Chapter 20.52
PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURES

Sections:

20.52.010    Purpose.

20.52.020    Conditional Use Permits and Minor Use Permits.

20.52.030    Conditional Use Permits in Residential Zoning Districts.

20.52.040    Limited Term Permits.

20.52.050    Modification Permits.

20.52.060    Planned Development Permits.

20.52.070    Reasonable Accommodations.

20.52.080    Site Development Reviews.

20.52.090    Variances.

20.52.100    Zoning Clearances.

20.52.010 Purpose.

A.    Permit Review Procedures. This chapter provides procedures for the review and approval or denial of permit(s) and other applications established by this Zoning Code.

B.    Subdivision Review Procedures. Procedures and standards for the review and approval of subdivision maps are found in Title 19 (Subdivisions).

C.    Application Filing and Initial Processing. Where applicable, the procedures of this chapter are carried out after those described in Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing) for each application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.020 Conditional Use Permits and Minor Use Permits.

A.    Purpose. A conditional use permit or minor use permit provides a process for reviewing uses and associated operational characteristics that may be appropriate in the applicable zoning district, but whose effects on a site and surroundings cannot be determined before being proposed for a specific site.

B.    Applicability. A conditional use permit or a minor use permit is required to allow certain uses in residential and nonresidential zoning districts identified by Part 2 of this title (Zoning Districts, Allowable Land Uses, and Zoning District Standards). Also see Section 20.52.030 for conditional use permits in residential zoning districts.

C.    Review Authority and Related Procedures.

1.    Conditional Use Permits. Conditional use permits shall be approved, conditionally approved, or denied by the Commission or by the Hearing Officer as provided in Table 5-1.

2.    Minor Use Permits. Minor use permits shall be approved, conditionally approved, or denied by the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator may elect to refer any minor use permit application to the Commission for consideration and final action.

D.    Application Filing, Processing, and Review. An application for a conditional use permit or minor use permit shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing). The application shall include all of the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (F) of this section (Findings and Decision).

E.    Project Review and Notice and Hearing Requirements. Each application shall be reviewed by the Director to ensure that the proposal complies with all applicable requirements of this Zoning Code.

1.    Conditional Use Permits. The Commission or Hearing Officer shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a conditional use permit before a decision on the application.

2.    Minor Use Permits. The Zoning Administrator shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a minor use permit before a decision on the application.

3.    Notice and Hearing Requirements. Notice of the hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted, in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

F.    Findings and Decision. The review authority may approve or conditionally approve a conditional use permit or minor use permit only after first finding all of the following:

1.    The use is consistent with the General Plan and any applicable specific plan;

2.    The use is allowed within the applicable zoning district and complies with all other applicable provisions of this Zoning Code and the Municipal Code;

3.    The design, location, size, and operating characteristics of the use are compatible with the allowed uses in the vicinity;

4.    The site is physically suitable in terms of design, location, shape, size, operating characteristics, and the provision of public and emergency vehicle (e.g., fire and medical) access and public services and utilities; and

5.    Operation of the use at the location proposed would not be detrimental to the harmonious and orderly growth of the City, nor endanger, jeopardize, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the proposed use.

G.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a conditional use permit or minor use permit application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.030 Conditional Use Permits in Residential Zoning Districts.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is as follows:

1.    To promote the public health, safety, and welfare and to implement the goals and policies of the General Plan by ensuring that conditional uses in residential neighborhoods do not change the character of the neighborhoods as primarily residential communities.

2.    To protect and implement the recovery and residential integration of the disabled, including those receiving treatment and counseling in connection with dependency recovery. In doing so, the City seeks to avoid the over-concentration of residential care facilities so that these facilities are reasonably dispersed throughout the community and are not congregated or over-concentrated in any particular area so as to institutionalize that area.

B.    Applicability. A conditional use permit is required to authorize uses identified by Part 2 of this title (Zoning Districts, Allowable Land Uses, and Zoning District Standards) as being allowable in the applicable residential zoning district or in an area where residential uses are provided for in Planned Community Districts or specific plan districts subject to the approval of a conditional use permit.

C.    Conditional Use Permits to Continue a Nonconforming Use.

1.    Any person whose use of property in a residential zoning district has been rendered nonconforming may seek the issuance of a conditional use permit, in compliance with this section, to continue the use so long as the application for that permit is completed and filed within ninety (90) days following May 21, 2008.

2.    If any person fails to file an application for a conditional use permit within the ninety (90) day period, the permit to continue the use may not be sought or issued.

D.    Application Contents. In addition to the application requirements contained in Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing), an application for a conditional use permit for a site located in a residential zone, or in an area where residential uses are provided for in Planned Community Districts, or specific plan districts, shall contain all of the following information as applicable:

1.    Applicant Information. The name and address of the applicant, including the name and address of the lessee, if the property is to be leased and is someone other than the applicant; and the name and address of the owner of the property for which a conditional use permit is requested. If the applicant and/or lessee or owner is an association, corporation, firm, or partnership, then the applicant/lessee shall provide the additional names and addresses as follows and the persons shall also sign the application:

a.    Every general partner of the partnership;

b.    Every owner with a controlling interest in the corporation; or

c.    The person designated by the officers of a corporation as identified in a resolution of the corporation that is to be designated as the permit holder for the conditional use permit.

2.    Characteristics of Proposed Use. Type of use, hours of operation, types of services provided on site, types of activities held on site, and typical attendance at activities held on site.

3.    Anticipated Users. Number and types of users anticipated for the proposed use (including clients, staff, guests, visitors, etc., as appropriate).

4.    List of Similar Uses Operated by Applicant in the State of California. A list of addresses of all operations within the State of California similar to that for which a conditional use permit or minor use permit is requested that have been owned or operated by the applicant(s) within the past five years including a statement from the applicant as to whether any of the uses have been found to be operated in violation of Federal, State, or local law by Federal, State or local authorities.

5.    List of Similar Uses within City. A list of other uses of the same type located in the City and the authorized capacity of the use. The applicant shall provide evidence of the need for the proposed use by the residents of the City. The City may complete an independent review of this data, at the applicant’s expense, to determine whether need for the use is supported by the evidence.

6.    License and Permit History. The license and permit history of the applicant(s), if any, including whether the applicant(s), in previously operating a similar use in this or another City, county, or state under license and/or permit has had the license and/or permit revoked or suspended, and the reason(s) for the revocation or suspension.

