Division I. Purpose and Applicability

Chapter 11.10


11.10.010    Title.

11.10.020    Purpose of the zoning code.

11.10.030    Authority.

11.10.040    Applicability and exemptions.

11.10.050    Nuisance findings.

11.10.060    Responsibility for administration.

11.10.070    Relationship to the general plan.

11.10.080    Interpretation of regulations.

11.10.090    Severability.

11.10.010 Title.

The provisions of this title shall be referred to as the “comprehensive zoning code” or the “zoning code” or the “code.” The zoning code and citywide zoning map implements the land use plan (composed of the neighborhoods, place types, districts, and corridors maps, combined with the allowable place types) of the South Gate general plan, as adopted on December 8, 2009.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.020 Purpose of the zoning code.

The purposes of this title are to protect and promote public health, safety, and general welfare of the South Gate community; to implement the policies of the general plan; and to provide the economic and social advantages that result from the orderly planned use of land resources. These objectives are achieved as follows:

A.    Provide standards and guidelines for the continuing orderly growth and development of the city of South Gate (“city”) that will assist in protecting the character of the city.

B.    Direct development of existing corridors and districts to strengthen the economic base, provide services, and strengthen the identity of the community.

C.    Enable flexibility in development type and scale by location to provide for emerging economic and social trends.

D.    Ensure compatibility between different types of development and land uses.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.030 Authority.

This title is enacted based on the authority vested in the city of South Gate and by the state of California, including the State Constitution, the Planning and Zoning Law (Sections 65000 et seq. of the California Government Code), the Subdivision Map Act (Sections 66410 et seq. of the California Government Code), and the California Health and Safety Code.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.040 Applicability and exemptions.

This title applies to all land uses, activities, structures, subdivisions, and development within the city, except as provided by this section. The applicability described in this section is not a comprehensive list; the community development director (“director”) shall determine the specific applicability of this title to all projects and applications within the city.

A.    New Land Uses or Structures, Changes to Land Uses or Structures. Compliance with the requirements of this title is necessary for any person or public agency to lawfully establish, construct, occupy, maintain, reconstruct, alter, expand, or replace any use of land or structure.

B.    Building Code Conformance. All common walls and ceiling/floor systems shall be fireproof and soundproof, and must conform to current building standards adopted by the city. All multifamily units and developments shall conform to the requirements of group R occupancies, in accordance with the California Building Code.

C.    Issuance of Building or Grading Permits. No permit shall be issued by the city unless the proposed project complies with all applicable provisions of this title and all other applicable provisions of law.

D.    Subdivisions. Any subdivision of land shall be consistent with the minimum lot size requirements established by this title and the city’s subdivisions regulations, Title 12 of this code.

E.    Exemptions. The following uses and conditions are exempt from modification by this title:

1.    Existing Uses and Structures. An existing land use/structure is lawful if legally established, operated, and maintained in compliance with all applicable zoning regulations at the time of establishment, including Chapter 11.55, Nonconforming Uses and Buildings.

2.    Violations. A violation or nonconforming existing land use/structure that was established prior to the adoption of this title shall maintain the violation and/or non-conforming status until steps are taken to bring the land use or structure into conformance with this title. See Chapter 11.55 for regulations and standards for nonconforming uses and buildings.

3.    Existing City Entitlements. Any effective entitlement and/or permit issued by the city prior to the effective date and hour of the ordinance codified in this title shall be permitted to be exercised regardless of compliance with any or all regulations of this title.

F.    Substandard Lots. Legally created substandard lots on record prior to the adoption of this title shall be deemed in compliance with the minimum lot area requirements. The lot area per dwelling unit, however, shall remain as specified in the applicable zone. In no instance shall these provisions prevent the erection of a single-family dwelling on any substandard lot.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.050 Nuisance findings.

It is a public nuisance for any person, firm, company, or corporation to own, use, operate, lease, or otherwise maintain a property or a building, or to own, operate, lease, or otherwise maintain property, in violation of any provision of this title. See Chapter 11.56, Enforcement, for enforcement actions applicable to violations of this title.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.060 Responsibility for administration.

This title shall be administered by the city council, the planning commission, the director or designee, the community development department, and any other departments, groups, personnel, or individuals as identified in a specific chapter of this title, in compliance with Title 1 of this code, Administration and Personnel.

See Chapter 11.50, Administration, for further administration responsibility details.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.070 Relationship to the general plan.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this title is to provide the legislative framework for implementation of the general plan.

B.    Responsibility. To achieve the stated purpose, each officer or employee of the city having the responsibility and authority for issuing licenses or permits, and any officer or official body having the authority or responsibility to approve plans or specifications for private or public projects, shall not issue a license, permit, or approval for any use, development, project, plan, or specification that does not conform in purpose or form to the adopted general plan and its elements.

C.    Consistency. If instances of inconsistency arise between the general plan and this title, the standards and language of the general plan shall apply.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.080 Interpretation of regulations.

A.    Clarification of Ambiguity. The director shall have the responsibility and authority to interpret the meaning and applicability of all provisions and requirements of this title. Whenever the director determines that the meaning or applicability of any of the requirements of this title are subject to interpretation generally, or as applied to a specific case, the director may issue an official interpretation or refer the question to the planning commission for determination. If ambiguity arises concerning the appropriate classification of a particular use or regulation within the meaning and intent of this title with respect to any matters regulated by this title based on established or unforeseen circumstances, including technological changes in processing or application of materials, the director shall have the power to interpret the regulation based on understanding of this title. Appeals may be filed and heard consistent with Section 11.50.040 and Chapter 11.51, Permits and Procedures; see Table 11.51-1 for the specific review/appeal hierarchy.

B.    Photo and Figure Disclaimer. Images and photos in this title are not intended to be interpreted literally; they represent the general spirit of the regulations, range of scale, intensity, site organization, and streetscape generally desired for the associated zone. Figures are intended to demonstrate the associated regulations and should be interpreted literally, with exceptions for encroachments and modifications, as provided for in this title.

C.    Terminology. Language used in this title shall be understood as follows:

1.    Mandatory Language. The words “shall,” “will,” “is to,” and “are to” always mean mandatory.

2.    Encourage Language. “Should” indicates that the standard is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. “May” is permissive and does not represent a regulatory requirement.

3.    Indicative Language. The words “include,” “includes,” and “including” mean “including, but not limited to.” The word “and” means that all connected words or provisions apply; the word “or” means that the connected words or provisions shall apply singly or in any combination. The words “either … or” indicate that the connected words or provisions shall apply singly, but not in combination.

D.    Discretion. When this title provides for discretion on the part of a city official or body, that discretion may be exercised to impose conditions on the issuance of any city entitlements, consistent with Chapter 11.51, Permits and Procedures.

E.    Minimum Requirements.

1.    Welfare Provisions. The provisions of this title are minimum requirements for the protection and promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare.

2.    Minimums. All standards and requirements of this title are minimum requirements unless otherwise noted.

F.    Provisions.

1.    This title applies to all land uses and development within the city.

2.    The city shall not enforce any private covenant or agreement unless it is a party to the covenant or agreement.

G.    Development Agreements and Specific Plans. Standards adopted as part of any development agreement or specific plan shall control over any conflicting requirements of this title adopted subsequent to the development agreement or specific plan.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)

11.10.090 Severability.

The provisions of this title are severable. If any applicability, chapter, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this title is, for any reason, held to be invalid, unconstitutional, or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the decision shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other portion or provision of this title.

(Ord. 2323 § 1 Exh. A (part), 4-28-15)