Chapter 16.04


16.04.010    Purpose and intent.

16.04.020    Authority.

16.04.030    Applicability.

16.04.040    Enforcement.

16.04.050    Conflicting regulations.

16.04.060    Clarification of ambiguities.

16.04.070    City to be held harmless.

16.04.080    Highland general plan.

16.04.090    Zoning districts.

16.04.100    Planning commission.

16.04.110    Planning agency.

16.04.120    Project review committee.

16.04.130    Repealed.

16.04.140    Community development director.

16.04.150    Repealed.

16.04.160    Challenges to city actions.

16.04.170    Severance.

16.04.010 Purpose and intent.

The city council of the city of Highland has established these standards, guidelines, and procedures to protect and promote the public health, safety, convenience, and welfare of present and future citizens of Highland, specifically to:

A. Implement the goals, objectives, policies, and programs of the Highland general plan, and to manage future growth and change in accordance with that plan;

B. Protect the physical, social, and economic stability and vitality of residential, commercial, industrial, public, institutional and open space uses within the city to assure their orderly development;

C. Reduce or eliminate hazards to the public resulting from potentially inappropriate location, use, or design of buildings and other improvements;

D. Attain the physical, social, and economic advantages resulting from comprehensive and orderly land use and resource planning. (Ord. 171 § 1.10, 1994)

16.04.020 Authority.

The authority for the regulations contained in this title is based on Section 7, Article XI of the California Constitution, the provisions of the California Planning and Zoning Law (Division 1 of Title 7 of the California Government Code) which provide for the regulation of the intensity of land use and the adoption of standards for the regulation of population density, and the police power granted to municipalities by the laws of the state of California.

In addition, the provisions of this title relating to the regulation and control of subdivisions are herein adopted pursuant to the authority of the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 of Title 7 of the California Government Code). The provisions of the Subdivision Map Act are incorporated by this reference as though fully set forth herein. In the event of any actual conflict between the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act, as it may be amended from time to time, and provisions of this title, the Subdivision Map Act shall prevail. (Ord. 171 § 1.20, 1994)

16.04.030 Applicability.

All land, buildings, and structures within the incorporated portions of the city of Highland shall be used only as hereinafter provided. No use of land, and no use, construction, maintenance, operation, reconstruction or enlargement of any building or structure shall be allowed unless permitted under the express provisions of this title or by other applicable ordinance of the city.

A. Private Projects.

1. No land, building, or structure shall be used, constructed, altered, or maintained except in conformance with the provisions of this title.

2. No use that requires a permit or approval under the provisions of this title shall be established or operated until the permit or approval is finally granted, and all conditions of the permit or approval have been complied with.

3. No use that requires a permit or approval under the provisions of this title shall be established or operated in violation of, or contrary to, any terms and conditions of the granted permit or approval.

B. Public Projects. Unless otherwise exempted, federal, state, county, city and any other governmental projects shall be subject to the provisions of this title, including projects operated by any combination of these agencies, or by a private person for the benefit of any such governmental agency.

C. Legal Procedure. Any building or structure erected or maintained, or any use of property, contrary to the provisions of this title is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance, and the city attorney, code compliance officer, the district attorney or other proper official may immediately commence action or actions, proceeding or proceedings for the abatement, removal and enjoinment thereof, in the manner provided by law; and may take such other steps, and may apply to such court or courts as may have jurisdiction to grant such relief as will abate or remove such building, structure or use and restrain and enjoin any person from setting up, erecting or maintaining such building or structure, or using any property contrary to the provisions of this title (it shall be the right and duty of every citizen to participate and assist city officials in the enforcement of the provisions of this title).

D. Subdivisions.

1. The provisions of this title relating to the enforcement and judicial review of subdivisions shall be controlled by Section 66499.30 et seq. of the Subdivision Map Act.

