City of Santa Monica
California

Staff Report
2751

Introduction and First Reading of an Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Making Changes, Corrections, and Clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance Related to Policy Issues That Have Arisen Since the Adoption of the Zoning Ordinance Through Its Implementation

Information

Department:Development Services (PCD)Sponsors:
Category:07. Ordinances

Recommended Action

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council introduce for first reading an ordinance amending the City’s Zoning Ordinance making changes, corrections, and clarifications to Sections 9.26 Landscaping, 9.28 Parking, Loading and Circulation, 9.31 Standards for Specific Uses and Activities, 9.39 Administrative Approval, 9.48 Enforcement Procedures, and 9.51 Use Classifications, related to policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance through its implementation.

Staff Report Body

Executive Summary

The City’s Zoning Ordinance sets standards to regulate uses and development of property throughout our community.  Since the adoption of a new Zoning Ordinance in July 2015 and through its implementation, City Planning staff has identified a number of policy issues that require changes, corrections, or clarifications. The City Council already approved a number of minor clerical changes, corrections, and clarifications earlier in 2017. The proposed changes identified in this report are intended to provide clarification of standards, provide consistency between regulations, and eliminate any potential confusion in the application of standards without significantly altering the standards and regulations within the Zoning Ordinance. This report recommends that the City Council amend the City’s Zoning Ordinance making these changes, corrections, and clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance related to policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance through its implementation.

 

Background

On June 23, 2015, the City Council adopted a new Zoning Ordinance that became effective on July 24, 2015. Since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and through its implementation to date, staff has identified unintentional errors, inconsistencies, or omissions that required minor clerical changes, corrections, or clarifications as well as policy issues that require further discussion and analysis.

 

On May 24, 2016, June 28, 2016 and February 14, 2017, following Planning Commission review and recommendations, the City Council adopted Ordinances making the minor clerical changes, corrections, and clarifications.

 

On August 2, 2017, the Planning Commission preliminarily discussed the Zoning Ordinance policy issues that have arisen since adoption of the Zoning Ordinance in July 2015 through its implementation in advance of formal consideration of these policy issues and in advance of making a formal recommendation to the City Council.

 

On October 18, 2017, after review and discussion of the proposed amendments, the Planning Commission adopted a Resolution recommending to the City Council that the Council make these proposed changes, corrections, and clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Commission recommended two changes to the proposed amendments including further research to be brought back on unintended consequences of holding property owners responsible for tenant violations of the municipal code and to recommend that there be no limit on sidewalk sales produced by Business Improvement Districts or Areas.  Staff is conducting further research into the first item which will be brought back for the Planning Commission’s consideration in the next set of amendments to the zoning ordinance, and has made the proposed change to allow unlimited sidewalk sales for Business Improvement Districts or Areas which is currently before the Council.

 

Discussion

The proposed changes, corrections, and clarifications are intended to provide clarification of standards, provide consistency between regulations, and eliminate any potential confusion in the application of standards. The changes do not significantly alter the standards and regulations within the Zoning Ordinance. The specific changes, corrections, and clarifications are detailed in the attached Proposed Redline Modifications (Attachment A) along with brief explanations for each change, correction, and clarification (Attachment B).

 

For each of the topics, this report summarizes in Attachment B the policy topic, purpose of each standard, how the issue was brought to staff’s attention, and what the clarifying language will do.

 

The attached ordinance (Attachment C) recommends that the Council amend the Zoning Ordinance making changes, corrections, and clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance related to policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance through its implementation.

 

Over the next several months, the Planning Commission will continue to discuss policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance along with potential new policy directions with the anticipation that the Commission will consider potential code changes that may affect previous policy decisions prior to Council consideration.

 

 

Environmental Analysis

The proposed changes, corrections, and clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance related to policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance through its implementation are categorically exempt from the provisions of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to 15061(b)(3) of the State Implementation Guidelines (common sense exemption). Based on the evidence in the record, it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the proposed changes may have a significant effect on the environment. The recommended modifications represent changes, corrections, and clarifications to the Zoning Ordinance related to policy issues that have arisen since the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance through its implementation and that do not substantively affect policy decisions made with the City Council’s adoption of the Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, no further environmental review under CEQA is required.

 

Text Amendment Findings

1.                  The Ordinance amendments are consistent in principle with the General Plan, in that the amendments do not substantively affect policy decisions made with the City Council’s adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and represent minor changes, corrections, and clarifications to the standards and regulations within the Zoning Ordinance.

2.                  The Ordinance amendments are consistent with the purpose of this Ordinance to promote the growth of the City in an orderly manner and to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare, in that the amendments maintain the existing policies, standards, and regulations of the Zoning Ordinance that promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare

 

Financial Impacts and Budget Actions

There is no immediate financial impact or budget action necessary as a result of the recommended action. 

Meeting History

Dec 5, 2017 5:30 PM  City Council Special Meeting
draft Draft