CHAPTER 2
GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1 - CONTROLLED ZONING

(Added by O-791)

92.1.1 INDICATED CONTROLLED ZONING.

Where areas are shown upon the zoning map enclosed within a heavy dashed line, the area thus shown is intended to approximate the future location for the type of land use indicated by the symbol therein enclosed within a circle. Uncircumscribed symbols shown within such areas represent the present classification.

The designation of a future classification is based on a recognition of the suitability of location for the type of use indicated by circumscribed symbol and the impracticability of precisely classifying such property for particular types of use until such lands are precisely designed and officially planned or subdivided so as to establish location and dimensions of any streets, alleys, parking areas, building sites and similar features pertinent to precise zoning.

92.1.2 TRANSLATING CONTROLLED ZONING TO PERMISSIBLE USE.

Types of land use indicated by circumscribed symbols within areas identified on the zoning map by heavy dashed lines, may be activated and made permissible uses by the adoption of any official plan of design for the area. Such official plan adopted as provided by law, shall by map, diagram or text, or all of them, indicate the design, arrangement and dimension of any streets, alleys, parking areas, building sites and similar features pertinent to precise zoning.

The proceedings for the adoption of such an official plan of design and the reclassification under this Division of properties included in such designed plan shall be accomplished separately but concurrently and in the manner prescribed by law for the adoption of official plans.

92.1.3 USE CONTROL IN RECLASSIFIED OFFICIAL PLAN.

Upon the adoption of an official plan and a reclassification based on such official plan, any properties shown therein classified for "C" or "M" purposes shall not be used for residential purposes unless expressly so authorized by such official plan.

92.1.4 PRECISE ZONING.

(Added by O-1918)

a)    Where an area is shown upon the zoning map with the letters P.P. in addition to the normal zoning designation, the area thus shown is the permitted location for the types of land use allowed by the zone district represented by the normal zone symbol with the priviso, however, that no use may be made of the property so designated until a Precise Plan of Development has been submitted to and approved by the City in the manner prescribed in Article 2, Chapter 6, Division 9 of this Code.

b)    The designation of precise zoning classification is based upon a recognition of the suitability of location for the types of uses permitted by the zone district represented by the normal zone symbol and the impracticability of precisely classifying such property for the particular type of use until such lands are precisely designated and officially planned or subdivided so as to establish location and dimension of any streets, alleys, parking areas, building sites, signing, landscaping, and other features pertinent to precise planning.

92.1.5 TRANSLATING PRECISE ZONING TO PERMISSIBLE USE.

(Added by O-1918)

a)    Types of land use indicated by the precise zoning symbols may be activated and made permissible uses by the adoption of the official plan of design for the area. Such official plan adopted as provided by law, shall by map, diagram or text, or all of them, indicate the design, arrangement and dimension of any streets, alleys, parking areas, building sites, signing, landscaping, and similar features pertinent to precise zoning.

b)    The proceedings for the adoption of such official plan of design shall be accomplished in the manner prescribed in Article 2, Chapter 6, Division 9 of this Code.

ARTICLE 2 - USES GENERALLY

92.2.1 COMPLIANCE WITH PROVISIONS.

(Amended by O-1384)

It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, establish, alter, add to, or enlarge, or to cause or permit to be erected, constructed, established, altered or enlarged, or to use or occupy or permit to be used or occupied, any land, building or premises for any purpose or in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Division as to uses permitted or excluded, building height limit, building site area required, front, side or rear yards required and distances between buildings, applicable to the particular district in which such land, building or premises are located.

92.2.2 PARKING; PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY.

All improvements and/or areas used, or to be used, for places of public assemblage, shall as a prerequisite to their use, be required to provide off-street parking, as set forth under Chapter 3 of this Division.

92.2.3 SIGNS; RESIDENTIAL ZONES.

One (1) unlighted sign not to exceed twelve (12) square feet, located not less than ten (10) feet from any property line of the lot upon which such sign is placed, and pertaining only to the rental, lease, or sale of the building or property upon which such sign is located, will be permitted in any of the residential zones; provided, however, that such signs shall otherwise be erected and maintained in compliance with the provisions of the sign ordinance of the City of Torrance.

92.2.4 PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY; PERMITTED IN ANY ZONE.

The uses of all buildings and property publicly owned and engaged in the performance of a public function may be permitted in any district or zone herein described, provided such use is not obnoxious or detrimental to the welfare of the community.

92.2.5 TRASH ENCLOSURES.

(Added by O-2470)

a)    All trash from all commercial or industrial uses shall be kept at all times in enclosures of the type described in this Section.

b)    Trash enclosures as required in this Section shall be bounded on three (3) sides by walls of material compatible in color, texture and appearance with the main structure and having a gated opening of sufficient width to permit the removal and replacement of standard size commercial trash bins. The gate of said enclosure shall be constructed of solid, opaque material.

c)    Trash bins shall remain in the enclosures except during trash pickup.

92.2.6 ROOM RENTALS.

(Added by O-2571)

a)    No person owning, occupying or having control of an individual residence unit shall lease any part of, or a room in, such residence unit except as provided herein.

b)    The owner or lessee of a single family residence who resides on the premises may rent rooms in the residence within which he resides to not more than two (2) persons.

c)    The owner or lessee of a single family residence who resides on the premises may rent rooms in the residence within which he resides to three (3) or more persons if a waiver therefor has been obtained, as provided in Article 2 of Chapter 4 of this Division (Section 94.2.1. et seq.).

d)    Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed to preclude the lease or rental of an entire individual dwelling unit, apartment or condominium unit located within a two-family dwelling building (duplex), apartment house or condominium project.

92.2.7 COMMUNITY CARE FACILITIES.

(Added by O-2885)

No community care facility for the housing of wards of the juvenile court shall be located closer than one (1) mile from another community care facility for the housing of wards of the juvenile court. The measurement shall be made from the property line boundaries of the respective community care facilities.

92.2.8 SATELLITE ANTENNAS.

(Added by O-3058)

a)    No person shall install, either as owner or agent, or employee of the owner, or as an independent contractor for the owner, or otherwise, any satellite antenna, any additions thereto or substitution for such antenna unless a permit is obtained from the Planning Director therefor. Such permit shall be issued by the Planning Director if he determines that such antenna will conform to the provisions of this Section 92.2.8 and other provisions of this Code.

b)    The term "satellite antenna" as used in this Section 92.2.8 shall mean and include any antenna or other instrument designed or used for the reception of television or other electronic communication signal broadcast or relayed from an earth satellite.

c)    Such an antenna, if located in any residentially zoned district or on any property used for residential purposes, shall be treated as an accessory structure and shall comply with height, setback and lot coverage requirements for the residential zone in which it is located or for single-family residences if it is not located in a residential zone. Satellite antennae placed within a residential zone or on property used for residential purposes shall be screened from view from streets and from abutting properties by use of fences, hedges or appropriate plant materials, as determined by the Planning Director.

d)    If such an antenna is located within any commercial or manufacturing district or on any property used for commercial or industrial purposes, a site plan shall be submitted pursuant to the requirements set forth herein showing the location for placement of such antenna, in addition to such other information as may be required by the Planning Director. As to each such antenna site, there shall be available an adequate siting area which is not otherwise required for parking or otherwise occupied by structures and improvements upon the property. Each such antenna site shall be properly screened with materials compatible with existing structures when, in the opinion of the Planning Director, it is necessary to mitigate visual impact from neighboring properties or from public view.

e)    Any satellite antenna installation which does not meet the criteria as set forth in subsections (c) and (d) above shall be subject to the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 of this Division 9

f)    The issuance of a permit for a satellite antenna in accordance with the provisions of this Section 92.2.8 shall not constitute a waiver of any provision of the City’s Building Code which requires a building permit for such antenna.

g)    The applicant, the City Manager, any member of the City Council, or any interested person adversely affected by the action of the Planning Director, granting or denying such permit may file a written notice of appeal therefrom with the City Clerk within five (5) days thereafter. If the appeal is filed by a person other than the City Manager, or a member of the City Council, a fee shall be paid for such appeal as provided in Section 99.2.1 of this Code. Such appeal shall be heard by the Planning Commission, which may affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Planning Director.

92.2.9 SEASONAL PUMPKIN AND CHRISTMAS TREE SALES LOTS.

(Added by O-3171; amended by O-3485; O-3760)

a)    No person will conduct sales of pumpkins and/or Christmas trees on any vacant property without first obtaining a Seasonal Sales Permit issued from the Planning Director.

b)    An application for a Seasonal Sales Permit must be filed with the Planning Department and will include the following:

1)    A completed application form signed by the applicant and the property owner acknowledging and agreeing to all applicable conditions; and

2)    A dimensioned plot plan of the proposed location. The plot plan must indicate the following information:

A)    The location and dimensions of all Christmas tree sales and storage areas, public activity areas, fenced areas, incidental activity areas, and distances between tree displays, parking areas and temporary structures as required by the Fire Department;

B)    The location of temporary buildings, trailers, tents, electrical or mechanical equipment, trash receptacles, and signs;

C)    The location of required safety devices such as portable fire extinguishers, no smoking signs, and emergency exits;

D)    The location, layout and dimensions of required driveways and parking spaces; and,

E)    Any other information found by the Planning Director to be necessary for the review of the application.

c)    No Seasonal Sales Permit will be issued by the Planning Director prior to September 1st for any pumpkin sales lot and November 1st for any Christmas sales lot.

d)    A Seasonal Sales Permit must be obtained for each individual sales lot. The Seasonal Sales permit will be issued if in the judgment of the Planning Director the subject sales lot will conform to the following criteria:

1)    The proposed sales lot is located on a vacant property zoned for commercial or manufacturing use;

2)    The proposed sales lot operation is conducted between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. daily;

3)    Site preparation and set up for the sales lot will not commence prior to September 20th for a pumpkin sales lot, and November 15th for a Christmas tree sales lot;

4)    Sales operations to the public for pumpkin lots will begin no earlier than October 10th and end no later than October 31st;

5)    Sales operations to the public for Christmas tree lots will begin no earlier than the day after Thanksgiving and end no later than December 25th;

6)    A)    The complete clean up of a pumpkin sales lot will be completed by the November 10th that immediately follows the last approved operating date for the sales lot;

B)    The complete clean up of a Christmas tree sales lot will be completed by the January 5th that immediately follows the last approved operating date for the sales lot; and

C)    The clean up requirement may be waived during the transition time period between the last effective sales date for a pumpkin sales lot and the first effective sales date for a Christmas tree sale lot only if the applicant has received separate permits for operating both sales lots on the same property during the same calendar year and will be subject to the requirements of subsection e) 7) of this Section 92.2.9

7)    The proposed sales lot will not adversely disrupt traffic in the vicinity as determined by consideration of the following factors:

A)    The location and design of on-site driveways;

B)    On-site parking and circulation; and

C)    On-site lighting and traffic signage.

8)    There is one parking space provided for every one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet of display and public activity areas;

9)    The proposed sales lot will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or to the property of other persons located in the vicinity;

10)    If an incidental activity, as allowed by subsection e) of this Section 92.2.9, is proposed in conjunction with the sales lot, its operation will conform with the standards and requirements of subsection e) and all other applicable requirements;

11)    No other activity, other than the sales of pumpkins or Christmas trees, as defined in Sections 91.2.163 and 91.2.164 respectively, or a small animal petting zoo and/or a pony ride, as defined Sections 91.2.167 and 91.2.168 respectively, will be conducted;

12)    There will be no amplified sound, as defined in Section 46.5.3 of Article 5 of Chapter 6 of Division 4; and,

13)    There will be no vending machines on-site.

e)    One (1) small animal petting zoo and/or one (1) pony ride, as defined in Sections 91.2.167 and 91.2.168, may be permitted as an incidental use to the primary use of a pumpkin and/or a Christmas tree sales lot. Small animal petting zoos may be allowed in association with both a pumpkin and a Christmas tree sales lot, whereas a pony ride may be allowed only in association with a pumpkin sales lot. The operation of a small animal petting zoo and/or a pony ride may be approved if in the judgement of the Planning Director the use will conform with the following:

1)    A Seasonal Sales Permit is obtained from the Planning Director for the primary sales lot;

2)    The total area occupied by the proposed incidental uses, will not exceed ten percent of the total sales lot display area;

3)    One additional parking space is provided for every one hundred (100) square feet of area occupied by the incidental uses and animal storage area;

4)    The incidental uses and/or any animal pens are located at a maximum distance away from residential uses;

5)    All applicable City and County licensing, health permit, and inspection requirements will be satisfied;

6)    The applicant has submitted to the License Supervisor a policy of insurance naming the City of Torrance and all elected and appointed officers and employees as additional assured when acting in their official capacity, in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00);

7)    Animals will not be brought on-site prior to one day before and will be removed from the site one day after the specified approved public sales dates;

8)    A person responsible for the care of and the regular maintenance of the animals on-site will be present at all times during the period that the animals are present and this person will have appropriate identification when acting in this capacity;

9)    A report from a licensed Doctor of Veterinary medicine certifying that all animals on the site are healthy and appropriate for public viewing and/or interaction must be provided to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and the Planning Director by noon each Monday as long as the animals are on-site. All costs associated with this requirement will be the responsibility of the applicant;

10)    Any animals found to be ill or inappropriate for public interaction will be isolated immediately and will be removed from the site within eight hours of notification by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control; and,

11)    All animal waste will be quickly and appropriately disposed of in an enclosed container, and no waste will be disposed of adjacent to either residential or commercial uses.

f)    The Planning Director may impose additional conditions to the approval of the Seasonal Sales Permit to insure the preservation of the public peace, safety, health, and general welfare.

g)    Any violations of this Section, other applicable Sections of the Torrance Municipal Code and/or conditions of approval may result in enforcement actions, immediate suspension of the issued Seasonal Sales Permit and the denial of an application for such future sales permits by the operator and/or the property owner.

h)    The Planning Director may charge a fee for such approvals as provided in City Council Resolution 94-91 as adjusted by resolution from time to time, but may waive such fee for good cause, as provided in Section 31.6.2 of this Code.

i)    The decision of the Planning Director will be appealable to the Planning Commission in the same manner as provided in Section 92.30.11, and to the City Council pursuant to the provisions contained in Article 5 of Chapter 1 of Division 1

92.2.10 SECOND UNIT PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS.

(Added by O-3535; Amended by O-3815)

a)    Application Procedures. Accessory dwelling units are allowed on lots within the single-family residential and multiple-family residential zones containing no more than one (1) existing single-family residence. Accessory dwelling units are not allowed in the Hillside Overlay or Local Coastal Overlay District unless the accessory dwelling unit is created from converting existing permitted square footage.

1)    No person shall convert existing floor area or construct an accessory dwelling unit without first obtaining a building permit issued by the Building and Safety Department. Such permit shall be issued if it is determined that the accessory dwelling unit will conform to the provisions of this section and other related sections of the single-family development codes.

b)    Development Standards and Requirements. The following property development standards shall apply to all accessory dwelling units:

1)    Attached/Detached Units. The second unit may either be attached to the existing single-family residence as part of the living area of a main residence, or detached from the main residence.

2)    Height. Accessory dwelling units shall comply with the height restrictions per Section 91.4.2 of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District. Units located above detached garages are allowed provided a minimum five (5) foot interior side and rear setback is provided. A minimum ten (10) foot setback is required along exterior side yards for corner lots.

3)    Parking. In addition to the parking required for the primary residence per Section 93.2.1, there shall be at least one (1) accessible parking space provided per every bedroom contained in the accessory dwelling unit, with no less than one (1) such space provided per accessory dwelling unit. This additional parking shall be located on the same lot for which the accessory dwelling unit is requested, and shall be kept free, clear and accessible for the parking of a vehicle at all times. Parking space dimensions shall conform with the requirements of Section 93.5.2. Parking for accessory dwelling units may be waived if the applicant can demonstrate compliance with listed exemptions, as provided in State law, as may be amended from time to time.

4)    Vehicular Access. Only one (1) curb cut per street shall be allowed per lot.

5)    Setbacks. An accessory dwelling unit shall comply with the setback requirements of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District, unless said unit is:

A)    Provided within either existing permitted living area or permitted accessory structure; or

B)    Constructed over a detached garage, in which case, a minimum five (5) foot interior side and rear yard setback shall be provided for all new or rebuilt exterior structure walls. A minimum ten (10) foot setback is required along exterior side yards for corner lots.

6)    Lot Coverage. An accessory dwelling unit shall comply with the lot coverage requirements of Section 91.4.9 of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District.

7)    F.A.R. The floor area ratio for the lot shall comply with Section 91.4.11 of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District.

8)    Primary Use of Property. The lot or parcel of land on which the accessory dwelling unit is constructed shall contain a preexisting legal single-family residence as the primary use, which complies with the minimum development standards of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District.

9)    Density. An accessory dwelling unit may be developed only on a residentially zoned lot or parcel of land containing no more than one (1) existing single-family residence.

10)    Maximum Allowable Floor Area. The floor area of an attached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed thirty percent (30%) of the existing living area within the primary residence, and the total floor area for a detached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed one thousand two hundred (1,200) square feet. For the purposes of this section, "living area" is defined as the interior habitable area of a dwelling unit including basements and attics but does not include a garage or any accessory structure.

11)    Minimum Living Area. The living areas of both the primary residence and accessory dwelling unit shall comply with the minimum size restrictions pursuant to Section 92.20.4.

12)    Usable Open Space. Usable open space for the lot shall be provided pursuant to Section 91.4.10 of the R-1, Single-Family Residential District.

13)    Design Standards. The exterior design of the accessory dwelling unit shall be substantially compatible with that of the primary dwelling in terms of building architecture, materials, colors, exterior finishes and landscaping. The parcel shall retain a single-family residential appearance and the accessory dwelling unit shall be integrated into the design of the existing improvements on the property. The following design standards shall apply:

A)    The addresses of both units shall be displayed in a manner as to be clearly visible from the street; and

B)    Any stairway to a second floor unit shall be completely enclosed as part of the interior of the structure.

14)    Occupancy and Sale Limitations. The owner of record of the parcel shall reside on the parcel at the time of the request.

15)    Covenant Restriction. The property owner shall record a covenant restriction with the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office providing notice to any potential new owners of the property that the lot contains an accessory dwelling unit and that the transferee shall be subject to the requirements of this Section. The recorded covenant restriction shall further specify that the second unit shall:

(A)    Not be sold, or title transferred separate and apart from the remainder of the property; and

(B)    Not be used as a short term vacation rental; and

(C)    Not be rented for lease periods less than thirty (30) days.

16)    Illegal Accessory Dwelling Units. This Section shall not validate any existing illegal accessory dwelling units. Any conversions from illegal units to a conforming legal accessory dwelling unit shall be considered a new accessory dwelling unit subject to the provisions of this Section.

17)    Emergency Access. Emergency vehicle access to the property shall not be obstructed by the accessory dwelling unit.

18)    Distance between Buildings. A distance of six (6) feet shall be provided between the primary residence and the accessory dwelling unit unless attached by a solid roof at least six (6) feet in width.

ARTICLE 3 - HEIGHT OF BUILDINGS

92.3.1 PERMITTED HEIGHT EXCLUSIVE OF ROOF STRUCTURES.

The permitted height of buildings, for the purposes of this Division, shall be exclusive of roof structures as such term is defined in the Uniform Building Code of the Pacific Coast Building Officials Conference.

ARTICLE 4 - MINIMUM LOT AND BUILDING SITE AREAS

(Amended by O-1310)

92.4.1 DWELLINGS; WHEN PERMITTED IN ANY ZONE EXCLUSIVE OF M-2.

The requirements of this Division as to minimum lot area or building site area shall not be constituted to prevent the use for dwellings of any lot or parcel of land, other than in the M-2 District, in the event that such lot or parcel of land is:

a)    Shown separately on or hereafter shown upon any official subdivision map duly approved and recorded;

b)    Shown separately or hereafter upon any map duly approved and recorded in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2 of Division 9 of this Code;

c)    Created by a deed recorded on or before January 1, 1952; or

d)    Created by a deed recorded between January 2, 1952 and March 12, 1959, and the division of such lot or parcel of land complies with the provisions of the laws of the State and City in effect at the time of recordation.

92.4.2 BUILDING SITE AREA OR YARD; REDUCTION IN SIZE; MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS.

No portion of any lot or parcel of land which has been designated or used as a part of a building site area or yard as required by this Division shall be included as a portion of an area or yard for another building if said inclusion will reduce the building site area or yard required for the original lot or parcel of land to less than the minimum building site area or dimension of yard required for the land use district in which such property is located.

ARTICLE 5 - YARDS

(Amended by O-1863)

92.5.1 UNOBSTRUCTED FROM GROUND TO SKY.

Where yards are required in this Division, they shall be not less in depth and width than the minimum dimension, specified in any part, and they shall be at every point open and unobstructed from the ground to the sky except as required in the following Sections.

92.5.2 STAIRWAYS AND BALCONIES.

(Amended by O-3283; O-3319)

a)    Except in the R-1 zone, outside stairways, porches, balconies or landing places, if unenclosed on three (3) sides, may extend into the required interior side yard for a distance not to exceed three (3) feet, but in no case shall be closer than two (2) feet from property line.

b)    Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Section, outside stairways, porches, balconies or landing places, if unenclosed on three (3) sides, may extend into the required rear yard, front yard, or exterior side yard for a distance not to exceed four (4) feet.

c)    In the R-1 zone, no staircase providing access to a second story, enclosed or otherwise, shall be permitted on the exterior of the dwelling, nor shall such staircase have direct access on the ground level to the outside of the dwelling.

92.5.3 EAVE OVERHANGS.

Eave overhang for dwellings shall not exceed three (3) feet six (6) inches into any required rear, front or side yard, and no closer than thirty (30) inches from the property line in any required side yard of five (5) feet or less, nor more than thirty (30) inches into any required ten (10) foot yard between dwellings and shall be no closer than three (3) feet from each other measured horizontally where the required building separation is not less than six (6) feet.

92.5.4 PERGOLAS.

(Amended by O-3283)

Except in the R-1 zone, one (1) pergola, one (1) covered but unenclosed passenger landing when attached to the dwelling or one (1) carport may extend into a required inside yard to within six (6) inches from the side property line; provided, its length is not over twenty-five (25) feet, otherwise the setback shall be five (5) feet. In no case shall outside edge of eaves be less than six (6) inches from the property line.

92.5.5 ENCROACHMENTS: BAY WINDOWS, CHIMNEYS, WATER HEATERS, ETC.

(Amended by O-3283; O-3291)

a)    Bay windows, either with or without foundations, shall not extend closer than three (3) feet from any property line on an interior side yard of five (5) feet or less, except in the R-1 zone, nor extend more than three (3) feet into any required rear, front or exterior side yard; provided that its other horizontal dimension is no more than ten (10) feet; and further provided, that only one (1) such bay window shall be allowed in any required interior side yard, and no more than two (2) such windows shall be allowed in any required rear, front or exterior side yard.

b)    Except as provided in Section 92.5.3, in the R-1 zone, the only encroachments which will be permitted into the required interior side yard setback shall be chimneys, greenhouse windows and water heaters. In such interior side yard setback area, no chimney, greenhouse window or water heater may project closer than thirty (30) inches from the side yard property line.

92.5.6 ONE STORY ACCESSORY BUILDINGS.

(Amended by O-3283; O-3291)

Except as provided in Section 91.4.8, a detached accessory building, or accessory living quarters in all residential zones, not exceeding one (1) story in height and located on the rear one-quarter (1/4) of the property may be one (1) foot from the rear property line and one (1) foot from (1) one interior side property line only if the wall adjacent thereto is one (1) hour wall with no openings therein, the side yard setback on the other side shall be no less than ten percent (10%) of the width of the rear property line, but in no case less than three (3) feet or be required to be more than five (5) feet.

92.5.7 TWO STORY ACCESSORY BUILDINGS.

(Amended by O-3283)

A detached accessory building or accessory living quarters in all residential zones except R-1, two (2) stories in height and located on the rear one-quarter (1/4) of the property shall have interior side yard setbacks no less than five (5) feet and may have a rear yard setback of not less than five (5) feet if the required rear yard, for the zone, is located between the rear building and the front building, but in no case shall an accessory building occupy more than one-third (1/3) of the required rear yard area. Garages opening onto an alley shall have a setback of not less than five (5) feet from the property line adjacent to the alley.

92.5.8 REAR YARD ADJACENT TO ALLEYS.

(Amended by O-3283)

Where a public alley exists at the rear line of a lot, requiring a twenty (20) foot rear yard, one-half (1/2) but not to exceed ten (10) feet of such alley may be considered as a portion of such rear yard except in R-1 zone. In cases of lots requiring a rear yard of ten (10) feet, no part of the alley shall be considered as a portion of such rear yard.

92.5.9 Repealed by O-2302.

92.5.10 SWIMMING POOLS, SPAS, JACUZZI, DECKING.

a)    A swimming pool in residential zones or any zone used for residential purposes may occupy a portion of the required rear yard, but in no case shall the outer walls of the pool be less than five (5) feet from an interior side property line, rear property line or a building or be less than ten (10) feet from any side street property line or less than twenty (20) feet from the front property line. In addition, in no case shall there be less than a three (3) foot open and unobstructed passageway provided between the outer wall of the pool and the side and rear property lines, or any fence or wall. Where a swimming pool is located in an inner court or yard in conjunction with multiple-family dwellings or apartments, the minimum distance between the outer edge of the pool and the exterior wall of the building shall be ten (10) feet and such space shall be open and unobstructed, except for landscaping.

b)    Spas and jacuzzis may extend into the rear yard area, and to within ten (10) feet of the front property line and may extend into the required side yard if located in the rear one-quarter (1/4) of the property; provided, the structure does not exceed ten (10) feet in diameter and provided that a thirty (30) inch passageway is allowed on at least two (2) adjacent sides. In no case shall the outside edge of the spa or jacuzzi be closer than four (4) feet to a one (1) story building or eight (8) feet to a two (2) story building where the only openable windows or external doors are located directly above the structure. In no case shall the structure interfere with proper drainage on the parcel on which it is located or the drainage of adjacent properties.

c)    Decking may extend to property lines provided its height does not exceed two (2) feet above grade. Structural framing within three (3) feet of the property line must be constructed of one (1) hour fire resistant materials. In no case shall the construction of the structure impede proper drainage of the parcel upon which it is located or the drainage of adjacent properties.

92.5.11 SIDE YARDS AND COURT WIDTHS.

(Amended by O-3283)

No building shall be erected, structurally altered, converted, enlarged, moved or maintained for use as a bungalow court, apartment, dwelling, multiple unit group dwelling, motel or hotel, unless the following side yards and court widths are provided and maintained in connection therewith:

a)    For buildings having not more than one (1) rear or service entrance opening upon a required side yard, the side yard shall be ten percent (10%) of the width of the lot but not less than three (3) feet nor more than five (5) feet, except in the R-1 zone.

b)    For buildings having more than one (1) rear or service entrance opening upon a required side yard, the side yard shall be increased by six (6) inches for each service entrance opening thereon, but need not exceed five (5) feet. The side yard requirements set forth in Section 91.9.6 herein shall be complied with.

c)    For buildings arranged around three (3) sides or two (2) opposite sides of a court or yard, the average width of the court or yard shall be not less than twenty (20) feet.

d)    The minimum distance between single-family dwellings, either one of which has not more than one (1) entrance or a rear or service entrance opening upon the intervening space, shall not be less than ten (10) feet, and the minimum distance between single-family dwellings in all other cases shall be not less than twenty (20) feet.

e)    For buildings arranged around only one (1) side and the rear of a court or yard, the average width of the court or yard and the side yard shall not be less than ten (10) feet.

f)    In the case of group houses or a row of dwellings arranged so as to front upon a required side yard, the average width of the side yard upon which such dwellings front shall be not less than ten (10) feet.

g)    In addition to the foregoing side yard requirements, the front and rear yard requirements for lots in the zone in which such dwellings are located shall be complied with; provided, however, that a minimum front yard of fifteen (15) feet will be allowed on cul-de-sac streets only when such streets cannot be prolongated and only on those lots that front on the extreme radius at the end of the street.

