Chapter 11.45


11.45.010    Purpose and intent.

11.45.020    Applicability.

11.45.030    Permitted activities.

11.45.040    Development standards.

11.45.050    Minimum functional requirements.

11.45.060    LPG use and siting standards.

11.45.070    Abandonment.

11.45.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish operational and design standards applicable to all vehicle fueling stations (“fueling stations”) that are accessible to the general public and within the city. Standards of this chapter are intended to manage the demand for, manage appropriate access to, and regulate the safety of all traditional fueling stations, alternative fueling stations, and other vehicle energy source stations for passenger and fleet vehicles.

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

11.45.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the establishment, relocation, structural alteration, and addition of floor space for all fueling stations. All fueling stations, including all types of traditional and alternative fueling and charging methods, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

A CUP is required for all activities related to the establishment or reestablishment of a fueling station.

A.    Alterations. The building, relocation, or structural alteration, including addition of floor space equal to or exceeding ten percent, shall be subject to a CUP; alterations limited to bathroom facilities or accessibility upgrades per the Americans with Disabilities Act shall be exempt from this CUP requirement. A one-time structural alteration of less than ten percent is permitted without a CUP.

B.    Reestablishment. Closure of the fueling portion of any fueling station for a period exceeding one hundred eighty days will result in the city initiating the process to revoke the associated CUP; issuance of a new CUP shall be required prior to reopening the station or business activities associated with the station. See subsection (C) of this section, Maintenance and Expansion, for exceptions.

C.    Maintenance and Expansion. Minor repairs and routine maintenance is permitted and encouraged. Temporary nonoperation of a business for repairs, maintenance, or permitted renovations shall not count as closure for the purposes of subsection (B) of this section; the closure period shall start on the date final permits are approved.

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

11.45.030 Permitted activities.

A.    Related Uses. The operation and maintenance of a fueling station may combine any of the following automotive-related uses to properly serve fueling, charging, and related retail sale needs. All land use activities conducted in conjunction with a fueling station, including the activities listed below, shall be conducted within a building and shall be subject to the permit requirements of the applicable zone.

1.    Sale of vehicle fuels, oils, charging components, and affiliated fueling parts, and display racks of automotive-related products are prohibited on pump islands or outside of an enclosed building structure.

2.    Sale of general automotive items shall be conducted within a building and shall be subject to the permit requirements of the applicable zone.

3.    Service and maintenance operations shall be conducted within a building and shall be subject to the permit requirements of the applicable zone.

4.    Retail convenience markets shall be conducted within a building and shall be subject to the permit requirements of the applicable zone.

5.    The sale of compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum, or other type of fuels shall be regulated by the local fire code.

6.    Automotive sales, new or used, are prohibited in conjunction with a vehicle fueling station.

7.    A single-bay car wash, with either manual or automatic equipment permitted as an accessory use, shall be subject to accessory use standards.

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

11.45.040 Development standards.

A.    Site Location. Where permitted by the applicable zone, the establishment of new fueling stations may be permitted on corner parcels at the intersection of two boulevards (primary arterials), two avenues (secondary arterials), or the intersection of a boulevard and avenue as consistent with the South Gate general plan.

B.    Minimum Lot Area. The minimum required lot area for the establishment of a new fueling station shall be as follows. These requirements shall not apply to the remodeling or expansion of a preexisting fueling station.

1.    Fueling Station. Minimum seventeen-thousand-five-hundred-square-foot lot area; minimum of one hundred twenty-five feet of frontage on any adjacent public street.

2.    Fueling Station with Rental Facility. Minimum eighteen-thousand-square-foot lot area or as approved suitable by the director.

C.    Building Placement. Service, maintenance, and repair buildings shall meet the minimum building placement requirements of the applicable zone and the setback requirements of Table 11.45-1, Vehicle Fueling Station Development Standards. Building setbacks shall be regulated by the applicable zone.

1.    Secure Layout. Site layout shall be designed to ensure maximum security for employees and patrons. Safe site layout shall address adequate lighting; minimum dead space (e.g., hidden alleys); efficient circulation; adequate defensible space; and limit conflicts between pedestrians, vehicles, and site patrons.

2.    Circulation. Any ancillary services (e.g., air, water, utilities, and vending machines) shall be located in an area that does not impede vehicular traffic.


Table 11.45-1 Vehicle Fueling Station Development Standards 

Required Fueling Setbacks

Fuel Pump Island

15 ft. from any PL

Charging/Energy Source Station

15 ft. from any street PL

PL Site Walls

Front Setback Area

Not required; maximum height permitted 36 inches; proper corner visibility required

Along Interior PL

Wall required, 6-ft. maximum height

Shielding Public Restroom

Wall required, 5-ft. minimum to 6-ft. maximum height

Required Features

Planting Area

3-ft. minimum width

Curb Required

6-inch minimum height/width

PL = property line.

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

11.45.050 Minimum functional requirements.

In addition to the conditions of a CUP, the following provisions are the minimum requirements for all fueling stations.

A.    Administrative Plan Review. All fueling station CUPs shall be subject to administrative plan review to validate consistency with the applicable zone and the provisions of this chapter. The CUP application shall be accompanied by complete plans that include buildings, pump islands, walls, setbacks, landscaping, lighting, storage and refuse areas, drainage, curb cuts, and a lighting plan consistent with Chapter 11.30, General Property Standards.

