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General Plan, Zoning And EntitlementsPresentation Transcript
Land Use Planning 101: Understanding the General Plan, Zoning and Entitlement Process Alexander P. Meyerhoff, AICP May 11, 2011 Department of Real Estate Development and Construction Management College of the Desert
An entitlement broadly speaking is any kind of permission to use or develop land from a regulatory body or authority-grantor.
Some projects require multiple approvals
Two part approval process
Tentative and Final Map
Residential (<5 lots), Commercial, Industrial
Residential (5 lots or more)
Locks in approvals, increased improvements requirements
Architectural Review: Aesthetic impacts of design
Often governed by Arch Review Board
Color and Materials
Relation to adjacent to development
Permitted or Conditional Use
Temporary Use Permit: Special event
Land Use Permit: Outdoor dining
Conditional Use Permit: Nightclubs
Specific Plan: Large Scale, Mixed Use
Phasing Plan: Project occurs over time
Temporary Use Permit
Special events: Greek Festival
Music, dancing and allowable noise levels
Food and alcohol
Land Use Permit
Structures within public right of way
Time, Place and manner
Example: Number of seats for outdoor dining
Include remedies for solving disputes
Conditional Use Permit
A mechanism that allows the local government the ability to permit specific uses otherwise not allowed, as long as the land owner or business owner meets certain conditions.
Specific Plan (Govt. Code 65450)
Development standards for a certain area
Infrastructure and tools for implementation
A tool for flexibility
Negotiated or contract zoning
Master Planned Developments
Multiple Owner properties
Contract between agency and geveloper, which may specify regulations, conditions, terms and restrictions pertaining to all aspects of a development.
Includes role of each
May lock in development fees/permit fees
California Environmental Quality Act:
Environmental review process
Likelihood of a project to impact the env
Transparent Decision Making
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Review the time limitations
Understand the various exemptions
In-fill, Small project, Existing development, etc.
Subdivision Map Act
Time limits for processing applications
Permit Streamlining Act
The Permit Streamlining Act (§65920 et. seq) requires public agencies (including charter cities per §65921) to follow standardized time limits and procedures for specified types of land use decisions.
California Environmental Quality Act
Most hotly debated topic in planning law
Single issue law: environmental protection
Treats each property uniquely
Between impacts and project merits
Role of CEQA
Inform decision makers
Identify was damage can be avoided
Prevent avoidable environmental damage
Public disclosure of approval process
Three Step Process
Step I: Is the action a “Project”?
Step 2: The Initial Study
Step 3: The Environmental Impact Report
Step 1: Is the action a “Project”?
A discretionary action involving the physical environment is a “Project”
Ministerial Action are Exempt
List of Exemptions
Small buildings, infill development,
Step 2: Initial Study
Sixteen areas of study
Thresholds of significance
California has not established thresholds
Determination is left to local governments
Land use and General plan
Biological resources and habitat
Cultural, archeological resources
Displace human populations
Negative Declaration: No significant impacts
Mitigated Negative Declaration:
Potential impacts can be mitigated
To a level of less than significant
Environmental Impact Report
Project may have a significant impact
Environmental Impact Report
General Plan EIRs
Program EIR and tiering
Series of related actions
Tiering large project over a long period of time
Provides more information earlier in the process
Project evolves, corrections
Table of Contents
Significant environmental effects
Significant irreversible environmental change
Alternatives to the project
Cumulative impacts in combinations with other
Growth including impacts
Statement of overriding considerations
Permit Streamlining Act (§65950)
An agency has 30 calendar days to notify the applicant, in writing, of whether or not the project application is complete enough for processing.
The resubmittal of the application begins a new 30 - day review period. If the agency fails to notify the applicant of completeness within either of the 30-day periods, the application is deemed to be complete (§65943; Orsi v. City Council (1990) 219 Cal. App. 3d 1576).
If rejected as incomplete a second time, the applicant may appeal the decision to jurisdiction's hearing body who must make a final written determination within 60 calendar days . Again, failure to meet this time period constitutes acceptance of the application as complete.
CEQA and the Permit Streamlining Act
When an EIR is certified for a project, the public agency shall approve or deny the project within 180 days from the date of certification.
When a project is found to be exempt from CEQA or a negative declaration is adopted for a project, the public agency shall approve or deny the project within 60 days from the date of the determination or adoption (§65950 and Public Resources Code §21151.5).
If no action is taken within the allotted time, the project may be deemed approved by action of the Act.
Questions? Alex Meyerhoff, AICP Director of Development Services Escalante Architects and Planners 121 S. Palm Canyon Drive Suite 222 Palm Springs, Ca 92262 [email_address]