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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use my property for, and do I need a permit?

First, determine the zoning of your property by checking the City’s Zoning Map or calling the Planning Department at (831) 394-6700. Then, look over the list of permitted uses for your zoning district in the appropriate chapter of the Municipal Code Title 18. If your use is not listed in the “permitted use” section, check the “conditional use” section to determine if your use requires a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). All uses within the Mixed-Use Zoning district require a conditional use permit, and all uses on properties with a coastal zone overlay require a coastal development permit.

How can I find out the zoning designation for my property?

You can first look at the Zoning Map available on the City’s website. You may also contact the City’s Planning Department at (831) 394-6700 with your street address and/or Assessor Parcel Number (APN).

Where can I obtain the planning department applications?

Most of the land use/zoning application forms are only available at City Hall. This is intended to promote discussions about land uses BEFORE applications are submitted and allow the City Planner to provide potential applicants with direction.

What are the planning application fees?

The Planning Department Fee Schedule can be viewed here. These fees are to cover the processing expenses for an application, and are therefore NOT refundable once the processing of an application has commenced. Some projects will require a ‘reimbursement agreement’ to cover the costs of consultant time and materials beyond flat rate fees in assisting the City in the processing of Planning applications. This can include the preparation of environmental documents, preliminary engineering review, and the like.

Where can I find information on parking space dimensions and number of required parking spaces?

Refer to Chapter 18.64, ‘Parking And Loading Areas’ of the Sand City Municipal Code (Title 18 – Zoning Ordinance)

Do I need a permit for a new or replacement sign?

All commercial identification signs (new and replacement signs) must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Department and/or the City’s Design Review Committee (DRC) for issuance of a ‘Sign Permit” and building permit prior to installation. Signs on properties with a ‘Uniform Sign Program’ must comply with the terms of that program. All signs must conform to the Sign Code (Chapter 18.66 of the Municipal Code).

What are setbacks?

The term “setback” means the required distance separating a building or structure from a property line. Setback regulations for buildings are included in the Zoning Ordinance under Title 18. Setback requirements are NOT the same in all zoning districts.

What is a Variance, and when do I need one?

In rare cases, property owners can be granted an exception from a development standard, such as setback requirements or coverage limitations, due to a unique situation that is specific to the property and presents a hardship upon all development and/or use of that property. A variance can only be granted for relief from a particular development standard related to a ‘hardship’; and can never be granted to allow land uses prohibited by the property’s zone classification. A variance must be approved by the City Council.

Can I change the Zoning or General Plan designation of my property?

Zone changes and General Plan amendments require City Council approval. Zone changes require a General Plan amendment if the proposed zoning district is not consistent with the General Plan. If your property is impacted by a “coastal zone overlay” an amendment of the City’s Local Coastal Program may be required, which is subject to California Coastal Commission approval.

City Hall : 1 Pendergrass Way, Sand City, CA 93955
Administration Office: (831) 394-3054 - Fax: (831) 394-2472
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