Division VIII. Administration

Chapter 18.500


18.500.010    Purpose.

18.500.020    Notice of public hearing.

18.500.030    Scheduling of public hearing.

18.500.040    Exception to required public hearing.

18.500.050    Hearing procedures.

18.500.060    Review authority, notice of decision, and findings.

18.500.070    Recommendation by planning commission.

18.500.080    Effective date of decision.

18.500.010 Purpose.

This chapter establishes procedures for public hearings before the zoning administrator, planning commission, and city council. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1163].

18.500.020 Notice of public hearing.

When a planning permit or other matter requires a public hearing, the public shall be provided notice of the hearing in compliance with Government Code Sections 65090, 65091, 65094, and 66451.3, and Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq., and as required by this chapter.

A. Contents. A notice of a public hearing shall include:

1. Hearing Information. The date, time, and place of the hearing, the name of the review authority, a brief description of the city’s general procedures concerning the conduct of hearings and decisions (e.g., the public’s right to appear and be heard), and the phone number and street address of the planning division where an interested person may call or visit to obtain additional information.

2. Project Information. The name of the project, associated permit types and numbers, and a general explanation of the matter to be considered, the address and assessor parcel number of the property that is the subject of the hearing, and the general plan and zoning designations.

3. Statement on Environmental Document. A statement that the review authority will consider approval of a proposed negative declaration or certification of a final environmental impact report, if either document has been prepared for the project in compliance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the city’s environmental review procedures.

B. Method of Notice Distribution.

1. Mailed Notice. Notice shall be mailed or delivered at least 10 calendar days before the scheduled hearing to:

a. The property owner and applicant of the proposed project, or the owner’s agent and the applicant.

b. Local agencies that are expected to provide services such as schools, water, or other essential facilities to the project whose ability to provide the facilities and services could be affected.

c. All property owners and renters of the real property shown on the latest equalized assessment roll within a radius of the exterior boundaries of the parcel that is the subject of the hearing, as follows:

Table 18.500.020

Public Hearing Notice Distribution 

Type of Notice

Distance Requirement

General Plan Amendment

500 feet


500 feet

Development Agreement

500 feet

Planned Development Use Permit

500 feet

Major Subdivision

500 feet

Use Permit

300 feet

Hillside Development Use Permit

300 feet

Certificate of Appropriateness (Historic Preservation)

300 feet

Minor Subdivision

300 feet

Minor Use Permit

300 feet

Finding of Public Convenience and Necessity

300 feet


300 feet

Large Family Day Care Home(1)

100 feet

Minor Exception

100 feet

(1)    Per CDC 18.200.050(B)(2), Large Family Day Care Home (Seven to 14 Children).

d. Any person requesting notice who had filed a written request for same with the planning division and has paid the fee established by the city’s fee schedule for the notice.

2. Additional Notice Required. In addition to the mailed notice as required in subsection (B)(1) of this section, at least 10 days prior to the hearing, the notice shall also be:

a. Published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the city; and

b. Posted at the subject site by the applicant in a clearly visible location on each frontage of the property. The posting of the signs shall not be required where a general plan, rezoning, or zoning amendment is initiated by the city and affects multiple ownerships (see subsection (B)(3) of this section); and

c. Posted at the city.

3. Alternative to Mailed Notice. If the number of property owners to whom notice would be mailed in compliance with subsection (B)(1) of this section is more than 1,000, the planning division may instead provide alternative notice by placing a display advertisement of at least one-eighth page in a newspaper of general circulation as allowed by Government Code Section 65091(a)(3).

4. Additional Optional Notice. In addition to the types of notice required herein, the planning division may provide additional notice with an alternative distribution method as deemed necessary or desirable (e.g., use of a greater mailing radius, use of the Internet, etc.).

C. Notice for Continued Public Hearings. As determined by the planning division or as required by the planning commission, notice for continued public hearing items may be:

1. Announced at a previous public hearing to a specific date, time, and location which shall constitute the required notification for the future public hearing; or

2. Mailed and posted at the site pursuant to subsections (B)(1) and (2) of this section; or

3. Other notice as determined by the review authority. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1164].

18.500.030 Scheduling of public hearing.

After the completion of environmental document as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and any adopted city environmental review procedures, the matter shall be scheduled for public hearing on a zoning administrator, planning commission, or city council agenda (as applicable). [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1165].

