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Agricultural Zoning Ordinance


The County recently updated the zoning code to implement the General Plan policies related to agricultural uses to provide more flexibility and streamline procedures. The changes to the zoning code apply to all three agricultural zoning districts including the coastal zones (LIA, LEA and DA) as well as the Resources and Rural Development zones (RRD and RRDWA) and the Agricultural and Residential (AR) district.

Summary of Zoning Ordinance Amendments (PDF: 69 kB)

  1. Agricultural Processing — Allowing agricultural processing in the AR (Agriculture and Residential) zoning district with use permit and conformance with standards limiting the size of such facilities to ensure compatibility with the residential character.
  2. Agricultural Farmstays — Standards for agricultural farmstays and allowance for farmstays on all three agricultural zoning districts including the coastal zones (LIA, LEA, and DA). Farmstays in inland areas require a zoning permit, while farmstays in the coastal zone will require a use permit.
  3. Composting — All three of the agricultural zones (LIA. LEA, DA) have been amended to include non-commercial composting as a permitted use and commercial composting as use allowed with a Use Permit.
  4. Day Care Homes — All three of the agricultural zones (LIA, LEA and DA) have been amended to allow day care homes as a permitted use (without a use permit) subject to the standards already included in the zoning ordinance for these uses. (Day care homes are a permitted use in all residential zones)
  5. Farmworker Housing — Retention of the language that allows farmworker housing using private roads to be a permitted use only when easement holders consent. Updated terms for farmworker housing to conform with state law. A Use Permit would still be required for farmworker housing that does not meet the road access, occupancy or setback standards of the applicable ordinance section.
  6. Lot Coverage — Lot coverage limitations for the rural zones (LIA, LEA, DA, AR, and RRD) have been updated to reflect the General Plan policies related to maintaining rural character rather than the urban standards currently included in the zoning district development standards.
  7. Rezone all RRDWA to RRD — The RRDWA zoning district was used to define the restrictions on contracted lands. This zoning district was eliminated and all lands zoned RRDWA were rezoned to RRD, retaining any applicable combining zones. This eliminated the need to rezone to enter into or phase out of a Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act) contract within Agricultural Preserves.

    The following provides the Zoning Code sections for the Inland Zoning Ordinances:

    The following provides the Zoning Code sections for the Coastal Zoning Ordinances:

  8. Vacation Rentals — An exception to the LIA prohibition on vacation rentals was adopted that would allow existing vacation rentals to become legal non-conforming uses in the LIA zoning district, subject to certain operating standards through a zoning permit that would expire upon sale or transfer or with a permit that would run with the land. The Board of Supervisors also directed staff to evaluate a potential change in the General Plan policy to allow vacation rentals in the LIA zoning district in the future. See Vacation Rental Exception Ordinance for operating standards.