This glossary is provided as a public service to give general definitions for some of the more commonly used words, terms and phrases used in the planning process. Additional definitions and terms can be found in the County Zoning Ordinances.
Administrative Permit - a minor use permit that complies with Title 21-Section 21.70 of the Monterey County Zoning Code. The Director of Planning and Building Inspection or the Zoning Administrator is authorized to consider Administrative Permits pursuant to Title 21-Section 21.70.The Director of Planning and Building Inspection or the Zoning Administrator is authorized to consider Administrative Permits pursuant to Title 21-Section 21.70.
Affordable Housing - those residential projects, for rent or sale, which are intended for and restricted to households of very low, low and moderate income, which meet the following qualifications:
Agriculture - the art or science of cultivating the ground; harvesting of crops; rearing and management of livestock; tillage, husbandry; farming; horticulture; and forestry; the science and art of the production of plants and animals useful to man; and wildlife management.
Agricultural Support Service - a necessary and accessory facility principally established to serve on site farming or ranching activities and which relies on the on site agriculture as its' major means of support. Agricultural support facilities include but are not limited to coolers, cold storage, loading docks and shops.Agricultural support facilities include but are not limited to coolers, cold storage, loading docks and shops.
Airport - a place, either on land or on water, where aircraft may land and take off and where additional space may be provided to discharge or receive cargoes and passengers, make repairs, or take in fuel.
Alley - a passage or way, public or private, open to public travel, affording a secondary means or vehicular access to abutting lots and not intended for general traffic circulation.
Alteration, Structural - any change or rearrangement in the supporting members of an existing structure, such as bearing walls, columns, beams, girders, or interior bearing partitions, or any enlargement to or diminution or a structure, whether horizontally or vertically, or the moving of a structure from one location to another.
Alternatives - a range of reasonable options or alternatives to the project or to the location of the project which would feasibly attain a project's objectives but would avoid or substantially lessen any of the significant effects of a project.
Annexations - the process by which unincorporated county land areas that are not zoned, become classified under an approved local government zone and become subject to the jurisdiction of that local jurisdiction. Annexations are classified automatically into the R1 Zone, unless authorized by the Board of Supervisors to be classified into another zone.
Apartment - a room, or suite of two or more rooms, occupying a portion of a structure and such room or rooms are designed for, intended for, or occupied by one family.
Appeal - a written and signed petition that requests further action be taken on an action made by an authorized decision making body. A 10 day appeal period is observed for County of Monterey Planning decision items.
Applicant - a person who proposes to carry out a project and needs a lease, permit, license, certificate, or other entitlement for use, or who is requesting financial assistance from one or more public agencies to carry out a project.
Application - the official instrument used to record owner, property, site and building data and other information that the applicant files to request a permit, license, certificate, or other entitlement for use.
Assessor's Parcel Number - the official identification number given to an individual parcel of land by the County Assessor's office.
Automobile Wrecking Yard - any structure, portion thereof, property, location facility or area used for the dismantling of wrecking of more than two motor vehicles or trailers, or the storage, sale or dumping of more than two dismantled, partially dismantled, obsolete or wrecked vehicles or their parts, but not including the incidental storage of vehicles in connection with the operation of a repair garage, providing the repair period of anyone vehicle does not exceed 60 days, and not including the active noncommercial repair of one personal motor vehicle within a 120 day period and not including the storage, dismantling, wrecking and repair of vehicles or equipment accessory to on-site agricultural operations.
Average Lot Depth - the distance of a line extending from the midpoint of the front lot line to the midpoint of the rear lot line, with that line being equidistant form the side lot lines.
Average Lot Width - the quotient of the lot area divided by the average lot depth.
Bed and breakfast Facility - an establishment providing overnight accommodations and a morning meal by people who rent rooms in their homes. Rent or rental fee can include form of remuneration including cash, goods or services, barter, or forgiveness of debt..
