20.22.010            PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Chapter is to provide a district to establish areas necessary to service the needs of visitors and the traveling public to Monterey County.

20.22.020            APPLICABILITY.

The regulations of this Chapter shall apply in all "VSC" districts subject to the provisions of Chapter 20.62 (Height and Setback Exceptions) and Chapter 20.70 (Coastal Development Permits) of this Title.

20.22.030            GENERAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

A.        A General Development Plan shall be required prior to the establishment of any development in the Visitor Serving Commercial district if there is no prior approved General Development Plan and if:

1)            The lot is in excess of 1 acre; or

2)            The development proposed includes more than one use; or

3)         The development includes any form of subdivision  (Title 19, Subdivision Ordinance).

B.         No new development, change or expansion of use, or physical improvements may be approved unless such development, use or expansion is found to be in conformance with an approved General Development Plan and amendments thereto where such plan is required.

C.        General development plans and amendments thereto shall be approved by the Planning Commission.

D.        The plans shall be prepared by the developer and submitted for review and approval prior to or concurrent with approval of any required permits for the development.  The plans  shall address the long range development and operation of the facilities including physical expansion and new development, operational changes, circulation or transportation improvements, alternative development opportunities, environmental considerations, potential mitigation of adverse environmental impacts and conformance to the policies of the local area plan.

E.         The requirement of a General Development Plan or an amendment to a General Development Plan may be waived by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection when due to the circumstances of the particular situation there is no potential significant adverse impact from the development and requiring the General Development Plan will not further the purpose of this Chapter.

20.22.040             NONEXEMPT DEVELOPMENT.

The following list shall require a coastal development permit regardless of which category of allowed uses it falls into:

A.            Development which will cause a Significant Environmental Impact;

B.            Development within the Critical Viewshed as defined by Section 20.145.020.V (Big Sur);

C.            Development on slopes of 30% or greater (25% in North County) except as provided for in Section 20.64.230 (C) (2) and (3);

D.            Ridgeline Development;

E.            Development within 100 feet of mapped or field identified environmentally sensitive habitats;

F.            Development with positive archaeological reports;

G.        Land divisions;

H.            Development of new or expanded agricultural operations if 50% or more of the parcel has a slope of 10% or greater; or where the operation is to occur on soils with a high or very high erosion hazard potential, according to the Soil Conservation Service Soil Survey Manual.


A.        Change of visitor serving commercial uses within a structure provided the new use will not change the nature or intensity of the commercial use of the structure;

B.         Water system facilities including wells and storage tanks serving 14 or fewer service connections, pursuant to Title 15.04, Monterey County Code and replacement of water tanks and wells where no increase in service connections is created. The screening of any tanks and associated structures shall be approved by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection;

C.        One caretaker unit for the purpose of providing on-site security;

D.            Reduction in setback requirements provided the proposed reduction is 10% percent or less of the required setbacks;

E.            Accessory structures and accessory uses appurtenant to any principal allowed use provided there is no intensification of the permitted use;

F.            Additions to existing, approved wireless communications facilities pursuant to Section 20.64.310;


A.        Hotels, motels, hostels, inns (ZA);

B.            Restaurants (ZA);

C.        Service stations (ZA);

D.            Recreational vehicle parks (Not in Del Monte Forest) (ZA);

E.            Employee housing, accessory to an allowed use (ZA);

F.         Day care centers (ZA);

G.            Assemblages of people, such as carnivals, festivals, races and circuses not exceeding ten days and not involving construction of permanent facilities (ZA);

H.            Accessory structures and uses prior to establishment of main use or structure (ZA);

I.          Legal nonconforming use of a portion of a structure extended throughout the structure (ZA);

J.          Legal nonconforming use changed to a use of a similar or more restricted nature (ZA);

K.        Water system facilities including wells and storage tanks serving 15 or more service connections;

L.         Single family residential uses provided for in a certified land use plan;

M.            Ridgeline development;

N.        Zoos or zoological gardens for the purpose of raising, maintaining, keeping or exhibiting any wild animal;

O.        Public and quasi-public uses including churches, parks, playgrounds, schools, public safety facilities, public utility facilities, jails, rehabilitation centers and detention facilities;

P.         Any lots or establishments where alcoholic beverages are served, commercial places of amusement or recreation or any places where live entertainment is provided within 200 feet of the boundary of a residential district (ZA);

Q.            Conditional certificate of compliance;

R.            Reserved;

S.            Campgrounds and moderate intensity recreational use, including tent platforms, cabins, parks, stables, bicycle paths, restrooms, and interpretive facilities.

T.         Day care centers (ZA);

U.            Reserved;

V.        Visitor-serving recreational uses and facilities for recreational activities consistent with the limitations set forth by the North County Land Use Plan  (North County only);

W.       Other visitor-serving uses of a similar character, density and intensity as those listed in this Section determined by the Planning Commission to be consistent and compatible with the intent of this Chapter and the applicable land use plan.

X.        Retail Stores and Offices accessory to Visitor Serving Uses;

Y.            Subdivisions;

Z.         Lot Line Adjustments.

AA.      Wireless communications facilities (ZA); pursuant to Section 20.64.310.

20.22.070            SITE DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.

A.            Structure Height and Setback Regulations

1.         The maximum structure height is 35 feet unless superseded by a structure height limit noted on the zoning map  (e.g.  "VSC(24')" would limit structure height to 24 feet).

2.         Setbacks for development in the VSC district are established by the approval of the General Development Plan where such plan is required.

3.         Setbacks for development where a General Development Plan is not required shall be established by the Appropriate Authority through the project review process based on:

a)            surrounding land use;

b)            provision of adequate parking and landscaping;

c)           other site design features.

4.         All minimum setback requirements established by a combining "B" district, setbacks shown on a recorded final map or parcel map, or setback lines shown on a Sectional District map, shall apply.

B.         Building Site Coverage, Maximum:  50%, excluding parking and landscaping.

C.        Parking Regulations:  All parking shall be established pursuant to Chapter 20.58.

D.            Landscaping Requirements

All developments allowed shall have landscaping covering a minimum of 10% of the site area subject to a plan approved by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection.  The landscaping shall be in place prior to the commencement of use.

E.         Lighting Plan Requirements

All exterior lighting shall be unobtrusive, harmonious with the local area and constructed or located so that only the area intended is illuminated and off-site glare is fully controlled.  The location, type and wattage of the exterior lighting must be approved by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection prior to the issuance of building permits or the establishment of the use.

F.         Sign Regulations

Signing for all development shall be established pursuant to Chapter 20.60.

G.            Minimum Lot Size

The minimum size of a lot created through a subdivision shall be 10,000 square feet in areas served by public sewer and 1 acre in areas served by septic systems.

20.22.080            SPECIAL REGULATIONS.

A.            Manufactured Dwelling Units

Manufactured dwelling units meeting the standards of Section 20.64.040 are permitted subject to the requirements of any conventional dwelling unit in this Chapter.

B.         Vehicle Trip Reduction

The following types of development are subject to Section 20.64.250 (Regulations for the Reduction of Vehicle Trips) of this Title:

a)         Any new or expanded commercial or tourist oriented development which will employ 50 or more persons; or

b)         Any new or expanded commercial or tourist oriented development of 25,000 gross square feet or more.