We have listed below the questions most people have asked us. We hope it will assist you, and if you still need assistance, please feel free to contact our office, and our friendly staff will be happy to help.
What Are Setbacks and How do I Determine What Mine Are?
Setbacks are the minimum distance that a building or structure can be placed from a property line and other structures. Setbacks can vary depending the zoning. Contact Planning Division staff to determine your setback requirements for the type of structure you wish to build.
What is the Zoning for my Property?
The City of Lakeport maintains current parcel-specific zoning for properties within the City jurisdiction. For properties outside City boundaries, contact your County government.
Contact the Planning Division by email or phone. Please provide the parcel number or street address.
Phone: (707) 263-5615 Ext. 204
What is the Difference Between Maximum Density and Minimum Lot Size?
The maximum density is the number of lots or units that can be created through subdivision or developed on a parcel.
The minimum lot size is the smallest size that any of the lots can be.
What is a Variance?
If a property owner feels that one or more Zoning Standards impose an unnecessary physical hardship due to the property's unique size, shape, topography, location, or other physical condition, the owner may request to be excused from strictly complying with that requirement. This request is called a Variance.
The City's Zoning Ordinance defines how a Variance can be used.
Variances are not granted without serious deliberation. When deciding to grant a Variance, decision-makers must make written findings explaining why a Variance is or is not justified. These findings must be backed up with facts that also become part of the written record of the decision.
Financial hardship, community benefit, or the worthiness of the project is not a consideration.
A property owner cannot be granted a Variance simply because they do not want to comply with a particular development standard. Additionally, a Variance cannot be used to allow a Land Use that is not otherwise allowed in the Zoning District that the property is located.
I Have a Project but I am not Sure I am allowed to do it, What should I do First?
Come in to Community Development and speak to our Planning Staff. If, after speaking with them, you still have questions, staff will set up a Pre-Application Meeting where you can ask a Planner, Chief Building Official, Engineer, and Utilities Manager if your project is possible.
The meeting is intended to:
Inform you or your representatives of the process, identify any issues that may arise during the process before significant time and expense is made by you or City Staff, and introduce your or your representatives to key City Staff.
The meeting, if utilized effectively, ensures an efficient process and significantly increases the chances of a project's success.
What is the Allowable Use for My Property?
Under state law, Variances can only be granted for Zoning Ordinance Development Standards such as structural setback standards. To change residential density or type of use, a Zone change, or Rezone, is required, and possible a General Plan Amendment.
My Proposed Use is not Listed in the Zoning Ordinance for my Property. How do I Find out if I can do it?
Every situation is different, so you should start by contacting the City of Lakeport Planning Staff.
Each Zoning District identifies the specific Land Uses that are allowed, either as a "Permitted Use" or with a Use Permit.
If your proposed use is NOT listed, it may not be allowed, or it may be that your proposed use is similar to one of the uses that is allowed. You may request a formal determination from Community Development on this question.
To do so, you should detail the proposed use request in writing and submit it to the Planning Division of the Community Development Department.
Is My Parcel Buildable?
A parcel's buildability depends upon constraints including parcel size and shape, slope, proximity to floodplain, soil suitability for foundations, sewer and water availability. Any structures will have to meet Zoning Ordinance setbacks from property lines, building code requirements for foundation and building design, health codes for water supply and sewage disposal, and fire codes.
When do I Need the Planning Division's Approval to Build?
Approval is needed for any addition to existing buildings, new construction, and detached buildings, Commercial or Residential.
Before you build, you should contact the Planning Division Staff for more information.