Block - that property abutting on one side of a street and lying between the two nearest intersections or intercepting streets or nearest intersection or intercepting streets and railroad right-of-way, unsubdivided acreage, watercourse or body of water..
Brown Act - the State of California Law enacted to require that Planning Commission meetings and other publicly government sanctioned meetings must be open to the public. The law limits the number of Commissioners that may meet privately to discuss planning matters.
Building - any structure built entirely of frame or a more lasting type of construction, having a roof supported by columns or by walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals, or chattel, but not including any tent or trailer..
Building Permit - an official document issued for a specific building or site to authorize the construction, erection, enlargement, alteration, repair, movement, improvement, conversion or demolition.
Building Site - a parcel of land occupied or intended to be occupied by main structure and accessory structures and uses, including such open spaces as are provided or are intended to be used in connection therewith or are required by the regulation for the district wherein such parcel is located.
California Environmental Quality Act - the State statutes and guidelines enacted by the California legislature in 1970, (Public Resources Code, Section 21000 et. Seq.) that contains a process for conducting environmental review for projects..
California State Coastal Conservancy - the State agency established in 1976, that has taken positive steps to preserve, restore, and enhance California's coastal resources to develop creative solutions to difficult land use problems on the coast and around San Francisco Bay. The Conservancy is also the state-designated agency that implements public improvement projects envisioned by the State Coastal Act and is responsible for carrying out projects. The Conservancy is authorized to acquire land, design and provide funds to local governments, other public agencies and non-profit organizations for these purposes.The Conservancy is authorized to acquire land, design and provide funds to local governments, other public agencies and non-profit organizations for these purposes.
Caretaker Unit - a permanent residence, secondary and accessory to an existing main dwelling for persons employed principally on-site for purposes of care and protection of persons, property, plants, animals, equipment or other circumstances on site or on contiguous lots under the same ownership.
Categorical Exemption - an exemption from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act based on a finding by the Secretary of Resources and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors that certain types of projects do not have a significant effect on the environment.
Coastal Act - Proposition 20 (1972), the state law that declared the California coast a resource of statewide significance.(1972), the state law that declared the California coast a resource of statewide significance.
In 1976, the Coastal Act was promulgated to implement the goals of Proposition 20 and to establish basic goals to:In 1976, the Coastal Act was promulgated to implement the goals of Proposition 20 and to establish basic goals to:
1) Protect, maintain and where feasible enhance and restore the overall quality of the Coastal Zone environment;
2) Assure balance utilization of Coastal Zone resources
3) Maximize public access and recreational opportunities consistent with resource conservation principles and private property rights
4) Assure priority for coastal-dependent development over other development; and
5) Encourage state and local efforts to coordinate planning for mutually beneficial uses..
Categorical Exemption - a document issued to state that a discretionary permit project is exempt from environmental review and will not cause environmental damage or impacts..
Coastal Implementation Plan - those ordinances, actions and other devices required to implement the Local Coastal Land Use Plan. Both the Local Implementation Plan and Land Use Plan require review by the Planning Commission, adoption by the Board of Supervisors and certification by the State Coastal Commission.
Convenience Store - a market with a floor area of less than 5,000 square feet, frequently located near residential development, which offers a limited variety of food, household and sundry items and which is operated primarily for the convenience of the walk-in shopper or persons purchasing a few items.
County Planning Commission - the ten member board appointed by the chairperson of the Board of Supervisors. Commission shall consist of the lay members, not officers of the county, appointed by the chairperson of the board of supervisors with the approval of the board. There shall also be three advisory members of said commission, of whom one shall be the county counsel, one the road commissioner and one, the county assessor. The advisory members may each designate one of his deputies to sit in on the commission in his absence.
County Scenic Route - a segment of County roadway that has been officially designated a scenic route by the Director of the California Department of Transportation.
Coverage - any area covered by a structure, structures or structure protrusions including decks twenty-four inches or more above grade but not including building eaves of thirty inches or less and similar non-usable areas, paved driveways, sidewalks, paths, patios and decks less than twenty-four inches above grade.
