Article 1.    Planning Commission

§ 26-1    Members of Commission

§ 26-2    Terms of Office of Members; Filling of Vacancies

§ 26-3    Quorum; Voting Requirements

§ 26-4    Compensation

§ 26-5    Repealed

§ 26-6    Officers; Meetings; Rules; Records

§ 26-7    Powers and Duties

§ 26-8    Finances; Expenditures

§ 26-9    Appointment of Members to Area Planning Commissions

§ 26-10    Attendance of Members at Conferences, Hearings, Etc.

Article 2.    General Plan

§ 26-11    Authority for and scope of the General Plan

§ 26-12    Adoption of the General Plan

§ 26-13    Administration of the General Plan

§ 26-14    Area Plans

§ 26-15    Specific Plans

§ 26-16    Consistency of land uses with General Plan

§ 26-17    Reserved for future use

§ 26-18    Reserved for future use

§ 26-19    Reserved for future use

Article 3.    Architectural Review Committee

§ 26-20    Purpose; Membership; Ex-Officio Member

§ 26-21    Officers; Meetings; Rules

§ 26-22    Quorum; Voting Requirements

§ 26-23    Compensation


Sec. 26-1 Members of the Commission

The Planning Commission shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the City Council as set forth in the Charter.

Sec. 26-2 Terms of Office of Members; Filling Vacancies

The term of office for the first seven members appointed shall be two years commencing on the 1st day of July and ending on the 30th day of June; provided, that members whose terms have expired shall continue to serve until their vacancy is filled by the City Council. Members shall be appointed in such a manner as to provide for staggered terms. If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of the term, it shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired portion of the term. (Ord. 3511 § 2, 2015)

Sec. 26-3 Quorum; Voting Requirements

A majority of the appointed members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. In the event any member or members abstain from the determination of any item, said member or members shall be counted as present for the purpose of determining a quorum. Determination of any issue, except procedural matters, shall require at least three members present and voting. If a matter cannot be determined at a meeting due to the lack of three voting members it shall be continued to the next regular, adjourned, or special meeting. If the matter still cannot be determined for said reason, it shall be referred to the City Council, for determination. Members abstaining from the determination of an issue may vote for a continuance or referral to the City Council.

Sec. 26-4 Compensation.

As compensation for their services, members of the Planning Commission shall receive $25.00 for each regular, special or adjourned meeting attended, provided the total compensation shall not exceed $75.00 in any calendar month.

Sec. 26-5 Repealed by Ord. No. 2303

Sec. 26-6 Officers; meetings; rules; records

The Planning Commission shall elect its chairman from among the appointed members for a term of one year, and subject to other provisions of law may create and fill such other offices as it may determine. The Planning Commission shall hold at least one regular meeting in each month. The Commission shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings and determinations, which records shall be a public record. The Planning Commission may request that the City Council furnish such assistance as it may deem necessary for its work.

Sec. 26-7 Powers and duties

(a)    The functions of the Planning Commission are as follows:

1.    It shall develop and maintain a General Plan.

2.    it shall develop such specific or area plans as may be necessary or desirable to assist in implementing the General Plan.

3.    It shall annually review and make recommendations to the City Council on the City’s capital improvement program.

4.    It shall develop plans and programs for the allocation of federal community development funds.

5.    It shall administer the City zoning and subdivision ordinances and recommend revisions to the City Council when deemed desirable.

6.    It shall review and act on applications for development approval where provided in the City zoning and subdivision ordinances.

7.    It shall hear appeals from decisions of the Public Works Director as defined in Section 38-11, Zoning Administrator, Architectural Review Committee, Development Review Committee and Minor Subdivision Committee.

8.    It shall review and make recommendations on proposals from other public agencies.

9.    It shall recommend to the City Council the street names for all proposed new streets and name changes for any existing streets.

10.    It shall perform such other functions as the City Council may provide.

(b)    In performance of their functions, Planning Commission personnel may enter upon any land and make examinations and surveys; provided, that such entries, examinations and surveys do not interfere with the use of the land by those persons.

(c)    The following procedures shall govern hearings by the Planning Commission on zoning matters:

1.    The Planning Commission shall develop and publish procedural rules for conduct of its hearings so that all interested parties shall have advance knowledge of procedures to be followed.

2.    When a matter is contested and a request is made in writing prior to the date of the hearings, the Planning Commission shall ensure that a record of all such hearings shall be made and duly preserved, a copy of which shall be available at reasonable cost.

3.    When a planning staff report exists, such report shall be made public prior to or at the beginning of the hearing and shall be a matter of public record.

4.    When any hearing is held on an application for a change of zone for parcels of at least ten acres, a staff report with recommendations shall be included in the record of the hearing.

