Chapter 17.86


17.86.010    Purpose.

17.86.020    Table of land uses and glossary/definitions.

17.86.035    Standards for eating and drinking establishments and sidewalk cafes.

17.86.040    Minimum lot areas.

17.86.050    Minimum dwelling unit size.

17.86.060    Density bonus – Up to a maximum 35 dwellings per acre.

17.86.070    Parking in the RMU district.

17.86.080    Design review in the RMU district.

17.86.090    Lake Elsinore Municipal Code references.

17.86.100    Mixed use development matrix.

17.86.010 Purpose.

The intent of the RMU district is to provide a development opportunity to combine both residential and neighborhood retail and service uses, preferably incorporated into a mixed use project. The RMU district accommodates primarily medium to high density residential mixed use developments, with limited commercial, institutional, office and service uses distributed in a manner compatible with the street environment and adjacent to residential areas. [Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.020 Table of land uses and glossary/definitions.

P = Permitted use.

C = Use subject to a conditional use permit.

T = Temporary use permitted with a temporary use permit.

█ = Prohibited use in the zone.

Table of Mixed Use Land Uses 



P = Permitted

C = Permitted with a CUP

T = Temporary, permitted by TUP

█ = Prohibited




Additional Regulations

Animal hospital




Assembly use




Automotive repair or service


Bar, pub, cocktail lounge




Bed and breakfast




Botanical garden







Caretaker quarters




Car wash



Catering service




Check cashing service



Cigar lounge/hookah bar




Community center




Day care facility




Drive-through for bank, food, pharmacy



Financial institution




Food establishment



LEMC 17.86.035





Government building




Gun and ammunition sales



Health, fitness or exercise club




Home occupation







Housing, permanent:




Apartment unit












Duplex, triplex, fourplex




Row house/townhouse




Kiosk for retail sales


LEMC 17.134.037





Live/work unit




Massage establishment




Medical marijuana dispensary

Chapter 17.156 LEMC

Medical office













Open air market




Personal service




Professional office








Parking facility




Pawn shop


CUP for gun sales

Pet shop



Recreation facility




Residential care facility




Retail sale




Short-term rental



Chapter 5.86 LEMC

Sidewalk vendors



Chapter 5.31 LEMC





Supportive housing




Swap meet, indoor



Swap meet, outdoor








Thrift store




Transitional housing




Other uses that the Director of Community Development finds to be in accord with the purpose of this chapter and having characteristics similar to those uses listed in this table

P, C, T or █

P, C, T or █


“Animal hospital” means a place where animals or pets are given medical or surgical treatment, and where the boarding of the same animals is limited to short-term periods incidental to the hospital care.

“Apartment unit” means one or more rooms with private bath and kitchen facilities comprising an independent, self-contained dwelling unit not owned in fee simple.

“Assembly use” means a meeting, recreational, or social facility of a private or nonprofit organization primarily for use by a member or guests, including union halls, social clubs, fraternal organizations, and youth centers, and “places of religious assembly or institution” as defined in LEMC 17.08.160 (but not including schools as defined in LEMC 17.08.190).

“Automotive repair or service, including tire stores” means a facility providing repair services to automobiles, trucks, or motorcycles, including the sale and mounting of tires.

“Bar” means an establishment primarily serving alcoholic beverages by the drink to the general public, with the service of food incidental to the consumption of liquor. Includes pub, tavern, or cocktail lounge.

“Bed and breakfast residence” means a home where one family or manager is in permanent residence and from two to six guest rooms are rented for overnight lodging. Meals may be provided for compensation subject to applicable County Health Department regulations, and no provision for cooking in any individual room is made. More than six guest rooms shall be considered a hotel.

“Boardinghouse” means a building or portion thereof where sleeping facilities for three or more persons and meals are provided for compensation on a regular basis.

“Botanical garden or arboretum” means a public or private facility for the demonstration and observation of the cultivation of flowers, fruits, vegetables, or ornamental plants.

“Car wash” means a permanent, self-service or full-service establishment that provides facilities for car washing.

“Cardroom” means an establishment duly licensed pursuant to Chapter 5.44 LEMC containing tables and other similar conveniences for card playing and the playing of such games as may be permitted under the provisions of Section 330 of the Penal Code of the State of California.

