Frequently Asked Questions
The APN for your property can be found on your tax bill or by contacting the County Assessor. You may view information on individual zoning districts online.
If your property falls in the A-2 (General Agriculture) zoning district, you'll notice there is another number following this designation (i.e. A-2-10, A-2-20, A-2-40). This final number represents the minimum acreage for any new lot created in the district. For example, if your property is A-2-40 (General Agriculture with a 40-acre minimum), any new lot created must have a minimum of 40 acres, therefore, you will need to have at least 80-acres for the division of the property. Another consideration for properties zoned A-2 is whether or not the property is under a Williamson Act contract (see question #14).
If your property falls in a Residential, Commercial, or Industrial zoning district, your ability to split the property will be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, available public services (water and sewer), access to a public right-of-way, adequate parking, lot coverage, setback, etc... To get more information on specific factors you may review the individual zoning district online. Please note that provisions of the County Subdivision Ordinance may also limit your ability to split property.
A formal application is necessary in order to split any property. A pre-application meeting with a Planner is strongly advised before an application or tentative maps are prepared.
For properties in the A-2 (General Agriculture) zoning district, the property must have at least twenty acres in order to be considered for a second dwelling. Guesthouses are not permitted uses in the A-2 zoning district. If property is enrolled under a Williamson Act, any use of the property must be accessory and incidental to the agricultural use of the property.
- On properties zoned A-2 or R-A of at least one acre, for the temporary care of a family member who needs assistance with normal daily activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing, when no other housing is available. A physician's verification form is also required.
- On properties zoned A-2 for a full-time agricultural employee when the occupant of the main house works full-time on the property as well.
- On commercial or industrial properties where there is substantial outside storage of value.
In each of these cases, the mobile home is renewed on an annual basis and must be immediately removed once the qualifications are no longer met. More information on qualifications can be found in Section 21.72 of the zoning ordinance. Applications for temporary mobile homes can be found here.
For corner lots, there is also a side yard setback. In the side yard, the first ten (10) feet behind your ultimate property line, no fence may be constructed over three (3) feet high. (An additional five (5) foot setback is needed for side yards with vehicle openings) Fences constructed over seven (7) feet may be allowed, but require a building permit and engineering.
You may contact Building Permit Division for permit and engineering requirements. The ultimate property line is determined by the General Plan roadway classification. Please contact the Planning Department to determine ultimate property lines.
For example, if your parcel number was 012-034-056, You would first look for book 012, then page 034, and finally 056, the parcel itself. You should be able to zoom in on the parcel and see its dimensions and acreage. Keep in mind that the ultimate road right-of-way for setbacks and fencing may vary from that shown on the assessor's parcel map. For this information you should contact the Planning Department at (209) 525-6330.
It may restrict the allowed uses and buildings on the site that are not incidental to agricultural activities. The contract runs with the property and automatically renews each year. More information on how to enroll in a contract or file a notice of non-renewals can be found on the forms page. If you are uncertain whether or not your property is enrolled under a contract, contact our department at (209) 525-6330.
For a summary of the history of a dwelling or building on property you own, contact the Assessor's Office at (209) 525-6461. Copies of these records can only be obtained with authorization from the property owner. For research on individual permits, contact the building division at (209) 525-6557.
Dwellings or buildings that have not been placed legally on a property may not be replaced. They also should not be occupied or used. If you need a letter from the Planning Department demonstrating under what circumstances the structures can be rebuilt (aka a "burn-down letter"), a Dwelling Verification form must be submitted. Dwelling Verification requests involve research by Planning staff and may take up to three weeks to complete.
Social halls may hold weddings and are permitted in the H-1 (Highway Commercial), C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial), C-2 (General Commercial), and M (Industrial) zoning districts, provided the facility has obtained all necessary building, fire, and environmental resource permits, has adequate parking, a business license, and any other applicable permits.
Weddings, and similar events, are permitted in the A-2 (General Agriculture) zoning district when a use permit is obtained, provided they are not located on Williamson Act Contracted land. Factors such as being located within a sphere of influence of a city, parking and traffic, noise, impacts to surrounding properties, and impacts to existing agricultural operations will be considered when processing a request for a use permit to hold weddings in the A-2 zoning district. A formal application is necessary in order to apply for a use permit. A pre-application meeting with the Planning Department is strongly advised before an application is prepared.
No use shall be conducted on any premises in such a manner as to cause an unreasonable amount of noise, odor, dust, smoke, vibration, electrical interference, or other nuisance condition detectable off the site.
On properties zoned A-2 within the sphere of influence of a city or the R-A (Rural Residential) zoning district, on parcels containing one acre or more, there may be maintained two horses or two cows (termed "large animals"), or four sheep or four goats (termed "small animals"), or a combination of one large animal and two small animals.
The maximum number of large animals per parcel shall not exceed two per acre, or the maximum number of small animals per parcel shall not exceed four per acre. In the case where large and small animals are kept in combination, the total number of animals per parcel shall not exceed three per acre. Hogs and turkeys are not allowed in the R-A zone or on A-2 parcels within the sphere of influence of a city.