92.5.12 Repealed by O-3742.

92.5.13 PARKING ON RESIDENTIALLY ZONED PROPERTY.

(Added by O-3153)

a)    No person shall park or store or let stand any vehicle on the front yard of any residentially zoned property other than on a paved driveway or paved parking area with entrances and exits to the street.

b)    For purposes of this section, "vehicle" means any automobile, truck, boat or any device, operable or inoperable with or without wheels, by which any person or property may be propelled, moved or drawn upon any street or highway.

c)    For purposes of this section, "front yard" means that portion of a lot or parcel of land extending across the full width thereof between the front property line and the front line of the main building, including the exterior side yard of any corner lot when the exterior side yard is not screened by a solid fence or solid wall.

d)    For purposes of this section, a paved driveway or parking space shall meet the paving requirements of Section 93.5.13 or be equivalent to such requirements.

92.5.14 PAVING OF RESIDENTIALLY ZONED PROPERTY.

(Added by O-3154)

a)    No person shall pave or cause to be paved more than fifty (50) percent of the front yard of any residentially zoned property without the prior approval of the Director of Building and Safety. Such approval may be granted if, in the judgment of the Director of Building and Safety:

1)    Unreasonable difficulties will result from strict enforcement of this section; and

2)    It will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or to the property of other persons located in the vicinity thereof.

b)    The decision of the Director of Building and Safety shall be appealable to the Planning Commission in the same manner as provided in Section 92.30.11, and to the City Council pursuant to the provisions contained in Article 5 of Chapter 1 of Division 1 of this Code.

c)    For purposes of this section, "front yard" means that portion of a lot or parcel of land extending across the full width thereof between the front property line and the front line of the main building, including the exterior side yard of any corner lot when such exterior side yard is not screened by a solid fence or solid wall.

d)    For purposes of this section, to "pave" means to cover with stone, asphalt, brick, concrete or any other similar or substantial matter.

e)    Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to waive, repeal or amend any other provisions of this Code.

92.5.15 USE OF VEHICLES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR HABITATION.

(Added by O-3742)

No person shall use or allow any Vehicle parked or standing upon any residentially zoned property to be used for the purpose of temporary or permanent living without a permit, nor shall any Vehicle be stopped, parked, left standing or encroaching upon any portion of neighboring private properties.

a)    For purposes of this section, the term, "living," shall include, but not be limited to, acts of sleeping, cooking, bathing, occupying as a dwelling, or any stay within the Vehicle not directly related to its driving. The following factors may constitute acts of "living" for purposes of this code section: the connecting to sewer, water, electrical systems, and/or the use of a power generator, except during a loading and/or preparation period.

1)    A loading and/or preparation period for purposes of this section means a period of five days or less within a calendar week, i.e. Sunday through Saturday.

2)    No more than three nonconsecutive loading and/or preparation periods are permitted in a calendar month.

b)    For purposes of sections 92.5.15 through 92.5.23, "Vehicle," means any device, operable or inoperable, with or without wheels, by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon the street or highway, including, but not limited to, automobiles, boats, mobile homes, trailers, house trailers, semitrailers, camp trailers (including tent trailers), unmounted campers, trailer coaches, fifth-wheel travel trailers, recreational vehicles, and/or similar type trailers.

92.5.16 TEMPORARY HABITATION PERMITS.

(Added by O-3742)

The use of a Vehicle on residential property for temporary habitation may be permitted if a Temporary Habitation Permit has first been obtained from the Torrance Community Development Department, as set forth in the procedures listed in Section 92.5.18.

a)    A Temporary Habitation Permit shall be valid for a maximum of fifteen consecutive days from the date issued, unless fifteen specific consecutive days are requested when the permit is issued.

b)    A Temporary Habitation Permit shall not be granted more than five times per calendar year, with a minimum of fifteen consecutive days between the end of one Temporary Habitation Permit and the beginning of the next Temporary Habitation Permit.

92.5.17 EXCEPTIONS.

(Added by O-3742)

Upon obtaining a valid building permit from the Building and Safety Division of the Torrance Community Development Department, a Temporary Habitation Permit shall be valid for a period of six months. For periods longer than six months, but no more than one year, the Environmental Division of the Torrance Community Development Department may issue an extension under necessary circumstances. All other time periods, emergency permits, or extensions due to unforeseen circumstances shall be reviewed by the Torrance Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commission.

a)    Construction inactivity or cancellation or completion of the building permit for which the extended Temporary Habitation Permit has been approved will invalidate the Temporary Habitation Permit.

b)    For purposes of this section, "construction inactivity" is defined as a lack of formal request for inspection within a ninety-day period.

c)    Chapter 2 of this Division notwithstanding, the use of a Vehicle for living purposes on a single-family property existing on the adoption date of this ordinance, shall be prohibited six months from the date of adoption unless expressly authorized in this Division.

92.5.18 TEMPORARY HABITATION PERMIT PROCEDURES.

(Added by O-3742)

The Director of the Community Development Department or designee is authorized to issue Temporary Habitation Permits, pursuant to the following:

a)    Each person desiring a Temporary Habitation Permit shall file with the Community Development Department a completed city application form containing the following:

1)    The name, address, and phone number of the registered owner of the Vehicle;

2)    The name, address, and phone number of applicant for the Temporary Habitation Permit;

3)    The license number, make, and model of the designated Vehicle;

4)    The dates for which the permit is requested;

5)    The dates and duration of any and all Temporary Habitation Permits issued to the residence during the current calendar year;

6)    The applicant must sign the application under penalty of perjury;

7)    Temporary Habitation Permits issued and approved by the Community Development Department shall include the license plate number of the designated Vehicle, the date of issuance, and the date of its expiration;

8)    Temporary Habitation Permits shall be displayed on the lower portion of the windshield (driver’s side) or nearest window of the Vehicle so that it is clearly visible from the exterior of the Vehicle. If applicable, i.e., there are no windows, the Temporary Habitation Permit shall be displayed where it is visible from the street, which is usually the left side of the Vehicle;

9)    The Director of Community Development Department or his or her designee is authorized to set up a Temporary Habitation Permit call-in phone number or internet processing system.

92.5.19 TEMPORARY HABITATION PERMITS (FEES).

(Added by O-3742)

Temporary Habitation Permits will be issued without any fees.

92.5.20 PERMIT DENIAL.

(Added by O-3742)

A Temporary Habitation Permit must be denied if the Community Development Director or designee finds that:

a)    The proposed location is not on the Property of the applicant or the person the applicant is visiting;

b)    The out-of-town visitor is not a guest of the resident; or

c)    Information submitted by the applicant is materially false.

92.5.21 VIOLATION OF ARTICLE.

(Added by O-3742)

a)    Any person who violates any provision in this Article is guilty of a misdemeanor and will be subject to citation.

b)    Every person who forges, alters or counterfeits a Temporary Habitation Permit is guilty of a misdemeanor.

c)    Every person who uses a Vehicle for the purposes of habitation, without a valid Temporary Habitation Permit, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

92.5.22 STATE OF EMERGENCY.

(Added by O-3742)

The prohibitions in Sections 92.5.15 through 92.5.23 shall not apply to the habitation of a Vehicle during the pendency of any state of emergency declared to exist within the City of Torrance by the City Council.

92.5.23 APPLICATION OF REGULATIONS.

(Added by O-3742)

a)    The prohibitions in Sections 92.5.15 through 92.5.23 will apply at all times, or at those times specified.

b)    The time limitations within Sections 92.5.15 through 92.5.23 will not relieve any person from the duty to observe other and more restrictive provisions of the California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code or the Torrance Municipal Code prohibiting or limiting the use of Vehicles for temporary or permanent habitation.

c)    Nothing in Sections 92.5.15 through 92.5.23 will be construed to permit Vehicle habitation on a public street as prohibited by Section 61.6.31 of the Torrance Municipal Code.

ARTICLE 6 - EXPOSED EXTERIOR WALLS

92.6.1 EXTERIOR WALLS, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS.

All walls of all commercial and industrial buildings facing or abutting on residential property shall be plastered, or otherwise covered with an exterior finish material, in conformity with the Building Code of the City of Torrance, and shall be maintained thereafter in a neat and presentable condition throughout the life of the building.

ARTICLE 7 - SPECIAL SETBACK LINE.

92.7.1 FRONT YARD AND SIDE STREET SETBACK, AGRICULTURAL OR RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS.

In connection with each lot or parcel of land classified in the A-1, R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 Districts, or any other agricultural or residential districts hereafter established, or any lot or parcel of land in any district used for a dwelling, apartment house, bungalow court, or any other residential use the following front yard setback, and side street setback shall be complied with:

Front Yard Setback from Centerline of Street

Width of Street

40 Feet

40 Feet

45 "

50 "

47 "

54 "

47-1/2 "

55 "

50 "

60 "

Side Street Setback from Centerline of Street

Width of Street

30 Feet

40 Feet

35 "

50 "

37 "

54 "

37-1/2 "

55 "

40 "

60 "

92.7.2 FRONT YARD AND SIDE STREET SETBACK, SECONDARY AND MAJOR HIGHWAYS.

The following front yard setbacks and side street setbacks for secondary highways, and major highways, as shown on the master plan of highways of Los Angeles County, as now or hereafter adopted or amended by the City Council of the City of Torrance shall be complied with:

Front Yard Setback from Centerline of Highway

Highway Width

70 Ft. Major Highway

100 Ft.

60 Ft. Secondary Hwy

80 Ft.

Side Street Setback from Centerline of Highway

Highway Width

60 Ft. Major Highway

100 Ft.

50 Ft. Secondary Hwy

80 Ft.

92.7.3 FRONT YARD AND SIDE STREET SETBACK, HALF STREETS AND FUTURE STREET EXTENSIONS.

Setbacks for lots adjacent to existing half streets and future extension of streets:

The front setback and side street setback for the zone and use shall be complied with in addition to a setback of enough feet to widen any existing or future half street to its full width and to allow for the extension of any existing or future streets.

92.7.4 SETBACKS; COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS.

In connection with each lot or parcel of land hereafter classified in the C-1, C-2, M-1 or M-2 or any other commercial or manufacturing districts which may be hereafter established by variance or change of zone after the date of this ordinance, and used for a commercial or manufacturing purpose (and not for any residential use), no building or structure shall be erected less than forty (40) feet from the centerline of any secondary highway, or less than fifty (50) feet from the centerline of any major highway, as shown on the master plan of highways of Los Angeles County, as now or hereafter adopted or amended by the City Council of the City of Torrance.

ARTICLE 8 - ACCESSORY BUILDINGS

92.8.1 DETACHED ACCESSORY BUILDING; HEIGHT, LOCATION OF.

No detached accessory building shall exceed thirty-five (35) feet in height, nor shall any such building occupy the front yard of a corner lot, or the side yard of any lot, or be less than six (6) feet from any other building on the same lot.

92.8.2 ACCESSORY BUILDINGS FOR MULTIPLE FAMILY RESIDENCES.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

For any multiple family residence, accessory buildings constructed for use primarily as garages shall be of masonry or concrete construction and be designed to substantially conform to the main structure in quality and appearance.

ARTICLE 9 - ZONING APPLIED TO ANNEXED AREAS

92.9.1 ANNEXED AREAS AUTOMATICALLY ZONED R-1.

Areas annexed to the City of Torrance shall automatically be placed in Zone R-1 until the Planning Commission initiates and adopts a comprehensive land use plan of the area, in the manner prescribed for in Article 1 of Chapter 6 of this Division.

ARTICLE 10 - SPLITTING LOTS

(Amended by O-1309; O-1443; O-1472; O-1514)

92.10.1 PROCEDURE.

Lots or parcels of land shall be split or divided as provided in Chapter 2 of Division 9 of this Code.

92.10.2 LIMITATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION ON LOTS.

No person shall build or create or place more than one (1) building on one (1) recorded lot which, prior to November 19, 1963, could have been divided into more than one (1) lot, each of which resulting lots would have met all the dimensional requirements for the creation of a lot in the R-1 zone; provided, however, that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to:

a)    Accessory buildings;

b)    Buildings designed and used for manufacturing purposes on land zoned M-1 and M-2 and which are occupied and used by one (1) owner;

c)    Buildings designed and used for commercial purposes on land zoned for commercial uses and which are occupied and used as a part of a shopping center or other integrated operation and the occupiers of which buildings have an easement for vehicular ingress, egress and parking on all land used for parking on said lot;

d)    Condominium projects and community apartment projects for which a Conditional Use Permit has been granted in accordance with the provisions of Article 36 of Chapter 1 of this Division;

e)    Churches, schools and governmental buildings; and

f)    Those parcels of land which in the opinion of the majority of a Board of Review composed of the Planning Director, the City Engineer, the Building Superintendent and the City Attorney would be infeasible to divide further because of the location of existing or proposed buildings.

ARTICLE 11 - ACCESSIBILITY TO BUILDING SITE AND LIVING QUARTERS

(Amended by O-792; O-1095)

92.11.1 BUILDING SITE TO FRONT ON PUBLIC STREET.

Each building site used for residential purposes shall front on a public street.

92.11.2 PRIVATE ROAD, WIDTH OF.

In case of a private road, the width of such road shall not be less than twenty-seven (27) feet and shall be exclusive of the required yard area.

92.11.3 ACCESS TO REAR LIVING QUARTERS.

Dwellings or living quarters located at the rear of buildings located on the front of an interior lot, shall have access to a street or private road by means of a passageway, not less than five (5) feet in width, nor less than the width required in the City Building Code and the State Housing Act, extending to the front property line and located on the same parcel of land upon which said buildings are located. In no case shall an alley be used as the only access to living quarters located at the rear of any building. No person shall divide any lot or parcel of land into separate parcels without complying with the foregoing provision.

92.11.4 ACCESS FOR FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT, MULTIPLE FAMILY DWELLINGS.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

Interior fire hydrants shall be installed for every apartment building or group of apartment buildings of three (3) stories or less, when adequate Fire Department access is not provided by driveways of not less than twelve (12) feet in width with an overhead clearance of not less than twelve (12) feet.

Fire hydrants may be of two (2) types, wet or dry.

a)    Wet fire hydrants:

1)    Wet fire hydrants shall have at least two (2), two and one half (2-1/2) inch Fire Department outlets. Each outlet shall have a shutoff valve.

2)    Wet fire hydrants may be connected to the domestic water supply.

3)    Wet hydrants shall have a discharge capacity of not less than five hundred (500) gallons per minute in addition to the domestic water requirements.

4)    Wet hydrants shall be so located that the area protected by the hydrants shall be not greater than a travel distance of two hundred (200) feet.

EXCEPTION: Fire Department authorities may modify the requirements of Section a-4) depending upon the accessibility for emergency purposes.

b)    Dry fire hydrants or dry standpipe systems:

1)    Dry fire hydrants shall have at least two (2), two and one-half (2-1/2) inch Fire Department outlets. Each outlet shall have a shutoff valve.

2)    Dry hydrants shall be supplied by a pipe of sufficient size to discharge a minimum of five hundred (500) gallons per minute.

3)    A Fire Department connection shall be located on the street in front of the building to supply the dry hydrants.

4)    Dry hydrants shall be so located that the area protected by the hydrants shall be not greater than a travel distance of two hundred (200) feet.

EXCEPTION: Fire Department authorities may modify the requirements of Section b-4) depending upon the accessibility for emergency purposes.

5)    Dry hydrant system components shall be installed to the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association, Pamphlet 23.

ARTICLE 12 - SIGNS

92.12.1 SIGNS TO COMPLY WITH SIGN ORDINANCE.

All signs erected, maintained or located in the City of Torrance, whether in compliance with the provisions of this ordinance or others, shall comply with the provisions of the Sign Ordinance of the City of Torrance.

ARTICLE 13 - FENCES, WALLS, RETAINING WALLS AND HEDGES

(Added by O-897; Amended by O-1757; O-2327)

92.13.1 RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES.

(Amended by O-2437)

The following provisions shall apply to all land used for residential purposes:

a)    No fence or wall three (3) feet or greater in height shall be constructed without first obtaining a building permit therefor.

b)    No metal fence or metal wall shall be permitted except when constructed of chain link, open smooth wire, ornamental wrought iron, decorative metal beams or decorative panels.

c)    No barbed wire is permitted.

d)    No fence shall be constructed which is charged or chargeable with electricity.

e)    Height limit:

1)    Front yard area;

Any fence, wall or hedge within the required setback area of any lot shall not exceed a height of four (4) feet nor shall be constructed of materials other than decorative material compatible with the residential structure and the scheme of the general neighborhood, explicitly excluding the use of chain link, chicken wire, hog wire and fiberglass. However, if all the following conditions are met, a fence, wall or hedge up to six (6) feet in height may be constructed in the front setback:

A)    That no portion of said fence or wall shall project nearer than ten (10) feet to the front property line except where the average front setback in a block is less than twenty (20) feet, then it shall be allowed to project no nearer than five (5) feet to the front property line. That no portion of said fence or wall shall project into a triangle, the base of which coincides with the front property line of the subject and/or adjacent property, the apex of said triangle being 90 degrees and located along a perpendicular line extending twenty (20) feet from the front property line along the centerline of the right-most driveway lane.

B)    That permanent landscaping shall be provided between fence or wall and the front property line and a permanent irrigation system be provided for all landscaping including parkways and street trees.

2)    Side Yard Area:

Any fence, or wall within the required side yard setback area of any lot shall not exceed a height of six (6) feet, except that, the Planning Director, may permit a greater height, not to exceed eight (8) feet, for that portion of yard to the rear of the front forty (40) feet upon a determination that a greater height will not be detrimental to the public welfare or to abutting property and that greater height is necessary for one (1) or more of the following reasons:

A)    Enclosure of a private swimming pool or outdoor recreation area;

B)    Rear yard areas abutting commercial or multiple residential uses;

C)    Capping of a six (6) foot fence with less than an eight (8) inch cap or decoration;

D)    Fences constructed on terrain with a grade difference of one (1) foot fall in five (5) linear feet.

3)    Rear yard area:

Any fence, or wall within the required rear yard setback area of any lot shall not exceed a height of six (6) feet, except that the Planning Director, may permit a greater height not to exceed eight (8) feet, upon a determination that the standards for an exception, established in Section 92.13.1. e-2) are satisfied.

4)    Notice and appeal:

A)    Upon receipt of an application for an exception to the side yard or rear yard area fence or wall height units, the Planning Director shall notify by mail the owner of any property which immediately abuts the fence or wall indicated on the application, that there is an application on file with the Planning Department and that the abutting property owner has ten (10) days in which to protest the application either in writing or in person;

B)    If any protest is made against the application or the Planning Director grants the application or the Planning Director denies the application or grants the application with conditions, the Planning Director shall notify the protesting property owner or the applicant, as the case may be, of his decision and of the right to appeal;

C)    Any property owner who has made a protest to the Planning Director, or applicant whose application has been denied or granted with conditions and who is not satisfied with the decision of the Planning Director may file an appeal with the Planning Commission. Any such appeal must be filed within twenty-one (21) days after notice of the decision of the Planning Director has been mailed and must be accompanied by a fee of one-half (1/2) the application fee provided in Section 99.1.12. of this Code.

D)    The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council as provided in Article 5, Division 1 of this Code.

f)    Swimming Pool Enclosures: A fence or wall shall be constructed to a minimum height of five (5) feet above adjacent property elevations in such a manner as to completely enclose any swimming pool or other body of water which, at any point, reaches a depth of twelve (12) or more inches. The wall of a building may be considered part of such wall. Such wall or fence surrounding a swimming pool or other body of water shall have no openings greater than four (4) inches in width nor less than two (2) feet in height, shall not be a ladder-like design, and shall be constructed of a material and design to prevent any access thereto except by a self-closing, self-latching gate upon which a latch is located at least four (4) feet six (6) inches above the bottom of the gate.

g)    Retaining Walls: That portion of a wall which retains an earth bank and provides internal support to a grade shall not be considered as contributing to the permissible overall height of a fence or wall when constructed within the rear yard or interior side yard setback area, provided however:

1)    That no retaining wall shall be constructed which exceeds five (5) feet in height. If the grade to be retained exceeds five (5) feet, additional retaining walls may be constructed at higher elevations provided a planter area not less than two (2) feet in width is constructed between said retaining walls and is landscaped.

2)    That any retaining wall which exceeds three (3) feet in height must be topped by a wall or fence not less than three (3) feet in height unless the retaining wall is one of the lower of a series of retaining walls as described above.

92.13.2 COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES.

(Amended by O-3708)

The following provisions shall apply to all land used for commercial and industrial purposes.

a)    No fence or wall three feet or greater in height shall be constructed without first obtaining a building permit;

b)    No metal fence or wall shall be permitted except when constructed of chain link, open smooth wire, ornamental wrought iron, decorative metal beams or decorative panels;

c)    No fence shall be constructed which is charged or chargeable with electricity, except that Community Development Director may permit a fence charged or chargeable by electricity upon a determination that the fence meets the following requirements:

1)    The property on which the fence is constructed, erected or located, is a critical infrastructure, a key resource, a high security risk, or a terrorist target as determined by the federal, state, or local government.

2)    The property on which the fence is constructed, erected or located is a minimum of 300 contiguous acres.

3)    Any contrivance or mechanism to control electrical current in such fences shall be listed by an approved testing laboratory, and shall include a suitable interrupting device and such other safety devices to prevent dangerous currents getting on the fence at any time.

4)    The fence, energizer components, electrical controller, system design and installation must meet or exceed the standards or specifications of the International Electrotechnical Commission or any later adopted standards published by the Underwriters Laboratories, National Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection Association, or the California Electrical Code.

5)    Any fence must be posted with warning signs containing the following or similar wording: "DANGER," "CAUTION" or "WARNING" and the words "ELECTRIC FENCE." or "HIGH VOLTAGE." The signs must include the international warning symbol for risk of electric shock or high voltage, which is a lightning bolt inside a triangle (ISO 3864). Further, the sign must contain the warning symbol for an electric fence, which is a hand touching a wire or wires with three lightning bolts coming out from where the hand is touching the wire or wires (IEC 1818/05). The signs must be yellow with black inscription and the letters must be at least two inches high. The signs must be at least 8 inches by 4 inches. The signs must be posted along any such fence at intervals of not more than twenty five feet. The signs must be viewable from both sides of the fence.

6)    Any fence charged or chargeable by electricity must not exceed twelve feet in height.

7)    Any fence charged or chargeable by electricity must be located inside an exterior perimeter fence that is at least 6 feet in height and is not charged or chargeable by electricity.

8)    The fence must be in low voltage mode unless the security advisory system or threat advisory system of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, or the City of Torrance is at a current threat level of High or Severe.

9)    Any fence charged or chargeable by electricity must use a pulsed DC current with a maximum of 35 milliamperes per pulse, each pulse must last no longer than 300 microseconds, and with a minimum interval of 1.5 seconds between pulses.

10)    The Community Development Director may impose conditions as may be deemed desirable and necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Division, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and to mitigate project-related adverse impacts.

d)    No fence, wall or hedge shall exceed eight feet in height, except as permitted by the Community Development Director in subsection (c);

e)    No barbed wire fence shall be constructed, provided, however, that barbed wire may be placed above a fence that is at least five feet in height.

92.13.3 EXCEPTIONS.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the erection of a fence, wall or hedge as required by any federal or state law or regulations.

ARTICLE 14 - AUTOMATIC REZONING OF SUBDIVIDED LAND

(Added by O-1013)

92.14.1 TENTATIVE TRACT MAP; R-1 ZONE; EXCEPTION.

At the time of a tentative tract map is filed with the Planning Commission as provided in Chapter 2 of Division 9 of this Code, the Planning Commission shall initiate proceedings to change the zone of the land embraced within such tentative tract map to R-1 (single-family residence), unless such land is already zoned R-1, or unless the subdivider files with the Planning Commission a statement in writing that he intends to use said land for other than single-family residences.

92.14.2 PETITION FOR OTHER THAN R-1 ZONING.

In the event said statement of intention is filed, the Planning Commission shall consider the statement as a petition for a change of zone on said land and shall conduct proceedings therefor in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of Chapter 6 of this Division.

ARTICLE 15 - GARAGE DOORS

(Amended by O-1490)

92.15.1 PRIVATE GARAGE DOORS FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES; GARAGE DOORS REQUIRED.

Whenever in this Official Land Use Ordinance a private garage is required in connection with a single-family residence or duplex, garage doors shall be provided therefor.

92.15.2 PRIVATE GARAGE FOR MULTIPLE FAMILY RESIDENCE.

Whenever in this Official Land Use Ordinance a private garage is required in connection with a multiple-family residence, garage doors shall be provided therefor, except in those cases where, in the opinion of the Planning Director or the Planning Commission, a substantial part of the interior of such garages is not visible from a public street, alley or way, or is not visible from a private street, alley or way serving more than one (1) lot or parcel of land.

ARTICLE 16 - GARAGES FACING PUBLIC STREETS

(Added by O-1380; Amended by O-1396)

92.16.1 WALL REQUIRED WHEN GARAGES FACE ON PUBLIC STREET.

Wherever a wall of any private garage, or garages, containing the access for off-street parking purposes faces on a public street, and such garage or garages are accessory to any multiple family residential building, and such wall is at an angle of less than ninety (90) degrees from a property line abutting any public street, there shall be erected a continuous solid masonry wall between said garage or garages, and the property line abutting the street for the entire length of the frontage.

92.16.2 HEIGHT OF WALL BETWEEN GARAGES.

Such masonry wall shall be constructed to a minimum height of six (6) feet above grade provided further that in no case shall any portion of the top of the wall be less than five (5) feet above the elevation of the floor of a garage adjacent thereto.

92.16.3 GARAGE BELOW STREET GRADE EXCEPTED.

Provided, however, that no such wall shall be required where the floor elevation of the garage or garages is below the grade of the street curb adjacent thereto and the soffit at the entrance to the garage or garages is not higher than one (1) foot above the height of the street curb at any point measured at a ninety (90) degree angle from said curb face and provided further that the entrance to said garage or garages is not wider than sixteen (16) feet each.

ARTICLE 17 - MOBILEHOMES AND MOBILEHOME PARKS

92.17.1 PERMITTED BY CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT

(Amended by O-1438)

Mobilehomes and mobilehome parks may be permitted by Conditional Use Permit in accordance with Chapter 5 of this Division, provided that the requirements of Chapter 7 of Division 8 and such additional requirements as might be required by the City Council in a particular case are met.

ARTICLE 18 - HOME OCCUPATIONS

(Added by O-1456; Amended by O-1795; O-2344; O-3453)

92.18.1 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Article is to set forth standards and requirements for the conduct of business enterprises within residences in all zones so as to protect the residential quality and the peace, health, safety and general welfare of surrounding neighborhoods. Home occupations are allowed in all zones as a permitted accessory use within a residence, subject to submittal of a business license supplement and subject to compliance by the applicant with all of the mandatory requirements of this Article.