(d)    The City Council may, by general or special rule, provide for the referral of any other matter or class of matters to the Planning Commission before final action thereon by the public body or officer of the City having final authority thereon, with the provision that final action thereon shall not be taken until the Planning Commission has submitted its report thereon or has had reasonable time, to be fixed in such rule, to submit the report. The Planning Commission shall have full power and authority to make such investigations, maps and reports, and recommendations in connection therewith, relating to the planning and development of the City, as it deems desirable. (Ord. 3472 § 1, 2012; Ord. 3424 § 1, 2009)

Sec. 26-8 Finances; expenditures.

The City Council shall provide the funds, equipment and accommodations necessary for the work of the Planning Commission and such appropriation may include funds to be appropriated for the work of an area planning commission of the area within which the City is situated.

Sec. 26-9 Appointment of members to area planning commission.

In the event an “area planning commission” is established for any area in the vicinity of the City under Title 7 of the Government Code of the state, the Mayor may, with the approval of the City Council, appoint members to such planning commission. Members of such an area planning commission from the City may be removed by majority vote of the City Council.

Sec. 26-10. Attendance of members at conferences, hearings, etc.

The members of the Planning Commission, advisory members, and members of the City staff, shall inform themselves on matters affecting the functions and duties of the Commission and to that end, may attend planning conferences, meetings of planning executives, hearings on planning legislation or matters affecting the General Plan or any part thereof, and the reasonable traveling expenses incidental to such attendance shall be charges upon the funds allocated to such Commission.


Sec. 26-11 Authority for and scope of the General Plan

(a)    The Planning Commission shall prepare, and the City Council shall adopt, a comprehensive, long-term General Plan for the physical development of the City, and of any land outside its boundaries which in the Commissioners’ judgment bears relation to its planning.

(b)    The General Plan shall consist of a statement of development policies and shall include diagrams, maps, tables, and text setting forth objectives, principles, standards, and Plan proposals. The Plan shall include the following elements, as provided in Section 65302 of the State Government Code:

1.    Land use element

2.    Circulation element

3.    Housing element

4.    Conservation element

5.    Open space element

6.    Seismic safety element

7.    Noise element

8.    Scenic highway element

9.    Safety element

These elements may be combined at the discretion of the City.

(c)    The General Plan may include the following elements or any part or phase thereof, as provided in Section 65303 of the State Government Code:

1.    Recreation element

2.    Transportation element

3.    Transit element

4.    Public services and facilities element

5.    Public buildings element

6.    Community design element

7.    Redevelopment element

8.    Historical preservation element

9.    Such additional elements dealing with other subjects which, in the judgment of the Planning Commission, relate to the physical development of the City.

Sec. 26-12 Adoption of the General Plan

(a)    The Planning Commission shall hold at least one public hearing before approving the General Plan or any part, element, or amendment thereof. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given at least ten calendar days before the hearing. Notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation published and circulated in the City. In addition to notice by circulation, the City may give notice of the hearing in such other manner as it may deem necessary or desirable. Any hearing may be continued from time to time.

(b)    The approval by the Planning Commission of the General Plan or any part, element or amendment thereof, shall be by resolution of the Commission carried by the affirmative votes of not less than a majority of its total members.

(c)    Upon approval by the Planning Commission of the General Plan or any part, element or amendment thereof, it shall be transmitted to the City Council.

(d)    Before adopting the General Plan or any part, element, or amendment thereof, the City Council shall hold at least one public hearing. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given in the time and manner provided for the giving of notice of the hearing by the Planning Commission in subsection (a) above. Any hearing may be continued from time to time.

(e)    In adopting a General Plan or any part, element, or amendment thereof which has been approved by the Planning Commission, the City Council may approve, modify, or disapprove the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Any modification of the proposed Plan, part, element or amendment thereof by the City Council not previously considered by the Planning Commission during its hearings shall first be referred to the Commission for report and recommendation. The Planning Commission shall not be required to hold a public hearing. Failure of the Commission to report within 40 days after the referral by the Council, or such longer period as may be designated by the Council, shall be deemed to be approval thereof.

(f)    When it deems it to be in the public interest, the City Council may change or add to all or part of the adopted General Plan. The City Council shall first refer the proposed change or addition to the Planning Commission for a report. Before making such report, the Commission shall hold at least one hearing on the proposed change or addition. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given in the time and manner specified in subsection (a). The Planning Commission’s report shall be completed not later than 90 days after the referral.

(g)    The adoption of the General Plan or any part, element, or amendment thereof, shall be by resolution of the City Council.

