Chapter 13-5. Application of Zone District Regulations

Sec. 13-5.100 Purpose.

The purpose of this Division and Chapter is to:

1. Encourage, classify, regulate, and designate the highest and best location and use of buildings, structures, and land to serve the needs of residences, commerce, industry, public and other land uses in appropriate places.

2. Regulate and limit the height, size, density and placement of buildings and other structures,

3. Regulate and determine the size and extent of setbacks and yards, landscaped areas and usable open spaces associated with a development or use.

4. Facilitate adequate provisions for community infrastructure such as transportation, water, sewage, drainage, parks, schools, open spaces and other public requirements.

5. Lessen congestion on streets and provide for alternative means of transportation such as transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

6. Provide for a variety of specialized, mixed-use districts within appropriate areas of the community. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.100.]

Sec. 13-5.200 Zone Districts Established.

The following zone districts are hereby established as listed below along with the Zoning Map symbol and the General Plan land use designation that is being implemented by the zoning district.

Zoning Districts

Zoning Symbol

General Plan Land Use Designation

Residential Districts



Residential Single-Family Estate



Residential Single-Family Low Density


Single-Family—Low Density

Residential Multifamily Low Density


Multifamily—Low Density

Residential Multifamily Medium Density


Multifamily—Medium Density

Residential Multifamily High Density


Multifamily—High Density




Mobile Home Park






Commercial Districts



General Commercial


General Commercial

Community Commercial


Community Commercial

Recreation Commercial


Recreation Commercial




Industrial District









Public and Quasi-Public Districts






Public/Quasi-Public—Open Space


Public—Open Space










Mixed-Use Districts



Commercial Public


Commercial Public

Historic Town Center


Historic Town Center

Industrial Residential



Planned Commercial Industrial


Planned Commercial—Industrial

Planned Commercial Residential


Planned Commercial—Residential

Planned Office/R&D


Planned Office/R&D

Waterfront Commercial


Waterfront Commercial

New Town Center






Overlay and Combining Districts



Historic Overlay District



Special Flood Hazard Area



Special Study Area


Special Study Areas 1 and 2

Refugio Creek Overlay District



School-Park Overlay District


School-Park Overlay District

[Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.200.]

Sec. 13-5.210 Zoning Maps.

The Zoning Map is hereby made a part of this Title. The “Zoning Map” of the City of Hercules as adopted and attached sets forth the location of all zone districts within the City. All property within the City is placed in zone districts as indicated on the Zoning Map, and no property shall be used except in accordance with zoning designations on the Zoning Map and the provisions of this Title. Overlay districts are at times designated on the Zoning Map or are located by definition within the text, or may be applied upon approval of an application.

All zone changes and amendments to the Zoning Map as set forth in Chapter 13-52 shall be noted on the map with the date of the zone change or amendment and reference to the implementing ordinance. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.210.]

Sec. 13-5.220 Vacation of Public Street or Alley.

Where a public street or alley or any portion of the same is officially abandoned, the area comprising such vacated street shall acquire the zoning district classification of the adjacent property to which it reverts. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.220.]

Sec. 13-5.300 Allowable Land Uses.

Allowable land uses within a zoning district are classified by general land uses rather than extensive lists of specific land uses. The zoning district land use regulations table lists general land uses and uses common to it that may be appropriate as permitted or conditional uses within the zoning district. In most cases, permitted uses will require an administrative use permit as designated within the land use regulations table. In addition, prohibited uses may be identified where such uses may be appropriate within a broad land use category, but are inappropriate for a specific zoning district in the context of the specific purposes of the district and its allowed uses.

The conformance and appropriateness of a specifically proposed use shall be determined by the Community Development Director. When a use is not specifically listed in a classification, the use may be permitted if the Community Development Director determines that the use is similar to others listed in a classification.

In determining conformity, appropriateness and similarity, the Community Development Director shall use the following standards:

1. The proposed use meets the intent of and is consistent with the General Plan description of the land use classification; and is consistent with General Plan goals, objectives, policies and standards.