18.500.040 Exception to required public hearing.

A. Notice. For minor exceptions, minor use permits, and variances that are deemed minor, non-impacting, and noncontroversial which typically require a public hearing, the planning division may instead provide notice stating that the planning division will decide whether to approve or disapprove the application on a date specified in the notice and that a public hearing will only be held by the zoning administrator if requested in writing by an interested person prior to the specified date for the decision. If a public hearing is not requested, the planning division may approve the application without holding a public hearing.

B. Zoning Administrator Hearing. When a public hearing is requested, the zoning administrator shall hold a public hearing in compliance with this chapter, prior to making a decision on the application. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1166].

18.500.050 Hearing procedures.

A. Conduct of Hearing. A hearing shall be held at the date, time, and place for which notice was given.

B. Testimony. The review authority shall hear testimony regarding the subject application from any person, either individually or as a representative of a person or an organization.

C. Time Limits. The review authority may establish time limits for individual testimony and may require that individuals with shared concerns select one or more spokespersons to present testimony on behalf of those individuals.

D. Continuance. A hearing may be continued from time-to-time, without further notice, provided the review authority announces the date, time, and place to which the hearing will be continued before the adjournment or recess of the hearing.

E. Deferral of Final Decision. The review authority may announce a tentative decision and defer its action on a final decision until appropriate findings and/or conditions of approval have been prepared. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1167].

18.500.060 Review authority, notice of decision, and findings.

Once the zoning administrator, planning commission, or city council has approved, approved with conditions, modified, revoked, or denied any discretionary planning permit under the development code, a notice of final decision and findings of fact shall be issued.

A. Decision. The review authority shall announce and record its decision on the matter being considered at the conclusion of a scheduled hearing or defer action and continue the matter to a later meeting in compliance with CDC 18.500.050 (Hearing procedures).

B. Zoning Administrator Referral. May take appropriate action or instead refer the matter to the planning commission for a determination. A referral will require a new notice of public hearing for the planning commission hearing in compliance with this chapter.

C. City Council Decision. The decision of the city council on any matter is final.

D. Findings of Fact. Findings, when required by state law or the development code, shall be based upon consideration of the application, plans, testimony, reports, and other materials that constitute the administrative record and shall be stated in writing in the resolution or zoning order as approved by the review authority.

E. Notice of Final Decision.

1. Within 10 calendar days of a decision on an application for a planning permit or other approval, the city shall provide notice to the applicant and to any person who specifically requested notice of the city’s final action.

2. The notice of the final decision shall contain applicable findings, conditions of approval, and reporting/monitoring requirements deemed necessary to mitigate any impacts and protect the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of the city and the procedures for an appeal of a zoning administrator or planning commission decision. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1168].

18.500.070 Recommendation by planning commission.

A. At the conclusion of a public hearing on a legislative action (e.g., general plan, rezoning, or development code amendment), development agreement, or specific plan, the planning commission shall forward a written recommendation, including all required findings, to the city council for final action.

B. Following the hearing, a copy of the planning commission’s recommendation shall be mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1169].

18.500.080 Effective date of decision.

A. The approval of an administrative permit, minor exception, design review, site development permit, sign permit, variance, minor or major use permit, planned development use permit, minor or major subdivision, hillside development use permit, certificate of appropriateness, or other decision of the zoning administrator or planning commission shall become effective on the eleventh calendar day following the date the decision is rendered by the appropriate review authority, if no appeal is filed. If an appeal is filed in compliance with Chapter 18.510 CDC (Appeals and Calls for Review), the date the review authority makes the final decision shall be the effective date of decision.

B. City Council Decision.

1. Permit or Appeal. A permit application or appeal shall become effective immediately on the date the final determination is rendered by the city council.

2. General Plan Amendment. A general plan amendment shall become effective on the thirty-first day following the adoption of a resolution by the city council.

3. Zoning Map or Development Code Amendment. A zoning map or development code amendment shall become effective on the thirty-first day following the adoption of an ordinance by the city council. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-1170].