Chapter 17.62
PERMIT REVIEW AND DECISIONS

Sections:

17.62.010    Purpose.

17.62.020    Zoning clearance.

17.62.030    Limited term permit.

17.62.040    Design review.

17.62.050    Use permit and minor use permit.

17.62.060    Variance and minor variance.

17.62.010 Purpose.

A. Permit Review Procedures. This chapter provides procedures for the final review, and approval or disapproval of the planning permit applications established by this land use code.

B. Subdivision Review Procedures. Procedures and standards for the review and approval of subdivision maps are found in Article 7 (Subdivisions) of this title.

C. Application Filing and Initial Processing. Where applicable, the procedures of this chapter are carried out after those described in Chapter 17.60 (Permit Application Filing and Processing) of this title, for each application. (Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).

17.62.020 Zoning clearance.

A. Purpose. Zoning clearance is the procedure used by the city to verify that a proposed structure or land use is allowed in the applicable zoning district, and that the project complies with all applicable requirements of this land use code.

B. Applicability. Where Article 2 (Community and Project Design) of this title or other provision of this land use code requires a zoning clearance as a prerequisite to establishing a land use, the zoning clearance shall be required at the time of department review of any building, grading, or other construction permit, or other authorization required by this land use code for the proposed use.

C. Review and Approval. The director shall issue the zoning clearance after determining that the request complies with all land use code provisions applicable to the proposed use. An approval may be in the form of a stamp, city staff signature, or other official notation on approved plans, a letter to the applicant, or other certification, at the discretion of the director. (Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).

17.62.030 Limited term permit.

A. Purpose. This section establishes procedures for the granting of limited term permits for short-term activities.

B. Applicability. A limited term permit allows the short-term activities listed in subsection E of this section, that may not comply with the normal development or use standards of the applicable zoning district, but may otherwise be acceptable because of their temporary nature. This section does not apply to weekly or otherwise frequently recurring farmers markets, which are instead subject to use permit approval as required by Section 17.22.020, Table 2-3 (Allowable Land Uses) of this title.

C. Review Authority. A limited term permit may be approved or denied by the director, in compliance with this section.

D. Exempt Temporary Uses and Activities. The following temporary uses and activities are allowed without obtaining a limited term permit. Temporary activities that do not fall within the following categories shall comply with subsection E of this section:

1. Emergency Facilities. Temporary facilities to accommodate emergency public health and safety needs and activities;

2. Garage Sales. Garage sales, not to exceed three per year, and two consecutive days for each sale;

3. Public Property, or Public Right-of-Way. Activities conducted on public property that are approved by the council or as otherwise required by the municipal code;

4. Fund-Raising Car Washes. Fund-raising car washes, not to exceed six per year, on property within a commercial or industrial zone, or on institutional property;

5. Tents and Similar Temporary Structures. A tent or similar temporary structure, provided that it is located on a site for a maximum of seventy-two consecutive hours, by the end of which it shall be entirely removed from the site. No site shall have a tent or similar temporary structure more than two times per year.

E. Temporary Uses Allowed with a Limited Term Permit. A limited term permit may authorize the following temporary activities within the specified time limits, but in no event for more than twelve months. Other temporary or short-term activities that do not fall within the categories defined below shall instead comply with the planning permit requirements and development standards that otherwise apply to the property.

1. Events. Arts and crafts exhibits, carnivals, circuses, concerts, fairs, festivals, flea markets, food events, outdoor entertainment/sporting events, rodeos, rummage and second hand sales, and swap meets for up to seven consecutive days, or six three-day weekends, within a twelve-month period, allowed only on property within the CE, CG, CD, SPD, CI, IG, and PF zoning districts.

2. Location Filming. The temporary use of a specific site for the location filming of commercials, movies, videos, etc., for the time specified by the director, but not to exceed twelve months.

3. Model Homes and Temporary Real Estate Sales Offices. One or more model homes within a subdivision, including a temporary real estate sales office, may be authorized prior to the completion of a multifamily residential project and/or residential subdivision in compliance with the following standards:

a. A paved, off-street parking lot with two spaces per model home unit, handicapped parking in compliance with Section 17.36.060 (Disabled/handicapped parking requirements) of this title, and landscaping shall be provided. The review authority may allow the use of on-street parking in lieu of a parking lot where it is demonstrated that two spaces per model home can be accommodated immediately in front of the model home; no parking spaces will be located in front of an occupied residence; and handicapped accessibility to the sales office in compliance with Section 17.36.060 of this title will be maintained.

b. Individual utility connections shall be provided to each model home.

c. The sales office, any structure not incompliance with applicable setback requirements, and any off-street parking shall be converted back to residential use and/or removed prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or within fourteen days from the sale of the last lot in the subdivision, whichever occurs first.

d. Landscape and irrigation plans shall be reviewed as part of the limited term permit, and all model home landscaping shall comply with Chapter 17.34 (Landscaping Standards) of this title. No irrigation shall cross a property line.

e. The model home or temporary real estate office shall be used only to sell units within the subdivision within which model home is located.

f. All required permits (e.g., tentative map, hillside development permit, grading permit, etc.) shall be secured prior to commencing any work.