7.    Location Map. A location map showing all conditional uses located within three blocks of the subject site, including property addresses and a site plan showing uses and structures on adjacent parcels.

8.    Operations and Management Plan. An operations and management plan to ensure compliance with State and local law. If the conditional use permit is for a residential facility or a commercial use that accommodates overnight stays, the operations and management plan shall also indicate the number of persons in each bedroom, maximum number of occupants, typical length of stay, any guest or client rules of conduct, and procedures for the disposal, if any, of medical waste.

9.    Transportation and Parking. Number and location of on-site parking spaces; expected parking demand and vehicular use; availability of public transportation or other means to transport clients, staff, guests, and/or visitors to and from the use; and routes utilized to transport clients, staff, guests, and/or visitors to and from the use.

E.    Project Review and Notice and Hearing Requirements. Each application shall be reviewed by the Director to ensure that the proposal complies with all applicable requirements of this Zoning Code.

1.    Public Hearing Required. A public hearing shall be conducted prior to any decision on an application for a conditional use permit.

2.    Notice and Hearing Requirements. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided, and the hearing shall be conducted, in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

F.    Approval, Modification, or Revocation of Conditional Use Permit.

1.    The review authority identified in Table 5-1 (Section 20.50.020) is designated to approve, conditionally approve, or deny applications for conditional use permits in residential zoning districts and the modification or revocation thereof, in compliance with the procedures provided in this section.

2.    Decisions of the review authority may be appealed or called for review in compliance with Chapter 20.64.

G.    Development and Operational Standards. The following standards are applicable to uses granted a conditional use permit in compliance with this section.

1.    Management and Operation Plan. The use shall be operated in compliance with applicable State and local law and in compliance with the management and operating plan and rules of conduct submitted as part of the application for a conditional use permit or as identified in the conditions of approval for a conditional use permit. Each plan shall provide a phone number by which the operator may be contacted at all times. If applicable, the permittee shall comply with the Business License provisions of Municipal Code Title 5.

2.    Operational Standards. These standards are in addition to any other standards provided for specific uses in this Zoning Code. In order to ensure that conditional uses in residential zoning districts are operating in a manner that is consistent with Federal, State, and local law and established industry standards and to ensure that operators do not have a pattern or practice of operating similar uses in violation of Federal, State, or local law, all of the standards listed below shall apply:

a.    If the facility is not licensed by the State, managers, operators, owners, clients, visitors, and residents shall not provide any services on site that would require licensure of the facility in compliance with State law.

b.    For uses that allow overnight stays, there shall be no more than two residents, guests, or clients in each bedroom plus one additional resident, guest, or client. The review authority, at his/her discretion, may approve additional occupancy upon request by the applicant and based upon evidence that additional occupancy is warranted and appropriate. In determining whether to allow a different occupancy limit, the review authority shall consider the characteristics of the structure, whether there will be an impact on traffic and parking, and whether the public comfort, health, peace, safety, or welfare of persons residing in the facility or adjacent to the facility will be impacted.

c.    The names of all persons and entities with an ownership or leasehold interest in the use, or who will participate in operation of the use, shall be disclosed in writing to the City, and these persons and entities shall not have a demonstrated pattern or practice of operating similar facilities in or out of the City of Newport Beach in violation of Federal, State, or local law.

d.    The operator of the proposed use shall provide a list of the names and addresses of all similar uses located in the State of California owned or operated by the operator within the past five years and shall certify under penalty of perjury that none of these uses has been found by State or local authorities to be operating in violation of Federal, State, or local law. The Director shall verify this information.

3.    Smoking. Clients, guests, visitors, staff, or any other users of the use shall not smoke in an area from which the secondhand smoke may be detected on any parcel other than the parcel upon which the use is located.

H.    Findings and Decision. In addition to the findings required by Section 20.52.020(F) (Findings and Decision), prior to approving or conditionally approving an application for a conditional use permit in a residential zone or in an area where residential uses are provided for in Planned Community Districts or specific plan districts the review authority shall find:

1.    The use conforms to all applicable provisions of subsection (G) of this section (Development and Operational Standards);

2.    The project complies with the requirements for off-street parking as provided in Chapter 20.40 (Off-Street Parking) and traffic and transportation impacts have been mitigated to a level of insignificance;

3.    The property and existing structures are physically suited to accommodate the use;

4.    The use will be compatible with the character of the surrounding neighborhood, and the addition or continued maintenance of the use will not contribute to changing the residential character of the neighborhood (e.g., creating an over-concentration of residential care or bed and breakfast uses in the vicinity of the proposed use). In making this finding or sustaining the finding, the Hearing Officer and/or Council shall consider, as appropriate, all of the following factors:

a.    The proximity of the use location to parks, schools, other conditionally permitted uses of the same or similar type, outlets for alcoholic beverages, and any other uses that could be affected by or affect the operation of the subject use;

b.    The existence of substandard physical characteristics of the area in which the use is located (e.g., limited available parking, lot widths, narrow streets, setbacks, short blocks), and other substandard characteristics that are pervasive in certain areas of the City of Newport Beach, including portions of Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula, Corona Del Mar, Lido Isle, Newport Heights, and West Newport, which portions were depicted on a map referred to as the Nonstandard Subdivision Area presented to the Commission on September 20, 2007, and on file with the Director; and

c.    In the case of residential care uses, whether, in light of the factors applied in subsections (H)(4)(a) and (b) of this section, it would be appropriate to apply the American Planning Association standard of allowing only one or two residential care uses in each block.

i.    Median block lengths in different areas of Newport Beach widely range from three hundred (300) feet in the nonstandard subdivision areas to as much as one thousand four hundred twenty-two (1,422) feet in standard subdivision areas.

ii.    The average calculable block length in much of the standard subdivision areas is seven hundred eleven (711) feet and the calculable median block length is six hundred seventeen (617) feet.

iii.    The review authority shall apply the American Planning Association standard in all areas of Newport Beach in a manner that eliminates the differences in block lengths.

iv.    In making this determination, the review authority shall be guided by average or median block lengths in standard subdivisions of the City.

v.    The review authority shall retain the discretion to apply any degree of separation of uses that the Hearing Officer deems appropriate in any given case.

vi.    A copy of the American Planning Association standard is on file with the Director.

