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Floor area ration (FAR) represents the total gross square footage of a building or structure, but not including any area within the building utilized for off-street parking. FAR is used to place a limit on the overall size of a building in square feet relative to the size of a lot. The total square footage of building area allowed on a lot is determined by multiplying the FAR by the square footage of the lot on which the building is located. This diagram illustrates the same floor area for a one, two and four story building on a lot with a maximum FAR of 1.
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You may make an appointment with a Planner by directly contacting a Planner 24 hours in advance or stopping by during drop-in counter hours. Drop-in counter hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. Over the counter permit processing has been suspended due to the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic.
An online interactive GIS mapping tools is currently under development.
To locate zoning districts within the city, view the
The Zoning Clearance is the procedure the City uses to determine whether a business meets the zoning requirements for a particular location and to approve the establishment of the business use at that location. The Zoning Clearance is a one-time clearance with a one-time fee to establish a business at a specific location.
The Zoning Clearance process gives the Planning Division an opportunity to verify that a proposed land use is allowed in the applicable zoning district and that the use complies with the development standards of the Zoning Ordinance. When a Zoning Clearance is requested, a staff planner reviews the business description and location and determines if the proposed use is principally permitted, subject to a Use Permit, or prohibited. The planner also reviews the proposed use for consistency with previous permits that may have been issued on the property.
Yes, the planner at the public counter can process a Business License application concurrently with your Zoning Clearance payment.
The City requires any food truck to obtain a Traveling Merchant Permit from the Watsonville Police Department to operate within the city limits. For more information on permit requirements, please read this memorandum on the matter.
Contact the Planning Division to find out what the Assessor Parcel Number is for your property. An Assessor Parcel Number is a unique parcel identification number assigned by Santa Cruz County to each parcel of record.
Fencing is not required in residential zoning districts but may be required in non-residential zoning districts. Review Part 14 (Fence Permits) of Chapter 14-12 (Zoning Permits) for Watsonville Municipal Code standards for fencing, including required setback from property lines, maximum height, and types of material allowed. Pursuant to Section 14-12.1400 and Section 14-32.020, and a Fence Permit is required for all fences constructed within the City of Watsonville in accordance with the design standards in Chapter 14-32 (Fences). A building permit is required for all fences greater than seven feet in height (where allowed).
Allowable home-based businesses are required to file a Home Occupation Permit application and a Business License application. A home occupation permit allows for business-related activities deemed to cause minimal impact(s) on neighboring parcels. Review the Chapter 14-12.1100 (Home Occupation Permit) for more information on home occupation permits.
A pre-application review process is recommended prior to the formal application of a development application. For a listing of associated fees, please review the Planning Fee Schedule. The cost of the pre-application is credited toward the formal application for the project.
Individuals may discuss proposals in person with a Planner at the Permit Center. For more information, contact the Planning Division at (831)768-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Plans are available for review at the Community Development Department. Interested individuals are welcome to contact the Planning Division at (831)768-3050 or email@example.com, or stop by to speak to the project planner regarding the proposed project.
You will need a sign permit, in addition to applicable building permits. For more information, please refer to Chapter 8-6 of the Watsonville Municipal Code or contact the Permit Center at (831) 768-3050.
Yes, a banner requires a permit and is only permitted on a temporary basis, limited up to four times a year, not to exceed a total of 30 days in a calendar year. Applications are available here.
Density represents the number of dwelling units per net acre of land. Dwelling units include all residential units having sleeping, eating, cooking, and bathroom facilities, including single-family homes, mobile homes, townhouses, condominiums, duplexes (and other "plexes"), and apartment units. Net land area is calculated by taking gross acreage and subtracting undevelopable lands (e.g., wetlands) and the area in rights-of-way for streets and roads.