Division II. Zoning DistrictsUses and Standards

Chapter 18.25


18.25.010    Purpose.

18.25.020    General requirements for development and land use.

18.25.030    Allowable land uses and permit requirements.

18.25.040    Planned district (PD) zoning district.

18.25.050    Exemptions from planning permit requirements.

18.25.060    Repealed.

18.25.070    Temporary uses.

18.25.010 Purpose.

This chapter describes the city’s general requirements for the approval of proposed development and land uses. The permit requirements established by the development code are in Division VII of this title (Permits and Permit Procedures). [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-52].

18.25.020 General requirements for development and land use.

Each land use and/or structure shall be established, constructed, reconstructed, altered, moved, or replaced in compliance with the following requirements:

A. Allowable Uses. The use must be allowed in the district applicable to the site. The basis for determining whether a use is allowed is described in CDC 18.25.030 (Allowable land uses and permit requirements).

B. Permit and Approval Requirements. Any planning permit or other approval required by CDC 18.25.030 (Allowable land uses and permit requirements) shall be obtained before the issuance of any required grading, building, or other construction permit, and before the proposed use is constructed or otherwise established or put into operation, unless the proposed use is listed in CDC 18.25.050 (Exemptions from planning permit requirements).

C. Development Standards, Conditions of Approval. Each use and structure shall comply with the development standards in this chapter, Division IV (Development Standards) and Division V (Standards for Specific Uses) of this title, and any applicable conditions of approval imposed by a new or previously approved permit.

D. Legal Parcel. The site of a proposed development or use shall be on a legally created parcel that is either in compliance with the Subdivision Map Act and the city’s subdivision ordinance or was otherwise legally created prior to the Subdivision Map Act. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-53].

18.25.030 Allowable land uses and permit requirements.

A. Allowable Land Uses. The uses allowed by the development code in each district are listed in Chapters 18.30 through 18.60 CDC, in Tables 18.30.020, 18.35.020, 18.40.020, 18.45.020, 18.50.020, 18.55.020, and 18.60.020 with the type of planning permit (Division VII of this title, Permits and Permit Procedures) required for each use. Each use listed in the tables is described in CDC 18.20.020 (Use classifications).

1. Establishment of New Uses.

a. Any one or more uses identified by Tables 18.30.020 through 18.60.020 as allowable within a specific district may be established on any parcel within that district, subject to the planning permit requirements of subsection (B) of this section and compliance with all applicable requirements of the development code.

b. Where two or more uses are proposed on a single parcel as allowed in Tables 18.30.020 through 18.60.020 for that district, the overall project is subject to the highest permit level required by the planning permit in subsection (B) of this section for any individual use.

2. Uses Not Listed. A use that is not listed in Tables 18.30.020 through 18.60.020 and is determined by the planning division to not be included in CDC 18.20.020 (Use classifications) as a listed land use, is not allowed within the city, except as otherwise provided in subsection (A)(3) of this section, or CDC 18.25.050 (Exemptions from planning permit requirements).

3. Similar and Compatible Uses May Be Allowed. The planning division may determine that a proposed use which is not listed in Chapter 18.20 CDC is allowable as follows:

a. Required Findings. The planning division may determine that a proposed use is similar to and compatible to a listed use and, therefore, may be allowed after first making all of the following findings:

i. The characteristics of, and activities associated with, the use are similar to one or more of the listed uses and will not involve a greater intensity (such as increased traffic, noise, hours of operation, number of employees, outside storage, etc.) than the uses listed in the district;

ii. The use will be consistent with the purposes of the applicable district;

iii. The use will be consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan and all development and planning permit requirements;

iv. The use will be compatible with the other uses allowed in the district; and

v. The use is not listed in another district.

b. Applicable Standards and Permit Requirements. When the planning division determines that an unlisted use qualifies as a “similar use,” the proposed use shall be allowed in the same districts as the listed use and subject to the permit requirements listed in Tables 18.30.020 through 18.60.020. If the listed use is allowed with a zoning clearance, an administrative permit shall be required and findings supporting the determination shall be documented in the approval.

c. Referral for Determination. The planning division may refer the determination of whether a proposed use qualifies as a similar and compatible use directly to the planning commission for a determination at a public meeting.

d. Appeal. A determination of similar and compatible use may be appealed in compliance with Chapter 18.510 CDC (Appeals and Calls for Review).

B. Permit Requirements. Tables 18.30.020 through 18.60.020 in Chapters 18.30 through 18.60 CDC specify the type of permit or approval for each allowable use. Permit or approvals include:

1. Zoning Clearance. Use is permitted subject to compliance with all applicable provisions of the development code, subject to obtaining a zoning clearance (Chapter 18.410 CDC), and shown as “ZC” in the tables. A zoning clearance is a stamp, signature, or other official notation on approved plans, business license or similar.

