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Article 4.01

Purpose:
For the purposes of this regulation Douglas County, Nebraska, except within the limits of any incorporated city or village or within the area over which zoning jurisdiction has been granted to any city or village, is hereby divided into the following districts:

Ag Agricultural/Open Space
RR-1 Rural Residential 1
RR-2 Rural Residential 2
R-1 Urban Residential 1
R-2 Urban Residential 2
R-3 Urban Residential 3
MH Mobile Home Residential District
MU-1 Mixed Use 1
MU-2 Mixed Use 2
MU-3 Mixed Use 3
LI Limited Industrial
GI General Industrial
HC Highway Corridor Design Overlay District
Pud Planned Unit Development Overlay District
FP/FW Floodplain/ Floodway Overlay District
BTA Build through Acreage Overlay District

4.02 Application of Districts:
A base district designation shall apply to each lot or site within the county's planning jurisdiction. A site must be in one base district.

The Flood Plain/Floodway, Planned Unit Development, Build Through Acreage, and Highway Corridor Design Overlay Districts may be applied to any lot or site or any portion thereof, in addition to a base district designation.

4.03 Hierarchy:
References in the Zoning Regulation to less intensive or more intensive districts shall be deemed to refer to those agricultural, residential, mixed use, and industrial base zoning districts established in Section 4.01, and shall represent a progression from the AG Agricultural District as the least intensive to the GI General Industrial District as the most intensive. The Overlay Districts shall not be included in this reference.

Page 4-1 Douglas County Zoning Regulations

4.04 Development Regulations:
For each Zoning District, permitted uses are set forth in Table 4.1. Permitted Uses By Zoning District. Individual sections describe the purpose and specific development regulations for each zoning district. Supplemental Regulations may affect specific land uses or development regulations in each zoning district. The applicable Supplemental Regulations are noted in Table 4-1.

4.05 Zoning Map:
The boundaries of these districts are hereby established as shown on the Official Zoning Map which together with all explanatory matter thereon, is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of these regulations.

If, in accordance with the provisions of this regulation, changes are made in district boundaries or other matter portrayed on the Official Zoning Map, such changes shall be made on the Official Zoning Map promptly after the amendment has been approved and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.

Regardless of the existence of purported copies of the Official Zoning Map which may from time to time be made or published, the Official Zoning Map, in electronic format and which shall be located in the office of the Zoning Coordinator shall be the final authority as the current zoning status of land, water areas, buildings and other structures. The Official Zoning Map will also be placed on the Environmental Services Department's web page to facilitate access and use by the general public.

4.06 Interpretation of District Boundaries:
Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of districts as shown on the Official Zoning Map, the following rules shall apply:

  1. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines or right of way of streets, highways or alleys shall be construed to follow such center or right of way lines unless otherwise noted.
  2. Boundaries indicated as approximately following platted lot lines shall be construed as following such lot lines.
  3. Boundaries indicated as approximately following city limits shall be construed as following city limits.
  4. Boundaries indicated as following railroad lines shall be construed to be midway between the main tracks.
  5. Boundaries indicated as following shore lines shall be construed to follow such shore lines, and in the event of change in the shore line shall be construed as moving with the actual shore line; boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines of streams, rivers, canals, lakes or other bodies of water shall be construed to follow such center lines.
  6. Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated in subsection A through E above shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the Official Zoning Map shall be determined by the scale of the map.
  7. When physical or cultural features existing on the ground are at variance with those shown on the Official Zoning Map, or in other circumstances not covered by subsections A through F above, the Board of Adjustment shall interpret the district boundaries.

4.07 Vacation of Streets and Alleys:
Whenever a public street or alley is vacated, the zoning district adjoining each side of such right- of-way shall be extended out to the former centerline.

4.08 Required Conformance:
Except as specified in this chapter, no building or structure shall be erected, converted, enlarged, reconstructed or structurally altered, nor shall any building or land be used that does not comply with all of the district regulations established by this title for the district in which the building or land is located.

4.09 Required Frontage:
No lot or parcel of land shall contain any building unless such lot or parcel of complies with the minimum lot width in the applicable zoning district where the parcel abuts and has access to a public road. All dedicated public roads must meet Douglas County's minimum design standards for similar types of improvements and be approved by the County Engineer. The intent is to address the concern of the County Engineer regarding multiple driveway accesses onto public roads. (amended March 18, 2008)

4.10 Use Matrix: Levels of Permitted Uses:
Within zoning districts in Douglas County, different uses are permitted with different conditions. These are displayed in Table 4.1. Permitted Use by Zoning District.

