Board of Supervisors Public Hearing, June 16, 2020
On June 16, 2020, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted the repealed and reenacted Ventura County Subdivision Ordinance, Ordinance No. 4566. The updated Ventura County Subdivision Ordinance becomes effective on July 16, 2020. The reenacted Subdivision Ordinance includes typographical and grammatical changes, updates to state law references, and clarifies the processes and procedures for ministerial mapping actions and discretionary subdivision applications. The primary substantive changes of the ordinance include:
- Article 4 (Parcel Map Waivers): Limits the types of subdivisions that may be eligible for waiver of map requirements to: (1) mobilehome park conversions to resident ownership pursuant to Government Code section 66428.1; and (2) environmental subdivisions for the conservation of biotic and/or wildlife habitat pursuant to Government Code section 66418.2.
- Article 5 (Tentative Maps):
- Consolidates the processing procedures, requirements and regulations pertaining to tentative map application submissions, map design requirements and supplemental document submissions into a single article.
- Incorporates new expiration deadlines and extension allowances consistent with state law.
- Authorizes the Planning Director to administratively approve minor amendments without a public hearing if specific criteria are met.
- Addresses defensible space and fuel modification requirements in compliance with Ventura County Fire Protection District regulations and state law.
- Article 8 (Improvements, Dedications, Reservations and Fees):
- Incorporates the County’s process for accepting and releasing monument securities in accordance with state law.
- Updates the residential density formula to calculate Quimby fees consistent with state law.
- Article 9 (Lot Line Adjustments):
- Identifies the standards for processing lot line adjustment applications, including the specific documentation required.
- Provides more opportunities for the processing of ministerial lot line adjustments than are currently allowed, including new exceptions to lot line adjustments involving lots that do not meet the County’s minimum lot size requirements.
- Article 10 (Voluntary Mergers):
- Identifies the standards for processing voluntary merger applications, including the specific documentation required.
- Allows a previously legal lot that was illegally subdivided to be voluntarily merged back into the original configuration that existed prior to the illegal subdivision.
- Article 11 (Conservation Subdivisions):
- Changes the processing and approval of conservation subdivisions from the parcel map waiver process to the tentative and parcel map process.
- Removes the requirement that the parent parcel be legal.
- Expands the types of allowable resources to be conserved.
- Article 14 (Certificates of Compliance and Conditional Certificates of Compliance): Clarifies and expands the current processing procedures for certificates of compliance and conditional certificates of compliance.
- Article 16 (Appeals): Clarifies the applicable appeal boards, deferral of appeals, noticing and setting of public hearing dates and issuance of decisions.
- Article 17 (Enforcement): Addresses enforcement procedures for the abatement and/or correction of violations of the ordinance, Map Act and conditions of approval of approved subdivisions.
- Article 18 (Amendments): Establishes procedures for amending the ordinance.
Final Ventura County Subdivision Ordinance (Ord. No. 4566)
Planning Commission Public Hearing, May 7, 2020
On May 7, 2020, the Planning Commission considered the proposed ordinance at a public hearing. The Planning Commission directed Planning Division staff to work with the land trusts to revise the language under Conservation Subdivisions, Article 11, Section 8211-6(c), to remove the blanket limitations on the type of activities, uses, and structures on conservation parcels, and to instead include a general statement that activities, uses, and structures shall be limited to those that are compatible with the conservation purpose of the conservation subdivision as determined by the Planning Director. The revised language provides the Planning Director with the discretion to determine, in accordance with the standards and findings of approval for a conservation subdivision, whether proposed activities, uses, and structures on a conservation parcel would be compatible with the specific conservation purpose of the subject conservation parcel and thus would be allowed.
The following additional revisions were made to the proposed ordinance following the Planning Commission hearing:
In Article 2, the definition of “conservation purposes” was revised to be the same as “conservation purposes” under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. §170(h)(4)) as it relates to historic properties and/or buildings.
In Article 11, revisions were made to Sections 8211-1 (Applicability) and 8211-6(c) (Recordation). Section 8211-1 was revised to include an additional subsection (for a total of three subsections, (a) through (c)) to clarify that a conservation subdivision may result in the creation of conservation parcels from illegal or legal lots, or a combination of both, which was implied but not explicitly stated in the proposed ordinance presented to the Planning Commission. (See Exhibit 9, Section 8211-1.) Section 8211-1 was also revised to reflect that a conservation subdivision may result in the creation of one or more conservation parcels and one non-conservation parcel from illegal or legal lots, or a combination of both. A typographical error was corrected in Section 8211-4(a) and additional clarifying revisions were made to Section 8211-6(a) regarding the records that are required and what must be prepared by a licensed surveyor.
In Article 15, the last sentence of Section 8215-2.6 (Decisions Regarding Projects, Including Other Discretionary Entitlements or Legislative Actions) was revised to replace “applicable decision-making authority” with “the Planning Director in consultation with County Counsel” to provide greater specificity and clarity regarding this provision which allows for the administrative consolidation of projects involving multiple County land use entitlements.