Chapter 17.81


17.81.010    Applicability.

17.81.020    Planning commission records and amendments duties.

17.81.030    Rules governing use of maps and symbols.

17.81.040    Rules governing open spaces.

17.81.050    Public facilities.

17.81.060    Animals.

17.81.070    Height exceptions.

17.81.080    Area exceptions.

17.81.090    Sale of copies.

17.81.100    Service station lot area.

17.81.105    Self-service and partial-service gasoline stations.

17.81.110    Accessory structures.

17.81.120    Solar energy systems as a permitted use.

17.81.130    Solar energy systems as a conditional use.

17.81.140    Dish antennae prohibited.

17.81.150    Recovery of monitoring or deposit expenses.

17.81.160    Extension of permit expiration dates.

17.81.170    Notice of public hearing.

17.81.180    Placement of utilities underground.

17.81.190    Yard/garage sales.

17.81.200    Home occupation permits and limitations.

17.81.010 Applicability.

The general regulations set forth in this chapter shall govern in all cases not specifically covered by district regulations. (Ord. 388 Art. 25 (part), 1975)

17.81.020 Planning commission records and amendments duties.

The planning commission shall maintain a public record of its administrative rulings and policy decisions, and shall from time to time prepare and recommend to the city council such amendments as it may deem necessary to improve the administration of this title. (Ord. 388 § 25.01, 1975)

17.81.030 Rules governing use of maps and symbols.

Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of any district as shown on the zoning map accompanying and made a part of this title, the following rules shall apply:

A. The district boundaries are either streets, alleys, or as otherwise shown, and where the designations on the zoning map accompanying and made a part of this title indicate the various districts are approximately bounded by streets or alleys, said streets and alleys shall be construed to be the boundaries of such district.

B. Where the district boundaries are not otherwise indicated and where the property has been or may hereafter be divided into blocks and lots, the district boundaries shall be construed to be lot lines, and where the designations of the zoning map accompanying and made part of this title indicating the various districts are approximately bounded by lot lines, said lot lines shall be construed to be boundaries of said districts, unless said boundaries are indicated on the map.

C. In unsubdivided property and where a district boundary divides a lot, the locations of such boundaries, unless the same are indicated by dimensions, shall be determined by use of the scale appearing on the zoning map.

D. A symbol indicating the classification of property on the zoning map shall in each instance apply to the whole of the area within the district boundaries.

E. Where a public street or alley is officially vacated or abandoned, the property formerly in said street or alley shall be included within the district or adjoining property thereto and shall be subject to the regulations applicable to said district. In the event said street or alley was a boundary between two or more different districts, the new district boundary shall be the former centerline of such vacated street or alley and shall be subject to the regulations applicable to the abutting properties.

F. Where uncertainty exists, the planning commission shall, by written decision, determine the location of the zone boundary and shall so advise the city council of its decision. (Ord. 388 § 25.02, 1975)

17.81.040 Rules governing open spaces.

Except as provided by the adjustment procedure set forth in Article 20 the following rules shall govern the provisions of open spaces about buildings:

A. A building site as defined in this title is established on each usable lot, each such building site being surrounded on all sides by open spaces in the form of yards, the minimum widths and dimensions of which are set forth in the regulations of the district in which such lot is located. Each dwelling and all necessary buildings hereafter erected, rebuilt, altered, enlarged or moved upon any lot shall be so planned or placed as to occupy only the building site established by these regulations for such lot.

B. Any lot or parcel of land in one ownership having an area sufficient for more than one dwelling, or any lot shown upon a subdivision map of record in the office of the county recorder prior to adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, may be used for a dwelling and a building permit may be issued for such use, provided the owner thereof who changes or intends to change any existing lot line or lines or to establish new lot lines obtains approval of the city planning commission pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act and the city regulations.

C. No building, structure or land shall be used, nor shall any building or other structure be erected, moved, raised, altered, enlarged, reconstructed, extended, or rebuilt, nor shall any open spaces surrounding any building be encroached upon or reduced in any manner, except in conformity with the open space and area requirements established by this title for the district in which such building is located or as permitted by a variance duly authorized by the planning commission.