Levels of permission include:

  1. Uses that are permitted by right. These uses are permitted subject to issuance of a building permit by the Zoning Coordinator, subject only to compliance with all provisions of this Regulation. Uses permitted by right might be subject to supplemental regulations contained in this Regulation. Uses permitted by right are indicated in Table 4.1 by a 'P' in the applicable cell. Page 4-3 Douglas County Zoning Regulations
  2. Special Uses. These uses are subject to approval of a Special Use Permit by the Board of County Commissioners, following the procedure set forth in Article 13 (13.04). These uses are indicated in Table 4.1 by a 'S' in the applicable cell.
  3. Site plan approval. Some use types require an additional site plan approval by the Zoning Coordinator. The site plan approval procedure is set forth in Article 13 (13.03). These uses are indicated in Table 4.1 by an asterisk (*) following the citing of a specific use type.

4.11 Guide to Site Development Regulators:
The regulators set forth in the tables in Sections 4.12 through 4.23 establish the limits and requirements for most development within Douglas County's planning jurisdiction. This section is intended to provide guidance for applying the regulators contained in these tables.

Conservation Design is mandatory for new development in Douglas County and because building lot clustering is a component of conservation design the Site Development Regulators, as defined in the respective zoning districts, may need to be altered to accommodate such lot clustering.

  1. Minimum or Maximum site area per housing unit. This indicates the gross land area per unit within a residential development. For example, a 40-lot subdivision on a 10-acre (435,600 square foot) tract will have a site area per unit of 10,890 square feet. Site area per unit, which measures gross density, may differ from minimum lot size. In multi-family development, the site area per unit will usually be smaller than minimum lot size, because the lot is the legal parcel on which a multiple-unit building is built.
  2. Minimum lot area. This indicates the minimum size of a legally described and recorded parcel upon which development can take place. As noted above, minimum lot area and site area per unit may not be the same.
  3. Minimum lot width. This is the required minimum distance connecting at points along opposite side lot lines, measured at the required front yard setback. For example, the lot width of an irregular lot in a district requiring a 25-foot front yard setback is determined by:
    1. Locating the points along each side lot line at a distance of 25 feet back from the front property line.
    2. Drawing a line connecting these two points.
    3. Measuring the length of this line. The length is the lot width.

    Page 4-4 Douglas County Zoning Regulations

  4. Minimum yards. These define the required setbacks of buildings from front, side, and rear property lines. The Regulation also provides for other exceptions including:
    1. Planned unit developments. Front yard setbacks may be varied within Planned Unit Developments, which are reviewed and approved by the Board of County Commissioners after a recommendation from the Planning Commission.
    2. Major streets. The County may require greater than normal setbacks along segments of the county's arterial street system, as defined in the comprehensive development plan.
    3. Flexibility provided by Supplemental Development Regulations. Article 5 establishes supplemental regulations, many of which provide flexibility or variations in setback regulations for specific contexts.
  5. Maximum setbacks. Some specific zoning districts provide maximum as well as minimum setbacks. These setbacks establish 'build-to' lines that may be necessary to protect the appearance and character of special urban districts.
  6. Maximum height. Height normally measures the vertical distance from the established grade to the highest point of a building. However, as established by the definition of height, the point of measurement may vary for different types of buildings and roof slopes.
  7. Maximum building coverage. This measures the percentage of a site that may be covered by the footprint of buildings. Thus, a 20,000 square foot building on a 40,000 square foot site has a building coverage of 50%. This is a method of regulating the scale of buildings in an area.
  8. Maximum Impervious Coverage. This measures the percentage of a site that may be covered by buildings and other surfaces and development features which prevent the penetration of water into the ground (such as driveways, porches, parking lots, and other features). Limits on impervious coverage help control the velocity and quantity of stormwater runoff, can improve water quality by allowing water to infiltrate rather than runoff, and can provide for groundwater recharge.
  9. Maximum amount of total parking in street yard. This controls the maximum amount of parking that can be located in the area between a building facade and the street. When applied in certain zoning districts, it is intended to reduce the number of cars seen from the street, encourage site planning which locates parking in rear and side yards, and produce a stronger relationship between buildings and streets. For example, a project with 100 parking stalls and a 50% limit on the amount of parking located in street yards must locate 50 of its stalls in rear or side yards without street exposure.
  10. Minimum bufferyard requirements. This establishes the depth of a bufferyard that must be provided by intensive land uses adjacent to primarily residential land uses in page 4-5 of the Douglas County Zoning Regulations Zoning Districts residential zoning districts. All landscaping must be done in accordance with Article 9 establishing landscaping standards.
  11. Supplemental use regulations. Certain permitted uses require satisfaction of specific requirements in order to function successfully in their urban or rural contexts. These supplemental requirements are set forth in Article 5. These requirements are cross-referenced in the 'Supplemental Regulations' column of Table 4.1.

 



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