ORDINANCE NO. 463
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS OF CHAPTERS 17.02, 17.06, 17.48, 17.60, 17.78 AND 17.84 OF TITLE 17 (ZONING) OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE (CASE NOS. ZON2007-00076 & ZON2007-00311).
WHEREAS, on May 1, 2007, after considering oral and written testimony, based on a request from Staff, the City Council directed Staff to initiate a code amendment to: 1) waive duplicate penalty fees for after-the-fact Planning applications in certain specified circumstances; 2) expedite Planning review and exempt the reconstruction of single-family residences that are damaged or destroyed by fire from the City’s Neighborhood Compatibility requirements; 3) revise the noise and vibration standards from the City’s Attached Unit Development Standards; and, 4) add a requirement for the construction of temporary framework silhouettes for multi-family residential, commercial, institutional and cemetery projects requiring approval of a conditional use permit; and,
WHEREAS, on August 7, 2007, after considering oral and written testimony, based on a further request from Staff, the City Council also directed Staff to initiate a code amendment to clarify the development standards for legal, vacant extreme-slope lots; and,
WHEREAS, on May 26, 2007, and August 4, 2007, public hearing notice for these code amendments was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News; and,
WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the provisions of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the Planning Commission conducted public hearings on June 12, 2007, July 10, 2007, and August 14, 2007, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence regarding said amendments to Title 17 as set forth in the Planning Commission Staff report of those dates.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code.
Section 2: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code are consistent with California Government Code Section 65853, zoning amendment procedures.
Section 3: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 are consistent with the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan in that they preserve and enhance the community's quality living environment, and enhance the visual character and physical quality of existing neighborhoods.
Section 4: The City Council finds that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Title 17 would result in new significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of the effects, as previously identified in Environmental Assessment No. 694 and the Negative Declaration, adopted through Resolution No. 97-25 in conjunction with Ordinance No. 320 for amendments to Titles 16 and 17 of the Municipal Code, since the new amendments provide regulations that would reduce impacts to properties within the City and the environment by protecting the aesthetic quality of the area. An Addendum (No. 17) to the prior Negative Declaration has been prepared and is attached hereto as Exhibit ‘A’. The City Council hereby finds, based on its own independent judgment, that the facts stated in the Addendum are true because the revisions to the Development Code will strengthen the Code with no potential environmental impacts.
Section 5: The City Council finds that the amendments to Title 17 are necessary to preserve the public health, safety, and general welfare in the area, while balancing property rights.
Section 6: Section 17.78.010 of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
17.78.010 Fee waivers
A. Except for the application fee exemptions described in Sections 17.78.010(DE) and (F) of this chapter, no appeal, application for a permit or approval under Title 15, Title 16 or Title 17 of this Municipal Code may be accepted unless the applicant pays all necessary application, appeal and/or penalty fees as established by the city council. The director may accept requests for waiver of application, appeal and/or penalty fees for presentation to the city council. If a fee waiver request is submitted concurrently with an application or appeal, the application, appeal and/or penalty fee shall be paid by the applicant and the paid fee shall be held by the city until a determination is made on the accompanying fee waiver request.
- The city council may, in its discretion, grant such a waiver if it finds:
- The applicant or the beneficiary of the use or activity proposed by the applicant is a nonprofit corporation registered with the state of California;
- The use or activity proposed or the activities of the beneficiary of the use or activity proposed are charitable, educational or otherwise provide a substantial benefit to the public; or
- The applicant has demonstrated a financial hardship, as determined by the city council, on a case by case basis.
- The city council may, in its discretion, grant a fee waiver without making the findings specified in Section 17.78.010(B) of this chapter, if the applicant has been granted a variance due to administrative error pursuant to Section 17.64.020(C) (Variances) of this title.
D. The city council may, in its discretion, grant a penalty fee waiver without making the findings specified in Section 17.78.010(B) of this chapter, if the applicant has previously paid the penalty fee for an after-the-fact application that was denied without prejudice, and is submitting a subsequent, modified version of the after-the-fact application within one year of the denial of the previous application.
D.E. Registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporations that are registered with the secretary of state and which are located or conduct business in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes or provide services available to city residents, shall, upon submittal of reasonable proof as to nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, be exempt from the requirement for payment of application fees associated with processing certain planning applications. This exemption shall apply only to the following types of applications:
- Temporary sign permits;
- Special use permits;
- Sign permits;
- Site plan review applications (only where no new expansion of building space or lot coverage is proposed); and
- Conditional large domestic animal permits.
This fee exemption shall not be construed as waiving the requirements for submittal and review of the required applications and associated information. This fee exemption shall not apply to appeal fees, penalty fees or fees for building permits or plan check services. Fee waivers for appeal fees, penalty fees and/or building permits or plan check services shall be processed in accordance with the procedures described in Section 17.78.010 of this chapter.
