image: seal for the County of Yuba General Plan image: seal for the County of Yuba General Plan

image: Yuba County scenery

Yuba County

  Development Code Update

 

 

 

About the Yuba County Zoning Update Plan
What is the Zoning Update Plan? | Importance of Updating the Zoning Plan | Advisory Committee

Frequently Asked Questions

Development Code Update

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Questions on the Development Code Update Process

Q1.          Why is the County updating its Development Code?

Q2.          Are other regulations going to be changed with the Yuba County Development Code project?

Q3.          When do you expect the new Development Code to be adopted?

Q4.          Where can I find a copy of the Development Code?

Q5.          How can I stay informed?

Q6.          Who prepared the Development Code?

Q7.          Who is on the Yuba County Resource and Development Code Advisory Committee?

Q8.          Who Paid for the Development Code to be updated?

 

General Zoning and Development Code Questions

Q9.          What is a Zoning Ordinance or Development Code?

Q10.      What is a Zone District?

Q11.      What are Zoning Maps?

Q12.      What is the process for changing the Zoning Maps?

Q13.      What happens to my property if the zoning classification is changed?

Q14.      What is a use classification system?

Q15.      Why incorporate a use classification system into the Development Code?

Q16.      What is the difference between development standards and design guidelines?

Q17.      How will the new Development Code facilitate zoning and land use administration?

Q18.      Where can I get more information on zoning?

 

Q1. Why is the County updating its Development Code?

 

Yuba County’s first zoning ordinance was enacted in 1956.  The last fundamental revision and reorganization was adopted in 1983.  Between 1983 and the present, single topic modifications have been made, primarily related to changes in State zoning laws.  In addition, many of the other land use ordinances also date back to the 1970s and 1980s with a patchwork of minor updates. 

 

While we are still largely an agricultural community, our County has changed significantly over the past 30 years.  The job market locally and nationally has shifted away from manufacturing toward a more diverse employment base; large areas of agricultural lands have been converted to urban uses; remaining agricultural and natural resource lands are still vitally important to our local economy and quality of life; technology has grown exponentially; retail patterns have diversified; the way we live our lives has fundamentally changed; and we demand more choices. Plus, we have learned many lessons from our past. 

 

The County completed a comprehensive update to its General Plan in 2011 to address our changing community and plan for our future.  By State law the County’s zoning and land use regulations must be consistent with and implement the goals and policies of the General Plan. 

 

In short, the ordinances have not kept up with us and are not yielding what we need or want.  The updated Development Code will implement the goals and policies of the 2030 General Plan by:

·         Allowing for a full range of business opportunities from home-base start-ups to large campus style employment centers;

·         Protecting agricultural and natural resource lands located outside the Valley Growth Boundary;

·         Providing more areas for agricultural processing and other value added activities to further support our agricultural and natural resource industries;

·         Avoid incompatible uses and optimize available land;

·         Streamlined processes; and,

·         Provide for consistent and predictable administration of land use regulations and processes.

 

Q2. Are other regulations going to be changed with the Yuba County Development Code project?

 

Yes.  Other regulations affect the quality of our community too. In order to fully realize and coordinate with the 2030 General Plan and proposed changes to the Development Code modifications to other regulations will be necessary.  Many of these are minor changes such as ensuring that other parts of the County Code that list zoning designations are consistent with the new Development Code.

 

Q3.  When do you expect the new Development Code to be adopted?

 

We anticipate public hearings with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor’s beginning March 2015 with final adoption by the Board of Supervisors June or July of 2015.  However, the

Public Review Draft Development Code is now available for public review and comment.  The County strongly encourages the public to review and comment on the draft document so the changes can be incorporated prior to the final hearing.

 

Q4. Where can I find a copy of the Development Code?

 

The Development Code and all background information is located on the County’s website at: www.yubazoningupdate.org

 

The Development Code is also available at the following locations:

 

Hard Copies (public review copy)                             For Purchase

•   CDSA Public Counter – Suite 122                      •   Copy City: 515 D Street, Marysville

•   Board of Supervisors – Suite 109                      •   CDSA Public Counter – Disks Only

•   Yuba County Library

•   Yuba Harvest Store - 9222 Marysville Road

 

Q5. How can I stay informed?

           

Continue to monitor the website www.yubazoningupdate.org for news updates, meeting schedules, and new opportunities for public involvement.  In addition, you can sign up for email notifications on the website.

 

Other ways to stay involved and provide input include:

·         Attend the public workshops, Advisory Committee meetings, and public hearings.  The public can provide verbal or written comments at these events.

