Chapter 17.63
AIRPORT INDUSTRIAL (ZONE M-3)

17.63.010 Intent and Purpose

The Airport Industrial (M-3) Zone is established to provide an area for expansion of Palmdale Regional Airport and related facilities, and for activities associated with aircraft development, assembly, and testing. Activities conducted in this zone may include public and private airports; manufacture, assembly, testing, modification, repair and storage of aircraft, missiles, space craft and components; freight and distribution services ancillary to airport operations; and limited commercial or service uses needed to support the primary activities and/or employees within the area. Uses which would restrict or impede aircraft operations or the primary airport activities for which this zone was created are not allowed.

17.63.020 Locational Criteria

The M-3 zone designation is appropriately located based on the following criteria:

A.    The area is owned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports, Air Force Plant 42, or other entity involved in airport operations or aircraft assembly and/or testing.

B.    The area is within reasonable proximity to an existing or future airfield or airport.

C.    The area has adequate access and has or will be provided with circulation, public services and infrastructure to support airport-related development.

D.    The area has slopes of less than ten (10) percent; is free of environmental constraints to industrial development; is adequately buffered from residential and other less intensive use designations; and has parcels of adequate size and shape to accommodate industrial and airport-related structures and all required setbacks and accessory uses. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

E.    Zone M-3 shall be consistent with the Airfield and Related Use (A&R) General Plan designation and policies for siting and development of industrial land uses.

17.63.030 Uses Permitted Without Planning Approval

The following uses are allowed in the M-3 zone without zoning clearance or other planning approval, except as required by State law.

A.    Field, tree, bush, berry and row crops, including nursery stock as an interim use, provided that no permanent structures are constructed, and provided that no sludge and/or biosolid material shall be applied to any land as a soil amendment. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-1, adopted by City Council August 13, 1997.)

B.    Riding and hiking trails and appurtenant facilities.

C.    Storage, temporary, of materials and equipment used in construction of public or private improvements, provided that all such items are stored on the construction site and pose no traffic hazard or other adverse impact on surrounding properties.

D.    Temporary and permanent facilities for detention, retention and conveyance of stormwater runoff.

E.    Small-scale solar energy systems as an accessory use on a lot containing a permitted principal use. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 11-03, adopted by City Council December 7, 2011.)

17.63.040 Uses Permitted Subject to Administrative Approval by the Planning Director

The following uses are permitted in the M-3 zone, subject to the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance as specified in this Section.

A.    Minor communication facility pursuant to PMC 17.95.040. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-3, adopted by City Council September 10, 1997.)

B.    Temporary living quarters, subject to approval of a Temporary Use Permit pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(3).

C.    Temporary office modules, subject to approval of a Temporary Use Permit pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(B)(4).

D.    Special events (such as air shows), pursuant to PMC 17.27.030(A).

17.63.050 Uses Permitted Subject to Site Plan Review Approval

The following uses are permitted in the M-3 zone subject to Site Plan Review approval, except that when such a use is proposed to be established in an existing building and does not constitute a change from the previous use of said building, the requirement for Site Plan Review may be waived by the Planing Director through issuance of a Zoning Clearance, pursuant to PMC 17.26.030.

A.    Facilities and services related to aircraft production and repair, including:

1.    Aircraft and component parts; manufacture, testing, modification, repair, overhaul and storage of.

2.    Communication equipment, manufacture and testing of.

3.    Computers and electronic components, manufacture and testing of.

4.    Instruments and equipment, scientific, manufacture and testing of.

5.    Laboratories, research and testing.

6.    Machine shops.

7.    Machinery and machine tools, manufacture of.

8.    Machinery storage, indoor or outdoor.

9.    Metal products, fabrication of.

10.    Missiles; manufacture, testing, modification, repair, overhaul and storage.

11.    Missile tracking stations.

12.    Offices and administrative functions relating to aircraft manufacture or related industries.

13.    Research and development (aircraft-related).

14.    Space vehicles and component parts, except propulsion units; manufacture, testing, modifications, repair, overhaul and storage of.

