Building and Development Review Services – Glossary
Accessory: The term applied to a building, structure or use which:
- Is subordinate to and serves a principal building or principal use;
- Is subordinate in area, extent, and purpose to the principal building or principal use served;
- (3) Contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessities of the users or occupants of the principal building or principal use; and
- Is located on the same lot as the principal building or principal use, provided such use is in keeping with the purpose and intent of the district in which located.
Accessory dwelling unit: A dwelling unit which is either detached or is a portion of space within a single-family dwelling which is intended to provide increased affordable housing opportunity pursuant to the county’s affordable housing incentives plan adopted by the board of county commissioners (Resolution 94-60). It is intended that these be clearly accessory and incidental to the primary use of the property (single-family house) and toward that end the following conditions shall apply:
- The unit shall not exceed 500 sq. ft. or 20 percent of the floor area of the primary structure, whichever is less.
- There shall be only one such unit per parcel of ownership.
- The primary dwelling shall be owner-occupied.
- All setbacks and lot coverage provisions shall be met.
- No separate metered utility connection for the accessory dwelling unit shall be permitted.
Animated sign: Any sign which includes action, motion, the optical illusion of action or motion, or color changes of all or any part of the sign facing, requiring electrical energy or set in motion by movement of the atmosphere, or a sign made up of a series of sections that turn and stop to show two or more pictures or messages in the copy area. In order to accommodate changes in technology, but to prevent such changes from creating distractions to the motoring public, “animated signs” shall include electronic reader boards unless the message changes instantaneously, without scrolling, and at a frequency of greater than one minute between message changes.
Antenna: Any exterior apparatus designed for telephonic, radio, or television communications through the sending or receiving of electromagnetic waves, not including a tower.
Building, height of: The vertical distance from the finished ground elevation to the highest point of the building or structure, except as may otherwise be provided within this chapter (see section 138-1277). This height may be measured from the base flood elevation required by the national flood insurance program when a structure is located in an area of special flood hazard.
Building setback line: A line parallel to the property line at the distance prescribed by this chapter under setback requirements.
Building site area: An area of land, exclusive of public rights-of-way and/or alleys, upon which structures are located.
Building site area requirements: Those portions of this chapter which regulate the minimum size of the areas upon which structures may be located.
Church: Any site or premises such as a church, synagogue, temple, mosque, cathedral, chapel, tabernacle or similar place which is used primarily or exclusively for religious worship and related activities.
Coastal high hazard area: All areas seaward of the coastal construction control line established by state law and/or the velocity flood hazard area as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Congregate care facility: A residential facility which may be comprised of individual dwelling units with or without kitchen facilities and designed to be occupied by 21 or more residents along with resident supervisors. These facilities may offer central dining, personal and therapeutic care, and other facilities necessary to meet the special living needs of the residents. These include adult congregate living facilities and similar retirement or life care facilities. These facilities where required shall be licensed by the state department of health and rehabilitative services or be operated pursuant to state law as a continuing care facility and shall not be located within 1,200 feet of any other such facility or any group living home (see section 138-1283). These uses shall not be located within the coastal high hazard area, hurricane evacuation zone level A, or floodway as designated by chapter 170, article III of this Code.
Day care center: Any day nursery, nursery school, kindergarten, or other facility, as defined by state law, as amended, which with or without compensation cares for five or more children 17 years of age or under, not related to the operator by blood, marriage or adoption, away from the child’s own home. Such facilities shall be licensed and operated in strict accord with the provision of the above referenced laws of the state. This term includes adult day care as defined by state law but does not include a family day care center as defined by state law.
Density: A ratio of dwelling units per acre of land. No portion of a dedicated public right-of-way may be calculated for density purposes.
Pinellas County Zoning Code
Dwelling, multiple-family: Two or more dwelling units contained in one structure on a single lot or parcel and attached by common vertical walls.
Florida Building Code
Dwelling: That contains one or two dwelling units, intended or designed to be used, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied for living purposes.
Pinellas County Code
Dwelling unit: A building or portion thereof designed as a unit for one family occupancy, not including hotels, motels, or mobile homes. This term shall include residential design manufactured homes as defined in this chapter. A dwelling unit shall have only one kitchen facility (sink, cooking unit, and refrigerator). Provisions for wetbars or food and drink preparation facilities for recreational purposes within or accessory to a dwelling shall not be considered a kitchen facility.