“Caretaker quarters” means a permanent residence that is provided as an accessory use to a nonresidential use, used as a residence for a caretaker and family for security purposes, or to provide 24-hour monitoring of the site or any person or thing on the site.

“Catering service” means a business that prepares food for consumption off premises.

“Check cashing service” means a place of business where one can cash a check for a fee.

“Cigar lounge” means an establishment where patrons may purchase and smoke cigars, upon written clearance from the State of California Department of Health.

“Condominium” means a building in which units are owned individually and the structure, common areas and facilities are owned by all the owners on a proportional basis, as generally described in Section 783 of the California Civil Code.

“Day care facility” means a facility that provides nonmedical care and supervision of minor children or elderly adults for periods of less than 24 hours; that does not qualify as a small or large family day care home; and that meets the licensing requirements of the State. Any establishment may provide child or adult day care as an accessory use that is not subject to additional permit requirements; provided, that the establishment offers such service only to its customers or employees, and only during the period when the customers or employees are visiting or working in the establishment.

“Day care, large family” means the use of a residential dwelling unit and the lot upon which it is located for the daytime care of seven to 12 children or elderly adults including any children or elderly adults who normally reside on the premises.

“Day care, small family” means the use of a residential dwelling unit and the lot upon which it is located for the daytime care of six or fewer children or elderly adults including those who reside at the home.

“Duplex” means a structure on a single residential lot of record containing two units for occupancy by two independent households. Each unit is totally separated from the other by an unpierced wall extending from ground to roof, or an unpierced ceiling and floor extending from exterior wall to exterior wall, except for a common stairwell. Each unit contains its own cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities and its own entrance.

“Financial institution” means a facility offering financial services such as a bank, credit union, savings and loan, or finance company.

“Food establishments” means the serving of food and beverages to patrons for compensation, including deli, sandwich, bakery (retail sales only), candy, coffee, ice cream, health food, cafe, or restaurant.

“Fortunetelling” means a business wherein the telling of fortunes, forecasting of future events, or furnishing of any information not otherwise obtainable by the ordinary process of knowledge, by means of any occult or psychic power, including but not limited to clairvoyance, clairaudience, cartomancy, psychometry, phrenology, tea leaves, augury, astrology, palmistry, handwriting analysis, telepathy, card reading, crystal gazing or magic of any kind or nature.

“Government facility” means any facility owned and operated by city, county, state or federal governments, regardless of the use.

“Gun and ammunition sales” means any premises or portions thereof used for the sale, vending, dealing, exchange or transfer of firearms and ammunition.

“Health, fitness or exercise club” means a facility, owned or operated by a corporation, association, person or persons, for a social, educational or recreational purpose, to which membership is required for participation.

“Home occupation” means a use conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the inhabitant(s) thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the structure for residential purposes and which does not alter the character thereof. By its very nature and scope the use does not adversely affect the activities, enjoyment or property values of the neighborhood.

“Hookah bar” means an establishment where patrons communally smoke flavored tobacco, upon written clearance from the State of California Department of Health.

“Hotel or motel” means a building or portion thereof, or a group of buildings, with access through a common entrance, lobby or hallway, to seven or more guest rooms that are designed and intended for paid overnight lodging on a short-term basis. The terms “hotel” and “motel” may be used interchangeably.

“Housing, permanent” includes apartments, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, and townhouses.

“Housing, temporary” means a facility for transient occupancy, such as a hotel or a bed and breakfast residence.

“Kiosk for retail sales” means any portable, nonmotorized, nonwheeled, semipermanent structure used for the sale of retail goods, food, and/or beverages, and licensed by the City.

“Library” means a public, quasi-public or privately owned facility that is open to the public for the primary use of literary, musical, artistic or reference materials.

“Live/work unit” means buildings or spaces within buildings that are used jointly for commercial and residential purposes where the residential use of the space is secondary or accessory to the primary use as a place of work.

“Massage establishment” means any fixed place of business where any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation engages in, conducts, or permits massages or health treatments involving massage on the premises.