15.    Welding, electric or gas.

B.    Ancillary facilities and services related to airport operations, but excluding airports:

1.    Air cargo carriers.

2.    Air courier and delivery services.

3.    Aircraft cleaning, servicing and repairing, and storage.

4.    Airfreight handling.

5.    Air passenger carriers.

6.    Airport hangar rental.

7.    Airport limousine service.

8.    Airport terminal services.

9.    Airport transportation and shuttle services.

10.    Air taxi services.

11.    Air traffic control.

12.    Ambulance services, air.

13.    Hangar operations.

14.    Flying charter services.

C.    Manufacture of transportation equipment:

1.    Motor vehicles, conversion to zero- or low-emissions engines.

2.    Motor vehicle parts and service for zero- to low-emissions vehicles.

3.    Railroad equipment.

D.    Facilities and services related to storage and distribution of freight, including:

1.    Cold storage plants.

2.    Docking facilities.

3.    Freight terminals.

4.    Parcel delivery terminals.

5.    Railroad spur lines.

6.    Truck storage.

7.    Truck terminals.

8.    Warehousing of materials or products for which a Conditional Use Permit is not required for the manufacture, storage, distribution or wholesale of that product in either the C-5, M-1, M-2, M-3, or M-4 Zones.

9.    Weighing, public scales.

E.    Services provided primarily to meet the specialized needs of airport and aircraft related uses, and the personal needs of employees within the area.

1.    Automobile, truck and trailer services, including:

a.    Automobile service stations, pursuant to PMC 17.92.110.

b.    Automobile, truck and trailer rental.

c.    Bus and truck washing. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 00-01, adopted by City Council November 8, 2000.)

d.    Car washes, automated. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 00-01, adopted by City Council November 8, 2000.)

e.    Car washes, full service. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 00-01, adopted by City Council November 8, 2000.)

f.    Car washes, self service. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 00-01, adopted by City Council November 8, 2000.)

g.    Gas stations.

h.    Parking lots and structures.

2.    Food services, including:

a.    Coffee shops.

b.    Commissaries.

c.    Restaurants. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 15-01, adopted by City Council September 2, 2015.)

d.    Walk-up food services.

3.    Miscellaneous services, including:

a.    Banks, savings and loans, and credit unions providing a full range of services and accredited by the appropriate agencies (may be subject to PMC 17.92.010).

b.    Boarding areas for public transportation (not including permanent stations).

c.    Paint booths. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

d.    Park and ride lots.

e.    Telecommuting, tele-conference and video-conference facilities.

f.    Transit stops.

F.    Public, quasi-public and institutional uses, including:

1.    Air pollution sampling stations.

2.    Emergency operations centers.

3.    Fire stations.

4.    Museums.

5.    Utility facilities, including substations, excluding major communication facilities. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-3, adopted by City Council September 10, 1997.)

17.63.060 Uses Permitted Subject to Approval of a Conditional Use Permit

Premises in Zone M-3 may be used for the following purposes, provided that a permit has first been obtained pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17.22 PMC, Conditional Use Permits:

1.    Aircraft fuel, propellants and lubricants; storage and sale.

2.    Aircraft and missile power plants; manufacture, operating and testing, including reciprocating and jet engines.

3.    Airports, public or private.

4.    Bars, pursuant to PMC 17.92.070. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 15-01, adopted by City Council September 2, 2015.)

5.    Convenience stores, pursuant to PMC 17.92.090.

6.    Hazardous materials facility, pursuant to Chapter 17.96 PMC.

7.    Heliports and helistops.

8.    Major communication facility, pursuant to PMC 17.95.040, and provided that any such facility shall not exceed seventy-five (75) feet in height. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-3, adopted by City Council September 10, 1997.)

9.    Pet boarding and daycare. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 16-01, adopted by City Council September 7, 2016.)

