Article 15. Supplemental District Regulations

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Section 15.1. INTENT.

The regulations set forth in this Article qualify, supplement or modify the area, yard and height regulations set forth elsewhere in this ordinance. In the event of any conflict in regulations, the more restrictive provision shall apply unless specifically indicated to the contrary.


Section 15.2. LOT OF RECORD.

Any lot of record at the time of passage of this ordinance having less area or width than herein required may be used for a dwelling where such uses are permitted as provided in this ordinance. Only one principal building shall be permitted on one lot of record. Any lot of record at the time of passage of this ordinance shall maintain the required front, side, and rear yards on each side of the principal building or structure. However, where two (2) or more contiguous and adjoining substandard or nonconforming lots are held in common ownership, they can be combined into one (1) zoning lot and thereafter maintained in common ownership; and be considered by the city joined together for the purpose of forming an effective and conforming zoning lot. The combining of contiguous substandard lots for purposes of zoning conformance does not automatically mean the property is rezoned. If two or more contiguous lots are within different zoning districts, a rezoning request may be necessary to accommodate proposed uses.



More than one principal structure not intended to be a single family residential dwelling may be erected on a single lot, except in the R-1 and R-3 residential districts, and subject to the following conditions. For example, multiple principal structures on a single lot may include two or more apartment or condominium buildings on the same lot or parcel; or multiple principal commercial or industrial buildings on the same lot or parcel (e.g. storage buildings, mini-warehousing, condominium storage units, warehousing, etc.)

  • No principal building shall be located closer than twenty-five feet (25’) in relation to another principal building on the same lot, so as to cause danger from fire.
  • All principal buildings on the lot shall be served by access ways suitable for police, fire, and emergency vehicles, upon review by Rock Valley public safety officials.
  • All of the multiple principal buildings on the same lot shall be accessible via pedestrian walkways connected to the required parking and emergency accesses, and to each principal building.



The owner, developer or authorized agent of a relocated residential dwelling shall submit to the Zoning Administrator a route plan and photographs of the building to be moved with a house mover permit. Such permit shall be prepared and reviewed by the City in accordance with Chapter 123 of the Rock Valley City Code. Upon review of the information submitted, the Zoning Administrator and/or City Council shall consider the aesthetic appearance of such relocated dwelling and how the proposed building or structure fits into the character and appearance of the existing dwellings and neighborhood. A house mover permit must be approved by the City prior to moving a building or structure into Rock Valley.



Projecting Overhang or Structure. The ordinary horizontal projection from buildings including eaves, sills, fascia, parapets, cornices, or other similar architectural features, except for gutters, may not project or extend more than two feet (2’) into any required yard.

Yard Encroachments. Air conditioning compressor(s), L.P. tanks, heat pumps, egress window wells or other such similar devices may not encroach into the required side yard. Attached carports, bay windows, cantilevered projections, chimneys and structures may not project into any required yard.

Utilities. Nothing in this ordinance shall have the effect of prohibiting utility service lines either across property through a utility easement, or through the public right-of-way adjacent to such property.


Through Lots. Buildings on through lots, extending from street to street shall provide the required front yard on both streets.

Corner Lots 25’. The required side yard on the street side of a corner lot shall be the same as the required front yard on such street and no accessory building shall project beyond the required front yard on either street. 

Sight Triangle (at Intersections) 35’. On a corner lot in any district, except the C-1 General Commercial District, no fence, wall, hedge, tree or other planting or structure, other than public utilities, will obstruct vision between a height of two (2) feet and ten (10) feet above the ground within the triangular area formed by connecting a point at the center of the curb radius with two points that are thirty- five feet (35’) from the center of the curb radius as measured along the curb. (see diagram to the right)


Steps providing access to the ground level of a housing unit may encroach no more than three feet (3’) into any required side yard. Steps may encroach no more than six feet (6’) into any required front or rear yard.

Deck floors higher than twelve inches (12”) above the average grade of the ground around the perimeter of the entire deck shall conform to required yard setbacks. An open unenclosed deck may project into a front yard for a distance not exceeding ten feet (10’). However, no deck may extend to within ten feet (10’) of the lot line.

