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SEC. 12.50.  AIRPORT APPROACH ZONING REGULATIONS.
   (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)
 
   A.   Scope and Applicability of Regulations.  It is hereby found that potential airport hazards exist or may be created in connection with the maintenance and operation of the Van Nuys and Los Angeles International Airports.  In order to prevent the creation or establishment of these hazards, special airport zoning regulations controlling height limits and regulating the use of the land are hereby established within the airport hazard areas surrounding the Van Nuys and Los Angeles International Airports.  The provisions of this section are not intended to abrogate any other section of this Code, and when it appears that there is a conflict with other sections, the most restrictive requirement shall apply.
 
   B.   Airport Hazard Areas Map.  The boundaries of the airport hazard areas and the height limitations imposed in those areas are shown on the “Airport Hazard Areas Map”, made up of separate sheets and bearing appropriate marks, notations, references and other information and consisting of:
 
   (1)   the Airport Hazard Areas Map relating to the Van Nuys Airport and adopted as part of Ordinance No. 130,500, which added Section 12.50 to this Code;
 
   (2)   the Airport Hazard Areas Map relating to the Los Angeles International Airport, (both of which maps are attached and by this reference incorporated into this ordinance and made a part of it as though set forth at length); and
 
   (3)   any future amendments and additions to the maps as may be adopted by ordinance.
 
   C.   Definitions.  For the purpose of this section certain terms and words are defined as follows:
 
   1.   Airport Hazard means any structure or tree or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous to the landing or taking off of aircraft.
 
   2.   Airport Hazard Area means any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided in this section.
 
   3.   Structure means any object constructed or installed by man, including, but without limitation, buildings, towers, smoke stacks, and overhead lines.
 
   4.   Tree means any object of natural growth.
 
   D.   General Provisions.  Except where it is determined by a Zoning Administrator, or by the Area Planning Commission upon appeal pursuant to Subsections B through Q of Section 12.24, after consideration of any report and recommendation which might be submitted by the General Manager of the Department of Airports, that compliance with this section in a particular situation would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and that the proposed height of a structure or tree beyond that otherwise permitted by the provisions of this section will not constitute a hazard to aircraft or in any way interfere with air safety or the safety of persons and objects on the ground, no structure shall be erected, structurally altered, enlarged or maintained, and no tree shall be planted, allowed to grow or be maintained within the airport hazard areas surrounding the Van Nuys or Los Angeles International Airports which exceeds the heights as shown on the Airport Hazard Areas Map or as further provided in Subsection F for transitional surface areas.  The procedure and fees for requesting and procuring a determination of an exception mentioned herein, for appealing from the determination or requesting a transfer of jurisdiction to the Area Planning Commission, and the time limitations applicable to those actions shall be the same as those provided in Subsections B through Q of Section 12.24 of this code; provided, however, that upon the filing of a request for exception with the Department of City Planning, the Department shall immediately request a report and recommendation from the General Manager of the Department of Airports and time shall not commence to run for a Zoning Administrator to act until the report and recommendation has been received or 60 days have elapsed from the time of the request.
 
   E.   Use Restrictions.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, no use may be made of land within an airport hazard area, as established by this section in a manner as to create electrical or electronic interference with radio or radar communication between the Van Nuys or Los Angeles International Airports and approaching or departing aircraft.  No illuminated or flashing advertising or business sign, billboard or any other structure shall be installed or maintained within an airport hazard area which would make it difficult for flyers to distinguish between those lights and the aeronautical lights of the airport, or which would result in glare in the eyes of pilots and impairment of visibility or otherwise endanger the landing, taking off or maneuvering of aircraft.
 
   F.   Transitional Surface Area Height Limits.  The height limit in the transitional surface areas, as shown on the above described map, shall be an inclined plane surface having a slope ratio of one vertical to seven horizontal, sloping upward and outward from the boundary of the transitional surface area on either side of a runway or from the edge of a runway approach area, whichever is adjacent.  The direction of the slope shall be at right angles to the center line of the runway or its prolongation and shall extend upward from the elevation of the nearest runway or from the height limit elevation permitted in a runway approach area, whichever is adjacent.
 
   G.   Interpretations.  Where uncertainty exists in applying the provisions of this section, the Zoning Administrator, upon written request, shall determine the location of the boundary lines of the airport hazard areas or the height limits by written decision pursuant to Subsections B through Q of Section 12.24.  A copy of the decision shall be furnished to the Department of Building and Safety.
 
   Any person claiming to be aggrieved by the determination of the Zoning Administrator with respect to the location of the boundary lines of the airport hazard areas or the height limits permitted therein may, within 15 days after the decision of the Zoning Administrator, appeal to the Area Planning Commission pursuant to Subsections B through Q of Section 12.24 of this Code.
 
   The Area Planning Commission, upon notice to the person claiming to be aggrieved, shall hear the appeal within 15 days after it is filed.  Upon hearing the appeal, the Area Planning Commission shall within 14 days declare its findings.  It may sustain, modify or overrule the decision of the Zoning Administrator.
 
   H.   Exception.  The provisions of this section shall not prevent structures, including all projections from the structure, to be erected, structurally altered, enlarged or maintained and trees to be planted and maintained to an overall height of not to exceed 45 feet above the natural or finished grade, whichever is lower.
 
   I.   Continuation of Existing Regulations.  The provisions of this section, insofar as they are substantially the same as existing provisions relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as restatements and continuations and not as new enactments.
 
   J.   Before any existing structure which conforms to all other provisions of this article but which does not conform with the provisions of this section may be replaced, substantially altered or repaired, or rebuilt in a manner not conforming with the height limitations of this section, a permit must be secured from the Department of Building and Safety in addition to all other permits required by this Code.  All applications for these permits shall be granted except those which would permit a nonconforming structure to be made higher or become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was when the applicable restrictions of this section were adopted or when the application for the permit was made, whichever is the more restrictive.  No permit is required by this section to make maintenance repairs to or to replace parts of existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of those structures.
 
   Any existing tree which does not conform with the provisions of this section may remain or be replaced by one of comparable or smaller size or be replanted but shall not be allowed to grow higher or become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was when the applicable restrictions of this section were adopted.