does not conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located.


Nursing home. A facility for treatment of the ill, infirm, or elderly, as defined in the pertinent Florida Statutes.


Open space. Land which primarily remains in its natural or undeveloped state.


Open space ratio (OSR). The amount of open space area remaining on a lot or parcel as compared to the impervious surface area of the same lot or parcel.


Parcel of land. An area of land capable of being described with such definition that its locations & boundaries may be legally established.


Park. A parcel of land intended for neighborhood, community, or regional recreational use.


Park, community. An area reserved for recreational space with a minimum acreage of 2.5 acres.


Park, neighborhood. An area reserved for recreational space with a minimum acreage of one-half acre.


Park Model Trailer (also referred to as park model cabin, park model camper, park model home, FEMA park model or recreational park model trailer). A park model trailer is a recreational vehicle primarily designed and intended to provide temporary living quarters for recreation, camping, or seasonal use (for periods up to 180 days).  It is built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels, with a gross trailer area generally not exceeding 400 square feet.  Those models, which exceed 400 square feet in size, must meet standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and have a HUD permit decal placed on them.  A park model trailer may be allowed in any zoning district only after a State or National declared natural disaster (such as a hurricane) in which major property/houses have been destroyed.  These units may be allowed as temporary housing until such time as the destroyed home/structure has been rebuilt or repaired on their property, but not to exceed one (1) year unless extended by the approval of 75% of the City Commissioners.  Upon its setup on a property, the park model unit will be permitted by the City’s Building Department Contractor after it has met all applicable standards related to wind zones, setbacks, flood zones and building code regulations. Park model trailers shall not be allowed in Mobile Home Parks for rental purposes in the City.


Parking lot. An area or parcel of land used for temporary, off-street parking of vehicles.


Person. An individual, corporation, governmental agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, 2 or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal entity.


Personal service. Services generally provided by a non-retail business or professional office, which are offered entirely on the business premises. Such businesses include: professional & business offices, clinics, laboratories, educational services, & beauty salons.


Planning official. The designated employee of the city who manages the planning & land use department, & who is appointed by the city manager.


Playground. A recreation area intended for the use of children & having playground equipment.


Pollution. The presence of any noise or contaminant, which alters the chemical, physical, biological, or radiological integrity of the air, water, or ground.


Potable water facilities. A system of structures designed to collect, treat, or distribute potable water, including water wells, treatment plants, reservoirs, & distribution mains.


Premises. A lot or parcel of land together with all structures, buildings, grounds or other appurtenances located thereon.


Principal structure. The central or primary structure located on a lot or parcel.


Produce & fruit stand. A structure built for the display & sale of fresh produce only, but not prepackaged or home prepared or refrigerated foods.


Project. The particular lot, tract of land, project or other development unit for which the applicant files an application under this Regulation.


Public access. An area of land or other means of ingress or egress which legally enables members of the public to enter upon or to utilize public facilities, parks, water bodies, or other public areas.


Public facilities. Utilities & services provided to the public, including transportation systems or facilities, sewer systems or facilities, solid waste systems or facilities, drainage systems or facilities, potable water systems or facilities, educational systems or facilities, parks & recreation systems or facilities & public health systems or facilities.


Public/institutional uses. Activities in structures or upon lands which are owned, leased, or operated by a government, quasi-public, or nonprofit entity, such as civic & community centers, churches, hospitals, libraries, police stations, fire stations, government administration buildings, education & military facilities.


Public services. Programs determined necessary by local government for the operation & maintenance of public facilities & infrastructure as well as educational, health care, social & like programs necessary to support the comprehensive plan or as required by local, state, or federal law.


Quadraplex. A residential building containing 4 separate dwelling units joined by common walls.


Recreational uses. Athletic, musical, & entertainment activities occurring in areas designated for such purposes.


Recreational vehicle. Motor vehicles or trailers as set forth in the pertinent Florida statutes.  RVs shall not be allowed in Mobile Home Parks for rental purposes in the City.


Residential care facilities. Residential care facilities are those facilities providing both housing (for varying periods of time) & health care services. Among such facilities are adult congregate living facilities, group care homes, recovery homes, residential treatment facilities, emergency shelters, & nursing homes, as any of the preceding may be defined in the pertinent Florida Statutes.


Residential docks & boat structures. Accessory structures built over a body of water for the purpose of mooring boats & watercraft, consisting of 2 slips per dwelling unit, for recreational purposes.


Residential uses. Dwellings & homes, & husbandry activities upon land for the housing of a family & personal belongings.


