Chapter 23.140


23.140.010    Purpose.

23.140.020    Applicability.

23.140.030    Application required.

23.140.040    Approval authority.

23.140.050    Public hearing notice and procedure.

23.140.060    Notice of decision.

23.140.070    Approval findings.

23.140.080    Conditions of approval.

23.140.090    Appeals.

23.140.100    Permit expiration.

23.140.110    Amendments.

23.140.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the minor design review process is to establish expedited limited discretionary review of development projects that require additional site and design considerations beyond the minimum standards of the zoning code. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A)].

23.140.020 Applicability.

A. Permit Required. Minor design review is required for the following, and applies to all modifications to site plans, building plans, facade changes, etc., when the visual appearance of site or building elements is altered. Note that when minor design review is not required, major design review may be required according to RCMC 23.141.020 (Applicability):

1. New construction or expansions of existing nonresidential buildings or structures equal to or greater than 1,000 square feet and less than 5,000 square feet in all zoning districts, except industrial zoning districts LIBP, OIMU, M-1, and M-2.

2. Nonresidential facade renovations that involve less than 200 linear feet of facade frontage of an existing building.

3. New construction of or expansions of existing buildings or structures equal to or greater than 1,000 square feet and less than 10,000 square feet in floor area in industrial zoning districts LIBP, OIMU, M-1, and M-2.

4. Significant changes to multifamily and all nonresidential site plans that impact required site plan elements (e.g., required parking, shade canopy, lighting, landscaping).

5. The exterior remodel of multifamily residential buildings or structures.

B. Exemptions. The following structures and improvements are exempt from minor design review. However, such structures may require additional permits, such as a use permit or building permit, to ensure compliance with adopted building code standards and applicable zoning code provisions.

1. A single-family custom home on a lot that is consistent with existing zoning.

2. An addition to a single-family residential home that is consistent with existing zoning.

3. Parcel map for a single-family residence.

4. Expansions of existing nonresidential buildings or structures less than 1,000 square feet in size.

5. Accessory structures consistent with provisions of Chapter 23.734 RCMC (Accessory Structures).

6. Repairs and maintenance of site improvements or structures that do not add to, enlarge, or expand the area occupied by the land use or the floor area of the structure and do not significantly alter the appearance of site improvements or structures.

7. Interior alterations that do not increase the gross floor area within the structure or change/expand the permitted use of the structure.

8. Accessory dwelling units subject to California Government Code Section 65583.1.

9. Construction, alteration, or maintenance by a public utility or public agency of underground or overhead utilities intended to service existing or nearby approved developments (e.g., water, gas, electric, or telecommunication supply or disposal systems, including wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, water tanks, and similar facilities and equipment).

C. The following exemptions require a zoning certification (Chapter 23.113 RCMC) prior to any changes:

1. Changes to site plan elements that are not specifically required by this code (e.g., decorative elements and landscaping that are not specifically required by the code).

2. Public art programs, projects, and improvements to existing sites, structures, utilities, and infrastructure authorized by council or designee.

3. Changes to site plan elements that are specifically required by this code but do not significantly alter the design or function of the site plan. [Ord. 15-2018 § 4 (Exh. A); Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A)].

23.140.030 Application required.

An application for a minor design review permit shall be filed in accordance with RCMC 23.110.040 (Application requirements). [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.040 Approval authority.

Minor design review permits are a limited discretion decision by the director in accordance with RCMC 23.104.030 (Recommending and approval authority). [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.050 Public hearing notice and procedure.

A public hearing is not required for minor design review unless requested pursuant to RCMC 23.110.110 (Notice of pending director determination and opportunity to request hearing). If a public hearing is requested, notice and hearing procedures shall be consistent with RCMC 23.110.120 (Notice of public hearing) and RCMC 23.110.130 (Public hearing procedures), respectively. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.060 Notice of decision.

The notice of decision shall be issued in accordance with RCMC 23.110.140 (Notice of decision). [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.070 Approval findings.

The approval authority shall approve or approve with conditions an application for a minor design review after finding all of the following. If the approval authority does not make all of these findings, the minor design review shall not be approved.

A. The proposed project is consistent with the objectives of the General Plan, complies with applicable zoning regulations, Specific Plan provisions, and special planning area provisions, and is consistent with the applicable Rancho Cordova design guidelines.

B. The proposed architecture, site design, and landscape are suitable for the purposes of the building and the site and will enhance the character of the neighborhood and community.

C. The architecture, including the character, scale, and quality of the design, relationship with the site and other buildings, building materials, screening of exterior appurtenances, exterior lighting and signing, and similar elements, establishes a clear design concept and is compatible with the character of existing or anticipated buildings on adjoining and nearby properties.

D. The proposed project will not create conflicts with vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian transportation modes of circulation. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 13-2013 § 4 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A). Formerly 23.140.050].

23.140.080 Conditions of approval.

The approval authority may require modifications to plans in whole or in part and may condition the design review application to ensure specific design features, construction materials, and conformance with all applicable provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A). Formerly 23.140.060].

23.140.090 Appeals.

Appeals of a minor design review permit may be filed in accordance with RCMC 23.110.160 (Appeals). [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.100 Permit expiration.

Minor design review permits shall expire three years from the date of approval, unless:

A. Substantial construction of the permitted use has commenced and is diligently pursued to completion; clear documentation is provided to establish that the permit holder has made a good faith effort to commence work upon the use; the permitted use has clearly been established; actual occupancy of an existing building or land occurs under the terms of the permitted use.

B. An extension is filed for and approved in accordance with RCMC 23.110.070 (Extension of land use entitlement).

Notice of expiration of a minor design review permit shall be issued to permit holder in writing at least 10 days prior to the expiration becoming final. The permit holder may make a written request for a hearing before the director to challenge the expiration. Such hearing must be held prior to the final expiration date, unless an extension is granted by the director. Director decisions following the hearing are final. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].

23.140.110 Amendments.

An applicant may request an amendment to a minor design review permit after the final written decision is issued. Amendments shall be processed in accordance with RCMC 23.110.180 (Amendments). [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B)].