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General Provisions


The Building, Plumbing, and Electrical Codes legally adopted for Jefferson County, Kentucky by the Jefferson County Fiscal Courts is adopted and are to be used as the Building, Plumbing, and Electrical Codes for the city.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)

§ 150.002 DEFINITIONS.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

ACCESSORY BUILDING.  A subordinate building or structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building or to the use of the premises.

ALTER or ALTERATION.  Any change or modification in the construction or occupancy.

AREA.  As applied to the dimensions of a building, shall mean the maximum horizontal projected area of the building at grade.

BUILDING.  A structure for the shelter, support, or enclosure of persons, materials, or property of any kind, having a roof supported by columns or walls, and when separated by a division or party wall without openings, each portion of the building so separated shall be deemed a separate building.  The term BUILDING shall be construed as if followed by the words “or part thereof.”

BUILDING SETBACK AREA.  The area of a lot or parcel of land lying between the front property line and the future widening line of an existing street or highway or the area of a lot or parcel of land lying between the boundary lines of a proposed street or highway.

DWELLING.  Any building which contains a dwelling until as hereinafter defined; provided, however, temporary housing as hereinafter defined shall not constitute a dwelling for purposes of this chapter.

DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY.  A building designed for or occupied by one family, wherein not more than two roomers or lodgers other than members of the family, are provided with shelter or meals.

DWELLING UNIT.  Any room or group of rooms or other part of a building which forms a single housekeeping unit with facilities which are used or are designed for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.

FENCE.  Any construction of wood, metal, wi4re mesh, masonry, or other material, erected for any purpose.

GRADE.  The average elevation of the finished ground surface touching the outside walls of a building or structure.

LOT.  A parcel of land occupied, or to be occupied, by one main building, together with the accessory buildings and used customarily incidental to it, and including such open spaces, dimensions, and area as are required in this building ordinance, and having its principal frontage on a public street or road.

LOT, CORNER.  The abutting on two or more streets at their intersections.

LOT, INTERIOR.  A lot other than a corner lot.

MULTIPLE DWELLING.  Any dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit.

OCCUPANT.  Any person living, sleeping, cooking, or eating in, or having actual possession of a dwelling unit.

OWNER.  Any person who alone, jointly, or with several other persons shall:

(1)   Having all or part of the legal title to any dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have all or part of the beneficial ownership of any dwelling or dwelling unit and a right to present use and enjoyment thereof, including a mortgage in possession; or

(2)   Have charge, care, or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as owner, or as executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian of the estate of the owner.  Any person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the owner’s obligation under this chapter.

PARKING AREA.  An open, unoccupied space permitted or required for use for parking of motor-driven vehicles.

PROPERTY.  Any interest of record or otherwise held by persons in land or building located within the city.

SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE.  A structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit.  Notwithstanding that a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and shares neither heating facilities, hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.

STREET.  Any public thoroughfare which has been dedicated or deeded to the public for public use.

STREET LINE.  A lot line dividing a lot from a street.

STRUCTURE.  Anything constructed or erected, the use of which required location on the ground or attached to something having a location on the ground.  All regulations appertaining to a building shall be equally applicable to a structure.  The term STRUCTURE shall be construed as if followed by the words “or part thereof.”

SURFACE.  The outermost layer or superficial area of the interior of a dwelling or dwelling unit, including but not limited to the outermost layer or superficial area of walls, ceilings, floor, stairs, windows, window sills, window frames, window sashes, doors, door frames, baseboards and woodwork of a dwelling or dwelling unit.

VALUE or VALUATION.  The estimated cost to replace the building in kind.  (Ord. 90‑09, passed 12-17-90)

§ 150.003 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide the minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare within the city.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90.)

§ 150.004 EXEMPTIONS.

Buildings, fences, lights and pools in existence prior to 12-17-90 are exempted from compliance in terms of their architectural style and placement.  Otherwise they are subject to all sections of this chapter.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)


(A)        General.  The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the location, design, materials and equipment, removal, construction and demolition of every building or any appurtenance connected or attached to buildings located within the corporate boundaries of the city.  In the event there is an apparent difference in the materials, methods of construction, or other requirements specified in different sections of this code, or between the requirements of this chapter and of any other applicable law, or deed restrictions the more restrictive shall govern.

(B)        New buildings.  New buildings hereinafter erected within the city shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(C)        Existing buildings.  Except as otherwise specifically provided, buildings to which additions, alterations, or repairs are made, and all additions, alterations, or repairs, shall comply with the requirements of this code for new buildings.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)


(A)             It shall be unlawful for any person to erect or maintain a fence on any part of the front or side yard of any lot within the city extending forward of the dwelling’s outermost rear corners to which it runs.