5.    The operation of buses, vans, and other vehicles used to transport residents, clients, visitors, guests, and/or staff to and from off-site activities or parking areas does not generate vehicular traffic substantially greater than that normally generated by residential activities in the surrounding area;

6.    Arrangements for delivery of goods are made within the hours that are compatible with and will not adversely affect the peace and quiet of neighboring properties; and

7.    Arrangements for commercial trash collection in excess of usual residential collection are made within hours that are compatible with and will not adversely affect the peace and quiet of neighboring properties.

I.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a conditional use permit application. (Ord. 2015-8 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.040 Limited Term Permits.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to consider applicant requests for uses of limited duration (e.g., interim, nonpermanent, and/or seasonal in nature) that would be compatible with adjacent and surrounding uses when conducted in compliance with this section.

B.    Applicability.

1.    Limited Duration Uses. A limited term permit allows limited duration uses that might not meet the development or use standards of the applicable zoning district, but may otherwise be acceptable because of their temporary or limited nature.

2.    Limited Term Permit Required. Limited duration uses shall not be conducted, established, or operated in any manner without the approval and maintenance of a valid limited term permit in compliance with this section.

C.    Exempt Limited Duration Uses. The following limited duration uses are exempt from the requirement for a limited term permit. Uses that do not fall within the categories defined below shall comply with subsection (D) of this section (Allowed Limited Duration Uses).

1.    Construction Yards—On Site.

a.    On-site contractors’ construction yard(s), including temporary storage and office trailers, in conjunction with an approved construction project on the same lot.

b.    One adult caretaker may be present during nonconstruction hours for security purposes.

c.    The construction yard shall be removed immediately upon completion of the construction project, or the expiration of the building permit.

2.    Emergency Facilities. Emergency public health and safety needs/land use activities, as determined by the Council or authorized by Title 5.

3.    Personal Property (e.g., Garage and/or Yard) Sales on Private Property. Personal property sales conducted on private property when conducted in compliance with Section 20.48.150 (Personal property sales in residential districts).

4.    Special Events. Special events, as that term may be defined in Section 11.03.020 (General provisions), but only upon the issuance of a special event permit.

D.    Allowed Limited Duration Uses. The following limited duration uses are allowed, subject to the issuance of a limited term permit, and only when conducted in compliance with subsection (H) of this section (Conditions of Approval).

1.    Contractors’ Construction Yards—Off Site. Off-site contractors’ construction yard(s), in conjunction with an approved construction project. The permit may be effective for up to twelve (12) months, or the expiration of the building permit.

2.    Off-Site Parking for Marine Activities. Off-site parking for uses requiring a marine activities permit in compliance with Chapter 17.10 for the duration of the permit or for not more than twelve (12) months, whichever is less.

3.    Seasonal Sales. Seasonal sales including holiday boutiques, Halloween pumpkin sales and Christmas tree sale lots only by businesses holding a valid business license; provided, the activity may only be held from October 1st through October 31st of the same year for the Halloween pumpkin sales, and from the day after Thanksgiving through December 26th for Christmas tree sales.

4.    Limited Duration Sales and/or Work Trailers. A trailer or mobile home may be used for limited duration sales activities (e.g., model home sales, etc.) or as a limited duration work site for employees of a business.

a.    A trailer or mobile home may be used:

i.    During construction or remodeling of a permanent commercial, industrial, and mixed-use structure, when a valid building permit is in force; or

ii.    Upon demonstration by the applicant that the limited duration work site is a necessity, while a permanent work site is being obtained.

b.    A permit for limited duration trailer(s) may be granted for up to twelve (12) months and may be extended for a longer period in conjunction with a valid building permit.

5.    Limited Duration Structures. A limited duration classroom, office, or similar portable structure, including a manufactured or mobile unit, may be approved for a maximum time period of twelve (12) months in the commercial, industrial, and mixed-use zoning districts.

6.    Limited Duration Use of a Vacant Lot. The limited duration use of a vacant lot with nonpermanent structural improvements, for a use typically allowed subject to the approval of a conditional use permit or minor use permit, may be approved for a maximum time period of twelve (12) months in the commercial, industrial, and mixed-use zoning districts.

7.    Other Similar Limited Duration Uses. Similar limited duration uses that, in the opinion of the Director, are compatible with the subject zoning district and surrounding uses.

8.    Telecommunications Facilities. A temporary telecommunications facility may be approved consistent with Chapter 20.49 for up to twelve (12) months. Extensions of time shall be consistent with Section 20.52.040(J).

E.    Application Filing, Processing, and Review.

1.    Filing. An application for a limited term permit shall be filed with the Department in the following manner:

a.    Application Required. Applications for a limited term permit shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing).

b.    Application Before Operation. A complete application shall be filed with the Department at least thirty (30) days before the date that the proposed limited duration use is scheduled to take place.

c.    No Similar Activities for Thirty (30) Days. The same or very similar limited duration use shall not be allowed to operate on the same lot for at least thirty (30) days following termination of the previous use.

d.    Not within One Hundred Eighty (180) Days. Applications shall not be filed or accepted if final action has been taken within the previous one hundred eighty (180) days by the Zoning Administrator to deny an application for the same or substantially the same permit.

2.    Contents. The application shall include all of the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution.

3.    Evidence. It is the responsibility of the applicant to establish evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (G) of this section (Findings and Decision).

4.    Project Review Procedures. Following receipt of a completed application, the Director shall review the facts bearing on the case to provide the information necessary for action consistent with the purpose of this section.

5.    Public Hearing Requirements.

a.    Up to Ninety (90) Days.

i.    A public hearing shall not be required for a limited term permit application for a limited duration use that is proposed to operate for up to ninety (90) days.

ii.    However, the Director may, based on the specifics of the case, determine that a public hearing be required before a decision on an application. If required, the notice shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

b.    Ninety (90) Days or More.

i.    A public hearing shall be required for a limited term permit application for a limited duration use that is proposed to operate for ninety (90) days or more.

ii.    Notice of the hearing shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

F.    Review Authority.

1.    Limited term permits may be approved, conditionally approved, or denied by the Zoning Administrator, in compliance with this section.

