Chapter 18.12


18.12.010    Uses permitted.

18.12.020    Uses requiring a conditional use permit.

18.12.030    Prohibited uses.

18.12.040    Building height requirements.

18.12.050    Signage requirements.

18.12.060    Parking requirements.

18.12.070    Building site area and setbacks.

18.12.080    Lot coverage.

18.12.090    Landscaping requirements.

18.12.100    Loading and unloading.

18.12.110    Screening of mechanical equipment – Mechanical equipment noise.

18.12.120    Safety and decorative lighting requirements.

18.12.130    Noise, smoke and odor requirements.

Prior legislation: Ords. 84, 193, 259, 270, 303, 335, 393 and 601.

18.12.010 Uses permitted.

The following uses are permitted in the C zone: general retail stores, shops, barber shops, beauty salons, financial institutions, medical, dental, and optometry offices, professional offices, law offices and other general business offices, except those listed as a use requiring a conditional use permit, or as a prohibited use, and emergency shelters subject to the standards provided in PVEMC 18.72.010. (Ord. 709 § 6, 2014; Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.020 Uses requiring a conditional use permit.

The following uses require a conditional use permit:

A. Restaurant, cafe, tea room, or other eating establishments, with or without outdoor dining facilities;

B. Bar or cocktail lounge located within five hundred feet of a residential district (R-1 or R-M);

C. Uses providing dancing, music, theatrical performances or other entertainment of any kind;

D. Uses entailing public assembly of one hundred persons or more;

E. Churches, schools and places of assembly;

F. Mixed commercial and residential uses;

G. Gasoline service stations, including minor mechanical repair;

H. Commercial parking lots;

I. Uses including liquor stores and others purveying alcoholic beverages located within five hundred feet of a residential district (R-1 or R-M);

J. Uses operating between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m.;

K. Any uses proposing video or similar electronic games;

L. Health and fitness center;

M. Movie theaters;

N. Real estate offices;

O. Laundry and clothes cleaning agencies; provided, that no dry cleaning shall be conducted on the premises;

P. Single room occupancy housing subject to the standards provided in PVEMC 18.72.020;

Q. Large residential care facilities;

R. All other similar enterprises, or businesses which in the opinion of the approving authority require mitigating conditions prior to the initiation of the use. The findings of similarity shall be made during the site plan review process. (Ord. 709 § 7, 2014; Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.030 Prohibited uses.

The following uses are prohibited in the commercial zone:

A. Industrial and manufacturing uses requiring processing or assembly of components or goods;

B. Video and amusement arcades;

C. Drive-through restaurants;

D. Gasoline service station mini-markets;

E. Auto body repair shops;

F. Bowling alleys;

G. Mortuaries;

H. Cemeteries;

I. Cannabis delivery, as that term is defined in Chapter 18.73 PVEMC. This section does not apply to the delivery of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products to qualified patients;

J. Commercial cannabis activities, as that term is defined in Chapter 18.73 PVEMC;

K. Cultivation of cannabis or medical marijuana, as those terms are defined in Chapter 18.73 PVEMC and subject to the conditions in PVEMC 18.73.070;

L. Massage parlors; provided, however, that an establishment at which massage services are provided by a physical therapist or chiropractor licensed by the state of California or by massage technicians, each of which are licensed by the State Massage Therapy Organization, as that term is defined in Cal. Gov. Code § 4600(e), shall not be deemed a massage parlor;

M. Commercial car washes;

N. Truck terminals;

O. Dry cleaning facilities with a dry cleaning plant on the premises;

P. Salvage and recycling facilities;

Q. Sale of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, pods, and liquids used to inhale any substance;

R. All other similar uses deemed detrimental to the public health and safety of residents and quality of life. The decision of the approving authority as to whether a particular use is detrimental shall be made during the site plan review process. (Ord. 743 § 2, 2020; Ord. 739 § 4, 2019; Ord. 725 § 5, 2017; Ord. 717 § 5, 2016; Ord. 716 § 4, 2016; Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 680 § 1, 2007; Ord. 673 § 2, 2006; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.040 Building height requirements.