Day Care Home, Large Family - a home licensed as such by the State of California to provide day care for seven to twelve children, inclusive of the children who reside at the home..
Day Care Home, Small Family - a home licensed as such by the State of California to provide day care for one to six children, inclusive of the children who reside at the home.
Density - the measure of the ratio of population to the area of land occupied by that population, which may be expressed as dwelling units per acre, families per acre, persons per acre, or conversely as acres per dwelling unit or square feet per dwelling unit.
Design Approval - the approval of the location, size, configuration materials, and colors of structures or fences in certain areas of the County. The Director of Planning and building Inspection or Zoning Administrator may approve, without hearing or notice, designs for smaller projects.
Development Right - any activity which occurs on land or water that involves the placement of any structure, the discharge or disposal of any waste material, grading dredging or mineral extraction. This definition includes any change in density and/or intensity of use including the subdivision of land, construction and any structure, and the harvesting of major vegetation other than for agricultural purposes.
Development Standard - the regulations contained within each zone district or other sections of this Title setting forth minimum requirements or specifications and maximum allowances for development which must be met by all applications for zoning clearance.
Decision-Making Body - a group or individual having project approval authority.
Discretionary Action - an action taken by an authorized public agency or body, in which the exercise of judgment, deliberation, or a decision on the part of the public agency or body generally leads to the conferring of approval, denial or continuation of an application request..
Discretionary Project - an activity defined as a project which requires the exercise of judgment, deliberation, or a decision on the part of the public agency or body in the process of approving or disapproving a particular activity, as distinguished from activities where the public agency or body merely has to determine whether there has been compliance with applicable statutes, ordinances, or regulations..
Director of RMA - Planning - the Director of the Monterey County Resource Management Agency - Planning.
Dwelling Unit - a dwelling or portion thereof used by one family and containing one kitchen..
Dwelling, Duplex - a detached structure, under one roof, designed for or occupied exclusively by two families living independently of each other, and each dwelling unit having its own kitchen..
Dwelling, Group - a group of two or more attached or detached one-family, duplex or multiple family dwellings occupying a parcel of land under one ownership and having a yard in common..
Dwelling, Multiple Family - a structure or portion thereof used to house three or more families, living independently of each other, and each unit having its own kitchen..
Dwelling, Single Family - a detached structure, including a mobile home or manufactured dwelling unit, containing only one kitchen and used to house not more than one family..
Environment - the physical conditions which exist within the area which will be affected by a proposed, project including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, ambient noise, and objects of historic or aesthetic significance.
Environmental Impact Report - a concise report statement setting forth the environmental effects and considerations pertaining to a project as specified in CEQA. An EIR document is prepared to analyze the potential environmental damage and impacts caused by implementation of a project.
Family - one or more persons occupying a dwelling unit or other premises and living as a single not-for-profit housekeeping unit, as distinguished from a group occupying a hotel, club, fraternity or sorority house. Family includes necessary servants.
Fault - a fracture in the earth's crust along which there has been displacement of landmasses relative to one another.
Fault, Active - a fault along which there has been displacement during the last 11,000 years.
Fault, Inactive - a fault along which there has been no major displacement for more than 3,000,000 years.
Fault Zone - a zone consisting of interconnected closely spaced faults and fault traces.
Feasible - capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social and technical factors.
Floor Area Ratio - the total gross square footage of buildings on a parcel divided by the square footage of the parcel.
Front Wall - the wall of the structure nearest the street or streets upon which the structure faces, but excluding certain features as specified in Chapter 21.62 (Height and Setback Exceptions) of this Title.
Garage, Public - any structure and premises, except a private or storage garage, used for the storage, repair or storage and repair of motor vehicles for remuneration, hire, or sale..
Garage, Storage - any structure and premises, except a private garage, used exclusively for the storage of motor vehicles.
Guesthouse - an attached or detached living quarters of a permanent type of construction lacking internal circulation with the main dwelling, without kitchen or cooking facilities, clearly subordinate and incidental to the main structure, on the same lot, and not to be rented, let or leased, whether compensation is direct or indirect.