Sec. 26-13 Administration of the General Plan

(a)    After the City Council has adopted all or part of the General Plan, the Planning Commission shall:

1.    Investigate and make recommendations to the City Council on the reasonable and practical means for putting into effect the General Plan or part thereof, in order that it will serve as a pattern and guide for:

(i)    The orderly physical growth and development of the City.

(ii)    The preservation and conservation of open space land.

(iii)    The efficient expenditure of its funds relating to the subjects of the General Plan. The measures recommended may include plans, regulations, financial reports and capital budgets.

2.    Render an annual report to the City Council on the status of the General Plan and progress in its application.

3.    Endeavor to promote public interest in and understanding of the General Plan, and regulations relating to it.

4.    Consult and advise with public officials and agencies, public utility companies, civic, educational, professional and other organizations, and citizens generally with relation to carrying out the General Plan.

(b)    Each City officer, department, board, or commission, and each governmental body, commission or board, including the governing body of any special district or school district, whose jurisdiction lies wholly or partially within the City, whose functions include recommending, preparing plans for, or constructing major public works, shall submit to the Planning Commission a list of the proposed public works recommended for planning, initiation or construction during the ensuing fiscal year. The Department of Plans and Public Works shall list and classify all such recommendations and shall prepare a coordinated program of proposed public works for the ensuing fiscal year. This program shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission and a report shall be made to the City Council on the conformity of this program with the General Plan.

(c)    No real property shall be acquired by dedication or otherwise for street, square, park of other public purposes, and no real property shall be disposed of, no street shall be vacated or abandoned, and no public building or structure shall be constructed or authorized, if the adopted General Plan or part thereof applies thereto, until the location, purpose and extent of such acquisition or disposition, such street vacation, or abandonment, or such public building or structure have been submitted to and reported upon by the Planning Commission as to conformity with the General Plan or part thereof. The Commission shall render its report as to conformity with the General Plan within 40 days after the matter is submitted to it, or such longer period of time as may be designated by the City Council. These provisions shall not apply to:

1.    Disposition of the remainder of a larger parcel which was acquired and used in part for street purposes.

2.    Acquisitions, dispositions, or abandonments for street widening.

3.    Minor street alignment projects. (Ord. 3424 § 1, 2009)

Sec. 26-14 Area Plans

(a)    The Planning Commission may prepare area plans as elements of the General Plan.

(b)    Area plans should relate the Citywide policies and programs of the

General Plan to particular neighborhoods or other areas of the City.

(c)    The policies and implementation programs in area plans should be more specific and for a shorter time frame than the General Plan.

(d)    Area plans should be used to involve the residents of an area in shaping the future development of their neighborhood.

(e)    Area plans are not the same as specific plans discussed in Section 26-15. Area plans are essentially policy plans like the General Plan. They do not include the detailed development regulations that are found in specific plans.

(f)    Area plans shall be adopted according to the same procedures used in the adoption of General Plan elements specified in Section 26-12. To be consistent with the General Plan, area plans shall be developed in the context of the Citywide goals, policies and programs in the other applicable elements of the General Plan.

(g)    Area plans adopted as elements of the General Plan shall be used in determining zoning or subdivision consistency when considering individual development proposals.

Sec. 26-15 Specific plans

(a)    Authority for and scope of specific plans

1.    The Planning Commission may prepare specific plans based on the General Plan and recommend such plans to the City Council for adoption.

2.    Specific plans shall include such regulations and programs as may be required for the systematic execution of the General Plan.

3.    The City Council or the Planning Commission may designate areas within the City for which the development of a specific plan will be necessary or convenient to the implementation of the General Plan.

4.    Such specific plans shall include all detailed regulations, conditions and programs including but not limited to the following:

(i)    The location of housing, business, industry, open space, agriculture, recreation facilities, educational facilities, churches and related religious facilities, public buildings and grounds, solid and liquid waste disposal facilities, together with regulations establishing height, bulk and setback limits for such buildings and facilities, including the location of areas, such as flood plains or excessively steep or unstable terrain, where no building will be permitted in the absence of adequate precautionary measures being taken to reduce the level of risk to that comparable with adjoining and surrounding areas.

(ii)    The location and extent of existing or proposed streets and roads, their names or numbers, the tentative proposed widths with reference to prospective standards for their construction and maintenance, and the location and standards of construction, maintenance and use of all other transportation facilities, whether public or private.

(iii)    Standards for population density and building density, including lot size, permissible types of construction, and provisions for water supply, sewage disposal, storm water drainage and the disposal of solid waste.