10.    Restaurants, bona fide pursuant to PMC 17.92.070. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 15-01, adopted by City Council September 2, 2015.)

11.    Sewage treatment. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-1, adopted by City Council August 13, 1997.)

12.    Shooting ranges, indoor.

13.    Space vehicle propulsion units; manufacture, testing, modifications, repair, overhaul and storage of.

14.    Stations for boarding and unboarding of passengers from public transportation modes, including bus and rail; not including stops having no permanent buildings, such as for Metrolink.

17.63.070 Accessory Uses and Structures Permitted

The following accessory uses and structures are permitted in the M-3 zone, provided that such uses are established on the same lot or parcel of land as the permitted principal use, and that such accessory uses are incidental to and do not substantially alter the character of the principal use.

A.    Amusement machines

Not more than four (4) amusement machines may be permitted as an accessory use within a primary use in the M-3 zone.

B.    Areas designated and designed for the temporary storage of trash and recyclable materials, including the following:

1.    Recycling containers, pursuant to PMC 17.85.030.

2.    Trash compactors, pursuant to PMC 17.85.020.

3.    Reverse vending machines, pursuant to PMC 17.97.040. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

4.    Small collection facilities, pursuant to PMC 17.97.050. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

C.    Caretaker’s residence, where legally established use requires the continuous supervision of a caretaker or superintendent, if occupied only by such persons and their families, pursuant to the standards contained in PMC 17.91.100. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 95-6 adopted by City Council April 10, 1996.)

D.    Day care facilities, on-site to serve employees of the primary use. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 03-06, adopted by City Council June 25, 2003.)

E.    Emergency first aid stations.

F.    Information kiosk, pursuant to PMC 17.88.050(F).

G.    Newspaper dispensing devices, pursuant to PMC 12.08.030.

H.    Services provided to meet the needs of employees on site, including employee cafeterias, day care centers, health clubs, exercise tracks, gymnasiums or work out rooms, showers and similar uses. For purposes of calculating permitted floor area ratio, these uses may be exempted from the calculation.

I.    Signs, as permitted by Chapter 17.88 PMC.

J.    Structures and features associated with pedestrian seating or amenity areas, including but not limited to gazebos, arcades, fountains, seats or benches, trash receptacles, art works or other landscape focal points, and kiosks providing directions or public information.

K.    Wire services for money transfer and Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) machines.

L.    Corporate Massage, when permitted with a primary industrial business, pursuant to PMC 5.04.560 and 17.92.140. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 96-3 adopted by City Council January 8, 1997.)

M.    Retail sales and service incidental to a principally permitted use are allowable provided that the following standards are met. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

1.    The operations are contained within the main structure which houses the primary use;

2.    Retail sales occupy no more than 15% of the total building square footage;

3.    No retail sales or display of merchandise occur(s) outside the structure(s).

N.    Car washes, automated as an accessory use to a gas station, automobile service station, or other automotive related use. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 00-01, adopted by City Council November 8, 2000.)

O.    Co-located Small Wind Energy Systems pursuant to PMC 17.99.010. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 09-02, adopted by City Council November 4, 2009.)

17.63.080 Similar Uses Permitted by Planning Director Determination

The Planning Director may determine that an unlisted use is similar to and not more objectionable to the general welfare than those uses specifically listed in the M-3 zone, pursuant to PMC 17.24.120.

17.63.090 Standards of Development

Premises in Zone M-3 shall be subject to the development standards prescribed in this Section and those standards contained in Division 8, General Standards of Development.

A.    Lot area

Each lot or parcel of land in Zone M-3 shall have a minimum lot area of not less than twenty thousand (20,000) square feet, or the number following the zoning symbol (if any).

B.    Lot width

None required except as otherwise provided in Chapter 17.81 PMC, Lot Width.

