Chapter 20.50
PERMIT APPLICATION FILING AND PROCESSING

Sections:

20.50.010    Purpose.

20.50.020    Authority for Land Use and Zoning Decisions.

20.50.030    Multiple Permit Applications.

20.50.040    Application Preparation and Filing.

20.50.050    Application Fees.

20.50.060    Initial Application Review.

20.50.070    Project Evaluation and Staff Reports.

20.50.080    Environmental Review.

20.50.010 Purpose.

This chapter provides procedures and requirements for the preparation, filing, and processing of permit applications required by this Zoning Code. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.020 Authority for Land Use and Zoning Decisions.

Table 5-1 (Review Authority) identifies the review authority responsible for reviewing and making decisions on each type of application required by this Zoning Code. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.030 Multiple Permit Applications.

A.    Concurrent Filing. Any applicant for a project requiring more than one permit application (e.g., conditional use permit, site development review, tentative map, etc.) shall file all related applications concurrently, with all appropriate application fees required by Section 20.50.050 (Application Fees).

B.    Concurrent Processing. Multiple applications for the same project shall be processed concurrently, and shall be reviewed and approved, modified, or denied by the highest review authority designated by this Zoning Code for any of the applications.

TABLE 5-1

REVIEW AUTHORITY 

Type of Action

Applicable Code Chapter/Section

Role of Review Authority (1)

Director

Zoning Administrator

Hearing Officer

Commission

Council (2)

Administrative and Legislative

Interpretations

Section 20.12.020

Determination (3)

 

 

Appeal

Appeal

Planned Communities

Chapter 20.56

 

 

 

Recommend

Decision

Specific Plans

Chapter 20.58

 

 

 

Recommend

Decision

Zoning Code Amendments

Chapter 20.66

 

 

 

Recommend

Decision

Zoning Map Amendments

Chapter 20.66

 

 

 

Recommend

Decision

Permits and Approvals

Comprehensive Sign Program

 

 

Decision (3)

 

Appeal

 

Conditional Use Permits

Section 20.52.020

 

 

 

Decision

Appeal

Conditional Use Permits—Residential Zones HO

Section 20.52.030

 

Decision

 

Appeal

Heritage Sign

 

 

 

 

Decision

Appeal

Innovative Sign Program

 

 

 

 

Decision

Appeal

Limited Term Permits

Section 20.52.040

 

Decision (3)

 

Appeal

Appeal

Minor Use Permits

Section 20.52.020

 

Decision (3)

 

Appeal

Appeal

Modification Permits

Section 20.52.050

 

Decision (3)

 

Appeal

Appeal

Planned Development Permits

Section 20.52.060

 

 

 

Decision

Appeal

Reasonable Accommodations

Section 20.52.070

 

 

Decision

 

Appeal

Sign Permits

Chapter 20.42

Determination (3)

 

 

Appeal

Appeal

Site Development Reviews (See Table 5-2 (Review Authority for Site Development Reviews))

Section 20.52.080

 

Decision (3)

 

Decision

Appeal

Variances

Section 20.52.090

 

 

 

Decision

Appeal

Zoning Clearances

Section 20.52.100

Determination (3)

 

 

Appeal

Appeal

Notes:

(1)    “Recommend” means that the Commission makes a recommendation to the Council; “Determination” and “Decision” mean that the review authority makes the final determination or decision on the matter; “Appeal” means that the review authority may consider and decide upon appeals to the decision of a previous decision-making body, in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals).

(2)    The Council is the final review authority for all applications in the City.

(3)    The Director or Zoning Administrator may defer action and refer the request to the Commission for consideration and final action.

(Ord. 2015-8 § 1, 2015; Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.040 Application Preparation and Filing.

A.    Preapplication Conference.

1.    Any applicant is strongly encouraged to request a preapplication conference with the Department before completing and filing a permit application.

2.    The purpose of this preapplication conference is to:

a.    Inform the applicant of City requirements as they apply to the proposed project;

b.    Review the City’s review process, possible project alternatives or revisions; and

c.    Identify information and materials the City will require with the application, and any necessary technical studies and information relating to the environmental review of the project.

3.    Neither the preapplication review nor the provision of information and/or pertinent policies shall be construed as either a recommendation for approval or denial of the permit application by any City staff. Failure by City staff to identify any required studies or any applicable requirements shall not constitute a waiver of those studies or requirements.

B.    Application Contents. Each permit application required by this Zoning Code shall be filed with the Department on the appropriate City application form, together with all required fees and/or deposits and all other information and materials specified by the Director for the specific type of application.