D. No yard or other open space provided about any building for the purpose of complying with the regulations of this title shall be considered as providing a yard or open space for any other building or structure.

E. In the Soquel Creek area within the city limits, the following shall apply: All bulkheads shall be constructed in a rustic manner and finished in wood. All handrails on decks shall not exceed forty-two inches in height, nor shall the space between the deck and the handrails be filled in creating a solid appearance. Only two freestanding lights shall be allowed for each deck and to a maximum height of eight feet.

F. The Soquel Creek Riverview Pedestrian Pathway, which extends from the Stockton Avenue Bridge along the eastern side of Soquel Creek, under the Railroad Trestle, to 427 Riverview Avenue, where it follows a drainage easement out to Riverview Avenue shall be maintained as a public pathway at the existing width as documented by the March 2005 survey completed by the city of Capitola, which is on file with the city clerk or no less than four feet in width, whichever is greater. On or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this subsection, new development, decks, fencing, landscaping and other improvements shall not encroach on the Soquel Creek Riverview Pathway. Surface variations (i.e., brick, decomposed granite and other surfaces) are acceptable. Property owners shall trim and maintain landscaping so that it does not encroach upon or narrow the width of the pathway to less than four feet. As used in this subsection the term “pathway” shall refer to that undeveloped area within which the pedestrian walking surface (comprised of brick, decomposed granite and other surface materials) is located. (Ord. 885 § 1, 2005; Ord. 388 § 25.03, 1975)

17.81.050 Public facilities.

A. Outside the coastal zone public facilities as listed in Sections 17.42.040, 17.42.050 and 17.42.060 are conditional uses in all zoning districts.

B. Within the coastal zone, public facilities should generally be restricted to the PF public facilities district. In the parks/open space, central village, and visitor serving districts, no public facilities shall be permitted except those which are dependent on the specific resources of the site or are related to the enhancement of the basic zoning district uses and are consistent with the land use plan. (Ord. 691 § 14, 1990; Ord. 685 § 2, 1989; Ord. 388 § 25.04, 1975)

17.81.060 Animals.

Every animal shall be kept in a manner so as not to offend or endanger any neighbor. Animals including fowl, reptiles, and amphibians may be kept only as provided in this section:

A. In the agricultural district, all normally domesticated animals, including bees, are permitted.

B. At a single-family dwelling which solely occupies a parcel of land, each household is permitted four of the following animals as pets, not for commercial purposes:

1. Dogs, however, no more than two dogs over the age of four months may be kept;

2. Cats;

3. Rabbits;

4. Guinea pigs and other smaller animals;

5. Fowl, which doesn’t quack or crow;

6. Non-poisonous reptiles and amphibians;

Any number of indoor birds may be kept, as long as no nuisance is created.

C. In all other cases, such as apartments and mobile homes, two of the above-mentioned animals may be kept. Any number of indoor birds may be kept as long as no nuisance is created.

D. In commercial districts, kennels and pet shops which have obtained the proper permits are excluded from complying with subsection C of this section.

E. No pen, paddock, stable, or yard for housing animals shall be closer than twenty-five feet to any restaurant, school, or neighboring residence.

F. No site where animals are kept shall be maintained in unsanitary conditions as determined by the health officer. (Ord. 388 § 25.05, 1975)

17.81.070 Height exceptions.

Roof structures for the housing of elevators, stairways, ventilating fans or similar equipment required to operate and maintain the building, chimneys, smokestacks, radio aerials, television antennas and utility structures and necessary mechanical appurtenances may be built to exceed the height limit established for the district in which the structures are located; provided, however, that no such utility structure or roof structure in excess of the allowable building height shall be used for commercial purposes or habitation. (Ord. 642 § 2, 1987; Ord. 388 § 25.06, 1975)

17.81.080 Area exceptions.

Any lot shown upon an official subdivision map duly approved and recorded prior to the date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, or any lot for which a deed is of record in the office of the county recorder prior to the date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, may be used but shall be subject to the regulations of the district as shown in this title in which it is situated and to the general rules set forth in this section. (Ord. 503, 1981; Ord. 388 § 25.07, 1975)

17.81.090 Sale of copies.

Copies of the zoning and land use ordinance may be sold by the city clerk by the cost of reproduction. (Ord. 388 § 25.08, 1975)

