The hillside development permit procedure is intended to protect the integrity and character of established neighborhoods and minimize potential environmental impacts of new construction on infill hillside lots. The Planning Commission shall have the power to grant hillside development permits.
   (A)   Application.  Application for a hillside development permit shall be filed with the Department on a city application form, together with all fees, plans, maps and any other information required by the Department. Applications shall be reviewed and processed in a manner consistent with the provisions of Cal. Gov't Code § 65090.
   (B)   Public hearing.  The Commission shall hold a public hearing to consider applications for hillside development permits.
   (C)   Notice.  Not less than ten days before the date of a hearing, public notice shall be given of such hearing in the following manner:
      (1)   By mailing to all owners of real property as shown on the latest equalized assessment roll within 500 feet of the exterior boundaries of the property involved in the application.
      (2)   When a vacant lot is developed, publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the city is also required.
   (D)   Setting of conditions.  The Commission shall set forth such conditions as it deems necessary and reasonable to protect the best interests of the surrounding property or neighborhood, and the general plan or the intent thereof.
   (E)   Findings.  The Commission shall make its findings and render its decision granting or denying the hillside development permit, in writing, within 40 days after the date of the first hearing, unless continued for further investigation, study or hearing.  The Commission shall make the following findings before granting a hillside development permit:
      (1)   That the project provides adequate roadway access for the emergency ingress and egress.
      (2)   That the project provides adequate water, sewer, gas, telephone and electrical utilities.
      (3)   That the project preserves the natural character of the foothills, taking special care to protect environmentally sensitive and valuable ecosystems.
      (4)   That the project utilizes current good practices of design, architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and hillside land planning to develop a project that is sensitive to the environment and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.
      (5)   That the project provides safety with respect to fire, earthquake faults, drainage, and erosion control.
      (6)   That the project preserves mature trees, rare plant and animal species, riparian ecosystems, significant natural features and prominent ridgelines.
      (7)   That the site is physically suitable for the development.
      (8)   That the proposed development of the lot is consistent with existing development in the area.
   (F)   Decision final.  The decision of the Commission shall be final following a ten-day appeal period, unless appealed to the City Council within ten days of the Commission's decision.  The development to which the permit applies, if not part of a parcel map or tract map, must begin within one year after the approval of the permit or it will expire. One or more extensions may be granted prior to the expiration date, but the number of extensions may not exceed three years in total.  If it is part of a parcel map or tract map application, the hillside development permit shall remain in effect as long as the map is active.
(`83 Code, § 17.52.095)  (Ord. 2001-17 § 7, 2002)