2.    The Zoning Administrator may instead refer the application for a limited term permit to the Commission for consideration and final action when, in the Zoning Administrator’s judgment, there may be public interest, controversy, or issues requiring a public forum due to the nature of the request.

3.    If referred to the Commission, the Commission shall conduct a public hearing on the application. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

G.    Findings and Decision. The Zoning Administrator (or the Commission on a referral or appeal) may approve or conditionally approve a limited term permit application, only after first finding all of the following:

1.    The operation of the requested limited duration use at the location proposed and within the time period specified would not be detrimental to the harmonious and orderly growth of the City, nor endanger, jeopardize, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the requested limited duration use;

2.    The subject lot is adequate in size and shape to accommodate the limited duration use without material detriment to the use and enjoyment of other properties located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the lot;

3.    The subject lot is adequately served by streets or highways having sufficient width and improvements to accommodate the kind and quantity of traffic that the limited duration use would or could reasonably be expected to generate;

4.    Adequate temporary parking to accommodate vehicular traffic to be generated by the limited duration use would be available either on-site or at alternate locations acceptable to the Zoning Administrator; and

5.    The limited duration use is consistent with all applicable provisions of the General Plan, any applicable specific plan, the Municipal Code, and other City regulations.

H.    Conditions of Approval. In approving a limited term permit application, the review authority may impose conditions that are deemed necessary to ensure that the permit would be in full compliance with the findings required by subsection (G) of this section (Findings and Decision). These conditions may address any pertinent factors affecting the operation of the limited duration use, and may include the following:

1.    Fixed Period of Time. Unless otherwise stated in the permit, a provision for a fixed period of time not to exceed thirty (30) days for a limited duration use not occupying a structure, including promotional activities, or twelve (12) months for all other limited duration uses or structures, or for a shorter period of time as requested by the applicant and determined appropriate by the Zoning Administrator;

2.    Operating Hours and Days. Regulation of operating hours and days;

3.    Temporary Pedestrian and Vehicular Circulation. Provision for adequate temporary pedestrian and vehicular circulation, parking facilities (including vehicular ingress and egress), and public transportation, if applicable;

4.    Regulation of Nuisance Factors. Regulation of nuisance factors including prevention of glare or direct illumination on adjacent lots, dirt, dust, erosion, gases, heat, noise, odors, smoke, soil contamination, trash, and vibration;

5.    Regulation of Temporary Structures. Regulation of temporary structures and facilities, including placement, height and size, location of equipment and open spaces, including buffer areas and other yards;

6.    Sanitary and Medical Facilities. Provision for sanitary and medical facilities, as appropriate;

7.    Waste Collection, Recycling, and/or Disposal. Provision for solid, hazardous, and toxic waste collection, recycling, and/or disposal;

8.    Police/Security and Safety Measures. Provision for police/security and safety measures, as appropriate;

9.    Signs. Regulation of signs in compliance with Chapter 20.42 (Sign Standards);

10.    Performance Bond or Other Security. Submission of a performance bond or other security measures, satisfactory to the Director, to ensure that any temporary facilities or structures used would be removed from the site within a reasonable time following the cessation of the use and that the property would be restored to its former condition, or better, as determined by the Director, to ensure that any changes to the site would not limit the range of possible future uses otherwise allowed by this Zoning Code;

11.    Compliance with Applicable Provisions. A requirement that the approval of the requested limited term permit is contingent upon compliance with applicable provisions of the Municipal Code and the successful granting of all required permits from any other department or governing agency; and

12.    Other Conditions. Other conditions that would ensure the operation of the limited duration use in an orderly and efficient manner, and in full compliance with the purpose of this section.

I.    Condition of Site Following Limited Duration Use. Each site occupied by a limited duration use shall be cleaned of debris, litter, or any other evidence of the limited duration use upon completion or removal of the use, and shall continue to be used in compliance with this Zoning Code.

J.    Extension of Limited Term Permit. The Zoning Administrator may extend the time limit for the limited term permit, upon request of the applicant and for good cause shown, up to a maximum time equal to the original approval, but not to exceed twelve (12) additional months, with a maximum of twenty-four (24) months total, in compliance with Section 20.54.060 (Time Limits and Extensions).

K.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a limited term permit application. (Ord. 2014-1 § 11, 2014; Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.050 Modification Permits.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide relief from specified development standards of this Zoning Code when so doing is consistent with the purposes of this Code and the General Plan, and does not negatively impact the community at large or in the neighborhood of the specified development.

B.    Review Authority and Allowable Modifications. The Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission, as appropriate, shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny applications for modification permits applicable only to the following, subject to the findings identified in subsection (E) of this section (Required Findings):

1.    Height modifications from exceptions identified in Part 3 of this title (Site Planning and Development Standards). The following modifications are limited to not more than a ten (10) percent deviation from the standard being modified.

a.    Chimneys, rooftop architectural features, and vents in excess of the exception to the allowed height limits identified in Part 3 of this title (Site Planning and Development Standards);

b.    Flag poles in excess of the exception to the allowed height limits; and

c.    Heights of fences, hedges, or walls (except retaining walls).

2.    Setback Modifications. The following modifications are limited to not more than a ten (10) percent deviation from the standard being modified.

a.    Encroachments in front, side, or rear setback areas while still maintaining the minimum clearances required by Section 20.30.110 (Setback Regulations and Exceptions). Exceptions include the following:

i.    Modifications shall not be allowed for encroachments into alley setbacks; and

ii.    Modifications shall not be allowed for encroachments into bluff setback areas.

b.    Structural appurtenances or projections that encroach into front, side, or rear setback areas.

3.    Other Modifications. Except as otherwise provided, the following modifications are not limited in the amount of deviation from the standard being modified:

a.    Distances between structures located on the same lot;

b.    Landscaping standards in compliance with Chapter 20.36 (Landscaping Standards);

c.    Maximum allowed roof area for roof-mounted equipment that exceeds the allowed height limits identified in Part 3 (Site Planning and Development Standards);

d.    Size or location of parking spaces, access to parking spaces, and landscaping within parking areas;

e.    Increase in allowed floor area of additions for uses that have nonconforming parking;

f.    Increase in allowed height, number, and area of signs;

g.    Increase in the allowed height of retaining walls; and

h.    Increase in allowed floor area of additions for nonconforming residential structures as identified in Section 20.38.040 (Nonconforming Structures).

