Chapter 12.02


12.02.010    Purpose.

12.02.020    Definitions.

12.02.030    Allocation requirement.

12.02.040    Allocation waiting list.

12.02.050    Allocation restrictions.

12.02.060    Interpretation of this chapter.

12.02.070    Appeals.

12.02.080    Enforcement.

12.02.010 Purpose.

The Board finds, pursuant to Chapter 17.01 SCCC, otherwise known as Measure J, that it is necessary and appropriate to enact a system to regulate the number of new residential building permits issued annually in the County in order to carry out the intent of the annual population growth goal. This system shall likewise carry out the related policies and provisions of Chapter 17.01 SCCC, including the distinction between urban and rural areas of the County and the provision of housing for persons with average or below average incomes. The system for issuing residential building permits is designed to provide for a reasonable balance between permits reserved for large projects and permits available to individual owners and contractors. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3301 § 1, 1982; Ord. 2768, 1979].

12.02.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms are defined:

“Allocation” means an approval required as a condition precedent to the issuance and exercise of a residential building permit.

“Exempted permit” means the following classes of permits and approvals are not subject to the restrictions of the residential permit allocation system:

(1)    Septic tank permits, encroachment permits, and other such ministerial permits incidental to an application for a residential building permit.

(2)    Parcel approval and development permits issued pursuant to Chapter 18.10 SCCC.

(3)    Building permits for nonresidential buildings, including commercial, industrial and institutional structures.

(4)    Building permits for buildings to be moved from one location to another within Santa Cruz County and buildings to be moved outside the County, but not for residential structures to be moved into the unincorporated County areas from outside Santa Cruz County.

(5)    Building permits for additions, reconstruction, remodeling, or demolition of existing residences; provided, that a new dwelling unit is not thereby created. An existing residential unit that has been destroyed, torn down, or damaged beyond 50 percent of its current market value may be replaced under an exempted permit provided the building is rebuilt on the same parcel or a contiguous parcel under the same ownership.

(6)    Building permits for quasi-residential uses, such as private schools, colleges, and universities, organized camps, migrant housing camps, and rest homes, where there is a central management and the duration of residency is limited by the type of use.

(7)    Building permits for housing units built or acquired by a public agency for a public purpose, such as a caretaker’s quarters at a public park.

(8)    Building permits for structures appurtenant to an existing or approved residence; provided, that any subsequent conversion of such structures to permanent residential use shall not be exempt.

(9)    Such other building permits as may be determined, consistent with Chapters 17.01 and 17.04 SCCC, to be exempt from the residential permit allocation system by resolution or ordinance of the Board of Supervisors.

(10)    Building permits for residential structures designed and operated in a manner so as to be indistinguishable from commercial short-term rental units; provided, that they are located in a commercial district or planned unit development, operated for short-term rental by a professional management firm as licensed by the County, and subject to the uniform transient occupancy tax ordinance; and provided deed restrictions and conditions to carry out the restrictions as hereby specified are included as conditions of project approval.

(11)    Permits for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) as provided for in SCCC 13.10.681.

(12)    Building permits for housing units which are affordable to average (moderate) or below average (lower) income households as defined in Chapter 17.10 SCCC.

“Residential building permit” means a building permit issued by the County Building Official which, if exercised, will result in the construction of one or more new housing units within the unincorporated County area. Under the provisions of this chapter, a permit for a single structure involving more than one dwelling unit is considered to be a group of residential permit allocations which cannot be issued individually. [Ord. 5326 § 2, 2020; Ord. 5325 § 2, 2020; Ord. 5264 § 1, 2018; Ord. 5239 § 1, 2017; Ord. 5061 § 2, 2009; Ord. 4495 § 1, 1998; Ord. 4281 § 12, 1993; Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 4161 § 1, 1991; Ord. 3613 § 1, 1985; Ord. 3589 § 2, 1984; Ord. 3506 § 2, 1984; Ord. 3461 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3425 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3271 § 1, 1982; Ord. 2799, 1979; Ord. 2768, 1979].

12.02.030 Allocation requirement.

(A)    Effective January 1, 1979, no new single- or multiple-family residence, mobile home, or other dwelling unit shall be issued a building permit unless it has first been granted an allocation.

(B)    An allocation is not transferable from one permit application to another, nor from one parcel to another, nor from one owner to another. Major changes in plans and specifications as originally approved by the Building Official shall be grounds for voiding an allocation. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3313 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3291 § 1, 1982].

12.02.040 Allocation waiting list.

(A)    An allocation waiting list shall be established and maintained as a public record by the Building Official or his/her designated representative whenever there are more applications eligible for residential building permits than allocations available. The allocation waiting list may be separated into one or more categorical waiting lists for such categories as rural area and urban area permits, large project and small project applications. Within each such category on the allocation waiting list, the relative position of eligible applications shall be determined by the date upon which an application was accepted as complete by the Building Official.

(B)    An application for a residential building permit allocation which has been accepted as complete shall become eligible to receive an allocation only when all other applicable permits and approvals (including septic system approval, grading, and encroachment permits) have been obtained.

(C)    An allocation may only be issued if there is one available in the appropriate allocation category. The Board of Supervisors shall, by ordinance or resolution, establish an annual allocation quantity for each category of residential building permits and may make certain numerical adjustments among the categories from time to time.

(D)    Notice of the availability of an allocation shall be mailed (by registered return receipt mail) to an eligible applicant on the allocation waiting list.

(E)    Whenever an allocation has been issued for a residential permit which is subsequently returned, abandoned, or otherwise voided, the allocation shall be reissued to the next eligible application in order within the appropriate waiting list category. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2768, 1979].

12.02.050 Allocation restrictions.

(A)    When an eligible application on the allocation waiting list involves a multiple dwelling structure, an allocation notice shall not be issued until there is a sufficient number of allocations to accommodate the number of units in the structure.

(B)    The Board of Supervisors may establish limits to the number of allocations that may be issued to single individuals, contractors, or firms. Such limitations shall bear a reasonable relationship to the volume of new residential construction that individuals, contractors, or firms are capable of providing, and shall discourage attempts by any one party to obtain a disproportionate share of the available allocations.

(C)    Building permit allocations for congregate senior housing units shall be granted using a ratio of one building permit allocation to 2.3 congregate senior housing units. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3759 § 1, 1986; Ord. 2768, 1979].

12.02.060 Interpretation of this chapter.

The provisions of this chapter are to be construed insofar as possible to be consistent with the County Building Code, zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and other applicable County ordinances and codes. In the event of conflict or inconsistency, the provisions of this chapter shall be controlling. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2768, 1979].

12.02.070 Appeals.

All appeals of actions taken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be made in conformance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.10 SCCC; provided, however, that code enforcement actions and decisions are not subject to administrative appeal except for appeals of revocation of permits pursuant to SCCC 18.10.136(C). [Ord. 4389A § 2, 1996; Ord. 4389 § 3, 1995; Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992].

12.02.080 Enforcement.

No building permit or occupancy permit shall be issued after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter which does not meet the requirements of this chapter, and any permit in violation thereof shall be suspended, voided, or subject to such legal actions or procedures as may be appropriate. [Ord. 4202 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2768, 1979].