(Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)
A. Adjustments. (Amended by Ord. No. 181,624, Eff. 5/9/11.) The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to grant adjustments in the Yard, area, Building line and height requirements of Chapter 1 of this Code. An adjustment shall not be permitted for relief from a density (Lot area per unit) or height requirement, excluding fences and hedges, if the request represents an increase of 20 percent or more than what is otherwise permitted by this Code. A request for an increase of 20 percent or more shall be made as an application for a variance pursuant to Section 12.27 of this Code, except as may be permitted by other provisions of Chapter 1 of this Code.
The Zoning Administrator shall also have the authority to grant adjustments in Residential Floor Area of no more than a ten percent increase beyond what is otherwise permitted by Chapter 1 of this Code. A request for an increase in Residential Floor Area greater than ten percent shall be made as an application for a variance pursuant to Section 12.27 of this Code, except as may be permitted by other provisions of Chapter 1 of this Code.
B. Slight Modifications - Authority of Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to grant slight modifications in the yard and area requirements of Chapter 1 of this Code where circumstances make the literal application of the yard and area requirements impractical. Slight Modifications from the yard and area requirements shall be limited to:
1. deviations permitting portions of buildings to extend into a required yard or other open space a distance of no more than 20 percent of the width or depth of the required yard or open space only when the request is filed incidental to another application or appeal within the jurisdiction of the Zoning Administrator; and
2. deviations of no more than ten percent from the required lot area regulations. In those cases, the procedures for notice, hearing, time limits and appeals shall be the same as those applicable to the underlying application or appeal. In granting a slight modification, a Zoning Administrator may impose conditions related to the interests addressed in the findings set forth in Subdivision 4. of Subsection C. below. (Amended by Ord. No. 182,095, Eff. 5/7/11.)
C. Procedures for Slight Modifications and Adjustments. (Amended by Ord. No. 173,492, Eff. 10/10/00.) The initial decision-maker for adjustments or slight modifications shall be the Zoning Administrator and the appellate body shall be the Area Planning Commission. Procedures for slight modifications and adjustments shall be as set forth in Section 12.24B through J, except as otherwise provided here.
1. Applications for a Slight Modification or Adjustment. An application for an adjustment or a slight modification shall be filed pursuant to this section, upon forms provided by the Department of City Planning and accompanied by applicable fees. Each application shall be verified by the owner or lessee of the property involved. In the case of a slight modification of the area requirements, the verification of the application may be waived.
2. Public Hearing and Notice. The following are exceptions to the public hearing and notice requirements in Section 12.24.
(a) An application for an adjustment shall be set for public hearing unless the Zoning Administrator makes written findings in the record that the requested adjustment:
(1) will not have a significant effect on adjoining properties or on the immediate neighborhood; or
(2) is not likely to evoke public controversy.
(b) The Zoning Administrator may set an application for an adjustment or slight modification for public hearing, even though a public hearing is not otherwise required, if the Zoning Administrator determines that it would be in the public interest. In that event, written notices of the public hearing shall be mailed to the owners of all properties abutting, across the street or alley from or having a common corner with the subject property. When a public hearing is scheduled pursuant to this section, written notices shall be mailed at least 24 days prior to the date of the hearing. The last known names and addresses of the owners as shown on the records of the City Engineer or the records of the County Assessor. Notice of the public hearing shall be posted, by the applicant in a conspicuous place on the property involved at least ten days prior to the date of the public hearing. (Amended by Ord. No. 181,595, Eff. 4/10/11.)
(c) An application for an adjustment to permit a game court, including a tennis or paddle tennis court, accessory to a primary residential use on the same lot, or to permit the erection of light standards in conjunction with that use shall be set for public hearing and notice shall be given in the same manner required for adjustments unless the applicant has secured the approval of the owners of all properties abutting, across the street or alley from or having a common corner with the subject property.
(d) For R1, RS, RE and RA Zoned properties the Zoning Administrator must conduct a public hearing for any Adjustment or Slight Modification requests. (Amended by Ord. No. 184,802, Eff. 3/17/17.)
3. Initial Decision by Zoning Administrator. Decisions by a Zoning Administrator shall be supported by written findings of fact based upon written or oral statements and documents presented to him or her which may include photographs, maps, and plans, together with the result of his or her investigations. Upon making a determination pursuant to an application for an adjustment or slight modification, the Zoning Administrator shall place a copy of the determination and any written findings in the file and furnish a copy to the Department of Building and Safety. Furthermore, with respect to adjustments, whether or not set for public hearing and with respect to slight modifications which have been set for public hearing, a copy of the determination shall be mailed to the applicant, and to the owners of all properties abutting, across the street or alley from, or having a common corner with the subject property and to all persons who have filed written requests for notice with the Office of Zoning Administration.
With respect to slight modifications which have not been set for public hearing, a copy of the determination shall be mailed to the applicant, to the owner of the subject property if other than the applicant, and to all persons who have filed written requests for notice with the Office of Zoning Administration.
4. Findings for Approval of Adjustments. (Amended by Ord. No. 182,095, Eff. 5/7/12.) The Zoning Administrator shall not grant an application for an adjustment unless he or she finds:
(a) that while site characteristics or existing improvements make strict adherence to the zoning regulations impractical or infeasible, the project nonetheless conforms with the intent of those regulations;
(b) that in light of the project as a whole, including any mitigation measures imposed, the project's location, size, height, operations and other significant features will be compatible with and will not adversely affect or further degrade adjacent properties, the surrounding neighborhood, or the public health, welfare, and safety; and
(c) that the project is in substantial conformance with the purpose, intent and provisions of the General Plan, the applicable community plan and any applicable specific plan.
5. Conditions for Approval. In approving an adjustment or slight modification, the Zoning Administrator may impose those conditions he or she deems necessary to remedy a disparity of privileges and that are necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare and assure compliance with the objectives of the General Plan and the purpose and intent of the zoning.
D. Discontinuance of Adjustment - Revocation. (Added by Ord. No. 173,492, Eff. 10/10/00.) The revocation procedures that apply to variances in Section 12.27S shall also apply to adjustments.
E. Adjustment - Plan Approvals. (Added by Ord. No. 173,492, Eff. 10/10/00.) The plan approval procedures that apply to variances in Section 12.27U shall also apply to adjustments.