A. The maximum building height shall not exceed two stories, excluding garage space used for required parking.

B. The maximum building height shall not exceed thirty-five feet in height at any point above natural grade at that point, except as provided below.

C. The maximum building height on commercial lots located within forty-five feet of a residential district (R-1 or R-M) shall not exceed thirty-five feet in height at any point above natural grade at that point, or shall not exceed the height of the existing building on such lots, whichever is less.

D. The maximum building height on any commercial lot upsloping from the street shall not exceed thirty-five feet measured from the natural grade of the lowest point on the perimeter of the lot. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.050 Signage requirements.

A. Permitted Signs.

1. It is required that all exterior exposed signs located in the commercial zones relate to and be compatible with the character and architectural style of the related structure and surroundings.

2. To ensure compatibility, no new sign may be erected nor may any existing sign be remodeled or changed unless a permit to undertake such work is first obtained. If the proposed sign meets all of the standards set forth in this section, a permit shall be issued by the building official or his or her designee. If the proposed sign fails to comply with any standard set forth in subsection B of this section, a permit may be issued by the planning commission only upon a finding that the proposed sign is compatible with the character and architectural style of its proposed surroundings, including but not limited to the structure or area on which it is to be placed.

3. The signage requirements of this section apply to any lawfully erected sign, structure, housing, device, figure, statuary, painting, display, message, placard or other contrivance which has been designed, constructed, crafted, intended or engineered to advertise, or to provide data or information in the nature of advertising, for the following purpose: to designate, identify, or indicate the name or business of the owner or occupant of the premises upon which the lawfully erected advertising display is located for commercial purposes.

B. One business identification sign shall be allowed for each business and must meet the following requirements and standards:

1. Said sign may be placed on a wall, canopy, in a window, or other location approved by the decisionmaking body;

2. Said sign shall not exceed one-half square foot in sign area for each linear foot of building frontage it identifies, not to exceed fifty square feet, and may be permitted only on the side of the building that faces a public right-of-way;

3. Canopy signs shall not project beyond the vertical face of the awning or canopy;

4. The maximum size of any letter, number or logo shall not exceed six inches in height or width;

5. Signs may be lighted. However, no signs shall be devised or constructed so as to rotate, blink, flash, emit smoke or fumes, or move in any fashion;

6. Signs shall be restricted to advertising only the person, firm, company or corporation operating the use conducted on the site or the products or commodities sold or services provided. Signs shall not be allowed to advertise the products sold or prepared or the individual services performed on the premises unless the products or services are an integral part of the business;

7. Colors used in signs shall be compatible with the related structure and surroundings;

8. No roof-mounted signs shall be permitted. In addition, no wall signs shall project above the roofline of any building.

C. Illumination of signs is permitted in accordance with the following provisions: the light from any illuminated sign shall not be of an intensity or brightness greater than two foot-candles above ambient lighting, as measured at the property line of the nearest residentially zoned property.

D. Signs that have blinking, flashing or fluttering lights or other illuminated device which has a changing light intensity, brightness or color and beacon lights are not permitted.

1. In any commercial zone, illuminated signs, if used, shall be white, amber or light-toned in color.

2. Colored lights that, in the sole opinion of the city, could be confused with or construed as traffic-control devices are prohibited.

3. Neither the direct nor reflected light from primary light sources may create a hazard to operators of motor vehicles.

E. Temporary Signs. Signs of a temporary nature displaying products, commodities and/or activities must be placed inside of windows only. The total of all signs must not cover more than twenty-five percent of the total window area facing a public right-of-way. Temporary signs may not be posted for a period in excess of sixty days. No temporary signs may be illuminated, animated or lighted. Temporary signs may not be placed inside a window more than sixty days in any one calendar year.

F. The following signs are exempt from the regulations of these standards:

1. Signs of a noncommercial nature and in the public interest, erected by or on the order of a city employee in the performance of his or her public duty, such as public notices, safety signs, danger signs, trespassing signs, traffic and directional signs, and the like;

2. Names of buildings, dates of erection, monumental citations, commemorative tablets, memorial plaques, signs of historical interest and the like, when carved into stone, concrete or similar material or made of bronze, aluminum or other permanent-type material and made an integral part of the structure.

