Item Coversheet


Subject:Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 831 Amending the Planning and Zoning Code Related to Legal Non-Conforming Structures and Uses (City Initiated Zoning Text Amendment Application ZTA 19-02)
Meeting Date:August 1, 2019
From:Marissa Trejo, City Manager
Prepared by:Sean Brewer, Community Development Director


Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 831, A City Initiated Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA 19-02) Adopting an Ordinance Amending Article 2 of Chapter 6 of the Planning and Zoning Code Related to Legal Non-Conforming Status.


Nonconforming use, as defined, means a lawful existing use that does not conform to the City's current land use ordinances, either because it was established prior to the enactment of City ordinances governing the use, or because the use conformed at the time it was established but applicable City ordinances have since changed.The legal non-conforming section of the planning and zoning code designed is to permit continuation of uses and continued occupancy and maintenance of structures that were legally established but do not comply with all of the standards and requirements of this Ordinance in a manner that does not impair public health, safety, and general welfare.


These provisions apply to structures, land and uses that have become nonconforming by operation of this Ordinance and that remain in a nonconforming status by application of this chapter, as well as structures, land, and uses that hereafter become nonconforming due to annexation to the City or amendments to the zoning map or development Ordinance text.


Currently, no nonconforming use may be resumed, reestablished, reopened or replaced by any other nonconforming use after it has been abandoned or vacated for a period of six (6) months, except as provided for in the planning zoning code. The nonconforming use of a legally established structure may be reestablished if the City Council approves a Conditional Use Permit after making specific findings in addition to any other required findings the Council deems necessary.


There have been several instances where properties have discontinued use activity where the previous use was operating as a legal non-conforming use and the turn around to sell the property or find a new tenant is not always quick. Therefore, the property would lose it's legal non-conforming use and would no longer permit certain land use activities. This ordinance will extend the six (6) month period to one (1) year to maintain legal non-conforming status.  


On July 9, 2019 the Planning Commission approved Resolution No. 019P-007 recommending approval of Ordinance No. 831 by the City Council. 


Ordinance No. 831 updates section 9-6.210 of the Coalinga planning and zoning code related to the abandonment of non-conforming uses. Staff has amended the section to increase the time of property inactivity from six (6) months to one (1) year. This will allow properties the ability to sell to similar tenants/property owners should a use wish to continue. 


This change would effect low impact uses where possible amortization is exempt from legal non-conforming status. These are uses that if remain in perpetuity would not have a significant impact on the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding properties and uses. 


A copy of Ordinance No. 831 has been attached to this report. 


Public Notification: Public hearing notices were circulated in accordance with planning and zoning code in addition to state law. 


Environmental Review: Staff has determined that the follow action before the Commission is not subject to CEQA and is covered by the general rule common sense exemption that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. It can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, and therefore the activity is not subject to CEQA.


Do not introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. 831 - Not recommended.


The following standard findings must be made for each Zoning Ordinance amendment. Specific findings may also be required by the decision-making body on a case-by-case basis. Staff feels that all of these finds have been met in order to approve the proposed text amendment for legal non-conforming uses. 


(1) The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the City.


(2) The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment is consistent and compatible with the goals, policies, and actions of the General Plan, and the other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.


(3) If applicable, the site is physically suitable (including, but not limited to access, provision of utilities, compatibility with adjoining land uses, and absence of physical constraints) for the requested zoning designations and anticipated land uses/developments.


(4) The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment has been processed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the California Government Code and the California Environmental Quality Act.


File NameDescription
Legal_Non-Conforming_(Abandonment)_Draft_Ordinance_831_(Exhibit_A).docxOrdinance No. 831 - Legal Non-Conforming