C.    Application Filing and Fees. An application for a modification permit shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing). The application shall include the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (E) of this section (Required Findings).

D.    Notice and Hearing Requirements. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

E.    Required Findings. The Zoning Administrator may approve or conditionally approve a modification permit if, on the basis of the application, materials, plans, and testimony (orally and/or in writing) submitted, the Zoning Administrator first finds all of the following:

1.    The requested modification will be compatible with existing development in the neighborhood;

2.    The granting of the modification is necessary due to the unique physical characteristic(s) of the property and/or structure, and/or characteristics of the use;

3.    The granting of the modification is necessary due to practical difficulties associated with the property and that the strict application of the Zoning Code results in physical hardships that are inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the Zoning Code;

4.    There are no alternatives to the modification permit that could provide similar benefits to the applicant with less potential detriment to surrounding owners and occupants, the neighborhood, or to the general public; and

5.    The granting of the modification would not be detrimental to public health, safety, or welfare, to the occupants of the property, nearby properties, the neighborhood, or the City, or result in a change in density or intensity that would be inconsistent with the provisions of this Zoning Code.

F.    Duties of the Zoning Administrator.

1.    Review.

a.    The Zoning Administrator shall review each application to ensure that the proposal is consistent with the purpose and intent of this Zoning Code, this section, all applicable regulations and policies, and sound planning practices.

b.    The Zoning Administrator shall refer each application to the Building Department and Public Works Department, and to other City departments as determined to be appropriate by the Zoning Administrator.

c.    Each department shall submit written recommendations to the Zoning Administrator in a timely manner.

2.    Rendering of Decision. After the conclusion of the hearing on an application for a modification permit, the Zoning Administrator shall render a written decision within fifteen (15) days, unless both the applicant and the Zoning Administrator consent to a later date.

3.    Referral to Commission.

a.    The Zoning Administrator may refer a modification permit application to the Commission for consideration and final action.

b.    The procedure for notice and hearings held by the Commission on referred applications shall be in compliance with the same provisions as identified in this section and as specified in Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

G.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a modification permit application. (Ord. 2015-3 §§ 2, 3, 2015; Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.060 Planned Development Permits.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide a process for approving a planned development permit that is intended to:

1.    Ensure efficient use of land and a better living environment. Provide a method whereby land may be designed and developed as a unified site by taking advantage of efficient site planning techniques thereby resulting in a more efficient use of land, a better living environment, excellence of design, and related enhanced amenities than is otherwise possible through strict application of the development standards identified in Part 2 of this title (Zoning Districts, Allowable Land Uses, and Zoning District Standards);

2.    Ensure high standards of environmental quality. Ensure development that meets high standards of environmental quality, public health and safety, the efficient use of the City’s resources, and the purpose, intent, goals, policies, actions, and land use designations of the General Plan, and any applicable specific plan; and

3.    Provide for enhanced amenities. Incorporate a program of enhanced amenities (e.g., enhanced landscaping, additional and enhanced open space, improvements to an existing public facility (e.g., park or trail, etc.)) than typically required by this Zoning Code.

B.    Applicability.

1.    Allowed in All Zoning Districts. A planned development permit may be requested for any zoning district.

2.    Minimum Site Area. A planned development permit may only be requested for a site(s) with a minimum of one acre.

3.    Uses Only Allowed in Base Zoning District. A planned development permit may not authorize a use that is not allowed in the base zoning district.

4.    Adjustment of Standards.

a.    The permit may adjust, where necessary and justifiable, all applicable development standards identified in this Zoning Code, with the exception of an increase in the applicable density or intensity. Height adjustments shall be limited to those identified in Section 20.30.060 (Height Limits and Exceptions).

b.    Residential projects with increased density or intensity standards may only be approved in compliance with Chapter 20.32 (Density Bonus).

5.    Site Development Review Not Required. A site development review shall not be required with a planned development permit application.

C.    Application Filing, Processing, and Fees. An application for a planned development permit shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing). The application shall include all of the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (F) of this section (Findings and Decision).

D.    Review Authority. The Commission may approve, conditionally approve, or deny the planned development permit application, based upon the findings contained in subsection (F) of this section (Findings and Decision).

E.    Project Review, Notice, and Hearing.

1.    Application Consistent with the Purpose of Section. Each planned development permit application shall be reviewed by the Director to ensure that the application is consistent with the purpose and intent of this section.

2.    Public Notice and Hearing Provisions.

a.    Notice of hearing shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

b.    A public hearing shall be required for the Commission’s action on a planned development permit application.

F.    Findings and Decision. The Commission may approve or conditionally approve a planned development permit application only after first finding all of the following:

1.    The proposed development would:

a.    Include only uses allowed within the base zoning district;

b.    Be substantially consistent with the purpose, intent, goals, policies, actions, and land use designations of the General Plan, and any applicable specific plan;

c.    Be substantially consistent with the purpose and intent of the base zoning district;

d.    Include sustainable improvement standards and protection of environmental resources; and

e.    Be compatible with other development within the zoning district and general neighborhood of the proposed project.

2.    The project would produce a development of higher quality and greater excellence of design than that might otherwise result from using the standard development regulations;

3.    The subject site is adequate in terms of size, shape, topography, and circumstances to accommodate the proposed development;

4.    The project, as conditioned, will not have a substantial adverse effect on surrounding properties or allowed uses;

5.    The project includes improved quality of life provisions and enhanced amenities, including an additional and appropriate variety of structure placement and orientation opportunities, appropriate mix of structure sizes, high quality architectural design, common open space, landscaping, parking areas, private open space, public art, recreational amenities for adults and/or children, private or separated entrances, sustainable improvement standards (e.g., energy efficient building design, construction, and operation; convenient pedestrian and bicycle circulation; water and resource conservation), etc.; and

6.    The design, location, operating characteristics, and size of the project would be compatible with the existing and future uses in the vicinity, in terms of aesthetic values, character, scale, and view protection.

G.    Minor Changes by Director.

1.    Minor changes in the planned development permit that do not involve an increase in the number of dwelling units or intensity of other use or a change of use may be approved by the Director in compliance with Section 20.54.070 (Changes to an approved project).

2.    Proposed changes that are not deemed minor shall be subject to review and approval by the original review authority.

H.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a planned development permit application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.070 Reasonable Accommodations.