(iv)    Standards for the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources, including underground and surface water, forests, vegetation and soils, rivers, creeks and streams, and fish and wildlife resources. Such standards shall include, where applicable, procedures for flood control, for prevention and control of pollution of rivers, streams, creeks, and other waters, regulations of land use in stream channels and other areas which may have a significant effect on fish, wildlife and other natural resources of the area, the prevention, control and correction of soil erosion caused by subdivision roads or any other sources, and the protection of watershed areas.

(v)    The implementation of all applicable provisions of the open space element.

(vi)    Such other measures as may be necessary or convenient to insure the execution of the General Plan.

5.    When a application for approval of a specific plan is submitted to the City by a private property owner, the City shall estimate the costs to be incurred in reviewing and processing the plan. Before the application is accepted as complete, the property owner shall pay to the City this estimated amount. The City staff shall keep a complete record of costs incurred in the review and processing of the plan. After the City Council takes final action on the plan, the property owner shall either pay or be refunded any difference between the costs actually incurred by the City and the estimated amount paid when the application was submitted.

6.    No environmental impact report or negative declaration need be filed for any residential project, including any land subdivision or zoning change, which is undertaken pursuant to and in conformity with a specific plan of which an environmental impact report has been certified.

(b)    Procedure for adoption of specific plans and regulations.

Specific plans shall be adopted according to the same procedures used in the adoption of General Plan elements specified in Section 26-12 of this Chapter.

(c)    Administration of specific plans and regulations.

1.    The City Council may determine and establish administrative rules and procedures for the application and enforcement of specific plans.

The City Council may delegate such functions, powers, and duties to the Planning Commission as may be necessary or desirable.

2.    No public works, including public works of other agencies and special districts, shall be constructed within any territory for which the City Council has adopted a specific plan until the matter has been referred to the Planning Commission for a report as to conformity with such plan unless one of the following conditions applies:

(i)    A street has been accepted, opened, or has otherwise received the legal status of a public street prior to the adoption of the plan

(ii)    A street corresponds with streets shown on a subdivision map or record of survey approved by the City Council.

(iii)    A street corresponds with streets shown on a subdivision map or record of survey approved by the City Council.

Such report shall be submitted to the City Council within 40 days after the matter was referred to the Planning Commission.

Sec. 26-16 Consistency of Land Uses with General Plan

Proposed subdivisions and land uses shall be denied if they are not consistent with the objectives, policies, general land uses and programs specified in the General Plan and any area plans or specific plans adopted in conformance with the General Plan. Prior to the adoption, change, addition, or amendment by the City Council of a land use of any kind for the area encompassed by the March 16, 1976 Monterey II plan or any portion thereof, the proposed plan must be approved by the voters of the City of Monterey. Section 26.16 as here amended shall control any inconsistent city code sections.

Approval of the adoption, change, addition, or amendment of such a plan for the Monterey II area shall be by a majority of votes cast at an election. (Measure M - Special Election - 2/23/82)

Sec. 26-17 through Sec. 26-19: Reserved for Future Use.


Sec. 26-20 Purpose; Membership; Ex-Officio Member

An Architectural Review Committee is hereby created to promote orderly and harmonious development within the City, and to protect historic buildings and areas. The Committee shall consist of seven (7) members, who shall be appointed by affirmative vote of the City Council. At least one of the members appointed by the Council shall be an architect or person professionally competent in a field related to architecture, unless no such person is available for appointment when the vacancy arises. Council appointments of these seven members shall be for a term of two years; however, members shall continue to serve at the expiration of their term until a successor is appointed and qualified.

In addition, a majority of the City Council may appoint an ex-officio non-voting member who possesses special knowledge and skills relating to visual arts, design and color palette and/or knowledge and skills in landscaping design. The ex-officio member may not vote; however, the member will give technical advice and assistance in promoting harmonious development within the City. The term of the ex-officio member shall be at the Council’s discretion. (Ord. 3277 § 1, 5/00)

Sec. 26-21 Officers, Meetings; Rules

The Architectural Review Committee shall adopt minimum submittal requirements and such rules as needed for the conduct of its deliberations, including the selection of a member to serve as Chairperson. The Public Works Director, or his designated representatives, shall serve as secretary to said Committee. The Architectural Review Committee shall meet regularly at least twice a month at such time and place as adopted by resolution of the Committee. (Ord. 3472 § 1, 2012; Ord. 3424 § 1, 2009)

Sec. 26-22 Quorum; Voting Requirements

The quorum and voting requirements for the Architectural Review Committee shall be the same as for the Planning Commission as set forth in Section 26-3.

Sec. 26-23 Compensation.

As compensation for their services, members of the Architectural Review Committee shall receive $25.00 for each regular, special or adjourned meeting attended, provided the total compensation shall not exceed $75.00 in any calendar month.