92.18.2 PERMITTED USE.

A home occupation for which a valid business license has been issued is a permitted use in all residential zones and in residential units in all zones, subject to compliance with the requirements of this Article.

92.18.3 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.

A supplemental form to the business license application must be obtained from the Planning Department and filed with the Business License Division of the Finance Department. The form for this supplement will be prescribed by the Planning Director and include, but not be limited to, the following information:

a)    Applicant’s name, address and telephone number;

b)    Description of the nature of the home occupation;

c)    Statement from applicant attesting that the home occupation is not prohibited by any rental agreements or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) applicable to the property;

d)    Text of the mandatory conditions;

e)    Signature of the applicant acknowledging and agreeing to comply with the conditions of this Article governing home occupations.

92.18.4 STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS.

Home occupations must be conducted in accordance with the following standards and requirements:

1)    The use of the property must be a residence, and the home occupation will be clearly incidental and secondary and will not change its residential character;

2)    The home occupation must not involve the use of more than one (1) room in the dwelling, or the equivalent of twenty (20) percent of the total floor area of the living area of the main residence, whichever is greater. This space may be located within the main residence or in a permitted accessory building. The garage parking area may not be used for the operation of the home occupation, except in the case of a third car garage, a permitted accessory room attached to the garage, or work areas outside of the required parking area within a garage. If two (2) home occupations exist within a single residence, the combined space devoted to the occupations may not exceed the above limitations;

3)    All activity must be conducted inside the residence or a permitted, enclosed accessory structure, with the exception of the parking of an allowable vehicle;

4)    The inventory, supplies, equipment and tools for a home occupation must not be more than twenty-five (25) percent of the allowable area involved in the home occupation and must be stored entirely within a permitted, enclosed building or within an allowable vehicle;

5)    No structural alterations of the premises may be made when related to the home occupation, except those consistent with the residential character of the dwelling;

6)    No person other than the residents may be employed on the premises in connection with the home occupation. Any other employees must meet the home occupation operator at the off-site job location and may not leave from or arrive at the home occupation operator’s residence to start or end the workshift or workday;

7)    No customers may come to the home occupation residence. All in-person contact must take place at an off-site location such as the customer’s residence or place of business. The only exception will be a student arriving to a home occupation residence for the sole purpose of one-on-one music or arts instruction or academic tutoring. Music and arts instruction will be allowed only between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., daily. Academic tutoring will be allowed only between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., daily;

8)    The home occupation must be in conformance with the City noise ordinance, Section 46.7.2 (Division 4, Chapter 6, Article 7);

9)    The home occupation must not produce odor, dust, vibration, fumes, smoke, or electrical interference. The home occupation may not involve hazardous processes or materials beyond the nature and quantity normally associated with residential use. The home occupation is subject to inspection by the Fire Department to the same extent as a commercial premises to ensure compliance with this condition;

10)    The home occupation may not involve the use of power driven equipment, except electric motors of up to one-half (1/2) horsepower capacity each;

11)    Deliveries at the home occupation residence by large commercial semi-trucks will be prohibited, but deliveries of parcels and small packages by delivery vans will be permissible;

12)    Only one (1) vehicle that is used primarily for the home occupation may be parked or stored on or near the home occupation property. That vehicle may display a sign that includes the name of the business;

13)    No sign or display identifying the home occupation may be visible from the exterior of the premises, except that on a permitted vehicle;

14)    Advertisements that are displayed in any media, including telephone directories, may not give the street address of the home occupation location;

15)    There will be a limit of two (2) home occupations per residence and each home occupation must have a business license. Business licenses will be non-transferable;

16)    The applicant agrees to make the premises available for inspection by the City Manger, or his/her designee, at all reasonable times and without an inspection warrant for the purpose of assuring compliance with the requirements of this Article.

ARTICLE 19 - UNAUTHORIZED SALE OF VEHICLES ON VACANT LOTS

(Added by O-1570)

92.19.1 WHEN PROHIBITED.

It shall be unlawful to sell, contract to sell, offer to sell, display for the purpose of sale, or to permit sales of any vehicle upon the premises that have not been improved to City standards for a parking lot without a valid and proper business license issued by the City, provided that persons not in the business of selling vehicles may:

a)    Sell, contract to sell, offer to sell, or display for the purpose of sale not more than two (2) such vehicles per year on premises owned or leased and presently occupied by said person;

b)    Display a FOR SALE sign on any of said vehicles while it is in transit or while it is parked with the permission of the owner or lessee of said premises for the purpose of or incidental to lawful business conducted on said premises other than the sale of said vehicle.

92.19.2 VEHICLE DEFINED.

Vehicle as defined in this Article shall include everything so defined in the California Vehicle Code and in addition boats.

ARTICLE 20 - LIVING AREAS

92.20.1 SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS; TOTAL FLOOR AREA.

(Amended by O-2190)

Any structure to be used for a single-family residential purpose shall have the following total floor areas in each single dwelling.

a)    One bedroom dwelling, a minimum of seven hundred (700) square feet.

b)    Two bedroom or one bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of nine hundred (900) square feet.

c)    Three bedroom or two bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of twelve hundred (1200) square feet.

d)    Four bedroom or three bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of fourteen hundred fifty (1450) square feet.

92.20.2 SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS; BEDROOM OR DEN.

Any structure used for single-family residential purposes shall have the following total floor areas in each bedroom or den:

a)    One bedroom dwelling, a minimum of one hundred (100) square feet.

b)    Two bedroom or one bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of one hundred and twenty (120) square feet in the major bedroom and one hundred (100) square feet in the second bedroom or den.

c)    Three bedroom or two bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of one hundred and twenty square feet in two (2) of the bedrooms and one hundred (100) square feet in the third bedroom or den.

d)    Four bedroom or three bedroom and den dwelling, a minimum of one hundred and twenty (120) square feet in two (2) of the bedrooms, and one hundred (100) square feet in the remaining bedrooms or den.

92.20.3 TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS.

(Amended by O-2338)

Any structure to be used for two (2) family residential purposes shall have a total floor area of:

One bedroom

700 sq. ft. or more per unit

Two bedroom

900 sq. ft. or more per unit

Three bedroom

1,200 sq. ft. or more per unit

92.20.4 MULTIPLE FAMILY DWELLINGS.

(Amended by O-1937; O-1938)

The following minimum square footage (center-to-center wall) shall be applied to all units:

Bachelor or single

450 sq. ft. or more

One bedroom

700 sq. ft. or more

Two bedroom

900 sq. ft. or more

Three bedroom

1,200 sq. ft. or more

Any room provided for sleeping purposes only, shall have not less than one hundred (100) square feet of floor area in each such room.

92.20.5 Repealed by O-2338.

92.20.6 SLEEPING ROOM OR DEN.

No room provided for sleeping purposes and no den in any living unit shall have less than one hundred (100) square feet of floor area in such room and for the purpose of computing said area the inside dimensions exclusive of closets shall be the governing factor.

92.20.7 COMPUTING AREA.

No living unit shall have less square feet of floor area than the heretofore specified areas and for the purpose of computing said floor area, the outside dimension of said structure, exclusive of open porches and garage, shall be the governing factor.

ARTICLE 21 - BUILDING DESIGN COMPATIBILITY

92.21.1 EXTERIOR STRUCTURE COVERING.

No structure shall have an exterior covering of galvanized iron or sheet metal for all or part of the structure or building.

92.21.2 BUILDING DESIGN LIMITED.

No structure or building shall be of an unusual and unorthodox architectural design, commonly referred to as a novelty building.

92.21.3 BUILDING ADDITIONS TO BE SIMILAR.

No structure or building shall be substantially different in appearance, materials used or methods of construction from other structure utilized for the same purpose for which the said proposed structure or building is to be utilized.

92.21.4 BUILDINGS IN SAME ZONE TO BE SIMILAR.

Any building or structure shall conform in size, type of construction or location on the premises and to the general character of the buildings or structures in the particular zone in which the same is to be located, as such zone is described in the Zoning Ordinance and/or maps of the City, and shall conform to the general character of the buildings or structures in comparable areas or zones in said City.

92.21.5 BUILDINGS TO CONFORM TO CODE PROVISIONS.

Any building or structure shall conform to the provisions of any Zoning Ordinance, Fire Ordinance or any regulation of said City, adopted for the preservation of the public health or safety.

92.21.6 BUILDING RELOCATION LIMITED.

No building or structure shall be moved into the City or from one part of the City to another when said building or structure does not conform with the provisions in this Code or any ordinance of the City of Torrance.

92.21.7 REFUSE AND STORAGE AREAS.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

a)    All plans submitted for uses described in this Section shall specify the location of refuse collection areas.

b)    All refuse and storage areas shall be enclosed on three (3) sides by a solid fence or wall at least five (5) feet high and constructed of material compatible with the main structure. All storage areas shall be screened from view from any public street. All refuse areas shall be provided with adequate access for collection vehicles and shall be paved.

92.21.8 ENCLOSURE OF MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

All mechanical equipment, plumbing lines, storage tanks and duct work shall be screened on all sides with solid material architecturally compatible with the main structure.

92.21.9 UNIMPROVED AREAS.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

No portion of any lot shall be unimproved at time of occupancy. All unpaved areas shall be graded, planted and properly maintained in permanent landscaping. This is not to preclude phase development.

92.21.10 SWIMMING POOL SEPARATION.

(Added by O-1937; O-1938)

Swimming pools and adjacent deck areas shall be separated from walkways and entrances to living quarters by a landscaped buffer strip or decorative masonry wall designed to provide for pedestrian safety.

92.21.11 BUILDING ENVELOPE EVALUATION.

(Added by O-3037)

Whenever an application is made to the Planning Department for a permit, permission, or other entitlement which will result in the construction of or a change to an existing structure, the Planning Director shall require the construction and erection of building silhouettes which will clearly show the height, width and depth of the proposed development unless the Planning Director shall find;

a)    Upon completion of a Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report that the proposed development will not have an adverse effect upon the view of adjacent residents; nor will it block air or light, or cast shadows upon adjacent property which would interfere with the operation of solar powered equipment; or

b)    That the height, width or depth of the proposed development is not subject to a discretionary determination under the Torrance Municipal Code or other related building regulations; or

c)    That the height, width or depth of the silhouette would be so great that it would be hazardous to construct, unless done in such a manner that its cost would exceed three (3) percent of the estimated construction cost of the proposed development and another method of illustrating the development height, width and depth is utilized and which provides equivalent information; or

d)    That every owner whose property would be adversely affected by the development has indicated in writing his lack of objection to the development.

ARTICLE 22 - NONCONFORMING USES, BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES

(Amended by O-984; O-1877; O-1878; O-2585; O-2628; O-2629; O-2822; O-3218; O-3220; O-3262; O-3319; O-3418)

92.22.1 DEFINITIONS.

a)    "Building" means a structure that is permanently affixed to the ground, has a roof, and is used for the shelter of humans, animals, property or goods.

b)    "Nonconforming use" means use of land which is no longer permitted in the zoning district in which it is located, but which was, at the time it was brought into existence, a lawfully permitted use.

c)    "Nonconforming building or structure" means a building or structure which does not now meet one or more of the development requirements of the land use district in which it is located, but that did meet all of the requirements at the time it was built. A building or structure may be nonconforming with respect to height, setbacks, parking, landscaping or other development requirement.

d)    "Illegal nonconforming use, building or structure" means a use, building or structure which does not now, and did not at the time it was instituted or constructed, comply with permitted uses or development standards of the zone in which it is located.

e)    "Reconstruction" means the process of completely recreating a building or structure that once existed.

f)    "Repair" means the process of modifying buildings or structures, when necessary, to enable them to become or to remain usable.

g)    "Restoration" means the process of adding or removing components of a building or structure so as to authentically recreate its appearance at an earlier time period.

92.22.2 ABATEMENT.

a)    While this article does not provide specifically for the abatement of nonconforming uses, buildings or structures, it does not preclude the City from abating a use, building or structure deemed to be a public nuisance as defined in Article 32 - Public Nuisances.

b)    This article also does not preclude the City from abating a use, building or structure deemed to be an illegal nonconforming use, building or structure.

92.22.3 NONCONFORMING USE.

a)    Continuation of Use.

1)    No property in the City of Torrance shall be used for any purposes except those permitted in the land use district (zone) to which the property has been classified in accordance with this Division.

2)    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Article, nonconforming uses may continue, however, any interruption of such use for ninety (90) days shall cause the use to be deemed to have ceased and such uses shall not be reinstated or further continued except by compliance with this division.

b)    Improvements/Alterations.

1)    No building or structure used for such nonconforming use shall be added to, structurally altered or enlarged in any manner, except as required by other provisions of this Code or by State law, or in order to bring the building or structure and its use into conformity with the provisions of this Article pertaining to buildings or structures hereafter constructed.

2)    No nonconforming use occupying a conforming building or structure or portion thereof or occupying any land shall be enlarged or extended:

A)    Into any other portion of said building or structure or said land by displacing a conforming use; or

B)    Into premises not actually so occupied.

3)    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Article, nothing herein shall be construed to preclude normal maintenance and repairs as required by governmental regulation or as necessary to ensure the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the general public.

92.22.4 NONCONFORMING BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES.

a)    Repair, Reconstruction or Restoration of Damaged Nonconforming Buildings or Structures.

1)    A damaged nonconforming building(s) or structure(s) on the same lot may be repaired, reconstructed or restored, provided that the expense of such structural repair, reconstruction or restoration does not exceed fifty (50) percent of the replacement cost of the building(s) or structure(s) on the same lot at the time such damage occurred.

2)    Except as provided in this paragraph 2), and subject to paragraph 4) below, whenever a nonconforming building(s) or structure(s) on the same lot is damaged in excess of fifty (50) percent of its replacement cost at the time of damage, the repair, reconstruction or restoration of such building(s) or structure(s) shall conform to all the regulations of the district in which it is located and it shall be treated as a new building(s) or structure(s).

A)    Whenever a multiple-family residential building(s) or structure(s), of three (3) or more units, on the same lot is damaged in excess of fifty (50) percent of its replacement cost at the time of damage, it may be repaired, reconstructed, or restored in accordance with the zoning requirements of this Division that were in effect at the time it was first constructed. Minor modifications including but not limited to additional parking, changes to building floorplan, footprint or elevation may be made subject to Planning Director approval and provided that:

1)    Total number of units is not increased;

2)    Total number of bedrooms is not increased;

3)    Total square footage of living area is not increased; and

4)    Number of parking spaces provided is not decreased.

B)    Pursuant to this subparagraph 2), any repair, reconstruction, or restoration of multiple family residential building(s) or structure(s) on the same lot undertaken shall conform to all of the following:

1)    The California Building Standards Code as that code was in effect at the time of repair, reconstruction, or restoration;

2)    Any more restrictive local building standards authorized pursuant to Sections 13869.7, 17958.7, and 18941.5 of the Health and Safety Code, as those standards were in effect at the time of repair, reconstruction, or restoration;

3)    The State Historical Building Code (Part 2.7 (commencing with Section 18950) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code) for work on qualified historical buildings or structures;

4)    Architectural regulations and standards, so long as the predamage size and number of dwelling units are maintained.

3)    Any damaged nonconforming building(s) or structure(s) on the same lot, subject to paragraphs a)1) and a)2) above, may be repaired, reconstructed or restored provided building permits have been issued within one (1) year of the date of destruction and repair, reconstruction or restoration is diligently pursued to completion.

4)    Disputes as to the interpretation of the provisions of this Section shall be heard and resolved by the Planning Commission, subject to appeal to the City Council as provided in Article 5 of Chapter 1 of Division 1 of this Code.

b)    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Article, nothing herein shall be construed to preclude normal maintenance and repairs as required by governmental regulation or as necessary to ensure the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the general public.

92.22.5 EXCEPTION.

a)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, in the event substantial numbers of buildings or structures in the City are destroyed or sustain major damage in excess of fifty (50) percent of the replacement cost as a result of a catastrophic event such as an earthquake or tornado as determined by the City Council, all such buildings or structures for which a building permit had been issued prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Section, shall be allowed to be repaired, reconstructed or restored in accordance with the zoning requirements of this Division in effect at the time such building permit was issued; provided, however, that building permits are issued within one (1) year of the date of destruction and repair, reconstruction or restoration is diligently pursued to completion; and provided that no such building or structure located in a single-family, two-family, commercial or industrial zone shall be repaired, reconstructed or restored to a zoning standard older than those in effect on the dates the following ordinances were adopted:

1)    For single-family and two-family residences, Ordinance 2329, adopted May 23, 1972;

2)    For commercial buildings, Ordinance 2331, adopted June 21, 1972;

3)    For industrial buildings, Ordinance 2470, adopted February 26, 1974,

b)    No conditional use permit or variance shall be considered to have terminated or expired by cessation of such use; provided the cessation of use was caused by the catastrophic incident referred to above, and that good faith efforts are being made to repair, reconstruct or restore the buildings or structures.

c)    Nothing in this Section shall be construed to excuse any owner, occupant or contractor from repairing, reconstructing or restoring any damaged building or structure in accordance with the requirements of the uniform construction codes, or any other health or safety requirements imposed by State or federal law or regulation in effect at the time of such repair, reconstruction or restoration.

92.22.6 COTA, AMAPOLA NEIGHBORHOOD.

(Added by O-3262; Amended by O-3319)

a)    This Section shall apply to those multiple-family residential buildings or structures located within the following area:

Lots 1 thru 8, Block 65, Lots 1 thru 22, Block 66, Lots 1 thru 22, Block 67, Lots 1 thru 22, Block 68, Lots 19 thru 29, Block 75, Lots 1 thru 22, Block 76, Torrance Tract, Map Book 249-43-44, City of Torrance, County of Los Angeles, State of California, as recorded in Book 22, Pages 94 and 95 of the County Recorder of said County.

b)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, any multiple-family residential building or structure existing, or for which a building permit had been issued on March 28, 1989, and which meets the development standards for multiple-family residential buildings or structures prescribed in Ordinance No. 3217, may be rebuilt to its original height and size in the event it is damaged to an extent that the expense of such restoration exceeds fifty (50) percent of the replacement cost of the building or structure at the time the damage occurred, provided that no new or enlarged portion may be added to such restored building or structure as part of said restoration, or in addition to any such restoration.

c)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, any multiple-family residential building or structure existing, or for which a building permit had been issued on March 28, 1989, and which meets the development standards for multiple-family residential buildings or structures prescribed in Ordinance No. 3217, may be repaired or remodeled provided that the height, external size and number of units is not increased.

d)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article, any multiple-family residential building or structure existing, or for which a building permit had been issued on March 28, 1989, and which meets the development standards for multiple-family residential buildings or structures prescribed in Ordinance No. 3217, and for which a conditional use permit has been obtained, and which has been damaged to an extent that the expense of restoration exceeds fifty (50) percent of the replacement cost of the building or structure at the time the damage occurred, may be rebuilt or repaired to the height and size permitted by said conditional use permit.

ARTICLE 23 - ENFORCEMENT

92.23.1 DUTIES.

It shall be the duty of the Planning Director to enforce the provisions of this Article. The Chief of Police and all officers charged with the enforcement of the law shall assist the Planning Director in the enforcement of this Article. The Superintendent of Building and the Building Inspectors shall assist the Planning Director in the enforcement of this Article insofar as it pertains to the construction, moving or alteration of any building or any addition thereto.

92.23.2 NUISANCE.

Any building or structure hereafter set up, erected, built, moved or maintained, or any use of property hereafter contrary to the provisions of this Article, shall be and the same is hereby declared to be, unlawful, and a public nuisance and the City Attorney shall, upon order of the City Council, immediately commence action or actions, proceedings for abatement, removal and enjoinment thereof, in the manner provided by law, and shall take such other steps and shall apply to such court or courts as may have jurisdiction to grant such relief as will abate or remove such building, structure or use and restrain and enjoin any person from setting up, erecting, building, moving or maintaining any such building, or structure or using any property contrary to the provisions of this Article.

ARTICLE 24 - REAPPLICATION AFTER DENIAL OR WITHDRAWAL

(Added by O-1186)

92.24.1 APPLICATION.

An application as used in this Article shall include an application for a variance, use and for any other right or privilege under the provisions of this Official Land Use Ordinance.

92.24.2 TIME FOR REAPPLICATION.

Whenever an application is denied by the City Council or the Planning Commission or is withdrawn by the applicant after the first hearing or other proceeding before the Planning Commission, the same or substantially the same application shall not be filed within a period of six (6) months from and after the date of such denial or withdrawal, unless such first or second application was made by motion of the City Council or the Planning Commission.

ARTICLE 26 - RECORDING CONDITIONS ON USE OF LAND

92.26.1 AGREEMENT REQUIRED.

(Added by O-1874)

Whenever the City Council, Planning Commission, or other body or officer of the City grants an application for a change of zone, a variance, a waiver, a conditional use permit, a precise plan or any other type of planning or zoning relief and imposes conditions thereon or other limitations on the use of the subject property.

a)    No change in the use of the subject property shall be made in conformance with such planning relief; and

b)    No building permit shall be issued for construction of any building or structure which may be constructed only in accordance with or by reason of such planning relief, unless and until the owners of the subject property have executed and recorded with the County Recorder an agreement with the City in which such owners promise to perform such conditions and abide such other limitations. Such agreement shall run with the land and be in a form acceptable to the City Attorney.

92.26.2 EXCEPTIONS.

The provisions of Section 92.26.1. shall not apply to:

a)    Changes of zone which have been initiated by the City Council or Planning Commission unless otherwise directed by the Planning Commission or the City Council; or

b)    To any condition or other limitation which, in the opinion of the Planning Commission or the City Council (whichever body grants the planning relief requested), is of transitory nature or is otherwise not enforceable by the City so that the public interest would not be served by such recordation.

ARTICLE 27 - EXTENSIONS OF TIME

(Added by O-1853; Amended by O-2460; O-2864)

92.27.1 EXTENSIONS; GRANTING WITHOUT HEARING.

a)    Whenever a waiver, conditional use permit, variance or other planning permit, exclusive of subdivisions or lot splits, is granted the Planning Director may extend such period of time for commencing the use one (1) or more times subject to the following criteria:

1)    The extension of time will not affect the rights of adjacent property owners or tenants or otherwise would constitute an adverse impact on them.

2)    The extension of time will not result in a material change in the concept or execution of the project as approved by Council, a Commission or other body or official.

3)    There is a hardship to the applicant if the extension of time is not granted.

4)    The extension of time will not be contrary to any established planning or zoning policies of the Council, a Commission, body or official for the particular project under consideration as determined by a review of the minutes or other records of the original approval.

b)    Whenever any such planning permit is granted without stating a specific period of time, such permit shall expire and become null and void if not exercised within one (1) year after the date the permit was originally granted unless a time extension is granted by the Planning Director.

c)    A request for such extension of time may be granted before expiration of the period for which the relief was granted and no request for an extension of time pursuant to this Section shall be granted if the request is made after the expiration date of the original planning permit or term for performance of the condition or extension thereof.

d)    These same time limits and procedures for extensions shall apply to compliance with conditions of approval of the above described permits.

e)    Each week the Planning Director shall prepare or cause to be prepared a list of each such extension of time upon which he has made a determination, and he shall distribute a copy of said list to each Council member, the City Manager and to the Planning Commission. The lists shall be published in the minutes of the Planning Commission and a copy shall be posted on not less than two (2) bulletin boards within the City Hall which are easily accessible to the public.

ARTICLE 28 - MODIFICATION OF CONDITIONS

(Added by O-1865; Amended by O-2864)

92.28.1 METHOD OF MODIFICATION.

a)    Whenever a change of zone, variance, waiver, conditional use permit, subdivision of land or other form of planning or zoning action (except as may be prohibited by the Subdivision Map Act) has been granted by the City Council, Planning Commission or other body, commission or City official authorized to take such action, major conditions of approval may be eliminated, or materially altered by the Council, Commission, body or official originally granting the planning or zoning action by complying with the original requirements for notification, publication or hearing. If the request for elimination or material alteration of conditions is initiated by the applicant for the original planning or zoning action, the Council, Commission, body or official considering the request may add other reasonable conditions.

b)    In the event a request is made to modify or eliminate a condition of approval, and that condition or the requested modification is determined to be minor, as provided in Section 92.28.3., the Planning Director for good cause, without a public hearing, may amend or delete such condition provided that no act or obligation so imposed may be increased or made more onerous by such procedure without the consent of the parties required to perform such an act or obligation.

c)    Each week the Planning Director shall prepare or cause to be prepared a list of each such request for modification or deletion of conditions upon which he has made a determination, and he shall distribute a copy of said list to each Council member, the City Manager and to the Planning Commission. The lists shall be published in the minutes of the Planning Commission and a copy shall be posted on not less than two (2) bulletin boards within the City Hall which are easily accessible to the public.

92.28.2 FILING OF APPLICATION.

Applications for such modification without hearing shall be filed with the Planning Director and be accompanied by a fee as provided in Chapter 9 of this Division. The application shall include such information as is prescribed by the Planning Director.

92.28.3 PROCESSING APPLICATIONS.

The Planning Director shall promptly schedule requests for modification before the Council, Commission, body or official making the original determination in the matter, unless the Planning Director shall determine that the request for modification is minor, in which event he may make the modification as provided in Section 92.28.1.

Minor modifications are those modifications which meet the following criteria:

1)    The deletion or modification of the conditions will not affect the rights of adjacent property owners or tenants or otherwise would constitute an adverse impact on them.

2)    The deletion or modification of the conditions will not violate any ordinance or law.

3)    The deletion or modifications will not make a material change in the concept or execution of the project as approved by the Council, a Commission, body or official.

4)    There is a hardship to the applicant if the deletion or modification is not granted.

5)    The deletion or modification will not be contrary to any established planning or zoning policies of the Council, a Commission, body or official for the particular project under consideration as determined by a review of the minutes or other records of the original approval.

92.28.4 APPEALS.

a)    The determination of the Planning Director, either deleting or modifying a condition, or his refusal to consider such a matter may be appealed to the Planning Commission and notice provided in the same manner as prescribed for the planning or zoning action in which the original grant of approval was made. The fee for an appeal to the Planning Commission shall be Fifty Dollars ($50.00) plus the appropriate fee for notification.

b)    The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Article 5, Chapter 1, Division 1 commencing at Section 11.5.1

ARTICLE 29 - SUBDIVISION CONTROL

(Added by O-2351; Amended by O-2355; O-2569; O-2570)

92.29.1 TITLE.

This Article may be referred to as the Subdivision Map Ordinance of the City of Torrance. As such, it must be considered in relation to the Subdivision Map Act of the State of California.

92.29.2 CONSISTENCY OF MAP WITH GENERAL AND SPECIFIC PLAN.

To be approved, any map of a proposed subdivision and the provisions for its design and improvement must be found by the Planning Commission to be consistent with the general or specific plans of the City as may be applicable from time to time.

92.29.3 CONTROL OF DESIGN AND IMPROVEMENT.

Control of design and improvement of subdivisions is hereby vested in the City Council of the City. Such control shall extend only to subdivisions or portions thereof lying within the incorporated area of the City.

92.29.4 DEFINITIONS.

Whenever any words or phrases as used in this Article are not defined herein but are defined in the Subdivision Map Act of the State of California as last amended, such definitions are incorporated herein and shall be deemed to apply as though fully set forth in this Article.

92.29.5 ADVISORY AGENCY.

a)    The Planning Commission shall be the Advisory Agency for all purposes concerning tentative parcel maps, tentative subdivision maps, final subdivision maps and parcel maps.

b)    For the purpose of this Article, and the procedures required by the Subdivision Map Act, any reference to the Clerk of the Advisory Agency, or to the Secretary of the Advisory Agency shall mean the Director of Planning.

