City of Marshfield
.
Welcome to the City of Marshfield Web Site!

Municipal Code

Search

Municipal Code

Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-12. Definitions

The following words, terms and phrases, wherever they occur in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them by this Section. Definitions provided by this Section include:

Abut: To share a common boundary. Properties separated by a public right of way shall not be considered abutting.

Access: A means of providing vehicular or non-vehicular egress from or ingress to a property, highway, or private roadway.

Accessory building, nonresidential: A structure subordinate to the principal building which is located on the same nonresidential parcel.

Accessory building, residential: A structure subordinate to the principal building which is located on the same residential parcel. Accessory residential structures include garages, carports, other parking spaces, swimming pools, tennis courts, and tool sheds. Accessory structures in residential districts shall not involve the conduct of any business, trade, or industry, except as defined as a Minor/Conditional Home Occupation and shall not permit the commercial boarding of animals or the keeping of fowl or farm animals. The post of a carport is considered the wall for setback purposes.

Accessory building, attached: An accessory building which is physically connected to the principal building. Attached accessory buildings shall be considered part of the principal structure and are subject to the setback standards for the principal structure.

Accessory building, detached: An accessory building which is not physically connected to the principal building. A minor attachment does not render an accessory building attached. Examples of minor attachments include, but are not limited to, decks 18" or less above grade, arbors and fences, and similar open unclosed structures such as breezeways over the pedestrian pathway between structures and no wider than 5-feet.

Accessory use: A use subordinate to the principal use of a building and serving a purpose customarily incidental to the use of the principal land use. Accessory uses in residential districts shall not involve the conduct of any business, trade, or industry, except as defined as a Minor/Conditional Home Occupation and shall not include the boarding of animals or the keeping of fowl or farm animals.

Acre: 43,560 square feet.

Addition: Any walled and roofed expansion to the perimeter and/or height of a building in which the addition is connected by a common load bearing wall. Any walled and roofed addition connected by a fire wall or is separated by independent perimeter load bearing walls is new construction.

Adjoining Lots: Lots in contact at some point or in line with each other, such as a row of lots used to calculate an average setback. Lots separated by a right-of-way, may still be considered adjoining if the lots would potentially meet in the middle of the right-of-way if extended.

Airport: The Marshfield Municipal Airport located in Wood County, Wisconsin.

Airport hazard: Any structure, object, or natural growth, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous to such landing and taking off.

Alley: A thoroughfare less than 33 feet in width and for the purpose of providing access to the rear of buildings in a platted city block. Alley access does not constitute frontage for the purposes of minimum lot frontage.

Alteration: Any act or process that changes the exterior architectural appearance of one or more features of a structure, including, but not limited to, the erection, construction, reconstruction or removal of any structure or site.

Animal unit: A measure which represents a common denominator for the purpose of defining a Husbandry or Intensive Agricultural land use. The animal unit measure relates to the maximum carrying capacity of one acre of land and is related to the amount of feed various species consume and the amount of waste they produce. The following figure indicates the number of common farm species which comprise a single animal unit:

Figure 18-12(a): Animal Units

Type of Livestock# of Animals/ Animal UnitType of Livestock# of Animals/ Animal UnitType of Livestock# of Animals/ Animal Unit
Horse (>2 yrs)1Calves (<1 yr)5Lambs14
Colt (<2 yrs)2Brood Sow or Boar2Chickens - Egg Layers30
Cattle (>2 yrs)1Hogs (up to 220 lbs)3Chickens - Fryers60
Cattle (<2 yrs)2Sheep10Turkeys50
Source: The Stockman's Handbook

Appeal: A means for obtaining review of a decision, determination, order, or failure to act pursuant to the terms of this Chapter as expressly authorized by the provisions of Section 18-170.

Basement: That portion of a building between floor and ceiling having at least one-half of its height below grade.

Block: The property abutting the street between the two nearest intersecting or intercepting streets. A railroad right of way, the boundary line of un-subdivided acreage, or a body of water shall be regarded the same as an intersecting or intercepting street for the purpose of defining a "block."

Bufferyard: Any permitted combination of distance, vegetation, fencing, and berming which results in a reduction of visual and other interaction with an abutting property.

Buildable area: The areas of a lot remaining after the minimum yard requirements of this Chapter have been met within which a structure may be built. The buildable area for a principal structure is typically different than the buildable area for an accessory building, or for the buildable area for an area of pavement.

Building: A roofed structure intended for the shelter, housing, or enclosure of persons, animals, or chattels.

Building coverage: The percentage of a lot covered by principal and accessory buildings, including all structures with a roof.