(B)              All fences on side and rear lot lines shall not exceed limitations of the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Regulations pertaining to the building lot where fence is to be erected, shall not be greater in height than six feet from ground level and the fence shall be of a design and material to conform with the existing harmony of the surrounding area as determined by the City Commission.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90; Am. Ord. 92-06 passed 02-15-93) Penalty, see § 150.999


No lots or areas platted within the city and recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Jefferson County Court as of the date this chapter becomes effective shall be subdivided, altered or changed without the prior written approval of the City Commission.

(Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)  Penalty, see § 150.999


No house, building or structure may be erected so more than 30% of the area of any lot is occupied by houses, buildings or structures.

Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)  Penalty, see § 150.999


(A)        Appointment of Director.  The City Commission shall appoint a resident of the city, who may be a member of the City Commission, to the position of Director of Building which appointment may be terminated at will by the City Commission.  Every effort should be made to appoint individuals who are graduates of accredited schools of architecture or engineering or who have had experience with building or construction work.  If this position is unfilled at any time, the City Commission will act in the place of the Director of Building.

(B)        Duties.  The Director of Building is authorized and directed to enforce all provisions of this code as herein provided.

(C)        Deputies.  The Director of Building, with the approval of the City Commission, may designate deputies who shall exercise during the absence or disability of the Director by whom they were appointed all powers of the Director.

(D)        Inspectors.  The Director of Building, with the approval of the City Commission, may appoint inspectors and assistance to help carry out the provisions of this code for which they are directly responsible.  No person shall be appointed as an inspector who has not been found by the City Commission to have some experience as an architect, engineer, building or in some other phase or construction work.

(E)         Right of Entry.  Upon the presentation of the proper credentials, the Director of Building or his duly authorized representatives may enter at reasonable times any building, structure or premise within the city to perform any and all duties imposed upon him by this chapter.

(F)         Liability.  Any person charged with the enforcement of this code, acting in good faith and without malice for the city in the discharge of his or her duties, shall not thereby render him or herself personally liable or he or she is relieved from all personal liability for any damaged that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or by reason of any act or omission performed by him or her in the enforcement of any provisions of this chapter, and shall have the right to be defended by the City Attorney until final determination  of ay proceedings pending against him or her.

(G)        Specific duties.  The Director of Building is authorized and directed to:

(1)   Enforce all provisions of this chapter;

(2)   Review plans and specifications;

(3)   Recommend to the City Commission the issuance or denial of building permits and certificates;

(4)   Conduct inspections;

(5)   Recommend to the City Commission the issuance of rules and regulations consistent with this chapter;

(6)   Maintain records and make reports; and

(7)   Perform other services as may be necessary to execute the provisions of this chapter and be consistent therewith.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90) (Ord. 2003-02, passed 02/17/03)

§ 150.010 VARIANCES.

(A)        General.  Any party in interest may request that the City Commission grant a variance to the provisions of this code when the City Commission finds that the provisions of this chapter impose undue and unwarranted hardships or injustices upon the party requesting a variance and that the granting of the variance will most nearly accomplish and not defeat the purpose and intent of this chapter, or the Jefferson County planning and zoning regulations.  In which case the variance will have to be granted by the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission and approved by the City Commission.

(B)        Procedure.  Upon receipt of a request for the granting of a variance to this chapter, the City Commission shall, at their next regularly scheduled meeting, following receipt of the request, establish a time and place for a hearing to be held on the request.  The parties requesting the variance shall give ten days notice to the hearing by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the owners of all property adjacent to the area for which the variance is being requested.  The City Commission shall, at the time the date of the hearing is established, determine the meaning of the word “adjacent” so as to give reasonable notice to all parties who may reasonably be expected to be affected by the variance.

(C)        Hearing.  During the course of the hearing, the City Commission shall require proof that a good faith effort has been made to notify those parties, as determined by said body, at the time the hearing was scheduled, to have an interest in the property adjacent to that property for which the variance is being requested.  The party requesting the variance shall make a presentation to the City Commission as to why the section of this chapter from which it is requesting a variance causes undue and unwarranted hardship or injustices to it, and as to why the granting of the variance will not defeat the purpose and intent of this chapter.  All parties in interest will be given the opportunity to question the applicant and to present information both in support of or against the granting of the variance.  The City Commission may require submission of additional evidence of proof to substantiate the position of the applicant, and may require additional data and tests which, in the opinion of the City Commission, is necessary for adequate consideration of the request.  The city Commission may schedule additional hearings, if in the body’s opinion, they are necessary for adequate consideration of the request.

(D)        Decision.  The City Commission shall vote at its next regularly scheduled meeting body upon the granting of the variance and a majority of the whole body vote in favor of the variance.  (Ord. 90-09, passed 12-17-90)