92.29.6 PARCEL MAPS.

a)    A parcel map shall be filed and recorded for any subdivision of land for which a tentative and final subdivision map is not otherwise required by the Subdivision Map Act or this Article, except for those divisions of land which are exempted by the Subdivision Map Act or this Article. Such maps shall meet all the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act, and the regulations of the City, issued from time to time pursuant to the authority of this Article.

b)    Dedications or offers of dedication may be made by written instrument separately from the parcel map unless the subdivider prefers to make them by map certificate, or unless the Planning Commission shall make such map certificate a specific condition of approval of the parcel map.

c)    Whenever a parcel map shall be required by the Subdivision Map Act, or by this Article, a tentative parcel map shall first be filed with the Planning Commission, and shall meet the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act, this Article, and the regulations adopted by the City from time to time as provided by this Article.

92.29.7 PREPARATION OF PARCEL MAPS.

a)    Parcel maps shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act, provided that such maps shall be based on a field survey, made in conformity with the Land Surveyors Act, unless the City Engineer shall first agree that the said map can be compiled from record data, or a combination of field survey and record data.

b)    All such maps shall meet and conform to all requirements or conditions imposed by this Article, and by the Subdivision Map Act, provided that the City Council may waive any requirement the failure of which has resulted from an inadvertent error or a technical error, and the existence of which Council finds does not materially effect the validity of the said map.

92.29.8 REVIEW OF MAPS.

a)    The Planning Commission shall make investigations, reports and recommendations on the design and improvement of any proposed division of real property for which either a tentative subdivision or parcel map is required. The Planning Commission shall have the authority to impose requirements and conditions upon such tentative maps and to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove such tentative maps. The Planning Commission shall have the authority to make necessary findings as required by the Subdivision Map Act for such approvals, and disapprovals and shall have the authority to make all necessary findings and determinations regarding the waste discharge requirements and other requirements of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, pertaining to the subdivision of real property which is the subject of a tentative map before the Planning Commission.

b)    Parcel maps, after approval or conditional approval by the Planning Commission of the tentative map, shall be submitted to the City Engineer for review and final approval. If he shall find that the parcel map conforms to the Subdivision Map Act, the requirements of the City and is consistent with the tentative map as approved or conditionally approved by the Planning Commission, he shall approve the parcel map and affix his certificate. If he finds that the map fails to comply with any of the requirements, he shall promptly notify the subdivider and request correction of the deficiency. If the said deficiency is not remedied in a reasonable time, the parcel map shall be referred to the Planning Commission for disposition. No such delay caused by the existence of a deficiency shall extend the time limits for expiration of the said map. If the parcel map contains, on its face, dedications or offers of dedication, the map shall be referred to the City Council for acceptance or rejection of the dedications or offers of dedication. Submission of the map to the City Council for this consideration shall not extend the time of expiration of the said map.

92.29.9 FILING OF TENTATIVE MAPS.

a)    Tentative parcel maps or tentative subdivision maps shall be filed with the Planning Director, and shall be processed in accordance with the Subdivision Map Act, and the provisions or regulations which may from time to time be issued by the City Manager.

b)    Each such map submitted shall be accompanied by an application which shall contain the following items:

1)    A declaration, signed by the applicant, that he is the owner, or has full and proper authority of the owner to proceed with the filing of the map and the proposed division of the land which is the subject of the map.

2)    An agreement, signed by the applicant, that he will personally attend each hearing required by the City, or in the event that he delegates a representative to attend, the representative will be conclusively presumed to have full authority to speak for applicant, and to make all necessary commitments or decision on behalf of applicant at the said hearing.

c)    The filing of the declaration required by 1) shall satisfy the requirement of and be considered in lieu of a certificate on the face of the parcel map by the owners of record title interest in the subject land.

92.29.10 WAIVER OF PARCEL MAP.

The recording of a parcel map may be waived by the Planning Commission pursuant to the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act, upon the proper findings, in any case where the division of land is for the purpose of financing, refinancing or leasing. The Planning Commission in the case of a waiver, and in any other case where good cause appears, shall issue a Certificate of Compliance which shall be recorded in the Office of the County Recorder of Los Angeles County. The application for a waiver shall be made to the Planning Commission, and shall consist of an application form as may be required by the Planning Commission, and a tentative parcel map.

92.29.11 REGULATIONS.

The City Manager shall issue regulations which, when approved by resolution of the City Council, shall take effect to control the design and improvement and specifications of subdivisions and specific operating procedures for actions in connection with maps and proposed subdivisions. Such regulations when approved by the City Council shall be and become part of this Article for all intents and purposes the same as if they were set forth herein verbatim. Such regulations may include standards for all matters relating to design and improvement of subdivisions as defined in the State Subdivision Map Act.

92.29.12 PUBLIC HEARINGS.

The Planning Commission shall hold public hearings on tentative parcel maps, and tentative subdivision maps and notice thereof shall be given as provided in Section 66451.3 of the Government Code, and by mailing a notice of said hearing together with a general description of the location of the proposed division of land to all property owners within 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the said subdivision, as shown on the latest equalized county assessment roll. Said notice shall be mailed not less than ten (10) days prior to the hearing date. Any interested person may appear and be heard.

92.29.13 EXPIRATION OF TENTATIVE MAP APPROVAL AND EXTENSIONS.

(Amended by O-2929)

a)    The approval or conditional approval of a tentative parcel map or tentative subdivision map shall expire twenty-four (24) months from the date the map was approved or conditionally approved.

b)    The person filing the tentative map may request an extension of the tentative map approval or conditional approval by written application to the Planning Commission, such application to be filed at least thirty (30) days before the approval or conditional approval is due to expire. The application shall state the reasons for requesting the extension. In granting an extension, new conditions may be imposed and existing conditions may be revised.

c)    Any extension or extensions of tentative map approval or conditional approval shall not exceed a total of two (2) years.

d)    Modifications of a tentative map after approval or conditional approval shall not extend the time limits imposed by this section.

92.29.14 FAILURE TO RECORD PARCEL MAP OR FINAL MAP.

After approval of the parcel map, or final subdivision map by the City, if a subdivider shall fail or refuse to provide any information or do any act required by the County Recorder before he will record the said parcel map or final subdivision map, for a period of sixty (60) days, the said map shall fail and the approval of the City shall be withdrawn and any subdivision of the same land shall require the filing of a new tentative parcel map or tentative subdivision map, and the application.

92.29.15 RIGHT OF APPEAL.

(Amended by O-2822)

The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Article 5, Chapter 1, Division 1 of this Code, commencing at Section 11.5.1. and in accordance with the time requirements of Section 66452.5 of the Government Code of the State of California.

92.29.16 DEDICATION.

a)    As a condition of approval of a map, the subdivider shall dedicate or make an irrevocable offer of dedication as required by the City of all parcels of land within the subdivision that are needed for streets, alleys, including access rights and abutters’ rights, drainage, public utility easements, and other public easements. In addition, the subdivider shall improve or agree to improve as required by the City all streets, alleys, including access rights and abutters’ rights, drainage, public utility easements, and other public easements.

b)    Notwithstanding subsection a) hereof, the City Council or Planning Commission shall disapprove any subdivision for which any dedication or offer of dedication is not made as to any street or streets passing through or adjacent to it, which is required by the Circulation Element of the General Plan, or any specific plan adopted pursuant thereto.

92.29.17 WAIVER OF DIRECT STREET ACCESS.

The Advisory Agency may impose a requirement that any dedication or offer of dedication of a street shall include a waiver of direct access rights to such street from any property shown on a final map as abutting thereon, and that if the dedication is accepted such waiver shall become effective in accordance with the provisions of the waiver of direct access.

92.29.18 SCHOOL SITE DEDICATION.

As a condition of approval of a final subdivision map, a subdivider who develops or completes the development of one or more subdivisions within the Torrance Unified School District shall dedicate to the school district such lands as the City Council shall deem to be necessary for the purpose of constructing thereon elementary schools necessary to assure the residents of the subdivision adequate public school service.

92.29.19 RESERVATIONS.

As a condition of approval of any map, the subdivider shall reserve sites, appropriate in area and location, for parks, recreational facilities, fire stations, libraries or other public uses according to the standards and formula contained in Article 4 of Chapter 4 of the Subdivision Map Act commencing at Section 66479 and the regulations issued by the City Manager.

92.29.20 SUPPLEMENTAL SIZE OR CAPACITY.

The subdivider may be required to install improvements for the benefit of the subdivision which may contain supplemental size, capacity or number for the benefit of property not within the subdivision as a condition precedent to the approval of a subdivision or parcel map, and thereafter to dedicate such improvements to the public. However, the City shall enter into an agreement with the subdivider to reimburse him for that portion of the cost of such improvements equal to the difference between the amount it would have cost the subdivider to install such improvements to serve the subdivision only and the actual cost of such improvements pursuant to the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act.

92.29.21 DRAINAGE AND SEWER FACILITIES.

Prior to the approval of any parcel map or final subdivision map, the subdivider may be required to pay or cause to be paid, fees for the purpose of defraying the actual or estimated costs of construction of planned drainage or sewer facilities for the removal of surface or storm waters or sewage from local or neighborhood drainage or sanitary sewer facilities established pursuant to Section 66483 of the Government Code. The drainage and sewer plans of the various drainage and sewer districts within the City, together with maps, and estimated costs of the facilities are on file in the Office of the City Engineer.

92.29.22 BRIDGE CROSSING AND MAJOR THOROUGHFARE.

Prior to the approval of any final map or parcel map, or prior to the issuance of any building permit, the subdivider or owner of a lot may be required to pay or cause to be paid certain fees for defraying the actual or estimated costs of construction of any bridge or major thoroughfare pursuant to the provisions and requirements of Section 66484 of the Government Code.

92.29.23 IMPROVEMENT SECURITY.

Any improvement agreement, contract or act required or authorized by the Subdivision Map Act or this Article, for which security is required, by the City shall be secured in the manner provided for in Section 66499 of the Subdivision Map Act.

92.29.24 AMOUNT.

a)    The improvement security shall be in the amount set forth or authorized in the Subdivision Map Act. If the improvement security is other than a bond or bonds furnished by duly authorized corporate surety, an additional amount shall be included as determined by the City Council as necessary to cover the cost and reasonable expenses and fees, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, which may be incurred by the City in successfully enforcing the obligation secured. Bonds furnished by corporate sureties shall be from corporations rated A:AAA or better in BEST’S Insurance Guide.

b)    The improvement security shall also secure the faithful performance of any changes or alternations in the work to the extent that such changes or alterations do not exceed ten (10) percent of the original estimated cost of the improvement.

92.29.25 SOILS REPORT.

a)    For all those divisions of land for which a soils report is not otherwise required by the Subdivision Map Act, adequate tests may be required by the Director of Building and Safety. The soils reports, to be done by a civil engineer registered in this State, and based upon adequate test borings, may be required at the time of submission for consideration of a tentative parcel map, or may be postponed by the Director of Building and Safety, to be submitted at the time of, and in connection with, the application for building permits.

b)    A preliminary soils report may be waived by the Director of Building and Safety if he finds that there is sufficient data available in the City files concerning the soils qualities in the proposed area that a preliminary soils report is unnecessary.

c)    If information available to the Director of Building and Safety indicates, or if the preliminary soils report shows the existence of soils problems which could have a detrimental effect on structures built upon that soil, a soils investigation of each lot in the proposed subdivision may be required by the Director of Building and Safety. Such soils investigation shall be done by a civil engineer registered in this state, who shall recommend the corrective action which is likely to prevent structural damage to each structure proposed to be built in the area where soils problems exist.

92.29.26 REVERSION TO ACREAGE.

Reversions to acreage may be made of subdivided lands pursuant to the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act. Dedications or offers of dedication may be specified by the City Engineer as a condition to such reversion.

92.29.27 ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW.

No tentative parcel map or tentative subdivision map shall be accepted for filing by the Advisory Agency for consideration under this Article and the Subdivision Map Act, unless the said map shall have been first subjected to and processed according to the requirements of the Environmental Guidelines adopted and amended from time to time by the City of Torrance. The subdivider shall submit such applications and pay such fees as may be required for that environmental review, as may be required by this Code and the Environmental Guidelines of the City.

92.29.28 GRADING AND EROSION CONTROL.

Every map approved pursuant to this Article shall be conditioned on compliance with the requirements for grading and erosion control, including the prevention of sedimentation or damage to off-site property, as set forth in this Code.

92.29.29 FEES.

Persons appealing decisions of the Planning Commission herein and subdividers shall be required to pay certain fees to cover the cost to the City for any requested appeal, consideration, investigation or processing provided by this Article or the Subdivision Map Act. Those fees shall be set forth by resolution of the City Council from time to time.

92.29.30 FILING AND SUBMISSION.

a)    The date on which a tentative map shall be deemed filed with the Planning Commission for purposes of consideration and the running of time limits shall be that date on which the tentative map is presented to the Secretary of the Planning Commission and all required fees are paid, and application signed.

b)    Where more than one (1) map is presented by a developer, concerning the same land, or where revised maps are presented over a period of time, each such map shall be treated as withdrawing any and all predecessor maps from consideration. Each such map shall be treated as a new map for the purposes of determining the filing date.

92.29.31 MINIMUM R-1 LOT SIZE - PARCEL MAP, TRACT MAPS.

(Added by O-3266)

a)    The standards prescribed by this Code for the subdivision and development of R-1 zoned land shall apply to parcel maps and tract maps under this Article, except those provisions setting the minimum lot size. The proposed lots or parcels shall be of such width, area and design as the Planning Commission finds to be necessary to preserve the purposes and intent of this Article and of the Zoning Division of this Code, and to comply with the general plan, and the area, width, and design of such lots shall be a minimum lot area of six thousand (6000) square feet or the mean average size and width at the street of lots within the same zone and general plan designation within a distance of three hundred (300) feet of any point on the exterior boundaries of the property proposed to be divided, whichever is larger, provided however that all such lots used in the averaging shall be located in the City of Torrance. Any lot having an area of one (1) acre or more, and which contains no dwelling or other building shall not be included in determining the average size and dimension of lots for the purposes of this Section.

b)    The Planning Commission may make exceptions to such standards upon finding all of the following:

1)    That the strict application of any standard prescribed by this Chapter would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this Chapter;

2)    That there are exceptional circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved or to the intended use or development of the property in the City being subdivided or resubdivided;

3)    That the granting of the exception will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the immediate vicinity;

4)    That the granting of the exception will not be contrary to the objectives of this Chapter.

c)    Additional requirements shall be imposed by the Planning Commission when it determines that such requirements are necessary to preserve the purpose and intent of this Section and of the Zoning Division of this Code:

1)    To conform to the character of improvements and lot design of the neighborhood within three hundred (300) feet of the parcel proposed to be split;

2)    For the improvement of public and private streets, highways, ways or easements as may be necessary for traffic, drainage and sanitary needs;

3)    For the construction of reasonable off-site and on-site improvements for the parcels being created.

92.29.32 VESTING TENTATIVE MAPS.

Pursuant to the authority granted by the California Subdivision Map Act (Sections 66491.1 through 66498.9), Vesting Tentative Maps for either residential or nonresidential purposes shall be accepted for filing with the City subject to the following conditions:

a)    The said map shall have printed conspicuously on its face the words "VESTING TENTATIVE MAP."

b)    The time limits within which the development rights shall be vested shall last for no more than one (1) year beyond the date of recording of the final tract map or parcel map.

c)    At the time the vesting tentative map is filed, a subdivider shall also supply the Planning Department with the same information as required for the submission of a conditional use permit to the City. Additional information as may be deemed necessary by the City Engineer or City Planning Director shall also be submitted. Such information may include, but not be limited to, details of site development, such as, a site plan, building design, topographic, geologic and grading information, parking, landscaping, lighting, and vehicular circulation; details of public improvements and impacts related to the street, storm drain, sewer, and water systems and any required studies to determine the present and future adequacies and required improvements of these facilities; and any economic impact studies related to current and future delivery of City services.

d)    In all other respects, the vesting tentative map shall be filed in the form, and have the same contents, accompanying data and reports, and shall be processed in the same manner as set forth in this Chapter for other tentative maps.

92.29.33 FLAG LOT SUBDIVISIONS.

(Added by O-3356)

Since flag lot subdivisions present unusual problems to the City because of the narrow frontage upon public streets, and the need to provide full sewer, access, utility and drainage accommodations to each lot, the following requirements must be met for each such flag lot subdivision;

a)    No flag lot subdivision shall provide more than one (1) driveway or access easement curbcut upon the public street unless the Planning Commission shall find that:

1)    The strict application of this standard would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this Chapter;

2)    There are exceptional circumstances or conditions applicable to the property involved or to the intended use or development of the property in the City being subdivided or resubdivided;

3)    The granting of the exception will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the immediate vicinity;

4)    The granting of the exception will not be contrary to the objectives of this Chapter.

b)    Each such map must show on the face of the map, or in suitable separate documents, that there is a plan for maintenance of the common area (or access easement if it is separate from a common area) for the placement, repair, replacement or maintenance of sewers, utilities, driveway access, and surface water run off, together with the necessary easements and cross easements for these purposes.

ARTICLE 30 - DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS

(Added by O-2442; Amended by O-3123)

92.30.1 APPLICABILITY.

Except as provided in Section 92.30.10 below, all land uses within the City shall comply to the provisions of this Article.

92.30.2 OUTSIDE EQUIPMENT.

All roof and wall appurtenances, such as ducts and vents, all mechanical equipment, electrical boxes, meters, pipes, transformers, air conditioners and all other equipment on the roof or walls of any building shall be completely screened from public view with materials compatible with the main buildings on the subject property. Such equipment or screening material shall be constructed in such a manner that noises emanating from the roof or wall appurtenances shall not be audible beyond the property lines of the subject property.

92.30.3 ENCLOSURE OF TRASH, LOADING AND STORAGE AREAS.

All exterior loading, unloading and storage areas, and all trash storage areas, shall be completely enclosed by decorative walls and doors constructed of material, and of a design, color and texture which is architecturally compatible with the buildings and structures on the property. All such enclosure doors shall remain closed except during the actual loading or unloading of material, or the addition or removal of trash. Solid, opaque perimeter walls and gates may be used to satisfy all of the above requirements, except those applying to trash storage areas, if the Planning Director finds that:

a)    The exterior loading and/or material storage areas will be screened from view, due to the presence of the perimeter walls and gates; and

b)    Use of the perimeter walls and gates to provide said screening will not be detrimental to any adjacent property.

92.30.4 TIME FOR PICKUP, DELIVERY AND PARKING LOT SWEEPING.

Pickups and deliveries of products, material or trash and parking lot sweeping shall not be allowed prior to 7:00 A.M. or after 10:00 P.M., unless such operations can be conducted at a distance of no less than three hundred (300) feet from the nearest residence.

Pickups and deliveries of products or material shall not be made into or out of any driveway which has its access on a local or collector street where there are residential uses within three hundred (300) feet of such driveway. The pickup of trash shall not be made by means of a driveway which has its access on a local or collector street where there are residential uses within three hundred (300) feet of such driveway unless the property on which the trash is being picked up is itself used for residential purposes.

92.30.5 LIGHTING.

All lighting on the subject property shall be constructed in such a manner that glare shall be directed away from all surrounding residential land uses.

92.30.6 LANDSCAPING.

A landscape plan for the subject property shall be approved by the City and said landscape plan shall comply with Article 6, Chapter 3, Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code.

92.30.7 DIMENSIONS OF DRIVEWAYS, AISLES, PARKING SPACES AND LANDSCAPING.

The dimensions of all driveways, aisles, parking spaces, and landscaping shall be shown on the plot plan of the subject property, and shall not be changed without the approval of the City. Features such as walls, hedges, architectural embellishments, utility meters, planters, low eaves, power poles and other projections shall not reduce the dimension of the driveways, aisles, parking spaces or landscaped areas below the size shown.

92.30.8 ACCESS TO LOCAL STREETS PROHIBITED.

No vehicular access shall be permitted to a local street from a commercially or industrially zoned through lot which also has frontage on a major or secondary street. In no case shall a commercial or industrial lot be developed in such a manner that traffic from the commercial or industrial uses on it will be channeled onto any residential streets.

92.30.9 BUILDING SETBACK REQUIREMENTS.

No building which is designed, used, or intended to be used for nonresidential uses shall be located closer than ten (10) feet from the lot line of any adjacent residentially zoned parcel of land. Said setback of ten (10) feet shall be landscaped and shall be provided with an irrigation system, and vehicles shall not be permitted to park in said setback area. The provisions of this Section shall not apply in the event the provisions of any particular zone or zoning approval granted by the City are more restrictive.

92.30.10 EXCEPTIONS.

The provisions of this Article shall not apply to the construction of dwellings, nor the use of buildings or structures for single-family or two-family dwellings.

In addition to the above exception, the Planning Director may grant an exception from any of the requirements of this Section when he finds that:

a)    Such exception would not result in any deleterious effect on the use by its owner of any adjacent property.

b)    Such exception would have no deleterious effect upon the value of adjoining property.

c)    Enforcement of the above-described standards would result in practical impossibility of development.

d)    Granting an exception in a given case will not tend to defeat the purpose of this or any other applicable zoning ordinance.

92.30.11 RIGHT OF APPEAL.

(Amended by O-2822)

a)    The determination of the Planning Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission by the proponent or any person who may be damaged by the said determination. Such appeal shall be made in writing to the Planning Commission within fifteen (15) days of the determination of the Planning Director. Notice of the time and place of the appeal hearing shall be made to the proponent and any person appealing.

b)    The determination of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Article 5, Chapter 1, Division 1 of this Code, commencing at Section 11.5.1

ARTICLE 32 - PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

(Added by O-2587; O-2610; O-2611; Amended by O-3483)

92.32.1 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this chapter is to ensure proper maintenance of property within the City, promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City, and to protect the City’s neighborhoods against blighting and deteriorating influences or conditions that contribute to the downgrading of neighborhood aesthetics and property values by establishing minimum standards, in addition to standards contained in other laws, rules and regulations, for the maintenance of all building exteriors, premises and vacant land.

92.32.2 RESPONSIBILITY.

Every owner of real or personal property within the City is required to maintain such property in a manner so as not to violate the provisions of this Chapter regardless of any contract or agreement with any third party regarding said property.

Every occupant, lessee or holder of any interest in property other than as owner, is required to maintain such property in the same manner as is required of the owner, and the duty imposed by the previous section on the owner shall in no instance relieve those persons referred to from the similar duty.

92.32.3 BUILDING MAINTENANCE.

It shall be unlawful for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any property in the City to maintain such premises in such a manner that any of the following conditions are found to exist thereon:

a)    A building or structure or part thereof which was constructed, or partially constructed without complying with applicable provisions of this Code or other law.

b)    Any partially constructed building, structure or improvements, together with material and equipment used for construction, which is not completed within a reasonable time, or upon which there is a cessation of work for more than sixty (60) days after expiration of a valid building permit, unless such completion or cessation of labor is caused by factors which are not within the control of the owner, such as war, labor strikes and litigation.

c)    Any partially destroyed or demolished buildings, structures or improvements which endanger or injure neighboring properties or the public health, safety or general welfare.

d)    Any building or structure or portion thereof which cannot be lawfully used in its existing location and condition for any purpose for which it is designed.

e)    Improper occupancy of any building or portions thereof occupied or used for any purpose for which it was not built and permitted.

f)    Fences which are in a state of disrepair and create a safety hazard, including, but not limited to the following conditions:

1)    Broken, rotted or defective fence support posts or other structural members; and

2)    Leaning block wall whose center of gravity falls outside the face of said wall.

92.32.4 VEGETATION.

It shall be unlawful for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any property in the City to maintain such premises in a condition with:

Overgrown, dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees or vegetation which:

a)    Is likely to harbor rats, pigeons or other vermin or disease carriers.

b)    Causes an obstruction to visibility or other hazardous condition to motorists or pedestrians.

c)    Restricts or impedes access to public use of adjacent sidewalks or streets.

d)    Conceals hazards such as trash and debris or creates harborage for people involved in criminal activity or for products used for criminal activity.

e)    Is not cleared or is allowed to continue to grow after a period of thirty (30) days from notification that said vegetation is overgrown.

92.32.5 TRASH AND DEBRIS; GENERAL MAINTENANCE.

It shall be unlawful for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any property in the City to maintain such premises in such a manner that any of the following conditions are found to exist thereon:

a)    Keeping or disposing of or the scattering over the premises any of the following:

1)    Refuse, rubbish, offal, animal excrement or other waste material which is not kept or disposed of in accordance with regulations of this code or other provisions.

2)    Dirt, litter, junk, rubbish, garbage, scrap metal or lumber, concrete, asphalt, tin cans, tires, salvage materials, or other debris.

3)    Abandoned, discarded, broken or unused furniture, stoves, sinks, toilets, cabinets or other household or business fixtures or equipment, goods, shopping carts or other similar items.

4)    Abandoned or broken machinery or equipment, or dismantled machinery or auto parts.

5)    Attractive nuisances to children, including but not limited to: abandoned, broken or neglected equipment, machinery, dilapidated structures, refrigerators or freezers, excavations and hazardous pools, whether or not they contain any water or other liquid.

6)    Stagnant water.

b)    Any accumulation of materials which provides a harbor for rats or other vermin.

c)    Gross lack of maintenance of grounds on which a structure exists where the grounds are visible from a public street, sidewalk or neighboring properties, and where such condition would have a tendency to substantially depreciate the aesthetic environment or property values of surrounding properties.

d)    Unpaved or deteriorated parking lots which have potholes, cracks, or ridges, or which constitute a safety hazard to the public.

e)    Any sign or sign structure relating to a use no longer conducted or product no longer sold on the property more than ninety (90) days after a change in use or forty-five (45) days after the structure upon which the sign and/or sign structure is placed has been broken, damaged or abandoned.

f)    Signs, awnings and/or sign structures maintained in a deteriorated condition.

g)    Abandoned, broken or damaged lighting fixtures.

h)    Any evidence of a sign which has been removed, including but not limited to holes, faded areas, ghost images, abandoned cabinets, exposed conduit, or abandoned footings.

i)    Violation of any condition of a Conditional Use Permit or other Planning entitlement including Torrance Environmental Quality Commission sign conditions.

j)    Unscreened storage lots visible from the public right of way.

92.32.6 VEHICLES.

It shall be unlawful for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any property in the City to maintain such premises in such a manner that any of the following conditions are found to exist thereon:

a)    Camper shells, cargo containers or other mobile equipment stored for more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours in a front or side yard visible from the public right-of-way.

b)    Parking or storage of inoperable or abandoned motor vehicles, trailers or boats, or of operational vehicles and motorcycles placed on blocks or otherwise immobilized, visible from the public right-of-way.

c)    Repair or dismantling of any vehicle or boat in a residential zone where such activity can be seen from the public street or sidewalk, except where such repair and/or dismantling is on a vehicle registered to the address where the repair is taking place, and is completed and any evidence of repair, including tools, equipment, motor oils and other fluids, rags, spills, parts, and debris, is removed within seven (7) days after the repair or dismantling was begun.

d)    Parking recreational vehicles, campers, boats, cars or other mobile equipment on the grass, dirt or other landscaped areas surrounding a house.

e)    Any boat, vehicle, trailer, camper or parts thereof which are stored on a lot containing an unoccupied or vacant building or upon unimproved land excepting vehicles necessary for construction purposes which are stored for a temporary time in a manner not to serve as an attractive nuisance for children.

f)    Wrecked, inoperative, or abandoned trailers, campers, boats or other motor vehicles which are accumulated or stored in areas visible from the public right-of-way or adjacent properties unless such vehicles are screened by a solid wall.

g)    Trailers, campers, boats or any vehicle with utility hookups or other appurtenances of any kind crossing or extending into the public right-of-way.