Building height: The vertical distance from the highest grade-level at the front wall of the building to the highest point of the roof.

Building, principal: A building in which the main or principal use of the lot is conducted.

Building separation: The narrowest distance between two buildings (see minimum building separation).

Building services supervisor: The building services supervisor of the City of Marshfield.

Bulk: The combination of building height, size, and location on a lot.

Caliper: A measurement of the size of a tree equal to the diameter of its trunk measurement 4 foot above natural grade.

Carport: An accessory building or portion of a building which is open on one or more sides and has a roof where motor vehicles are housed. Carports comply with Chapter 15 Buildings and Building Regulations of the City Code of Ordinance.

Certificate of appropriateness: A permit for restoration or change of a landmark, landmark site or historic preservation district site appearing on the Local Municipal Register of Historic Places which shall company a building or demolition permit.

Comprehensive plan: The long-range master plan for the desirable use and development of land in the City as official adopted and as amended from time to time by the Commission and certified to the Council.

Condominium: An estate in real property consisting of an undivided interest in common with other purchasers in a portion of a parcel of real property, together with separate interest in space. A condominium may include, in addition, separate interest in other portions of such property.

Construction: The act of adding an addition to an existing structure or the erection of a new principal or accessory building or structure on a lot or property.

Demolition: Any act or process that destroys in whole or in part a landmark or a structure within a historic district.

Density: A term used to describe the number of dwelling units per acre including rights-of-way, infrastructure, outlots, and other similar areas.

Dwelling: A building or one or more portions thereof, containing one or more dwelling units, but not including habitations provided in nonresidential uses such as lodging uses, institutional residential, and commercial campgrounds.

Dwelling, attached: A dwelling joined to another dwelling at one or more sides by a shared wall or walls.

Dwelling, detached: A dwelling entirely surrounded by open space on the same lot.

Dwelling unit: A room or group of rooms providing or intended to provide permanent living quarters for not more than one family.

Easement: Written authorization, recorded in the Register of Deeds office, from a landowner authorizing another party to use any designated part of the land owner's property for a specified purpose.

Extraterritorial area: The area outside of the City limits in which the City of Marshfield may exercise extraterritorial powers of planning, land division, and/or zoning review.

Façade: The view of any building or other structure from any one of 4 sides regardless of the configuration or orientation of a building.

Family: An individual or 2 or more persons, each related by blood, marriage, adoption or guardianship, living together as a single housekeeping unit; or a group of not more than 4 persons not so related, maintaining a common household in which bathrooms, kitchen facilities, and living quarters are shared.

Farm building: Any building, other than a dwelling unit, used for storing agricultural equipment or farm produce or products, having livestock or poultry, or processing dairy products.

Floor area: The sum of the gross horizontal areas of the floors of a building, including interior balconies, mezzanines, basements, and attached accessory buildings, stairs, escalators, unenclosed and enclosed porches, detached accessory buildings utilized as dead storage, heating and utility rooms, inside off-street parking or loading space. Measurements shall be made from the outside of the exterior walls and to the center of interior walls dividing attached buildings.

Foot-candle: A unit of illumination produced on a surface, all points of which are one foot from a uniform point source of one candle.

Garage: An accessory building or portion of a building which is designed to contain a door(s) to accommodate vehicle entry and exit which, when closed, fully encloses the space within the structure where motor vehicles are housed. Garages comply with Chapter 15 Buildings and Building Regulations of the City Code of Ordinance.

Gross density: The result of dividing the number of dwelling units located on a site by the gross site area (see maximum gross density).

Gross floor area: The total floor area on all levels of a building.

Gross site area (GSA): The total area of a single lot or the sum of abutting multiple lots.

Group development: See Section 18-114.

Historic district: An area composed of two or more improvement parcels that together comprise a district of special character, or special historic interest or value, as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the City, state or nation, and which has been designated as a historic district pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Historic site: Any parcel of land whose historic significance is due to a substantial value in tracing the history of aboriginal people, or upon which a historic event has occurred, and which has been designated as a historic site under this article or an improvement parcel or part thereof, used as and constituting part of the premises on which the historic structure is situated.

Historic structure: Any improvement which has a special character or special historic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the City, state or nation and which has been designated as a historic structure pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Impervious surface: Areas designed and installed to prohibit infiltration of stormwater. Homes, buildings, and other structures with roofs, as well as concrete, brick, stone, asphalt, gravel, and similar paved surfaces are considered impervious.

Impervious surface ratio: A measures of the intensity of land use, determined by dividing the total of all impervious surfaces on a site by the gross site area.

