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Planning and Zoning FAQs

General Zoning and Development Questions


What is my property's zoning?

Can I change my parcel’s zoning?

How can I tell if my property is in the Unincorporated County?

What can I build on my property?

Where can I build on my property? What are my setbacks?

Can I reduce my Setbacks?

What types of permits do I need to build, or occupy existing building space, for a proposed use?

Is this parcel buildable?

Can I build a barn/garage/workshop/studio/pool house/or more than one garage?

Can I talk to a planner in person?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Guest Houses, and Vacation Rentals


Can I build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

Can I build my ADU before I build the larger primary dwelling?

Can I designate an ADU as an affordable unit to defer required Affordable Housing fees while constructing my primary home?

Can I remove the Z Combining District zoning from my property?

Can I build a guest house?

Where can I find information about Vacation Rentals and X (Vacation Rental Exclusion) Zoning?

Can my property host a wedding or special event?

Can I use my agricultural land to host events?

Permit Applications and Permit History


How can I look up my property’s permit history?

Can I see permits underway for my area or community?

If the use I propose is listed as a “Permitted Use”, is a planning application required?

What is a Use Permit?

Does my proposed project require a public hearing?

As a permit applicant, what is expected of me at the public hearing? What is the procedure of the meeting?

How long will it take to process my planning application?

What steps can I take to facilitate or speed up the processing of my application?

Can you tell me if my application will be approved?

Special Zoning Overlays (Scenic Resources, Riparian Corridors, Flood Zones, Biotic/Sensitive Habitats, Coastal Zone, etc)


What is a riparian corridor?

What is a Scenic Corridor, Community Separator, or Landscape Unit?

Can I build in F1/F2 (Floodways and Floodplains)?

Construction in the Coastal Zone

What is the difference between the Local Coastal Program and Local Coastal Plan?

What are Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA)?

What do I do about the California Tiger Salamander?

Fences, Legal Non-Conforming, Out of Compliance Structures, Home Businesses, Travel Trailers, and Misc. Permitting


How do I obtain administrative Certificates of Compliance?

What are the current fencing regulations?

Do I need a building permit / how much will it cost?

What’s the process for getting a building permit?

What if I have an older building that is out of compliance with current zoning?

Do I need a permit for tree trimming or removal?

Can I operate my business out of my home?

Can I camp on the vacant land I own (or might buy)?

Can I live in a travel trailer on my property?

The Williamson Act or Agriculture Preserves


What is the Williamson Act or Agriculture Preserves?

Questions on Raising Horses


What permits are required to board or train horses?