2. The provisions of this title relating to the enforcement and judicial review of subdivisions as defined in the Subdivision Map Act shall not apply to:

a. Short-term leases pursuant to Section 66411 of the Subdivision Map Act.

b. The exclusions to the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act pursuant to Section 66412 therein.

c. The financing and leasing of commercial and industrial buildings pursuant to Section 66412.1 of the Subdivision Map Act.

d. The construction, financing and leasing of dwelling unit types pursuant to Section 66412.2 of the Subdivision Map Act.

e. Small, removable commercial buildings pursuant to Section 66412.5 of the Subdivision Map Act.

f. Parcels created prior to March 4, 1972, pursuant to Sections 66412.7 and 66412.8 of the Subdivision Map Act.

g. Subdivisions previously established pursuant to the provisions of Section 66412.7 of the Subdivision Map Act.

h. The conveyance of land to a public entity for rights-of-way pursuant in Section 66426.5 of the Subdivision Map Act. (Ord. 171 § 1.30, 1994)

16.04.040 Enforcement.

A. Any law enforcement officers duly authorized, city attorney, city manager, district attorney, code compliance officer, building official, public works director, community development director, or their designee, and all officials charged with the issuance of licenses and permits shall enforce the provisions of this title.

B. All officials and employees of the city of Highland vested with the authority or duty to issue permits shall conform to the provisions of this title and shall not issue a permit, certificate or licenses for uses, purposes, buildings or structures in conflict with the provisions of this title. Any such permit, certificate or license issued in conflict with the provisions of this title shall be null and void.

C. Whenever the community development director or his/her designee finds, upon the recommendation of an authorized representative of the community development department, that a nuisance exists on any property located within the city, he or she shall notify the property owner on which the nuisance is located and direct that the nuisance be abated.

D. Remedies. All remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive. The conviction and punishment of any person hereunder shall not relieve such person from the responsibility of correcting prohibited conditions or removing prohibited buildings, structures or improvements, nor prevent the enforced correction or removal thereof.

E. Penalty for Violation. Whenever any work for which a permit is required by this code has been commenced without first obtaining said permit, a penalty shall be paid before a permit shall be issued for such work. A penalty in addition to the permit fee shall be collected whether or not a permit is then or subsequently issued. The penalty shall be equal to the amount of the permit fee set forth by city council resolution. The payment of such penalty shall not exempt any person from compliance with all other provisions of this code nor from any penalty prescribed by law.

F. Repealed by Ord. 370.

G. The violation of any provision of this title which has been declared to constitute a public nuisance is subject to the following:

The prevailing party in any proceeding associated with the abatement of a public nuisance, or where a violation of any provision of the municipal code has been declared a public nuisance, shall be entitled to recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred in any such proceeding, where the city has selected, at the initiation of that individual action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys’ fees. In no action or administrative proceeding shall an award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the city in the action or proceeding. (Ord. 370 § 56, 2012; Ord. 284 § 5, 2003; Ord. 213 § 3, 1996; Ord. 171 § 1.40, 1994)

16.04.050 Conflicting regulations.

The provisions of this title are not intended to interfere with or void any easements or legally established covenants or other existing agreements which are more restrictive than the provisions of this title. Except where the express provisions of this title or the context hereof amend any existing ordinance, nothing in this title shall be deemed to repeal any other ordinances relating to the properties and areas affected hereby. (Ord. 171 § 1.50, 1994)

16.04.060 Clarification of ambiguities.

If ambiguity arises concerning the appropriate classification of a particular use within the meaning and intent of this title, or if ambiguity exists with respect to matters of height, yard requirements, area requirements, or district boundaries as set forth herein, it shall be the duty of the community development director to ascertain all pertinent facts and issue an interpretation. The community development director’s interpretation is subject to the appeal process as defined by HMC 16.08.210. (Ord. 171 § 1.60, 1994)

16.04.070 City to be held harmless.

Any person, organization or entity who obtains or files an application to obtain a permit or approval pursuant to this title shall hold the city harmless from any liability, including any claims of the applicant arising out of the issuance of the permit or approval, or the denial thereof, or arising out of any action by any person seeking to have a granted permit or approval held void by a court of law. (Ord. 171 § 1.70, 1994)

16.04.080 Highland general plan.

The city shall adopt and maintain a general plan in accordance with the requirements of California Government Code Section 65000 et seq. and applicable General Plan Guidelines prepared by the California Office of Planning and Research.

