Division II. Zoning Regulations

Chapter 11.20


11.20.010    Purpose and intent.

11.20.020    Applicability.

11.20.030    Establishment of zones.

11.20.040    Citywide zone mapping.

11.20.050    Interpretation of zone boundaries.

11.20.060    How to use this title.

11.20.070    Provisions applicable to all zones.

11.20.010 Purpose and intent.

This chapter establishes the general provisions of this title for the regulation of all real property within the city of South Gate.

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

11.20.020 Applicability.

The citywide zoning map, as established by this chapter, shall apply to all real property within the city. The establishment of land uses and buildings in all zones shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and the standards and regulations applicable to the zone. City zones and their relationship to the general plan place-types are listed in Table 11.20-1.


Table 11.20-1 Zones 

Zone Symbol

Name of Zone

Section Reference

General Plan “Place-Type” Implemented by Zone

Urban Mixed-Use Zones


Civic Center


Civic/Institutional, Urban Village


Transit Village


Neighborhood High, Urban Village, Office/R&D


Industrial Flex


Office/R&D, Light Industrial/Flex, Boulevard High, Boulevard Medium-High, Neighborhood Medium-High


Corridor 1


Boulevard High, Neighborhood High, Single-Use Retail


Corridor 2


Neighborhood Medium-High, Neighborhood High, Boulevard Medium-High, Boulevard High, Single-Use Retail


Urban Neighborhood


Neighborhood Medium-High, Boulevard Medium-High, Boulevard High, Single-Use Retail


Main Street


Main Street/Neighborhood Center

Commercial Industrial Zones


Regional Commercial


Single-Use Retail, Office/R&D, Urban Village


Light Industrial


Light Industrial/Flex


Light Manufacturing




Heavy Manufacturing



Residential Neighborhood Zones


Neighborhood Low


Neighborhood Low


Neighborhood Medium


Neighborhood Medium


Mobile Home Park


Neighborhood Low






Open Space


Open Space

Note: General plan place type consistency is established by and addressed in each zone section of this title.

R&D = research and development.

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

11.20.030 Establishment of zones.

The city is divided into urban mixed-use zones, commercial industrial zones, and residential neighborhood zones to individually regulate development form and land use of parcels. This specific mix of zones implement the general plan by providing for a range of development intensity and uses that are compatible with the character of the city’s neighborhoods, districts, and corridors. City zones are listed in Table 11.20-1 and applied geographically by the citywide zoning map.

Existing legally constructed nonconforming uses, buildings, and structures established prior to the adoption of this title are legal, nonconforming uses and are permitted to operate subject to the regulations of Chapter 11.55, Nonconforming Uses and Buildings.

A.    Urban Mixed-Use Zones. Urban mixed-use zones range in function and density to address mixed-use and nonresidential development within districts and corridors to promote accessibility, business development, and a unified character. These zones define the major corridors, thoroughfares, and districts of the city. These prominent locations make design and building form paramount in defining the character of South Gate. Urban mixed-use zones are regulated from a form-based approach, identifying allowed building types, frontage types, and massing to foster dynamic design.

B.    Commercial Industrial Zones. Commercial industrial zones provide dedicated locations for the preservation and development of commercial and industrial activities. These zones are regulated by land use to ensure that appropriate site design and operational standards are employed to promote commerce within the zones and to protect adjacent properties.

C.    Residential Neighborhood Zones. Residential neighborhood zones protect the integrity and character of existing residential neighborhoods for the development and redevelopment of single-family homes, suburban residential areas, and public spaces. These zones are regulated by land use.

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

11.20.040 Citywide zone mapping.

The citywide zoning map establishes and defines all zones and overlay areas, and their boundaries. Each zone outlines land use and development standards to implement the range of expected outcomes expressed in the South Gate general plan. All zone regulations shall be applied based on the zone boundaries and locations established by the citywide zoning map. All overlay areas further regulate the land use or specific activities within the underlying zone and shall be applied based on the overlay boundaries and locations established by the citywide overlay map.

A.    Division of Zoning Map. The citywide zoning map may, for convenience, be divided into parts, and each part may, for purposes of identification, be subdivided into map sections. Each section of the zoning map may be individually mapped or separated out for official reference or when amending the citywide zoning map. Any individual map sections successively adopted by amendment shall become part of this title and shall not impact any other section of the citywide zoning map.

B.    Annexation of Properties. When property outside of the city limits is submitted for annexation to the city, zoning of the property shall be determined by the city at the time of application hearing, and shall be incorporated into the citywide zoning map upon adoption. Annexation actions shall be consistent with state law.

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

11.20.050 Interpretation of zone boundaries.

When uncertainty exists about the location of any zone boundary or section shown on the citywide zoning map, the precise location of the boundary shall be determined by the director. Generally, the following boundary guidelines shall be used for reading the zoning map and for interpretation, unless otherwise determined by the director.

A.    General Boundaries. Zone boundaries approximately following the right-of-way shall be construed to follow the proximate property line or right-of-way line.

B.    Scale. If a zone boundary does not follow a property line, or where a zone boundary divides a property, the location scale on the citywide zoning map shall be used to determine the location of the boundaries, unless the boundaries are indicated by dimensions.

C.    Split Zone Properties. Where a zone boundary divides a property, the property shall be developed in a manner that is consistent with the designated zone area based on the zone boundaries of the citywide zoning map.

D.    Centerline Boundaries. Zone boundaries shown within a right-of-way that do not follow the outside right-of-way line(s) shall be construed to follow the centerline of such rights-of-way.

E.    Vacated Areas. Vacated or abandoned nonoccupancy uses identified in Chapter 11.56, Enforcement, shall be treated in one of the following ways:

1.    Revert to the identified zoning district.

2.    Where no zone is identified by the citywide zoning map, the vacated right-of-way or nonoccupancy use shall acquire the zoning district classification of the adjacent property to which it reverts.