2. Administrative Permit. Use is allowed subject to approval of an administrative permit (Chapter 18.420 CDC), and shown as “AP” in the tables (staff approval).

3. Minor Use Permit. Use is allowed subject to the approval of a minor use permit (Chapter 18.435 CDC), and shown as “MP” uses in the tables (zoning administrator approval).

4. Use Permit. Use is allowed subject to the approval of a use permit (Chapter 18.435 CDC), and shown as “UP” uses in the tables (planning commission approval).

5. Not Allowed. Not allowed in particular districts, and shown as “–” in the tables or not shown in the list of uses for any district.

C. Additional Requirements.

1. Uses with a section number referenced under “Additional Requirements” are subject to the specific requirements in Division V of this title (Standards for Specific Uses).

2. Uses authorized with the approval of a planning permit may also require design and site development review (Chapter 18.415 CDC), a building permit, or other permit, as required by the Concord Municipal Code (CMC).

D. Footnotes. Uses that specify a permit type followed by a footnote are allowed, subject to the footnote limitation. The footnote numbering always contains the same limitation whenever used throughout the tables, for example, “(1) Not allowed on properties directly facing Todos Santos Plaza or on the ground floor for properties not facing Todos Santos Plaza” is used whenever applicable to that specific requirement. The footnote (1) will not be used to reference any other provision. The footnotes listed at the end of each table are specific to the footnotes referenced within that table. Not all footnotes are applicable to every table. The standard footnotes are as follows:

1. All Allowed Uses and Permit Requirements (Tables 18.30.020, 18.35.020, 18.40.020, 18.45.020, and 18.50.020) Footnotes.

(1) Not allowed on ground floor.

(2) Allowed on upper floors subject to use permit approval.

(3) Allowed to occupy up to 20 percent gross floor area of shopping center.

(4) Outdoor sales, activities, or storage allowed in side or rear yards when enclosed by an eight-foot-tall masonry wall, and the materials do not exceed wall height.

(5) No outdoor facilities, storage, or activities are allowed.

(6) Allowed if occupying less than 80,000 square feet of gross floor area.

(7) Allowed on ground floor, subject to a minor use permit approval.

(8) Allowed on upper floors, subject to an administrative permit approval.

(9) Requires a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet.

(10) Allowed with residential use only.

2. All Development Standards (Tables 18.30.030, 18.30.040, 18.35.030(B), 18.40.030, 18.45.030 and 18.50.030) Footnotes.

(1) Additional requirements may apply pursuant to Division IV (Development Standards) and Division V (Standards for Specific Uses) of this title.

(2) Unless otherwise approved through a planned unit development (PUD) use permit.

(3) Measured from property line or back of sidewalk (whichever is less) to the face of building or structure.

(4) In no case shall any structure be erected closer than 45 feet (50 feet in RR-40) from the centerline of any street; provided, that where four or more lots in a block on the same side of the street have been improved with buildings, the minimum requirement shall be the average of improved lots if less than 20 feet, or less than 25 feet in RR-20, or less than 30 feet in RR-40.

(5) Minimum for each side.

(6) Standard does not apply to small, independent parcels corresponding to individual dwellings within a larger multifamily residential, mixed-use, or townhome development.

(7) Parking structures are included within the FAR calculation, unless located below grade. For structures only partially above grade, the portion above ground level will be calculated towards the floor area ratio. Refer to the parking ordinance.

(8) Projects outside of minimum and maximum FAR range may be allowed subject to use permit approval.

(9) For residential uses five to 10 feet, with at least 50 percent of facade at 10 feet.

(10) For residential uses, minimum of 10 feet.

(11) Setback area shall be paved for public use if needed for a wider public sidewalk. Two of the five feet may be landscaped.

(12) Corner lots adjacent to an R or NTS district, corner side yard shall be minimum 10 feet. Where side or rear lot line abuts a lot in an R or NTS district, the minimum side or rear yard shall be the same as required in abutting R or NTS district.

(13) Height shall comply with Contra Costa County airport land use plan. See Chapter 18.100 CDC, Airport Overlay (A).

E. New Tenants in Existing Buildings. New tenants in existing multi-tenant office buildings, multi-tenant buildings in business parks, multi-tenant shopping centers, and multi-tenant office buildings and commercial buildings in the WMX, DMX, and DP districts shall be allowed with a zoning clearance when replacing a use in the same or similar use classification as listed in Chapter 18.20 CDC, Article I (Use Classifications). Other requirements for design and site development review and property upgrades may apply, as required by the development code. [Ord. 13-5; Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-54].