Florida Building Code
Dwelling unit: A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
Excavation: The removal of 1,000 cubic yards or more of earth material for purposes other than that incidental to and on the site of construction authorized by site plan approval. This shall include land balancing other than that incidental to and on the site of construction authorized by site plan approval (see section 138-240(19)). (For excavation less than 1,000 cubic yards, see section 138-1341.)
Family: One or more persons occupying a single dwelling unit, provided that unless all members are related by blood, marriage, or adoption, no family shall contain more than six members, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
FCC: The Federal Communications Commission.
Floodway means as defined in chapter 170, article III.
Floor area ratio (FAR): A ratio of square footage of gross floor area to square footage of land area.
- Group living home, category I. A residential facility designed to be occupied by no more than ten individuals along with a maximum of two full-time supervisors or houseparents. Group homes with six or fewer residents are not included in this definition. These facilities shall provide a physical appearance and a style of life which makes them compatible with other dwellings existing in the neighborhood. Included are foster care facilities, congregate living facilities, displaced youth and adult shelters, care of the developmentally disabled (as defined by state and federal law), and similar family group living facilities. Such facilities, when required, shall be licensed by the state department of health and rehabilitative services and shall not be located within 1,200 feet of any group living home or congregate care facility (see section 138-1283).
- Group living home, category II. A residential facility designed to be occupied by no more than 14 individuals along with a maximum of two full-time supervisors or houseparents. Group homes with six or fewer residents are not included in this definition. These facilities shall provide a physical appearance and a style of life which makes them compatible with other dwellings existing in the neighborhood. Included are foster care facilities, congregate living facilities, displaced youth and adult shelters, care of the developmentally disabled (as defined by state and federal law), and similar family group living facilities. Such facilities, when required, shall be licensed by the state department of health and rehabilitative services and shall not be located within 1,200 feet of any group living home or congregate care facility (see section 138-1283).
- Group living home, category III. Similar to category I and II group living home but may be occupied by no more than 20 individuals along with a maximum of two resident supervisors or houseparents. Additionally, these facilities may offer a higher level of personal and therapeutic care and may include mental health care, spouse abuse care, offender halfway houses, and similar care facilities. These shall, when required, be licensed by the state department of health and rehabilitative services and shall not be located within 1,200 feet of any group living home or congregate care facility (see section 138-1283). No group living home shall be located in the coastal high hazard area, hurricane evacuation zone level A, or floodway as designated by chapter 170, article III.
Heavy equipment: Any farm tractors, machinery or implements, or heavy equipment, including earthmovers, backhoes, draglines, bulldozers, trenchers, rollers, scrapers, semi-tractors and trailers and similar equipment. This does not include small gardening or landscape maintenance equipment.
Home occupation: An accessory use in a residential area consisting of an occupation or activity performed entirely within a dwelling or authorized accessory structure. The home occupation is to be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes and shall not change the residential character thereof. Such use shall be in strict compliance with section 138-1335.
Hurricane evacuation zone: Any area required to evacuate during a storm event. These areas shall be established by the county emergency services agency.
Junkyard: A parcel of land upon which the principal or accessory use is the accumulation of used, discarded, or worn-out materials or manufactured products which may or may not be reusable or saleable. This shall not include recycling operations for metal, paper, or similar materials when located entirely within an enclosed building.
Landfill: An addition of 1,000 cubic yards or more of earth, topsoil, sand, gravel, or rock to any lot or parcel other than that incidental to and on the site of construction authorized by site plan approval (see section 138-240(1.8)). (For landfills less than 1,000 cubic yards, see section 138-1341.) This shall include land balancing other than that incidental to and on the site of construction authorized by site plan approval. This shall not include any solid waste landfills.
Livestock: Those animals which are normally considered as farm animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, ponies, mules, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, other similar farm animals, and wild animals licensed pursuant to state law. This definition is not intended to include household pets, or wild animals living within their native habitat.
Lot: An area of land designated on a recorded plat as an individual tract.
