Sec. 9-3.702.  Hearings and appeals.
   (a)   For subdivisions which require the preparation of a tentative map and a final map, the Advisory Agency shall, within fifty (50) days after the filing of the map, or within such longer period of time as may be agreed to by the subdivider, hold a public hearing on the map, make all findings required by this Code and the Subdivision Map Act, conditionally approve, recommend conditional approval by the City Council, recommend denial by the City Council, or disapprove the tentative map and report its action to the subdivider, as follows:
   (1)   Where the Commission is considering a regular or vesting tentative map application for which the Council has permitted concurrent processing of the application with a change of zone classification or other legislative action (Specific Plan amendment or General Plan amendment) pursuant to Section 9-3.502, the City Council shall make the final decision on approving the tentative map application and the Commission shall only make a recommendation to the Council of conditional approval or denial of the tentative map.  Where the Commission has recommended denial, the Commission may forward to the Council proposed conditions of approval for the Council's consideration if the Council determines to approve the tentative map application.  Upon receiving a recommendation from the Commission, the Council shall conduct its own public hearing on the tentative map application(s) and associated legislative land use actions, providing notice thereof in the same manner as was required for the Commission hearing, and shall render a final decision.
   (2)   In all other cases, the Commission shall render a decision to conditionally approve or disapprove the tentative map application.
   (3)   Where, due to the absence of a Commissioner(s), a tie vote is cast on a motion to approve, conditionally approve, or deny an appeal, a permit or entitlement, or on the recommendation to the City Council for the approval or denial on a permit or entitlement (in the case of applications being processed concurrently with legislative actions), and the Commission is unable to break the tie vote situation through further deliberation and votes during that meeting and immediately following the tie vote, then the Commission shall reopen the hearing and continue the matter on an open hearing basis until the next Commission meeting at which the tie might be broken through the participation of the Commissioner(s) absent at the original hearing.
   If the Commission determines that the tie cannot be broken within the next twenty-one (21) days due to the announced conflict and abstention of a Commissioner in the matter, a vacancy, or a long term absence, then no entitlement shall be granted and the matter shall be automatically referred to the City Council for a decision with no recommendation implied or made by the Commission.
   A tentative map shall not be deemed to have been filed until the preliminary map procedure, governed by Section 9-3.501 of Article 5 of this chapter, has been completed, rejected or abandoned.
   In accordance with the provisions and time limitations set forth in Section 66452.5 and 66474.7 of the Subdivision Map Act, any interested party adversely affected by a decision to conditionally approve, or disapprove a tentative map may appeal the decision of the Planning Commission to the Council, which shall hold a public hearing and make a decision thereon.  In addition, the City Council may, on its own motion within ten (10) days after the final decision by the Planning Commission, elect to review and consider any decision of the Planning Commission.  No application for an appeal need be filed by the City Council, or any member representative thereof, when the City Council elects, by majority vote of its own motion, to review and consider a decision of the Planning Commission.
   (b)   For lot line adjustment and waivers or parcel maps which do not require the preparation of a tentative map or a parcel map pursuant to Sections 9-3.302 and 9-3.303 of Article 3 of this chapter and the Subdivision Map Act, the Community Development Director shall constitute the Advisory Agency, and shall conduct a public hearing prior to rendering a decision.  Within fifty (50) days after the filing of the application, the contents of which shall be specified by the Community Development Director, or within such longer period of time as may be agreed to by the applicant, the Community Development Director shall make all findings required by this chapter and the Subdivision Map Act, shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the application, and shall report his or her action to the applicant.  In accordance with the provisions and time limitations set forth in Sections 66452.5 and 66474.7 of the Subdivision Map Act, any interested person adversely affected by a decision may appeal any decision of the Community Development Director (Advisory Agency) to the Planning Commission (Appeal Board), which shall hold a public hearing thereon, and may appeal any decision of the Planning Commission (Appeal Board) to the Council, which shall hold a public hearing thereon.  In addition, the City Council may, on its own motion within ten (10) days after the final decision by the Planning Commission, elect to review and consider any decision of the Planning Commission.  No application for an appeal need be filed by the City Council, or any member representative thereof, when the City Council elects, by majority vote on its own motion, to review and consider a decision of the Planning Commission.