A.    Purpose. In compliance with Federal and State fair housing laws, it is the purpose of this section to provide reasonable accommodations in the City’s zoning and land use regulations, policies, and practices when needed to provide an individual with any disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.

B.    Review Authority. The Hearing Officer, as defined in Part 7 of this title (Definitions), is hereby designated to approve, conditionally approve, or deny applications for a reasonable accommodation.

C.    Application for Reasonable Accommodation.

1.    Applicant. A request for reasonable accommodation may be made by any person with a disability, their representative, or a developer or provider of housing for individuals with a disability. A reasonable accommodation may be approved only for the benefit of one or more individuals with a disability.

2.    Application.

a.    An application for a reasonable accommodation from a zoning regulation, policy, or practice shall be made on forms provided by the Department.

b.    A fee shall not be required for a request for reasonable accommodation, but if the project requires another discretionary permit, then the prescribed fee shall be paid for the other discretionary permit(s) in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution.

3.    Other Discretionary Permits.

a.    If the project or use for which the request for reasonable accommodation is made also requires or is related to other discretionary permits (e.g., conditional use permit, etc.) for the same project or use, then the applicant may file the request for reasonable accommodation together with the application for the other discretionary permit.

b.    If the applicant does not file the request for reasonable accommodation concurrently with the application for other discretionary permits, then any request for reasonable accommodation shall not be heard until after the decision of the appropriate review authority for the other discretionary permits is final and effective.

4.    Required Submittals. In addition to materials required under other applicable provisions of this Zoning Code, an application for reasonable accommodation shall include all of the following:

a.    Documentation that the applicant is:

i.    An individual with a disability;

ii.    Applying on behalf of one or more individuals with a disability; or

iii.    A developer or provider of housing for one or more individuals with a disability.

b.    The specific exception or modification to the Zoning Code provision, policy, or practices requested by the applicant.

c.    Documentation that the specific exception or modification requested by the applicant is the minimum necessary to provide one or more individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence.

d.    Any other information that the Director reasonably concludes is necessary to determine whether the findings required by subsection (D)(2) of this section (Findings and Decision) can be made, so long as any request for information regarding the disability of the individuals benefited complies with Fair Housing Law protections and the privacy rights of the individuals affected.

D.    Decision on Reasonable Accommodation.

1.    Hearing Officer Action.

a.    The Hearing Officer shall issue a written determination to approve, conditionally approve, or deny a request for reasonable accommodation, and the associated modification or revocation in compliance with subsection (D)(2) of this section (Findings and Decision).

b.    The reasonable accommodation request shall be heard with, and subject to, the notice, review, approval, call for review, and appeal procedures identified for any other discretionary permit.

c.    On review the Council may sustain, reverse, or modify the decision of the Hearing Officer or remand the matter for further consideration, which remand shall include specific issues to be considered or a direction for a de novo hearing.

2.    Findings and Decision.

a.    The written decision to approve or deny a request for reasonable accommodation shall be consistent with all the applicable Federal and State laws and shall be based on consideration of the following findings, all of which are required for approval:

i.    The requested accommodation is requested by or on the behalf of one or more individuals with a disability protected under the Fair Housing Laws;

ii.    The requested accommodation is necessary to provide one or more individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

iii.    The requested accommodation will not impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the City as “undue financial or administrative burden” is defined in Fair Housing Laws and interpretive case law;

iv.    The requested accommodation will not result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a City program, as “fundamental alteration” is defined in Fair Housing Laws and interpretive case law; and

v.    The requested accommodation will not, under the specific facts of the case, result in a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or substantial physical damage to the property of others.

b.    In making these findings, the review authority may approve alternative reasonable accommodations that provide an equivalent level of benefit to the applicant.

3.    Factors for Consideration—Necessity. The Hearing Officer may consider, but is not limited to, the following factors in determining whether the requested accommodation is the minimum necessary to provide one or more individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling:

a.    Whether the requested accommodation will affirmatively enhance the quality of life of one or more individuals with a disability;

b.    Whether the individual(s) with a disability will be denied an equal opportunity to enjoy the housing type of their choice absent the accommodation;

c.    In the case of a residential care facility, whether the requested accommodation is necessary to make facility or facilities of a similar nature or operation economically viable in light of the relevant market and market participants; and

d.    In the case of a residential care facility, whether the existing supply of facilities of a similar nature and operation in the community is sufficient to provide an individual(s) with a disability an equal opportunity to live in a residential setting.

4.    Factors of Consideration—Fundamental Alteration/Reasonableness. The Hearing Officer may consider, but is not limited to, the following factors in determining whether the requested accommodation would require a fundamental alteration in the nature of a City program:

a.    Whether the requested accommodation would fundamentally alter the character of the neighborhood;

b.    Whether the accommodation would result in a substantial increase in traffic or insufficient parking;

c.    Whether granting the requested accommodation would substantially undermine any express purpose of either the City’s General Plan or an applicable specific plan; and

d.    In the case of a residential care facility, whether the requested accommodation would create an institutionalized environment due to the number of and distance between facilities that are similar in nature or operation.

5.    Coastal Zone Properties. For housing located in the coastal zone, a request for reasonable accommodation under this section may be approved by the City if it is consistent with the findings provided in subsection (D)(2) of this section; with Chapter 3 of the California Coastal Act of 1976; with the Interpretative Guidelines for Coastal Planning and Permits established by the California Coastal Commission dated February 11, 1977, and any subsequent amendments; and the Local Coastal Program.

6.    Rules While Decision Is Pending. While a request for reasonable accommodation is pending, all laws and regulations otherwise applicable to the property that is the subject of the request shall remain in full force and effect.

7.    Effective Date.

a.    A reasonable accommodation shall not become effective until the decision to grant the accommodation shall have become final by reason of the expiration of time to make an appeal.

b.    In the event an appeal is filed, the reasonable accommodation shall not become effective unless and until a decision is made by the Council on the appeal in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals).

E.    Expiration, Time Extension, Violation, Discontinuance, and Revocation.

1.    Expiration.

a.    Any reasonable accommodation approved in compliance with the terms of this section shall expire within twenty-four (24) months from the effective date of approval or at an alternative time specified as a condition of approval unless:

i.    A building permit has been issued and construction has commenced;

ii.    A certificate of occupancy has been issued;

iii.    The use is established; or

iv.    A time extension has been granted.

b.    In cases where a coastal development permit is required, the time period shall not begin until the effective date of approval of the coastal development permit.