92.32.7 SECTION 7 WAS NOT USED.

92.32.8 USE OF THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.

(Added by O-3680)

With the exception of those items for which a permit may be issued, or for which a legal exception is elsewhere granted in law, it is unlawful for any person owning, occupying or having charge of any property in the City to place or maintain on any sidewalk or public right-of-way abutting or adjoining such property any rubbish or waste material, construction material, play equipment, signs, trash, vegetation, or any object which obstructs or interferes with the free passage, use or view by the public of any sidewalk, street, alley, parkway, beach, or other public right-of-way, or which may impede emergency access.

ARTICLE 33 - SPACING OF BLIGHT INDUCING ENTERPRISES

(Added by O-2689)

92.33.1 RESTRICTED USES.

(Amended by O-2942)

Adult bookstores, adult motion picture theaters, adult mini-motion picture theaters, and sexual paraphernalia stores are restricted uses for purposes of this Article.

92.33.2 DEFINITIONS.

(Amended by O-2942)

a)    Adult Book Store: An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, books, magazines, and periodicals which are distinguished by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas as defined herein, or an establishment which devotes five (5) percent or more of its retail floor space to the sale or display of such material.

b)    Adult Motion Picture Theatre: An enclosed or unenclosed building or structure with a capacity of fifty (50) or more persons, used more than ten (10) percent of the time for presentation of material distinguished or characterized with an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or related to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas as defined herein, for observation by patrons therein.

c)    Adult Mini-Motion Picture Theater: An enclosed or unenclosed building or structure having a capacity of fifty (50) persons or less which is used for presentation of material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to specified sexual activities or to specified anatomical areas as defined herein, for observation by patrons therein.

d)    Sexual Paraphernalia Store: An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade materials designed for the use in or simulation of specified sexual activities as defined herein or an establishment which devotes more than five (5) percent of its retail floor space to the sale or display of such material.

e)    Specified Sexual Activities:

1)    Human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;

2)    Acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, sodomy, sadism or masochism;

3)    Fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals, pubic regions, buttock or female breast.

f)    Specified Anatomical Areas:

1)    Human genitals or pubic region, buttocks or female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola when not completely and opaquely covered.

92.33.3 LOCATION.

a)    It shall be unlawful to locate any of the uses listed in Section 92.33.1. within a radius of one thousand (1,000) feet of any property zoned or used for residential purposes.

b)    It shall be unlawful to locate any of the uses listed in Section 92.33.1. within a radius of one thousand (1,000) feet of any public school, park or playground.

c)    It shall be unlawful to locate any of the uses listed in Section 92.33.1. within one thousand (1,000) feet of any existing structure or property containing such use.

92.33.4 CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT.

The uses identified in Section 92.33.1. of this Code shall be permitted, subject to approval of a Conditional Use Permit in accordance with Chapter 5 of this Division, subject to the following criteria:

a)    That the proposed use will not be contrary to the public interest or injurious to nearby properties.

b)    That the proposed use will not encourage development or enlargement of a skid-row area.

c)    That the establishment of an additional regulated use in the area will not be contrary to any program of neighborhood conservation, nor will it interfere with any program of urban renewal.

d)    That a Conditional Use Permit shall be approved as required by Chapter 5 of this Division 9

ARTICLE 34 - AMENDMENT TO GENERAL PLAN

(Added by O-2700)

92.34.1 GENERAL PLAN.

The General Plan of the City of Torrance consists of those documents adopted by the City Council pursuant to California Government Code Sections 65300, et seq. which, as adopted or as amended from time to time, set forth the objectives, principals and the plan proposals which constitute a statement of the development policies of the City of Torrance.

92.34.2 CONSISTENCY WITH GENERAL PLAN.

(Amended by O-2840)

a)    All applications for discretionary land use approvals shall be reviewed by the Planning Department prior to their submission to the Planning Commission to determine whether they are consistent with the Land Use Element of the General Plan.

b)    Where the Planning Director determines that a proposed discretionary land use approval is not consistent with the Land Use Element of the General Plan, he shall advise the applicant who may apply for an amendment to the General Plan.

92.34.3 AMENDMENTS TO GENERAL PLAN.

a)    The General Plan of the City of Torrance shall be reviewed annually by the Planning Director who shall make an annual report containing any recommendations which he may have for amendments to or revisions of the General Plan, or any element thereof.

b)    The City Council or Planning Commission may, from time to time, recommend amendments to the General Plan or any element thereof.

c)    Upon application made pursuant to Section 92.34.2. of this Code, the General Plan may be amended to permit development which as proposed is not consistent with the Land Use Element of the General Plan, but which would be appropriate in the manner and location proposed and would not be injurious to the City or surrounding properties.

92.34.4 PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT.

a)    The Planning Commission shall hold at least one (1) public hearing on every proposed amendment of the General Plan.

b)    Upon completion of such hearing, the Planning Commission shall report to the City Council its recommendation whether the proposed amendment should be approved or disapproved.

c)    Notice of each hearing before the Planning Commission on proposed amendments of the General Plan shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Torrance within ten (10) days of such hearing.

92.34.5 APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS.

a)    All amendments of the General Plan shall be approved by resolution of the City Council.

b)    Prior to approval of any amendment of the General Plan, the City Council shall hold at least one (1) public hearing thereon.

c)    Notice of City Council hearings on proposed amendments of the General Plan shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Torrance within ten (10) days prior to the hearing.

ARTICLE 35 - NUISANCE ABATEMENT

(Added by O-3328)

92.35.1 APPLICABILITY.

All land uses within the City shall comply to the provisions of this Article.

92.35.2 NUISANCE DESIGNATED.

(Amended by O-3483)

The following are hereby declared to be public nuisances:

a)    Any substandard or unsafe building, structure, or condition as set forth in the Uniform Building Code.

b)    Any building or structure which meets the definition of a dangerous building as provided in the Uniform Code for Abatement of Dangerous Buildings.

c)    Any imminent life safety hazard which creates a clear and immediate danger to life, property, health or public safety.

d)    Any condition in violation of Division 4, Chapter 10 of the Torrance Municipal Code relating to the City’s Storm Water and Urban Runoff Pollution Control Laws.

The following may be declared to be public nuisances:

e)    Any condition in violation of Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code relating to the City’s planning and zoning laws.

f)    Any condition in violation of Division 8 of the Torrance Municipal Code relating to the City’s Building and Safety laws.

g)    Any condition in violation of Division 4 of the Torrance Municipal Code relating to the City’s public health.

92.35.3 ENFORCEMENT.

(92.35.3(l) Amended by O-3483)

a)    Whenever any Code Enforcement Officer as specified in Section 11.2.5 determines that a nuisance exists on any property within the City, that officer shall advise the owner, in writing, of the public nuisance and direct said owner to abate the nuisance. The notification shall contain a brief description of the conditions asserted to constitute a nuisance and establish an abatement period deemed reasonable under the circumstances, but in no event longer than thirty (30) days.

b)    Voluntary abatement of nuisances. The owner, lease holder, tenant, or occupant having charge of any building, structure or property alleged to be a nuisance as set forth above, may abate said nuisance at any time within the abatement period by rehabilitation, repair, removal or demolition. The Building and Safety Department shall be advised of the abatement and shall inspect the premises to insure the nuisance has in fact been abated.

c)    Involuntary Abatement. If, after notification of conditions alleged to constitute a public nuisance pursuant to Section 92.35.3(a) hereof, the owner, lessee, tenant or occupant having charge of the building, structure or property alleged to constitute a nuisance does not voluntarily abate said nuisance within the time limits specified in said notice, the Director of Building Safely Department shall cause a public hearing to be held to determine whether said building, structure or property is being maintained in such a manner so as to constitute a public nuisance. The Director of Building and Safety or designee may cause the involuntary abatement procedures to be followed without first providing an opportunity for voluntary abatement pursuant to Sections 92.35.3(a) and 92.35.3(d) of this Division, when there is an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of members of the public.

d)    Notice. Written notice of the hearing shall be sent, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to all owners of record of the property. Notice shall also be conspicuously posted on the property, and said posted notice shall constitute adequate service in the event that mailed notice is not delivered for any reason.

e)    Form of Notice. The notice given shall be provided in substantially the following format:

NOTICE OF HEARING ON ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE

A Hearing will be held at ______ on ____________ at City Hall, ____________, 3031 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, before the Director of Building and Safety or his designee, acting as hearing officer, to determine whether the premises at ____________ constitute a public nuisance pursuant to Section 92.35.2.

 

The conditions asserted to constitute a public nuisance include the following:

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

A public hearing may be avoided if the following corrections are made at least two days before the date set for the hearing:

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

If it is determined that the property constitutes a public nuisance, the following abatement action may be taken by the City if the owner has not taken corrective action within 5 days after the hearing officer’s determination:

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

If abatement action is taken by the City, all costs of the abatement will be assessed against the property and will attach as a lien until paid. All persons having an interest in this matter may attend the hearing and give testimony and evidence, which will be given due consideration by the hearing officer. Call ______ for questions regarding this notice.

f)    Hearing. At the time stated in the notice, the hearing offer shall hear and consider all relevant evidence relating to the condition of the property. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall determine whether the condition of the premises constitutes a public nuisance. If the hearing officer determines that a public nuisance exists, the hearing officer shall declare such premises to be a public nuisance and order the abatement of the same by the property owner within a specified time. Such order shall contain a detailed list of needed corrections. The order shall also contain a statement that an appeal of the hearing officer’s decision may be taken to the City Council by filing a notice of appeal with the City Clerk within five (5) days of the order, and by paying any applicable fee.

A copy of the order shall be served upon the owner in the same manner as the notice of hearing.

g)    Appeal. Any person entitled to notice of hearing, who has participated in that hearing and who is dissatisfied by the order of the hearing officer, may appeal that order by filing an appeal with the City Clerk within five (5) days of the date of the order and by paying the appeal fee in accordance with Section 11.5.1. The notice of appeal shall specify:

1)    A description of the property;

2)    The abatement proceedings appealed;

3)    The owner’s or appealing party’s legal or equitable interest in the property;

4)    A statement of disputed and undisputed facts;

5)    A statement specifying that portion of the proceedings that are being appealed, together with any evidentiary or supporting materials that would support the appeal; and

6)    A verification of the truth of all matters asserted.

Upon the timely filing of a notice of appeal in the proper form, the City Clerk shall place said appeal upon the next regular meeting of the City Council scheduled to be held not less than five (5) business days after said appeal is received.

The City Clerk shall provide written notice of the appeal, including the time, place and date of the hearing on the appeal, to the appellant and any other person to whom notice of the hearing officer’s order was sent. Said notice shall be in the same manner as notice of the hearing officer’s order.

The City Council may limit the issues on appeal to those set forth in the appellant’s notice of appeal, may consider the record produced before the hearing officer, and may allow additional evidence to be produced.

Notice of the City Council’s determination shall be in substantially the same form as that sent by the hearing officer and shall be sent to all persons to whom notice of the hearing officer’s order was sent as well as to all persons requesting such notice, in writing, at the time the appeal is heard.

h)    Abatement of Nuisance by City. If the nuisance is not completely abated by the date specified in the hearing officer’s order, or in the City Council’s determination, as appropriate, the City Manager may immediately cause the same to be abated by City personnel or under private contract. The hearing officer and/or City Council are authorized to grant reasonable extensions on the time period for abatement based on a proper showing by the property owner of extenuating circumstances, made before the date of City abatement. The owner of the premises shall be liable to the City for all costs of such abatement. In order to secure entry, the City shall have the right to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.

i)    Cost Accounting; Notification. City personnel, or any private contractor authorized to abate the nuisance, shall keep an account of the cost, including incidental expenses, of all abatement work performed on each separate lot or parcel of land where work is done and shall render an itemized report in writing to the City Council showing the total cost of abatement by rehabilitation, demolition, or repair of the property, building or structure, including any salvage value relating thereto. A copy of the report shall be posted at City Hall or other official location for posting City notices for at least five days before it is considered by the City Council. Proof of posting shall be made by affidavit of the City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk. The term "incidental expenses" shall include, but not be limited to, the actual expenses and costs of the City in the preparation of notices, specifications and contracts, in inspecting the work and the costs of printing and mailing required hereunder.

j)    Assessment Lien. The total cost for abatement of the nuisance, as confirmed by the City Council, shall constitute a special assessment against the lot or parcel of land to which it relates and, upon recordation in the office of the County Recorder of a notice of lien, shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of the assessment.

After confirmation and recordation, a copy of the notice of lien may be turned over to the tax collector to add the amounts of the assessments to the next regular tax bill levied against the respective lots and parcels of land. Thereafter the assessment amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure for foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary property taxes. After recordation, the lien may be foreclosed by judicial or other sale in the manner and means provided by law. The notice of lien for recordation shall be in a form substantially as follows:

NOTICE OF LIEN

Claim of the City of Torrance

 

 

Pursuant to the authority vested by Article 35 of Chapter 2 of Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code, the Director of Building and Safety [City Council] of the City of Torrance did on or about the ______ day of ____________ 19____________ cause the property hereinafter described to be declared a public nuisance and order the same abated. The City Council of the City of Torrance did on the ______ day of ____________ 19____________ assess the cost of such abatement upon the property and the same has not been paid nor any part thereof. The City of Torrance does hereby claim a lien for such abatement in the amount of the assessment, to wit: the sum of $______ and the same shall be a lien upon the real property until paid in full and discharged of record.

 

 

The real property hereinabove mentioned, and upon which a lien is claimed, is that certain parcel of land lying and being entirely with the City of Torrance, County of Los Angeles, State of California, particularly described as follows:

(legal description)

Dated this ____ day of ____________, 19___

 

 

__________________________

 

City Manager, City of Torrance

k)    Owner’s Responsibility. The owner of any premises within the City has the primary responsibility for keeping said premises free of public nuisances. Tenants and occupants of the premises, for the purposes of this chapter, shall be deemed to be the agents of the owner.

l)    The City may choose to abate any public nuisance or violation of the City Code through any of the abatement methods set forth in the City Code or in other local, state or federal law, and nothing contained in this Chapter shall be construed as limiting, prejudicing or adversely affecting the City’s ability to concurrently or consecutively use any of those proceedings as the City may deem are applicable. Proceeding under this Section will not preclude the City from proceeding under other Sections of the Torrance Municipal Code. Whenever an Code Enforcement Officer determines that any condition exists in violation of the provisions of this Chapter, he/she may take enforcement action pursuant to this Section.

92.35.4 AUTHORITY OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.

(Added by O-3483)

a)    Enforcement of this Chapter may be accomplished by Code Enforcement Officer in any manner authorized by the Chapter or by any other law, including but not limited to issuance of criminal citations, civil actions and abatement.

b)    Right of entry. The Code Enforcement Officer may enter any property or premises at all times to perform any duty imposed upon him/her by this Chapter whenever the Code Enforcement Officer has cause to believe a violation of provisions of this Chapter is occurring, provided that the Code Enforcement Officer shall present proper credentials, state the reason for entry and request entry from the owner or occupant. If entry is denied, he/she may seek a court ordered inspection warrant if cause exists as required by law and shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry. The Code Enforcement Officer shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of unoccupied property or premises, inform the owner of the reasons for entry and request entry and may not enter any property or premises in the absence of permission to enter, unless an inspection warrant has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

92.35.5 NO DUTY TO ENFORCE.

(Added by O-3483)

Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as requiring the City to enforce the prohibitions in this Chapter against all or any properties which may violate the Ordinance. In the City’s prosecutorial discretion, and as the City’s resources permit, this Ordinance may be enforced only as to a limited number of problem properties per year. Nothing in this Section or the absence of any similar provisions from any other City law shall be construed to impose a duty upon the City to enforce such other provision of law.

92.35.6 CRIMINAL OR CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATION.

(Added by O-3483)

Pursuant to the City’s prosecutorial discretion, the City may enforce violations of the provisions of the Chapter as criminal, civil or abatement actions.

a)    Infraction/misdemeanor. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of an infraction or misdemeanor. Each and every day, or any part thereof, during which any such violation is committed, continued, or allowed shall be a separate offense.

b)    Prosecution. Every violation of this Chapter shall be a misdemeanor; provided, however, that where the City Attorney has determined that such action would be in the best interest of justice, the City Attorney may specify in the accusatory pleading or citation, that the violation shall be prosecuted as an infraction.

c)    Penalty for infraction. Each and every violation of this Chapter which is deemed an infraction is punishable by:

1)    A fine not exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for the first violation;

2)    A fine not exceeding Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for the second violation of the same or similar provision within one (1) year period; or,

3)    A fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation, after the second, of the same or similar provision of this Chapter within a one (1) year period of the first violation.

d)    Penalty for misdemeanor. Each and every violation of this Chapter which is deemed a misdemeanor, is punishable by a penalty of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); or by imprisonment in the City or County jail for a period of not exceeding six (6) months; or, by both penalty and imprisonment.

e)    Civil Penalties. Any person who intentionally, accidentally, or negligently violates any provision of this Chapter may be civilly liable to the City in the sum of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) but not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per day for each day in which such violation occurs or continues. The City may petition the municipal or superior court to impose, assess and recover such sums. The civil penalty provided in this Section excludes inspection costs and cleanup or abatement costs; is cumulative and not exclusive; and, shall be in addition to all other remedies available to the City under state law and local ordinances.

ARTICLE 36 - DEVELOPMENT PERMITS

(Added by O-3424; O-3429; Amended by O-3521)

92.36.1 APPLICABILITY.

A Development Permit is required under the following circumstances within the boundaries of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan area; however, none will be required for new construction of or alterations to single-family homes located in the R-1, Single Family Residential District:

a)    For a new structure;

b)    For the enlargement of an existing structure;

c)    For the exterior alteration of an existing structure;

d)    For any intensification in use of a structure or parcel of land for which a Development Permit, or other similar entitlement permit, has never been issued;

e)    For any substantial remodel, which shall be defined as the removal of fifty (50%) percent or more of the exterior wall area or removal of fifty (50%) percent or more of the supporting members of a structure such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders, whichever is stricter; or

f)    For the renewal of use of a structure which has been unused for ninety (90) days prior to the proposed date of renewal of use.

92.36.2 EXEMPTIONS.

When in compliance with all other City ordinances, and when in conformance with the standards and design guidelines of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan as determined by the Planning Director, a Development Permit is not required under the following circumstances:

a)    For the exterior repainting of a structure;

b)    Roof reconstruction which involves the use of different roofing materials; or

c)    For the replacement of doors or windows.

92.36.3 REVIEW AND APPROVAL AUTHORITY.

The responsibility for review and approval or denial of Development Permits shall be as follows:

a)    Development Permits will be reviewed and granted or denied by the Planning Commission. Minor changes to a permit may be subsequently granted by the Planning Director as specified in Section 92.36.3.b); however, substantial changes involving a major deviation from a Development Permit as approved must be approved by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission may grant a Development Permit under the following circumstances:

1)    New structures of any size on a vacant site, or the replacement of an existing structure or development after a site has been cleared;

2)    The enlargement of a structure or of a multi-structured development where the size of the addition equals or exceeds fifty (50%) percent of the existing gross floor area, or equals or exceeds ten thousand (10,000) square feet, whether attached or detached;

3)    The renewal of use of a structure which has been unused for ninety (90) days prior to the proposed date of renewal of use, the enlargement of an existing structure, or any intensification in use of a structure or a parcel of land for which a Development Permit, or other similar entitlement permit, has never been issued; or

4)    A substantial remodel, as defined in Section 92.36.1.e).

b)    Minor Development Permits shall be reviewed and granted or denied by the Planning Director. Applications for Minor Development Permits may be referred to the Planning Commission at the discretion of the Planning Director. The Planning Director is authorized to grant or deny an application for a Minor Development Permit under the following circumstances:

1)    The enlargement of a structure or of a multi-structured development where the size of the addition does not exceed fifty (50%) percent of the existing floor area, or does not exceed ten thousand (10,000) square feet, whether attached or detached;

2)    Any exterior alteration to a structure, which does not involve the removal of fifty (50%) percent or more of the exterior wall area, and which maintains the same architectural character or theme;

3)    The renewal of use of a structure which has been unused for ninety (90) days prior to the proposed date of renewal of use, and for which a Development Permit or other similar entitlement permit has been issued; and

4)    That at least two (2) years of time have elapsed since a Minor Development Permit has been approved relative to the subject property.

c)    Notwithstanding Sections 92.36.3.a) and 92.36.3.b) above, when approved as a phased project by the Planning Commission within the context of a "master" Development Permit, no subsequent approvals are required.

92.36.4 FILING OF APPLICATION.

a)    Application for a Development Permit may be made by the owner(s) of the property for which the permit is sought, an authorized agent, a purchaser in escrow or a lessee. Whenever the application is made by a person with less than fee simple title to the land, such application must be accompanied by written approval of such filing by the owner of such property.

b)    The application filed with the Planning Director must be accompanied by a fee as provided for in Article 1, Chapter 9 of this Division to cover the costs of any required public notice and the processing of the application.

c)    The fee may be refunded to the applicant, in the manner provided by the Charter and this Code for refund of monies, upon the dedication to the City of more than ten thousand (10,000) square feet of the subject property for the opening or widening of a major or secondary city street as set forth in the Master Plan of Streets and Highways adopted by the City Council.

d)    The application must be filed on a City application form, together with all plans and maps required by the Planning Director, providing sufficient detail to explain the proposed project’s compliance with the established standards and design guidelines contained in this Division and in the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan.

e)    An application for a Development Permit must include plot plans, floor plans and elevations with at least the following details to an approved scale and dimensions:

1)    Dimensions, gross land area, shape and orientation of the parcel, drawn in relationship to the dimensions of the adjacent street(s), public sidewalk(s), driveways and/or street intersections when closer than four hundred (400) feet from one of the subject property lines;

2)    Placement of buildings and structures on the parcel, gross building area, setbacks from property lines, and location of building entrances;

3)    Design of interior traffic circulation, including all existing and proposed driveway approaches, driving lanes, parking areas, loading and service areas;

4)    All pedestrian walkways and open areas;

5)    Types of surfacing for all proposed walkways, parking areas, driveways, driving lanes, and outdoor storage areas;

6)    Placement, height, and direction of illumination of light standards;

7)    A detailed landscaping plan, including location, height, and materials of all proposed and existing walls, fences, and screen planting, and a statement setting forth the method by which such landscaping and fencing shall be preserved and maintained;

8)    Location and method of screening trash and storage areas, roof equipment, pipes, vents, utility equipment, and all other equipment not contained in the main buildings of the development;

9)    Elevations of the project to indicate height and bulk of structures, architectural style and materials of construction;

10)    Location of all signing; and

11)    Such other information which the Planning Commission may require to make the necessary findings that the provisions of this Division and the provisions of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan are being complied with.

f)    An application for a Minor Development Permit must include plot plans, floor plans and elevations, at an approved scale and dimensions, providing sufficient detail and information which the Planning Director may require to make the necessary findings that the provisions of this Division and the provisions of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan are being complied with.

g)    Until the application is deemed to be complete by the Planning Director, no action will be taken or decision made.

92.36.5 HEARING AND NOTICE.

a)    Upon receipt of a complete Development Permit application requirement Planning Commission determination as specified in Section 92.36.3.a), the Planning Director shall:

1)    Set the date, time, and place for a public hearing, and send notice thereof to the owners of land included within a three hundred (300) foot radius within the City boundaries of the exterior boundaries of the land for which the permit is sought as shown on the last equalized assessment roll; and

2)    Publish a notice of such hearing at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within the City not less than ten (10) days before a hearing is to be held.

b)    The Planning Commission may conduct said hearing in an informal manner. The rules of evidence will not apply. The hearing may be adjourned to a future time at the discretion of the Planning Commission without the giving of further notice, other than announcement by the Commission of the date, time and place of such adjourned meeting at the time of said adjournment.

92.36.6 FINAL DETERMINATION AND FINDINGS.

a)    A final determination on an application for a Development Permit shall be made by written resolution by the Planning Commission. A final determination on an application for a Minor Development Permit shall be by written notice by the Planning Director.

b)    The appropriate review authority as identified in Section 92.36.3 may approve, deny and/or modify a Development Permit or Minor Development Permit in whole or in part. The review authority may approve a Development Permit or Minor Development Permit, only if all of the following findings are made:

1)    The proposed development is consistent with the purpose and requirements of the respective land use sub-district, and complies with all of the applicable provisions of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan and with this Planning and Land Use Code;

2)    The proposed development conforms with all applicable design guidelines and design review criteria of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan. Further, the development has been designed to minimize possibly intrusive impacts on residential properties;

3)    The subject site is physically suitable for the type and intensity of development being proposed;

4)    By virtue of a high quality design and construction, the proposed development will positively contribute to the orderly and harmonious development of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor and the general welfare of the City;

5)    The proposed development will enhance the commercial development of the area so as to increase the taxable value of real property and sales tax return to the City, and to maintain the stability and value of the property and of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor as a desirable commercial area;

6)    Traffic impacts have been mitigated, in whole or in part by the design of the on-site circulation system so as to minimize hazard and congestion, to facilitate on-site movements between adjacent properties, and to maximize opportunities for pedestrian and transit connections;

7)    There are adequate provisions for water, sanitation, and public utilities and services to ensure that the proposed development is not detrimental to public health and safety;

8)    The proposed development is consistent with the objectives, policies, general land uses and programs of the Torrance General Plan;

9)    The proposed development would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience or welfare; and

10)    The proposed development meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

c)    If a Development Permit or Minor Development Permit is granted, specific conditions may be imposed by the review authority that it finds are reasonable and necessary to mitigate project-related adverse impacts; to carry out the purpose and requirements of the respective land use sub-district; and to effectuate the purposes of the Hawthorne Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan, the Torrance General Plan and the best interests of the City. Such conditions may relate to both on- and off-site improvements, and may include, but are not limited to:

1)    Avigation easements;

2)    Dedication of land for access purposes;

3)    Payment, in whole or in part, for traffic regulating devices;

4)    Such other conditions as are deemed necessary to effectuate the proper development of the property and surrounding area and insure compliance with the Torrance General Plan.

92.36.7 RIGHT OF APPEAL.

a)    The decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provision of Article 5, Chapter 1, Division 1 of this Code, commencing at Section 11.5.1

b)    The decision of the Planning Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission in the same manner as is provided in Section 92.30.11

92.36.8 DEVELOPMENT PERMIT EXPIRATION.

A Development Permit, once approved, shall be considered to run with the land, notwithstanding changes in ownership or in land use. A Development Permit expires and becomes null and void, when any of the following occur:

a)    If construction has not commenced within one (1) year of Development Permit approval; provided that the Planning Director may grant an extension of the permit for an additional period as provided in Section 92.27.1

b)    If after commencement of construction, work is discontinued for more than one (1) year. Projects may be built in phases if preapproved by the Planning Commission. If a project is built in preapproved phases, each subsequent phase will have one (1) year from the previous phase’s date of construction commencement to the next phase’s date of construction commencement to have occurred;

c)    If after completion of construction, the development project is demolished in its entirety.