F. Any permit or application fees (excluding city consultant review fees) associated with the proposed reconstruction of a building or other structure (or portion thereof) that has been damaged or destroyed by fire, earthquake, landslide or an involuntary act of the property owner shall be waived, provided that the rebuilt building or structure is no more than 250 square feet larger than it was prior to the damage or destruction, and provided that the applicant can demonstrate that said fees are not covered by the applicant’s homeowners’ insurance policy. In the event that three (3) or more properties are affected by any single incident, the city council may, in its discretion:
1. Grant a fee waiver without making the findings specified in Section 17.78.010(B) of this chapter; or,
2. Deny the waiver in its entirety or grant only a partial waiver, based upon a finding of adverse fiscal impact to the city.
Section 7: Section 17.02.030(B)(2) of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
The projects listed in the following subparagraphs (a through de) shall be exempt from the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements of this subsection. However, no property shall be issued a permit for a project that is subject to the same subparagraph more than once in a two-year period without complying with the Neighborhood Compatibility requirements:
a. An addition to an existing single-family residence that meets the following criteria:
(i.) Is sixteen feet or less in height, as measured according to the criteria stated in Section 17.02.040(B);
(ii.) Is not being constructed along the facade facing any street;
- Is two hundred fifty square feet or less in floor area; and
- Complies with all of the city’s residential development standards.
- An addition or conversion of non-habitable floor area to habitable floor area that does not result in exterior modifications other than the placement of flush mounted doors and windows.
c. The construction of a minor non-habitable accessory structure, such as, but not limited to, a cabana, a pool changing room, a storage shed, or a playhouse, that meets the following criteria:
(i.) Is twelve feet or less in height, as measured from lowest adjacent grade as stated in Section 17.48.050(D);
(ii.) Is less than two hundred fifty square feet in floor area; and
(iii.) Complies with all of the city’s residential development standards.
d. The enclosure of a roofed breezeway between legally permitted structures or the enclosure of a two hundred fifty square foot or less patio cover, provided the enclosure:
(i.) Is sixteen feet or less in height, as measured according to the criteria stated in Section 17.02.040(B);
(ii.) Is attached to the primary structure; and,
(iii.) Complies with all of the city’s residential development standards.
e. The reconstruction of a single-family residence damaged or destroyed by fire, earthquake, landslide or an involuntary act of the property owner, provided that the reconstructed residence:
(i.) Is the same size and located in the same general location as the original residence;
(ii.) Is designed with substantially the same exterior materials, finishes and architectural style as the original residence; and,
(iii.) Complies with all of the city’s residential development standards.
Section 8: Section 17.06.020 of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
17.06.020 Development Standards.
A. Attenuation of Noise and Vibration.
1. No plumbing fixture or other such permanent device which generates noise or vibration shall be attached to a common wall adjacent to a living room, family room, dining room, den or bedroom of an adjoining unit. All plumbing fixtures or similar devices shall be located on exterior walls, on interior walls within the unit or on common walls, if adjacent to a similar fixture or device.
2. All water supply lines within common walls and/or floors/ceilings shall be isolated from wood or metal framing with pipe isolators specifically manufactured for that purpose and approved by the city’s building official. In multistory residential structures, all vertical drainage pipes shall be surrounded by three-quarter-inch thick dense insulation board or full thick fiberglass or wool blanket insulation for their entire length, excluding the sections that pass through wood or metal framing. The building official may approve other methods of isolating sound transmission through plumbing lines where their effectiveness can be demonstrated.
3. All common wall assemblies which separate attached single-family units shall be of a cavity-type construction.
4. All common wall assemblies which separate all other attached dwelling units (multiple-family condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment houses) or a dwelling unit and a public or quasi-public space shall be of a staggered-stud construction.
5. All common wall assemblies which separate dwelling units from each other or from public or quasi-public spaces (interior corridors, laundry rooms, recreation rooms and garages) shall be constructed with a minimum rating of fifty-five STC (sound transmission class).
6. All common floor/ceiling assemblies which separate dwelling units from each other or from public or quasi-public spaces (interior corridors, laundry rooms, recreation rooms and garages) shall be constructed with a minimum rating of fifty STC (sound transmission class) and a minimum rating of sixty-five fifty-five IIC (impact insulation class). Floor coverings may be included in the assembly to obtain the required ratings, but must be retained as a permanent part of the assembly and may only be replaced by another insulation.