A. Consistency with the General Plan.

1. No use of land, buildings or structures for which an application is required pursuant to this title is to be approved for processing under this title unless it is consistent with the general plan or a concurrent general plan amendment request. In any case where there is a conflict in regulations between this title and the general plan, the general plan shall prevail.

2. All land divisions within the city and changes or amendments to land use classifications, districts or regulations, and conditional use permits, variances, development agreements, site plans and other permits and approvals shall be consistent with the Highland general plan and all applicable specific plans.

3. A proposed use or approval is consistent with the general plan when the following conditions exist:

a. The proposed use is allowed in the land use designation in which the use is located, as shown by the land use map, and as described in the text of the general plan;

b. The proposed use is in conformance with the goals, objectives, policies, programs and guidelines of the elements of the general plan and the intent thereof; and

c. The proposed use is to be established and maintained in a manner which is consistent with the elements of the general plan and all applicable provisions contained therein.

B. Determinations of Consistency with the General Plan. The community development director shall have the responsibility to prepare reports and make determinations as to the conformity of applications and requests pursuant to this title.

C. Administration of the General Plan. The planning commission on recommendation from the community development director shall have the responsibility to:

1. Investigate and make recommendations to the city council regarding reasonable and practical means for implementing the general plan or any element thereof, so that it will serve as an effective guide for orderly growth and development, preservation and conservation of open space and natural resources and for the efficient and effective expenditure of public funds relating to the subjects addressed in the general plan;

2. Provide periodic reports to the city council on the status of the general plan and progress in its implementation. (Ord. 171 § 1.80, 1994)

16.04.090 Zoning districts.

A. Districts – Created. In order to provide a uniform basis for regulating the use of land, buildings and structures, and to establish minimum site development regulations and performance standards applicable to sites within the city, the city is hereby divided into the following districts:

1. Zoning Districts.

Planned Development (PD)

Public/Quasi-Public (P/Q) District

Agricultural Equestrian Residential (A/EQ) District

Single-Family (R-1) District

Two-Family (R-2) District

Corridor Residential (R-2C) District

Multiple-Family (R-3) District

Multiple-Family (R-4) District

Residential High Density Special Overlay (HDS) (min. 20 DUs per acre)

Village Residential (VR) District

General Commercial (CG) District

Neighborhood Commercial (NC) District

Planned Commercial (PC) District

Village Commercial (VC) District

Mixed Use (MU) District

Business Park (BP) District

Industrial (I) District

Office Professional (OP) District

Open Space (OS)

SPR-006-001 (Greenspot Village & Marketplace)

Planned Development PD 13-001 (Mediterra)

Planned Development SPA 15-001 (Highland Park)

B. Determination of Zoning District Boundaries.

1. Wherever a lot or site is divided by the boundary between districts, the regulations applicable within each district shall apply to each portion of the site situated in a separate district.

2. The following rules shall apply for determining the boundaries of any district on the zoning map:

a. Where boundaries are indicated as approximately following street and alley lines or other identifiable property or boundary lines, such lines shall be construed to be the district boundary. Where boundaries are indicated as within a street or alley, the center line thereof shall be construed to be the district boundary;

b. In unsubdivided property, where a district boundary divides a lot, the location of the district boundary, unless the same shall be indicated by dimensions, shall be determined by use of the scale appearing on the zoning map;

c. A symbol or symbols indicating the classification of property on the zoning map shall in each instance apply to the whole of the areas within the zoning district boundaries;

d. Where the public street, alley or right-of-way is officially vacated or abandoned, the regulations applicable to abutting property shall apply to such vacated or abandoned street, alley or right-of-way adjacent to that abutting property, as determined by the community development director.