3.    The director shall determine the applicable zone; city council approval and adoption by ordinance of the assigned zone shall be required to incorporate the zoning of the property into the official citywide zoning map.

F.    Unclassified Areas. Dedicated circulation rights-of-way, utility or maintenance easements/corridors, creek easements, railroad rights-of-way, or similar nonoccupancy uses shown within a designated zone shall be deemed to be unclassified and shall not be used for development or structural purposes inconsistent with the established right-of-way use. In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11.33, Parking Standards, off-street automobile parking may be permitted within such unclassified rights-of-way. Railroad rights-of-way shall be used solely for the purpose of accommodating tracks, signals, other operative devices, and the movement of rolling stock, unless otherwise vacated.

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

11.20.060 How to use this title.

The following information summarizes how to use this title given the anticipated range of applications that will be submitted and processed.

A.    Zoning. Find the site on the citywide zoning map to determine which zone applies.

B.    Land Uses. See the “allowed land uses” table applicable to the zone to determine what uses are allowed on the site and what types of permit(s) are required. See Chapter 11.21, Land Use Types, for allowed land use tables for each zone.

C.    Application Requirements. Follow the application requirements identified in Table 11.21-2, General Land Use Permit Types and Processes, for processing by city staff.

D.    Zone Standards. See the chapter applicable to the zone to determine the development standards, operational standards, and all other provisions applicable to and required by the zone.

See Chapter 11.22 for urban mixed-use zones, Chapter 11.24 for commercial industrial zones, and Chapter 11.25 for residential neighborhood zones.

E.    Additional Standards. Apply the design standards or other standards applicable to the zone or land use, as applicable.

F.    Parking Standards. Provide at least the minimum required parking spaces as regulated by Chapter 11.33, Parking Standards.

G.    Submit Application for Processing. If in compliance with all applicable requirements, and if a conditional use permit (CUP) is not required, the application will be processed by planning staff for director approval.

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

11.20.070 Provisions applicable to all zones.

The following standards and provisions shall be applicable to all uses. It is the responsibility of the property owner to comply with all standards of this title.

The establishment, use, building, construction, alteration, expansion, maintenance, and repair of all structures and land uses shall be consistent with all setbacks, development standards, parking requirements, applicable review and permits, and all other applicable regulations of the zone and this title.

A.    Processing. Applications shall be processed and approved administratively if it is consistent with the applicable requirements. Applications that exceed the flexibility built into this title, as established in Table 11.30-1, will be considered inconsistent with this title and, therefore, may be approved, conditionally approved, or denied at the discretion of the director.

B.    Permit Requirements.

1.    Federal, State and Local Law. No permit shall be issued by the city unless the proposed project complies with all applicable provisions of this title and all other applicable federal, state, and local codes. Nothing in this title eliminates the need for obtaining any permit, approval, or entitlement required by other provisions of this code and the Los Angeles County Code; or complying with the regulations of any city department; or complying with any county, regional, state, or federal agency.

2.    Legal Lot. The site of a proposed development or new land use shall be a lot legally created in compliance with the Subdivision Map Act and the city’s subdivision regulations.

3.    All Structures. Principal and accessory structures shall meet the same development standards unless otherwise modified by this title.

4.    Allowable Use. Land uses are allowed by this title as permitted, or conditionally permitted, in the zone applied to the site, as identified in Chapter 11.21, Land Use Types.

5.    Permit and Approval Requirements. Any permit/approval required by Table 11.21-2, General Land Use Permit Types and Processes, shall be obtained before the issuance of any required permit, and before the proposed use, and any structures related to the proposed use, are constructed, otherwise established, or put into operation.

6.    Conflicting Permits. No license or permit shall be issued in conflict with the provisions of this title or in conflict with any existing permit. If any such license or permit is issued, it shall be null and void.

7.    Landscape Standards. This title adopts by reference the Department of Water Resources Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) Assembly Bill (AB) 1881, as adopted or amended by the state of California. All permits subject to this title shall be subject to the standards of, and required to comply with, the MWELO.

8.    Development and Design Standards, Conditions of Approval. Each structure, addition to a structure, or modification to a structure or land use shall comply with all applicable standards of this title, all setback requirements, all parking requirements, and all other development standards applicable to the zone, and any applicable conditions imposed by a previously granted discretionary planning permit or approval.

9.    Public Safety and Welfare. At the request of the director, the property owner shall provide any additional features, beyond the specific regulations of this title, that are deemed necessary by the director to meet any unusual hazards or excessive requirements related to the land use, building, or site for police protection, fire protection, and/or health protection.

C.    Chapters of This Title. The following chapters of this title are applicable to all zones, land uses, and structures within the city:

1.    Chapter 11.10, General Provisions;

2.    Chapter 11.21, Land Use Types;

3.    Chapter 11.30, General Property Standards;

4.    Chapter 11.32, Art In Public Places Program;

5.    Chapter 11.33, Parking Standards;

6.    Chapter 11.44, Recycling and Refuse Facilities;

7.    Chapter 11.55, Nonconforming Uses and Buildings;

8.    Sign ordinance as codified by the city of South Gate.

D.    Required Maintenance. All parking areas, private property, and public spaces visible or accessible to the public shall be maintained in good condition, free of vandalism, graffiti, and litter. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain all properties and spaces in compliance with the standards of this title.

E.    Air Pollution Control District. Any permitted use that is subject to control by the South Coast Air Quality Management District shall be allowed only when it has secured a permit to operate from such district.

F.    Nonconforming Property. Any existing nonconforming property, or property rendered nonconforming by this title, shall be regulated pursuant to Chapter 11.55, Nonconforming Uses and Buildings.

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