Chapter 9.02


9.02.010    Purpose of chapter.

9.02.020    Rules of interpretation.

9.02.030    Procedures for interpretations.

9.02.010 Purpose of chapter.

This chapter provides rules for resolving questions about the meaning or applicability of any part of this Development Code. The provisions of this chapter are intended to ensure the consistent interpretation and application of the provisions of this Development Code, the General Plan, and applicable specific plans. (§ 2, Ord. 14-13, eff. October 8, 2014)

9.02.020 Rules of interpretation.

A.    Authority. The Planning and Development Services Director is assigned the responsibility and authority to interpret the requirements of this Development Code. The Director’s interpretations shall be appealable, first to the Commission and then to the Council, in compliance with Chapter 90 of this title (Appeals).

B.    Language.

1.    Abbreviated titles and phrases. For the purpose of brevity, the following phrases, personnel, and document titles are shortened hereafter in this Development Code. The City of Clovis is referred to as the “City.” The City of Clovis Development Code is referred to as “this or the Development Code.” The Planning and Development Services Director, or designee, is referred to as the “Director,” the Planning and Development Services Department is referred to as the “Department,” the City Council is referred to as the “Council,” the Planning Commission is referred to as the “Commission.” “Buildings and structures” are referred to hereafter as “structures.”

2.    Terminology. When used in this Development Code, the words “shall,” “must,” “will,” “is to,” and “are to” are always mandatory. “Should” is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended; and “may” is permissive. The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present. The singular number includes the plural number, and the plural the singular, unless the natural construction of the word indicates otherwise. The words “includes” and “including” shall mean “including but not limited to...”

3.    Number of days. Whenever a number of days is specified in this Development Code, or in any permit, condition of approval, or notice issued or given as provided in this Development Code, the number of days shall be construed as calendar days. Time limits will extend to the following working day where the last of the specified number of days falls on a weekend or holiday when the Department is normally closed for business.

4.    Minimum requirements. When interpreting and applying the regulations of this Development Code, all provisions shall be considered to be minimum requirements, unless stated otherwise (e.g., height limits and site coverage requirements for structures, and the numbers and size of signs allowed are maximums, not minimums).

5.    State law requirements. Where this Development Code references applicable provisions of State law (e.g., the California Government Code, Subdivision Map Act, Public Resources Code, etc.), the reference shall be construed to be to the applicable State law provisions as they may be amended from time to time.

C.    Zone Map boundaries. If there is uncertainty about the location of any zoning district boundary shown on the official Zone Map, the following rules are to be used in resolving the uncertainty:

1.    Parcel, street, and alley lines. Where district boundaries approximately follow parcel, alley, or street lines, the parcel lines and street and alley centerlines shall be construed as the district boundaries;

2.    Zone Map scale. If a district boundary divides a parcel and the boundary line location is not specified by distances printed on the Zone Map, the location of the boundary will be determined by using the scale appearing on the Zone Map and, if available, metes and bounds descriptions contained in the specific rezoning actions;

3.    Vacated street or alley. Where a public street or alley is officially vacated or abandoned, the property that was formerly in the street or alley will be included within the zoning district of the adjoining property on either side of the centerline of the vacated or abandoned street or alley; and

4.    If uncertainty occurs due to a street realignment or similar circumstance, a determination of the zone district boundary shall be made by the Director.

D.    Allowable uses of land. If a proposed use of land is not specifically listed in this division (Zoning Districts, Allowable Land Uses, and Zone-Specific Standards), the use shall not be allowed, except as follows:

1.    Similar uses allowed. The Director may determine that a proposed use that is not listed in this division is allowable if the proposed use is substantially the same in character and intensity as those listed in this division. The use is subject to the permit process that governs the category in which it falls.

2.    Applicable standards and permit requirements. When the Director determines that a proposed, but unlisted, use is similar to a listed use, the proposed use will be treated in the same manner as the listed use in determining where it is allowed, what permits are required, and what other standards and requirements of this Development Code apply.

3.    Commission determination. The Director may forward questions about similar uses directly to the Commission for a determination.

E.    Conflicting requirements:

1.    Development Code and Municipal Code provisions. If conflicts occur between requirements of this Development Code, or between this Development Code and other regulations of the City, the most restrictive shall apply.

2.    Development agreements or specific plans. When conflicts occur between the requirements of this Development Code and standards adopted as part of a development agreement or specific plan, the requirements of the development agreement or specific plan shall apply.

3.    Private agreements. This Development Code applies to all land uses and development regardless of whether it imposes a greater or lesser restriction on the development or use of structures or land than a private agreement or restriction, without affecting the applicability of the private agreement or restriction. The City shall not enforce private covenants or agreements unless it is a party to the covenant or agreement. (§ 2, Ord. 14-13, eff. October 8, 2014)

9.02.030 Procedures for interpretations.

Whenever the Director determines that the meaning or applicability of the requirements of this Development Code are subject to interpretation generally or as applied to a specific case, the Director may issue an official interpretation. Interpretations may also be requested in compliance with this section.

A.    Request for interpretation. A request shall be written, specifically state the provision(s) in question, and provide information to assist in their review.

B.    Record of interpretations.

1.    Official interpretations shall be:

a.    Contents of interpretations. In writing, and shall quote the provisions of this Development Code being interpreted, and explain their meaning or applicability in the particular or general circumstances that caused the need for interpretation; and

b.    Distribution of interpretations. Distributed to the Council, Commission, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Department staff.

2.    Amendment of Development Code. Provisions of this Development Code that are determined by the Director to need refinement or revision should be corrected by amending this Development Code as soon as is practical. Until amendments can occur, the Director will maintain a record of official interpretations, available for public review, and indexed by the number of the section that is the subject of the interpretation.

C.    Appeals and referral. Interpretations of this Development Code by the Director shall be appealable, first to the Commission and then to the Council, in compliance with Chapter 90 of this title (Appeals). The Director may also refer interpretations to the Commission for a determination. (§ 2, Ord. 14-13, eff. October 8, 2014)