B.    Site Layout Standards.

1.    Drainage. Drainage shall be regulated elsewhere in this code.

2.    Driveways. Access driveways shall have a minimum width and shall be designed in accordance with the city’s roadway standards. Driveways shall be located at least forty feet from the intersecting point of street right-of-way lines at a street corner.

3.    Site Walls. All site walls shall be solid fencing or walls with landscaping street screens; see “solid wall” definition in Chapter 11.60, Definitions. All walls and screening shall be architecturally compatible with the main building.

i.    Blank walls are prohibited. Landscaping features, landscaped areas as described in subsection (B)(4) of this section, climbing vines, or other similar landscape elements shall be used along all walls facing a public street frontage or alley to deter graffiti.

4.    Landscaping. Landscaped areas shall be established and maintained on all vehicular fueling station sites. The landscaped area shall comprise a minimum of twenty percent of the lot area and shall be provided along street frontages and at the intersection corner, except for driveways, subject to director approval. Not less than seventy-five percent of the landscaped area shall be covered with live landscaping such as lawn, ground cover, trees, or shrubs, and not more than twenty-five percent shall be covered with hard surfaces such as gravel, landscaping, rock, concrete, artificial materials, or other impervious materials. Landscaped areas shall be equipped with a permanent automatic irrigation system and be continually maintained.

5.    Refuse and Recycling Receptacles. Refuse and recycling receptacle(s) appropriate to meet the needs of the site shall be provided consistent with the provisions of Chapter 11.44, Recycling and Refuse Facilities.

i.    Any refuse area on a vehicular fueling station site shall be walled or screened from view of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Solid fences or walls and screens shall be designed to be compatible with the appearance of the main facility.

ii.    All discarded parts and materials shall be deposited into a completely enclosed container, concealed from adjacent properties.

6.    On-Site Noise. All on-site noise from general activities and signal and address systems shall be regulated to be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 11.34, Noise Control Program, and the general plan. Adequate landscaping and solid fencing shall be installed to control the effects of noise from facility operations when adjacent to a residential use or zone.

7.    Repair Facilities. All permitted vehicle maintenance and repair shall be conducted entirely within an enclosed building. Vehicles being serviced or stored for customers shall not be parked on streets, alleys, public sidewalks, or in the public street right-of-way.

8.    Public Restrooms. A public restroom is required and shall be screened from view from adjacent properties or street rights-of-way with a decorative block wall.

9.    Car Wash. A car wash bay is permitted as an accessory use to vehicle fueling stations, consistent with the regulations in this section. The car wash is limited to one vehicle bay, operated with either manual or automatic equipment.

i.    A car wash bay shall be set back a minimum of eight feet from any abutting residential use or zone.

ii.    Car wash bays shall be subject to on-site noise standards, described in subsection (B)(6) of this section.

iii.    When abutting a residential use or zone, the hours of operation of the car wash bay shall be limited to between seven a.m. and ten p.m.

iv.    Sufficient space on the lot shall be provided to accommodate three vehicles waiting for the car wash bay, in addition to other spaces provided for the primary use.

10.    On-Site Lighting. Lighting shall be designed, controlled, and maintained so that no source of light is visible from off the property and lighting does not unreasonably disturb occupants of adjacent properties or interfere with traffic. All outdoor lighting shall be provided with full cut-off fixtures. The use shall extinguish all outdoor lighting that is not fully shielded at close of business or by eleven p.m., whichever is earlier. There shall be no flashing, moving, or animated lights.

11.    Safety. All fueling tanks and charging stations shall be protected from impact from vehicles by means of crash posts, fences, railings, or similar structures.

12.    Buffers. The uses shall be provided with buffers of such dimensions that occupants of adjacent structures are not unreasonably disturbed, either by day or night, by the movement of vehicles or by outdoor lighting.

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

11.45.060 LPG use and siting standards.

Due to the nature and safety regulations of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), all LPG storage and sales facilities shall be required to meet the following minimum requirements and standards.

A.    Maximum LPG tank size shall not exceed one thousand one hundred fifty gallons. All LPG applications shall be limited to an ancillary permitted use in conjunction with a fueling station.

B.    All LPG storage containers shall be located a minimum of fifty feet from any neighborhood zone property.

C.    All LPG tanks shall be protected from vehicle impact by appropriate fencing or crash posts.

D.    No self-service LPG facility shall be permitted.

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

11.45.070 Abandonment.

All violations of this chapter, violations of CUP requirements, or abandonment of any vehicle fueling station shall be considered a nuisance and grounds for city initiation of abatement procedures. Abatement may be undertaken by the director and/or building and safety director, which may include civil remedies and criminal sanctions as set forth in Chapter 11.56, Enforcement.

A.    Abatement Measures. Abatement measures may include removal of all on-site and underground structures associated with the fueling station, closure of such structures, and remediation of any environmental hazards or damages caused by such structures or by their abandonment.

B.    Permit Revocations. In any case where the owner has not ceased or corrected the nuisance caused by the abandonment of the fueling station, the building and safety department may notify any federal, state, county, or other appropriate governmental or regulatory agency of the unabated abandonment and request the immediate revocation of any unexpired licenses or permits, and may further revoke or cause to be revoked any applicable city permits or licenses.

C.    Restricted Use. No city business license or permit shall be issued to the owner of an abandoned fueling station if the owner has failed or refused to cease and correct the nuisance caused by such abandonment, or has failed or refused to reimburse the city for the full costs of removal and site cleanup.

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