G. Maintenance – Alteration and Relocation.

1. Every sign shall be maintained in a safe, presentable and good condition, including the replacement of defective parts, painting, repainting, cleaning and other acts required for the maintenance of such sign.

2. No existing sign shall be altered, moved or relocated unless the sign complies with all other provisions of this section, is altered so as to comply therewith, or obtains a permit from the planning commission in accordance with subsection (A)(2) of this section.

3. Sign changes or alterations shall be deemed to include any change of all or a portion of the copy or sign face, message or sign legend, except those changes which are for maintenance or are part of the normal function of the sign.

H. The following signs are prohibited:

1. Signs which contain statements, words, pictures or other representations which violate the state of Cal. Pen. Code § 311 et seq.;

2. Signs which contain or are an imitation of an official traffic sign or signal or contain the words “stop,” “go,” “slow,” “caution,” “danger,” “warning,” or similar words, except construction signs and barricades, and except when these words are incorporated in the permanent name of the business;

3. Signs which advertise an activity, business or service no longer conducted or provided on the premises forty-five days after such discontinuance or abandonment;

4. Signs which move in any manner, have any portions which move, or have the appearance of moving, except for clocks, time and temperature and similar public service signs;

5. Signs which contain or consist of posters, pennants, banners, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar devices are prohibited except as otherwise permitted in these standards;

6. Signs which are portable, folding or similar signs, except as permitted for service station and automobile washing uses;

7. Signs which are displayed on the exterior of a building and are made of materials which are impermanent and will not withstand exposure to the weather, except as specifically authorized in these standards.

I. Inventory and Abatement of Illegal and Abandoned Signs.

1. Every illegal or abandoned sign identified in the inventory, and every illegal or abandoned sign thereafter identified, shall be deemed to constitute a public nuisance.

2. The director is authorized to abate all illegal or abandoned signs pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 17.32 PVEMC or, alternatively, pursuant to the California Outdoor Advertising Act. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 583 §§ 1, 2, 3, 1995; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.060 Parking requirements.

A. Every business shall provide the following vehicular off-street parking spaces:

1. Medical, dental, optometry or chiropractic offices and clinics, one space per two hundred square feet of net floor area;

2. Banks, lending agencies, financial and governmental uses, one space per two hundred fifty square feet of net floor area;

3. Realty offices, one space per two hundred square feet of net floor area;

4. Other professional offices, one space per two hundred fifty square feet of net floor area;

5. Retail and commercial uses:

a. General retail sales, repair and services, one space per two hundred fifty square feet of net floor area,

b. Restaurants, bars, cocktail lounges, and cafes, one space for every three seats or one hundred square feet of net floor area devoted to dining, whichever requires more parking (including outside areas),

c. Barber and beauty services, one space per two hundred fifty square feet of net floor area,

d. Service stations and vehicle repair uses, one space per four hundred square feet of net floor area, plus three additional spaces,

e. Movie theaters, one space per every three seats,

f. Other Commercial Uses. Proposed commercial uses not mentioned shall provide one parking space for every two hundred fifty square feet of net floor area.

6. Large care facilities, one space per two beds, or an alternate ratio as determined by a parking demand study approved by the city engineer.

B. All parking spaces shall meet the following standards:

1. All parking areas shall be paved with an asphaltic, concrete, turfblock, or masonry surfacing and shall have appropriate bumper guards or curbing, striping, and directional arrows.

2. Required parking spaces shall not be used for repair work or servicing other than in an emergency.

3. No tandem parking spaces shall be permitted.

C. All parking lots shall meet the following screening and landscaping requirements:

1. All outdoor off-street parking spaces shall be screened on all sides where they adjoin, face or are across the street from residential zones or developed residential properties, where practical.

2. All landscaped areas shall be completely enclosed by a six-inch continuous concrete curb.

3. All portions of outdoor parking areas not used for automobile maneuvering, parking or for pedestrian walkways shall be landscaped.

4. All landscaped areas shall be equipped with low water usage irrigation systems.

5. For safety purposes, all landscaping adjacent to parking lot ingress and egress points shall not exceed the height of twenty-four inches.