7. STC and IIC ratings shall be based on the result of laboratory measurements and will not be subjected to field testing. The STC rating shall be based on the American Society for Testing and Materials system specified in ASTM #90-66t or equivalent. The IIC rating shall be based on the system in use at the National Bureau of Standards or equivalent. Ratings obtained from other testing procedures will require adjustment to the above rating systems. In documenting wall and floor/ceiling compliance with the required sound ratings, the applicant shall either furnish the city’s building official with data based upon tests performed by a recognized and approved testing laboratory, or furnish the building official with verified manufacturer’s data on the ratings of the various wall and floor/ceiling assemblies utilized.
B. Utility Easements Over Private Streets and Other Areas. If private streets are involved, a provision shall be made for public utility easements over the entire private street network. The director and/or planning commission may also require public utility easements adjacent to public streets or over other areas to accommodate fire hydrants, water meters, street furniture, storm drainage, sanitary sewers, water and gas mains, electrical lines and similar urban infrastructure. The director and/or planning commission may also require access routes necessary to ensure that fire fighting equipment can reach and operate efficiently in all areas.
Section 9: Section 17.60.020 of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
A. The application for a conditional use permit shall be filed on forms provided by the city. A person may not file, and the director shall not accept, an application which is the same as, or substantially the same as, an application upon which final action has been taken by the director, by the planning commission, or by the city council within twelve months prior to the date of said application, unless accepted by motion of the planning commission or city council, or the previous application is denied without prejudice by the planning commission or city council.
B. An application shall contain full and complete information pertaining to the request.
C. The director or the planning commission shall investigate the facts bearing on each case to provide information necessary to assure action consistent with the intent and purposes of this title.
D. In cases where the director considers the conditions set forth on the application not within the scope of the conditional use permit procedure, the applicant shall be so informed. Whereupon, if the application is filed, it shall be signed by the applicant to the effect that he or she was so informed. Filing of an application does not constitute an indication of approval.
E. In no event shall the acceptance of an application by the city be construed as support for, or the eventual approval of, the proposed use.
F. For multi-family residential and non-residential development applications, a temporary framework silhouette of the proposed project shall be required to be constructed as part of an application. Said application will not be deemed complete until the applicant has submitted a signed statement agreeing to construct said silhouette when directed to do so by the Director some time prior to the pubic hearing on the application. The silhouette shall be constructed in accordance with the guidelines established by the city council for non-residential construction projects.
Section 10: Section 17.84.060 of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
17.84.060 Nonconforming buildings and other structures.
All structures, including main buildings, accessory buildings, walls, fences and any other structures, which do not meet the height or setback standards, or which result in open space less than required, or for which the number of parking spaces provided is less than required, are deemed to be nonconforming structures. No physical change, enlargement, extension or reduction which increases the degree or extent of a nonconforming structure or building shall be made. The following provisions shall apply:
A. Residential Buildings.
1. Residential buildings and any attached or detached accessory structures located in any zoning district which are damaged or destroyed by a geologic hazard may be replaced, repaired or restored to original condition; provided, that such construction shall be limited to the same square footage, maximum height and general location on the property; and said construction shall not aggravate any hazardous geologic condition, if a hazardous geologic condition remains. Prior to approval for such construction, the applicant shall submit to the city geologist any geological and/or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city geotechnical staff and the applicant shall comply with any abatement measures as a condition of permit issuance. Upon application to the director, buildings may be expanded to conform to the setbacks listed below:
Minimum Setback Standards
2. Residential buildings and any attached or detached accessory structures located in any zoning district which are damaged or destroyed due to an involuntary act, or due to a voluntary act against the structure(s) which is not the fault of the property owner or lessee may be replaced, repaired or restored to original condition; provided, that such construction is limited to the same maximum height, square footage and general location on the property. Upon application to the director, structures may be expanded to conform to the setbacks listed in Section 17.84.060(A)(1) of this chapter.
3. Residential buildings that are proposed to be remodeled or renovated such that fifty percent or greater of any existing interior and exterior walls or existing square footage is demolished or removed within a two year period, shall then conform to all current development standards for that district and the most recently adopted version of the Uniform Building Code.
B. Nonresidential Buildings. Through December 31, 2009, any nonconforming nonresidential building in any commercial district may be restored to its original condition consistent with the Uniform Building Code, in the event of destruction due to an involuntary act, or due to a voluntary act against the property which is not the fault of the property owner or lessee. Such construction shall not extend the amortization period for any structure.
C. Other Structures.
1. Any nonconforming structure which requires a building permit and which has deteriorated or is damaged, may be restored to original condition, in accordance with the most recently adopted version of the Uniform Building Code; provided, that the cost of such restoration does not exceed fifty percent of the replacement value of the structure, as determined by the director. If the restoration is necessary due to damage, the restoration shall commence, as that phrase is defined in Section 17.86.070 (Enforcement) of this title, one year from the date when the damage occurred. Otherwise, the restoration of said structure shall conform to all current development standards for that district.