Restaurant. An establishment whose principal business is the sale of food &/or beverages for consumption within the restaurant, i.e., sit-down atmosphere.


Restaurant, fast food. An establishment, including drive-in restaurants, whose principal business is the sale of a wide range of food or beverages in a ready-to-consume state & usually served in disposable containers & meant to be consumed within the restaurant building; within a motor vehicle parked on the premises; or off the premises as carry-out orders.


Restrictive covenant. A provision within a document of conveyance, deed or an instrument which restricts or limits the use of land.


Right-of-way. Land in which the state, a county, or a municipality owns the fee simple title or has an easement for transportation or utility use, or both.


Roadway functional classification. The assignment of roads into categories according to the character of service they provide in relation to the total road network. Basic functional categories include limited access facilities, arterial roads, & collector roads, which may be categorized within the classification as principal, major or minor network & grouped into urban & rural categories.


Salvage yard. A business which collects, dismantles, salvages, or stores waste material, inoperative appliances, inoperative motor vehicles, or other products or machinery for the purpose of resale either as used parts or reusable materials.


Sanitary sewer facilities. Structures or systems designed for the collection, transmission, treatment, or disposal of sewage including mains, interceptors, treatment plants & disposal systems.


Setback. The distance between the lot line & a vertical plane of the structure where such structure meets the ground.


Shoreline. The interface of land & water as determined by the mean high tide line.


Sign. Any writing (including letter, word, or numeral), pictorial presentation (including illustration or decoration), emblem (including device, symbol, or trademark), flag (including banner or pennant), or any other figure of similar character, that:


(1) Is a structure or any part thereof, or is attached to, painted on, or in any other manner represented on a building or other structure;


(2) Is used to announce, direct attention to, or advertise; &


(3) Is visible from outside a building.


A sign includes writing, representation, or other figures of similar character, within a building, only when illuminated & located in a window.


Sign, portable. A sign that is not permanently affixed to a structure or the ground.


Site plan. The development plan for one or more lots or parcels which depicts existing & proposed conditions of the lot(s) or parcel(s) including all the requirements set forth in this Land Development Regulation.


Skilled nursing facility. An institution or part of an institution that meets criteria for accreditation established by the sections of the Social Security Act. Skilled nursing care facilities includes rehabilitation & various medical & nursing procedures.


Solid waste. Garbage, rubbish, refuse, or other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or governmental operations, & sludge from a waste treatment works, water supply treatment plants, or air pollution control facilities.


Stormwater. The flow of water which results from a rainfall event.


Street or roadway. A public vehicular thoroughfare which affords primary means of access to abutting property.


Street line. The boundary line or right-of-way line running along both sides of a public vehicular thoroughfare.


Structural alterations. Any change, except for repairs or replacement of the supporting members of a building, such as load bearing walls, columns, beams, girders, floor joists, roof joists or any extension of them.


Structure. A mode of building constructed or installed on a lot or parcel of land, including a moveable structure, while it is located on the land, & which can be used for housing, business, commercial, recreational, or office purposes either temporarily or permanently. “Structure” also includes billboards, swimming pools, & signs.


Subdivision. The division of land into 2 or more lots or parcels. If the subdivision divides one lot into 2 lots & there are no required improvements, it may be considered a lot split.


Subdivision, major. All subdivisions not considered to be minor subdivisions.


Subdivision, minor. The division of land into no more than 5 lots where no drainage, roadway, or other improvements except installation of utilities is required.


Sustainable development. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Townhouse. A single-family dwelling unit constructed as part of a group of not less than 2 dwelling units with individual entrances, & which share a common or similar floor plan, that are constructed for resale to individual owners, all of which are contiguous, customarily owner-occupied, & share a common wall.


Tree. Any woody perennial plant which has a trunk diameter of no less than 3 inches & normally grows to an overall height of no less than 15 feet.


Triplex. One residential building containing 3 separate dwelling units joined by common walls.


Unnecessary hardship. Any case where a property owner is deprived of all economic use or benefit from the property in question, which deprivation must be established by competent financial evidence. This includes but is not limited to any instance where the property owner cannot realize a reasonable return on the property in question, provided that lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence; that the alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unique, & does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood. Unnecessary hardships do not include those hardships that have been self-created.


Used car lot. A parcel of land used only for the display & sale of used automobiles, excluding junkyards & storage of wrecked autos.


Variance. An administrative exception that permits the reasonable use of a site for which it is zoned that would otherwise not qualify for such development, to one or more area land use regulations. Such exceptions may include a reduction in yard requirements, setbacks & impervious surface ratios.