Uncovered patios or other concrete slab structures constructed on the ground, or less than 12 inches above the average grade of the ground including railing height, shall be allowed to be constructed within the required front, side, or rear yards. However, no concrete slab structure built on the ground or uncovered patio shall encroach closer than two feet (2’) of the property line.

Concrete driveways and parking areas are permitted as long as the designated driveway is no larger than the width of the garage or designated parking space and runs from the garage or parking space to the street. Furthermore, additional off street paved parking in the front yard shall be limited to not more than ten feet (10’) beyond either side of a driveway to be used for auxiliary parking spaces.


Section 15.7. FENCES AND HEDGES.

  • No fence constructed more than thirty percent (30%) solid or more than four feet (4’) in height may be located in any front yard. Fences less than four feet (4’) in height may be located on any part of a lot.
  • No fences are allowed within the “sight triangle” in accordance with Section 15.5.6. No fence shall obscure clear view of traffic at street intersections or driveways so as to create a safety hazard to pedestrians or vehicular traffic.
  • Except as provided above, fences less than six feet (6’) tall may be erected in any required side or rear yards on those parts of a lot that are setback from the street as far as the main building is from the street. Fences in excess of six feet (6’) may be allowed in the cases of tennis courts, swimming pools or other recreational amenities, upon review by the Zoning Administrator.
  • Fences shall not be closer than six inches (6”) to any property line and perennial plantings shall not be planted closer than two and one-half feet (2½’) to any property line. Except that fences and perennial plantings may be placed up to the property line by written mutual agreement of adjoining property owners.
  • Fences shall not be constructed of non-treated or natural wood products; corrugated tin, metal, or fiberglass; or sheet metal or fiberglass. Fences may be constructed from chain link, non- decomposing wood products (e.g. pressure-treated, redwood, cedar, etc.), molded plastic or wrought iron. The Planning and Zoning Commission may approve other materials. Fences should be constructed in an orderly and neat manner as to accent and compliment the natural landscape of the property.
  • Garden fences are exempt from zoning regulations except that no garden fence shall create a traffic or pedestrian hazard, be no more than three feet (3’) in height, or be located within the front yard or street side yard.
  • Disputes between property owners concerning fences and/or plantings, trees, bushes, hedges or other natural or manufactured structures obstructing views, sunlight or air shall be considered a civil matter between private parties and shall be resolved in a court of law.
  • All fences shall be subject to a completed and approved zoning permit.



Every building or principal use hereafter erected or structurally altered shall be located on a lot or parcel having frontage on a public street or road; or shall be located on a lot or parcel having deeded access to a public street.



No portion of the public road, street or alley right-of-way shall be used or occupied by an abutting use of land or structure for storage or display purposes, or to provide any parking or loading space.



In the case where the front yards in a given block improved with buildings amount to more than 30% of the total number of lots, including vacant lots, on one side of the street between two intersecting streets, then the required front yard setback shall be based on a line joining the two adjacent or closest corners of the buildings on either side thereof. Where there is a building on only one side, beyond a line projected from the corresponding adjacent corners of the two nearest buildings, except that no building shall be required to provide a front yard setback greater than thirty-five feet (35’) in any event. When less than 30% of the total number of lots, including vacant lots, on one side of the street between two intersecting streets is improved with buildings, the required minimum yard setbacks of the district shall be enforced.



Height regulations shall not apply to television and radio towers, cellular or other communication towers, church spires, belfries, monuments, tanks, water towers, stage towers or scenery lofts, cooling towers, grain elevators, ornamental towers and spires, chimneys, elevator bulkheads, drilling rigs, conveyors, flagpoles, wind generators or other wind powered devices and other pertinent mechanical apparatus which may be erected to any height not in conflict with any other applicable regulations. These additional structures or accessories may be erected to a height approved by the Board of Adjustment. However, all towers or structures exceeding height requirements shall not be permitted to extend into approach zones, clear zones or other restricted air space required for the protection of the flying public. Public, semi-public, public service buildings, or schools when permitted in a district may be erected to a greater height than otherwise permitted in the district if the building is set back from each property line at least one foot (1’) in addition to the minimum yard requirements, for each two feet (2’) of additional building height above the limit otherwise provided in the district.


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