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Date of Approval: The date of approving authority action.

Day Care Facility: A place that provides for the care of children or adults. Those receiving care are not all related to each other by blood or marriage and are not legal wards or foster children of the attendant adults, and for which care a payment, fee, or grant is made. A daycare home, preschools integrated into the curriculum of a public or private school or not regulated by the State as a daycare facility, and retail drop-in/short-term childcare centers shall not be considered daycare facilities.

Day Care Home: A dwelling in which a permanent occupant provides for the care of no more than five preschool children (including the caregiver’s children) and/or three school-aged children (not including the caregiver’s children) or adults. Those receiving care are not all related to the occupant or to each other by blood or marriage and are not the legal wards or foster children of the attendant adults. Those receiving care and not dependents of the occupant, do not reside on the site. For the purpose of this Ordinance, such activities shall meet all requirements for home occupations.

Day-Night Average Sound Level: The average noise level over a 24-hour period, weighted by 10 dB between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Day Treatment Facility: A facility licensed through the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance, which provides supplemental therapeutic or clinical services coordinated with academic and/or vocational services for adults, children, or adolescents with mental health or substance abuse treatment needs, and their families. No overnight accommodations are provided.

Dedication: The transfer without payment of ownership or other interest in real property from a private entity to a public agency.

Density: The number of dwelling units per gross acre, excluding accessory residences or dwelling units, or any other exclusion within this Ordinance.


A. The person, firm, corporation or legal entity that has financial or operational control over the land-disturbing activity; or

B. The person, firm, corporation or legal entity in possession or control of the land when he/she directly or indirectly allowed the land-disturbing activity, has benefited from it, or has failed to comply with any provision of this Ordinance.

Development: Any human caused change to improved or unimproved real estate that requires a permit or approval from any agency of the City or County of Durham, including but not limited to, constructing or changing buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations and storage of equipment or materials.

Development Plan: A type of plan that becomes part of the zoning of a property that establishes the level of development allowed absent further zoning action except as otherwise allowed or required under this Ordinance.

Diameter at Breast Height (dbh): The diameter of a tree measured four and one-half feet above the ground.

Diet House or Diet Facility: A facility housing a dietary treatment program supervised by trained professionals which can also contain temporary living quarters for clients.

Discharge Point: That point at which runoff leaves a tract of land.

Disposal: When used in reference to Sec. 8.4, Floodplain and Flood Damage Protection Standards, is defined as in NCGS 130A-290(a)(6), the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste into or on any land or water so that the solid waste or any constituent part of the solid waste may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including groundwaters.

Distance Learning Center: An educational facility where teaching and learning is specifically designed to be carried out remotely, typically by using electronic communication.

Drive-Through Facility: An establishment that dispenses products or services to patrons who remain in vehicles. Fuel sales are not included.

Driveway: A private roadway located on a parcel or lot used for vehicle access.

Drop-In/Short-Term Childcare Centers: Retail businesses that provide care for individuals on an hourly basis, do not offer enrollment, and do not require daycare licensing by the State.

Durham Inventory, Natural Inventory, or Inventory: The Durham County Inventory of Important Natural Areas, Plants and Wildlife, which in the case of a conflict may be superseded or supplemented by more current information from the North Carolina Heritage Program as determined by the Planning Director. The Durham Inventory does not include the Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory; the Durham County Archaeological Inventory; the Durham County Inventory of Cultural and Natural Resources; or the Durham County and Durham ETA Inventories of Historic Sites, which are referenced separately in the Ordinance.

Dwelling Unit: A single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.