C.    Building setbacks

Except as otherwise required by Chapter 17.83 PMC, building setbacks in Zone M-3 shall be as follows:

1.    Front yard and street side yard (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997 and Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

Minimum front yard setbacks for uses in Zone M-3 shall be measured from the property line as follows:

a.    Arterial streets: A minimum building setback of thirty (30) feet, including a minimum of twenty (20) feet of landscaping, shall be provided along arterial streets as indicated in the General Plan Circulation Element, except as provided in subsection (C)(1)(d) of this Section.

b.    Local and collector streets: A minimum building setback of twenty (20) feet, including a minimum of ten (10) feet of landscaping, shall be provided along local and collector streets, both public and private, except as provided in subsection (C)(1)(d) of this Section. Where a sidewalk is not required, the landscaping requirement may be reduced by five (5) feet.

c.    Adjacent to residential: Where an industrial use is proposed to be separated from a residentially used or designated property by a local or collector street, the minimum building setback from each street shall be thirty (30) feet and shall include a minimum landscaped setback of twenty (20) feet, except as provided in paragraph d. below. Where a sidewalk is not required, the landscaping requirement may be reduced by five (5) feet.

d.    Exceptions to minimum front yard setbacks:

(i)    Buildings over thirty-five (35) feet in height: The front yard setback for buildings which are more than thirty-five (35) feet in height shall be established by the reviewing authority during development review to mitigate any adverse impacts on neighboring properties, but in no case shall be less than the minimum as set forth in subsection (C)(1)(a), (b), or (c) of this Section. As a guideline, the reviewing authority may require an additional one (1) foot of setback for every one (1) foot of height over 35 feet along an arterial or collector street, and one-half (1/2) foot of setback for every one (1) foot of height over 35 feet along a local street. This increased setback may be applied to individual building elements, rather than the entire building footprint, to lessen the effect of building mass abutting the street. Total building setback need not exceed seventy (70) feet regardless of height.

(ii)    Infill development: For proposed uses on lots or parcels within substantially developed industrial areas, in which a pattern of building setbacks has been established, the reviewing authority may establish setbacks which are compatible with adjacent uses as part of the development review and approval process, without a variance, provided that the minimum landscaped setback area adjacent to any street shall be no less than ten (10) feet.

e.    Fences, walls, and planters over three (3) feet in height shall maintain the setbacks set forth in this Section.

2.    Rear and side yards (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

Minimum rear and side yard setbacks for uses in Zone M-3 shall not be required, except in the following cases:

a.    Where a side or rear yard abuts an arterial street or expressway, the provisions of PMC 17.63.090(C)(1) shall apply.

b.    Where a side or rear yard abuts a freeway, the following shall apply:

i.    A minimum building setback of twenty (20) feet shall be required, of which at least ten (10) feet must be landscaped, except where the Reviewing Authority determines that architectural enhancements and/or special site design features that are proposed warrants an exception to the standard setback. However, in no instance shall an approved building setback be less than ten (10) feet from the freeway right-of-way.

ii.    For rear and side yards abutting freeways where such yards are visible from the freeway travel lanes, landscaped areas adjacent to the freeway shall average twenty (20) feet, and be not less than ten (10) feet wide, and the entire freeway frontage of the site may be used to compute average landscaping.

c.    Where a side or rear yard abuts a property used or designated for residential uses, a building setback of no less than twenty (20) feet shall be provided, with a minimum of ten (10) feet of landscaping adjacent to the residential property, as specified in PMC 17.83.030(C). For buildings over thirty-five (35) feet in height, the reviewing authority may require additional building setbacks from residential properties and landscaping, as needed to mitigate visual impacts from the height and mass of the building. In establishing this setback, sun angle should be considered to avoid allowing a tall industrial building to block solar access to an adjacent residential use.

d.    Where a side or rear yard abuts a property used or designated for less intensive non-residential uses, such as office, commercial, or public/institutional uses, a building setback of no less than ten (10) feet shall be provided, with a minimum of five (5) feet of landscaping adjacent to the neighboring property. For buildings over thirty-five (35) feet in height, the reviewing authority may require additional building setback and landscaping, as needed to mitigate impacts on less intensive uses, including visual and aesthetic impacts as well as solar access.

e.    The reviewing authority may require a greater setback where needed to mitigate impacts from noise or other operations of use.

