Chapter 17.22


17.22.010    Purposes.

17.22.020    Permitted and conditional uses – PF.

17.22.030    Accessory uses.

17.22.040    Temporary uses.

17.22.050    Property development standards.

17.22.060    General requirements.

17.22.070    Special requirements.

17.22.080    Performance standards.

17.22.090    Accessory structures.

17.22.100    Walls and fences.

17.22.110    Signs.

17.22.120    Rezone restrictions.

17.22.010 Purposes.

This zone is intended primarily for lands containing privately and publicly owned facilities serving the needs of the general community. It is the intent that this zone be applied to an entire parcel of land or to a portion of a parcel of land, provided that the remainder of the parcel meets the area requirements for which it is zoned. (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.020 Permitted and conditional uses – PF.

The uses shall be permitted where the symbol “P” appears and subject to a conditional use permit where the symbol “C” appears, and subject to a minor conditional use permit where the symbol “M” appears in the column beneath each zone designation. Where the symbol “X” appears the use is prohibited. A use that is not listed is prohibited. Land uses identified for the zone may be further limited by the presence of a specific plan or other applicable provision of the PMC.

A.    Cemeteries, crematories, columbariums, and related facilities


B.    Government office buildings including City Hall


C.    Churches and other religious institutions


D.    Corporation yards


E.    Fire stations


F.    Museums


G.    Open air amphitheater


H.    Performing Arts Center


I.    Public buildings and grounds


J.    Public or private nonprofit educational institutions


NOTE: Classroom facilities of the Poway Unified School District are not bound by these regulations.


K.    Public utility and public service substations, reservoirs, pumping plants, and similar installations, not including public utility offices


L.    Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages only ancillary to other “P” or “C” use


M.    Schools and school district headquarters


N.    Water treatment facility


O.    Other public facility uses that the City Council may determine to be similar in nature


P.    Marijuana: dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives, cultivation, delivery, manufacturing and storage as defined in PMC 17.04.514


(Ord. 808 § 15, 2017; Ord. 785 § 15, 2016; Ord. 773 § 8, 2015; Ord. 736 § 15, 2012; Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.030 Accessory uses.

A.    Accessory structures and uses located on the same site as a permitted use


B.    Accessory structures and uses located on the same site as a conditional use


C.    “Seatainers”


(Ord. 490 § 2(7), 1997; Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.040 Temporary uses.

Temporary uses as prescribed in Chapter 17.26 PMC upon issuance of a temporary use permit (TUP). (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.050 Property development standards.

The following regulations shall apply to the site of a permitted or conditional use. The requirements are minimum unless otherwise stated. Where a public facility land use is located on a portion of a larger parcel of land, the area remaining within the larger parcel shall meet the minimum area requirement of the underlying zone. Each building site shall have a minimum 20-foot-wide vehicular access to a public street. (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.060 General requirements.



A.    Width of flag lots (in feet)


B.    Front yard setback (in feet)


C.    Side yard setback (in feet), each side


D.    Side yard setback street side (in feet)


E.    Rear yard setback (in feet)


F.    Lot coverage, maximum lot coverage shall include all buildings, structures, accessory buildings and structures


G.    Maximum structure height

35 feet or two stories whichever is less, or as expressly authorized pursuant to an adopted specific plan or as determined by PMC 17.23.070(K) for architectural appurtenances

H.    Off-street parking

(See Chapter 17.42 PMC, to be determined by City Council)

(Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.070 Special requirements.

A. A minimum building setback of 25 feet shall be required whenever a parcel of land in the PF zone abuts a lot in any residential zone. The building setback may be used for required open off-street parking areas. The building setback may be increased by the City Council in situations where additional distance would help to mitigate or alleviate potential problems, hazards, or environmental concerns.

B. When any property in an PF zone abuts a property in a commercial or manufacturing zone, the minimum side and rear yard setbacks may be reduced at the discretion of the City Council, and such reduction shall not constitute a variance.

C. In the PF zone, new construction and reconstruction or rehabilitation of existing buildings and/or sites shall be in accordance with the following design criteria as applicable:

1. Development Plan. A development plan shall be prepared for the entire site under consideration regardless of whether development is contemplated in the near future. The purpose of the development plan is to show conceptually, where buildings might be located and where and how parking, on-site and off-site circulation will function.

2. Site Development Standards. The site development standards shall be consistent with the requirements of the PF zone as indicated in PMC 17.22.050 and herein. The standards shall be reminiscent and reflective of the early farming and rural country character of Poway and consistent with the community design element of the general plan. The site plan should use imaginative, creative, and stimulating architectural design with special consideration given to the provision of the following items where appropriate:

a. Low-intensity lighting;

b. Generous landscaping;

c. Decorative paved walkways;

d. Basic design theme;

e. Separation of pedestrian and vehicular rights-of-way;

f. Architecturally integrated ground-mounted equipment such as trash receptacles and transformers;

g. Bus or transit shelters as determined by the Director of Development Services;

h. Adequate bicycle and motorcycle parking as determined by the City Council;

i. Architectural compatibility with on-site and surrounding structures.

