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Legislation #: 030370 Introduction Date: 3/20/2003
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: 4/27/2003
Sponsor: None
Title: Amending Sections 66-124 and 80-250 of the Code of Ordinances to provide an exception to lot width requirements where lots are created by lot split or replats in older neighborhoods.

Legislation History

Referred Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee


Hold On Agenda


Advance and Do Pass as a Committee Substitute


Passed as Substituted

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Amending Sections 66-124 and 80-250 of the Code of Ordinances to provide an exception to lot width requirements where lots are created by lot split or replats in older neighborhoods.




Section 1. That Sections 66-124 and 80-250 of the Code of Ordinances of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing said sections and enacting in lieu thereof new sections of like number and subject matter, to read as follows:


Sec. 66-124. Block and lot design.


(a) Block design generally.


(1) The length, width and shape of blocks shall be suited for the planned use of the land, zoning requirements, and need for convenient access, control and safety of street traffic and the limitations and opportunities relating to the terrain. Block lengths in residential areas shall not, as a general rule, be less than 600 feet in length between street lines unless dictated by exceptional terrain or other limiting factors of good design. Blocks shall have sufficient width to provide for two tiers of lots of appropriate depth, except where otherwise required to separate residential development from through traffic.


(2) Pedestrian ways or crosswalks not less than ten feet in width shall be provided near the center and entirely across any block which is 900 feet or more in length where deemed essential in the opinion of the city plan commission to provide adequate pedestrian circulation or access to schools, shopping centers, churches, parks or transportation facilities. At the time of preliminary plat approval, this requirement may be modified in an instance where this access is adequately served otherwise.


(b) Lot design generally.


(1) The size, shape and orientation of the lots shall be appropriate for the location of the subdivision and for the type of development and use contemplated. The lots should be designed to provide a proper architectural setting for the buildings contemplated. Every lot shall front or abut on a public street and have a minimum width of 50 feet measured at the building line; except that in an application for lot split or replat of lots previously platted prior to January 1, 1954, with lot widths of less than 50 feet, a minimum lot width of 37.5 feet shall be provided.


(2) Minimum lot dimensions, building setback lines and lot areas shall conform to the requirements of the zoning ordinance and have a minimum average depth of 110 feet. Where not served by a public sewer, lot dimensions and area shall, in addition, conform to the requirements of the appropriate city department and be not less than

one acre.


(c) Large tracts or parcels.


(1) When land is subdivided into larger parcels than ordinary building lots, such parcels shall be arranged in such a manner as to allow for the opening of future streets and logical further resubdivision of the parcel. Corner lot lines shall have an extra width of ten feet to permit adequate building setbacks from side streets.


(2) Lot depth should generally not exceed three times the lot width when the area to be subdivided is one acre or larger.


(3) Lot depth should follow municipal boundary lines rather than cross them.


(4) Double-frontage and reverse-frontage lots may be approved at the time of preliminary plat approval where necessary to provide separation of residential development from through traffic or overcome specific disadvantages of terrain and orientation.


(5) Residential lots fronting or backing on major streets shall be platted with extra depth to permit increased distances between the buildings and trafficways.


(6) Depth and width of properties reserved or laid out for commercial or industrial use shall be adequate to provide for the off-street service and parking facilities required by the type of use and development contemplated.


(7) Where not adequately controlled by zoning regulations, building setback lines appropriate to the location and type of development contemplated shall be established, as may be requested by the city plan commission.


(d) Tracts containing water bodies or watercourses. If a tract being subdivided contains a water body, or portion thereof, lot lines shall be so drawn as to distribute the entire ownership of the water body among the fees of adjacent lots. The city plan commission may approve an alternative plan whereby the ownership of, and responsibility for, safe maintenance of the water body is so placed that will not become a city responsibility. No more than 25 percent of the minimum area of a lot required under the zoning ordinance may be satisfied by land which is under water. Where a watercourse separates the buildable area of a lot from the street by which it has access, provisions shall be made for installation of a culvert or other structure.


Sec. 80-250. Height, yard and area exceptions.


The regulations and requirements as to the heights of buildings, the area of lot which may be occupied by buildings, front yards, side yards, rear yards and other regulations and requirements, as established in this chapter, shall be subject to the following exceptions and additional regulations:


(1) Projections into required yard. The area required in a yard at any given level shall be open from such level to the sky, unobstructed, except for the ordinary projections of skylights and parapets above the bottom of such yard, and except for the ordinary projection of windowsills, belt courses, cornices, chimneys or chimney foundations, buttresses, eaves and other ornamental features, to the extent of not more than two feet into a minimum required yard.