C.    Eligibility for Filing. An application may only be filed by the owner of the subject property or authorized agent of the owner with the written consent of the property owner. The application shall be signed by the owner of record or by an authorized agent, if written authorization from the owner of record is filed concurrently with the application.

D.    Rejection of Application. If the Director determines that an application cannot lawfully be approved by the City, the Director shall not accept the application for processing. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.050 Application Fees.

A.    Fee Schedule. The Council shall establish a schedule of fees for the processing of the applications required by this Zoning Code, hereafter referred to as the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution.

B.    Timing of Payment. Applications shall not be deemed complete, and processing shall not commence on any application, until all required fees or deposits have been paid. Failure to timely pay supplemental requests for payment of required fees and/or deposits shall be a basis for suspension of processing or issuance of any permit.

C.    Refunds and Withdrawals. Application fees cover City costs for public hearings, mailings, staff time and the other activities involved in processing applications. No refund for an application that is denied shall be allowed. In the case of a withdrawal by the applicant, the Director shall have the discretion to authorize a partial refund based upon the pro-rated costs to date and the status of the application at the time of withdrawal. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.060 Initial Application Review.

A.    Review for Completeness. The Director shall review each application for completeness and accuracy before it is accepted as being complete. The determination of completeness shall be based on the City’s applicable list of required application contents and any additional written instructions provided to the applicant in any preapplication conference, and/or during the initial application review period.

1.    Notification of Applicant or Authorized Agent. Within thirty (30) calendar days of application filing, the applicant or authorized agent shall be informed in writing, either that the application is complete and has been accepted for processing or that the application is incomplete and that additional specified information shall be provided before the application is deemed complete.

2.    Appeal of Determination. Where the Director has determined that an application is incomplete, and the applicant believes that the application is complete and/or that any additional information requested by the Director is not required, the applicant may appeal the determination to the appropriate review authority in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals).

3.    Additional Information.

a.    When the Director determines that an application is incomplete, the time used by the applicant to submit the required additional information shall not be considered part of the time within which the determination of completeness shall occur.

b.    The time available to an applicant for submittal of additional information is limited by subsection (A)(4) of this section.

c.    The additional specified information shall be submitted in writing.

d.    The Director’s review of any information resubmitted by the applicant shall be accomplished in compliance with this subsection (A) along with another thirty (30) day period of review for completeness.

4.    Expiration of Application.

a.    If an applicant fails to provide any additional information requested by the Director within sixty (60) days following the date the application was deemed incomplete, the application shall be deemed withdrawn without any further action by the City.

b.    After the expiration of an application, future City consideration shall require the submittal of a new, complete application and associated filing fees.

5.    Submittal of Additional Information.

a.    During the course of the review process, the review authority may require the applicant to submit additional information or revised plans.

b.    The Director shall notify the applicant in writing of any revisions or additional information required and the applicant shall submit the requested information to the Department within thirty (30) days after the date of the notice or within the period of time designated by the review authority.

c.    Failure to submit the required information within the thirty (30) day period or within the period of time designated by the review authority may be cause for denial.

6.    Additional Environmental Information. After an application has been accepted as complete, the Director may require the applicant to submit additional information needed for the environmental review of the project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the City’s CEQA guidelines, and Section 20.50.080 (Environmental review).

B.    Referral of Application. At the discretion of the Director, or where otherwise required by this Zoning Code or State or Federal law, an application may be referred to any public agency that may be affected by or have an interest in the proposed project for their review and comment. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.070 Project Evaluation and Staff Reports.

A.    Director Evaluation. The Director shall review all applications to determine whether they comply and are consistent with the provisions of this Zoning Code, the General Plan, and other applicable provisions identified in Section 20.10.040 (Applicability of Zoning Code).

B.    Staff Report. The Department shall provide a written recommendation for discretionary applications to the applicable review authority recommending that the application be approved, conditionally approved, or denied.

C.    Staff Report to Include Findings. Whenever this Zoning Code requires a set of findings to be made before granting approval of an application by the applicable review authority, it shall be the responsibility of the Department to present all relevant facts to support the findings.

D.    Report Distribution. Each staff report shall be furnished to the applicant at the same time as it is provided to the review authority before the review authority’s action on the application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.50.080 Environmental Review.

A.    CEQA Review. After acceptance of a complete application, the project shall be reviewed in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to determine whether:

1.    The project is not a project as defined by CEQA;

2.    The project is exempt from the requirements of CEQA;

3.    A negative declaration may be issued;

4.    A mitigated negative declaration may be issued; or

5.    An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) shall be required.

B.    Compliance with CEQA. These determinations and, where required, the preparation of appropriate environmental documents shall be in compliance with CEQA and applicable Council policies. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)