MONTEREY COUNTY ZONING
COASTAL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN - TITLE 20
20.64.240 – VESTED RIGHTS
20.64.240 REGULATIONS FOR DETERMINATION OF VESTED RIGHTS
1. The purpose of this Section is to establish regulations, procedures, and standards to be used in the determination of vested land use rights as those rights are defined under existing law. This Section is not intended to make a change in common law or statutory vested rights standards in existence as of the date of adoption hereof.
2. This Section is not intended to address the following:
a. Legal non-conforming uses or structures which are regulated in Chapter 20.68 of this Title.
b. Questions regarding permit enforcement which are regulated in Chapter 20.90 of this Title.
c. Vesting tentative maps which are regulated in Title 19.
d. Development or uses in accordance with binding development agreements.
3. This Section is not intended to and does not limit nor restrict any other rights which may exist in law or equity, including the right to have a development application evaluated under the laws, policies, and/or regulations in effect at the time the application is determined to be complete by the Monterey County Planning and Building Inspection Department.
B. Applicability. The provisions of this Section are applicable in all zoning districts.
1. No person who has obtained a vested right in a development prior to the effective date of all applicable County ordinances or regulations or who has obtained a permit from the County in compliance with all applicable County ordinances or regulations in effect at the time said permit was granted shall be required to secure approval for said development; provided, however, that no significant or substantial change may be made in any such development without prior approval having been obtained from the County pursuant to other applicable County ordinances and regulations.
2. Any person claiming a vested right in a development, which right is disputed by a department head of the County, and who wishes to be exempt from any County land use or development permit requirements, shall substantiate the claim in a proceeding before the Planning Commission pursuant to this section. In such a proceeding the claimant shall have the burden of proof as to each finding necessary to establish a vested right as set forth in subsection 6 following.
3. Any person who claims that a development is exempt from the County's permit requirements by reason of a vested right, and whose such claim is disputed by a department head of the County, shall initiate such claim by filing a claim of vested rights with the Planning and Building Inspection Department.
4. For each claim, claimant shall provide the following information together with any other relevant information required by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection:
a. Name of claimant, address, telephone number.
b. Name, address, and telephone number of claimant's representative, if any.
c. Description of the development claimed to be exempt, including all incidental improvements such as utilities, road and other infrastructure, and a description of the specific parcel of land on, and including a description of the specific boundaries within which such development or use exists for which the claim of exemption is made. A site plan, development plan, grading plan, and construction or architectural plans may be attached as appropriate.
d. A list of all governmental approvals which have been obtained, including those from State or Federal agencies, and the date of each final approval. Copies of all approvals shall be attached.
e. A list of any governmental approvals which have not yet been obtained and anticipated dates of approval.
f. A list of any conditions to which the approvals are subject and date on which the conditions were satisfied or are expected to be satisfied.
g. A specification of the nature and extent of the work or use in progress or completed, including (1) date of each portion commenced (e.g., grading, foundation work, structural work, etc.); (2) any governmental approval pursuant to which the portion was commenced; (3) portions completed and date on which completed, if applicable; (4) status of each portion on date of claim; (5) amounts of money expended on portions of work completed or in progress (dates and amounts of expenditures shall be itemized).
h. A description of those portions of the development or use continuing and remaining to be completed.
i. A list of the amount and nature of any liabilities incurred that are not covered above and dates incurred, and a list of any remaining liabilities to be incurred and date when these are anticipated to be incurred.
j. A statement of the expected total cost of the development or use.
k. A statement on whether the development or use is planned as a series of phases or segments, and if so, a description of the phases or segments involved.
l. A statement of the date when is it anticipated that the total development or use will be completed.
m. A written authorization of any agent acting on behalf of the applicant.
n. A certification by applicant or agent as to all contents of documents submitted in support of the claim of vested right.
5. As soon as practicable after an application for a determination of a claim of vested rights is found to be complete by the Planning and Building Inspection Department, and in no event later than 90 days from such date, the Director of Planning and Building Inspection shall notice a hearing before the Planning Commission pursuant to Chapter 20.84 of the Monterey County Code, to determine the claim of vested rights. Notice shall also be given to any person who has requested such notice in writing. The Director of Planning and Building Inspection Department shall make a written recommendation to the Planning Commission for consideration of the claim of vested rights. At such hearing, the Director of Planning and Building Inspection shall introduce into evidence all evidence submitted by the claimant and all evidence submitted either supporting or in opposition to the claim.
6. Action by the Planning Commission on a claim of vested right shall be supported by written findings of fact. The required findings to substantiate a claim of vested right shall be as follows:
a. That the vested right has been established with respect to a specific parcel of land or within specifically described boundaries, or for a specifically described development or use;
b. That each development or use as to which a vested right is sought was done in reliance upon a County-issued permit or was established prior to enactment of County regulations requiring such a permit;
c. That each development or use as to which a vested right is sought does not exceed either:
1) The scope authorized by the terms and conditions of the County-issued permit relied upon (if any); or
2) The extent of the development or use as of the effective date of County ordinances or regulations regulating the development or use.
d. That the person claiming a vested right performed substantial work and incurred substantial financial liabilities in good faith reliance upon a building permit issued by the County as required under existing law, or did the same prior to the effective date of the regulation from which a vested right exemption is sought; and
e. That each development or use as to which a vested right is sought has not been abandoned to and including the effective date of the regulation from which a vested right exemption is sought.
7. Each claim of vested rights is substantiated pursuant to Paragraph 6 of this Subsection C shall be acknowledged by the Planning Commission to the extent it has been substantiated. If the claim is not substantiated, it shall be denied by the Planning Commission. However, if the circumstances suggest that a claimant may be able to provide additional information to substantiate the claim or that other evidence is pertinent to the claim, the matter may be continued so that claimant may submit additional evidence.
8. Appeals from a decision of the Planning Commission granting or denying a claim of vested rights may be made to the Board of Supervisors by any public agency or person aggrieved by the decision pursuant to Chapter 20.86 of the Monterey County Code.
9. A final determination by the Planning Commission recognizing a claim of vested rights shall constitute acknowledgment that the development does not require any additional permit under County regulations provided that no substantial change may be made in the development except in accordance with the permit requirements of the County. If any approval upon which the acknowledgment is based lapse either by its own terms or pursuant to any provision of law, the acknowledgment made under this section shall automatically and without further action be null and void and the development or use shall become subject to the permit requirements of the County.
10. Claims involving vested rights created by a Coastal Permit and approved prior to 1988 or claims involving vested rights for development created before coastal development permits were required in 1972 or 1976 shall be made to the California Coastal Commission.
D. Filing Fee.
The application fee for a determination of vested land use rights shall be as established from time to time by the Board of Supervisors, and no part of such fee shall be refundable unless said refund is requested in writing concurrently with the withdrawal of the request and provided that the applicant has not been sent written notice of the application's completeness or incompleteness. In the latter case, 50% of the filing fee shall be refunded.