Lot: An area of land designated on a recorded plat as an individual tract.
Lot depth: The distance measured in the mean direction of the side lines of the lot from the midpoint on the front lot line to the midpoint of the opposite main rear line of the lot.
Lot width: The width of the lot at the minimum front building setback line. For a lot fronting on a cul-de-sac, lot width may be measured at the midpoint of depth at the side lot lines.
Mobile home: A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which structure is eight feet or more in width and over 35 feet in length, and which structure is built on an integral chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein. This term shall include manufactured housing as defined by state law.
Nursing home or convalescent home: A home for the aged or infirm in which three or more persons not of the immediate family are received, reside, or are provided with food and shelter or care, but not including hospitals, clinics, or similar establishments devoted primarily to the diagnosis and treatment of the sick or injured and licensed as such by the state.
Parcel: Any individual tract of land under unified ownership. Parcel depth means the distance measured in the mean direction of the side lines of the parcel from the midpoint of the front parcel line to the midpoint of the opposite main rear line of the parcel.
Parcel width: The width of the parcel at the minimum front building setback line. For a parcel fronting on a cul-de-sac, parcel width may be measured at the midpoint of depth between the side lot lines.
Principal use: The most dominant use, building, or structure located on a lot or parcel.
Property line: A line which separates a lot or parcel from an adjoining lot or parcel or right-of-way.
Right-of-way: The area of a highway, road, street or way reserved for public use, whether established by prescription, dedication, gift, purchase, eminent domain or any other legal means. Alleys are specifically excluded from this definition.
Sign: Any combination of structure and message in the form of an outdoor sign, display, device, figure, drawing, painting, message, placard, poster, billboard, advertising structure, advertisement, logo, symbol, or other form, whether placed individually or on a V-type, back-to-back, side-to-side, or used to advertise or inform, any part of the advertising message or informative contents of which is visible at any place. The term does not include an official traffic control sign, official marker or other official combination of structure and message caused to be erected or approved by the board of county commissioners, its designee, or other official public agency (see section 138-1334).
Special exception: A use that would not be appropriate generally or without restriction throughout the particular zoning district or classification but which, if controlled as to number, area, location or relation to the neighborhood, would not adversely affect public health, safety, comfort, good order, appearance, convenience, or the general welfare (see article II, division 7 of this chapter).
Stormwater: The flow of water which results from, and which occurs immediately following, a rainfall event.
Structural alteration: Any extension, reduction, enlargement or rebuilding of the structural components of a building or structure. This shall not include any routine plumbing, electrical or mechanical repairs.
Structure: Anything constructed, installed or portable, the use of which requires a location on a parcel of land. Such term includes a movable structure, while it is located on land, which can be used for housing, business, commercial, agricultural, or office purposes, either temporarily or permanently, including all caging designed to contain livestock. This definition shall include all decks which exceed one foot in height. Fences a maximum of six feet high, sidewalks, patio slabs, driveways, containers (tanks) covered by other codes, and utility poles are not considered structures except for permit requirements.
Tower: Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas, including self-supporting lattice towers, guy towers, or monopole towers. The term includes radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common carrier towers, cellular telephone towers, alternative tower structures and the like.
Variance: A modification of some particular requirement of this chapter which may be granted by the board of adjustment in order to alleviate some unique and unnecessary hardship which may result from a literal enforcement of the provisions of this chapter with respect to the parcel involved.
Vehicle, recreational: The following types of vehicles (each of the following shall have a body width not to exceed eight feet and a body length not to exceed 35 feet):
- Travel trailer means a vehicular, portable structure built on a chassis, designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation, and vacation uses.
- Pickup coach means a structure designed to be mounted on a truck chassis with sufficient equipment to render it suitable for use as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation, and vacation uses.
- Motor home means a portable, temporary dwelling to be used for travel, recreation, and vacation uses, constructed as an integral part of a self-propelled vehicle.
- Camping trailer means a collapsible temporary dwelling structure mounted on wheels, and designed for travel, recreation, and vacation uses.
- Auto camper means a lightweight, collapsible unit that fits on top of an automobile and/or into the trunk with the cover removed, and designed for travel, recreation, and vacation uses.