·         Review and provide written comments on documents as they are released for public review.  Written comments can be submitted at meetings on the Development Code; emailed to: planning@co.yuba.ca.us; or delivered to

 

CDSA: Planning Department

Attn: Wendy Hartman

915 8th Street, Suite 123

Marysville, CA 95901

 

Q6. Who prepared the Development Code?

 

The primary authors of the Development Code are staff from the Community Development and Services Agency (CDSA).  The Plan was drafted based on significant input from the Advisory Committee as well as workshops with the public and direction from the Board of Supervisors.  Dyett and Bhatia (consulting firm specializing in zoning, land use, and urban design) were hired to assist staff in preparing a diagnostic report of the existing Zoning Ordinance and providing best practices for various zoning and land use issues for the County to consider.  Dyett & Bhatia also provided graphic design services that were used for the many illustrations that are included in the Development Code as well as converting the Zoning Map into an electronic format.

 

Q7. Who is on the Yuba County Resource and Development Code Advisory Committee?

 

The Advisory Committee was comprised of five (5) members of the community appointed by the Board of Supervisors.  There was one representative for each of the five (5) supervisory districts in the County.  In addition, two members of the Planning Commission were also appointed to the Advisory Committee. 

 

The primary purpose of the Advisory Committee was to enable a meaningful planning and land use dialogue with locally knowledgeable residents regarding development and job creation in the County.  In addition, the Advisory Committee acted as a sounding board to respond and comment upon information brought to them by County staff and project consultants (Project Team).  Over the last few years, the Project Team has presented information such as issue lists, concepts, and focused items for the Advisory Committee’s consideration, discussion and comment.  The Advisory Committee members, through their comments and suggestions, assisted County staff in preparing the Public Review Draft Development Code.  At key points in the process, the Advisory Committee’s comments and recommendations have been presented to the Board of Supervisors for consideration and direction to staff on the drafting of the Development Code. 

 

Q8. Who Paid for the Development Code to be updated?

 

A portion is being covered through the collection of services fees on permits. The Planning Department received a grant that covered 100% of the cost of hiring a consultant (Dyett and Bhatia) to assist with the Development Code.  The grant also covered a portion of staff costs associated with drafting the Development Code. 

 

Q9. What is a Zoning Ordinance or Development Code?

 

Traditionally Yuba County has had a zoning ordinance (Title 12 of the County Code) and a Development Code (Title 11 of the County Code).  To simplify land development processes, the County is combining these two Titles into one document referred to as the “Development Code” or just “the Code”.  The zoning portion of the Code authorizes:

·         the uses allowed on a property;

·         the minimum size of a lot;

·         how tall structures can be;

·         what percentage of the lot that buildings/structures can cover and/or how much open space is required;

·         parking requirements;

·         the density for all development (number of units per acre); and

·         which uses require a public hearing and how much public review is required for something to be approved.

 

The other portions of the Development Code include regulations pertaining to grading, mining, environmental review, fire safe regulations, frontage improvements, signs, and other topics related to land use.

 

Q10. What is a Zone District?

 

The Development Code classifies land into zones called “districts” or “zoning districts”. Every parcel of land in Yuba County (unincorporated area) is zoned to at least one district. Each district specifies the uses that can occur and the specific standards that construction or uses must meet within that district.  Some areas may also have an “Overlay District” that further regulates how land can be used.  Examples of Overlay Districts are areas prone to flooding (Floodplain Overlay District) and those areas in proximity to one of the County’s three airports (Airport Environs Overlay District).

 

The County currently has 23 zone districts, some of which are almost identical (i.e. Resource Preservation Zone and Recreation Zone).  The proposed Development Code has 20 base zones and eight (8) special purpose or overlay zone districts (i.e. Floodplain, Planned Development, and Sports & Entertainment).  In some instances zones that were very similar to one another are being combined and new zone districts to allow for uses identified in the General Plan are being proposed (i.e. Agricultural Industrial and Downtown Core).

 

Q11. What are Zoning Maps?

 

When the County’s first zoning ordinance was adopted in 1956, a zoning map was also created.  The Zoning Map has not been comprehensively updated since 1985.  The zoning map depicts geographic areas or “zones” and designate which zoning district applies to that area.  Every parcel of land in unincorporated Yuba County is zoned to at least one zoning district.

 

Property can be in more than one zoning district. This occurs when the districts overlay each other, such as when a property is within a floodplain or located in close proximity to an airport.  For example: Residentially-zoned land, such as single family residential (RS), that is also in a Floodplain (FP) /overlay district.  The property would be classified as being RS-FP.

