Chapter 16.12
MERGER OF PARCELS

Sections:

16.12.010    Purpose.

16.12.020    Applicability.

16.12.030    Requirements for parcel mergers.

16.12.040    Initiation of merger by property owner.

16.12.050    Processing of owner-initiated mergers.

16.12.060    Initiation of merger by the city.

16.12.070    Notice of intention to determine status.

16.12.080    Notification of property owner.

16.12.090    Director’s hearing.

16.12.100    Community development director’s determination without hearing—Notice to owner.

16.12.110    Filing notice of merger or notice of nonmerger.

16.12.010 Purpose.

This chapter implements the procedure prescribed in Section 66451 of the Government Code for consolidation of contiguous parcels or units of land held by the same owner without reversion to acreage. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.020 Applicability.

Parcel mergers apply to contiguous parcels or units of real property, under common ownership, which meet the requirements of Section 16.12.030 below. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.030 Requirements for parcel mergers.

A parcel merger may be made with any parcel or unit with a contiguous parcel or unit held by the same owner if any one of the contiguous parcels or units does not conform to standards for minimum parcel size, under the zoning ordinance, or if merger would better achieve local coastal program goals, objectives, and related provisions than does existing parcelization, and if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

A.    At least one of the affected parcels is undeveloped by any structure for which a building permit was issued or for which a building permit was not required at the time of construction, or is developed only with an accessory building or accessory buildings, or is developed with a single building, other than an accessory building, that is also partially sited on a contiguous parcel or unit.

B.    With respect to any affected parcel, one or more of the following conditions shall exist on at least one of the parcels to be merged:

1.    It comprises less than five thousand square feet in area at the time of the determination of merger;

2.    It was not created in compliance with applicable laws and ordinances in effect at the time of its creation;

3.    It does not meet current standards for sewage disposal and domestic water supply;

4.    It does not meet slope stability standards;

5.    It has no legal access which is adequate for vehicular and safety equipment access and maneuverability;

6.    Its development would create health or safety hazards;

7.    It is inconsistent with the city general plan and any applicable specific plan, other than minimum lot size or density standards; or

8.    Its development would be inconsistent with the local coastal program. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007) (Ord. No. 2009-04, § 4(Exh. A), 9-1-2009)

16.12.040 Initiation of merger by property owner.

Application for a merger by property owner shall be made to the community development department on forms provided by the community development department, accompanied by the required filing fee and shall include the following:

A.    An exhibit, drawn to scale, delineating the existing parcel boundaries and the location of existing structures, easements and public right-of-way;

B.    Copies of the latest grant deeds for the existing parcels;

C.    A legal description and plat, drawn to scale on reproducible medium, showing the boundaries of the new parcel (after the merger). The legal description and plat shall be appropriate for recordation with the county recorder;

D.    Current preliminary title report(s) for affected parcels, not more than six months old, issued by a title company; and

E.    Written consent of all owners of record interest. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.050 Processing of owner-initiated mergers.

The community development director shall examine said application and supporting data for compliance with the requirements of this title and shall accept said application for filing when all requirements are met. Once the community development director accepts an application for filing, the community development director shall transmit a completed application to the engineering services manager for review and recommendation and can grant approval of the request for merger if the following criteria are met:

A.    The merger complies with the standards specified in Section 16.12.030(A) and the local coastal program;

B.    The parcel will be consistent with the zoning of the property;

C.    The parcel will not conflict with the location of existing structures on the property;

D.    The parcel will not be deprived of adequate access as a result of the merger;

E.    Access to adjoining properties will not be restricted as a result of the merger; and

F.    No new lot lines are created by the merger. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007) (Ord. No. 2009-04, § 4(Exh. A), 9-1-2009)

16.12.060 Initiation of merger by the city.

Parcel mergers shall be initiated by the community development director through the filing, with the county recorder, of a notice of intention to determine status. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.070 Notice of intention to determine status.

The community development director shall initiate a parcel merger by filing, with the county recorder, a notice of intention to determine status. The notice shall identify the subject property and list the owners of record as determined from the county deed records. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.080 Notification of property owner.

The community development director may cause to be mailed, by certified mail with return receipt to the current record owner of the affected parcels, a copy of the notice of intention to determine status and a notification to the property owner that the affected parcels may be merged pursuant to standards specified herein. The notification shall advise the owner that he or she may, within thirty days, request, in writing, a hearing to present evidence that the property does not meet the criteria for merger. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.090 Director’s hearing.

A.    If a written request for a hearing on the determination of status is received by the planning services division within thirty days of recordation of the notice of intention to determine status, the community development director shall set a time, date and place for a director’s hearing.

B.    The city shall notify the property owner of the time and place of the director’s hearing by certified mail. The hearing shall be conducted not more than sixty days following the receipt of the property owner’s request for hearing, but may be postponed or continued with the mutual consent of community development director and the property owner.

C.    At the hearing, the property owner shall be given the opportunity to present evidence that the affected property does not meet the requirements for merger as set forth in Section 16.12.030.

D.    At the conclusion of the hearing, the community development director shall make a determination as to whether the affected parcels are to be merged or not to be merged and shall notify the owner of his or her determination.

E.    The community development director may make a determination of merger if the affected property meets the standards for merger specified in Section 16.12.030. The community development director may make a determination of nonmerger whether or not the affected property meets the standards for merger specified in Section 16.12.030. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.100 Community development director’s determination without hearing—Notice to owner.

If the property owner fails to file a request for hearing within the thirty-day period as provided in Section 16.12.080, the community development director may, at any time thereafter, make a determination as to whether the affected parcels are to be merged. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)

16.12.110 Filing notice of merger or notice of nonmerger.

If the community development director makes a determination of merger, he or she shall cause to be recorded a notice of merger no later than ninety days after the mailing of the notice of intention to determine status and no later than thirty days following a hearing on the matter, if a hearing is held. The notice of merger shall specify the names of the record owners and describe the affected property. The merger becomes effective on the date the notice of merger is filed with the county recorder’s office.

If the community development director determines that the subject property shall not be merged, he or she shall cause to be recorded a release of the notice of intention to determine status and shall mail a clearance letter by certified mail with return receipt to the current owner of the subject property. (Ord. 2007-08 § 4 (Exh. A (part)), 2007)