92.36.9 REVOCATION.

a)    The Planning Commission may hold a public hearing to revoke or modify a Development Permit granted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter. Ten (10) days prior to the hearing, notice shall be delivered in writing to the applicant and/or owner of the property for which such Development Permit was granted. Notice will be deemed delivered two (2) days after being mailed, first class postage paid, to the owner as shown on the current tax rolls of the County of Los Angeles, and/or the project applicant, or upon delivery by telephone facsimile.

b)    A Development Permit may be revoked or modified by the Planning Commission if any of the following findings can be made:

1)    That the circumstances under which a Development Permit as granted have changes so that one (1) or more of the findings of fact contained in Section 92.36.6 "FINDINGS" no longer apply;

2)    That the Development Permit was obtained by misrepresentation or fraud;

3)    That one (1) or more of the conditions of the Development Permit have not been met; or

4)    That the development is in violation of any statute, ordinance, law, or regulation.

92.36.10 NUISANCES.

Neither the provisions of this Chapter nor the granting of any permit provided for herein shall authorize or legalize the maintenance of any public or private nuisance. The conditions under which a Development Permit was approved may be modified without the consent of the property owner or operator if the Planning Commission finds that the development constitutes or is creating a nuisance.

ARTICLE 37 - LARGE FAMILY DAY CARE PERMITS

(Added by O-3453)

92.37.1 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Article is to establish standards and requirements for allowing quality, licensed family day care within a traditional home setting and to ensure that large family day care in a residential district does not adversely impact the adjacent neighborhood. Licensed family day care is an essential community service, however it must be balanced with the peace, safety and general welfare of surrounding residents. Large family day care homes are allowed in all residential zones subject to a large family day care permit, a State license and compliance with all the requirements of this Article.

92.37.2 PERMISSIBLE USE.

A large family day care home for which a valid Large Family Day Care Permit has been issued is permitted within a detached single-family dwelling in all zones within the City that permit detached single- family dwellings.

92.37.3 APPLICABILITY.

A large family day care permit is required for any family day care home for seven (7) to fourteen (14) children, inclusive, conducted in the provider’s own residence including children under the age of ten (10) years who reside in the single-family residence.

92.37.4 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.

An application for a large family day care permit will be filed with the Planning Director on a form provided by the Planning Director with the fee as set forth in Chapter 9, Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code. The form must be fully completed and executed and returned along with the required supplemental information to the Planning Department. The supplemental information must include the following:

a)    Proof of State licensing to operate a large family day care from the State Department of Social Services;

b)    In the event the applicant is not the owner of the property, written proof that the applicant has provided thirty (30) days’ written notice to the landlord or owner of the property to the commencement of the large family day care as required in Health and Safety Code Section 1597.40(d);

c)    Plot plan to scale indicating location of proposed child play area, child play structures, location and dimension of wall or fence enclosing the proposed play area (including description of wall or fence materials), and required parking and passenger loading/unloading spaces.

92.37.5 STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS.

It is the intent and design of this Article that large family day care homes be considered a residential use of property and therefore not alter either the residential character or the appearance of the residence or the neighborhood in which the residence is located. To that end, large family day care homes must be conducted in accordance with the following requirements and conditions:

a)    The large family day care home must be operated in a single-family residence located in a zoning district that permits single-family residences.

b)    The large family day care home must comply with all required development standards for the zoning district in which it is located.

c)    The large family day care home is the principal residence of the applicant.

d)    The large family day care home must comply with all state and local health and safety standards.

e)    The large family day care home must comply with all State Fire Marshall regulations as set forth in Health and Safety Code Section 1597.46 and the applicable provisions of the California Code of Regulations.

f)    If the large family day care home is to be conducted in a rental unit, the applicant must demonstrate compliance with Health and Safety Code Section 1597.40(d).

g)    Licensing.

1)    The applicant has obtained a license to operate a large family day care home from the State Department of Social Services;

2)    The applicant/operator of the large family day care home must obtain and maintain a current business license from the City.

h)    Off-Street Parking.

1)    In addition to the parking otherwise required for a single-family residence, one (1) paved parking space must be provided for each non-resident employee, non-resident aide and any other non-resident person engaged in the operation of the large family day care home.

2)    Such spaces will not be located in the front yard setback areas, except that the driveway area may be used for parking area as long as it does not conflict with any required child drop-off or pick-up area and does not block the public sidewalk or right-of-way. Tandem or side by side parking in the driveway is acceptable.

i)    Passenger Loading/Unloading.

1)    The large family day care home must provide a minimum of one (1) off-street parking space for loading and unloading to avoid interference with traffic and to promote the safety of the children.

2)    The driveway area may be used provided that no public sidewalk or right-of-way is blocked. Tandem or side by side parking in the driveway is acceptable. Double parking must not be utilized at any time.

j)    Noise.

1)    In order to reduce noise impacts from the operation of a large family day care home, all open space areas used for child play purposes must be located within the rear yard of the property and must be enclosed with a six (6) foot solid wall or fence (chain link fencing is not permitted) which conforms to the requirements of Chapter 2, Article 13, Section 92.13.1

2)    Play structures should be located away from adjacent residential uses;

3)    In addition, the operation of the large family day care home must comply with Article 7, General Noise Regulations, of Division 4, Chapter 6 of the Torrance Municipal Code.

k)    Spacing and Concentration. A large family day care home must not be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of another large family day care home (measured from the property line). An existing large family day care home nonconforming with regard to this separation requirement will not be subject to amortization and elimination.

92.37.6 PERMIT ISSUANCE.

If all requirements of this Article are satisfied, the Planning Director must issue a large family day care permit within ten (10) days of the filing of the application. If a permit is not issued, the Planning Director will notify the applicant in writing. The notice will set forth the Planning Director’s reasons for denial and the procedures for an appeal of the Planning Director’s determination.

92.37.7 APPEAL PROCESS.

Pursuant to Section 92.30.11 of Article 30, Chapter 2 of Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code, the determination of the Planning Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission by the proponent or any person who may be damaged by the said determination. Such appeal will be made in writing to the Planning Commission within fifteen (15) days of the determination of the Planning Director. Notice of the time and place of the appeal hearing will be made to the proponent and any person appealing.

The determination of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Section 11.5.1 of Article 5 of Chapter 1 of Division 1 of the Torrance Municipal Code.

92.37.8 REVOCATION.

The Planning Director may revoke a large family day care permit upon notice and hearing for any violation of this Article.

ARTICLE 38 - VACANT BUILDING AND LOT MAINTENANCE AND REGISTRATION

(Added by O-3483)

92.38.1 DEFINITIONS.

"Administrator" means the Administrator of the Environmental Division.

"Owner" means the person owning the property as shown on the last equalized tax assessment roll maintained in the L.A. County Assessor’s Office.

"Public nuisance" means any act or condition which poses a danger to health or safety or is offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, or any of the prohibited activities or conditions as set forth in the property maintenance and nuisance abatement ordinance.

"Visual blight" means any unreasonable or unlawful condition or use of premises or of building exteriors which by reason of its appearance, as viewed at ground level from public streets or neighboring premises, is detrimental to the property of others, or conditions which violate the property maintenance and nuisance abatement ordinance, or conditions which violate Section 92.38.4(e), (f) or (g) of this Chapter.

92.38.2 PURPOSE.

The purposes of this chapter are to abate nuisances, and implement a vacant building/lot maintenance plan aimed at minimizing the period of time a building is in a blighted condition, and to hasten abatement of nuisances on vacant lots.

92.38.3 RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENFORCEMENT.

The administrator shall have responsibility for administration and enforcement of this Chapter. In the event a property owner fails, neglects or refuses to abate the nuisance conditions as ordered by the administrator or the Torrance Environmental Quality Commission, the administrator may cause the same to be abated by City employees or by private contract. The costs shall then be billed to the owner and shall become due and payable thirty (30) days thereafter.

92.38.4 VIOLATION.

It is unlawful and a misdemeanor for an owner to do any of the following:

a)    Maintain any vacant lot or building in a blighted condition in violation of the property maintenance and nuisance abatement ordinance and this section;

b)    Fail to register a vacant lot or building with the environmental division after receiving two notices of violation in a twelve (12) month period;

c)    Fail to submit a property maintenance plan within ten (10) days after receiving a second notice of violation within a twelve (12) month period;

d)    Fail to comply with an approved vacant building or lot plan or approved modification thereto;

e)    Permit the exterior of a building to be in a state of partial construction beyond the expiration date in a building permit;

f)    Partially demolish a building; and

g)    Permit fifty (50) percent of a vacant building’s painted surface or stucco to be in a state of peeling, cracking or deterioration after notification by the City.

92.38.5 APPEAL RIGHTS.

The owner shall have the right to file an appeal of the notice of violation and public nuisance and costs assessed by the City in abating the nuisance. Appeal shall be filed with the Torrance Environmental Quality Commission within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice or confirmed costs. The decision of the commission regarding costs shall be final. The property owner shall be notified that judicial review of the commission decision is available under the provisions of the California Code of Civil Procedure.

92.38.6 NOTIFICATION OF OWNER.

a)    The administrator of the Environmental Division shall send the owner a notice of violation and public nuisance by first-class mail, return receipt requested, notifying the owner that the building or lot has received a notice of violation and/or citation twice within a twelve (12) month period and must be registered and a vacant building or lot plan submitted to the City. The nature of the public nuisance shall be specified in the notice. The notice shall also be posted on the property.

b)    The owner shall have thirty (30) days to register the property and submit a maintenance plan. If the owner fails to register the property and submit a maintenance plan, the administrator shall place the property on the registry and prepare a maintenance plan. City staff will maintain the property with the costs to be paid by the owner.

92.38.7 CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP.

If ownership of a vacant building changes during a registration period, the plan shall remain in effect until the new owner has filed a new registration with the City. The new registration shall be in the same form as the original registration and the fee shall be waived for the registration period when the transfer occurred.

92.38.8 REQUIRED INFORMATION.

The owner registering a vacant building shall supply to the City the following information in a written document within thirty (30) days of receiving the second notice of violation:

a)    Name, address and telephone number of owner.

b)    Name, address, and telephone number of any local agent or representative.

c)    Name, address, and telephone number of all persons with any legal interest in the property, building, and premises.

d)    The street address of the building/lot.

e)    The date on which the building or lot became vacant.

f)    A vacant lot or building plan and a diagram of the property.

92.38.9 VACANT BUILDING PLAN.

The vacant building plan shall contain the following:

a)    A time schedule and plan of action to repair any doors, windows, or other openings which are boarded-up or otherwise secured by any means other than conventional methods used in the design of the building or permitted for new construction of similar type. The proposed repair shall result in openings secured by conventional methods used in the design of the building or by methods permitted for new construction of similar type. This portion of the plan shall be reviewed by the Environmental Division to ensure compliance with applicable property maintenance and zoning ordinances.

b)    A time schedule and plan for regular maintenance of the yard area surrounding the building, including the designation and telephone number of the party or company responsible for maintenance.

c)    A time schedule and plan of action to keep the exterior surfaces of any structures well maintained and free of graffiti.

d)    A time schedule and plan of action to remedy other public nuisances if such are present on the property.

e)    If the owner proposes to demolish the vacant building, the plan shall include a time schedule for demolition of the building.

f)    An action plan for maintaining the building and keeping it free of trespassers.

g)    Long-term plan for use of building or lot.

92.38.10 APPROVAL OF PLAN; MODIFICATION; APPEAL.

a)    The administrator may approve proposed vacant building plans in that official’s discretion and in accordance with the standards outlined in Section 92.38.11. If the plan is approved, notice shall be sent to the owner or agent of the vacant building.

b)    After notice to the owner, the administrator shall have the right to modify the vacant building plan by altering the dates of performance or the proposed methods of action.

c)    The owner may appeal the modification to the Environmental Quality Commission for a final determination. Such appeal must be filed within ten (10) days of receipt of the administrator’s notice of modification. The owner may request a hearing or make written objections to be considered with the rest of the administrative record.

d)    The decision of the commission shall be forwarded to the owner or agent of the vacant building within five (5) working days after its adoption.

92.38.11 STANDARDS OF APPROVAL.

In considering the appropriateness of a vacant lot or building plan, the administrator shall consider the following:

a)    The intent of the City Council to minimize the period of time a vacant building or lot creates visual blight in the community.

b)    The effect of the proposed plan on adjoining property.

c)    The financial condition of the owner.

d)    The cost to implement the proposed plan.

e)    The length of time the building has been vacant.

f)    The presence of any public nuisances on the property.

g)    The relative hardship on or gain to the public as contrasted with the hardship or gain to the owner resulting from approval or modification of the proposed plan.

92.38.12 REMOVAL OF PROPERTY FROM REGISTRY.

a)    If the building or lot is vacant at the expiration of any registration period and the requirements of the vacant building or lot plan are completed, the property shall be deleted from the city’s registry of vacant lots and buildings subject to this Chapter.

b)    The administrator shall remove property from the registry when the owner obtains a certificate of code compliance occupancy which evidences that there are no health, safety, building or zoning violations present.

92.38.13 FEES.

a)    A fee established by resolution of the City Council to defray the cost of administering this Article shall accompany the vacant building or lot registration plan submitted to the administrator.

b)    Registration of a vacant lot or building shall be valid for a period of twelve (12) months. If the building or lot is vacant at the expiration of any registration period and requirements of the vacant building plan are not completed, then the owner shall re-register such building and pay an additional fee.

92.38.14 SPECIAL ASSESSMENT.

If the property owner fails to pay abatement costs within thirty (30) days of receipt of a City invoice, the following procedure shall be followed:

a)    The City shall keep an itemized report of the expenses involved in abating the nuisance, i.e., the work performed, the cost of the work, including any salvage value and incidental expenses, any administrative costs incurred, a description of the real property upon which the nuisance was located, and the names and addresses of the person entitled to notice under this Chapter. The City shall post conspicuously on the property and shall also mail to the owner of the property a copy of the report of the expenses of the abatement, together with a notice of time and place when the statement will be reviewed and confirmed by the environmental quality commission.

b)    If the owner does not pay the expenses of abating the nuisance within thirty (30) days after the time set for reviewing and confirming the statement before the commission, the cost shall become a special assessment against the real property upon which the nuisance was abated.

c)    The total cost for abating the nuisance shall constitute a special assessment against the respective lot or parcel of land to which it relates, and upon recordation with the L. A. County recorder of a notice of lien, shall constitute a lien on said property for the amount of such assessment. After such recordation, a certified copy of the report confirmed by the commission decision shall be filed with the L.A. County tax collector on or before August 15th of each year, whereupon it shall be the duty of said tax collector to add the amounts of the respective assessments to the next regular tax bills levied against said respective lots and parcels of land for municipal purposes and thereafter said amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of municipal taxes shall be applicable to such special assessment.

92.38.15 ALTERNATIVE ENFORCEMENT OPTIONS.

The maintenance and registration of a vacant building or lot shall not preclude summary abatement of a public nuisance by the City, or an action to demolish or force rehabilitation of the building pursuant to other provisions in the municipal code or available under other laws.

ARTICLE 39 - WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITIES

(Added by O-3561)

92.39.010 PURPOSE AND INTENT.

a)    Purpose. The purpose of this Article is to provide for wireless telecommunication ("telecom") facilities on public and private property consistent with federal law while ensuring public safety, reducing the visual effects of telecom equipment on public streetscapes, protecting scenic views, and otherwise mitigating the impacts of such facilities. More specifically, the regulations contained herein are intended to:

1)    Encourage the location of antennas in non-residential areas.

2)    Strongly encourage co-location at new and existing antenna sites.

3)    Encourage telecom facilities to be located in areas where adverse impacts on the community and on public views are minimized.

b)    The provisions of this Article are not intended and shall not be interpreted to prohibit or to have the effect of prohibiting telecom services. This Article shall not be applied in such a manner as to unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent telecom services.

92.39.020 GENERAL PROVISIONS.

a)    Applicability. These regulations are applicable to telecom facilities providing voice and/or data transmission such as, but not limited to, mobile telephone services, fixed microwave services, and mobile data services.

b)    Exempt Facilities. Amateur radio and receiving satellite dish antennas regulated by Section 92.2.8 are exempt from the provisions of this Article.

c)    Permit Required. A permit shall be required for all telecom facilities regulated by this Article in accordance with Section 92.39.060

d)    Other Regulations. All telecom facilities within the City shall comply with the provisions of this Article and the following requirements:

1)    Conditions in any permit or license issued by a local, state, or federal agency which has jurisdiction over the telecom facility.

2)    Rules, regulations, and standards of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

3)    Easements, covenants, conditions, or restrictions on the underlying real property.

4)    The California Building Code, California Fire Code and portions of the Uniform Fire Code, California Mechanical Code, and California Electrical Code, as amended by state or local law or regulation.

e)    Regulations not in Conflict or Preempted. All telecom facilities within the City shall comply with the following requirements unless in conflict with or preempted by the provisions of this Article:

1)    Design guidelines or standards in any applicable specific plan within the Torrance Zoning Code (Division 9).

2)    Requirements established by any other provision of the Municipal Code or by any other ordinance or regulation of the City.

f)    Setbacks. Setbacks shall be measured from the part of the telecom facility closest to the applicable lot line or structure.

g)    Maintenance. The telecom operator shall maintain the telecom facility in a manner consistent with the original approval of the facility.

h)    Non-Conformities. A proposed telecom facility shall not create any new or increased non-conformities as defined in the Zoning Code, such as, but not limited to, a reduction in and/or elimination of, parking, landscaping, or loading zones.

92.39.030 DEFINITIONS.

For the purposes of this Article, certain terms shall have meanings as follows:

a)    Antenna means a device used to transmit and/or receive radio or electromagnetic waves between earth- and/or satellite-based systems, such as reflecting discs, panels, microwave dishes, whip antennas, antennas, arrays, or other similar devices.

b)    Antenna Array shall mean antennas having active elements extending in more than one direction, and directional antennas mounted upon and rotated through a vertical mast or tower interconnecting the beam and antenna support, all of which elements are deemed to be part of the antenna.

c)    City means the City of Torrance.

d)    City Council or Council means the City Council of the City of Torrance.

e)    City Property means all real property and improvements owned, operated or controlled by City, other than public right of way, within the City’s jurisdiction. City Property includes, but is not limited to City Hall, Police and Fire facilities, and City-owned recreational facilities, parks, libraries, streetlights and traffic lights.

f)    Co-location means an arrangement whereby multiple telecom facilities owned or operated by different telecom operators share the same structure or site.

g)    Community Development Director means the Community Development Director of the City or his or her designee.

h)    FCC means the Federal Communications Commission.

i)    Feasible means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account environmental, physical, legal, and technological factors.

j)    Lattice Tower means an open framework structure used to support antennas, typically with three or four support legs.

k)    Monopole means a single free-standing pole used to act as or support a telecom antenna or antenna arrays.

l)    Operator or Telecom Operator means any person, firm, corporation, company, or other entity that directly or indirectly owns, leases, runs, manages, or otherwise controls a telecom facility or facilities within the City.

m)    Public Right of Way or ("PROW") means any public way, or rights-of-way, now laid out or dedicated, and the space on, above or below it, and all extensions thereof and additions thereto, owned, operated and/or controlled by the City or subject to an easement owned by City. PROW includes public streets, roads, lanes, alleys, sidewalks, medians, parkways and landscaped lots.

n)    Public Works Director means the Public Works Director of the City or his or her designee.

o)    Residential District means the R-1, R-2, R-3, R-R-3, R-4, R-5, R-P, RTH, and R-H Zoning Districts.

p)    Residential Lot means a lot containing, or zoned for, one or more dwelling units in the Residential Districts.

q)    Reviewing Authority means the person or body authorized under the provisions of this Article to review and act upon a telecom application, i.e., the Community Development Director, the Telecommunications Committee, the Planning Commission, or the City Council.

r)    Stealth or Stealth Facility means a telecom facility in which the antenna, and sometimes the support equipment, are hidden from view in a false tree, monument, cupola, or other concealing structure which either mimics, or which also serves as, a natural or architectural feature. Concealing structures which are obviously not such a natural or architectural feature to the average observer do not qualify within this definition.

s)    Support Equipment means the physical, electrical and/or electronic equipment included within a telecom facility used to house, power, and/or process signals from or to the facility’s antenna or antennas.

t)    Telecommunications Committee means the Torrance Telecommunications Committee, created by Article 19 of Division 1, Chapter 3

u)    Telecommunication(s) Facility, Telecom Facility, Wireless Telecommunications Facility, or simply Facility means an installation that sends and/or receives wireless radio frequency signals or electromagnetic waves, including but not limited to directional, omni-directional and parabolic antennas, structures or towers to support receiving and/or transmitting devices, supporting equipment and structures, and the land or structure on which they are all situated. The term does not include mobile transmitting devices, such as vehicle or hand held radios/telephones and their associated transmitting antennas.

v)    Division 9 or Zoning Code means Division 9 of the Torrance Municipal Code.

w)    Utility Tower shall mean an open framework structure or steel pole used to support electric transmission facilities.

x)    Zoning District or District means an area of the City designated on the "City of Torrance - Official Land Use Plan" and subject to a uniform set of permitted land uses and development standards.

92.39.040 HEIGHT AND LOCATION AND AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY.

a)    Height.

1)    Maximum Height. No antenna or other telecom equipment or screening structure shall extend higher than the following maximum height limits:

A)    Thirty five (35) feet for antennas on streetlights, traffic control standards, utility distribution poles, or other similar structures within the public right-of-way. Antennas may be placed on existing utility poles that exceed thirty five (35) feet, where the purpose of the existing utility pole is to carry electricity, provided that the top of the antenna does not exceed the top of the pole.

B)    For all other telecom facilities, the maximum height of antennas shall be the upper maximum building height allowed in the zoning district as specified in the Zoning Code.

2)    Over-Height Antennas. The Telecommunications Committee may approve antennas up to fifteen (15) feet above the preceding maximum building height limitations under the special review provisions of Section 92.39.060 of this Article.

3)    "Stealth" Telecommunication Installations within Structures. Stealth facilities may be installed within structures that are permitted to exceed the above stated height limits, either by right or by Conditional Use Permit.

b)    Location.

1)    Location Categories and Location Priorities. Locations for telecom facilities shall be selected according to the following priority order:

A)    Wall, roof, or existing co-location structure or site;

B)    Existing pole, light standard, or utility tower;

C)    Commercial sign or architectural feature;

D)    New or existing "stealth" structure other than a false tree;

E)    New false tree;

F)    New "Slim Jim" monopole (i.e. with no antenna elements other than the pole itself);

G)    New standard monopole with attached antenna elements;

H)    New lattice tower.

2)    Special Requirements. Proposals for telecom facilities at location categories "e" through "h" in Section 92.39.040(B)(1) shall require special review by the Telecommunications Committee under the provisions of Section 92.39.060(H) of this Article. In such cases, the applicant shall be required to show to the satisfaction of the Telecommunications Committee that:

A)    Higher priority locations are either not available or are not feasible;

B)    Establishment of a facility on a new false tree, new "slim jim" monopole, new standard monopole, or lattice tower is necessary to provide service; and

C)    Lack of such a facility would result in a prohibition of service.

At its discretion, the City may engage an outside technical consultant to verify the information used to support the applicant’s showing pursuant to subparagraphs "a," "b," and "c" above. Fees for said outside consultant shall be paid by the applicant.

3)    Other Locations Requiring Special Approval. Telecom facilities are prohibited in the following locations unless given special approval by the Telecommunications Committee under the provisions of Section 92.39.060(H), after a finding that the applicant has demonstrated that (i) other locations that do not require special approval under this Section 92.39.040(B) are either not available or not feasible, (ii) establishment of the facility at the requested location is necessary to provide service, and (iii) lack of such a facility would result in a prohibition of service:

A)    On common area lots, other non-residential lots, and public right of way within residential districts.

B)    Within any required setback established in the Zoning Code.

C)    On multifamily structures on lots zoned MFR.

D)    On public right of way where any portion of the proposed telecom facility lies adjacent to the property line of a residential structure on a lot zoned MFR.

4)    Prohibited Locations. Telecom facilities are prohibited in the following locations:

A)    On residential lots.

B)    In the Open Area - Planting - Parking (P-1) Zoning District, unless facilities are co-located on an existing utility tower within a utility easement area.

c)    Available Technology. All telecom facilities approved under this Article shall utilize the most efficient and diminutive available technology in order to minimize the number of facilities and reduce their visual impact.

d)    Co-Location Requirements.

1)    Co-Location Required. To limit the adverse visual effects of a proliferation of telecom sites in the City, a new telecom facility proposed within one thousand (1000) feet of an existing facility shall be required to co-locate on the same site as the existing facility unless the reviewing authority determines, based on evidence submitted by the applicant, that such co-location is not feasible.

2)    Co-Location Limitations. No more than three telecom facilities may co-locate at a single site unless the reviewing authority finds that:

A)    The net visual effect of locating an additional facility at a co-location site will be less than establishing a new location; or

B)    Based on evidence submitted by the applicant, there is no available feasible alternate location for a proposed new facility.

3)    Condition Requiring Future Co-Location. In approving a telecom facility, the reviewing authority may impose a condition of approval allowing future co-location of telecom facilities by other carriers at the same site.

92.39.050 DESIGN STANDARDS.

a)    General Criteria. In addition to the other design standards of this Section, the following criteria shall be considered by the reviewing authority in connection with its processing of any telecom permit.

1)    Blending. The extent to which the proposed facility blends into the surrounding environment or is architecturally integrated into a structure.

2)    Screening. The extent to which the proposed facility is concealed, screened or camouflaged by existing or proposed new topography, vegetation, buildings, or other structures.

3)    Size. The total size of the proposed facility, particularly in relation to surrounding and supporting structures.

b)    Free-Standing Antennas. Antennas and any poles or other structures erected to support antennas shall be visually compatible with surrounding buildings and vegetation. The reviewing authority may require that the antenna be colored to blend into the sky or other background.

c)    Roof-Mounted Antennas. Roof-mounted antennas, except whip antennas, shall be blended or screened from public view in a manner consistent with the building’s architectural style, color and materials including, if determined necessary by the reviewing authority, screening to avoid adverse impacts to views from land or buildings at higher elevations.

d)    Wall-Mounted Antennas. Wall-mounted antennas shall be painted to match the color of the wall on which they are mounted. Cables and mounting brackets shall be hidden. Shrouds may be required by the reviewing authority to screen wall-mounted antennas.

e)    Support Equipment.

1)    Building-Mounted Installations. For building-mounted installations, support equipment for the facility shall be placed within the building. If the reviewing authority determines that such in-building placement is not feasible, the equipment shall be roof-mounted in an enclosure or shall otherwise be screened from public view in a manner approved by the reviewing authority. Roof-mounted equipment shall comply with the height limits applicable to the building per the Zoning Code. All screening used in connection with a building-mounted facility shall be compatible with the architecture, color, texture and materials of the building to which it is mounted.

2)    Ground-Mounted Installations. For ground-mounted installations, support equipment shall be screened in a security enclosure approved by the reviewing authority. Such screened security enclosures may utilize graffiti-resistant and climb-resistant vinyl-clad chain link with a "closed-mesh" design (i.e. one-inch gaps) or may consist of an alternate enclosure design approved by the reviewing authority. In general, the screening enclosure shall be made of non-reflective material and painted or camouflaged to blend with surrounding materials and colors. Buffer landscaping may also be required if the reviewing authority determines that additional screening is necessary due to the location of the site and that irrigation water is available.