Improvement: Any building, structure, place, work of art or other object constituting a physical betterment of real property, or any part of such betterment.

Intensity: A term used to describe the amount of gross floor area or landscaped area on a lot or site compared to the gross site area.

Landmark: Any identified improvement, which has a special character or special historic interest or cultural value as part of the heritage of the City.

Landmark site: Any parcel of historic significance having value in tracing the history of aboriginal man or upon which a historical event has occurred, and which has been designated as a landmark site pursuant to this Chapter. A landmark site includes the parcel upon which the landmark has been built.

Landscaped area: The area of a site which is planted and continually maintained in vegetation, including grasses, flowers, herbs, garden plants, native or introduced groundcovers, shrubs, bushes, and trees. The landscaped area includes the area located within planted and continually maintained landscaped planters.

Landscape surface area ratio (LSR): The percentage of the gross site area or lot area which is preserved as permanently protected landscaped area.

Large development: See Section 18-114.

Lot: A parcel of land having frontage on a public or private street occupied or intended to be occupied by a principal structure or use and sufficient in size to meet the lot width, lot frontage, lot area, yard, parking area and other open space provisions of this Chapter.

Lot area: The area contained within the property boundaries of a recorded lot.

Lot, corner: A lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection or upon two parts of the same street, such streets or parts of the same street forming an interior angel of less than 135 degrees. The point of intersection of the street lines is the "corner." On a corner lot, the shorter street line shall be deemed to be the front lot line, regardless of the location of the principal entrance or approach to the main building. For existing development where the standard front or rear yards do not meet the required setbacks, alternative front yards, street side yards, or rear yards may considered provided they meet the required setbacks.

Lot depth: The mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.

Lot, double-frontage: Buildings on lots having frontage on two nonintersecting streets need not have a rear yard if an equivalent open space is provided on the lot in lieu of such required rear yard; applicable front yards must be provided, however, on both streets.

Lot frontage: Lot width measured at each street lot line.

Lot, interior: A lot other than a corner lot.

Lot line: A lot line is the property line (including the vertical plane established by the line and the ground) bounding a lot except that where any portion of a lot extends into the public right of way or a proposed public right of way, the line of such public right of way shall be the lot line for applying this Chapter.

Lot line, front: A lot line which abuts a public or private street right of way. On a corner lot, the front lot line is generally the narrower of the two lot lines abutting the public street (See also lot line, street side and lot corner). See Figure 18-12(b).

Lot line, rear: In the case of rectangular or most trapezoidal shaped lots, that lot line which is parallel to and most distant from the front lot line of the lot. In the case of an irregular, triangular, or gore‑shaped lot, a line 20 feet in length, entirely within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum possible distance from the front line shall be considered to be the rear lot line. In the case of lots that have frontage on more than one road or street, the rear lot line shall be established at the time of subdivision or lot creation or shall be assigned by the Zoning Administrator. See Figure 18-12(b).

Lot line, side: Any lot line other than a front or rear lot line. A side lot line separating a lot from a street is called a street side lot line. A side lot line separating a lot from another lot is called an interior side lot line. See Figure 18-12(b).

Lot line, street side: Any lot line which abuts a public or private street right of way which is not the front lot line. On a corner lot, the street side lot line is generally the longer of the two lot lines abutting the public street (see also lot line, front and lot, corner). See Figure 18-12(b).

Lot of record: A platted lot or lot described in a certified survey map or in a metes and bounds description which has been approved by the City or by Wood or Marathon County, and has been recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds.

Lot, through: A lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets (see also lot, double-frontage). See Figure 18-12(b).

Lot width: The maximum horizontal distance between the side lot lines of a lot, measured parallel to the front lot lines and at the rear of the required front yard (see minimum lot width).

 

Map
Enlarge in a new window

Major street: A highway, road, or street designated as an arterial on the National Functional Classification map of the July 10, 2007 Comprehensive Plan.

Manufactured home: A one- or two family home certified and labeled as a manufactured home under 42 USC 5401-5426 which when placed on the site is set on an enclosed foundation in accordance with §70.043(1) Wis. Stats. and subchapters III, IV, and V of chapter COMM 21, Wis. Adm. Code, or a comparable foundation as approved by the local building services supervisor, is installed according to manufacturer's instructions, is properly connected to utilities and is a minimum of 22 feet wide. For purpose of enforcement of this Chapter, manufacture homes shall be allowed as permitted and conditional uses where "single family" residences and "two family" residences are allowed as permitted and conditional uses.

Maximum building size (MBS): The largest permitted total gross floor area a building may contain (see building size).