4. Seasonal Sales Lots. Seasonal sales activities (e.g., Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) including temporary residence/security trailers, on nonresidential properties, for up to thirty-five days.

5. Similar Temporary Activities. A temporary activity that the review authority determines is similar to the other activities listed in this subsection, and compatible with the applicable zoning district and surrounding land uses.

F. Development Standards. The review authority shall establish the following standards based on the type of temporary use, using the requirements of the applicable zoning district and Articles 2 and 3 for guidance:

1. Access, floor areas, heights, landscaping, off-street parking, setbacks, signs, utilities, and other structure and property development improvements and features;

2. Measures for removal of the activity and site restoration, to ensure that changes to the site do not limit the range of possible future land uses otherwise allowed by this land use code; and

3. Limitation on the duration of approved “temporary structures,” to a maximum of one year, so that they shall not become permanent or long-term structures.

G. Application Filing and Processing. An application for a limited term permit shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 17.60 (Permit Application Filing and Processing) of this title. It is the responsibility of the applicant to establish evidence in support of the findings required by subsection I of this chapter.

H. Project Review, Notice and Hearing. Each application shall be reviewed by the director to ensure that the proposal complies with all applicable requirements of this land use code.

1. Public Notice. Prior to a decision on a limited term permit, the city shall provide notice of a public hearing in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title. The notice shall state that the director will decide whether to approve or deny the limited term permit application on a date specified in the notice, and that a public hearing will be held only if requested in writing by any interested person prior to the specified date for the decision.

2. Hearing. When a hearing is requested, notice of the hearing shall be provided in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title, and the commission shall conduct the public hearing prior to a decision on the application in compliance with Chapter 17.88 of this title.

I. Findings and Decision. A limited term permit may be approved only after the review authority first finds that the requested activity complies with the development standards in subsection F of this section, and therefore, that the establishment, maintenance, or operation of the temporary activity would not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the proposed activity.

J. Post Approval Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.64, Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions, and those related to appeals in Chapter 17.84, Appeals, shall apply following the decision on a limited term permit application.

1. Condition of the Site Following Temporary Activity. Each site occupied by a temporary activity shall be cleaned of debris, litter, and other evidence of the temporary activity on completion or removal of the activity, and shall thereafter be used in compliance with the provisions of this land use code.

2. Performance Security for Temporary Structures. Prior to issuance of a limited term permit the applicant shall provide performance security in a form and amount acceptable to the review authority to guarantee removal of all temporary structures, cleanup and restoration of the site within thirty days following the expiration of the limited term permit. (Ord. 823 § 2(C) Exh. C (part), 2009; Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).

17.62.040 Design review.

A. Purpose. Design review is intended to:

1. Ensure that the design of proposed development assists in maintaining and enhancing the city’s small-town character;

2. Ensure that new structures enhance their sites and are compatible with the highest standards of improvement in the surrounding neighborhood;

3. Retain and strengthen the visual quality and attractive character of the community;

4. Ensure that new structures and site planning promote energy conservation;

5. Ensure that proposed landscaping emphasizes native species;

6. Ensure that site planning contributes to an efficient and interconnected system of streets and pedestrian ways throughout the community;

7. Assist project developers in understanding the city’s concerns for the aesthetics of development; and

8. Ensure that development complies with all applicable city standards and guidelines, and does not adversely affect community aesthetics or natural resources.

B. Applicability. Design review approval shall be required for each project requiring the approval of a building permit, subdivision map, and/or a planning permit, that involves construction, alteration of site or landscaping design, or other similar action affecting the functional or aesthetic qualities of land or structures, except that design review shall not be required for the following:

1. A project or action determined by the commission or council to be properly exempt from design review; and

2. A subdivision map or lot line adjustment that creates four or fewer parcels.

A subdivision of five or more parcels shall require design review for each parcel, including the review of each proposed structure, which shall be conducted for all parcels in the subdivision at the same time. This design review may follow subdivision approval, but shall occur for all parcels prior to the issuance of the first building permit for construction on any parcel within the subdivision.