C. An official zoning map dated September 26, 2017, for the incorporated area of the city of Highland, county of San Bernardino, state of California, is hereby adopted and established as is hereafter set forth in this code, to promote, protect and secure the public health, safety and general welfare; to provide the social and economic advantages resulting from an orderly, planned use of land resources; and to encourage, guide and provide a definite plan for the future growth and development of said city. The official zoning map shall be in the office of the city clerk and may be periodically reviewed, refined, and maintained, and the city council in conformity with State Planning and Zoning Law, as amended and the provision of this Code, hereby delegated to the community development director of the city of Highland, the responsibility for conducting necessary studies, surveys and the preparation of maps in order to develop detailed land use plans, and the responsibility for processing changes of land use districts for adoption by the city council for the various portions of the incorporated territory of Highland as it becomes desirable, and practical and practicable so that the results shall be a comprehensive land use plan for the city. (Ord. 419 § 3, 2017; Ord. 406 §§ 2, 3, 2016; Ord. 405 §§ 2, 3, 2016; Ord. 379 §§ 2, 3, 2013; Ord. 369 §§ 2, 3, 2012; Ord. 368 § 3, 2012; Ord. 365 § 3, 2011; Ord. 362 §§ 2, 3, 2011; Ord. 361 § 3, 2011; Ord. 343 § 3, 2009; Ord. 340 § 3, 2009; Ord. 329 § 3, 2008; Ord. 307 §§ 3, 41, 2006; Ord. 255 § 1, 2000; Ord. 171 § 1.90, 1994)

16.04.100 Planning commission1.

Pursuant to the provisions of the California Government Code Section 65100, there is established a planning commission for the city of Highland, state of California.

A. Composition. The planning commission shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the city council.

B. Duties. The planning commission shall perform the duties and shall have all the rights, powers and privileges specified and provided by the ordinances and resolutions of the city or by state law. In addition, the planning commission is authorized to determine if projects meet the city’s design standards and guidelines, to approve or deny applications for design review, and to impose reasonable conditions upon such approval subject to requirements for open spaces, screening and buffering of adjacent properties, fences and walls; requirements for installation and maintenance of landscaping and erosion control measures, regulation of signs, grading requirements, regulation of hours of operation, establishment of development schedules or time limits for performance and completion of improvements, and such other matters as the planning commission may deem necessary to ensure compatibility with surrounding uses; to preserve the public health, safety and welfare; and to enable the commission to make the findings necessary for approval.

C. Any reference to the design review board in this title shall mean the planning commission.

D. Other Duties. The planning commission shall have the following additional authority:

1. Public Trails-Related Matters.

a. Identify existing and future needs for trails development within the city, including interconnections with regional trails outside the city’s boundaries consistent with the city’s general plan.

b. Review public multi-use trails standards, and recommend changes as deemed necessary.

c. Review the status of existing multi-use trails and recommend future improvements and additions to the public multi-use trails system as part of entitlement and development applications.

2. Building Appeals Board.

a. Hear appeals of orders, decisions, or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of the code. The planning commissioners shall be qualified by experience and training and especially knowledgeable to pass on matters pertaining to California building codes and local ordinances pertaining to building construction. Planning commissioners shall not be employees of the city.

b. Appeals of the building official’s orders, decisions, or determinations shall be processed in accordance with the adopted building codes or other provisions through which and in accordance with which the appeal was filed, including, but not limited to, the California Building Code, the California Residential Code, the California Electrical Code, the California Plumbing Code, the California Mechanical Code, the International Property Maintenance Code, and the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings.

c. The planning commission shall not interpret administrative provisions of the adopted building codes and may not waive the requirements of any of the building codes in rendering its decisions.

3. Approve street names within the city.

a. Establish by informal policy a procedure for the naming of streets within the city.

b. Establish by informal policy a list of approved street names and/or types of approved street names.

c. Approve the street names as deemed necessary for a particular development and/or tract.

d. Review requests for change of street names and make recommendation of the change(s) to the city council as deemed necessary.

e. Receive input from members of the public about potential street names and add to the list of approved street names.

4. Appeals Board.

a. Hear and determine the issues associated with, and appeals of, enforcement actions and abatement of public nuisances, as defined in and in accordance with the municipal code. The planning commission shall also hear matters having to do with property maintenance, housing, or other related standards.

b. Hear and decide appeals of decisions of the community development director relative to the residential rental enhancement program in accordance with Chapter 15.52 HMC.

c. Hear and decide appeals of decisions of the community development director relative to the administrative citation program in accordance with Chapter 2.56 HMC.

d. Hear and decide appeals of the community development director relative to the vehicle abatement and removal program in accordance with Chapter 10.20 HMC.

e. The planning commission shall have no authority to waive or amend the requirements of the municipal code.

