General Plan, Zoning And Entitlements


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  • It is an honor to be here with you this evening. What is Land Use Planning?
  • Lets talk about General Plans, Zoning and Land Use approvals or entitlement. General Plan, Comprehensive plan, community plan The modern General Plan is a policy document with end state objectives about the physical development of a community. The general plan sets broad policy goals. The plan is a big picture document. A Macro document describing the desirable end state. Zoning, usually in the form of an ordinance, contains the standards for the physical development of a community. The types of land uses allowed in specific districts, building heights, setbacks, maximum floor area ratios and residential density. More about this later.
  • City’s have been planned for millennia, The earliest cities were planned through a process of trial an error to protect their inhabitants from climate forces, seasonal flooding and the marauding hordes of invading armies.
  • These cities included Mohenjo-Darro in the present day Indus Valley India and Pakistan, which exhibited paved streets, arrayed in right angles with a distinctive grid pattern. The ancient Romans employed City planning. For example Turin show the very logical way the Romans designed their cities. They would lay out the streets at right angles, in the form of a square grid. All roads were equal in width and length, except for two, which were slightly wider than the others. One of these ran east–west, the other, north–south, and intersected in the middle to form the center of the grid. All roads were made of carefully fitted flag stones and filled in with smaller, hard-packed rocks and pebbles. Bridges were constructed where needed. Each square marked by four roads was called an insula , the Roman equivalent of a modern city block.
  • Planned cities in the new world include Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. The modern era of City planning began with the garden City concept, which provided an outlet for development pressure through the creation of garden cities.
  • The state of California requires that every County (58) and every City (481) adopt a General Plan. The plan must have theses seven elements. They are board policy statements which includes a map of land uses. This describes the type of development that can occur in various places. The plan also sets goals for development for development of the street, road and transit network. The location and types of housing available to it residents. How noise is addressed and mitigated in the community. The desired level of public safety, including police, fire service, as well as any other safety issues such as wild fire and earthquakes. The plan addresses opportunities for the preservation of open space and recreation. The plan also addresses the conservation of natural resources, through habitat conservation planning. Lastly, communities are free to include other elements to address issues of local concern, including public arts, economic development, architectural preservation, community design, local coastal planning issues and many others.
  • How is a General Plan related to real estate development, construction management and architectural design? How can an understanding of the basic principals of land use planning help us to streamline the development review and approval process? Why can new development project generate controversy? How can we educate communities to be receptive? Why are some communities more receptive to new development?
  • General Plan’s can be used to implement sustainability at the city-wide level. Land use policies may be designed to encourage mixed use development and reduce sprawl, commute time, vehicle miles traveled and related air pollution. Circulation policies can provide developers with incentives to prioritize non-motorized transportation. Open space policies can help to reduce storm water run-off an recharge aquifers. Housing policies can stimulate new markets for green construction materials.
  • City planning enabling act: Formalized the local planning commission 2. Established master planning for the physical development of the territory 3. Established transportation planning master street plan by the governing body 4. Required approval of public improvements by the planning commission 5. Regulates the subdivision of land 6. Establishment of a regional planning
  • Here is a sample of a zoning map
  • Zoning established land use districts. Residential 80%, commercial, industrial, public, open space, institutional and other. Other zones may include Airports, Energy zones, Ports, Hillsides and other Conservation areas. Most important about zoning is that it regulates land use uses, scale, density and intensity. Zoning addresses the relationship between various land uses.
  • This slide illustrates zoning principals. Regarding height and massing
  • Land use entitlements are the permission to subdivide land, use land or develop land from a regulatory body such as a planning commission, city council or board of supervisors.
  • The entitlement process is intended to be transparent. Remember! The public is ALWAYS looking.
  • This slide outlines an over-simplified version of the Design Review process. 1. A conceptual design is submitted to the agency 2. The agency reviews the project. Redesign or enhancements may be required. A revised plan is submitted to the agency A public hearing occurs and the plan is approved. Detailed design documents are prepared. Building plan set is submitted to the agency. Plans are reviewed by the Building Official. Additional information or corrections are required. Plans are resubmitted to the agency. Permits are approved.
  • Pre-application meeting with city staff. Applicant submits plans and application. Agency circulates plans for internal review and to outside agencies. 30 day review period: Agency makes a determination regarding completeness. Application deemed complete, otherwise back to step #2 CEQA determination: Exempt, Initial Study or EIR Water quality plan review and approval Preliminary architecture review. Staff prepares draft report, conditions and resolution. Public hearing notice for Planning Commission meeting. Planning Commission public hearing. PC takes action. Appeal period (varies by agency) Public hearing notice CC public hearing and action Notice of approval. Process timeline: 14-20 weeks.