C. Review Authority. The director shall have the authority for design review for a single-family dwelling on one lot, that is not being constructed in conjunction with two or more dwellings in the same subdivision by the same applicant or developer. Design review for all other projects shall be by the commission, based on a recommendation from design review administration, or as necessary the director, for project approval, approval with modifications, or denial.

D. Application Filing and Processing. An application shall be prepared, filed, and processed in compliance with Chapter 17.60 (Permit Application Filing and Processing). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection G of this section. An application for design review shall be filed with the city prior to, or at the same time as, the application for any other planning permit or subdivision approval required by the city for the project.

E. Design Review Procedure. When design review is required by this section, preliminary and final design review shall be obtained as follows, prior to the issuance of a building permit:

1. Preliminary Design Review.

a. When Required. Preliminary design review is required for each proposed project as provided by subsection B of this section, except for one single-family dwelling on an individual parcel not being constructed in conjunction with two or more dwellings by the same developer in the same subdivision. (An applicant that is otherwise not required to have preliminary design review may choose to request preliminary design review.)

b. Issues to Be Considered. Preliminary design review shall consider site planning and design, building architecture, landscaping, pedestrian and vehicle access and circulation, energy and resource conservation, solid waste, and other issues determined by the review authority to be related to site planning and building architecture.

c. Form of Review. Preliminary design review shall be in the form of a recommendation on the project by the design review administration to the commission.

2. Final Design Review.

a. When Required. Final design review is required for each proposed project as provided by subsection B of this section. Final design review shall be initiated by the applicant only after the completion of commission or council review of any required planning permit.

b. Issues to Be Considered. Final design review shall consider detailed landscaping and irrigation plans, outdoor lighting, exterior materials and colors, exterior site furniture, proposed signs, trash enclosures, and other topics of concern determined by the review authority to be related to those issues.

3. Effect of Approval. A proposed project shall be developed exactly as shown in the plans that were granted design review approval, unless modifications are processed in the same manner as the original approval. The director may permit minor technical modifications that do not affect the overall design or intent, in compliance with Section 17.64.090 (Changes to an approved project).

4. Final Approval Authority. The commission shall have final approval authority, and may refer any aspect of their design review to the design review administration for its recommendation.

F. Project Review Criteria. The review authority shall evaluate each proposed project to ensure that the project:

1. Complies with this section;

2. Provides architectural design, building massing and scale appropriate to and compatible with the site surroundings and the community;

3. Provides attractive and desirable site layout and design, including building arrangement, exterior appearance and setbacks, drainage, fences and walls, grading, landscaping, lighting, signs, etc.;

4. Provides efficient, safe, and visually attractive public access, circulation and parking;

5. Provides appropriate open space and landscaping, including the use of water-efficient landscaping, and native plants where appropriate;

6. Addresses site planning design considerations related to city services, traffic flows and patterns, and environmental conditions in a manner that ensures maximum aesthetic cohesiveness;

7. Is consistent with the general plan and applicable specific plans; and

8. Complies with any applicable city design guidelines, design standards, and/or design review policies.

G. Findings and Decision. The review authority shall approve or deny an application for design review approval concurrently with the approval or disapproval of any other planning permit required for the project. Design review approval shall require that the review authority first find that the project, as proposed or with changes resulting from the review process and/or conditions of approval, will comply with all project review criteria in subsection F of this section.

H. Conditions of Approval. The review authority may require any reasonable conditions of approval to ensure that the project will comply with the findings required by subsection G of this section.

I. Post Approval Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.64 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals in Chapter 17.84 (Appeals), shall apply following the decision on an application for design review. (Ord. 895 § 2(A) Exh. 2 (part), 2020: Ord. 885 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2019: Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).

17.62.050 Use permit and minor use permit.

A. Purpose. The use permit and minor use permit provide a process for reviewing proposed uses and activities that may be appropriate in the applicable zoning district, but whose effects on site and surroundings and, therefore, the appropriateness of the use or activity to the site or surroundings cannot be determined before a proposal is submitted for a specific site.

B. Applicability. A use permit or minor use permit is required to authorize a proposed land use identified by Article 2 (Community and Project Design) as being allowable in the applicable zoning district subject to the approval of a use permit or minor use permit. Minor use permit approval may be considered only for a project that is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A project that is required by Article 2 to have minor use permit approval, but is not exempt from CEQA, shall instead require a use permit.

C. Review Authority. A use permit shall be approved or denied by the commission; a minor use permit shall be approved or denied by the director, provided that the director may choose to refer any minor use permit application to the commission for hearing and decision in the same manner as a use permit.