2. The proposed use meets the stated purpose and general intent of the zoning district in which it is proposed.

3. The proposed use is consistent with or shares common characteristics with and is not of greater intensity or density and will not generate greater environmental impact than uses listed in the zoning district in which it is proposed.

4. The proposed use meets specific standards for similar uses allowed within a zoning district.

5. The proposed use can meet the performance standards for the zoning district along with the general performance standards of the City set forth in Chapter 13-31.

6. The proposed use does not adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare of the community nor constitute a public nuisance.

The Community Development Director may determine that a specific use does not meet conformance and appropriateness standards, whether or not named within the uses of a zoning district, if its characteristics are substantially incompatible or impacts substantially greater than the uses typical to the zoning district. An appeal of the decision of the Community Development Director may be made to the Planning Commission and City Council as per Chapter 13-44. An appeal of a decision regarding allowable uses must be made in writing within 10 working days of the decision. In reviewing an appeal, the Planning Commission and City Council shall use the criteria set forth in this Section.

Any new use, or any use that cannot be clearly determined to be in an existing use classification, may be incorporated into the zoning regulations by a Zoning Ordinance text amendment if approved by City Council as provided in Chapter 13-51. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.300.]

Sec. 13-5.310 Addition of Allowed Uses.

Upon application or on its own initiative, the Council may add a use to the list of permitted uses prescribed within each zoning district if the Council makes the following findings:

1. That the use will be an appropriate addition to the list of permitted uses because the use has the same basic characteristics as the uses permitted in the district.

2. That the use reasonably can be expected to conform with the required conditions prescribed for the district.

3. That the use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare.

4. That the use will not adversely affect the land use character of any district in which it is proposed to be permitted.

5. That the use will not create more vehicular or rail traffic than the volume normally created by any of the uses permitted in the district.

6. That the use will not create more odor, dust, dirt, smoke, noise, vibration, illumination, glare, unsightliness or any other objectionable influence than the amount normally created by any of the uses permitted in the district.

7. That the use will not create any greater hazard of fire or explosion than the hazards normally created by any of the uses permitted in the district.

When a use has been added to a list of permitted uses in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this Section, the use shall be deemed to be listed as a permitted use in the appropriate Section and shall be added to the text of that Section of this Title when it is next published with the notation of the date when the use was added to the list. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.310.]

Sec. 13-5.320 Conformity with District Regulations.

No site or structure shall be used or designated for uses for any purpose or in any manner other than in conformity with the regulations for the district in which the site or structure is located, or, in the case of a planned development, in conformity with the regulations prescribed in Chapter 13-48. No structure shall be erected and no existing structure or use shall be moved, altered or enlarged except in conformity with the regulations for the district in which the structure or use is located, or, in the case of a planned development, in conformity with the regulations prescribed in Chapter 13-48. No yard or other open space surrounding any structure or use shall be used, encroached upon or reduced in any manner except in conformity with the regulations for the district in which the yard or open space is located, or, in the case of a planned development, in conformity with the regulations prescribed in Chapter 13-48. No site held in 1 ownership at the time of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Title or at any time thereafter shall be reduced in any manner below the minimum area, frontage, width or depth prescribed for the district in which the site is located. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.320.]

Sec. 13-5.330 Use of Nonconforming Sites.

Except as otherwise provided in this Section, a site shown on a duly approved and recorded subdivision map or for which a deed or valid contract of sale was recorded prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Title and which had a legal area, frontage, width and depth at the time that the subdivision map, deed or contract of sale was recorded, but which now has an area, frontage, width or depth less than the minimum prescribed for the zoning district of the site may be used for any permitted use. However, such a site shall be subject to all other regulations for the district in which the site is located, or, in the case of a planned development, in conformity with the regulations prescribed in Chapter 13-48. Two or more adjoining vacant sites, which are in the same ownership as of the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this Title or subsequent thereto, with continuous frontage and each having an area, width or frontage less than the minimum prescribed for the zoning district of the sites shall be subject to all regulations for their zoning district(s) including minimum area, width and frontage requirements, as if the sites constituted a single parcel of real property. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.330.]

