SEC. 15-13.  CITY-INITIATED MERGER OF CONTIGUOUS PARCELS.
   (A)   A parcel or unit of real property shall merge with a contiguous parcel or unit held by the same owner if any one of the contiguous parcels or units held by the same owner does not conform to standards for minimum parcel size under applicable zoning ordinances and if all of the following requirements are satisfied:
      (1)   At least one of the affected parcels is undeveloped by any structure for which a building permit was issued or for which a building permit was not required at the time of construction, or is developed only with one or more accessory structure, or is developed with a single structure, other than an accessory structure, that is also partially sited on a contiguous parcel or unit.
      (2)   With respect to any affected parcel, one or more of the following conditions exists:
         (a)   Comprises less than 5,000 square feet in area at the time of the determination of merger;
         (b)   Was not created in compliance with applicable laws and ordinances in effect at the time of its creation;
         (c)   Does not meet current standards for sewage disposal and domestic water supply;
         (d)   Does not meet slope stability standards;
         (e)   Has no legal access which is adequate for vehicular and safety equipment access and maneuverability;
         (f)   Its development would create health or safety hazards; and/or
         (g)   Is inconsistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan, other than minimum lot size or density standards.
   (B)   For purposes of determining whether contiguous parcels are held by the same owner, ownership shall be determined as of the date that notice of intention to determine status is recorded.  This section shall not apply if one or more of the conditions exist as described in subparts (A) through (E) of Cal. Gov't Code, Section 66451.11.
   (C)   A merger of parcels becomes effective when the director causes to be filed with the Ventura County Recorder a notice of merger specifying the names of the record owners and particularly describing the real property.  Prior to filing the notice, the city engineer shall review the property description.
   (D)   On or before filing a notice of merger, city staff shall cause to be mailed by certified mail to the then current record owner of the property a notice of intention to determine status, notifying the owner that the affected parcels may be merged pursuant to the standards specified in this section, and advising the owner of the opportunity to request a hearing on determination of status and to present evidence at the hearing that the property does not meet the criteria for merger.
   (E)   At any time within 30 days after of the notice of intention to determine status is recorded, the owner of the affected property may file with the city clerk a request for a hearing on determination of status.
   (F)   Upon receiving a request for such a hearing on determination of status from the owner of the affected property, the city clerk shall fix a time, date and place for a hearing to be conducted by the commission and shall notify the property owner of that time, date and place for the hearing by certified mail.  The hearing shall be conducted not more than 60 days following receipt of the property owner's request for the hearing, but may be postponed or continued with the mutual consent of the commission and the property owner.
   (G)   At the hearing, the property owner shall be given the opportunity to present any evidence that the affected property does not meet the standards for merger specified in this section.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the commission shall make a determination that the affected parcels are to be merged or are not to be merged and shall so notify the owner of its determination.  A determination of merger shall be recorded within 30 days after conclusion of the hearing.
   (H)   If the property owner does not file a request for a hearing within 30 days after the notice of intention to determine status is recorded, the commission may within 90 days of the expiration of such 30 days, make a determination that the affected parcels are to be merged or are not to be merged.  A determination of merger shall be recorded within said 90 days.  If a determination is made that the subject property shall not be merged, city staff shall file with the Ventura County recorder a release of the notice of intention to determine status and shall mail a clearance letter to the then current owner of record.
(`64 Code, Sec. 27-13)  (Ord. No. 1684, 2243)