Chapter 9.79
Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions


9.79.010    Purpose of Chapter

9.79.020    Effective Date of Permits

9.79.030    Repealed

9.79.040    Applications Deemed Approved

9.79.050    Permits to Run with the Land

9.79.060    Performance Guarantees

9.79.070    Permit Time Limits, Extensions, and Expiration

9.79.080    Change to an Approved Project

9.79.090    Resubmittal

9.79.100    Covenant of Easements

9.79.010 Purpose of Chapter

This Chapter provides requirements for the implementation or "exercising" of the permits required by this Land Use Code, including time limits and procedures for granting extensions of time.

9.79.020 Effective Date of Permits

The approval of a planning permit shall become effective on the eleventh business day following the actual date of application approval by the appropriate review authority, where no appeal of the review authority’s action has been filed in compliance with Chapter 9.76 (Appeals). (Ord. 1432, eff. 12/20/2013)

9.79.030 Final City Action on a Planning Permit within the Coastal Zone

Repealed by Ord. 1432.

9.79.040 Applications Deemed Approved

A planning permit application for a parcel outside of the Coastal Zone that is deemed approved in compliance with State law (Government Code Section 65956) shall be subject to all applicable provisions of this Land Use Code, which shall be satisfied by the applicant before a Building Permit is issued or a land use not requiring a Building Permit is established.

9.79.050 Permits to Run with the Land

A Design Review, Minor Use Permit, Planned Development Permit, Use Permit, or Variance approval that is granted in compliance with Chapter 9.72 (Permit Approval or Disapproval) shall be deemed to run with the land through any change of ownership of the subject site, from the effective date of the permit, except in any case where a permit expires or becomes void in compliance with Section 9.79.070 (Permit Time Limits, Extensions, and Expiration). All applicable conditions of approval shall continue to apply after a change in property ownership.

9.79.060 Performance Guarantees

A.    Security may be required. As a condition of approval and upon a finding that the City’s health, safety and welfare warrant, the review authority may require the execution of a covenant to deposit security, and the deposit of security in a reasonable amount to ensure the faithful performance of one or more of the conditions of approval in the event that the obligor fails to perform. The security shall, as required by law or otherwise at the option of the City, be in the form of cash, a certified or cashier’s check, or a faithful performance bond executed by the applicant and a corporate surety authorized to do business in California. The security shall remain in effect until all of the secured conditions have been performed to the satisfaction of the Zoning Administrator.

B.    Payable to the City. Any security required in compliance with this Section shall be payable to the City.

C.    Release of security. Upon satisfaction of all applicable provisions of this Section, the security deposit will be released. However, upon failure to perform any secured condition, the City may perform the condition, or cause it to be done, and may collect from the obligor, and surety in case of a bond, all cost incurred thereto, including administrative, engineering, inspection, and legal costs. Any unused portion of the security shall be refunded to the obligor after deduction of the cost of the work, except that, to the extent that the Zoning Administrator can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City Manager that the obligor willfully breached an obligation in a manner that the obligor knew or should have known would create irreparable harm to the City, the entire amount of the bond or deposit may be withheld. The City Manager’s determination may be appealed to the Council by the obligor by filing an appeal with the City Clerk within 10 business days after the decision.

9.79.070 Permit Time Limits, Extensions, and Expiration

A.    Time limits. Unless a condition of approval or other provision of this Land Use Code establishes a different time limit, any permit or approval not exercised within 24 months of approval shall expire and become void, except where an extension of time is approved in compliance with subsection (B) of this Section, or by the period of time in which:

1.    An appeal to the Council is pending;

2.    A proceeding before the California Coastal Commission is pending; or

3.    Construction is restrained by the process of any court of competent jurisdiction.

B.    Extensions of time. Upon written request by the applicant, the Zoning Administrator may extend the time for an approved planning permit to be exercised. The Zoning Administrator may defer action and refer the request to the review authority who originally granted the approval.

1.    Filing and review of request.

a.    Time for filing. The applicant shall file a written request for an extension of time with the Department at least 30 days before the expiration of the permit, together with the filing fee required by the City’s Fee Schedule.

b.    Basis for extension. The Zoning Administrator shall determine whether the applicant has made a good faith effort to exercise the permit. The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish, with substantial evidence, that circumstances beyond the control of the applicant (e.g., demonstrated financial hardship, problems with completing the acquisition of the parcel, poor weather during periods of planned construction, etc.) have prevented exercising the permit.

2.    Action on extension request. A permit may be extended as follows for no more than two additional 12-month periods beyond the expiration of the original approval; provided, the review authority first finds that there have been no changes in the conditions or circumstances of the site or project that would have been grounds for disapproval of the original project.

a.    Zoning Administrator’s action. Unless referred to the original review authority, upon good cause shown, an extension may be approved, approved with modifications, or disapproved by the Zoning Administrator, whose decisions may be appealed, in compliance with Chapter 9.76 (Appeals).

C.    Effect of expiration. After the expiration of a planning permit in compliance with subsection (A)(1) of this Section, no further work shall be done on the site until a new planning permit and any required Building Permit or other City approvals are first obtained.

D.    Exercised defined. The permit shall not be deemed "exercised" until the permittee has obtained the required Building Permit, or has actually commenced the allowed use on the site in compliance with the conditions of approval, where no Building Permit is required.

E.    Run with the land. After it has been exercised, a planning permit shall remain valid and run with the land in compliance with Section 9.79.050, as long as a Building Permit is active for the project, or a Certificate of Occupancy has been granted.