2.    Time Extension. The Hearing Officer may approve a time extension for a reasonable accommodation for good cause for a period(s) not to exceed three years. An application for a time extension shall be made in writing to the Director no less than thirty (30) days or more than ninety (90) days before the expiration date.

3.    Notice. Notice of the Hearing Officer’s decision on a time extension shall be provided in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings). All written decisions shall give notice of the right to appeal and to request reasonable accommodation in the appeals process as identified in subsection (E)(4) of this section (Appeal of Determination).

4.    Appeal of Determination. A time extension for a reasonable accommodation shall be final unless appealed to the Council within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date of mailing of the determination. An appeal shall be made in writing and shall be noticed and heard in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals), as modified by subsection (D)(1) of this section (Hearing Officer Action).

5.    Violation of Terms. Any reasonable accommodation approved in compliance with the terms of this section may be revoked if any of the conditions or terms of the reasonable accommodation are violated, or if any law or ordinance is violated in connection with the reasonable accommodation.

6.    Discontinuance.

a.    A reasonable accommodation shall lapse if the exercise of rights granted by it are discontinued for at least one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days.

b.    If the person(s) initially occupying a residence vacates or conveys the property for which the reasonable accommodation was granted, the reasonable accommodation shall remain in effect only if the Director determines that the modification authorized by the review authority is physically integrated into the residential structure and cannot be easily removed or altered to comply with this Zoning Code.

7.    Revocation. Procedures for revocation shall be as identified in Chapter 20.68 (Enforcement).

F.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a reasonable accommodation application.

G.    Amendments. A request for changes in conditions of approval shall be treated as a new application. The Director may waive the requirement for a new application if the changes are minor, do not involve substantial alterations or additions to the plan or the conditions of approval, and are consistent with the intent of the original approval. (Ord. 2015-8 § 3, 2015; Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.080 Site Development Reviews.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of site development review is to provide a process for the review of specific development projects in order to:

1.    Ensure consistency with General Plan policies related to the preservation of established community character, and expectations for high quality development;

2.    Respect the physical and environmental characteristics of the site;

3.    Ensure safe and convenient access and circulation for pedestrians and vehicles;

4.    Allow for and encourage individual identity for specific uses and structures;

5.    Encourage the maintenance of a distinct neighborhood and/or community identity;

6.    Minimize or eliminate negative or undesirable visual impacts;

7.    Ensure protection of significant views from public right(s)-of-way in compliance with Section 20.30.100 (Public View Protection); and

8.    Allow for different levels of review depending on the significance of the development project.

B.    Applicability.

1.    Site development review approval shall be required before the issuance of a building or grading permit for any new structure identified in Table 5-2, except for those projects listed in subsection (B)(2) of this section.

2.    The following types of projects and structures shall require the issuance of a zoning clearance in compliance with Section 20.52.100, rather than a site development review:

a.    Accessory structures;

b.    Fences and/or walls;

c.    The reconstruction or exterior remodeling of existing structures (including facade improvements);

d.    Residential Construction. One to four dwelling units, without a tentative or parcel map; and

e.    Nonresidential Construction. Up to a maximum of nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine (9,999) square feet of gross floor area.

3.    A site development review shall not be required for a planned development permit application.

4.    The applicable review authority shall be as specified in Table 5-2 (Review Authority for Site Development Reviews).

TABLE 5-2

REVIEW AUTHORITY FOR SITE DEVELOPMENT REVIEWS 

Type of Construction Activity

Role of Review Authority (1) (2)

Zoning Administrator (Minor Review)

Planning Commission (Major Review)

Residential construction: 5 to 20 dwelling units, without a tentative or parcel map.

Decision

Appeal

Residential construction: 5 or more dwelling units with a tentative or parcel map and 21 or more dwelling units, without a tentative or parcel map.

Decision

Residential construction: On a bluff, an increase in the boundaries of a development area in compliance with the findings in Section 20.28.040 (Bluff (B) Overlay District).

 

Decision

Mixed-use projects: 1 to 4 dwelling units and nonresidential construction of up to a maximum of 9,999 square feet of gross floor area.

Decision

Appeal

Mixed-use projects: 5 or more dwelling units and/or nonresidential construction of 10,000 square feet or more of gross floor area.

 

Decision

Nonresidential construction: 10,000 to 19,999 square feet of gross floor area.

Decision

Appeal

Nonresidential construction: 20,000 square feet or more of gross floor area.

 

Decision

Height limit increase: Increase in maximum allowed height limit in compliance with findings in Section 20.30.060(C) (Increase in Height Limit).

 

Decision

MU-W1 Zoning District: All new development, additions, and exterior remodeling.

Decision

Appeal

Note:

(1)    “Decision” means that the review authority makes the final decision on the matter; “Appeal” means that the review authority may consider and decide upon appeals to the decision of an earlier decision-making body, in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals).

(2)    The Zoning Administrator may defer action and refer the request to the Commission for the final decision.

C.    Application Filing, Processing, and Review.

1.    Application Filing.

a.    Filing. An application for a site development review shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing).

b.    Contents. The application shall include all of the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution.

c.    Evidence. It is the responsibility of the applicant to establish evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (F) of this section (Findings and Decision).

2.    Application Review. Each application for a site development review shall be reviewed to ensure that the application is consistent with: the purpose of this section; applicable development standards of this Zoning Code; all of the criteria identified in subsection (C)(2)(c) of this section; and adopted criteria and policies applicable to the use or structure.

a.    A site development review is initiated when the Department receives a complete application package including the required information and materials specified by the Director and any additional information required by the applicable review authority in order to conduct a thorough review of the project.

b.    Upon receipt of a complete application the applicable review authority shall conduct a review of the location, design, site plan configuration, and effect of the proposed project on adjacent properties by comparing the project plans to established development standards and adopted criteria and policies applicable to the use or structure.

c.    The following criteria shall be considered during the review of a site development review application:

i.    Compliance with this section, the General Plan, this Zoning Code, any applicable specific plan, and other applicable criteria and policies related to the use or structure;

ii.    The efficient arrangement of structures on the site and the harmonious relationship of the structures to one another and to other adjacent developments; and whether the relationship is based on standards of good design;

iii.    The compatibility in terms of bulk, scale, and aesthetic treatment of structures on the site and adjacent developments and public areas;

iv.    The adequacy, efficiency, and safety of pedestrian and vehicular access, including drive aisles, driveways, and parking and loading spaces;

v.    The adequacy and efficiency of landscaping and open space areas and the use of water efficient plant and irrigation materials; and

vi.    The protection of significant views from public right(s)-of-way and compliance with Section 20.30.100 (Public View Protection).

