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Planning Commission considers stories limit : Design Review added for Fallbrook Village zones


Last updated 3/27/2008 at Noon

The county’s Planning Commission discussed potential clean-up and clarification language to the county’s Zoning Ordinance during its March 7 meeting, and while various matters including addition of design review stipulations for the recently-created Fallbrook Village zones were incorporated into the document scheduled for an April 23 San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearing, the Planning Commission deferred action on a proposed exemption from a story limit until March 21.

“This is not, in our view, a minor revision,” said Valle de Oro Community Planning Group chair Jack Phillips. “We’re going to rezone in this manner the entire county.”

Section 4615 of the county’s Zoning Ordinance currently states that when the average slope of a lot is greater than one foot rise or fall in seven feet in the area of the lot bounded by a line drawn five feet outside the building perimeter, or along property lines if closer, an additional story may be permitted in a residential building located on the downhill side of a street provided that the building does not exceed the maximum permissible height.

Basements and cellars within such buildings are only permitted if the grade elevation at all points adjacent to the basement perimeter does not exceed two feet below the finished floor elevation directly above.

The new language exempts a main dwelling with a primary residential use from a maximum story limit as long as the main dwelling complies with the maximum height limit.

Phillips fears that homeowners will add third and fourth stories. “This will create an exemption to the long-standing rules,” he said. “It will be by right.”

The county’s Department of Planning and Land Use proposed the amendment to eliminate the interpretation of whether an attic, basement, or crawl constituted a separate story.

“It would clean up our review time. It would make things more straightforward,” said DPLU planning manager Joe Farace.

Phillips also expressed concern about an addition to the animal use regulations which would require beekeeping to be located at least 600 feet from any habitable dwelling unit other than that owned by the apiary owner.

“This regulation prohibiting apiary placement can significantly impact bee pollination,” Phillips said.

The restriction already exists in the County Code.

“It’s not a rezone per se,” Farace said. “We’re just making our Zoning Ordinance consistent with the requirement.”

The changes also add definitions for a high-rise building, commercial vehicle, and porte cochere; a high-rise building is any building more than 55 feet in height, a commercial vehicle is one designed, maintained, or used to transport persons or property for compensation regardless of whether it has been used for that purpose, and a porte cochere is a covering over a driveway or drive allowing a vehicle to continue onto another portion of the site (providing temporary shelter to those exiting a vehicle but not serving as the site’s only covered or enclosed vehicle shelter location).

The definition for “junk” was revised to add specific materials and delete the stipulation of being abandoned from its original use, while the new definition of “junkyard” would add dismantling, purchase, sale, and exchange to the existing definitions of storage and salvaging of scrap operations while also specifying that planned use of the junk for some purpose is not an exemption.

A change in the definition of massage parlors eliminates an exemption for athletic or health clubs, schools, salons, or other establishments where massage is offered as an incidental or accessory service.

The definition of animal sales and services would be modified to specify a commercial purposes intent for the boarding, breeding, and raising of horses and to specify exemptions for the non-commercial use of horses owned by the premise’s occupants and for riding by non-paying guests.

Agricultural packing and processing regulations would consider products to be produced on the same premises if they are solely grown or produced on land owned or operated by the same person who owns or operates the packing and processing facility.

Veterinary hospitals which do not meet existing lot requirements would be allowed upon issuance of a minor use permit. The existing requirements include a parcel of at least two acres, and indoor treatment areas must be located at least 100 feet from the nearest property line while outdoor treatment or confinement areas must be at least 200 feet from the nearest property line.

The gross lot area would include the area within any dedicated trail easement. If a legal lot has split zoning, the use regulations for each separate zone will apply. If a use bisects a split zone within a legal lot, the more restrictive use regulations will apply. The maximum number of animals allowed would be per legal lot rather than for the entire site.

The zoning setback schedule distances were not proposed to be changed, but a clause was added allowing fire code setbacks to be more restrictive. A minimum vertical clearance of at least 14 feet would be required for any gate entry structures, and all gate entry structures would need to be reviewed by the appropriate fire agency.

Interior side yard regulations covering accessory storage buildings, outdoor swimming pools, and private detached garages and carports would prohibit those facilities in the front 50 feet of the required side yard (measured along the side lot line) on through lots.

For purposes of calculating size limitations, the size of detached poolhouses, art or music studios, and recreation rooms would be combined with the total allowable square footage of detached private garages, carports, storage buildings, workshops, hobby shops, and other non-habitable structures.

One guest living quarters would be permitted by right in RRO (Residential Recreation-Oriented) zones on lots of at least half an acre and with an administrative permit on lots between 10,000 square feet and half an acre.

The new language specifically exempts Internet sales from the prohibition of on-premise sales of goods covered in the home occupation section.

The current ordinance authorizes a fee waiver for family day care homes for children, small schools, and group care uses with occupancy of not more than 14 persons. The new language would exempt group care homes with an occupancy of no more than 14 persons and family day care homes for children.

Convenience sales and personal services businesses would be specifically prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine for on-premise consumption, providing live entertainment, selling goods by auction, or selling motor vehicle equipment or parts.

The proposed changes also add a section on mini-warehouses. If the changes are approved, individual storage space may not exceed 400 square feet and may not be used for workshops, hobby shops, or manufacturing, human occupancy must be limited to that required for transporting, arranging, and maintaining, repair and maintenance of stored materials will be an allowed incidental use although retail and wholesale business or service will be prohibited, driveways between buildings on the same site must be at least 24 feet wide to accommodate temporary parking during loading and unloading activity, and open storage of boats or recreational vehicles may be permitted for a mini-warehouse as an accessory use with issuance of a major use permit.

If zoning requires a major use permit for mini-warehouses, they may be located only on relatively flat parcels of land of between one and five acres if any portion of the parcel is on the periphery of residential areas impacted by noise levels of at least 60 decibels from adjacent roads.

Off-premise temporary real estate directional signs would no longer require an administrative permit, although a two-year maximum period is specified. Limits on sign content would be expanded to allow for an address and telephone number.

Fallbrook’s Village 1, Village 2, Village 3, Village 4, and Village 5 zones would be subject to county Community Design Review area regulations and to Fallbrook Design guidelines.


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