17.81.100 Service station lot area.

Service station sites shall have a minimum of twenty thousand net square feet of lot area, with one hundred twenty feet minimum frontage, with appropriate increases for those operations which include nonautomotive sales or rental activity on the same premises. (Ord. 388 § 25.09, 1975)

17.81.105 Self-service and partial-service gasoline stations.

A. “Full service gas stations” means stations offering: gas, air, water, oil, and window-washing performed by a service station attendant, light mechanical repairs; public restrooms; and replacement supplies such as fan belts, water hoses, windshield wiper blades, tires, transmission oil and brake fluid.

B. “Completely self-service gas stations” means stations which offer neither attendant gas pumping and window washing, nor light mechanical repairs.

C. “Partial-service gas stations” means stations which offer either the services of a mechanic, or attendant gas pumping and window-washing, but less than the full range of services and supplies available at a full-service gas station.

D. “Split-island” means an island of gas pumps in a full-service or partial-service station where attendants are not available to perform services such as pumping gas, washing windows, or checking fluid levels.

E. No full-service station may convert to a partial-service station, or to a self-service station, or to a station wherein more than fifty percent of its pumps are at split-islands, without first securing a conditional use permit.

F. No partial-service station may convert to a self-service station or to a station wherein more than fifty percent of its pumps are at split-islands without first securing conditional use permits.

G. In any application to convert under subsections E or F, or in any application to establish a new gas service station the planning commission, (in addition to district regulations and the requirements of Chapter 17.60) shall consider whether the proposal would adversely affect public health, safety and welfare by diminishing the level of repair services, attendant services, or restrooms available to the public. (Ord. 577, 1984)

17.81.110 Accessory structures.

A. All accessory structures eighty or more square feet or with electrical or plumbing fixtures shall require building permits.

B. One accessory structure eighty square feet or less and eight feet or less in height shall be permitted without a building or design permit and may be located in the side or rear setback of a residential lot. Any additional accessory structures on any parcel shall comply with the development standards for the district in which they are located. The variance procedure, as provided in Chapter 17.66, shall only apply to the second or more accessory structure(s). (Ord. 882 § 1, 2005; Ord. 873 § 17, 2004; Ord. 388 § 25.10, 1975)

17.81.120 Solar energy systems as a permitted use.

The use of solar systems, including solar collectors, storage facilities, and distribution components for the purpose of providing energy for space heating and cooling and domestic hot water heating, is a permitted use in all zones within the city so long as those systems are a part of the main structure. (Ord. 517 § 1, 1982)

17.81.130 Solar energy systems as a conditional use.

Solar energy systems which are not part of the main structure and are incidental to one or a group of structures in a nearby vicinity shall be a conditional use in all zones within the city. (Ord. 517 § 1, 1982)

17.81.140 Dish antennae prohibited.

No dish-type antennae may be placed or erected (a) in front yards or in corner lot side yards in residential zones; or (b) at any location in other zones except those antennae which receive architectural and site approval pursuant to Section 17.63.030. (Ord. 589 § 2, 1985)

17.81.150 Recovery of monitoring or deposit expenses.

Whenever a cash deposit is necessary to ensure the performance of any condition as a part of any approval, or whenever staff time is required to monitor compliance with any such condition, such as a requirement of landscape maintenance, a fee may be imposed equal to the actual or estimated cost (including but not limited to staff time) to the city of handling of a deposit or monitoring compliance with a condition. (Ord. 668, 1988)

17.81.160 Extension of permit expiration dates.

A. Purpose of Extensions. As the California Court of Appeal has observed at 204 Cal. App. 3rd 1124, the purpose of providing for automatic expiration of development permits is mainly “to prevent the reservation of land for future purposes when the permittee has no good faith intent to presently commence upon the proposed use. Such reservations would cripple the city’s ability to change requirements as circumstances or planning policies change.

B. Permit Period Extension. Permittees, either at the time of originally obtaining the permit, or at some time prior to its expiration, may apply for an extension of the expiration period. The application to extend shall be made to the body which actually approved the permit. When the original permit was, by appeal or otherwise, heard by the city council, such applications shall be made to the city council.