D.    Review Authority.

1.    Other Discretionary Approval Required. If the project also requires another discretionary approval (e.g., conditional use permit, variance, etc.), then the applicable review authority shall be the authority identified in Table 5-1 (Review Authority) for the other discretionary approval.

2.    Site Development Review Only. If the project only requires a site development review, then the applicable review authority shall be the authority identified in Table 5-2 (Review Authority for Site Development Reviews) for the site development review.

3.    Referral to the Commission. If the site development review application submitted is of significant consequence or magnitude or involves potential public controversy, the Zoning Administrator may defer action and refer the application to the Commission for review and decision.

E.    Public Notice and Hearing Provisions.

1.    Public Hearing Required. A public hearing shall be required before the decision on any site development review application.

2.    Notice. Notice of the hearing shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

F.    Findings and Decision. The review authority may approve or conditionally approve a site development review application, only after first finding that the proposed development is:

1.    Allowed within the subject zoning district;

2.    In compliance with all of the applicable criteria identified in subsection (C)(2)(c) of this section; and

3.    Not detrimental to the harmonious and orderly growth of the City, nor endangers, jeopardizes, or otherwise constitutes a hazard to the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the proposed development.

G.    Minor Changes by Director.

1.    Minor changes to an approved site development review that do not involve an increase in structure area or height, an increase in the number of dwelling units, or a change of use may be approved by the Director in compliance with Section 20.54.070 (Changes to an approved project).

2.    Proposed changes that are not deemed minor shall be subject to review and approval by the original review authority.

H.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a site development review application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.090 Variances.

A.    Purpose. A variance provides a process for City consideration of requests to waive or modify certain standards of this Zoning Code when, because of special circumstances applicable to the property, including location, shape, size, surroundings, topography, or other physical features, the strict application of the development standards otherwise applicable to the property denies the property owner privileges enjoyed by other property owners in the vicinity and in the same zoning district.

B.    Applicability. A variance may be granted to waive or modify any requirement of this Zoning Code except: allowed uses; residential density; specific prohibitions (for example, prohibited signs); or procedural requirements.

C.    Review Authority. A variance application shall be reviewed and approved, conditionally approved, or denied by the Commission.

D.    Application Filing and Processing. An application for a variance shall be filed and processed in compliance with Chapter 20.50 (Permit Application Filing and Processing). The application shall include all of the information and materials specified by the Director, together with the required fee in compliance with the City’s fee schedule adopted by resolution. It is the responsibility of the applicant to establish evidence in support of the findings required by subsection (F) of this section (Findings and Decision).

E.    Project Review, Notice, and Hearing Requirements.

1.    Each application shall be reviewed by the Director to ensure that the proposal complies with this section and all other applicable requirements of this Zoning Code.

2.    The review authority shall conduct a public hearing on an application for a variance before a decision. Notice of the hearing shall be provided and the hearing shall be conducted in compliance with Chapter 20.62 (Public Hearings).

F.    Findings and Decision. The review authority may approve or conditionally approve a variance only after first making all of the following findings:

1.    There are special or unique circumstances or conditions applicable to the subject property (e.g., location, shape, size, surroundings, topography, or other physical features) that do not apply generally to other properties in the vicinity under an identical zoning classification;

2.    Strict compliance with Zoning Code requirements would deprive the subject property of privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under an identical zoning classification;

3.    Granting of the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights of the applicant;

4.    Granting of the variance will not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations on other properties in the vicinity and in the same zoning district;

5.    Granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the harmonious and orderly growth of the City, nor endanger, jeopardize, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood; and

6.    Granting of the variance will not be in conflict with the intent and purpose of this section, this Zoning Code, the General Plan, or any applicable specific plan.

G.    Precedents. Each application shall be reviewed on an individual case-by-case basis and the granting of a prior variance is not relevant or admissible evidence for the granting of a new variance.

H.    Post-Decision Procedures. The procedures and requirements in Chapter 20.54 (Permit Implementation, Time Limits, and Extensions), and those related to appeals and revocation in Part 6 of this title (Zoning Code Administration) shall apply following the decision on a variance application. (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)

20.52.100 Zoning Clearances.

A.    Purpose. Zoning clearance is the procedure used by the City to verify that a proposed use or structure complies with the activities allowed in the applicable zoning district and the development standards and other provisions of this Zoning Code.

B.    Applicability. Where Part 2 of this title (Zoning Districts, Allowable Land Uses, and Zoning District Standards) or another provision of this Zoning Code requires a zoning clearance as a prerequisite to establishing a use or structure, a zoning clearance shall be required at the time of the Department’s review of any of the following:

1.    Initiation of a Use. A zoning clearance shall be obtained before the initiation or commencement of any use of land not requiring the construction of a structure.

2.    Change of Use. Whenever a use is proposed to be changed, whether or not the new use involves a new lessee, operator, or owner, a zoning clearance shall be obtained.

3.    Building Permit, Grading Permit, or Other Construction Permit. A zoning clearance shall be obtained before the City issues a new or modified building permit, grading permit, or other construction-related permit required for the alteration, construction, modification, moving, or reconstruction of any structure.

C.    Review and Approval.

1.    The Department shall issue the zoning clearance after first determining that the request complies with all Zoning Code provisions and other adopted criteria and policies applicable to the proposed use or structure.

2.    An approval may be in the form of a stamp, signature, or other official notation on approved plans, a letter to the applicant, or other certification, at the discretion of the Director.

D.    Referral to Commission. The Department may defer action and refer the zoning clearance request to the Commission for consideration and final action.

E.    Appeal to Commission. The Department’s action on a zoning clearance request may be appealed to the Commission in compliance with Chapter 20.64 (Appeals). (Ord. 2010-21 § 1 (Exh. A)(part), 2010)