Chapter 17.22
CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS

17.22.010 Purpose

The purpose of a Conditional Use Permit is to allow certain uses that contribute to the orderly growth and development of the City to be properly integrated into the surroundings in which they are to be located. The Conditional Use Permit process is intended to provide an opportunity for public review and evaluation of site specific requirements and characteristics, to provide adequate mitigation of any potentially adverse impacts, and to ensure that all site development regulations and performance standards are provided in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance. In addition, the Conditional Use Permit ensures ongoing compliance with conditions of operation which may be applied to the use in order to protect public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure compliance with the General Plan goals, objectives and policies.

17.22.020 General Provisions

A.    No person shall undertake, conduct or use, or cause to be undertaken, conducted or used, any development projects which require a Conditional Use Permit, without having first complied with the provisions of this Division.

B.    In granting any Conditional Use Permit, the reviewing authority shall affix those conditions which it deems necessary in order to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the district and to ensure compliance with the General Plan. Where the use proposed, the adjacent land uses, environmental significance or limitations, topography, or traffic circulation is found to so require, the reviewing authority may establish more stringent regulations than those otherwise specified for the zone district in which the project is located.

C.    Any use existing on the effective date of this Zoning Ordinance which was permitted subject to an approved Conditional Use Permit shall be deemed a pre-existing conditional use. Such use may continue in accordance with this Ordinance, provided that the use is operated and maintained in compliance with the conditions prescribed at the time of its establishment, if any. Any expansion, alteration, or reconstruction of the use or a building housing a previously approved conditional use which has become non-conforming due to adoption of this Ordinance or any subsequent amendments thereto shall comply with Chapter 17.29 PMC regulating non-conforming uses, until such use is brought into conformance with the Zoning Ordinance. Any use existing on the effective date of this Ordinance which would require approval of a Conditional Use Permit to be established in that zone, but for which such approval has not been obtained, shall be deemed a Non-Conforming Use and regulated by Chapter 17.29 PMC.

D.    The Planning Commission shall review requests for Conditional Use Permits at a public hearing, pursuant to PMC 17.20.020.

E.    Uses listed as “Uses Permitted Subject to Approval of a Conditional Use Permit” may be permitted in the applicable zone districts pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

17.22.030 Application Procedure

A.    Pre-application conference

A conference between City staff, any referral agencies deemed necessary by the City, and the applicant may be conducted pursuant to PMC 17.20.030.

B.    Application submittal

1.    The project applicant must be the property owner or an authorized agent of the property owner.

2.    After a pre-application conference has been held, when applicable, the applicant shall prepare a comprehensive site plan and complete the required application forms supplied by the City. The applicant shall file said plans and application with the Planning Department, along with the required fee as adopted by the City Council. Information requested on the application form and other processing requirements, including but not limited to number of copies requested, maps, graphics or informational reports and studies, shall be determined by the Planning Department.

3.    The applicant may be required to clarify, correct or supply additional information before the application is determined by the City to be complete. Upon making the determination as to whether the application conforms to these standards, the City will notify the applicant in writing when the application has been accepted, or whether the application has been deemed incomplete, within the time limitations outlined in PMC 17.20.050.

C.    Site plan

The application shall be accompanied by the required number of site plans, drawn at a minimum scale of 1"=20' or other scale approved by the Planning Department, on standard sheets of 24" by 36". The site plans shall indicate the location of all known and proposed easements and improvements; structures and improvements proposed to be demolished, relocated, or constructed; and all other pertinent information which can be graphically depicted on the plan, as specified in the checklist provided by the Planning Department.

D.    Drawings and elevations

Elevations showing the general appearance and features of proposed structures shall be submitted, as required on the application checklist.

When required by the Planning Department, drawings and elevations shall be submitted in addition to those accompanying the site plan, which shall include but not be limited to the following:

1.    Roof overhangs and any other parts of the structures that protrude from the building surfaces.

2.    Details indicating rooftop screening materials, methods and view analysis of proposed screening, when required.

3.    Uses of each room, or floor plans, if required.

E.    Other pertinent information, as required

Where deemed necessary by the Planning Department to complete the City’s review and evaluation of the proposed use, additional information may be required regarding ongoing use of the site, including but not limited to hours of operation, provisions for on- or off-site security, and other similar conditions of operation.

17.22.040 Approval Requirements

A.    Conditional Use Permit approval shall apply only to the property for which the application was made, and shall apply to that property as long as the use for which approval was granted is in effect, regardless of changes in ownership.

B.    A Conditional Use Permit shall be inaugurated within the period of time specified by the Planning Commission, not to exceed thirty-six (36) months from the effective date of the decision, except as otherwise specified in the conditional use permit. One or more extensions of time, not to exceed a total of twenty-four (24) months from the original expiration date, except as otherwise specified in the conditional use permit, may be granted pursuant to PMC 17.20.120.

C.    The following requirements may be placed upon the development project by the reviewing authority as conditions of approval:

1.    Dedications and/or easements for streets, alleys, drainage, public utilities, recreational trails, flood control, and such other rights-of-way as may be determined essential to the orderly development of the site and abutting properties.