F.    Developed in pre-approved phases. If a project is to be developed in pre-approved phases, each subsequent phase shall be exercised within 24 months from the date that the previous phase was exercised, unless otherwise specified in the permit, or the permit shall expire and be void in compliance with subsection (C) of this Section, except where an extension of time is approved in compliance with subsection (B) of this Section. (Ord. 1419, eff. 10/5/2012)

9.79.080 Change to an Approved Project

Development or a new land use authorized through a planning permit granted in compliance with this Land Use Code shall be established only as approved by the review authority, and in compliance with any conditions of approval, except where a change to the project is approved as follows.

A.    Application. An applicant shall request a desired change in writing, and shall also furnish appropriate supporting materials and an explanation of the reasons for the request. A change may be requested either before or after construction, or establishment and operation of the approved land use.

B.    Public hearing required. If the original project approval required public notice and a hearing, public notice shall be provided, and the Planning Commission shall conduct a public hearing on the requested changes in compliance with Chapter 9.74 (Public Hearings).

C.    Changes approved by Zoning Administrator.

1.    If no public hearing is required by Subsection B. (Public hearing required), above, the Zoning Administrator may authorize one or more changes to an approved site plan, architecture, or the nature of the approved land use where the Zoning Administrator first finds that the changes:

a.    Are consistent with all applicable provisions of this Land Use Code;

b.    Do not involve a feature of the project that was a basis for findings in a Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report for the project;

c.    Do not involve a feature of the project that was specifically addressed or was a basis for conditions of approval for the project or that was a specific consideration by the review authority (e.g., the Zoning Administrator, Historic and Design Review Commission, Planning Commission, or Council) in the project approval; and

d.    Do not result in an expansion of the land use.

2.    The Zoning Administrator may choose to refer any requested change to the original review authority for review and final action.

D.    Changes approved by original review authority. A proposed change that does not comply with the criteria in Subsection C., above shall only be approved by the original review authority for the project through a new permit application processed in compliance with this Land Use Code.

9.79.090 Resubmittal

A.    Resubmittal prohibited within 12 months.

1.    May be disapproved with prejudice. An application for a discretionary planning permit, entitlement, or amendment may be disapproved with prejudice.

2.    Disapproved with prejudice defined. An application may be disapproved with prejudice on the grounds that two or more similar applications for the same parcel have been disapproved in the past two years, or that another cause exists for limiting the refiling of the application.

3.    Exceptions to 12-month limitation. For a period of 12 months following the date of disapproval of a discretionary planning permit, entitlement, or amendment, no application for the same or substantially similar discretionary permit, entitlement, or amendment for the same site shall be filed, except if the disapproval was without prejudice, or on the grounds of substantial new evidence or proof of changed circumstances to an extent that further consideration is deemed warranted.

B.    No limitation on disapprovals without prejudice. There shall be no limitation on subsequent applications for a site on which a project was disapproved without prejudice.

C.    Zoning Administrator’s determination. The Zoning Administrator shall determine whether the new application is for a permit, entitlement, or amendment which is the same or substantially similar to the previously approved or disapproved permit, entitlement, or amendment.

D.    Appeal. The determination of the Zoning Administrator may be appealed, in compliance with Chapter 9.76 (Appeals).

9.79.100 Covenant of Easements

A.    Applicability. When necessary to achieve the land use goals of the City, the City may require a property owner holding property in common ownership to execute and record a Covenant of Easement in favor of the City, in compliance with State law (Government Code Section 65870 et seq.).

1.    Required provisions. A Covenant of Easement may be required to provide for emergency access, ingress and egress, landscaping, light and air access, open space, parking, or for solar access.

2.    Condition of approval. A Covenant of Easement may be imposed as a condition of approval by the review authority.

B.    Form of covenant. The form of a Covenant shall be approved by the City Attorney, and a Covenant of Easement shall identify:

1.    The real property to be subject to the easement and the real property to be benefited by the easement;

2.    The planning permit or approval granted that relied on or required the Covenant; and

3.    The purposes of the easement.

C.    Recordation. A Covenant of Easement shall be recorded in the County Recorder’s Office and a conformed copy for City files to be paid by the applicant.

D.    Effect of covenant. From and after the time of its recordation, a Covenant of Easement shall:

1.    Act as an easement. Act as an easement in compliance with State law (Civil Code Section 801 et seq.) except that it shall not merge into any other interest in the real property. Civil Code Section 1104 shall apply to the conveyance of the affected real property; and

2.    Impart notice. Impart notice to all persons to the extent afforded by the recording laws of the State. Upon recordation, the burdens of the Covenant shall be binding on, and the Covenant shall benefit, all successors-in-interest to the real property.

E.    Enforceability of covenant. A Covenant of Easement shall be enforceable by the successors-in-interest to the real property benefited by the Covenant and the City. Nothing in this Section creates standing in any person, other than the City, and any owner of the real property burdened or benefited by the Covenant, to enforce or to challenge the Covenant or any requested amendment or release.

F.    Release of covenant. The final review authority may release a Covenant of Easement at the request of any person, including the City or an affected property owner, after first finding that the Covenant is no longer necessary to achieve the land use goals of the City. Upon release, the Zoning Administrator shall cause the recordation of a notice of the release of the Covenant of Easement with the County Recorder’s Office.

G.    Fees. The City shall impose fees to recover the City’s reasonable cost of processing a request for a release. Fees for the processing shall be established by the City’s Fee Schedule.