City Hall is without a major zoning issue at the moment after finishing its revisions to the City’s Zoning Ordinance (ZO), updating the Land Use and Circulation Element and recently completing work on the Downtown Community Plan. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to go back to the beginning and begin revisions to the Zoning Ordinance.

At their Wednesday meeting, Planning Commission will begin preliminary discussions on policy issues that have arisen since adoption the Zoning Ordinance in 2015.

The new ZO was adopted in June of 2015 and following the adoption, staff found “unintentional errors, inconsistencies, or omissions that required minor clerical changes, corrections, or clarifications as well as policy issues that require further discussion and analysis.”

A majority of those corrections were made in 2016 and at about the same time, the Planning Commission began to identify more substantive policy issues. Some of those issues were discussed and forwarded to Council last year.

“On September 27, 2016, the Commission adopted a resolution recommending the Council make the remaining minor clerical changes, corrections, and clarifications from the first category of policy issues along with changes related to accessory dwelling units to be consistent with State law which the Council adopted on February 28, 2017,” said the staff report.

About 17 policy issues are up for discussion during this round of debate.

“The intent of the Commission’s discussion at this hearing is to preliminarily discuss the

policy issues and provide direction to staff on future recommendations for potential

changes to the Zoning Ordinance based on this preliminary discussion. No recommendations are being made to alter the existing Zoning Ordinance standards during this preliminary discussion,” said the staff report.

Any final revisions will be made by Council.

“Upon completion of the Commission’s discussion of the Zoning Ordinance policy issues, staff will return with a Resolution of Intention announcing The Commission’s intention to formally commence the process to consider recommending to the City Council that the City Council amend the Zoning Ordinance,” said the staff report.

Planning Commission meets Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 1685 Main St.


Policy items for debate on Wednesday include:

Revisit minimum 15-foot first-story street wall height.

Reconsider the limit on skylights at a maximum of 12” above the roof.

Affordability levels of deed restricted units for Tier 2 projects should be dictated by objective housing needs.

Clarify terminology and establish consistency with the Green Building, Landscape Design, Resource Conservation and Construction and Demolition Waste Management Standards

Clarify that a nonconforming use may be allowed in a City-Designated Historic Resource only if the nonconforming use was the predominant use at the site when it was in operation.

Consideration of the single-family residential standard that an addition of 50% or more of

existing floor area, or 500 feet, whichever is greater, is an appropriate threshold for when to apply the general requirements of Chapter 9.28 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Distinguish use categories in R1 (and OP) districts where enclosed garage parking may not be


Minimum driveway widths should match minimum apron widths.

Clarify if the statement of applicability for bicycle parking should be interpreted to mean that all requirements must be satisfied for bike parking to be required.

Determine when required bike parking should be allowed on the public right-of-way.

Clarify policy intent of car share parking, bicycle parking, and motorcycle parking in context of reducing required parking.

Create consistency between determining lapse of rights for alcohol related uses and determining lapse of rights for nonconforming uses.

Revisit the existing maximum allowable size for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), additional regulations related to the conversion of garages to ADUs, explore possible affordability levels for the rental of ADUs

Eliminate the requirement for Administrative Approval review for multi-unit residential development in the Ocean Park zoning districts.

Add the word “allow” to Section 9.48.010(A).

Allow for Code Enforcement Division’s enforcement of Development Agreement provisions.

Consider revising the definition of the Restaurant, Limited-Service and Take-Out land use classification to eliminate language that references ‘limited table service’ as a component of the use.

Revise definition of medical marijuana dispensary consistent with State law.