Chapter 2.44
DEVELOPMENT IMPACT
REVIEW PROCEDURES

Sections:

2.44.010    Purpose.

2.44.020    Resources.

2.44.030    Applicability.

2.44.040    Review procedures.

2.44.010 Purpose.

A. This chapter is intended to ensure that the city knows the capabilities of its basic services and resources and does not take action which will overload them.

B. This chapter deals with resources in the broadest sense. As it is used in this chapter, the term “resources” means and includes manmade systems and municipal services in addition to natural resources. To deal with different types of resources, this chapter divides them into two groups according to their importance to the public health, safety and general welfare.

C. The city intends to avoid the financial and planning crises created when development exceeds the capacity of the city’s resources. To that end, this chapter establishes procedures for reviewing the impact a proposed development plan or construction project will have on city resources. These procedures are designed to alert the city to resource problems. The city shall use this information to ensure adequate services and resources for the entire community as well as for new development, insofar as the city is capable of doing so. The city has the responsibility to alleviate resource problems and provide the services necessary for new development when doing so makes good fiscal planning sense. (Prior code § 2900)

2.44.020 Resources.

A. Types. Listed below are the basic city resources covered by this chapter. They are divided into the following two categories:

1. Level 1: Life and Safety Support Systems. Deficiencies in these resources are termed Level 1 deficiencies.

a. Water – Supply, distribution, availability for fire fighting;

b. Sewage – Collection and treatment;

c. Flood control – Storm drainage.

2. Level 2: Safety and Security Services and General Resources.

a. Fire protection;

b. Police protection;

c. Circulation – Pedestrians and vehicles;

d. Social, cultural and educational. For example, youth centers, libraries and schools;

e. Parks and open space;

f. Land in each of the use categories established by the city’s general plan;

g. Air quality and airshed capacity.

B. Resource Inventory. The city shall develop and maintain up-to-date information on the capabilities of its basic resources.

C. Standards and Policies.

1. The council shall adopt, by resolution, standards and policies for determining the capacity and current status of city resources. These standards will be used by city departments to determine whether a resource is overburdened, or would be overburdened if a development project were allowed.

2. The council may amend these standards and policies whenever it considers it necessary. Before any such standard or policy may be adopted or amended, the council must hold a public hearing on the proposal. A notice of the hearing must be published at least ten days before the hearing.

3. The absence of any particular standard or policy shall not in itself be sufficient reason to deny a permit. (Prior code § 2900.1)

2.44.030 Applicability.

A. Projects Subject to Review. All development projects are subject to the review procedures described in the following sections, with the exemptions listed below:

1. Building permits;

2. Use permits;

3. Subdivision tract and parcel maps;

4. Planned developments;

5. Rezonings;

6. General and specific plans and amendments to them;

7. Annexations;

8. Agreements or other arrangements requiring the city to commit any of its resources to the use of any other entity;

9. All other actions and entitlements for new development or construction that could lead to an increased burden on city resources.

B. Exemptions. The following types of projects are exempt from the review procedures described in the following sections:

1. An alteration or addition to an existing dwelling that does not divide the dwelling into two or more units;

2. A remodeling, repair or addition to a structure that does not increase the structure’s occupancy or change its use;

3. Construction of public works other than buildings. (Prior code § 2900.2)

2.44.040 Review procedures.

A. General Requirements.

1. As far as possible and reasonable, review and action on a resource problem will be simultaneous with the processing of entitlements for the affected development project. However, if the project would create a Level 1 deficiency, no entitlement may be issued until the city considers the need for action on the deficiency adequate to protect the public’s health, safety and general welfare and meet the intent of this chapter. Unless findings to the contrary are made, a Level 2 deficiency may not be a reason for withholding or delaying approval of a project.

2. In the case of Level 2 problems, the authority which determines appropriate measures to mitigate the problem must also find that these measures adequately protect the public’s health, safety and general welfare and meet the intent of this law. This finding shall be made before a project may be approved, and shall be stated in the minutes or other record of the action.

3. When the community development director, planning commission or council determines mitigation measures, the minutes of the action must state the specific measures decided upon and the reasons for them. The minutes must also reflect any action to proceed without mitigating measures together with the reasons for such action on any project where it has previously been determined that a deficiency would be created.

4. Although the intent of this chapter is to resolve resource problems during the normal processing of development projects, and to make every reasonable effort to expedite action, the council may, within time limits imposed by any applicable law, order as much research and as many meetings as necessary to protect the public’s health, safety and general welfare.

5. All hearings held on Level 1 resource problems must be advertised the same way as zoning ordinance amendments are advertised. Level 2 deficiencies shall be considered as part of the project review and need not be advertised apart from such advertising as may be required for the specific entitlement being requested.

B. Initial Review by City Staff.

1. The staff of the community development department shall transmit all project applications to various city departments and shall review the application to determine the impact the project would have on city resources.

2. If the project can be accommodated according to the resource standards and policies set by the council, the director of public services shall file a written statement saying so. The director may file this statement if the project can be accommodated whether by existing resources or by resources that are planned to exist before the project is built or occupied.

3. If the project cannot be accommodated, the staff will prepare a report within thirty days of receipt of a complete application detailing the problem and possible solutions. The report shall include a detailed graphic and written description of the total area affected by the deficiency.

4. If information on file is inadequate to determine whether a project will overload a city resource, the city staff must immediately investigate the situation and report. The report shall state the reasons for the lack of adequate information, give any new information learned from the investigation and be completed in time for review by the community development director, planning commission, council or other reviewing body at the same time the project is reviewed.

5. Staff reports on resource overloads will be reviewed as described in subsections C through E of this section.

C. Administrative and ARC-Approved Projects.

1. When a city department or the architectural review commission is to make the final decision on a project, the staff report on a resource problem will be submitted to the community development director. The report will include recommendations for action. The director then must determine appropriate mitigation measures for both Level 1 and Level 2 deficiencies. In the case of Level 1 overloads, he or she must also decide whether the appropriate measures are adequate to allow the proposed project. This determination normally shall be made at the same time as the decision on the project except if the mitigation measure requires a capital budget commitment by the city it shall be referred to the council for final action.

2. The director shall forward to the city council any issues of community-wide significance. Any decision by the director may be appealed to the council.

D. Projects Approved by the Planning Commission.

1. When the planning commission is to make the final decision on a project, the staff report on a resource problem will be submitted to the planning commission. The commission must consider the deficiency at the same meeting at which it reviews the project. The commission must determine appropriate mitigation measures for both Level l and 2 deficiencies. In the case of a Level 1 problem, it must also determine whether the measures are adequate to allow the project.

2. The commission’s decision is final unless appealed to the council except if the mitigating measure requires a capital budget commitment by the city it shall be referred to the council for final action.

E. Projects Approved by the Council.

1. When the council is to make the final decision on a project, the staff report on a resource problem and, where applicable, the planning commission’s recommendations will be submitted to the council.

2. At the same meeting during which it reviews the project, the council must determine appropriate mitigation measures for both Level l and Level 2 deficiencies. In the case of Level l deficiencies, it must also determine whether the measures are adequate to allow the project. (Prior code § 2900.3)