Guidelines - the instructions individuals and agencies use along with criteria and procedures to complete applications and to evaluate projects and prepare environmental documents.
Hearing, Planning - the convening of a government sanctioned commission, body, group or advisor for the purpose of publicly considering planning matters, issues and requests that fall within the jurisdiction of Chapters 20 and 21 and that are subject to the provisions of the Brown Act.
Height of Structure - the vertical distance from the average level of the highest and lowest point of the natural grade of that portion of the building site covered by the structure, to the topmost point of the structure, but excluding certain features, specified in Chapter 21.62 (Height and Setback exceptions) of this Title.
Home Occupation - a business conducted in a residential area conducted by the residents of the property, the main product of which is a service rather than goods.
Hotel - any structure or portion thereof containing guestrooms used, designed, or intended to be used, let or hired out or to be occupied, whether the compensation for hire is paid directly or indirectly, and occupied or intended to be occupied by more than two persons.
Hotel, Resort - a hotel and accessory recreation components as well as service uses designed primarily for the convenience of guests containing guestrooms with a maximum density of ten guestrooms per acre and with a minimum of ten percent of the total area maintained for landscaping.
Initial Study - a document prepared to provide a comprehensive analysis of those aspects of the environment which could potentially affect a project or be affected by a project conducted to determine whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment.
Internal Circulation - a structural connection between two portions of a structure designed to provide for circulation between habitable portions of a structure without circulation out of doors or through non-habitable areas such as a garage, or through areas not normally utilized for interior circulation such as laundry rooms, bathrooms and mechanical rooms..
Junk Yard - the use of more than two hundred (200) square feet of the area of any lot used for the storage of junk, including scrap metals or other scrap materials, or for the dismantling or wrecking of automobiles or other vehicles or machinery; but not including the dismantling, storage, wrecking and repair of vehicles or equipment accessory to on-site agricultural operations..
Kennel, Commercial - any property or premises in which more than eight dogs, 6 months of age or older, or other household pets, are kept for commercial reasons which include, but are not limited to, letting for hire, training for fee, sale and any other commercial purpose,; but not including a veterinary hospital, premises operated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), any public pound or the County animal shelter..
Kitchen - an area capable of being used for the preparation or cooking of food containing both a stove or other device for cooking and a refrigerator or other device for the cool storage of food.
Land Use Committee - a five to nine member committee appointed y the Planning Commission to provide local input and recommendations on Design Approvals and discretionary land use permit applications within specified geographic areas..
Local Coastal Program - a Land Use Plan and Implementation Plan that complies with the California Coastal Act Statute. Local Coastal Program means a Land Use Plan and Implementation Plan that complies with the California Coastal Act Statute. The Land Use Plan is based on data collection, research and analysis of existing conditions, coastal resources, the County's existing development control framework and public input during the process.is based on data collection, research and analysis of existing conditions, coastal resources, the County's existing development control framework and public input during the process.
Lot - a unit of land which has been created under the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act or any prior law regulating the division of land or a local ordinance enacted pursuant thereto or was created prior to the time any local or state law regulated divisions of land or which were not subject to any local or state regulation or the time of its creation. In the Coastal Zone, an existing parcel means a separate legal parcel recorded as of December 31, 1976, or later if approved under a coastal development permit where such permit was required by law prior to 1977. Parcels crossed by public road or highway rights-of-way will not be considered to have been "subdivided" by such a road or highway. Except where a legal determination by the County (or by the Coastal Commission on appeal of a permit application) concludes otherwise for a particular ownership, contiguous lots conveyed by U.S. patent or aggregated under a single ownership will be considered as a single parcel for Subdivision Map Act purposes.
Lot, Key - the first lot to the rear of a corner lot, the front line of which is a continuation of the side line of the corner lot exclusive of the width of any alley, and fronting on the street which intersects or intercepts the street upon which the corner lot fronts.