D. All exterior lighting shall be constructed in accordance with PMC 17.08.220(L) and 17.10.150(H).

E. All development in the floodplain shall be in accordance with the National Flood Insurance requirements and local ordinance.

F. A minimum of two toilets and one wash basin is required to be provided for each gender for all buildings and facilities accessible by the public. Additional toilets and wash basins are required for larger buildings and facilities based on the number of people expected to use them.

G. Where a public facility zoned parcel fronts on more than one street, it shall be considered to have multiple frontages and be required to meet the front yard setback requirement on all street frontages.

H. Driveways in all public facility zones shall be constructed subject to the following standards:

Maximum Grade Break

Maximum Slope

Minimum Surfacing


8% every 20 feet


6" P.C.C. or 3" A.C. on 4" cl. 2 base or as approved by the City Engineer

Min. 16 ft. Max. 35 ft. Fire access – 10 ft. min.

I. Architectural appurtenances such as clock towers and similar design elements on or adjacent to public facility structures, may exceed the maximum height of 35 feet. Proposals for such appurtenances, however, shall be evaluated through the development review application process on a case-by-case basis so that architectural compatibility and appropriate building scale is achieved and maintained.

J. All public projects and private development projects within the jurisdiction of the City that have the potential to adversely impact sensitive plant species, wildlife species, and associated natural habitats shall either demonstrate that any removal of habitat associated with the proposed development has been authorized by the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or comply with the adopted Poway subarea habitat conservation plan, the companion implementing agreement, and the requirements thereof including the compensation mitigation strategy, mitigation ratios, and special development requirements. (Ord. 674 § 30, 2008; Ord. 518, 1999; amended during 8/97 supplement; Ord. 450 § 3, 1995; Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.080 Performance standards.

A. Landscaping. All development in the PF zones shall be landscaped in accordance with the City landscape guidelines.

B. Energy Conservation. Buildings shall be located on the site to provide adjacent buildings adequate sunlight for solar access. All new construction and remodeling shall be preplumbed for solar hot water heating. Buildings shall be designed to minimize energy consumption requirements, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following conservation measures:

1. Cogeneration;

2. South-facing windows;

3. Eave coverage for windows;

4. Double glazed windows;

5. Earth berming against exterior walls;

6. Green houses;

7. Deciduous shade trees.

C. Where a public facility land use abuts property in any commercial or manufacturing zone, fencing and/or walls may be required, as necessary, to mitigate potential negative impacts to adjacent properties.

D. Wherever off-street parking areas are facing the front or side yard of property in a residential zone, a masonry wall or berm three feet in height shall be erected in the landscaped area between the required landscape area and the parking area to adequately screen the parking areas from the residential properties.

E. All utility connections shall be designed to coordinate with the architectural elements of the site so as not to be exposed except where necessary. Pad-mounted transformers and/or meter box locations shall be included in the site plan with any appropriate screening treatment. All new and existing utility connections within the boundaries of the project shall be placed underground. Transformers, terminal boxes, meter cabinets, pedestals, concealed ducts, and other facilities may be placed above ground but shall be screened from view. The requirement for undergrounding existing utilities shall not apply to any overhead power transmission lines in excess of 34.5 KV and long distance and main trunk communication facilities. The requirement for undergrounding existing utility connections may be waived or modified by the City Council in accordance with criteria and provisions for such as adopted by resolution of the City Council.

F. The noise level emanating from any new public facility land activity shall not exceed 60 dBA CNEL, as the acceptable outdoor noise exposure level when measured at the property line in accordance with Chapter 8.08 PMC.

G. All ground-mounted mechanical equipment, including heating and air conditioning units, and trash receptacle areas, shall be screened from surrounding properties by use of a wall or fence or shall be enclosed within a building. Structural and design plans for any required screening under the provisions of this section shall be approved by the Development Services Director.

H. All roof appurtenances including, but not limited to air conditioning units, and mechanical equipment shall be shielded and architecturally screened from view from on-site parking areas, adjacent public streets, and adjacent residentially zoned property.

I. Reciprocal ingress and egress, circulation and parking arrangements shall be required to facilitate the ease of vehicular and pedestrian movement between adjoining properties.

J. Odor. No use shall be permitted which creates offensive odor in such quantities as to be readily detectable beyond the boundaries of the site.

K. In any PF zone, the regulations regarding nonconforming uses and structures shall be in accordance with Chapter 17.44 PMC. (Ord. 518, 1999; Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.090 Accessory structures.

