Chapter 18.92


18.92.010    Purpose of Chapter

18.92.020    Appeal Subjects and Jurisdiction

18.92.030    Filing and Processing of Appeals

18.92.050    Judicial Review of City Decision

18.92.010 - Purpose of Chapter

This Chapter establishes procedures for the appeal and review of determinations and decisions of the Director or Commission.

18.92.020 - Appeal Subjects and Jurisdiction

A.    Code administration and interpretation. The following determinations and actions of the Director and Department staff may be appealed to the Commission and then to the Council:

1.    Any determination on the meaning or applicability of the regulations contained in this Development Code that are believed to be in error, and cannot be resolved with the Director;

2.    Any determination that a permit application or information submitted with the application is incomplete, in compliance with State law (Government Code Section 65943); and

3.    Any enforcement action in compliance with Chapter 18.98 (Enforcement and Penalties).

B.    Planning permit decisions. Decisions of the Director on an Administrative Variance, Design Review, Limited Term Permit, Minor Use Permit, Sign Permit, or Zoning Clearance may be appealed to the Commission. Decisions of the Commission may be appealed to the Council.

18.92.030 - Filing and Processing of Appeals

A.    Eligibility.

1.    An appeal in compliance with this Chapter may be filed by any aggrieved person as defined in Section 1.06 of the Municipal Code except that in the case of a decision on a Use Permit, Variance, and/or other Commission decision that followed a public hearing, an appeal may only be filed by a person who, in person or through a representative, appeared at the public hearing in connection with the decision being appealed, or who otherwise informed the City in writing of the nature of their concerns before the hearing.

2.    Any action or decision by the Commission in compliance with this Development Code may be appealed by a Council member acting as an individual, but the Council member shall not vote when the appeal is considered by the Council.

B.    Timing and form of appeal. An appeal shall be submitted in writing and shall specifically state the pertinent facts and the basis for the appeal.

1.    An appeal shall be filed with the Department or City Clerk, as applicable, within 10 days of the date the decision was rendered.

a.    Appeals addressed to the Commission shall be filed with the Department;

b.    Appeals addressed to the Council shall be filed with the City Clerk.

2.    An appeal shall be accompanied by the filing fee identified in the City’s Fee Schedule.

3.    The appeal fee may be refunded by a majority vote of the Council if the appeal of the applicant is sustained by the Council.

C.    Scope of planning permit appeals. An appeal of a decision on a planning permit shall be limited to issues raised at the public hearing, or in writing before the hearing, or information that was not known at the time of the decision that is being appealed.

D.    Report and scheduling of hearing.

1.    When an appeal has been filed, the Director shall prepare a report on the matter, including all of the application materials in question, and schedule the matter for a public hearing by the appropriate Review Authority identified in Section 18.92.020 (Appeal Subjects and Jurisdiction), above.

2.    Notice of the hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted, in compliance with Chapter 18.96 (Public Hearings). Any interested party may appear and be heard regarding the appeal.

E.    Decision.

1.    At a hearing on an appeal, except for an appeal of a decision on a planning permit, the Review Authority may consider any issue involving the matter that is the subject of the appeal (“de novo”), in addition to the specific grounds for the appeal. The Review Authority may:

a.    Affirm, affirm in part, or reverse the action, determination, or decision that is the subject of the appeal, based upon findings of fact about the particular case. The findings shall identify the reasons for the action on the appeal, and verify the compliance or non-compliance of the subject of the appeal with this Development Code;

b.    Adopt additional conditions of approval, that may address issues or concerns other than the subject of the appeal; or

c.    Disapprove the planning permit approved by the previous Review Authority, even where the appellant only requested a modification or elimination of one or more conditions of approval.

2.    If new or different evidence is presented on appeal, the Commission or Council may refer the matter to the Director or Commission for further consideration.

3.    Within 60 days of the initial public hearing, the Review Authority shall render its decision on the appeal, unless it is continued for good cause.

4.    In the event of a tie vote by the Review Authority on an appeal, the decision being appealed shall stand.

F.    Effective date of appeal decision.

1.    Commission decision. A decision by the Commission is effective on the 11th day after the decision is rendered, when no appeal to the decision has been filed with the Council.

2.    Council decision. A decision by the Council is final and shall be effective on the date the decision is rendered.

18.92.050 - Judicial Review of City Decision

No person shall seek judicial review of a City decision on a planning permit or other matter in compliance with this Development Code until all appeals to the Commission and Council have been first exhausted in compliance with this Chapter.