18.25.040 Planned district (PD) zoning district.

As of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, no development shall be approved using the planned district (PD) zoning district. Existing residential development approved in the planned district zoning district shall retain the (PD) zoning designation until and unless the property is redeveloped. The purpose of the planned district was to provide for development and site design which better responded to unique environmental conditions in furtherance of the general plan by permitting varied setbacks, diverse lot sizes, and other variations to the residential development standards. The development standards were established with the approval of a preliminary development plan by the city council. However, many of the preliminary development plans for residential planned district development and/or their subsequent use permit approval did not provide a sufficient written record to document the development standards and guide the approval of changes to properties over time. Where no record of development standards exists for a specific residential planned district, Table 18.30.030, RR and RS Districts Development Standards, and Table 18.30.040, RL, RM, RH Districts Development Standards, shall be used to determine lot coverage, setbacks and building height by using the area of the subject lot to determine the equivalent zoning category. For those residential planned districts which do include a written record of development standards, those conditions of approval shall remain in effect. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-55].

18.25.050 Exemptions from planning permit requirements.

The planning permit requirements of the development code do not apply to the uses, structures, and activities identified below. These are allowed in all districts, subject to compliance with this section.

A. General Requirement for Exemption. The uses, structures, and activities identified by subsection (B) of this section are exempt from the permit requirements of the development code only when the use, activity, or structure is established and operated in compliance with the setback requirements, height limits, parking requirements, and all other applicable standards of CDC 18.25.030 (Allowable land uses and permit requirements), Chapter 18.150 CDC (General Development Standards), Division V of this title (Standards for Specific Uses) and where applicable, Chapter 18.530 CDC (Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Parcels).

B. Exempt Uses and Improvements. The following improvements are exempt from the planning permit requirements of the development code when in compliance with subsection (A) of this section:

1. Decks, Paths, and Driveways. Decks under 18 inches in height, paved pathways, and driveways, which do not require a building permit, grading permit, or encroachment permit.

2. Residential Fences and Walls. Fences up to six feet in height and retaining walls up to three feet in height, in accordance with CDC 18.150.040 (Fences and walls).

3. Interior Remodeling. Interior alterations that do not: (a) increase the gross floor area of the structure; (b) increase the number of dwelling units; (c) increase the number of bedrooms to the extent that additional parking would be required; or (d) change the permitted use of the structure.

4. Repairs and Maintenance.

a. Single-Family Dwellings. Ordinary repairs to, and maintenance of, single-family dwellings, that are also exempt from design and site development review (Chapter 18.415 CDC, Design and Site Review).

b. Multifamily and Nonresidential Structures. Ordinary repairs to, and maintenance of, multifamily residential and nonresidential structures, if:

i. The work does not change the approved use of the site or structure, or add to, enlarge, or expand the use and/or structures;

ii. Any exterior repairs employ the same materials and design as the original construction; and

iii. The work is exempt from design and site development review (Chapter 18.415 CDC).

5. Small Residential Accessory Structures. Small structures limited to premanufactured storage sheds, garden structures, and similar small structures in residential districts that are exempt from building permit requirements in compliance with the Concord Municipal Code and the Uniform Building Code. Additional structures may be approved in compliance with Division IV (Development Standards) and Division V (Standards for Specific Uses) of this title where allowed by the applicable district.

6. Solar Collectors. The addition of solar collectors to the roof or side of a building; and ground-mounted solar collectors; provided, that the collectors comply with the applicable setback requirements and height limitations.

7. Utilities. The erection, construction, alteration, or maintenance of utilities intended to service existing or nearby approved development by a public utility or public agency shall be permitted in any district. This includes water, gas, electric, supply or disposal systems, including wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire-alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, etc., but not including new transmission lines and structures. Satellite and wireless communications facilities are not exempt, and are subject to Chapter 18.205 CDC (Wireless Communications Facilities for New and Substantially Changed Facilities) and Chapter 18.207 CDC (Wireless Communications Facilities for Eligible Facilities Requests). [Ord. 17-11 § 3 (Exh. 11); Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-56].

18.25.060 Prohibited uses.

Repealed by Ord. 18-3. [Ord. 17-13 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 13-1; Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-57].

18.25.070 Temporary uses.

Requirements for establishing a temporary use (for example, a construction yard, seasonal sales lot, special event, temporary office trailer, etc.) are in CDC 18.200.200 (Temporary uses and structures). [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-58].