 

The Current zoning map is available on our website (here).  Modifications will be made to meet policies identified in the General Plan and proposed Development Code.  The Draft Zoning Map Update is available for public comment and can be found on the main page of the Zoning Update website at: www.yubazoningupdate.org

 

Q12. What is the process for changing the Zoning Maps?

 

A public hearing will be held before the Planning Commission to receive comments from the public and provide a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors.  There will also be a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors where the public will have an opportunity to provide comment before the Board takes action on the updated Zoning Map.

 

The Planning Commission hearing will be on May 20, 2015. Dates for the public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have not been set.  Once dates are set they will be listed on the Development Code Update website: www.yubazoningupdate.org.  In addition, hearing notices will be posted in the legal section of the newspaper and the meeting agendas will be posted on the County’s bulletin board and County website (Planning Department for Planning Commission hearings and Board of Supervisors page for Board hearings): www.co.yuba.ca.us.

 

Q13: What happens to my property if the zoning classification is changed?

 

In most cases the current zoning designation will not be changed.  In some instances the name of the district may be changed, but not the intent or primary permitted uses (i.e. R-1 will now be called RS for Single Family Residential and A/RR within a rural community will be RR for Rural Residential).  In other instances the zoning may be changed to better reflect the actual size or use of the property when it is deemed consistent with the General Plan.  For Example properties that are ten acres in size but have a zoning designation such as Exclusive Agricultural 80 acre minimum (AE-80) may be rezoned to Agricultural Residential 10 acre minimum.(AR-10).

 

It is important to note that a zoning map change cannot be used to take away a property owner's right to continue to use their land or building for any legal, existing use. Therefore, if you operate a retail store and the zoning was changed to residential, you can continue to operate the store until you either voluntarily change or abandon the use. This situation is referred to as a Legal Non-Conforming Use.

 

Development must meet the regulations that are in effect at the time that the development occurs. So, new development will be required to meet the new district’s regulations.

  

Q14.  The Development Code refers to a use classification system.  What is a use classification system?

 

A use classification system groups land uses and activities together based on similar functional or physical characteristics, including the type and amount of activity; type of customers or residents; how goods or services are sold or delivered; likely impact of the use on surrounding properties; and site conditions.  For example “Bank and Financial Institutions” includes banks, credit unions, lending institutions, trust companies, credit agencies, brokers, investment companies, and similar financial services.

 

Q15.  Why incorporate a use classification system into the Development Code?

 

The use classification system provides a basis for assigning land uses to appropriate zoning districts by describing the characteristics of each category, identifying common accessory uses for each category, and examples of uses included and not included in each category. The use classification system will also provide the basis for interpretations about specific uses that are listed in the Development Code as well as other uses that may not be listed in the Code or may not have been anticipated.  It also reduces the need to provide extensive lists of uses that are permitted or conditionally permitted in each zone district.  For example the Development Code Use table will just use the term “Bank and Financial Institutions” instead of listing out all the potential types of financial institutions.

 

Q16.  What is the difference between development standards and design guidelines?

 

The Development Code includes development standards and calls for the adoption of design guidelines. Development standards are specific physical development requirements that typically can be mapped or measured, which makes it easy to determine compliance with the code, since there is limited need to interpret the provisions.  Design guidelines are advisory statements of the County’s expectations of how a project’s design should fit into a neighborhood or the surrounding area.  As a consequence, there is more flexibility in determining whether a proposal conforms to a guideline or whether other solutions may be better.  Design guidelines tend to focus on the aesthetic qualities of a project; whereas, development standards are used to comply with health and safety requirements and/or to minimize impacts of a use or structure on surrounding properties.  Deviations to development standards are achieved through approval of a waiver or variance.

 

Q17.  How will the new Development Code facilitate zoning and land use administration?

 

There are three key concepts that guided drafting of the new administrative procedures (Division V of the Development Code):

·         Common procedures. A set of common procedures is established for all permit applications and processing to simplify and streamline application review.

·         Certainty and finality by establishing clear rules and criteria for decision making so that applicants know how their proposals will be reviewed and approved. Greater use of performance standards in the

           form of development regulations also provides for clear expectations.

·         Flexibility. Development regulations and standards included in the Development Code ensure that new development "performs" in an acceptable manner without reducing opportunities for flexibility in design. In addition, provisions for exceptions, waivers and variances from certain standards ensure that opportunities for flexibility to reduce hardship are available where needed.

 

Q18.   Where can I find more information on zoning?

 

Under the “About” tab on the Development Code Update website (www.yubazoningupdate.org) additional information can be found including a presentation called Zoning 101.