2.    On and off-site improvements, including but not limited to the following:

a.    Grading, drainage and drainage structures necessary to protect the public safety;

b.    Curbs and gutters, street pavement, sidewalks, street lights, traffic control devices and bus turnouts and shelters; all road improvements are to be constructed pursuant to plans and specifications of the Public Works Department of the City of Palmdale;

c.    Adequate water service and fire protection equipment, pursuant to plans and specifications of the Public Works Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department;

d.    Sanitary sewer facilities and connections;

e.    Services from public utilities where provided;

f.    Street trees and landscaping;

g.    On-site landscaping, walls and/or fences, trash enclosures, and lighting fixtures;

h.    Surfacing of parking areas subject to City specifications;

i.    In addition to the above requirements, the reviewing authority shall require such additional improvements and facilities as determined reasonably necessary for the proper development of the site and area.

3.    Regulation of uses and operations on the site, including but not limited to the following:

a.    Regulation of use;

b.    Regulation of time for certain activities;

c.    Duration of use;

d.    Regulation of noise, vibration, odors and lights;

e.    Maintenance of special yards, spaces and buffer areas;

f.    Regulation of points of vehicular ingress and egress;

g.    Regulation of signs;

h.    Required landscaping and site maintenance;

i.    Such other conditions as will make possible the development of the site and surrounding area in an orderly and efficient manner, and in conformity with the intent and purposes of this Zoning Ordinance.

17.22.050 Determination by the Approval Authority

The approval authority will determine the merits of the proposed Conditional Use Permit, and its compliance with the principles, standards, policies and goals of the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and other applicable ordinances and codes adopted by the City of Palmdale, in order to protect the public health, safety and general welfare. Approval shall be based upon the following minimum criteria, which shall also constitute the findings to be made by the approval authority in approving or denying a Conditional Use Permit:

A.    The proposed use is consistent with the goals, policies, and objectives of the General Plan.

B.    The proposed use is beneficial and desirous to the community and is consistent with the purpose, intent and standards of the Zoning Ordinance and other applicable ordinances and codes adopted by the City of Palmdale.

C.    The site for the proposed use is adequate in size and shape to accommodate all yards, open spaces, setbacks, walls and fences, parking areas, fire and building code considerations, and other features pertaining to the application.

D.    The proposed use and the on-going operation of the use will not have a substantial adverse effect on abutting property or the permitted use thereof, and will not generate excessive noise, vibration, traffic, or other disturbances, nuisances, or hazards.

E.    The site for the proposed use has adequate access, meaning that the site design incorporates street and highway limitations.

17.22.060 Revisions and Modifications

Revisions or modifications of Conditional Use Permits can be requested by the applicant in accordance with the procedures and criteria specified below. Further, the Planning Commission may periodically review, modify or revoke a Conditional Use Permit as specified herein.

A.    Revisions/modifications by applicant

1.    Minor revisions

A revision or modification to an approved Conditional Use Permit such as, but not limited to, minor changes in the site design, parking or building placement, which will not increase or change the use or intensity of the site, may be acted on by the Planning Director upon submittal of an application, required materials, and applicable fees for Minor Modification, pursuant to PMC 17.26.040.

2.    Major revisions

A major revision or modification to an approved Conditional Use Permit such as, but not limited to, change in conditions, expansions, intensification, location, or hours of operation, may be requested by the applicant. Such request shall be processed through application of a major modification or new Conditional Use Permit, as determined by the Planning Director.

B.    Review by Planning Commission

The Planning Commission may periodically review any Conditional Use Permit to ensure that it is being operated in a manner consistent with conditions of approval or in a manner which is not detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare, or materially injurious to properties in the vicinity. If, after review, the Commission deems that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a full examination, then a public hearing date shall be set.

C.    Modification or revocation by the Planning Commission

1.    After setting a date for public hearing, the Planning Director shall notify the applicant and owners of the Conditional Use Permit in question. Such notice shall be sent by certified mail and shall state that the Commission will be reviewing the Conditional Use Permit for possible modification or revocation. It shall also state the date, time and place of hearing. The public hearing shall be conducted and notice given in accordance with PMC 17.20.020.

2.    The Planning Director shall fully investigate the evidence and prepare a report for the Planning Commission’s consideration. Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the commission shall render a decision to do one of the following measures:

a.    Find that the conditional use is being conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Conditional Use Permit and in an appropriate manner and that no action to modify or revoke is necessary; or

b.    Find that the conditional use is not being conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Conditional Use Permit and in an appropriate manner and that modifications to conditions are necessary; or,

c.    Find that the conditional use is not being conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Conditional Use Permit and in an appropriate manner and that measures are not available to mitigate the impacts of the use; upon making this determination, the Planning Commission may revoke the Conditional Use Permit and order the operation to cease and desist in the time allotted by the Commission.

3.    If the Planning Commission either modifies or revokes a Conditional Use Permit, the resolution shall state reasons for such action.

D.    New applications following denial or revocation

Following the denial or revocation of a Conditional Use Permit application, no application for a Conditional Use Permit for the same or substantially the same use and design or use of the same or substantially the same site shall be filed within one (1) year from the date of denial or revocation.