   (c)   Whenever a public hearing is to be held, notice shall be given in the manner required by Chapter 12 of this title.
   (d)   Following the approval of a tentative map for a subdivision requiring the preparation of a final map, the Community Development Department, upon the payment of the fee specified therefor, may grant requests for minor modifications of the tentative map which do not affect the quantity or quality of required dedications, which do not increase the total number or significantly alter the configuration of the proposed lots in the subdivision, which do not affect the grading of the subdivision, which do not affect the design integrity of the subdivision, or which do not alter the intent or purpose of the imposed conditions of approval.  Before granting any minor modification request, the Community Development Department shall make a written finding, with a statement of reasons in support thereof, that the proposed modification could not reasonably be expected to change any of the findings previously adopted at the time of the approval of the tentative map.  Minor modification decisions which are objected to in writing by any interested person aggrieved by the decision within ten (10) days after rendition shall be deemed to be recommendations only, and the modification request shall thereafter be processed in the manner provided in this chapter, and for the fee required, for the initial processing of tentative maps for subdivisions requiring the preparation of final maps.
   (e)   Requests for major modifications of approved tentative maps of subdivisions requiring the preparation of final maps shall be processed in the manner provided in this chapter, and for the fee required, for the initial processing of tentative maps for such subdivisions.
   (f)   Upon the payment of the fee specified therefor by Council resolution, requested minor or major modifications of approved tentative maps of subdivisions requiring the preparation of parcel maps shall be processed in the same manner as provided for subdivision or tract maps.
   (g)   Any interested person may file with the Community Development Department a written request for notification of any proposed modification of a particular approved tentative map.  At least five (5) days prior to the granting of any request to modify any approved tentative map, copies of the proposed modification shall be provided to all persons who have filed notification requests pursuant to this section.
   (h)   In approving or conditionally approving tentative subdivision maps, the Planning Commission, or the Council on appeal, shall find that the proposed subdivision, together with its provisions for its design and improvement, is consistent with applicable General and Specific Plans and laws and standards adopted by the City.  The Planning Commission, or the Council on appeals, may deny the approval of the tentative map on any of the grounds provided by City laws or standards or the Subdivision Map Act.  The Commission or Council shall deny approval if it makes any of the following findings:
   (1)   That the proposed map is not consistent with the applicable General and Specific Plans;
   (2)   That the design or improvement of the proposed subdivision is not consistent with the applicable General and Specific Plans;
   (3)   That the site is not physically suitable for the type of development;
   (4)   That the site is not physically suitable for the proposed density of development;
   (5)   That the design of the subdivision or the proposed improvements are likely to cause substantial environmental damages or substantially and avoidably injure fish or wildlife or their habitat;
   (6)   That the design of the subdivision or the type of improvements is likely to cause serious public health problems; and
   (7)   That the design of the subdivision or the type of improvements will conflict with easements, acquired by the public at large, for access through or the use of property within the proposed subdivision or with public access to public resources as defined and regulated by Sections 66478.1, et seq. of the Subdivision Map Act.  In this connection, the governing body may approve a map if it finds that alternate easements, for access or for use, will be provided and that they will be substantially equivalent to easements previously acquired by the public.  This subsection shall apply only to easements of record or to easements established by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, and no authority  shall be granted to a legislative body to determine that the public at large has acquired easements for access through, or the use of, property within the proposed subdivision.
(Ord. 744-NS, eff. April 17, 1980, as amended by § 8, Ord. 1178-NS, eff. April 27, 1993, and § 2, Ord. 1331-NS, eff. March 10, 1999, Parts 3 and 4, Ord. 1446-NS, eff. October 25, 2005)