Maximum gross density (MGD): The maximum number of dwelling units permitted per acre of Gross Site Area (see gross density).

Minimum building separation: The narrowest permitted building separation.

Minimum landscape surface ratio (LSR): The lowest permitted landscape surface ratio (see landscape surface ratio).

Minimum lot area (MLA): The minimum size lot permitted within the specified zoning district.

Minimum lot width: The smallest permissible lot width for the applicable zoning district measured at the required front yard setback.

Minimum setback: The narrowest distance permitted from a street, side, or rear property line to a structure. See also "Yard, required."

Mixed use: Some combination of residential, commercial, industrial, office, institutional, and/or other land uses within a district or development.

Mobile home: A transportable, factory-built home designed to be used as a single family, year round residential dwelling and built prior to June 15, 1976.

Modular home: A home meeting the requirements of Chapter 15 Buildings and Building Regulations of the City of Marshfield Code of Ordinances and Wisconsin Statutes 101.71(6). For purpose of enforcement of this Chapter, modular homes shall be allowed as permitted and conditional uses where "single family" residences and "two family" residences are allowed as permitted and conditional uses.

Municipal Register of Historic Places. A list of designated historic structures, sites or district within the City of Marshfield which have met the criteria and provisions of Article IX.

Navigable water: All natural inland lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, sloughs, flowages, and other waters within the territorial limits of Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin portion of boundary waters, which are navigable under the laws of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has declared navigable all bodies of water with a bed differentiated from adjacent uplands and with levels of flow sufficient to support navigation by a recreational craft of the shallowest draft on an annually recurring basis. For the purposes of this Chapter, rivers and streams will be presumed to be navigable if they are designated as either continuous or intermittent waterways on the United States Geological Survey quadrangle maps until such time that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has made a determination that the waterway is not, in fact, navigable.

Net developable area (NDA): The area of a site which may be disturbed by development activity. Net developable area is the result of subtracting undevelopable area from the gross site area.

New development: Any improvements to land made after January 1, 2013, the effective date of this Chapter, including new construction, new parking areas, and new additions.

Nonconforming building or structure: Any building or other structure which was lawfully existing under ordinances or regulations preceding this Chapter, but which would not conform to this Chapter if the building or structure were to be erected under the provisions of this Chapter.

Nonconforming development: A lawful development approved under ordinances or regulations preceding the effective date of this Chapter, but which would not conform to this Chapter if the development were to be created under the current provisions of this Chapter.

Nonconforming or substandard lot: A lot that lawfully existed prior to the effective date of this Chapter, but which does not meet the dimensional (i.e., minimum lot area, width, street frontage) of the district in which it is located.

Nonconforming site: A site in which a principal use has been established prior to the effective date of this Chapter and on which one or more site development standards such as minimum landscape surfaces, bufferyards, plantings, or minimum parking have not been met or cannot be met owing to the configuration of the site or to the presence of existing structures whether conforming or nonconforming.

Nonconforming use: An active and actual use of land, buildings, or structures, which was lawfully existing prior to the enactment of this Chapter, which has continued as the same use to the present, and which, does not comply with all the applicable regulations of this Chapter.  

Nonresidential use: The individual uses listed under "Agricultural Land Uses," "Institutional Land Uses," "Commercial Land Uses," "Industrial Land Uses," "Storage Land Uses," "Transportation Land Uses," "Telecommunication Land Uses," "Extraction and Disposal Land Uses," and "Energy Production Land Uses" in Article III.

Noxious matter or materials: Material capable of causing injury to living organisms by chemical reaction, or is capable of causing detrimental effects on the physical or economic well‑being of individuals.

Official map: The map adopted and designated by the City as being the "Official Map" pursuant to Section 62.23(6) Wisconsin Statutes which shows current and proposed municipal improvement sites and rights of way.

Official zoning map: The map adopted and designated by the City as being the "Official Zoning Map."

Opacity: The degree to which vision is blocked by bufferyard. Opacity is the proportion of a bufferyard's vertical plane which obstructs views into an abutting property.

Other permanently protected green space: Permanently protected green space areas which are not constrained by one of the protected natural resources (i.e. wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes, and woodlands). Examples include portions of private lots, outlots, or parcels commonly held by a property owners association, which are deed restricted from site disruption.

Outlot: A parcel of land, other than a lot, so designated on a plat or certified survey map and does not meet the requirements of a lot, which is not intended for building or structure development in the proposed land division.  Parking, driveway areas, and off-premise signage may be permitted provided all setbacks of the underlying district are met.

