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Supervisors approve Zoning Ordinance amendments

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved various Zoning Ordinance amendments September 16 on a 5-0 vote.

The changes include allowing meetings at residences, allowing for the keeping of up to two pot-belly pigs on residentially zoned properties, allowing for storage of emergency or disaster preparedness supplies as accessory uses in certain circumstances, and requiring that all property owners sign applications for discretionary permits.

The changes also now require that an application meet the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance which were in effect when the application was deemed complete rather than when the application was filed, and if no notice to the applicant of either completion or lack of completion is given the application shall be deemed complete 30 days after the date it was submitted.

The ordinance adds definitions for patio covers, potbelly pigs, and vermiculture.

A patio cover is defined as a one-story, open-sided shade structure with a roof and structural supports which is either attached to or detached from the primary dwelling but used only for recreational outdoor living purposes and not for storage, habitation, or automobiles.

A patio cover may have enclosing walls in any configuration as long as the open area of the longer wall and one additional wall is at least 65 percent of the area below a minimum height of 80 inches of each wall. The term “open” includes the use of insect screen material.

A potbelly pig is a domesticated miniature Asian pig not exceeding 125 pounds or 18 inches in height measured at the shoulder.

The same section of the Zoning Ordinance which allows the keeping of dogs and cats (but not kennels) as accessory uses on residential and agricultural parcels now allows the keeping of up to two potbelly pigs.

Vermiculture or vermicomposting is the raising or use of segmented worms to convert organic matter into compost.

A new vermiculture regulation prohibits the importation of waste or other materials from another property while limiting the volume of raw or composted decomposable organic and bedding materials to that which is reasonably necessary to the production of the worms raised on the site.

The definition of “large animal” was amended to add ostriches, emus, llamas, and alpacas to bovine animals, sheep, goats, and swine. (A separate definition covers horses and other equine animals.)

The definitions of “church” and “mentally retarded facility” were removed from the Zoning Ordinance as redundant, as they are covered under other definitions.

The categories “lodge, fraternal, and civic assembly” and “religious assembly” were not definitions but civic use types, and in sections covering allowed and restricted uses those two categories were combined into “civic, fraternal, and religious assembly.”

The combined area of all structures projecting into a setback area is now limited to 1,000 square feet while the changes limit outdoor swimming pools and any other detached accessory structures combined to no more than 50 percent of the required yard.

The previous regulation limited swimming pools to 50 percent of the required yard but did not limit the combined structure and swimming pool area.

The setback requirements for solar collection devices had previously limited such devices in interior side yards to no more than 30 inches above grade in the front half of the lot or in the front 50 feet of the required yard and to 12 feet in height beyond that point; the new regulations provide for a 12-foot limit throughout.

In the rear yard of a corner lot solar collection devices had been limited to no more than 30 inches above grade in the exterior half of the lot or the exterior 75 feet of the required yard.

The changes create a limit of 12 feet throughout while limiting coverage to no more than 50 percent of the required yard combined with all other detached accessory structures.

The allowable size of an attached garage, carport, storage building, workshop, hobby shop, or other similar non-habitable structure is based on the size of the lot and house.

If more than one detached residence is allowed on a lot, the total attached garage area is now allowed for each residence.

The changes also restrict all buildings not meeting setback requirements to a combined area of 1,000 square feet.

The regulations for detached garages had limited those not meeting setback requirements to 1,000 square feet or 25 percent of the principal residence living area, whichever was greater.

Aviaries were added to the regulations for coops, and such animal enclosures are now part of the maximum square footage allowed for accessory structures.

An agricultural stand for roadside sales of agricultural products had been limited to 300 square feet; the changes now limit the total roofed area for the stand, including all areas used for display or storage, to 300 square feet.

A new restriction prevents agricultural products from being sold from a motorized vehicle.

Cold storage is only allowed when it is accessory to the on-site farming operation and used only for storage of crops grown by those farming the parcel.

Although agricultural products produced on other premises owned by the same property owner or tenant may be displayed and sold from a roadside stand, a produce stand can sell only those ornamental plants grown in the same lot in which the stand is located.

An addition to the allowances for residential use permits the temporary gathering of individuals on private property for a non-commercial event which may involve eating, drinking, studying, or other activities under the conditions that all vehicles belonging to those attending the gathering shall be parked in compliance with all applicable laws and shall not impede traffic flow within the vicinity and that the gathering shall not create a public nuisance to surrounding properties including noise, vibration, traffic, or other disturbances.

In an accessory building where civic, commercial, industrial, or extractive uses are allowed, storage of emergency supplies for disaster preparedness are now allowed on properties owned by the county or by a public agency.

Water districts, fire districts, hospital districts, and other special districts are subject to county zoning; school district, state, federal, and tribal properties are exempt.

The storage area must be secure and in compliance with setback and enclosure requirements, and storage is allowed within a cargo container compliant with the Zoning Ordinance.

A technical change requires all explosive storage to conform to all application provisions of Federal law as well as state law; the previous language only required compliance with state law.

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