3)    Installations in Public Right-of-Way. Telecom Facilities and or support equipment proposed to be located in the public right-of-way shall comply with the provisions of the Torrance Municipal Code. In addition, ground-mounted equipment in the public right-of-way shall comply with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

f)    Night Lighting. Telecom facilities shall not be lighted except (i) for security lighting at the lowest intensity necessary for that purpose (ii) as necessary for the illumination of the flag of the United States, the flag of the State of California, or other similar flags, when such flag(s) are attached to the telecom facility. Such lighting shall be shielded so that direct rays do not shine on nearby properties. The reviewing authority shall consult with the Police Department regarding proposed security lighting for telecom facilities on a case-by-case basis.

g)    Signs and Advertising. No advertising signage or identifying logos shall be displayed on any telecom facility except for small identification, address, warning, and similar information plates. Such information plates shall be identified in the telecom application and shall be subject to approval by the reviewing authority.

92.39.060 PERMIT REVIEW PROCEDURES.

a)    Reviewing Authority. Except as provided in Section 92.39.040(B), and 92.39.060(H), all applicants for telecom facilities shall apply for a permit from the Community Development Director as follows:

1)    Private Property, Public Rights of Way, or City-Owned Property. Facilities on private property, within the public right of way, or on City-owned property shall be reviewed by the Community Development Director as a "Telecom Permit".

2)    Referral to Telecommunications Committee. The Community Development Director may refer any application to the Telecommunications Committee for special review under the procedures set out in Paragraph H of this Section.

b)    Submission Requirements. Except as required by the Community Development Director, applications for telecom facilities shall be accompanied by the following documentation in a form and containing information acceptable to the reviewing authority:

1)    Plans. Site Plans and Elevations drawn to scale.

2)    Justification. A brief narrative, accompanied by written documentation where appropriate, which explains the purpose of the facility and validates the applicant’s efforts to comply with the design, location, and co-location standards of this Article.

3)    Maps. A map or maps showing the geographic area to be served by the facility. In order to facilitate planning and gauge the need for future telecom facilities, the reviewing department director may also require the operator to submit a comprehensive plan of the operator’s existing and future facilities that are or may be placed within the city limits of Torrance.

4)    Visual Simulations. Visual simulations showing "before" and "after" views of the proposed facility, unless the reviewing department director determines that such simulations are not necessary for the application in question. Consideration shall be given to views from both public areas and private residences.

5)    Emission Standards and Non-Interference Data. Documentation showing the specific frequency range that the facility will use upon and throughout activation, certification that the facility will continuously comply with FCC emissions standards, and that use of the telecom facility will not interfere with other communication, radio, or television transmission or reception.

6)    Property Ownership. Evidence of ownership of the real property on which the proposed telecom facility will be located, or if the applicant does not own the real property, the name and mailing address of the real property owner(s), and evidence of authorization from the real property owner to place the facility on the property.

7)    Wind Load Calculations. For proposed antenna installations on new monopoles, utility poles, or other structures subject to wind loads, the applicant shall submit wind load calculations prepared or approved by an engineer registered in California. The wind load calculations shall show, to the satisfaction of the reviewing authority, that the resulting installation will be safe and secure under wind load conditions. The calculations shall take into account other existing attachments to the supporting structure and potential future antennas co-located on the structure by other operators. Alternately, the applicant may, with the consent of the Community Development Director, submit a certification and representation to the City that its facility has been designed and will be constructed in a manner consistent with General Order 95 of the California Public Utilities Commission. The applicant may elect to defer presentation of this Wind Load Calculation submission requirement until after it has obtained an approval to locate at a specific site, but must satisfy this Wind Load Calculation submission requirement prior to the commencement of construction of a proposed Facility.

8)    Supporting Materials. Additional supporting materials as deemed necessary by the reviewing department director to complete review of the proposal. Supporting materials may include, but are not limited to, color and material sample boards, proposed informational signage, and landscaping plans.

9)    Fee. Applications shall be accompanied by a fee established by resolution of the City Council to defray all estimated costs and expenses incidental to review and processing of the application, including any expense incurred by the Communications and Information Technology Department or for any outside technical or legal services to review the application. This fee shall be in addition to other fees required by the Municipal Code.

c)    Review Process for Proposals on City Property. Review of telecom applications for facilities on City property shall be as follows:

1)    Filing. Applications shall be submitted to the Community Development Director for facilities on City property and shall undergo initial staff review for compliance with the provisions of this Article. Within thirty (30) days of filing, the Community Development Director shall notify the applicant in writing whether the application is complete. If an application is determined to be not complete, the notification shall identify those parts of the application which are incomplete and shall indicate the manner in which they can be made complete.

2)    City Communications Review. At the same time as the Applicant submits an application to the Community Development Director, the Applicant shall submit the Plans, Map, and Emission Standards and Non-Interference Data (parts 1, 3, and 5 of the Submission Requirements) to the Communications and Information Technology Department. The Communications and Information Technology Department or its designee shall review the plan’s potential conflict with City communications facilities (including, but not limited to, emergency communications facilities). The review may include a pre-installation test of the facility to determine if any interference exists. If the Communications and Information Technology Department determines that the proposal has a high probability that its facilities will interfere with City communications devices, the applicant shall be given the opportunity to modify the proposal, to avoid interference. If the proposal is not modified, the reviewing department director shall deny the proposal.

3)    Community Development Director’s Action. Within thirty (30) days of the determination that the application is complete, the Community Development Director shall take action on the application based on the following criteria:

A)    If the Community Development Director determines that the facility conforms to the technology height, location and design standards of Sections 92.39.040 and 92.39.050 of this Article, he or she shall approve the application with or without conditions of approval.

B)    If the Community Development Director determines that the facility does not conform to one or more standards, he or she shall inform the applicant of the discrepancy and give the applicant the option of amending the application to eliminate the discrepancy. If the discrepancy is not eliminated, the Community Development Director shall deny the application.

C)    If the Community Development Director determines that conformity to standards are in doubt, he or she shall refer the application to the Telecommunications Committee for Special Review under the procedures set out in Paragraph G of this Section.

4)    Applicant Notification. After action on the application, the Community Development Director shall cause the applicant to be notified in writing within five (5) business days of the decision. The applicant or any member of the public may appeal decisions by the Community Development Director in accordance with Paragraph E of this Section.

5)    City Manager Action. When a permit for a telecom facility on City-owned property or facilities is approved, the Community Development Director shall forward the permit to the City Manager, who shall prepare and execute an Agreement based upon a term and rental amount adopted under City Council policy.

6)    City Council Action. Where applicable (including proposals to site facilities in Location Categories in Section 92.39.040(B)(1)(e-h), and 92.39.040(B)(3)), the City Manager shall forward the agreement and final telecom permit to the City Council for final approval. The City Council may approve, approve subject to modifications, or deny the agreement and telecom permit. The City Council retains the right to refuse approval of an agreement at any time and for any reason. Should the City Council deny the agreement, the agreement and permit shall not be executed.

7)    Notification to Applicant. The City Clerk shall notify the applicant in writing within five business days of the City Council’s decision.

d)    Review Process for Private Property and Public Right of Way. Review of telecom applications for facilities on private property and public right of way shall be as follows:

1)    Filing. Applications shall be submitted to the Community Development Director and shall undergo initial staff review for compliance with the provisions of this Article. Within 30 days of filing, the Community Development Director shall cause the applicant to be notified in writing whether the application is complete. If an application is determined to be not complete, the notification shall identify those parts of the application which are incomplete and shall indicate the manner in which they can be made complete.

2)    City Communications Review. At the same time as the Applicant submits an application to the Community Development Director, the Applicant shall submit the Plans, Map, and Emission Standards and Non-Interference Data (parts 1, 3, and 5 of the Submission Requirements) to the Communications and Information Technology Department. The Communications and Information Technology Department or its designee shall review the plan’s potential conflict with City communications facilities (including, but not limited to, emergency communications facilities). The review may include a pre-installation test of the facility to determine if any interference exists. If the Communications and Information Technology Department determines that the proposal has a high probability that its facilities will interfere with City communications devices, the applicant shall be given the opportunity to modify the proposal, to avoid interference. If the proposal is not modified, the reviewing department director shall deny the proposal.

3)    Director’s Action. Within 30 days after the determination that the application is complete, the Community Development Director shall approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny the telecom permit under the same procedures and criteria as set out in Paragraph C of this Section. The Community Development Director shall then cause the applicant to be notified in writing within five business days of the decision. The applicant or any member of the public may appeal decisions by the Community Development Director in accordance with Paragraph E of this Section.

e)    Appeals to Telecommunications Committee. Within 15 days of the date of written notification of action by the Community Development Director, the applicant or any member of the public may appeal the Community Development Director’s determination to the Telecommunications Committee. The Telecommunications Committee shall hear all appeals within 30 days of filing of the appeal. The Telecommunications Committee shall then cause the applicant to be notified in writing within five business days of the decision. If the Telecommunications Committee denies the application, it shall adopt a Resolution setting forth the reasons for denial. The applicant or any member of the public may appeal decisions of the Telecommunications Committee in accordance with Paragraph F of this Section.

f)    Appeals to Planning Commission. Within 15 days of the date of written notification of action by the Telecommunications Committee, the applicant or any member of the public may appeal the Telecommunications Committee’s determination to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall hear all appeals within 30 days of filing of the appeal. The Planning Commission shall then cause the applicant to be notified in writing within five business days of the decision. If the Planning Commission denies the application, it shall adopt a Resolution setting forth the reasons for denial. The applicant or any member of the public may appeal decisions of the Planning Commission in accordance with Paragraph G of this Section.

g)    Appeals to City Council. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of written notification of action by the Planning Commission, the applicant may appeal the Planning Commission’s determination to the City Council. The City Council shall hear all appeals within thirty (30) days of filing of the appeal. The City Council’s action on appeals shall be final. If the final action is denial, the City Council shall adopt a Resolution setting forth the reasons for the denial.

h)    Special Review by Telecommunications Committee. Because of their potential for greater-than-usual visual or other impacts on nearby property owners, residents, and businesses, applications for the telecom facilities identified below shall require special review by the Telecommunications Committee.

1)    Applicability. Proposals requiring special review include the following:

A)    Telecom antennas up to 15 feet above the upper maximum height limit as provided in Section 92.39.040(A).

B)    Telecom facilities at locations identified as requiring special review in Section 92.39.040(B).

C)    Any telecom application which the Community Development Director determines requires special review in order to serve the public interest.

2)    Special Review Procedures. Applications subject to special review shall be reviewed under the following procedures:

A)    Notification describing the proposal and the date and time of Telecommunications Committee review shall be mailed at least 10 days in advance of the Telecommunications Committee review date to property owners of record within 300 feet of the proposed location of the telecom facility. However, such notification shall not constitute a public hearing notice and non-receipt of such notification shall in no way nullify any approval or denial of a telecom facility.

B)    No formal public hearing shall be required in conjunction with review of a proposed telecom facility. However, the Telecommunications Committee shall hear and consider comments from the public during its review of the application.

3)    Telecommunications Committee Action. The Telecommunications Committee shall take action on the telecom permit within 30 days after the determination that the application is complete. Applications subject to special review may be approved by the Telecommunications Committee if it makes the following findings:

A)    The approval is necessary to allow the facility to function as intended and identified alternatives to the proposal are not feasible.

B)    The approved facility will not result in conditions which are materially detrimental to nearby property owners, residents, and businesses, nor to public health or safety.

The Telecommunications Committee may approve, approve subject to conditions, or deny the telecom permit.

4)    Notification to Applicant. The City Clerk shall notify the applicant in writing within five business days of the Telecommunications Committee decision.

5)    Appeals. The determination of the Telecommunications Committee may be appealed by the applicant or any member of the public in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 92.39.060 (F) and (G). Such appeals shall conform with the Special Review Procedures set forth in Section 92.39.060(H)(2).

92.39.070 RADIO FREQUENCY COMPLIANCE AND RADIATION REPORT.

Within thirty (30) days after installation of a telecom facility, a radio frequency (RF) compliance and radiation report prepared by a qualified RF engineer acceptable to the City shall be submitted in order to demonstrate that the facility is operating at the approved frequency and complies with FCC standards for radiation. If the report shows that the facility does not so comply, the reviewing director shall require that use of the facility be suspended until a new report has been submitted confirming such compliance.

92.39.080 RIGHT TO REVIEW OR REVOKE PERMIT.

a)    Changed Circumstance. Any telecom permit approved pursuant to this Article shall be granted by the City with the reservation of the right and jurisdiction to review and modify the permit (including the conditions of approval) based on changed circumstances. Changed circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following in relation to the telecom facility and its specifications in the approved application and/or conditions of approval:

1)    An increase in the height or size of any part of the facility;

2)    Additional impairment of the views from surrounding properties;

3)    Increase in size or change in the shape of the antenna or supporting structure;

4)    A change in the facility’s color or materials;

5)    A substantial change in location on the site;

6)    An effective increase in signal output above the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits imposed by the radio frequency emissions guidelines of the FCC.

The operator shall notify the Community Development Director of any proposal to cause one or more of the changed circumstances shown in 1-6 above. Any changed circumstance shall require the operator to apply for a modification of the original telecom permit. Before implementing any changed circumstance, the operator must obtain a modified telecom permit and any related building or other permits required by the City.

b)    Additional Right to Revoke or Modify Permit. The reservation of right to review any telecom permit granted by the City is in addition to, and not in lieu of, the right of the City to review and revoke or modify any permit granted or approved hereunder for any violations of the conditions imposed on such permit. After due notice to the telecom operator, the City Council may revoke any telecom permit upon finding that the facility or the operator has violated any law regulating the telecom facility or has failed to comply with the requirements of this Article, the telecom permit, any applicable agreement, or any condition of approval. Upon such revocation, the City Council may require removal of the facility.

92.39.090 REMOVAL OF TELECOM FACILITIES.

a)    Discontinued Use. Any operator who intends to abandon or discontinue use of a telecom facility must notify the Community Development Director by certified mail no less than 30 days prior to such action. The operator or owner of the affected real property shall have 90 days from the date of abandonment or discontinuance, or a reasonable time as may be approved by the Community Development Director, within which to complete one of the following actions:

1)    Reactivate use of the telecom facility;

2)    Transfer the rights to use the telecom facility to another operator and the operator immediately commences use;

3)    Remove the telecom facility and restore the site.

b)    Abandonment. Any telecom facility that is not operated for a continuous period of 180 days or whose operator did not remove the telecom facility in accordance with Subsection A shall be deemed abandoned. Upon a finding of abandonment, the City shall provide notice to the telecom carrier last known to use such facility and, if applicable, the owner of the affected real property, providing thirty days from the date of the notice within which to complete one of the following actions:

1)    Reactivate use of the telecom facility;

2)    Transfer the rights to use the telecom facility to another operator;

3)    Remove the telecom facility and restore the site.

c)    Removal by City.

1)    The City may remove an abandoned facility, repair any and all damage to the premises caused by such removal, and otherwise restore the premises as is appropriate to be in compliance with applicable codes at any time after 30 days following the notice of abandonment.

2)    If the City removes the telecom facility, the City may, but shall not be required to, store the removed facility or any part thereof. The owner of the premises upon which the abandoned facility was located and all prior operators of the facility shall be jointly liable for the entire cost of such removal, repair, restoration and storage, and shall remit payment to the City promptly after demand therefore is made. In addition, the City Council, at its option, may utilize any financial security required in conjunction with granting the telecom permit as reimbursement for such costs.

Also, in lieu of storing the removed facility, the City may convert it to the City’s use, sell it, or dispose of it in any manner deemed by the City to be appropriate.

d)    City Lien on Property. Until the cost of removal, repair, restoration and storage is paid in full, a lien shall be placed on the abandoned personal property and any real property on which the facility was located for the full amount of the cost of removal, repair, restoration and storage. The City Clerk shall cause the lien to be recorded with the Los Angeles County Recorder.

92.39.100 EXEMPTION FOR CITY FACILITIES.

Facilities installed or operated at the direction of the City or its contractor shall be exempt from this Article.

92.39.110 VIOLATION A MISDEMEANOR.

It is unlawful for any person to violate any provision or to fail to comply with any of the requirements of this Article. Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation violating any provision of this Article or failing to comply with any of its requirements will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof will be punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each such person, firm partnership, or corporation will be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or any portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of this Article is committed, continued or permitted by such person, firm, partnership, or corporation, and will be deemed punishable therefore as provided in this Article.

ARTICLE 40 - UNATTENDED COLLECTION BOXES

(Added by O-3780)

92.40.1 DEFINITIONS.

a)    An "unattended collection box" shall be defined as any box, bin, container, or similar device, used for collecting salvageable personal property—including clothing, shoes, textiles, toys, personal electronic devices, media, books, and other similar small items—left unattended without an on-site operator.

b)    "Salvageable personal property" does not include recyclable material as defined in Section 95.3.42(b)(1). Furthermore, salvageable personal property shall not include furniture, appliances, musical instruments, or other large items of bulk, nor shall include any biological or organic material, nor any hazardous material.

c)    "Undesirable material" shall be defined as items not categorized as salvageable personal property as described in subsection (a) of this Section, including, but not limited to, all items described in subsection (b) of this Section.

92.40.2 APPLICABILITY AND PERMISSIBLE USE.

A Planning Administrative Action shall be required for any unattended collection box installed, constructed, or located in the City.

a)    Nonresidential Zones. Unattended collection boxes shall be permitted in C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5, C-R, D-T, HBCSP, L-P, M-L, M-1, M-2, P-D, and P-U zones, with a Planning Administrative Action, subject to the development standards set forth in Section 92.40.4.

b)    Residential Zones. Unattended collection boxes shall be permitted in residentially zoned properties developed with a permitted commercial service, and in residentially zoned properties with high density multiple-family residential developments with at least forty-four (44) units, with a Planning Administrative Action, subject to the development standards set forth in Section 92.40.4.

c)    Mixed Use Developments. Unattended collection boxes shall be permitted on properties with mixed used developments within the commercial portion of the development and/or within the residential portion if the development is high density multiple-family residential with at least forty-four (44) units, with a Planning Administrative Action, subject to the development standards set forth in Section 92.40.4.

d)    An unattended book donation box for the collection of books only, located at public libraries on City property with the written permission of the City, shall be exempt from this Section.

92.40.3 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.

An application for a Planning Administrative Action shall be filed with the Community Development Director on a form provided by the Community Development Director with the applicable fee. The form must be fully completed and executed and returned to the Community Development Department. The application shall include the following:

a)    Complete box operator information including company/organization name and primary contact, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;

b)    Written consent from the property owner or owner’s agent to placement of the box on the property, including name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of owner or owner’s agent;

c)    Informed consent from the property owner or owner’s agent acknowledging responsibility and compliance with the provisions of this Article;

d)    Name and telephone number of any entity which may share or profit from items collected via the box;

e)    Information pertaining to the applicant’s status with the Secretary of State;

f)    Proof of a certificate of liability insurance of at least One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) covering applicant’s unattended collection boxes;

g)    Scaled plot plan indicating all site improvements and the location of proposed unattended collection box;

h)    Details of the box itself, including dimensions, elevations, and details of signage;

i)    After the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Article, first priority in applications will be given to box operators that had unattended collection boxes in place prior to the enactment of the temporary moratorium on October 1, 2013;

j)    Any box operator that placed or installed an unattended collection box during the temporary moratorium without an application or Planning Administrative Action will be prohibited from applying for a Planning Administrative Action for two (2) years from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Article. Any box operator that placed or installed an unattended collection box after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this Article without an application or Planning Administrative Action will be prohibited for two (2) years from date of the City’s discovery of the unattended collection box.

92.40.4 STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS.

It is the intent and design of this Article to regulate unattended collection boxes to prevent a blighted appearance and ensure the boxes will not have a negative visual impact, to ensure the boxes will not impede or interfere with public access, circulation, and parking, and to ensure that the boxes do not become hazards or nuisances. To that end, unattended collection boxes shall be operated in accordance with the following requirements and conditions:

a)    Physical Standards.

1)    The unattended collection box cannot be more than eighty-two (82) inches high, sixty (60) inches wide, and fifty (50) inches deep;

2)    Shall be fabricated of durable and waterproof materials;

3)    Cannot be electrically or hydraulically powered or otherwise mechanized;

4)    Cannot become a fixture of the site and shall not be considered an improvement to real property;

5)    Shall contain an opening with an approved tamper-resistant locking mechanism.

b)    Location.

1)    Unattended collection boxes shall not be located in, encroach into, or obstruct any of the following:

A)    Any parking spaces or access to any parking;

B)    Pedestrian or ADA pathways;

C)    Emergency access or fire lanes;

D)    Drive aisles and on-site circulation in general;

E)    Existing landscaping or landscaped areas;

F)    Trash enclosure area or access to the trash bins/trash enclosures;

G)    Required setback areas, specifically front and street setbacks;

2)    In addition to the above noted restrictions, unattended collection boxes permitted in high density multiple-family residential developments with at least forty-four (44) units shall not be located within the front and/or main entrances, and shall be located in common areas within the subject residential development;

3)    The location of the unattended collection box shall not disrupt or negatively impact any line of sight relating to, but not limited to, the circulation of pedestrians, bicycles, and/or cars in any way as they travel and/or park;

4)    The unattended collection box shall not be placed in any location or manner where it may constitute a safety hazard;

5)    An unattended collection box site cannot be within seven hundred fifty (750) feet of another unattended collection box site, as measured from property line to property line;

6)    Only one (1) unattended collection box shall be allowed per site, unless determined by the Community Development Director that more than one (1) can be accommodated on that site, based on the site’s size, characteristics and the proposed layout of the boxes;

7)    Unattended collection boxes shall provide a minimum twenty-five (25) foot setback from properties that are residentially zoned or have existing residential uses.

c)    Maximum Total. There shall be a maximum limit of no more than one hundred (100) total unattended collection boxes installed within the City.

d)    Maintenance and Appearance.

1)    Unattended collection boxes shall be maintained to the satisfaction of the Community Development Director. This includes maintenance of the box’s condition itself (appearance and wear) and of the box’s immediate area, specifically within a radius of twenty-five (25) feet around the unattended collection boxes;

2)    The unattended collection box shall be maintained in good condition and appearance, with no structural damage, holes, or rust, and shall be kept free of graffiti;

3)    Unattended collection boxes shall not overflow at any time;

4)    The site will be kept free from litter and any other undesirable material;

5)    Items left outside an unattended collection box shall be considered undesirable material and deemed a public nuisance, and shall be subject to removal by the City at the subject property owner’s expense;

6)    The box operator and/or property owner or owner’s agent shall respond within twenty-four (24) hours of notice from the City to address maintenance issues, including graffiti, vandalism, and damaged boxes, in addition to items left about or overflowing boxes;

7)    The box operator shall conduct a pickup at least once a week to ensure that the unattended collection box is not overflowing and is properly maintained, and that the surrounding area and site are free of litter and any other undesirable material;

8)    The box operator and property owner or owner’s agent shall be responsible for properly disposing undesirable material in accordance with all City, State, and Federal laws, guidelines, and requirements;

9)    Unattended collection boxes that violate this Article will be subject to following penalties:

A)    First violation: The City will issue a written warning to the property owner and the box operator.

B)    The second violation within twelve (12) months of the first violation: The property owner and the box operator will each be subject to a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

C)    The third violation within twelve (12) months of the first violation: The unattended collection box will be subject to removal at the subject property owner’s expense, and will result in revocation of this entitlement.

D)    The fourth violation within twenty-four (24) months of the first violation: The unattended collection box will be subject to removal at the subject property owner’s expense, and will result in revocation of this entitlement.

E)    The fifth violation within thirty-six (36) months of the first violation: The unattended collection box will be subject to removal at the subject property owner’s expense, and will result in revocation of this entitlement;

10)    No unattended collection box may be applied for or placed on a property for a period of two (2) years after the revocation of an unattended collection box entitlement.

e)    Signage.

1)    The unattended collection box shall comply with all requirements set forth in the State Welfare and Institutions Code, Sections 150 through 153. As taken from Section 151:

The front of every collection box shall conspicuously display both of the following:

A) The name, address, telephone number, and, if available, the Internet Web address of the owner and operator of the collection box.

B) A statement, in at least two-inch typeface, that either reads, "this collection box is owned and operated by a for-profit organization" or "this collection box is owned and operated by a nonprofit organization." For purposes of this chapter, a commercial fundraiser shall be classified as a for-profit organization.

i) If the collection box is owned by a nonprofit organization, the front of the collection box shall also conspicuously display a statement describing the charitable cause that will benefit from the donations.

ii) If the collection box is owned by a for-profit entity, the front of the collection box shall also conspicuously display a statement that reads "this donation is not tax deductible." If the collection box is owned and operated by a commercial fundraiser, the commercial fundraiser may post notice of donations to a charitable cause only on the sides of the box. This notice shall always be smaller in size than the for-profit entity’s name and address and shall constitute only 25 percent of the notice space of the box.

2)    The site shall display a notice stating that no material shall be left outside the unattended collection boxes in at least two (2) inch typeface. This notice shall be installed within a radius of twenty-five (25) feet of the box. The box itself shall also have this notice directly on the box;

3)    Unattended collection boxes operated by a nonprofit organization shall display their Federal tax identification number;

4)    Each unattended collection box shall be clearly marked to identify the type of material that may be deposited;

5)    Each unattended collection box shall have a pickup schedule shown or posted directly on the box. Per subsection (d)(7) of this Section, pickup must be at least once a week;

6)    Each unattended collection box shall also provide the operator’s e-mail address;

7)    No other signage or advertisements shall be allowed on the unattended collection box;

8)    Each unattended collection box shall display the City approved identification system that identifies the box as being properly permitted by the City.

f)    AB 939 Reporting. Permitted unattended collection box operators shall be required to report annually the tonnage collected from their boxes within the City, including a breakdown by material type, whether the materials were reused or recycled, and any other information needed by the City to comply with AB 939. This information must be available to the City within sixty (60) days of the end of the calendar year. Failure to report will be grounds for revocation of the operator’s unattended collection box entitlement.

g)    Liability.

1)    The property owner or owner’s agent shall have the right to rescind consent for an unattended collection box to be placed on the property, provided written notice of the rescission is provided to the applicant, as provided in their agreement but in no event less than ten (10) business days prior to the unattended collection box being removed.

2)    The property owner or owner’s agent shall be held harmless by the applicant for the removal of an unauthorized unattended collection box where removal is necessary to comply with local zoning ordinances.

3)    Applicants shall maintain a minimum general liability insurance of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) for the duration of the operation of an unattended collection box at each site, to cover any claims or losses due to the placement, operation, or maintenance of the unattended collection box.

92.40.6 PERMIT ISSUANCE.

If all requirements of this Article are satisfied, the Community Development Director shall issue a Planning Administrative Action within thirty (30) days of the filing of the application. If a permit is not issued, the Community Development Director will notify the applicant in writing. The notice will set forth the Community Development Director’s reasons for denial and the procedures for an appeal of the Planning Director’s determination.

92.40.7 APPEAL PROCESS.

Pursuant to Section 92.30.11, the determination of the Community Development Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission by the proponent or any person who may be damaged by the said determination. Such appeal will be made in writing to the Planning Commission within fifteen (15) days of the determination of the Community Development Director. Notice of the time and place of the appeal hearing will be made to the proponent and any person appealing.

92.40.8 REVOCATION.

The Community Development Director may revoke a Planning Administrative Action upon notice and hearing for any violation of this Article.