C. Extensions Related to City-imposed Conditions. The city may grant an extension of the otherwise applicable expiration date if it is imposing a condition which significantly delays the applicant from commencing the proposed use. The period of any such extension shall be reasonably related to the cause of the delay.

D. Coastal Permit Extensions. See Section 17.46.120(B).

E. Other Permit Extensions. For other situations than those covered by subsections B or C of this section, the applicant may apply for one or more extension(s), each of which shall be for one year. Such requests may be granted upon a finding that there has been no relevant substantial change of circumstances, regulations or planning policies. (Ord. 722, 1991; Ord. 707, 1991)

17.81.170 Notice of public hearing.

A. Government Code Section 65090 requires notice pursuant to Government Code Section 6061 (publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the city at least ten days prior to the hearing). That method of notice shall be given in the following situations:

1. General and specific plan adoption or amendment (Government Code Sections 65353, 65355, 65750-65763, 65919.4, 65962);

2. Zoning ordinance amendments (Government Code Sections 65854 and 65856);

3. Interim urgency zoning ordinances (Government Code Section 65858).

B. Notice pursuant to Government Code Section 65091(a) should be given for the following matters: variances, conditional use permits, or equivalent development permits (Government Code Section 65905); and zoning which affects permitted uses of property (Government Code Section 65854).

C. Notice pursuant to Government Code Section 6062 (each day, during a ten-day period, that the newspaper is published) should be given for the following matters: adoption of, or increase of those development fees for which Government Code Section 66018 is applicable.

D. As provided in Government Code Section 65094, “notice of public hearing” means a notice that includes the date, time and place of a public hearing, the identity of the hearing body or officer, a general explanation of the matter to be considered, and a general description, in text or by diagram, of the location of the real property, if any, that is the subject of the hearing. The city may additionally give notice in any other manner it deems necessary or desirable.

E. Additional notice requirements otherwise imposed by this code shall also be followed. For instance, see Section 17.46.080 for hearings involving coastal permits.

F. Defects in providing notice shall not, unless specifically required by law, invalidate any decision made at the hearing. (Ord. 721 § 3, 1991)

17.81.180 Placement of utilities underground.

A. New residential construction or any residential remodels that result in an increase of twenty-five percent or greater of the existing square footage shall be required to place existing overhead utility lines underground to the nearest utility pole.

B. Exceptions to this requirement can be made by the planning commission if it is determined that a hardship exists. Financial hardships are not the basis for exceptions, which may be granted primarily for environmental reasons, such as tree preservation, proximity to watercourses or archaeological sites, and similar considerations. (Ord. 873 § 18, 2004)

17.81.190 Yard/garage sales.

A. Yard/garage sales for individual residences shall be limited to not more than three, one- to two-day events per calendar year. Block or neighborhood sales would be allowed annually in addition to individual sales. (Ord. 873 § 19, 2004)

17.81.200 Home occupation permits and limitations.

A. Home occupations are permitted subject to Section 17.03.310 requirements, and approval of a home occupation permit by the community development director or designated zoning administrator. Neighboring property owners and residents within one hundred-foot radius will be provided notification that a permit has been issued, with the notice to describe the nature of the home occupation and the limitations imposed.

B. All home occupations must comply with the following restrictions and limitations:

1. No advertising signs or banners other than a nameplate, not to exceed one square foot;

2. No display or outside storage of goods, materials, or equipment;

3. No commodities sold on the premises in the normal course of operation;

4. No employees other than the residents of the dwelling;

5. No objectionable noise, odor or equipment and materials;

6. No excessive pedestrian, auto, or truck traffic introduced to the neighborhood as a result of the home occupation;

7. No more than one client/customer at the dwelling at any one time, by appointment only, and not more than three such clients, customers per day;

8. No use of required covered or uncovered parking;

9. Does not provide a service which normally involves the client being present when a significant portion of the services are performed;

10. Automotive repair or detailing services are specifically prohibited.

C. Community development director retains the discretion to forward any home occupation permit application to the planning commission for approval or termination in response to legitimate complaints regarding noncompliance with home occupation permit limitations. (Ord. 873 § 20, 2004)