  • CEQA: analyze and mitigate environmental impacts of development. Various levels of analysis. Exemptions: Statutory and Catagorical. Initial Study: Negative declarations, MND Environmental Impact Report and Statement of Overriding Considerations.
  • An agency must review applications and make a determination within 30 days.
  • An agency must take action on a project within 180 days of approving an EIR and within 60 days of approving an Negative Declaration.
  • This concludes our discussion on land use planning. Thank you very much. Any questions?
  • General Plan, Zoning And Entitlements

    1. 1. 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
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>General Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal basis of the General Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mandatory elements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zoning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permitted uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time, place and manner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Land Use Entitlements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting your project approved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensitivity to adjacent uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest and best use </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. General Plan <ul><li>Legal and historic basis </li></ul><ul><li>Official policy of jurisdiction governing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy of Board of Supervisors/City Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governing physical development of jurisdiction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outlines quality of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes the vision of a community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals and Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aspirational document </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. General Plan <ul><li>Planning in antiquity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Map of Piraeus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Port of Athens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grid plan of city </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. General Plan <ul><li>Modern Planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Garden City concept </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ebenezer Howard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British Land Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>llustrates urban growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1902 </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>California’s Mandatory General Plan Elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Circulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optional Elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic Development, Design, Preservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. General Plans and Sustainability: Source: California Sustainability Alliance:
    8. 9. Zoning: Legal basis <ul><li>A Standard City Planning Enabling Act (SCPEA), was released, and a final version was published in 1928. The SCPEA covered six subjects: </li></ul><ul><li>the organization and power of the planning commission, which was directed to prepare and adopt a &quot;master plan&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>the content of the master plan for the physical development of the territory </li></ul><ul><li>provision for adoption of a master street plan by the governing body </li></ul><ul><li>provision for approval of all public improvements by the planning commission </li></ul><ul><li>control of private subdivision of land </li></ul><ul><li>provision for the establishment of a regional planning commission and a regional plan </li></ul>
    9. 11. Zoning <ul><li>Regulates land use, time, place and manner </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes land use districts “zones”, including residential, commercial, industrial, opens space </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes development standards </li></ul><ul><li>Scale, density and intensity of land use </li></ul><ul><li>Performance zoning/Transect planning </li></ul>
    10. 12. Zoning <ul><li>Establishes land uses for each zone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permitted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conditional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibited </li></ul></ul>
    11. 13. Zoning <ul><li>Regulates Land Uses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Residential: R1, R2, R3, R4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial: C1, C2, C3, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial: BP, M1, M2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public/Inst.: Hospitals, Schools, Libraries, Courts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other: Transportation, Airport, Highways </li></ul></ul>
    12. 14. Zoning <ul><li>Development Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Setbacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Density (Dwelling units per acre) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Floor Area Ratio (Building area to lot size) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Height </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lot Coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship to adjacent development </li></ul></ul>
    13. 15. Zoning <ul><li>Performance Zoning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulate form of development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less emphasis on land use </li></ul></ul>
    14. 16. Zoning <ul><li>Smart Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Transect Planning </li></ul>
    15. 17. Zoning: Illustration of Principals
    16. 18. Entitlements <ul><li>An entitlement broadly speaking is any kind of permission to use or develop land from a regulatory body or authority-grantor. </li></ul>
    17. 19. Entitlements <ul><li>Some projects require multiple approvals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subdivision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architectural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific Plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Agreement </li></ul></ul>
    18. 20. Entitlements <ul><li>Subdivision </li></ul><ul><li>Two part approval process </li></ul><ul><li>Tentative and Final Map </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parcel Map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Residential (<5 lots), Commercial, Industrial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tract Map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Residential (5 lots or more) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vesting Map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Locks in approvals, increased improvements requirements </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 21. Entitlements <ul><li>Architectural Review: Aesthetic impacts of design </li></ul><ul><li>Often governed by Arch Review Board </li></ul><ul><li>Governs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building height </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suitability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Color and Materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relation to adjacent to development </li></ul></ul>