Vegetation (natural). Species of indigenous, naturally occurring plants which normally grow in the absence of development or landscaping.


Vested development. A  development that has received development order approval under laws & policies enacted prior to an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan or Land Development Regulations.


Water bodies. Permanently or temporary flooded lands with water depth such that water, & not the air is the principal medium, which may be part of wetlands & are also referred to as water courses, waterways, etc. Water bodies include rivers, estuaries, creeks & streams, drainage ways, ponds & lakes, & sloughs.


Water-dependent uses. Activities which can be carried out only on, in or adjacent to water areas because the use requires direct access to the water body for: waterborne transportation including ports, marinas; waterborne recreation activities; electrical generating facilities; or water supply.


Wetlands. That which is defined in F.S. § 373.019(22), (2007).


Yard, front. An open space across the full width of a lot, extending from the front line of a building or any projections thereof (except the roof overhang or uncovered steps), to the front lot line (see Lot line, front).  (see Diagram 1.2)


Yard, rear. An open space extending across the full width of the lot & between the rear lot & rear line of the building, or any projections thereof (except the roof overhang or uncovered steps) (see Diagram 1.2).


Yard, side. An open unoccupied space on the same lot with the main building, situated between the side line of a building, or any projections thereof, & side lot line (excluding roof overhang).  (see Diagram 1.2)


Zero lot line house. An attached, single-family housing unit, with one or more common walls, designed for owner occupancy. Zero lot line houses include patio houses, garden homes, townhouses, row houses, duplexes, & the like.


Diagram 1.2 - Definition of Yard Setbacks




Sec. 101-4. - Purpose & intent. The purpose of this Land Development Regulation is to utilize & strengthen the existing role of the city in growth management, comprehensive planning, & land development regulation & to maintain present advantages as well as guide & control future development within the municipal limits of the city & the outer fringe, in conjunction with neighboring authorities.


This Land Development Regulation is therefore deemed necessary so as to preserve & enhance present advantages of landowners; encourage the most appropriate use of land, water & resources, consistent with the public interest; overcome present handicaps; & deal effectively with future problems that may result from the use & development of land within the jurisdiction of the city. Through comprehensive planning & land development regulation, it is the intent of the city to preserve, promote, protect, & improve the health, welfare, safety, comfort, & good order of its people & environment.


The provisions of this Land Development Regulation are declared to be the minimum requirements necessary to protect human, environmental, social, & economic resources; & to maintain, through orderly growth & development, the character & stability of present & future land use within the city.


a) Comprehensive plan. This Land Development Regulation shall implement the comprehensive plan, as amended, including its goals pertaining, but not limited to:


(1) The subdivision of land;


(2) The use of land & water;


(3) The compatibility of uses;


(4) The provision of open space areas;


(5) The protection of lands & facilities subject to seasonal or periodic flooding through stormwater management;


(6) The protection of environmentally sensitive lands;


(7) Signage;


(8) The regulation of concurrency to ensure the availability of public facilities & services needed to serve approved projects or developments; &


(9) The regulation of on-site traffic & parking.


Sec. 101-5. - Applicability.  Except as specifically provided for in this section, the provisions of this Land Development Regulation shall apply to all development undertaken in the city. No development shall be commenced except in accordance with this Land Development Regulation.


(a) Exceptions. No newly adopted provisions of this Land Development Regulation or any amendments shall affect the validity of any lawfully issued & effective development order or building permit if:


1.) The development order was issued within 6 months prior to the effective date of this Land Development Regulation or any amendment thereto, or 


2.) The respective building permit was issued for the approved development order & is considered an active permit.


3.) If a building permit is issued & the development activity continues without interruption (except because of war, natural disaster, or acts of God) until the development is complete, then the development shall be deemed vested.


b) Previously approved development permits. Permits for approved projects that have not expired by the effective date of this Land Development Regulation or any amendment must meet only the requirements of the Code in effect when the development order was approved. If any building permit expires or is otherwise invalidated before the commencement of construction, the proposed development shall comply with the requirements of this Land Development Regulation & any applicable amendments hereto.


c) Consistency with plan. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a development that is inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.


Sec. 101-6. - Relationship to other laws. If any subject of this Land Development Regulation is controlled by any other law, statute, ordinance or regulation, then that which imposes the more stringent standard or requirement shall govern. 


Sec. 101-7. - Severability. This Land Development Regulation & its various articles, sections, subsections, provisions, & clauses thereof, are hereby declared to be severable &, if any part is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of the Land Development Regulation shall not be affected thereby.