A. Accessory Buildings and Structures. Accessory buildings and structures (attached or detached) shall meet all of the requirements for location of the main structure as constructed or required by the zone, except as herein provided. Where public facility uses abut any residential zone, the following shall apply.

1. Accessory buildings or structures shall be allowed to encroach into the required rear yard setback up to one-half of the distance.

2. An accessory structure shall meet the setback requirements of the main building for the front and street side yard areas.

3. An accessory structure may be located within an interior side yard or rear yard; provided, that such structure is located no closer than 10 feet to an interior side or rear lot line and is at least 10 feet from the main structure.

4. Swimming Pools. The Uniform Building Code shall govern the placement and fencing of swimming pools, spas and ornamental pools.

B. Canopies, Patios and Breezeways. Canopies, patios, and breezeways attached to the main building or connecting the main building with a detached accessory building, may extend into a required rear or interior side yard provided that portions of such structures extending into the yard:

1. Shall not exceed 15 feet in height or project closer than five feet to an interior side yard or closer than 10 feet at the rear lot line;

2. Shall be entirely open on at least three sides for patios and canopies except for necessary supporting columns. A roof connecting a main building and an accessory building shall be open on two sides.

C. Other Structures. Porches, steps, architectural features, such as eaves, awnings, chimneys, balconies, stairways, wing walls, or bay windows may project not more than four feet into any required front or rear yard area, nor into any required side yard area more than one-half of the required side yard. (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.100 Walls and fences.

A. In any required street setback area, view-obscuring fencing shall not exceed 30 inches in height, except for retaining walls as approved through the development review process.

B. In any required rear or interior side yard area, a wall or fence shall not exceed six feet in height except as required by subsection E of this section.

C. A wall or fence adjacent to a driveway or street providing vehicular access to an abutting lot or street shall not exceed 30 inches in height within 15 feet of the edges of the driveway and the street right-of-way and/or shall comply with CalTrans’s design standards for sight visibility. Corner cut-offs may be required for safety and visibility (see Diagram 17.22.100).

Diagram 17.22.100

D. Fiberglass sheeting, bamboo sheeting or other similar temporary material shall not be permitted as a fencing material in any PF zone.

E. 1. Where a public facilities land use abuts property in any residential zone, a masonry wall up to eight feet in height from the highest finished grade at the property line shall be erected and maintained between such uses and the residential zone. Where the adjacent grade of the abutting residential property is four feet or more lower or higher than the project site, the masonry wall shall be a minimum of six feet in height. Openings shall be provided in the wall as appropriate to encourage pedestrian access.

2. Other types of fences, such as framed stucco walls, may be permitted in lieu of a masonry wall upon determination by the City Council that the substituted wall is compatible with the proposed project, surrounding property uses, and the noise level requirements herein. No walls are required in front or street side yards unless needed for noise attenuation and/or privacy. In addition, 15-gallon trees, 20 feet on-center, and shrubbery shall be installed and maintained along the inside of the wall in a five-foot-wide, raised landscaped planter to provide a dense landscape screen.

F. A wall or fence up to eight feet in height may be allowed by the Director of Development Services where necessary for noise attenuation from arterial streets or other noise sources. The wall or fence shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the objectives and policies of the general plan community design element.

G. Where barbed wire strands are placed at the top of a wall or fence, such material shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of six feet above grade and shall be maintained in a safe condition.

H. It is unlawful for an owner of a parcel of land within the City to keep barbed wire or any other type of wire fencing in an unsafe, abandoned or materially dangerous condition. Unmaintained wire fencing, including but not limited to barbed wire, razor wire, and concertina wire (coiled barbed wire), is declared to be public nuisance and shall be subject to the nuisance abatement procedure, Chapter 8.72 PMC. Razor wire and concertina wire (coiled wire) are prohibited.

I. It is unlawful to place electrified fencing, razor, or concertina wire on the rooftop of any building. (Ord. 674 § 31, 2008; Ord. 518, 1999; Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.110 Signs.

No sign or outdoor advertising structures shall be permitted in any PF zone except as provided in Chapter 17.40 PMC. (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)

17.22.120 Rezone restrictions.*

No property which was subject to Ordinance 283 shall be rezoned to any zone other than OS-R, HC or OS-RM, nor shall any amendment to this title be adopted which would increase the residential density on property so zoned or change the uses permitted thereon to allow commercial or manufacturing uses until and unless such rezoning or amendment is approved by ordinance adopted by the voters of the City at a special or general election, or first approved by the Poway City Council and then adopted by the voters of the City at a special or general election. (Ord. 372 § 3, 1993)


*    Editor’s Note: PMC 17.22.080 (for the Open Space zone on which the PF zone is based) was added by Ord. 283 and was approved by the voters at a general municipal election November 8, 1988. The language added shall not be modified or rescinded without the approval of a simple majority of the City voting at a special or general election.