92.40.9 UNPERMITTED UNATTENDED COLLECTION BOXES.

It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person to operate, maintain, allow another person to operate or maintain, or fail to remove an unpermitted unattended collection box. Any person in violation will be subject to civil action and/or criminal prosecution. Each day in which a violation is committed will constitute a new and separate offense. In addition, the operation or maintenance of an unpermitted unattended collection box may be abated or summarily abated by the City in any manner by this Code or otherwise by law for the abatement of public nuisances. Pursuant to Government Code Section 38773, all expenses incurred by the City in connection with any action to abate a public nuisance will be chargeable to the persons creating, causing, committing, or maintaining the public nuisance.

ARTICLE 41 - VIEW EQUITY

(Added by O-3813)

92.41.010 INTENT AND PURPOSE.

The intent and purpose of this Article is to:

a)    Recognize and establish a process by which real property owners may restore or preserve view equity within the immediate vicinity of their property;

b)    Establish procedures and evaluation criteria by which real property owners may seek resolution of view equity disputes;

c)    Discourage duplicative, repetitive or serial claims for view equity; and

d)    Discourage ill-considered damage to trees/vegetation and promote proper landscaping establishment and maintenance.

It is not the intent of the City to encourage clear-cutting or substantial denuding of any property of its trees by overzealous application of provisions of this Chapter. It is not the intent of this Article to create a permit that would be governed by the Permit Streamlining Act. Nor is it the intent or purpose of this Article for the City to create either a covenant running with the land (for example, CC&Rs or deed restriction) or an equitable servitude (for example, easement or license). However, the City will keep a record of agreements and decisions reached pursuant to Sections 92.41.100, 92.41.110, and 92.41.120 of which it is notified, and provide those agreements and/or decisions to those who request such a report.

92.41.020 DEFINITIONS.

"Alter" means to take action that changes the tree or vegetation, including, but not limited to, extensive pruning of the canopy area, cutting, girdling, interfering with the water supply, applying chemicals or regrading around the feeder root zone of the vegetation.

"Arbitrator" means a mutually agreed upon neutral third party professional intermediary who conducts a hearing process, and who hears testimony, considers evidence and makes binding decisions for the disputing parties. The arbitrator of a view equity dispute shall be chosen from a resource available from the City of qualified and professionally trained arbitrators/mediators, including, but not limited to, members of the American Arbitration Association.

"Authorized agent" means a person, as defined herein, who has been designated and approved in writing by the property owner of record to act on his/her behalf in matters pertaining to the processing of a view equity claim as outlined in this Article.

"Binding arbitration" means a voluntary legal procedure for settling disputes and leading to a final and binding determination of rights of parties, usually consisting of a hearing before an arbitrator where all relevant evidence may be freely admitted as set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1280 et seq.

"Canopy" means the umbrella-like structure created by the overhead leaves and branches of a tree which create a sheltered area below.

"City" means the City of Torrance.

"City property" means any real property of which the City is the fee simple owner of record.

"City trees" means trees on City property or in the public right-of-way.

"Claim, view equity" means documentation, as set forth in Section 92.41.100, that outlines the basis of view equity diminishment and the specific preservation action that is being sought.

"Crown" means the rounded top of the tree.

"Crown reduction/shaping" means a method of comprehensive pruning that reduces the height and/or spread of vegetation. Crown reduction entails the reduction of the top, sides or individual limbs by means of removal of leaders or the longest portion of limbs to a lateral large enough to assume the terminal.

"Destroy" means to kill or take action that endangers the health or vigor of vegetation, including, but not limited to, cutting, girdling, interfering with the water supply, applying chemicals or regrading around the base of the trunk or main stem.

"Heading back" means the overall reduction of the mass of a tree by modification to major limbs.

"Lacing" means a comprehensive method of pruning that systematically and sensitively removes excess foliage and improves the structure of the tree.

"Maintenance pruning" means pruning with the primary objective of maintaining or improving tree health and structure; includes "crown reduction/shaping" or "lacing" but not ordinarily "heading back."

"Mediator" means a neutral, objective third party professional negotiator/facilitator to help disputing parties reach a mutually satisfactory solution regarding a view equity claim. The mediator shall be chosen from a resource of qualified and professionally trained arbitrators/mediators, including, but not limited to, members of the American Arbitration Association.

"Obstruction" means the blocking or diminishment of a view attributable to growth, improper maintenance, or location of vegetation.

"Person" means any individual, individuals, corporation, partnership, firm or other legal entity.

"Pruning" means the removal of plant material from vegetation.

"Restorative action" means any specific steps taken affecting vegetation that would result in the preservation or restoration of view equity across property lines.

"Severe pruning" means the cutting of branches and/or trunk of a tree in a manner which substantially reduces the overall size of the tree or destroys the existing symmetrical appearance or natural shape of the tree and which results in the removal of main lateral branches leaving the trunk and branches of the tree in a stub appearance. "Heading back" as defined herein is considered to be severe pruning.

"Stand thinning" means the selective removal of a portion of trees from a grove of trees.

"Street" means the portion of a right-of-way easement used for public purposes, such as roadway improvements, curbs, gutters and sidewalks, dedicated to the City, and formally accepted by the City into the City public street system for maintenance purposes.

"Sunlight" means the availability or access to light from the sun across property lines.

"Vegetation" means plants or grasses with the potential to obstruct views. "Vegetation" includes, without limitation, trees, shrubs, grasses, hedges and bushes, whether planted in ground or within pots, planters or containers. "Vegetation" shall not include any type of plants or trees owned and maintained by the City.

"Vegetation owner" means any person who owns real property in the City on which vegetation is located.

"View" means a vista of features, bodies of water, beaches, coastline, islands, skylines, mountains, city lights, ridges, hillside terrain, canyons, geologic features and landmarks. The term "view" does not mean an unobstructed panorama of these features. A "view" shall be limited to one common interior or developed exterior space used by the view seeker, including but not limited to the living, family, and dining rooms, bedrooms, rooms that have features such as picture windows, sliding glass doors, and French doors, and common exterior areas such as patios, balconies, decks, pool areas, and gazebos designed to take advantage of views.

"View equity" means achievement of a fair, reasonable, and balanced accommodation of views and competing obstructions (such as structures and/or vegetation), privacy and the use and enjoyment of property. No person shall plant, maintain, or permit to grow any trees or vegetation which unreasonably obstructs the view from a neighboring property.

"View seeker" means any real property owner in the City or authorized agent of such property owner who alleges that vegetation located within the immediate vicinity of the property as set forth in Section 92.41.030 is causing obstruction of the view benefitting such real property.

"Viewing area" means a common interior or developed exterior space used by the view seeker, including but not limited to the living area, family, and dining rooms, bedrooms, rooms that have features such as picture windows, sliding glass doors, and French doors, and common exterior areas such as patios, balconies, decks, pool areas, and gazebos designed to take advantage of views. In structures, the finished floor elevation of any viewing area must be at or above the existing grade adjacent to the exterior wall of the part of the building nearest to said viewing area. Hallways, closets, mechanical rooms, bathrooms, garages, driveways and interior side yards shall not be considered or used as selected viewing locations or areas.

"Vista pruning" means the selective thinning of framework limbs or specific areas of the crown of a tree to allow a view from a specific point.

92.41.030 VIEW EQUITY CLAIM LIMITATIONS.

Subject to other provisions of this Article, a real property owner within the Hillside Overlay of the City may initiate the claim resolution process as outlined in Section 92.41.070. However, a claim for preserving or restoring view equity may only be made:

a)    Regarding any vegetation located on real property, either zoned or developed with solely residential uses, which is within five hundred (500) feet from the view seeker’s real property boundary located within the Hillside Overlay district in the City of Torrance; and

b)    Only if there has not been an active view equity claim against that real property by the view seeker or any other real property owner in the City within the last two (2) years, unless the subsequent claim is made within forty-five (45) days of notice of the original claim as provided in Section 92.41.100. In addition, a view seeker may only seek to preserve or restore a view from one (1) common interior or developed exterior space used by the view seeker, including but not limited to the living, family, and dining rooms, bedrooms, rooms that have features such as picture windows, sliding glass doors, and French doors, and common exterior areas such as patios, balconies, decks, pool areas, and gazebos designed to best enjoy views.

92.41.040 CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING UNREASONABLE OBSTRUCTION.

The following criteria are to be considered (but are not exclusive) in determining whether unreasonable obstruction of a view has occurred:

a)    The vantage point(s) from which the view is observed;

b)    The extent of obstruction of views, both currently and at vegetation maturity;

c)    The quality of views being obstructed, including the existence of landmarks, vistas, or other unique view features;

d)    The extent to which vegetation has grown to obscure the enjoyment of the view from the view seeker’s property since the view seeker’s acquisition of his or her property or fifteen (15) years prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Article, whichever is more recent.

92.41.050 CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING APPROPRIATE VIEW EQUITY CLAIM ACTION.

When it has been determined that unreasonable obstruction has occurred, then the following unweighed factors shall be considered in determining appropriate view equity action:

a)    The amount of vegetation in the area and the current effects of the vegetation and its removal on the neighboring vegetation;

b)    The extent to which the vegetation provides:

1)    Wind screening or privacy (visual or auditory),

2)    Energy conservation and/or climate control,

3)    Soil stability, as measured by soil structure, degree of slope and extent of the vegetation’s root system when the vegetation is proposed to be removed,

4)    Aesthetics, including but not limited to species characteristics, size, growth, and form,

5)    Community/neighborhood quality, value or significance,

6)    Shade,

7)    Rare and interesting botanical species,

8)    Habitat value for wildlife,

9)    Blending, buffering or reduction in the scale and mass of architecture;

c)    Any hazards posed by the vegetation to persons or structures on the property of the complaining party including, but not limited to, fire danger or the danger of falling limbs or trees;

d)    The variety, age, projected rate of growth, and maintenance requirements of the vegetation;

e)    The state of documented view obstruction by the subject vegetation since the view seeker’s purchase of his/her property, or fifteen (15) years prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Article, whichever is most recent;

f)    The profile state of the subject vegetation since the vegetation owner purchased his/her property, or fifteen (15) years prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this Article, whichever is most recent.

92.41.060 HIERARCHY OF RESTORATIVE ACTION.

View equity actions must be consistent with all other provisions of this Title. Severe pruning should be avoided due to the damage such practice causes to the vegetation’s form and health. Restoration actions may include, but are not limited to, the following, in order of preference, assuming no countervailing health or safety interest(s) exist:

a)    Lacing. Lacing is the most preferable pruning technique that removes excess foliage and can improve the structure of the tree.

b)    Vista Pruning. Vista pruning of branches may be utilized where possible, if it does not adversely affect the tree’s growth pattern or health.

c)    Crown Reduction. Crown reduction is preferable to tree removal, if it is determined that the impact of crown reduction does not destroy the visual proportions of the tree, adversely affect the tree’s growth pattern or health, or otherwise constitute a detriment to the tree(s) in question.

d)    Stand Thinning. The removal of a portion of the total number of trees from a grove of trees, without any replacement plantings.

e)    Heading Back. Eliminating the outer extent of the major branches throughout the tree. Heading back is only to be permitted for trees specifically planted and maintained as a hedge, espalier, bonsai, or in pollard form and if restoration actions in subsections (a) through (d) of this Section will not accomplish the determined preservation action and the subsequent growth characteristics will not create a future obstruction of greater proportions.

f)    Vegetation Removal. Vegetation removal may be considered when the above-mentioned restoration actions are judged to be ineffective and may be accompanied by replacement plantings or appropriate plant materials to restore the maximum level of benefits lost due to vegetation removal.

92.41.070 PROCESS FOR RESOLUTION OF OBSTRUCTION DISPUTES.

The view seeker shall follow the process established by this Article in seeking view equity.

a)    Neighbor to Neighbor Contact. The view seeker and vegetation owner contact each other to resolve the view dispute.

b)    Initial Reconciliation. The view seeker must complete the initial reconciliation process described in Section 92.41.090.

c)    Advisory Opinion. If the initial reconciliation does not yield a result mutually satisfactory to the view seeker and vegetation owner, the view seeker may file a view equity claim requesting the advisory opinion of staff. Staff will make recommendations to correct adverse view impacts identified and follow the guidelines as set forth in Section 92.41.100.

d)    Mediation. If either the view seeker or vegetation owner does not agree with the advisory opinion, the disagreeing party or the view seeker may request mediation as described in Section 92.41.110.

e)    Arbitration. If the vegetation owner does not participate in mediation or if mediation is unsuccessful in resolving the claim, either party may next pursue resolution by arbitration, as set forth in Section 92.41.120.

f)    Litigation. If steps in subsections (a) through (e) of this Section are taken and processes are exhausted by the requesting party but no resolution is reached, the disagreeing party may then initiate litigation as described in Section 92.41.130.

92.41.080 NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR CONTACT.

The view seeker and vegetation owner shall contact each other to find a resolution and establish an agreement regarding the restoration of view. If an agreement is reached, there is no need to contact the City. If no agreement is reached, the view seeker may proceed with initial reconciliation.

92.41.090 INITIAL RECONCILIATION.

A view seeker who believes that vegetation which has grown on another person’s property within the Hillside Overlay in the City has caused unreasonable obstruction of view equity from the view seeker’s property shall first request that the City notify the vegetation owner of such concerns. The notification shall request personal discussions to enable the view seeker and vegetation owner to attempt to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The notification must invite the vegetation owner to view the alleged obstruction from the view seeker’s property, and the vegetation owner is requested to invite the view seeker to view the situation from his/her property. The notification must include a link to the view equity ordinance and the following verbiage: "Failure of the vegetation owner to respond to the written request for initial reconciliation within forty-five (45) days from the date on the notification shall be deemed formal refusal by the vegetation owner to participate in the initial reconciliation." The notification shall also reference the consequences of nonparticipation by the vegetation owner as described in Section 92.41.130.

During the initial reconciliation, the view seeker and vegetation owner may request assistance from a certified arborist. The City may provide a link to the International Society of Arboriculture to allow residents to search for a certified arborist. If the view seeker and vegetation owner reach an agreement, there is no need to file anything with the City. If initial reconciliation is refused, or if the parties do not agree as to the existence and nature of the view seeker’s obstruction and the appropriate view equity action, the view seeker may proceed with subsequent view equity claim resolution process outlined in Section 92.41.100.

92.41.100 ADVISORY OPINION.

If neighbor to neighbor contact and initial reconciliation (Sections 92.41.080 and 92.41.090, respectively) do not produce a mutually agreeable solution, the view seeker may file a view equity claim application to request an advisory opinion. A view equity claim shall consist of all of the following:

a)    A description of the nature and extent of the alleged obstruction, including pertinent and corroborating physical evidence. Evidence may include but is not limited to dated photographic prints, negatives or slides. Such evidence must show absence of the obstruction at any documentable time during the tenure of the complaining party, or fifteen (15) years prior to the adoption of the view equity ordinance, whichever is most recent. Evidence to show the date of property acquisition or occupancy by the complaining party must be included.

b)    The location of all vegetation alleged to cause obstruction, the address of the property upon which the obstructing vegetation is located, and the present owner’s name and address.

c)    Evidence of the failure of initial reconciliation, as described in Section 92.41.090, to resolve the dispute. The complaining party must provide physical evidence that written attempts at reconciliation have been made and have failed. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, copies of sent letters and corresponding receipts for certified or registered mail.

d)    The view equity claim fee in the amount established by resolution of the City Council as well as a deposit to retain the services of a certified arborist. Additional funds may be required as the process continues. Any money remaining at the end of the process will be refunded to the applicant.

Staff will review the application and deem it complete or incomplete. If the application is deemed incomplete, staff will mail a letter to the applicant stating what is needed to complete the application with a deadline of thirty (30) days from the date of the letter. If the application is deemed complete, staff will process the application and prepare a notice, notification map and mailing labels of Hillside Overlay residential properties located within a five hundred (500) foot radius of the vegetation owner’s property lines. The notification map shall indicate the view seeker and vegetation owner’s properties. City staff shall mail the notice to the vegetation owner and surrounding property owners. The notice shall serve to inform neighbors that the view seeker has filed a view equity claim against the vegetation owner and will provide the neighbors forty-five (45) days from the date of the notice to file a joint claim with the Community Development Department against the same vegetation owner. The notice will also include a link to the view equity ordinance and inform the vegetation owner of the consequences of nonparticipation in the initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation and/or arbitration processes as described in Section 92.41.130. Any joint claims will require completion of items (a) through (c) of this Section and a multiple application fee. To the extent possible, neighboring claims will be combined with the existing claim for purposes of the advisory opinion, mediation, and arbitration. Failure to file a joint claim within forty-five (45) days of the notice date shall result in a two (2) year waiting period to file a new claim against the same vegetation owner as described in Section 92.41.030.

Staff will set a date to conduct site visits to all properties participating in the view equity claim and document obstructions at each residence from only one (1) ordinance-designated viewing area. Staff may acquire the assistance of a certified arborist during field visits. If a vegetation owner does not cooperate in the establishment of a site visit, the advisory opinion will be written without benefit of the perspective from the vegetation owner’s property. The advisory opinion letter will be signed by the Community Development Director and a copy will be mailed to all involved parties. The advisory opinion letter will state which properties were visited, if a view blockage appears to exist and any recommended corrective measures that can resolve the view impacts identified. The following criteria will guide in the development of the advisory opinion:

a)    The vantage point(s) from which the view is observed is adversely impacting the value and enjoyment of the view-seeking residence(s);

b)    The extent to which the view obstruction has detracted from the viewing area’s utilization;

c)    The quality of the view being obstructed, including the existence of landmarks, vistas, or other unique view features, has been adversely impacted by the overgrown vegetation;

d)    The extent to which the vegetation has grown to obscure the enjoyment of the view from the view seeker’s property since the view seeker’s acquisition of his or her property or fifteen (15) years prior to the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this Article, whichever is more recent;

e)    The extent to which the view has been or is diminished by factors other than vegetation;

f)    The recommended view impact corrective measures will not unreasonably result in an adverse privacy, energy consumption, soil stability or aesthetics impact and may include the following unweighed factors:

1)    Wind screening or privacy (visual or auditory);

2)    Energy conservation and/or climate control;

3)    Soil stability, as assessed by commonly known soil conditions, degree of slope and extent of the tree’s root system when a tree is proposed to be removed;

4)    Aesthetics, including but not limited to species characteristics, size, growth, and form;

5)    Community/neighborhood quality, value or significance;

6)    Shade;

7)    Rare and interesting botanical species;

8)    Habitat value for wildlife;

9)    Blending, buffering or reduction in the scale and mass of profile;

g)    The recommended view impact corrective measures will not unreasonably affect the health of remaining vegetation.

If the view seeker(s) and vegetation owner agree with the Community Development Director’s advisory opinion, they must file that agreement with the City within forty-five (45) days. As described in Section 92.41.140, the cost of any restorative action and/or maintenance shall be determined by mutual agreement. City staff shall not be responsible for enforcement of any agreement(s) made through the advisory opinion. Within forty-five (45) days of the date of the advisory opinion letter, if either or both parties disagree with the advisory opinion, the disagreeing party must notify the City in writing that they wish to proceed with mediation.

92.41.110 MEDIATION.

If neighbor to neighbor contact, initial reconciliation and advisory opinion do not result in an agreement between the vegetation owner and the view seeker(s), the disagreeing party may request mediation within forty-five (45) days from the date of the advisory opinion letter. If a request for mediation is made, staff will mail a notice requesting to proceed with mediation to all interested parties. The notice will include a link to the view equity ordinance and inform the vegetation owner of the consequences of nonparticipation in the initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation and/or arbitration processes as described in Section 92.41.130. All interested parties shall have forty-five (45) days from the date of the request for mediation to respond in writing of their intent to continue with mediation. Failure to respond within forty-five (45) days will be deemed a formal refusal of mediation and the view seeker(s) must proceed to arbitration. The notice shall also provide information regarding selecting a mediator. If, at any point, the view seeker does not participate in the process, their claim will be considered closed.

The view seeker and vegetation owner shall have forty-five (45) days from the date of the filing of acceptance of mediation to select a mediator. If one (1) is not selected or neither party can agree on a mediator by the end of the time frame, they may jointly request that City staff randomly select a mediator.

The mediator shall contact the City to request a copy of the advisory opinion, mailing list for the view equity case, and a link to a copy of the view equity ordinance. The mediator shall establish a date for mediation and will send a written notice of the mediation hearing date to each party by certified mail. The role of the mediator shall be advisory in nature and shall not be binding in establishing the preservation or restoration of view equity. Any agreement reached between the two (2) parties as a result of the mediation process described herein shall be reduced to writing and shall include steps for maintenance measures and allocations of any associated costs. The agreement shall be signed by the mediator and all of the parties, and a copy shall be submitted to the Community Development Department. The cost of mediation, including review by a certified arborist, shall be paid initially by the requesting party; provided, however, that the ultimate responsibility for such cost may subsequently be modified either by mutual agreement of the parties or by a determination of the mediator as to a just and reasonable allocation of responsibility.

92.41.120 BINDING ARBITRATION.

If neighbor to neighbor contact, initial reconciliation, advisory opinion and mediation fail to achieve agreement between the vegetation owner and the view seeker(s), the disagreeing party(ies) may request binding arbitration. If a request for binding arbitration is made, the City shall mail a notice requesting to proceed in a binding arbitration process to all interested parties. The notice will include a link to the view equity ordinance and inform the vegetation owner of the consequences of nonparticipation in the initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation and/or arbitration processes as described in Section 92.41.130. All interested parties shall have forty-five (45) days from the date of the request for arbitration to respond in writing of their intent to continue with arbitration. Failure to respond in writing within forty-five (45) days shall be deemed formal refusal of arbitration. The notice shall also provide information regarding selecting an arbitrator.

The view seeker(s) and vegetation owner shall have forty-five (45) days from the date of filing acceptance of arbitration to select an individual arbitrator. If one (1) is not selected or neither party can agree on an arbitrator by the end of the time frame, they may jointly request that City staff randomly select an arbitrator or either party may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to appoint an arbitrator. If the vegetation owner requests arbitration but view seeker refuses to participate in the arbitration process, the case will be considered closed.

The arbitrator will contact the City to request a copy of the advisory opinion, mailing list for the view equity case, mediator’s report, and a link to a copy of the view equity ordinance. The arbitrator shall establish a date for arbitration and will send a written notice of the arbitration hearing to each party by certified mail. The arbitrator shall be guided by the provisions of this Article, including the evaluation criteria set forth in Sections 92.41.040 and 92.41.050 and the hierarchy of restorative actions set forth in Section 92.41.060, respectively, in attempting to resolve the view equity claim, and shall submit a complete written decision to the view seeker(s) and the vegetation owner. Any decision of the arbitrator shall be enforceable pursuant to the provisions of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1285 et seq., and a copy of the decision shall be submitted to the Community Development Department. City staff shall not be responsible for enforcement of any agreement(s) made through binding arbitration.

The costs of arbitration shall be paid initially by the requesting party; provided, however, that the ultimate responsibility for such costs may subsequently be modified either by mutual agreement of the parties or by a determination of the arbitrator as to a just and reasonable allocation of responsibility.

92.41.130 LITIGATION.

If the view seeker(s) and vegetation owner have attempted to obtain but have been unsuccessful in attaining agreement or resolution through neighbor to neighbor contact (Section 92.41.080), initial reconciliation (Section 92.41.090), advisory opinion (Section 92.41.100), mediation (Section 92.41.110), and arbitration (Section 92.41.120), either party may initiate civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for resolution of his/her view equity claim under the provisions of this Article. It is the intent of this Article that the evaluation criteria set forth in Sections 92.41.040, 92.41.050 and the hierarchy of restorative actions set forth in Section 92.41.060 are utilized in adjudicating view equity claims in civil litigation. In the event of civil litigation, the view seeker shall provide a copy of the filed complaint to the Community Development Department.

The prevailing party in any civil action brought pursuant to this Article shall be entitled to recover its reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation, subject to the following exception: A vegetation owner who prevails in litigation shall not be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and costs if the vegetation owner has declined to participate in the initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation, and/or arbitration processes set forth in Sections 92.41.090, 92.41.100, 92.41.110 and 92.41.120, respectively. All notices sent out during initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation and/or arbitration shall inform the vegetation owner of this provision and the consequences of nonparticipation in the initial reconciliation, advisory opinion, mediation and/or arbitration processes. City staff shall not be responsible for enforcement of any adjudication made through litigation.

92.41.140 APPORTIONMENT OF COSTS.

The cost of any determined restorative action and/or maintenance shall be determined by mutual agreement or pursuant to any final decision through mediation, arbitration, court order, or settlement. It is the intent of this Article that a vegetation owner who sells his or her property shall notify the purchaser of any established agreement, binding arbitration decision, or court order requiring subsequent maintenance of vegetation.

92.41.150 LIABILITY.

a)    The City shall not be liable for any damages, injuries, costs or expenses which are the result of any advisory opinion issued by a City employee or official or any agreements or determinations resulting from mediation, arbitration or litigation concerning view equity claims or a view seeker’s assertions pertaining to views granted or conferred herein.

b)    Under no circumstances shall the City have any responsibility or liability to enforce or seek any legal redress, civil or criminal, for any decision that any other person or entity makes concerning a view equity claim.

c)    A failure to comply with the provisions of this Article is not a misdemeanor, and the enforcement of this Article shall be only by the affected and interested private parties.

ARTICLE 42 - GARAGE SALES

(Added by O-3826)

92.42.010 DEFINITIONS.

a)    For the purpose of this Article, "garage sale” means a sale conducted by an individual for the purpose of discarding unused, unwanted or surplus household items or other personal property which is owned, utilized and maintained by an individual or members of the residence acquired in the normal course of living in or maintaining a residence. It does not include merchandise which has been purchased for resale or obtained on consignment or any consumable food product. The term "garage sale" includes yard sale, lawn sale, patio sale, rummage sale, estate sale and the like.

b)    "Garage sale day" means the time that a garage sale is allowed to be held, which is between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

92.42.020 RESTRICTIONS.

a)    A garage sale will be limited to residentially zoned or developed property for the purpose of discarding unused, unwanted or surplus household goods or other personal property and may not include consignment or other items purchased for resale;

b)    Anyone holding a garage sale must reside at the garage sale location or either possess title to or be designated trustee for the subject residence;

c)    One (1) garage sale will consist of a maximum of two (2) consecutive days. Not more than four (4) garage sales will be allowed per calendar year per property;

d)    No intended garage sale items will be brought into public view from the street or sidewalk until the day of the garage sale. At the end of each garage sale day, all garage sale items must be removed from driveways, front and side yard areas and stored out of public view;

e)    Items for sale must not be placed on fences, walls, balconies or hanging from trees or shrubbery;

f)    Items for sale will not be placed on sidewalks, parkways, or public rights-of-way;

g)    A garage sale will only be held between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

92.42.030 SIGNAGE.

a)    For the purpose of advertising garage sales, one (1) temporary sign, not more than nine (9) square feet in size nor more than four (4) feet in height, will be allowed at the location of the sale. No flags, electronic or air-assisted signs, or other attention-getting devices will be displayed.

b)    Signage advertising a garage sale must be located on the private property where the sale is occurring.

c)    Garage sale signs will not be placed on sidewalks, parkways, public rights-of-way, utility poles, street signs, traffic signs, or street trees.

d)    Signage may be displayed during the hours of the sale and must be removed immediately thereafter.

92.42.040 SALES ON MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES.

Multifamily residential properties will be allowed four garage sales per calendar year for the whole site, not individual sales per unit. Sales for the site should be orchestrated by the management company or property owner.