(2) Height exceptions.


a. Parapet walls and false mansards. Parapet walls and false mansards may extend not more than 8 1/2 feet above the height limit. No such extensions will be permitted in districts R-1, R-2 and R-3.


b. Appurtenances. Flagpoles, chimneys, cooling towers, electric display signs, elevator bulkheads, belfries, penthouses, finials, gas tanks, grain elevators, stacks, silos, storage towers, observation towers, radio or television towers, ornamental towers, monuments, cupolas, domes, spires, standpipes and necessary mechanical appurtenances, where permitted, may be erected to a height in accordance with existing or hereafter adopted ordinances of the city; except that, in districts R-1, R-2 and R-3, no radio or television structure, including antenna support and antenna, shall exceed 60 feet, provided that a minimum setback of one-third the height of the tower shall be maintained from all property lines.


c. Amusement park rides, amusement attractions or roller coasters. Height restrictions in any zoning district shall not apply to amusement park rides, amusement attractions or roller coasters of any type which are erected in any zoning district in which they are allowed, either temporary or permanent, provided that such amusement park rides, amusement attractions or roller coasters are setback a distance equal to the height of said amusement park rides, amusement attractions or roller coasters from the property line on which the rides are located.


(3) Setback and required yard exceptions.


a. Front yard setback. In districts R-1 to R-5, inclusive, where the frontage upon the same side of the street within a block is occupied or partially occupied by a building or buildings with front yards, all of greater depth than required by this chapter, no other lot on the same side of the street within the same block shall be occupied by a building with a front yard of less depth than the least depth of any such existing front yard, unless:


1. A final subdivision plat has been approved by the city council and recorded establishing a front building line;

2. A variance has been granted by the board, subject to the provisions of section 80-300; or


3. A subdivision plat recorded prior to the application of chapter 66 established a front building setback line.


b. Front yard. Between the building line or required front yard and a front lot line, the following may be erected:


1. A balcony, or a porch, unenclosed or screened, with 18-14 mesh screen or smaller, and having not more than 20 percent of the square foot area of the front and sides of the porch between the deck and the roof of permanent construction, consisting of posts, railings, balustrades or solid paneling, the remaining 80 percent or more to be open, screened, or consisting of jalousies or removable storm windows, provided the extension is not more than ten feet into the front yard.


2. A cornice, steps to the first floor level, a fence, a retaining or boundary wall, a balustrade or a garden ornament.


3. A terrace garage, provided that it is completely recessed into such terrace and that the height of the terrace is sufficient to cover and conceal such surface from above, and that the garage doors, when open, shall not project beyond the property line, and that the front of the garage shall be at least four feet from the lot line.


c. Side yard and rear yard. Between the required yard and the lot line, the following may be erected:


1. An open fire escape may project into a required side yard not more than half the width of such required side yard and not more than eight feet into a required rear yard. A fireproof outside stairway or solid-floored balcony to a fire tower may project not more than four feet into a required rear yard.


2. A terrace garage may be erected subject to the conditions set forth in subsection (3)b.3 of this section.


(4) Building line on future streets. Where an official line has been established for future widening or opening of a street upon which a lot abuts, then the width of a yard shall be measured from such official line to the nearest line of the building.


(5) Lot area exceptions.

a. A one-family dwelling, wherever permitted as an allowable use, may be erected on any area of land in separate ownership which was in existence at the time of the passage of the original Ordinance No. 45608, passed June 4, 1923, or any subsequent amendment thereto which causes the area of land in separate ownership to contain less area than required to house one family in the district in which it is located, provided the front, side and rear yard requirements of this chapter are met. For purposes of this section, separate ownership shall mean any lot previously established by a recorded subdivision plat or any lot established by a recorded conveyance.


b. A one-family dwelling, wherever permitted as an allowable use, may be erected on any area of land established by an approved lot split or subdivision plat as authorized by Chapter 66, Subdivision Regulations.


(6) Lot area for joint uses.


a. For any building used jointly for business and residence purposes, or industrial and residence purposes, the number of families permitted by the lot area requirements per family shall be reduced in the same proportion as the floor area devoted to business or industry bears to the entire floor area of the building, provided that the floor area below the first floor of such building shall not be included in any calculation under this subsection.


b. For any building providing jointly for hotel and apartment house uses, the number of families permitted in apartments by the lot area requirements per family shall be reduced in the same proportion as the total floor area devoted to hotel or nonhousekeeping rooms bears to the total floor area devoted to both uses.


(7) Lot width exceptions.


a. The minimum width of a lot used exclusively for residence purposes shall be 50 feet except that, where a lot has a mean width of less than 50 feet and is in separate ownership on or before January 1, 1954, this subsection will not prohibit the erection of a one-family dwelling.


b. Duplexes and multiple dwellings hereafter erected require a minimum mean lot width of 50 feet.


c. The minimum width of a lot used exclusively for one-family dwelling purposes shall be 37.5 feet when such lot is established by an approved lot split or subdivision plat as authorized by Chapter 66, Subdivision Regulations.


Section 2. That the Council finds and declares that before taking any action on the proposed amendment hereinabove, all public notices and hearings required by the Zoning Ordinance have been given and had.




I hereby certify that as required by Chapter 80, Code of Ordinances, the foregoing ordinance was duly advertised and public hearings were held.




Secretary, City Plan Commission


Approved as to form and legality:




Assistant City Attorney