Article 66. BH Biotic Habitat Combining Zone
Sec. 26-66-005. Purpose
The Biotic Habitat combining zone is established to protect and enhance Biotic Habitat Areas for their natural habitat and environmental values and to implement the provisions of the General Plan Open Space and Resource Conservation Element, Area Plans and Specific Plans. Protection of these areas helps to maintain the natural vegetation, support native plant and animal species, protect water quality and air quality, and preserve the quality of life, diversity and unique character of the County.
Sec. 26-66-010. Applicability
The Biotic Habitat combining zone is applied to the areas that are designated as Biotic Habitat Areas in the General Plan Open Space and Resource Conservation Element. The Biotic Habitat combining district may also be applied to other biotic resource areas that are identified in adopted area or specific plans. Where such plans require greater protection of biotic resources, the more restrictive standards shall apply. As biotic resources are assessed and new occurrences are reported, additional areas may be considered for Biotic Habitat zoning.
Sec. 26-66-020. Standards for Biotic Habitats
The following requirements shall apply to properties within the BH combining zone that are designated as Biotic Habitat Areas on Open Space Plan Maps, of the General Plan Open Space and Resource Conservation Element.
- Biotic resource assessment. A biotic resource assessment to develop mitigation measures may be required where the Director determines that a discretionary project could adversely impact a designated critical habitat area.
- Tentative map requirements. Each tentative map shall include building envelopes that avoid biotic habitat areas.
- Setback requirements. Each proposed structure shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the edge of any wetland within a designated biotic habitat area, with the following exceptions:
- Existing farm structures are exempt and may be expanded or modified, provided that the expansion or modification shall not encroach further into any wetland; and
- The Director may modify the setback if, after preparation of a biotic resource assessment, the Director determines that either:
- Applying the setback makes an otherwise buildable parcel unbuildable; or
- The structure is a noncommercial agricultural structure and needs to be located adjacent to an existing farm complex for efficient farm operation.