Chapter 16.130
LOT MERGERS/UNMERGERS

Sections:

16.130.010    Voluntary mergers.

16.130.020    Involuntary mergers.

16.130.030    Unmerger of parcels.

16.130.010 Voluntary mergers.

(A) Any contiguous parcels or units of land held under common ownership may be merged at the request of the property owner(s), pursuant to Government Code Section 66499.203/4 and this chapter. Except as provided in PMC 16.40.140, approval and recordation of a final or parcel map over previously subdivided property shall be deemed to have merged those properties, and this chapter shall have no force or effect.

(B) Record owner(s) of contiguous lots may file a request with the Planning Director to merge said contiguous parcels. The request for merger shall be made on a form prescribed by the Planning Director, and accompanied by a fee as established by City Council resolution.

(C) The Planning Director, in consultation with the City Engineer, may approve a voluntary lot merger only if the Planning Director finds that:

(1) Dedications or offers of dedication to be vacated or abandoned by the lot merger are unnecessary for present or future public purposes, or that any dedications or offers of dedication which are necessary for present or future public purposes are preserved on the merged parcels; and

(2) All owners of an interest in the real property within the subdivision have consented to the lot merger.

(D) The Planning Director may require as conditions of the lot merger:

(1) That all or a portion of previously paid subdivision fees, deposits or improvement securities be retained if they are necessary to accomplish any of the provisions of this chapter;

(2) Payment of any additional fees necessary to accomplish any of the provisions of this chapter; and

(3) Such other conditions as are necessary to accomplish the purposes or provisions of this title or necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

(E) A voluntary parcel merger shall become effective when the Planning Director causes a notice of merger to be filed with the office of the County Registrar/Recorder. (Ord. 1091 § 5, 1996)

16.130.020 Involuntary mergers.

(A) Criteria. Pursuant to Government Code Section 66451.10 et seq., the City may initiate the merger of a parcel of land with a contiguous parcel held by the same owner(s), if the Planning Commission determines that all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) The affected parcels are held by the same owner(s) as of the date the notice of intention is recorded, as required by Government Code Section 66451.13;

(2) One of the affected parcels does not conform to the standards for minimum parcel size under the applicable zoning;

(3) One of the affected parcels is either: (a) undeveloped by a structure; (b) developed only with an accessory structure; or (c) developed with a single structure (other than an accessory structure) that is partially sited on the contiguous parcel with which it is proposed to be merged; and

(4) With respect to each affected parcel, one or more of the following conditions is met:

(a) The parcel comprises less than 5,000 square feet in area at the time the merger is determined,

(b) The parcel was not created in compliance with applicable laws or ordinances in effect at the time of its creation,

(c) The parcel does not meet current standards for sewage disposal and domestic water supply,

(d) The parcel does not meet slope stability standards in that soils investigation indicates the presence of critically expansive soils or other soils problems which, if not corrected, would lead to structural defects,

(e) The parcel does not have legal access which is adequate for vehicular and safety equipment access and maneuverability to satisfy the requirements relating to the design and specifications for local streets or private roads, as the case may be, and does not have the approval of the Los Angeles County Fire Department as meeting its standards for access and maneuverability for fire equipment,

(f) The parcel does not have sufficient dimensions to allow development that conforms to zoning ordinance development standards, or the proposed development is inconsistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan, other than minimum lot size or density standards, or

(g) The parcel, if developed, would create one or more of the following health or safety hazards:

(i) Construction is likely to adversely impact adjoining property, or interfere with an existing drainage course, or is in an area determined to be subject to geological hazard,

(ii) Surface waters occurring on the affected parcel or flowing onto or through it cannot be conveyed, without damage to an improvement, building or dwelling, to a natural water course or to an existing adequate storm drainage facility,

(iii) The site available for development does not provide an appropriate buildable site in consideration of the site’s constraints, including slopes, soil characteristics and seismic factors,

(iv) Development of the site is likely to cause environmental damage or substantially and avoidably injure wildlife or their habitat, or

(v) The type of improvements proposed for the site will conflict with easements acquired by the public at large for access through a use of the site.

(B) Notice of Intention to Determine Status. Pursuant to Government Code Section 66451.13, the Director of Planning shall mail, by certified mail, a notice of intention to determine the status of the affected parcels to the then current owner(s) of record. The notice shall advise the owner(s) that the affected parcels may be merged under the standards specified in this chapter, and it shall advise the owner(s) of the opportunity to request a hearing of the determination of status and to present evidence at the hearing that the affected parcels do not meet the criteria for merger. The Planning Director shall cause the notice of intention to determine status to be filed for recordation with the office of the County Registrar/Recorder on the date that the notice is mailed to the property owner(s).

(C) Hearing. If the property owner files with the Planning Director, a request for a hearing on determination of status within 30 days after recordation of the notice of intention to determine status, the Planning Director shall establish a hearing date for the Planning Commission to consider the merger. The Planning Director shall notify the property owner(s) of the hearing by certified mail. The Planning Commission shall conduct a hearing not more than 60 days following receipt of the property owner’s request for the hearing. The hearing date may be postponed or continued with the mutual consent of the Planning Commission and property owner(s).

(D) Determination of Status Following Hearing. At the hearing, the property owner(s) may present evidence that the affected parcels do not meet the standards for merger specified in this chapter. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Planning Commission shall determine whether the affected parcels are to be merged or are not to be merged, and shall notify the owner of its determination.

(E) Recordation of Notice of Merger. At the direction of the Planning Commission, the Planning Director shall cause a notice of merger, specifying the names of the record owners and particularly describing the real property, to be recorded within 30 days after conclusion of the hearing.

(F) Determination Not to Merge. If the Planning Commission determines that the affected parcels are not to be merged, the Director of Planning shall cause to be recorded a release of notice of intention to determine status, and shall mail a clearance letter to the then current owner(s) of record.

(G) Determination of Merger Where No Hearing Is Requested. If, within 30 days after recordation of the notice of intention to determine status, the owner of the affected parcels does not file a request for a hearing, the Planning Commission may at any time thereafter make a determination that the affected parcels are to be merged or are not to be merged. At the direction of the Planning Commission, a notice of merger shall be recorded not later than 90 days after the date when the Director of Planning mailed the notice of intention to determine status.

(H) Appeal. The decision of the Planning Commission made under this chapter may be appealed, pursuant to zoning ordinance Section 20.11. (Ord. 1091 § 5, 1996)

16.130.030 Unmerger of parcels.

Any unmerger of parcels shall be conducted pursuant to Government Code Section 66451.30 et seq. (Ord. 1091 § 5, 1996)