D. Application Filing and Processing. An application for a use permit or minor use permit shall be completed, filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 17.60 (Permit Application Filing and Processing) of this title. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection F of this section.

E. Project Review, Notice and Hearing. Each application shall be reviewed by the director to ensure that the proposal complies with all applicable requirements of this land use code.

1. Use Permit. The commission shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a use permit prior to a decision on the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title.

2. Minor Use Permit. The director shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a use permit prior to a decision on the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title.

F. Findings and Decision. The review authority may approve or deny an application for use permit or minor use permit approval. The review authority shall record the decision and the findings on which the decision is based. The review authority may approve a use permit or minor use permit only after first finding all of the following:

1. The proposed use is allowed within the applicable zoning district and complies with all other applicable provisions of this land use code and the municipal code;

2. The proposed use is consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan;

3. The design, location, size, and operating characteristics of the proposed activity are compatible with the existing and future land uses in the vicinity;

4. The site is physically suitable for the type, density and intensity of use being proposed, including access, utilities, and the absence of physical constraints; and

5. Granting the permit would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare, or materially injurious to persons, property, or improvements in the vicinity and zoning district in which the property is located.

G. Conditions of Approval. In approving a use permit or minor use permit, the review authority may impose any reasonable conditions to ensure that the approval will comply with the findings required by subsection F of this section.

H. Post Approval Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.64 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions) of this title, and those related to appeals in Chapter 17.84 (Appeals) of this title, shall apply following the decision on an application for use permit or minor use permit approval. (Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).

17.62.060 Variance and minor variance.

A. Purpose. The variance and minor variance provide a process for city consideration of requests to waive or modify certain standards of this land use code when, because of special circumstances applicable to the property, including location, shape, size, surroundings, topography, or other physical features, the strict application of the development standards otherwise applicable to the property denies the property owner privileges enjoyed by other property owners in the vicinity and in the same zoning district.

B. Applicability. A variance or minor variance may be granted to waive or modify any requirement of this land use code except: allowed land uses; residential density; specific prohibitions (for example, prohibited signs), or procedural requirements.

C. Review Authority. A variance shall be approved or denied by the commission. The director may approve a minor variance to grant relief from any of the following requirements of this land use code, up to a maximum reduction of ten percent:

1. Distance between structures;

2. Parcel dimensions (not area);

3. Setbacks;

4. Structure height; or

5. On-site parking, loading, and landscaping.

The director may choose to refer any minor variance to the commission for hearing and decision.

D. Application Filing and Processing. An application for a variance or minor variance shall be completed, filed, and processed in compliance with Chapter 17.60 (Permit Application Filing and Processing) of this title. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection F of this section.

E. Project Review, Notice and Hearing. Each application shall be reviewed by the director to ensure that the proposal complies with this section, and other applicable requirements of this land use code.

1. Variance. The commission shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a variance prior to a decision on the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title.

2. Minor Variance. The director may approve or deny a minor variance without a public hearing, or may choose to refer any minor variance application to the commission for a hearing and decision in the same manner as provided for a variance by subsection (E)(1) of this section.

a. Public Notice. The notice shall state that the director will decide whether to approve or deny the minor variance application on the date specified in the notice, and that a public hearing will be held only if requested in writing by any interested person prior to the specified date for the decision.

b. Hearing. When a hearing is requested, notice of the hearing shall be provided in compliance with Chapter 17.88 (Public Hearings) of this title, and the commission shall conduct the public hearing prior to a decision on the application in compliance with Chapter 17.88 of this title.

F. Findings and Decision. The review authority may approve or deny an application for a variance or minor variance. The review authority shall record the decision and the findings on which the decision is based.

1. General Findings. The review authority may approve a variance or administrative variance only after first making all of the following findings:

a. There are special circumstances applicable to the property, including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, so that the strict application of this land use code deprives the property of privileges enjoyed by other property in the vicinity and within the same zoning district;

b. The approval of the variance or administrative variance includes conditions of approval as necessary to ensure that the adjustment granted does not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and within the same zoning district; and

c. The variance or administrative variance is consistent with the general plan, and any applicable specific plan.

G. Conditions of Approval. In approving a variance or minor variance, the review authority:

1. Shall impose conditions to ensure that the approval does not grant special privileges inconsistent with the limitations on other properties in the vicinity and zoning district in which the property is located; and

2. May impose any reasonable conditions to ensure that the approval complies with the findings required by subsection F of this section.

H. Post Approval Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 17.64 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions) of this title, and those related to appeals in Chapter 17.84 (Appeals) of this title, shall apply following the decision on an application for a variance or minor variance. (Ord. 854 § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 766 § 2 Exh. A (part), 2004).