3.    Projections (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

Eaves, roof projections, awnings, stair landings, and similar architectural features may project into the building setback a maximum distance of five (5) feet, provided that such appendages are supported only at, or behind, the building setback line, and further provided such appendages do not project beyond the property line or into the public right-of-way.

4.    Setbacks for accessory structures (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

Setbacks for accessory structures shall be provided pursuant to PMC 17.82.020.

D.    Building height and coverage

1.    Building height (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

a.    The maximum height of a primary structure, as measured in accordance with PMC 17.16.020, shall not exceed six (6) stories or seventy-five (75) feet, except as permitted through approval of a conditional use permit (CUP). In approving a CUP for additional building height, the reviewing authority shall find that adequate setbacks are provided on the project site to mitigate adverse impacts on adjacent properties; that adequate fire protection is provided for the subject buildings; that all FAA clearance requirements are met; that maximum floor area ratio requirements are not exceeded; and that the height, bulk, massing, design, and placement of the building on the subject site will not adversely impact adjacent properties or the general public.

b.    The maximum height of accessory structures shall not exceed thirty-five (35) feet.

c.    No windows, balconies, stairways, or other areas where people could look out onto adjacent residential properties shall be permitted above the first floor on the side of a building which faces property designated for single-family use.

2.    Maximum lot coverage

No lot or parcel of land in Zone M-3 shall have a lot coverage by buildings or structures in excess of ninety (90) percent of the lot area.

E.    Off-street parking and loading (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

Each lot or parcel of land in Zone M-3 shall have adequate off-street parking and loading facilities. Location and design of parking and loading facilities shall conform to the applicable General Plan policies and to Chapter 17.87 PMC.

F.    Signs

Signs shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 17.88 PMC.

G.    Trash enclosures (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

An adequate number of trash enclosures shall be provided on site to meet the needs of each development, and shall be located and designed in accordance with applicable General Plan Community Design policies and PMC 17.85.010.

H.    Landscaping (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

At least ten (10) percent of the site shall be landscaped, in accordance with PMC 17.83.030 and 17.86.010 and applicable General Plan policies, except that the reviewing authority may reduce this requirement to no less than five (5) percent of the site provided that areas visible from public rights-of-way and non-industrial uses or districts are adequately landscaped.

I.    Sidewalks (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

Sidewalks shall be provided within the public right-of-way along all major and regional arterial streets, as depicted in the General Plan. Sidewalks may be required along secondary arterial, collector and local streets, or this requirement may be waived by the reviewing authority as part of the development review process.

J.    Special development standards (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

1.    Each use in this Zone shall be established and operated in accordance with Chapter 17.84 PMC, Performance Standards.

2.    Fences and walls shall be in conformance with PMC 17.83.030 and 17.86.040 and the applicable policies of the General Plan Community Design Element.

3.    Any portion of a lot or parcel used for outdoor storage, loading, parking, or other permitted outside use shall be paved according to the standards provided in PMC 17.87.050(F), except that the reviewing authority may approve a reduction in the area required to be paved where it is determined that such area will be adequately screened and dust-proofed, and that construction of additional improvements is unnecessary.

4.    Screening shall be provide in conformance with the standards prescribed in Chapter 17.86 PMC and applicable policies of the General Plan Community Design Element.

5.    All business and manufacturing operations shall be conducted within an enclosed building unless specifically permitted by the reviewing authority and adequately screened from public view pursuant to Divisions 8 and 9 of this Zoning Ordinance and applicable General Plan policies.

6.    Architectural design shall conform to the applicable Community Design policies contained in the General Plan.

K.    Rail Service Standards (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-5, adopted by City Council July 9, 1997.)

Rail access and design requirements shall be as provided in PMC 17.61.090(K).