6. Drought-tolerant trees and plants shall be a major design feature in all parking lots. However, trees shall be limited to a height not to exceed thirty feet at maturity.

D. The planning commission may grant permission to expand, increase or modify an existing building or use which does not meet the off-street parking requirements established by this section in a manner which would require additional parking if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the planning commission that adequate parking to service the expanded, increased, or modified building or use is otherwise available, and the expansion, increase or modification is for a restaurant or retail sales use. (Ord. 709 § 8, 2014; Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 665 § 4, 2006; Ord. 582 § 1, 1995; Ord. 518 § 1, 1990; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.070 Building site area and setbacks.

The minimum site area, front yard, rear yard and side yard setbacks shall be as permitted by the covenants of record on each and every tract within the city on file in the office of the recorder of Los Angeles County on the date the ordinance codified in this chapter is adopted by the city council. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.080 Lot coverage.

Maximum lot coverage of principal and accessory buildings shall not exceed eighty percent of net lot area. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.090 Landscaping requirements.

A. All portions of a developed site not occupied by other permitted facilities or dry landscape cover shall be permanently landscaped with a combination of trees, groundcover and shrubbery compatible with the building, site and surroundings and arranged in a harmonious manner. All trees shall be limited to a height not to exceed thirty feet at maturity.

B. Dry landscape cover shall not exceed ten percent of the total landscaped area and shall be of natural color.

C. All required landscaped areas shall be maintained in a neat, clear, orderly and healthful condition; this includes proper pruning, mowing of lawns, weeding, removal of litter, fertilizing, replacement of plants when necessary, and regular watering of all plants. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.100 Loading and unloading.

Whenever the normal operator of any development requires that goods, merchandise or equipment be routinely delivered to or shipped from that development, a sufficient off-street loading area must be provided. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.110 Screening of mechanical equipment – Mechanical equipment noise.

A. For purposes of this section, “mechanical equipment” means any motorized equipment which is permanently installed on real property for the purpose of carrying out or providing a service on such property, including but not limited to generators (whether intended for emergency or full-time use), furnaces, air conditioners, pool and spa equipment, motors which run fountains or kinetic sculptures, and similar items.

B. Mechanical equipment shall be placed in the garage or basement. When it is not practical or feasible to place mechanical equipment in the garage or basement, mechanical equipment may be placed in an outside location on the ground or rooftop. Ground-mounted units shall not be visible. All rooftop equipment shall be screened so as to not be visible from any vantage point to the extent practicable.

C. Mechanical equipment on property in the C zone shall not generate noise at the property line of any property in the R-1 zone that is more than five decibels higher than the ambient noise level at the property line at the time of measurement.

D. All exterior equipment, whether freestanding or attached to a building, including pipes, conduit and duct work, shall be effectively screened from public view or architecturally integrated in a building or structure.

E. This section shall not apply to solar energy systems unless the planning director or his or her designee determines that the particular proposed solar energy system would have a specific adverse impact on the public health and safety, and there is no feasible method to fully mitigate or avoid the adverse impact. Any determination made by the director or his or her designee pursuant to this subsection may be appealed to the planning commission. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 681 § 2, 2007; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.120 Safety and decorative lighting requirements.

A. All new developments and/or remodels shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by city staff as part of the site plan review process and shall provide appropriate pedestrian safety lighting. Such lighting shall be positioned so that no direct lighting is visible off site.

B. All required lighting shall be permanently maintained.

C. Safety or decorative incandescent lighting not exceeding one hundred watts per fixture shall be exempt from these requirements. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)

18.12.130 Noise, smoke and odor requirements.

No permitted commercial use shall generate noise, smoke or odors that will have an annoying or disruptive effect upon uses located outside the immediate space occupied by that use.

A. Noise. Continuous noise levels shall not exceed the maximum permitted levels, as set forth in the city’s noise ordinance.

B. Smoke.

1. No commercial use shall emit from a vent, stack, chimney, or combustion process any smoke that is visible to the naked eye, except normal fireplace usage.

2. All commercial uses shall comply with the requirements of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

C. Odor. No commercial use shall generate objectionable odors that can be perceived outside of the immediate space occupied by that use. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 496 § 7, 1989)