2. Any nonconforming structure which does not require a building permit and which has deteriorated or is damaged, may be restored to original condition; provided, that such restoration does not pose a significant safety hazard, as determined by the director. If the restoration is necessary due to damage, the applicant shall commence upon the restoration, as that phrase is defined in Section 17.86.070 (A)(2) (Enforcement) of this title, within one year from the date the restoration is approved by the director.
D. The director shall be notified in writing prior to the restoration or replacement of any nonconforming structure. With the exception of nonconforming walls, fences and the minor structures and mechanical equipment listed in Section 17.48.030(E)(3) (Lots, Setbacks, Open Space Area and Building Height) of this title, the replacement and/or restoration of nonconforming structures shall be approved by the director through a site plan review application; provided, the proposed replacement and/or restoration conforms to the provisions of this chapter.
E. Where a structural alteration is proposed to be made to any legal nonconforming building, accessory structure or garage, no building permit for a new structure or an addition to an existing structure which adds fifty percent or more to the existing floor area shall be issued, unless plans to bring any nonconforming building into compliance with the standards of this title or as near to compliance as is practically feasible, are approved by the director. No certificate of occupancy or final building permit shall be issued until such improvements are completed per the approved plans. This requirement shall not apply to nonconforming buildings which are deemed legal nonconforming because they do not meet the setback standards of this title.
F. When the underlying zoning designation changes on a parcel, the property shall be brought into compliance with the parking standards of the new zoning designation, at such time that a change of use of the property, as defined by Chapter 17.96 of this code, occurs.
Section 11: Section 17.48.060 of Title 17 is hereby revised to read as follows (the underlined text represents new language and the strikethrough text represents deleted language):
17.48.060 Extreme slope.
No development or construction of any structure shall be allowed on any extreme slope (grade of thirty-five percent or greater), except as follows:
A. Trash enclosures, enclosed mechanical equipment or pool equipment located within an area of less than fifty square feet; provided, that the structures and/or equipment are not located more than six feet from the top or toe of the slope and are adequately screened from view from adjacent properties and the public right-of-way to the satisfaction of the director;
B. Structures and improvements allowed pursuant to Section 17.76.060 (Extreme slope permit);
C. Satellite dish antennas allowed pursuant to Section 17.76.020 (Antennas and satellite dishes);
D. Grading and retaining walls allowed pursuant to Section 17.76.040 (Grading permit);
E. Fences, walls and hedges allowed pursuant to Section 17.76.030 (Fences, walls and hedges); and
F. At grade steps or stairs less than six inches in height, as measured from adjacent existing grade; and
G. Construction of new residences (including habitable and non-habitable space) on previously undeveloped, recorded and legally subdivided lots existing as of November 25, 1975 or if within Eastview, existing as of January 5, 1983, which are not currently zoned open space/hazard, if the director or planning commission finds that such construction, as conditioned, will not threaten the public health, safety and welfare, provided that such structures are consistent with the permitted and uses and development standards for the underlying zoning designations of the lots.
Section 12: The rights given by any approval granted under the terms of Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance shall not be affected by the amendments to Title 17 by this ordinance and shall continue in effect until and unless they are modified, revoked, expired or are otherwise terminated according to the terms of the approval or the terms of Title 17 as they existed prior to the effective date of this ordinance.
Section 13: The amendments to Title 17 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code as identified herein shall apply to all development applications submitted after the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance and to all development applications that have not been decided upon prior to the effective date of the adoption of said ordinance.
Section 14: For the foregoing reasons, and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes, and other records of proceedings, the Planning Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby recommends that the City Council adopt an Ordinance amending miscellaneous provisions of Chapters 17.02, 17.06, 17.60, 17.78 and 17.84 of Title 17 (Zoning) of the City’s Municipal Code.
Section 15: Severability. If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or place, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this ordinance, and each and every section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional.
Section 16: The City Clerk shall cause this Ordinance to be posted in three (3) public places in the City within fifteen (15) days after its passage, in accordance with the provisions of Section 36933 of the Government Code. The City Clerk shall further certify to the adoption and posting of this Ordinance, and shall cause this Ordinance and its certification, together with proof of posting, to be entered in the Book of Ordinances of the Council of this City.
Section 17: This Ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and effect at 12:01 AM on the thirty-first (31st) day after its passage.
PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 18th day of September 2007.
/s/ Thomas D. Long
/s/ Carla Morreale
State of California )
County of Los Angeles ) ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )
I, Carla Morreale, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 463 passed first reading on September 4, 2007, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on September 18, 2007, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long