Sec. 13-5.340 Accessory Uses.

Uses and structures that are subordinate and incidental to the principal use or structure on a site. The range of uses and structures allowed as accessory uses are identified in Section 13-60.200, Definitions. Accessory structures may require an administrative use permit and may have conditions limiting use as determined by the land use regulations for each zoning district. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.340.]

Sec. 13-5.350 Temporary Uses.

Temporary uses and structures are of limited duration. Examples of temporary uses regulated by the Zoning Ordinance include animal shows, Christmas tree sales, circuses and carnivals, commercial video/filming and production, outdoor retail sales, farmers markets, personal property sales, religious assembly on a temporary site, signage, street fairs, nonrecurring swap meets and flea markets, and trade fairs. Administrative use permits are required in all cases. Nonrecurring garage sales of personal property within residentially zoned and developed areas are exempt from use permit requirements as are City sponsored or public events on City property, school sponsored events on school property and church sponsored events on church property. Nonrecurring shall mean events that are limited in duration to 48 hours and are conducted by a sponsor no more than 3 times in a calendar year. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.350.]

Sec. 13-5.400 Regulation of Property Development Standards.

Property development standards are set forth in each zoning district and some overlay districts. Property development standards regulate the development of structures within a property including site area, unit and floor area density, lot size, lot dimensions, setbacks and yards, site coverage, usable open space, height, and references to parking, signage, refuse storage areas, mechanical equipment screening and nonconforming structures. In most cases the standards identify a minimum and/or maximum requirement.

Densities are usually identified as gross densities with a minimum and maximum range with a typical density. The goal of the typical density is to achieve an overall growth target set by the City in its General Plan. However, the density of a property is allowed to vary within the range according to factors such as topography, economic, neighborhood compatibility, provision of affordable housing, market conditions and the capability of a proposed development to further specific goals, policies and standards of the General Plan.

In some cases, property development regulations may vary or be determined through the approval of a planned development plan, Chapter 13-48. In these cases, the property regulations adopted as part of the planned development plan would determine the standards for property development from that point until the planned development plan is rescinded, expires or is amended. Further definition and application of property development standards are presented in Chapter 13-30. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.400.]

Sec. 13-5.500 Review of Plans and General Conditions.

Plan review requirements and general application conditions are specified for each zoning district. Applications for administrative or conditional use permits are required for most uses and the development of most structures. In addition there may be application conditions specific to a zoning district that must be met before an application is complete. These conditions may include design review and additional studies and plans, planned development applications, etc. The applications and plans submitted for a development or use also need to address general and specific performance standards. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.500.]

Sec. 13-5.600 Development and Performance Standards.

General development and performance standards for development within the City are identified in Division III. In addition, specific performance standards for a zoning district may be required as identified within the performance standards section of each zoning district. All allowed uses are to meet the required performance standards. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; ZO § 5.600.]

Sec. 13-5.700 Zoning Clearance Procedure.

Zoning clearance shall be implemented through use permit application, development plan and design review. The primary goal of the administrative use permit is to provide a review and recordkeeping mechanism for development and uses within the City in addition to setting forth time periods and minor conditions of approval. Where a particular kind of development does not require a use permit of any kind such as limited accessory structures in some districts, zoning clearance will be met through review of any required building or paving permits. All building permits will be reviewed by the Community Development Director or Chief Building Official to verify that appropriate property regulations, performance standards and conditions of approval are met. A certificate of occupancy is not to be issued until such verification is recorded following the final building permit site inspection. [Ord. 515 § 2, 2018; Ord. 511 § 3, 2018; ZO § 5.700.]