Overlay zoning district: A zoning district which imposes uniform restrictions on all properties within its area which are in addition to the restrictions specific to the standard zoning districts.

Owner: The person, persons, or entity having the right of legal title to a lot or parcel of land.

Parapet: The extension of a false front or wall above the roofline.

Parcel: Any contiguous quantity of land capable of being described with such definiteness that its location and boundaries may be established, which is designated by its owner or developer as land to be used or developed as a unit, or which has been used or developed as a unit. Parcel includes an easement supporting or related to a primary parcel and a condominium unit. Only one such designation by the owner shall be allowed under this Chapter.

Performance standard: Criterion established to control and limit the impacts generated by, or inherent in, uses of land or buildings.

Porch: A covered platform, usually having a separate roof, at an entrance to a dwelling, or an open or enclosed gallery or room, which is not heated or cooled, that is attached to the outside of a building. The post of the porch is considered the wall for setback purposes.

Regional flood: A flood determined by the department of natural resources which is representative of large floods known to have occurred generally in Wisconsin and reasonably characteristic of what can be expected to occur on a particular stream. The regional flood generally has an average frequency in the order of the 100-year recurrence interval flood determined from an analysis of floods on a particular stream and other streams in the same general region.

Residential use: The individual uses listed in Section 18-55.

Scale (of development): A term used to describe the gross floor area, height, or volume of a single structure or group of structures.

Setback: The shortest distance between the exterior of a building or structure and the nearest point on the referenced lot line, excluding permitted intrusions per Section 18-73.

Site area: See gross site area.

Slope: An incline from the horizontal expressed in an arithmetic ratio of horizontal magnitude to vertical magnitude. (Example: 3:1 slope is 3 feet horizontal and one foot vertical).

Start of construction: The date the building permit is issued, provided the actual start of activity was within 365 calendar days of the permit date. The actual start of activity means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on the site such as the pouring of a slab or footings, the installation of piles, or the construction of columns. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for basement, footings, piers, or foundations; nor does it include the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or part of the main structure.

Steep slope: Steep slopes are areas which contain a gradient of 12 percent or greater.

Street: A right of way for vehicular traffic, whether designated as a street, highway, thoroughfare, parkway, throughway, road, avenue, boulevard, lane, place, or however otherwise designated and includes all of the area between the roadway or right of way lines.

Structure: Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires a more or less permanent location on the ground, or attached to something having a permanent location on the ground, excluding landscape features, fences, swimming pools, public utilities, and other minor site improvements.

Substandard lot: A lot of record which lawfully existed prior to this Chapter, which would not conform to the applicable regulations if the lot were to be created under the current provisions of this Chapter.

Temporary use: A land use which is present on a property for a limited and specified period of time.

Unnecessary hardship: The circumstance where special conditions affecting a particular property, which were not self-created, have made strict conformity with restrictions governing areas, setbacks, frontage, height, or density unnecessarily burdensome or unreasonable in light of the purposes of the ordinance.

Use: The purpose for which land or a building or structure is arranged, designed, or intended, or for which it is, or may be, occupied or maintained.

Use, principal: The main use to which a parcel is devoted and the main purpose for which the premises exists.

Variance: A relaxation of the terms of this Chapter where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions peculiar to the property and not the result of the actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the Chapter would result in unnecessary and undue hardship.

Wetland: An area that is saturated by surface water or groundwater, with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions. See also Section 23.32(1), Wis. Stats.

Woodland: Areas of trees whose combined canopies cover a minimum of 80 percent of an area of one acre or more, as shown on USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps for the City of Marshfield and its environs.

Yard: An open space, other than a court, on a lot unoccupied and unobstructed from the group upward except as otherwise provided in this Chapter.

Yard, front: A yard extending across the full width of the lot, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the front lot line and a line parallel thereto on the lot.

Yard, provided: The actual distance which principal building(s) are set back from the respective lot lines.

Yard, rear: A yard extending across the full width of the lot, the depth of which is the minimum distance between the rear lot line and a line parallel thereto on the lot. On corner lots, the rear yard shall be the yard opposite the front yard as chosen by the land owner.

Yard, required: The minimum distance required by this Chapter which the principal building(s) shall be set back from the respective lot lines. See also "Minimum setback."

Yard, side: A yard extending from the front yard to the rear yard, the width of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the side lot line and a line parallel thereto on the lot.

Yard, street side: For corner lots, the yard between the front and rear lot lines, extending from the street side lot line to the nearest part of the nearest principal building.

Zoning administrator: The person authorized and charged by the City with the administration of this Chapter.