Mobile Home - a vehicle designed and equipped for human habitation.
Mobile home Park - a parcel of land under one ownership which has been planned and improved for the placement of two or more mobile homes for rental purposes for non-transient use.
Motel - a building, structures, accessory facilities and premises with guestrooms or apartments with parking areas provided to serve such guestrooms or apartments and the use of which is designed and used primarily for the accommodation of transient travelers.
Negative Declaration - a brief report statement prepared by a lead agency that briefly sets forth the reasons why a project, although not otherwise exempt from CEQA review, will not have a significant effect on the environment and therefore does not require the preparation of an EIR.
Notice of Permit Approval - a notice issued to a property owner and recorded in the County Recorder's Office to inform future owners of the existence of a discretionary permit for a subject property.
Nuisance - every public or private act or condition known or described in the common law as a public nuisance and any other public or private act or condition which is or may be declared to be a nuisance under the laws of the State of California or by county ordinance.
One Ownership - ownership of property or possession thereof under a contract to purchase or under a lease, the term of which is not less than ten years, by a person or persons, firm, corporation, or partnership, individually, jointly, in common, or in any other manner whereby such property is under single or unified control. The term "owner" means the person, firm, corporation, or partnership exercising one ownership as defined in this Section.
Open Space - any open land or other spaces which are predominantly lacking in structural development. Open space includes natural areas, wetlands and open water, wildlife habitats, farmlands and grazing areas, and park recreation areas. The term "open space" does not imply public access or ownership.
Poultry Farm - the raising, keeping or raising and keeping of, in the aggregate, more than five hundred chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, pheasants, peafowl, guinea fowl or other fowl.
Professional Office - an establishment for professional, executive and administrative offices, including those of accountants, lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, drafting offices, insurance agents, real estate agents, and other occupations which are of similar character to those enumerated, but not including barbers, beauty parlors, cosmetologists, or other service establishments and structure trade contractors.
Public Utility - a company regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission or other regulatory body including the County of Monterey.
Recreation Vehicle - a vehicle designed and used for temporary human habitation and with its wheels in place, and primarily used for recreational purposes.
Rest Home - a place used for the rooming or boarding of any aged or convalescent persons, whether ambulatory or non-ambulatory, for which a license is required by a county, state or federal agency.
Rezoning - the process and action of reclassifying a parcel, parcels or geographic area from one zone classification to a new zone classification.
Ridgeline Development - a development on the crest of a hill which has the potential to create a silhouette or other substantially adverse impact when viewed from a common public viewing area.
Rooming house or Boardinghouse - a dwelling other than a hotel where lodging with or without meals for three or more persons is provided for compensation.
Senior Citizen Unit - an independent, self contained living unit attached or detached from other residences for senior citizens and handicapped persons in addition to a residence on site. The senior citizen unit may be rented.The senior citizen unit may be rented.
Service connection - a connection to any habitable structure, except a guesthouse, which houses potable water from a water system, for domestic and not agricultural purposes.
Setback - a minimum distance required by this Title to be maintained between structures or between structures and property lines.
Setback, Front - a setback from the edge of a private or public road right-o-way or adopted Official Plan Line to the nearest point of a structure.
Setback Line - the line formed on a lot by the measurement of required front, side or rear setback areas required by this Title.
Setback, Rear - a setback measured between the rear property line of the lot and the nearest point of the structure.
Setback, Side - a setback between the side property line of the lot and nearest line of a structure and extending between the required front and rear setbacks.
Sign - anything whatsoever placed, erected, constructed, posted, painted, printed, tacked, nailed, glued, stuck, carved, or otherwise fastened, affixed or made visible for out-of-door advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever, on the ground or on any tree, wall, bush, rock, post, fence, building, structure, or thing whatsoever.
Sign, Outdoor Advertising - any sign other than an appurtenant sign, a directional and information sign or a directory sign.- Outdoor advertising sign means any sign other than an appurtenant sign, a directional and information sign or a directory sign.
