A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Primary zoning concerns for development projects in Irvine, CA

Community plans in California focus on villages, neighborhoods and communities within larger jurisdictions. They provide guidelines for development strategies best suited in particular areas. If your business doesn’t meet the zoning requirements listed in the community plan, filing an appeal may result in a reconsideration or amendment to the plan.

The City of Irvine states it has three primary tests for locating a business in its villages. Is the use allowed in the area you wish it located? Does it generate the right amount of traffic? Does the available parking meet the City’s Parking Standards?

Appropriateness of the business

The villages within Irvine each have areas designated for retail, residential and various other types of development. If your project is inconsistent with the general plan, the court may invalidate it and prevent you from moving forward. Parcels of land that border villages in another city, such as Newport Beach, may also require approval from that planning board. Cannabis laboratories, medical offices and research facilities have specific requirements that may vary based on the population density approved in the community plan for that zone.

Entitlement value of the business

Each business has a trip rate, which limits the traffic a business may generate. As a result, a shopping center project planned in an office park zoning district may bring too much traffic, resulting in a permit’s denial. Some buildings may have little or no entitlement value assigned if the intent is warehousing or manufacturing. Professional offices have different allocations for parking than warehouses. If the property has protection as a historic resource, additional guidelines may apply.

Have more questions about the complex zoning requirements in Orange County? Learn more here.