    20. 22. Entitlements <ul><li>Land Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permitted or Conditional Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary Use Permit: Special event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land Use Permit: Outdoor dining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conditional Use Permit: Nightclubs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific Plan: Large Scale, Mixed Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phasing Plan: Project occurs over time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Agreement: </li></ul></ul>
    21. 23. Entitlements <ul><li>Temporary Use Permit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special events: Greek Festival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulate hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music, dancing and allowable noise levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food and alcohol </li></ul></ul>
    22. 24. Entitlements <ul><li>Land Use Permit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor dining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures within public right of way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time, Place and manner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Number of seats for outdoor dining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include remedies for solving disputes </li></ul></ul>
    23. 25. Entitlements <ul><li>Conditional Use Permit </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    24. 26. Entitlements <ul><li>Specific Plan (Govt. Code 65450) </li></ul><ul><li>Development standards for a certain area </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure and tools for implementation </li></ul><ul><li>A tool for flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated or contract zoning </li></ul><ul><li>Master Planned Developments </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Owner properties </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Areas </li></ul>
    25. 27. Entitlements <ul><li>Development Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Contract between agency and geveloper, which may specify regulations, conditions, terms and restrictions pertaining to all aspects of a development. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes role of each </li></ul><ul><li>Developer responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>City responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits/Improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed uses </li></ul><ul><li>May lock in development fees/permit fees </li></ul><ul><li>Duration </li></ul>
    26. 28. Entitlement <ul><li>California Environmental Quality Act: </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental review process </li></ul><ul><li>Likelihood of a project to impact the env </li></ul>
    27. 29. Entitlement <ul><li>CEQA </li></ul>
    28. 30. Transparent Decision Making
    29. 31. Entitlement Process
    30. 33. Other Resources <ul><li>California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review the time limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the various exemptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-fill, Small project, Existing development, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Subdivision Map Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time limits for processing applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Permit Streamlining Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
    31. 34. California Environmental Quality Act <ul><li>CEQA </li></ul><ul><li>Most hotly debated topic in planning law </li></ul><ul><li>Single issue law: environmental protection </li></ul><ul><li>Treats each property uniquely </li></ul><ul><li>Pubic confusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between impacts and project merits </li></ul></ul>
    32. 35. CEQA <ul><li>Role of CEQA </li></ul><ul><li>Inform decision makers </li></ul><ul><li>Identify was damage can be avoided </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent avoidable environmental damage </li></ul><ul><li>Public disclosure of approval process </li></ul>
    33. 36. CEQA <ul><li>Three Step Process </li></ul><ul><li>Step I: Is the action a “Project”? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: The Initial Study </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: The Environmental Impact Report </li></ul>
    34. 37. <ul><li>Step 1: Is the action a “Project”? </li></ul><ul><li>A discretionary action involving the physical environment is a “Project” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grading permits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ministerial Action are Exempt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Permit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>List of Exemptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small buildings, infill development, </li></ul></ul>
    35. 38. CEQA <ul><li>Step 2: Initial Study </li></ul><ul><li>Sixteen areas of study </li></ul><ul><li>Thresholds of significance </li></ul><ul><li>California has not established thresholds </li></ul><ul><li>Determination is left to local governments </li></ul>
    36. 39. CEQA <ul><li>Topical areas </li></ul><ul><li>Land use and General plan </li></ul><ul><li>Air Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Circulation </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Biological resources and habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural, archeological resources </li></ul><ul><li>Displace human populations </li></ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul>
    37. 40. CEQA <ul><li>Negative Declaration: No significant impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigated Negative Declaration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential impacts can be mitigated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To a level of less than significant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Impact Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project may have a significant impact </li></ul></ul>
    38. 41. CEQA <ul><li>Environmental Impact Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project EIR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General Plan EIRs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program EIR and tiering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Series of related actions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tiering large project over a long period of time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides more information earlier in the process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additions, supplements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project evolves, corrections </li></ul></ul></ul>
    39. 42. CEQA <ul><li>EIR Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Table of Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Significant environmental effects </li></ul><ul><li>Unavoidable effects </li></ul><ul><li>Significant irreversible environmental change </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatives to the project </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative impacts in combinations with other </li></ul><ul><li>Growth including impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigation measures </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of overriding considerations </li></ul>
    40. 43. CEQA (1)
    41. 45. Permit Streamlining Act (§65950) <ul><li>An agency has 30 calendar days to notify the applicant, in writing, of whether or not the project application is complete enough for processing. </li></ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    42. 46. CEQA and the Permit Streamlining Act <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul><ul><li>If no action is taken within the allotted time, the project may be deemed approved by action of the Act. </li></ul>
    43. 47. 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]