Small Livestock Farming - the raising or keeping of small animals which may include the following: chickens, pigeons, hogs, rabbits, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, peafowl, goats, sheep, or similar fowl or animals.
Slope - the natural or artificial incline of ground, with the degree of incline numerically expressed as "percent slope", calculated as the vertical rise divided by the horizontal run."
Sphere of Influence - a plan for the probable 20-year physical boundaries and service areas for cities, special districts, or similar entities.
Statement of Overriding Considerations - a statement that identifies public objectives that, in the opinion of the decision-making body, warrant approval or a project not withstanding its significant adverse impact(s) on the environment.
State Scenic Highway - a segment of state highway that has been officially designated by the Director of the California Department of Transportation as part of the State Scenic Highway System.
Story - that portion of a building or structure included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the next floor above it, or if there is no floor above it, then the space between the floor and the ceiling next above it.
Street, Private - an avenue, place, way drive, lane, boulevard, highway, or road not owned or maintained by a state, county or incorporated city, or other public agency.
Street, Public - an avenue, place, way, drive lane, boulevard, highway or road, but no an alley, owned by or maintained by a state, county, or incorporated city, or other public agency.
Structural Connection - a connection between structures by means of structural members such as bearing walls, columns, beams, girders, or roof.
Structure - anything constructed or erected, except fences under six feet in height, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having location on the ground, but not including any trailer or tent.
Structure, Accessory - a subordinate structure, the use of which is incidental to that of a main structure on the same building site, including but not limited to caretaker quarters, guesthouses, farm employee family housing, farm employee housing facility, farm employee quarters, and employee housing accessory to an allowed use.
Structure, Attached - any structure, which is connected to any other structure by means of a structural connection, such as a roof, stairway, atrium, breezeway or other structural connection.
Structure, Detached - any structure not structurally attached to any other structure on the same lot.
Structure, Legal Nonconforming - a structure or portion thereof, which does not conform to the height, setback or, coverage regulations of the district in which it is situated.
Structure, Main - a structure in which is conducted the principal use of the building site on which it is situated.
Subdivision - the dividing of two or more parcels of land, time limits for processing fall under auspices of the Subdivision Map Act.
Transient Occupancy - occupying for consideration a structure designed, intended or used for temporary dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes by non-family members; any commercial use of a structure or portion thereof which subjects the owner of occupant to the Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance of Monterey County.
Use, Accessory - a use accessory to and customarily a part of the permitted use, clearly incidental and secondary to the permitted use and which does not change the character of the permitted use.
Use, Legal Nonconforming - the use of a structure or land which does not conform to the regulations including density for the district in which it is situated, although the use lawfully existed at the time of the adoption of the ordinance creating the district.
Use Permit - a discretionary permit issued to allow special activity, use or business to occur on a specific parcel or parcels.
Variance - a discretionary permit issued to allow modifications to setback, lot or building coverage, height, building site, floor area ratio or the Zoning Code development standards, where it can be reasonably shown that by imposing Zoning Code development standards, a hardship or undue burden would occur.
Wild animal - any animal, which is wild by nature and not customarily domesticated in the State of California.
Winery - an agricultural processing plant used for the commercial purpose of processing grapes, other fruit products or vegetables, to produce wine or similar spirits. Processing includes wholesale sales, crushing, fermenting, blending, aging, storage, bottling, administrative office functions for the winery and warehousing. Retail sales and tasting facilities of wine and related promotional items may be permitted as part of the winery operations.Retail sales and tasting facilities of wine and related promotional items may be permitted as part of the winery operations.
Zoning Administrator - the duly appointed representative of the Director of RMA - Planning, that is authorized to conduct public hearings on matters pertaining to issuance of discretionary and other planning and building permits.
Zoning Ordinance - the adopted County ordinances pertaining to the implementation of the County's Land Use Plans. The ordinances contain detailed information regarding zoning district regulations, allowable uses, permit requirements, height, setback and coverage restrictions, and hearing bodies.