333 West Ocean Blvd.
4th Floor
Long Beach CA
Planning Permit Information

Conditional Use Permit

A Conditional Use Permit allows the recipient to engage in specified activities or conduct a business under special conditions designed to protect the neighborhood and the community.

Each zone has permitted and prohibited uses. A conditional use is a use that is permitted if the Planning Commission makes certain findings, including a finding that the use will not have an adverse affect on the community. Each Conditional Use Permit application must be reviewed individually to determine if the proposed use can operate at a given location without harming its neighbors or the surrounding community.

In residential zones, daycare centers, parking lots, and churches are examples of conditional uses. In commercial zones, auto repair uses and any business which requires a liquor license requires a Conditional Use Permit.

Condominium Conversion

  • Title 20 of the Municipal Code permits for the conversion of an apartment building into condominiums to allow for the individual ownership of residential units. This process provides for the increased home ownership opportunities and thus can contribute to greater stability in residential neighborhoods.

A project planner is assigned to each request for a condominium conversion. The project planner is responsible for coordinating requirements of the various City departments in order to simplify and expedite each request.

The following brief outline of the condo conversion process is designed to provide general guidance to property owners interested in the process:

  • Have a Tentative Map prepared by a California Registered Civil Engineer or a California Licensed Surveyor.
  • Request a Special Inspection by the Building Bureau.
  • Submit a complete application, including proof of tenant notification, building inspection reports, unit plans, photographs, radius map and mailing labels to the Planning Bureau.
  • Provide on-site parking for future owners.
  • Provide necessary street or alley dedications and/or improvements, if applicable.
  • Receive Planning Commission approval at a public hearing.
  • Notify tenants* before, during, and after Planning Commission approval. *Adobe Acrobat required
  • Obtain a building permit and make necessary improvements to the building(s) in order to comply with higher standards of construction for owner-occupied units in such areas as sound attenuation, mechanical and plumbing systems, roof and termites.
  • Submit Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (C,C, & Rís) to Planning Bureau. (Property owners interested in converting an apartment building to condominiums are encouraged to hire a lawyer or consultant familiar with the creation of C,C, & Rís for compliance with State requirements for common ownership projects.)
  • Provide relocation assistance to low income tenant households displaced as a result of the condo conversion process and/or comply with provisions for maintenance of low-income households in the Coastal Zone.
  • Record the Final Map.

The City's process is intended to balance the concerns of tenants and property owners by requiring notification to current tenants of the public hearing and establishing tenant's rights. Building improvements required during this process ensure that a converted apartment building will provide a stable investment for new homeowners by providing a high quality living environment.

Site Plan Review

The site plan review process is established to ensure that the highest quality of land planning and design are incorporated into development projects, to guide design of new project which is compatible with existing neighborhoods in terms of scale, style and construction materials, and to enhance and project the environment.

The following projects require Site Plan Review:

  • Residential -
    Five or more units as one project.
  • Commercial -
    New construction or addition of one thousand square feet or more of floor area, attached/roof mounted cellular and personal communication services, exterior remodeling of spaces with 50 or more feet of street frontage in neighborhood commercial zones, construction of new news or flower stands, and outdoor commercial storage.
  • Industrial or Public Assembly Use -
    New construction or addition with five thousand square feet or more of floor area of new construction.
  • Projects on City Land -
    All projects 500 square feet in size or greater.
  • Projects located in Planned Development Areas -
    Most new construction or building additions.

Standards Variance

Each building in the City must comply with certain height limits, setback requirements, parking ratios, and other development standards established by City Council in the Zoning Ordinance. On some properties, it is difficult, if not impossible, to comply with these standards. In such cases, equity demands that a variance from these standards be allowed.

A standards variance is normally requested for lots with unique physical conditions-unusual shape, difficult topography, poorly places existing structures, or unbuildable areas due to wetlands, public easements, etc. A variance cannot be granted to permit a use that is not legally permitted in the zoning district (e.g., a store in a residential zone).

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