Susie De Luna
About the Planning Department
The Planning Department guides the orderly development of the city using several primary ordinances, the Subdivision Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, the Off-Street Parking Ordinance, the Landscaping Code, and the Sign Ordinance.
Subdivision Ordinances focus on the division of raw land for residential or commercial use, although churches, schools, and even city classified buildings all need to be constructed on subdivisions recorded in the County Clerk’s Office. The Planning Department makes sure that all proposed lots will have paved access and have water and sanitary sewer service. Fire hydrants are also required during the subdivision planning process.
Zoning Ordinances are one of the most important tools that the city has because zoning regulates land uses. Although lots are privately owned, the city retains the right to regulate how the lot is used to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of Mission’s neighborhood and overall community. Essentially, the public welfare is affected by what occurs on neighboring lots, and thus, the city can impose reasonable restrictions to maximize each individual’s enjoyment of their private property.
Currently, the city has 18 land use categories ranging from Agricultural, Single Family Residential, General Business, to Heavy Industrial. Land use is typically divided into ‘Permitted’ uses, ‘Conditional’ uses and ‘Prohibited’ uses.
A Conditional Use requires a Conditional Use Permit, or CUP, to be approved by the City of Mission in public hearings. Conditional uses are those uses that may or may not be permitted on a lot depending on the conditions of the proposed use, the neighborhood’s reaction to it, the parking available, etc. An example of a CUP would be a home occupation, such as a hair salon in someone’s residence.
At certain times, landowners apply for a change of zone or rezoning because they want to use the lots for other purposes than what is permitted. The rezoning application is evaluated by staff to see whether it is appropriate to rezone. The staff’s recommendation is presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at a public meeting. At the public meeting, the neighboring property owners tell the P&Z what they think of the rezoning application. The P&Z then acts to either recommend approving or denying the rezoning request. Another public meeting is held by the City Council, which will then decide whether to rezone the property or not. The public meetings provide a fair process where citizens are heard prior to land use decisions being made.
The Off-Street Parking Ordinances contain minimum parking guidelines imposed on new or remodeled structures for usage in the city. For example, if a residence is converted into business use, the typical 2-car driveway would have to be expanded to now comply with the parking requirements for the business use, which depends on the business’ square footage or size. For restaurants, the City of Mission has amended its Code to provide 1 space for every 3 seats or 1 parking space for every 75 square feet — whichever is greater. The city’s Standards Manual also has minimum dimensions that parking spaces must meet. Prior to a business officially operating in Mission, a business permit must be issued. The business permit will be issued once ALL requirements are met, including paved off-street parking and landscaping, of course.
The Planning Department is divided into the following divisions:
- Inspections Division
- Code Enforcement Division
- Subdivision Application
- ZBA Application
- Planning and Zoning Application
- SLV Application
- Homestead Exemption Variance Application
- Business License Application (English)
- Business License Application (Spanish)