“Medical marijuana dispensary” means a facility where medical marijuana is provided to a qualified patient, a person with an identification card, or to a qualified, primary caregiver, all of whom are defined in the California Health and Safety Code Sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 et seq. as such sections may be amended from time to time.

“Medical office” means an establishment that provides medical services by medical professionals such as physicians, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists or other similar medical staff. Includes a clinic, medical or dental laboratory or pharmacy incidental to an office, dialysis center, outpatient surgicenter, or urgent care. In the mixed use zones, hours of operation limited to 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

“Mixed use district” means a zoning district that allows development on a single parcel, or on adjacent parcels, that contains different land uses (e.g., residential, commercial, professional office, civic, or recreation) that are complementary to each other.

“Mixed use horizontal development” means development that combines two or more types of land uses (e.g., residential, commercial, professional office, civic, or recreation) on a single development site, but not necessarily in the same building. Typically nonresidential uses are located adjacent to the street and residential uses are located away from major streets behind nonresidential uses.

“Mixed use vertical development” means development that combines two or more types of land uses (e.g., residential, commercial, professional office, civic, or recreation) in a single building in a vertical configuration, typically with residential uses located above nonresidential uses.

“Museum” means a building serving as a repository for a collection of natural, scientific or literary curiosities or objects of interest, or works of art, arranged, intended and designed to be used by the public for viewing. The sale of goods to the public as gifts may be included as an accessory use.

“Nightclub” means a commercial establishment dispensing alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises and in which dancing and musical entertainment are permitted. Includes discotheques and dance halls.

“Open air market” means an establishment for the sale of fresh agricultural produce and related products, and licensed by the City.

“Park” means a noncommercial public outdoor recreational area that provides active or passive activities. Includes playgrounds.

“Parking facility” means an open, paved or otherwise surfaced area, or a structure, used for the parking and storage of vehicles, for free or for compensation or to accommodate patrons, customers or clientele of a business.

“Pawn shop” means an establishment that lends money at a specified rate of interest on articles of personal property left as security. Does not include gun sales unless a conditional use permit application is filed, reviewed, and approved by the Planning Commission.

“Personal service” means an establishment that offers services to its customers by an act or useful labor, including a barber shop, beauty salon, day spa, manicure, tailor, dry cleaning, laundromat, small appliance repair (household, television, stereo system, computer), watch and jewelry repair, shoe repair, tax preparation, travel agency, employment agency, ticket agency, copy center, printing, automobile rental (office only), computer rental, cyber cafe, or package, postal and mailbox service.

“Pet shop” means an establishment engaged in the retail sale of animals, pet supplies or grooming, including exotic animals, which are defined as not commonly domesticated in the United States or are wild by nature. No boarding of animals is permitted.

“Pharmacy” means an establishment where medications are dispensed by licensed pharmacists.

“Professional office” means an office used by persons who provide services that require a state license or certificate, such as accountants, architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, geologists, lawyers, designers, real estate agents, investment brokers, title and escrow offices, and business incubators, but does not include a veterinary office or kennel, nor any adult-oriented business.

“Recreation facility” means an establishment that provides entertainment activities or services for a fee or admission charge, including a bowling alley, electronic game arcades, billiard rooms, miniature golf, or indoor party center.

“Residential care facility” means, in accordance with Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, any family home, group care facility or similar establishment for 24-hour nonmedical care of persons in need of personal services, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living or for the protection of the individual.

“Retail sale” means the selling of goods, wares or merchandise directly to the ultimate consumer or persons without a resale license. Establishments may include convenience mart, florist or flower shop, grocery, insurance, pharmacy, jewelry, apparel, gift, hobby, hardware, bookstore, stationery, art exhibit and gallery, sporting goods, bicycle and bicycle rental, toy, music store (including sale of instruments, records, tapes), vehicle parts (excluding repair and service), and antiques.

“Sidewalk vendor” means a person who sells food or merchandise from a pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other nonmotorized conveyance, or from one’s person, upon a public sidewalk or other pedestrian path.

“Studio/workshop” means a studio facility for the arts, crafts, photography, music and music recording, dance, gymnastics, aerobics, yoga, martial arts, cooking.

