HOW TO APPLY FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT
A Conditional Use Permit (also called a C.U.P.) is a type of land use
permit issued by the City of Woodlake for the establishment of certain
types of land uses listed in the Woodlake Zoning Ordinance. Conditional
uses are certain uses which, because of their unusual characteristics,
or their potential to affect the surrounding neighborhood, require special
review by city staff and the Planning Commission.
A Variance is a type of permit granted by the Planning Commission which
allows a person to deviate from a standard of the Woodlake Zoning Ordinance.
The Zoning Ordinance is a set of laws governing land use and the development
of property within Woodlake. Interested persons can obtain a copy of
the ordinance, for a fee, at the Woodlake City Hall. The Zoning Ordinance
was passed into law by the Woodlake City Council.
Please note that not all regulations of the Zoning Ordinance are subject
to a variance. For example a person cannot request a variance to allow
a use not listed as permitted in a certain zone district.
Interested persons are encouraged to meet with the City Planner prior
to submitting an application. This can be done by telephone or by visiting
City Hall.During this meeting, you can discuss the process and important
development standards (setbacks, parking, landscaping, etc.) that will
apply to your project. You can also determine whether your project is
subject to environmental review (see Environmental Review below). Such
a preliminary meeting will help to streamline the development process.
Application packets are available at Woodlake City Hall, along with a checklist of the materials that
must be submitted for a complete application, including the applicable
Upon submittal of the application
materials listed in the application package, staff will determine whether
the application is complete. Staff will notify you if additional items
are required for a complete application.
Certain land use actions are required
to be reviewed for their potential effect on the environment under the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). If your project requires
this review, you will be notified by staff. A separate fee is required
for environmental review. Upon review of your application, staff will
make one of the following three determinations regarding environmental
1) That the project will not have a significant impact on the environment;
or 2) That the project could have a significant impact on the environment
but that certain mitigation measures have been incorporated into the
project to preclude the impacts; or 3) That the project could have a
significant effect on the environment and an Environmental Impact Report
(EIR) must be prepared. To the extent possible, environmental review
of your project will occur concurrently with processing of the C.U.P.
or Variance, however, if an EIR is necessary, action on the permit will
be deferred. For more information on environmental review, please ask
staff. Please note that many projects requiring a C.U.P. or Variance
are exempt from environmental review. Check with staff to make sure.
Decision on the Project
After the application is determined to be complete, staff will schedule
a public hearing before the Planning Commission. By law, staff must
mail notice of the project to surrounding property owners.
At the public hearing the Planning Commission will hear a report from
the staff and from any interested members of the public (including the
applicant).The Planning Commission may move to approve, approve with
conditions, or deny the project. In order to approve a C.U.P. the Planning
Commission must make the following findings:
1. That the proposed establishment, maintenance and operation of the
use applied for will not be detrimental to the public health, safety,
or welfare of the persons residing or working in the neighborhood of
such proposed use, or whether it will be injurious or detrimental to
property and improvements in the neighborhood or the City.
2. That the proposed use is consistent with the Woodlake General Plan.
3. That the environmental document prepared as per the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA) has been considered prior to a decision.
4. That the site for the proposed use is adequate in size, shape and
location to accommodate the use as it relates to the district for which
the use is proposed.
In order to approve a Variance, the Planning Commission must make the
1. That any variance permit granted shall be subject to such conditions
as will assure that the adjustment authorized shall not constitute a
grant of special privilege inconsistent with the limitations upon other
properties in the vicinity and district in which the subject property
2. That because of special circumstances applicable to the property,
including size, shape, topography, location or surroundings, the strict
application of the zoning law is found to deprive subject property of
privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and under identical
3. That the granting of the variance permit will not be contrary to
the intent of this ordinance or to the public safety, health and welfare
or injurious to other properties in the vicinity.
4. A variance has not been granted for a use or activity which is not
authorized by the zone regulations governing the parcel of property.
5. A variance shall not be granted on economic grounds.
The decision of the Planning Commission on a C.U.P. or Variance is
final unless appealed to the City Council.Upon approval of a C.U.P or
Variance, the applicant may proceed to apply for building permits (if
The applicant or any dissatisfied person may appeal the decision of
the Planning Commission to the City Council. Any decision by the City
Council is final.
Temporary Conditional Use Permits
The City of Woodlake may issue a temporary C.U.P. for the following
uses:Christmas Tree sales (from November 15 through January 2 of the
following year). The sales operation shall be completely removed no
later than January 2. Promotional Displays, Sales and Activities, including
amusement rides, street dances, concerts, live entertainment and promotional
Adequate parking and traffic flow shall be ensured.
Temporary Uses for non-profits and charitable organizations, including
carnivals, expositions, concerts, amusements rides or church revivals
for up to two weeks.
Temporary sales or construction offices
Temporary construction buildings at approved construction sites.
Rummage sales for up to six days.
Temporary outdoor sales, including sidewalk sales and parking lot sales
in association with a permitted business on the same parcel. Such sales
shall not exceed 12 days per year.
For more information on Temporary Conditional Use Permits contact the
Minor Deviation Permits
A Minor Deviation is a type of variance that may be approved by the
City Planner without a public hearing. A Minor Deviation is available
for up to a 10% deviation in setbacks, lot coverage, building height,
parking or other zone requirements. For more information, contact the
It is important to recognize that all application fees are non-refundable
after substantial processing has occurred, regardless of whether the
C.U.P. or Variance is approved or denied. It is, therefore, strongly
recommended that applicants utilize the preliminary review option previously
discussed. The Planning Department will be happy to help you through
the C.U.P. or Variance process. Please feel free to contact the Planning
Department if you have any questions regarding this process or if you
have any questions regarding planning regulations in Woodlake.