Chapter 17.08
INTERPRETATION Revised 6/18

Sections:

17.08.010    Purpose. Revised 6/18

17.08.020    Authority. Revised 6/18

17.08.030    Rules of interpretation. Revised 6/18

17.08.040    Procedures for interpretation/determinations. Revised 6/18

17.08.050    Zoning code enforcement. Revised 6/18

17.08.010 Purpose. Revised 6/18

This chapter establishes rules and procedures for interpreting the zoning code to ensure that it is applied and enforced in a consistent manner. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.08.020 Authority. Revised 6/18

The city council delegates to the community development director and the director’s designees authority in accordance with Section 17.08.040 to interpret the meaning and applicability of all provisions in the zoning code. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.08.030 Rules of interpretation. Revised 6/18

A. General Rules. Rules of interpretation in Chapter 1.04 (General Provisions) apply to the zoning code. The following general rules also apply to the interpretation and application of the zoning code:

1. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this zoning code, the most restrictive requirement shall control.

2. Where there is a conflict between text and any figure, illustration, graphic, heading, map, table, or caption, the text governs.

3. The words “shall,” “will,” “is to,” and “are to” are mandatory. “Should” means a regulation that is not mandatory, but must be either fulfilled or the applicant must demonstrate an alternative that fulfills the intent of the regulation or that a noneconomic hardship makes compliance infeasible. “May” is permissive.

4. The following conjunctions are interpreted as follows:

a. “And” means that all items or provisions so connected apply.

b. “Or” means that all items or provisions so connected apply singularly or in any combination.

c. “Either ... or” means that one of the items or provisions so connected apply singularly, but not in combination.

5. All officials, bodies, agencies, ordinances, policies, and regulations referred to in the zoning code are those of Capitola unless otherwise noted.

B. Calendar Days. Numbers of days specified in the zoning code are continuous calendar days unless otherwise noted. Where the last of a number of days falls on a holiday or weekend (Saturday or Sunday), time limits are extended to the following working day.

C. Land Use Regulation Tables.

1. Table Notation. Land use regulation tables in Part 2 (Zoning Districts and Overlay Zones) establish permitted land uses within each zoning district. Notations within these tables have the following meanings:

a. Permitted Uses. A “P” means that a use is permitted by right in the zoning district and is not subject to discretionary review and approval.

b. Administrative Permit. An “A” means the use is permitted with the approval of an administrative permit.

c. Minor Use Permit. An “M” means that a use requires approval of a minor use permit.

d. Conditionally Permitted Uses. A “C” means that a use requires approval of a conditional use permit.

e. Uses Not Allowed. A “–” means that a use is not allowed in the zoning district.

2. Additional Permits. Notwithstanding subsection (C)(1) of this section, additional permits may be required beyond those identified in the land use regulation tables, including but not limited to design permits, coastal permits, and historic alteration permits.

D. Unlisted Land Uses. If a proposed land use is not listed in the zoning code, the use is not permitted except as follows:

1. An unlisted use is not permitted if the use is listed as a permitted use in one or more other zoning districts. In such a case, the absence of the use in the zoning district within the land use table means that the use is prohibited in the zoning district.

2. The community development director may determine that an unlisted proposed use is equivalent to a permitted or conditionally permitted use if all of the following findings can be made:

a. The use is similar to other uses allowed in the zoning district.

b. The density or intensity of the use is similar to other uses in the zoning district.

c. The use is compatible with permitted or conditionally permitted uses in the zoning district.

d. The use will meet the purpose of the zoning district.

e. The use is consistent with the goals and policies of the general plan and the local coastal program land use plan.

f. The use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare.

3. When the community development director determines that a proposed use is equivalent to a listed use, the proposed use shall be treated in the same manner as the listed use with respect to development standards, permits required, and all applicable requirements of the zoning code.

E. Zoning Map Boundaries. Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of zoning districts as shown on the zoning map, the following rules apply:

1. Boundaries shown as approximately following the centerlines of streets, highways, or alleys are construed to follow the centerlines.

2. Boundaries shown as approximately following platted lot lines are construed as following the lot lines.

3. Boundaries shown as approximately following city limits are construed as following city limits.

4. Boundaries shown following railroad lines are construed to be midway between the main tracks.

5. In unsubdivided property or where a zoning district boundary divides a parcel, the location of the boundary is determined by the use of the scale appearing on the zoning map.

6. In case further uncertainty exists, the community development director shall determine the exact location of the boundaries. The director’s decision may be appealed to the planning commission to determine the exact location of the boundaries.

F. Parcels Containing Two or More Zoning Districts.

1. For parcels containing two or more zoning districts (“split zoning”), the location of the zoning district boundary shall be determined by the community development director. The director’s decision may be appealed to the planning commission to determine the exact location of the boundaries.

2. For parcels containing two or more zoning districts, the regulations for each zoning district shall apply within the zoning district boundaries as identified on the zoning map. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.08.040 Procedures for interpretation/determinations. Revised 6/18

A. Request for Interpretation. The community development director shall respond in writing to written requests for interpretation of the zoning code if the requested interpretation would substantially clarify an ambiguity which interferes with the effective administration of the zoning code. The following procedures apply for a request for interpretation:

1. The request shall be in writing, shall identify the provision to be interpreted, and shall be accompanied by the fee identified in the latest fee schedule.

2. The request shall provide any information that the director requires to assist in its review.

3. The director shall respond to an interpretation request within thirty days of receiving the request.

B. Form and Content of Interpretation. Official interpretations prepared by the director shall be in writing, and shall quote the zoning code provisions being interpreted. The interpretation shall describe the circumstance that caused the need for the interpretation.

C. Official Record of Interpretations. An official record of interpretations shall be kept and updated regularly by the community development department. The record of interpretations shall be indexed by the number of the section that is the subject of the interpretation and made available for public inspection during normal business hours.

D. Referral to Planning Commission. The director may refer any request for interpretation of the zoning code to the planning commission for review and interpretation.

E. Appeals. Any official interpretation prepared by the director may be appealed to the planning commission. The planning commission’s interpretation may be appealed to the city council. Appeals shall be accompanied by the fee identified in the latest fee schedule.

F. Coastal Interpretations. An applicant may submit to the director a request for interpretation on coastal matters from the Coastal Commission Executive Director for the director to consider when making an official interpretation of the zoning code. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.08.050 Zoning code enforcement. Revised 6/18

Enforcement of the zoning code shall occur in a manner consistent with Title 4 (General Municipal Code Enforcement). (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)