“Swap meet” means a building (indoor) or outdoor area in which stalls or sales areas are set aside, rented or otherwise provided, which are used by unrelated individuals to sell, trade, exchange, place on consignment, or swap articles that are either new, homemade, homegrown, old, antique, or obsolete. Includes flea market or farmers’ market.

“Tattoo” means an establishment that provides body art designs and service, including body piercing, for its customers; provided, that the business owner complies with all applicable requirements of the County Health Department, County Sheriff’s Department, and conditions of approval that shall include age restriction, full screening of service operations, hours of operation, and measures to control loitering and traffic at the site.

“Theater” means a building or portion thereof for the showing of motion pictures, or for dramatic, dance, musical or other live performances.

“Thrift store” means a for profit or nonprofit business that engages in the sale or resale of previously owned or used goods and merchandise.

“Wireless telecommunications facility” means a facility that radiates or receives commercial cellular communications service and/or data radio signals to/from ground-mounted, building-mounted or structure-mounted poles, towers or antennas. [Ord. 1465 § 4 (Exh. B § 9), 2022; Ord. 1412 §§ 10, 11, 2019; Ord. 1309 § 4 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.035 Standards for eating and drinking establishments and sidewalk cafes.

A. Eating and drinking establishments and sidewalk cafes may operate between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

B. A sidewalk cafe within the public right-of-way may be permitted only in conjunction with and adjacent to a street level eating or drinking establishment. The cafe must maintain a clear path of travel free of obstructions that impede the flow of pedestrian traffic.

C. No outdoor establishment shall operate musical instruments or sound reproduction devices unless a conditional use permit is approved enabling and controlling such operation.

D. The design of the outdoor seating areas, if applicable, shall be consistent with the main building to which it is attached, in materials, colors and amenities such as railings, light fixtures, canopies, and furniture. [Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.040 Minimum lot areas.

A. For a project with only residential uses, the minimum lot area required for each dwelling unit is 2,420 square feet of net lot area per unit, with a maximum density of 18 dwelling units per acre.

B. For a mixed use horizontal development, the minimum lot area required for each dwelling unit is 1,815 square feet of net lot area per unit, with a maximum residential density of 24 dwelling units per acre.

C. To determine the maximum number of dwelling units allowed for a mixed use horizontal development, divide the total net lot area by the required lot area for each unit. The resultant number shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number.

D. For a mixed use vertical development, the maximum residential density is 24 dwelling units per acre. [Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.050 Minimum dwelling unit size.

The minimum dwelling unit size for mixed use vertical development, exclusive of any balcony or patio area, is as follows:

A. Bachelor dwelling units (sleeping quarters within the living room area): 450 square feet.

B. One-bedroom dwelling units: 600 square feet.

C. Two-bedroom dwelling units or larger: 700 square feet plus 100 square feet for each additional bedroom. [Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.060 Density bonus – Up to a maximum 35 dwellings per acre.

A. As an incentive program to protect and enhance the environment, create valuable public amenities, and encourage improved public health, a density bonus which would permit residential development to a maximum density of 35 dwellings per acre in accordance with the City’s Housing Element may be requested by those developers who design a project with eligible amenities or improvements. The City shall not be obligated to approve a density bonus solely because a project includes one or more eligible amenities or improvements.

B. Eligible amenities or improvements include the provision of:

1. Affordable or senior housing units on site, as specified in Chapter 17.58 LEMC, Density Bonuses.

2. Public urban open space on site (e.g., a public park or plaza) that benefits and is accessible to the surrounding neighborhood. The amenity shall include landscaping, outdoor furniture, and active or passive recreational features that contribute to the life of the community. The amenity shall be clearly defined and shall provide views into the public space.

3. Telecommuting center/business incubator center on site, providing shared office equipment and staffing.

4. Green rooftops designed and landscaped to reduce energy consumption within the buildings while providing open space and recreational areas. Documentation must be provided that confirms roof construction supports the plantings, soil and retained water. Other green building techniques that advance the strategies and objectives of the Climate Action Plan beyond the minimum requirements of the project may be considered.

