City of Lemoore City of Lemoore City of Lemoore

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is Zoning?
  2. What can Zoning do?
  3. Is Zoning legal?
  4. Doesn’t Lemoore already have a Zoning Ordinance and other development regulations? Why update?
  5. What will the new Zoning Code look like?
  6. I keep hearing the term Form Based Code used. What does this mean?
  7. How can I become involved in the Zoning Code update?
  8. When will the new Zoning Code be done?
  9. I own a home in Lemoore. Will the regulations for my property change?
  10. I own commercial/office/industrial property in Lemoore. Will the regulations for my property change?

 

1. What is Zoning?

While the recently adopted General Plan sets forth the long-term vision for the City of Lemoore, the Zoning Ordinance and other development codes specify how individual property can be used to achieve those objectives. Zoning is the organization of rules and regulations that control what is built on the ground, and the corresponding uses that occupy buildings and sites. Zoning determines the form and character of development, such as the size and height of buildings, and also includes provisions to ensure that new development and uses will fit into existing neighborhoods by establishing the rules for compatibility.

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2. What Can Zoning Do?

Zoning can preserve natural features, promote infill development and mixed-use development, ensure design flexibility, minimize dependence on the car, provide public community spaces and otherwise help make cities and towns more livable. Zoning can provide an increased level of predictability for residents, developers, staff, and decision makers about how land will be developed. At a minimum, zoning will do the following:

  • Allowed Use Regulations. Zoning will specify what uses are permitted, what uses are required to meet specified standards or limitations, and what uses are prohibited. In this way, the zoning will determine the appropriate mix and intensity of compatible uses. Zoning will also address special uses with unique characteristics and corresponding regulations (e.g., second units, service stations, mobile home design).

  • Development and Design Standards. Zoning will reflect the desired physical character of the community in a set of development and design standards that control the height and bulk of buildings, relationship to the street and architectural character, location of parking and driveways, "buffering" of uses, sign provisions, and landscape.

  • Performance Standards. Zoning will often include standards that control the "performance" of uses to ensure land use and operational compatibility between new and existing neighborhoods or uses.

  • Administration. Zoning will establish the authority, rules, and procedures for implementing zoning regulations within the City. Specifically, zoning regulations will address interpretation of the code, processing of land use and development requests, as well as opportunities to appeal or affect change.

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3. Is Zoning legal?

The Supreme Court upheld the authority of governments to enforce zoning regulations in 1926 in the landmark case of Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty. Since then, almost every city in the United States has adopted a zoning code. By 1984, all cities in the State of California were required to adopt a General Plan for the physical development of their communities with specific mandated elements. The Zoning Code is the primary implementation tool for the new General Plan that the City adopted in May 2008. Today, most cities in California have adopted zoning documents.

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4. Doesn’t Lemoore already have a Zoning Ordinance and other development regulations? Why update them?

Yes. But these regulations are based on the policies and practices of the previous General Plan and do not reflect the new vision of the City. State law requires that a Zoning Code be in compliance with the General Plan. While a few individual sections of the City’s Zoning Code have been updated over the last year, the Zoning Code and other development regulations now need to be comprehensively updated to reflect the goals, policies, and implementation measures of the City’s new General Plan.

Another reason for the Zoning Code update is to ensure compliance with applicable Federal and State legislation. There are several statutes that establish mandatory requirements for local planning, zoning, and development laws.

In addition to the legal requirements and planning options for the Zoning Code Update, the City has the opportunity to improve existing development standards to better reflect the built environment and respond to contemporary development trends. Similarly, the City may consider the addition of optional use and development regulations to improve aesthetics, land use compatibility, and/or quality of life. Last, but certainly not least, the City has the opportunity to improve the organizational structure of the Zoning Code and to make this document a concise, user-friendly tool for everyone.

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5. What will the new Zoning Code look like?

The final design and organizational structure of the new Code will be developed as part of the project. The new Code will include regulations described in both text and figures and many standards will be summarized in organized tables. Every effort will be made to create a user-friendly document that is clear and concise.

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6. I keep hearing the term Form Based Code used. What does this mean?

Many jurisdictions are electing to change their traditional Zoning Codes into Form Based Codes. Traditional Zoning Codes, like the existing Lemoore code, are based primarily on the use of the building and aside from the general placement of the building on the site, don’t provide a lot of regulation with regards to the design and function of the structure. To use a familiar phrase, "form follows function."

Form Based Codes sort of reverse this process by placing equal emphasis on both the functions inside the structure and the form of the building. Greater attention is paid to how buildings interact with one another, what sorts of spaces are formed between the buildings, and how pedestrians may use the site. The uses inside the building are still analyzed and evaluated for compatibility with other surrounding uses (e.g. residential above or behind a nightclub), but they are not the sole focus.

The City will be discussing the merits of using a Form Based Code for the Downtown and missed use opportunity sites On June 28th at 7:00 p.m. Check the Meetings page for more information and upcoming discussions.

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7. How can I become involved in the Zoning Code Update?

Participate in the workshops and meetings on the project. See the Meetings page for more information. Also, feel free to contact the Planning Department.

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8. When will the new Zoning Ordinance and development code be done?

The work plan calls for completion of the project by spring 2011. Successful implementation of the General Plan vision and the continued economic success of the City is, to some degree, dependent on having new rules and regulations in place so new development and redevelopment can happen sooner, rather than later.

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9. I own a home in Lemoore. Will the regulations for my property change?

In most cases, the regulations for single-family homes in Lemoore will not change as part of the Update. Rather, the regulations will be reorganized and simplified into a format that is easier to understand and implement.

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10. I own commercial/office/industrial property in Lemoore. Will the regulations for my property change?

Development standards for commercial, office, and industrial properties in Lemoore may change as part of the Update. How this will occur and what the new standards will be will be identified and developed during the process.

The City will be considering rezoning some properties as part of the updates but will work with property owners to make sure this is done effectively based on the direction of the General Plan. One the final concepts evolve and are developed through the process, water bill customers and vacant property owners will receive a color newsletter and a large notice in the newspaper will be published; however we encourage you to become involved now. A specific meeting on the rezoning will be held. Check the Meetings page for more information.

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