f. Any decision of the planning commission rendered pursuant to public nuisance appeals shall be appealable to the city council. (Ord. 440 § 16, 2019; Ord. 400 § 3, 2015; Ord. 341 §§ 4, 5, 2009; Ord. 171 § 1.100, 1994)

16.04.110 Planning agency.

Pursuant to Section 65100 of the California Government Code, the planning agency for the city of Highland shall consist of the city council, planning commission and the community development director acting under authority of this title. (Ord. 341 § 6, 2009; Ord. 171 § 1.110, 1994)

16.04.120 Project review committee2.

A. Project Review Committee – Created. Pursuant to the California Government Code 65100, a project review committee is hereby established to act in a technical capacity for the planning agency.

B. Composition. The project review committee shall consist of the following members or their duly authorized representatives: the community development director or designee who shall serve as the committee chairman; the city engineer; the building official; a representative from the redevelopment agency; and the fire department.

C. Powers and Duties. It shall be the duty of the project review committee to review and make recommendations to the planning agency regarding any of the following:

1. All tentative maps involving five or more lots, including those specifically excepted from the requirement for a final map.

2. All planned unit developments.

3. All planned residential developments.

4. All design approvals, conditional use permits.

5. Any associated land use application that is related to a project already being reviewed by the committee, including requests for variance, zone change and general plan amendments.

6. Any other project or action deemed by the planning agency to require the review and recommendation of the project review committee.

The project review committee shall review and identify the technical design features which are necessary to ensure adequate public health, safety and welfare, including adequate traffic and pedestrian circulation, proper grading and proper erosion control, including the prevention of sedimentation on, or flood and drainage damage to, off-site property. In addition, the project review committee shall consider the adequacy of existing public facilities and services and any fire hazard problems that may pose a threat to life or property or the environment.

D. Meetings and Rules of Procedures. The community development director shall establish and maintain meeting dates and rules of procedure for the project review committee. Such dates and procedures shall be available to the public in appropriate formats and locations to advise interested persons or groups. (Ord. 171 § 1.120, 1994)

16.04.130 Design review board3.

Repealed by Ord. 341. (Ord. 298 § 1, 2005; Ord. 288 § 2, 2003; Ord. 171 § 1.130, 1994)

16.04.140 Community development director.

This title shall be administered by the community development director whose responsibilities include the following functions, which may be carried out by authorized subordinate employees:

A. Application Process. The community development director shall receive and review all applications for permits and approvals pursuant to this title. Processing includes:

1. The certification of completed applications;

2. Responsibility for completion of appropriate documentation under the California Environmental Quality Act;

3. The establishment of a permanent file;

4. Giving and posting of public notices;

5. Collection of applicable fees;

6. Preparation of reports;

7. Processing of appeals; and

8. Presentation of staff reports to the project review committee, planning commission, and city council.

B. Interpretation. The community development director shall have the responsibility to interpret the provisions and advise the public on the requirements of this title.

C. Permit Issuance. The community development director shall be responsible for issuing such permits, granting such approvals, and preparing such notices as are authorized under this title.

D. Coordination. The community development director shall refer and coordinate matters related to the administration of this title with other agencies, city departments, and city boards and commissions, and shall provide information on the status of development proposals. (Ord. 341 § 8, 2009; Ord. 171 § 1.140, 1994)

16.04.150 Flood plain management administrator4.

Repealed by Ord. 331. (Ord. 171 § 1.150, 1994)

16.04.160 Challenges to city actions.

Any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any decision of the city pursuant to this title shall not be maintained by any person unless the action or proceeding is commenced within 90 calendar days after the date of the decision as provided in Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedures of the State. (Ord. 171 § 1.160, 1994)

16.04.170 Severance.

If any section, subsection, subpart, or provision of this section or the application thereof to any person, property or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of such to other persons, properties or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. (Ord. 171 § 1.170, 1994)


Code reviser’s note: The original source for this section appears to be Ord. 63, 1989.


Code reviser’s note: The original source for this section appears to be Ord. 68, 1989.


Code reviser’s note: The original source for this section appears to be Ord. 154, 1993.


Code reviser’s note: The original source for this section appears to be Ord. 36, 1988.