5. Child care facilities provided on site, as specified in Chapter 17.58 LEMC, Density Bonuses.

6. Exceptional architecture that restores the historic significance of the neighborhood.

7. Project is located within 1,500 feet from a regular bus stop or rapid transit system stop, which is easily accessible from the project site.

8. Project site is located within one-quarter mile from a public park or community center, or from a prescription pharmacy, which is easily accessible from the project site.

9. Project site is located within one-half mile from public school grounds or facilities, or from a full-service grocery store, or from a medical clinic or hospital, which is easily accessible from the project site.

10. The project site is an aggregate of disparate parcels.

C. CC&Rs shall be recorded on the property providing for ongoing maintenance of the amenities for the life of the project. [Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.070 Parking in the RMU district.

A. No off-street parking is required for nonresidential uses unless the use exceeds 3,000 square feet of gross floor area, in which case one off-street parking space is required for every 250 square feet beyond 3,000 square feet. In places of assembly, one off-street parking space is required for every 21 square feet of floor area in accordance with Chapter 17.148 LEMC, Parking Requirements.

B. Residential uses shall comply with Chapter 17.148 LEMC, Parking Requirements. However, a request to reduce the number of required parking spaces may be made to the Planning Commission concurrent with a design review or conditional use permit application, provided a parking study supports the finding that the number of parking spaces actually needed for a specific project is less than that required by code.

C. Tandem parking may be allowed for residential uses with the approval of the Director of Community Development. [Ord. 1415 § 3 (Exh. F § 42), 2019; Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.080 Design review in the RMU district.

A. No grading or building permit shall be issued for the development of a project in the RMU zone until the applicant has obtained design review approval pursuant to the provisions of LEMC 17.415.050 and 17.415.060, or a conditional use permit pursuant to LEMC 17.415.070 in conjunction with the design review approval.

B. Any alteration or modification of an approved project or its conditions of approval shall require the written request by the applicant and written approval by the Director of Community Development.

C. If a nonresidential use is proposed within a building, its floor area shall comprise no more than 20 to 30 percent of the total building square footage. If a nonresidential use is proposed on the same site as the residential project, its footprint shall comprise no more than 20 to 30 percent of the total acreage on the parcel. [Ord. 1415 § 3 (Exh. F § 42), 2019; Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.090 Lake Elsinore Municipal Code references.

Where this chapter is silent, the following chapters or portions thereof in the LEMC shall apply:



Chapter 17.08 LEMC


Residential Development Standards

Chapter 17.44 LEMC


Home Occupation Regulations

Chapter 17.48 LEMC


Nonresidential Development Standards

Chapter 17.112 LEMC


Parking Requirements

Chapter 17.148 LEMC


General Regulations

Chapter 17.152 LEMC


Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Chapter 17.156 LEMC


Adult Business Regulations

Chapter 17.160 LEMC


Nonconforming Uses

Chapter 17.164 LEMC


Noise Control

Chapter 17.176 LEMC


Signs – Advertising Structures

Chapter 17.196 LEMC


General Application Processing Procedures

Chapter 17.410 LEMC


Permitting Requirements

Chapter 17.415 LEMC

[Ord. 1415 § 3 (Exh. F § 43), 2019; Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].

17.86.100 Mixed use development matrix.

MU Matrix 





Predominant Use





> 50% net lot size

> 70% net lot size







7 – 18 du/ac

19 – 24 du/ac

Net acreage used in calculations

Density with Density Bonus

Up to 35 du/ac

See LEMC 17.86.060

Lot Size

No min.

No min.









For LS, walkway, outdoor dining, fountains, street furniture; no parking

Street Front



For LS, walkway, outdoor dining, fountains, street furniture; no parking




If CMU abuts R-zoned properties, 20 feet. If RMU, match R zone setback




Per Fire and Safety Code requirements




Varied rooflines




See LEMC 17.86.070 and 17.134.070




With parking study that addresses peak parking demand




With shared parking agreement executed and filed




Non-street facing




Parking, loading, trash storage, cart storage, RME

* For properties within the Downtown Master Plan, development standards of the Downtown Master Plan supersede this matrix.

Where this matrix is silent, the LEMC shall apply.

[Ord. 1300 § 4 (Exh. B), 2012].