Riverside County Planning Department - Frequently Asked Questions
Field level help.
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This section of Frequently Asked Questions has been divided into Subject Sections. Please see below.

Animals

Mobile Homes / Recreational Vehicles

Second Dwellings / Second Units

Zoning / Setbacks / Land Development

General Plan / Riverside County Integrated Project

Case Submittal / Case Review / Planner Information

Parcel Lines / Subdivisions / Easements

Other Questions

Answers

How many horses may I have on my property?

The number of horses allowed on a property is dictated by the properties zoning. Please see the sections below:

 R-R, A-1, A-2 and W-1 Zones:

The grazing of horses, not to exceed five animals per acre of all the land available; provided however, the systematic rotation of animals with more than five animals per acre is permitted so long as the total number of permitted animals is not exceeded. The provisions of this paragraph apply to mature breeding stock, maintenance stock and similar farm stock, and shall not apply to the offspring thereof, if such offspring are being kept, fed or maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age of maturity. In all cases the permissible number of animals per acre shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio.

 

R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A and R-3 Zones:

The noncommercial keeping of horses on lots not less than 20,000 square feet in area and 100 feet in width, provided they are kept not less than 100 feet from any street and 20 feet from any property line. A maximum of two horses per 20,000 square feet and, in any event, not more than four horses on a lot will be permitted.

 

R-T-R Zone:

The noncommercial keeping of horses for the use of the occupants of the premises, provided they are kept, fed and maintained not less than 20 feet from any street and 20 feet from any residential use. A total of four adult animals, plus the offspring thereof until they reach the age of maturity, may be kept for each 40,000 square feet.

 

R-A Zone:

The noncommercial keeping of horses on lots or parcels over 20,000 square feet in area and 100 feet in width, provided they are kept, fed and maintained not less than 50 feet from any residence existing at the time such use is established. Two such animals may be kept on each 20,000 square feet up to one acre and two such animals for each additional acre.

 

A-P Zone:

The grazing of horses not to exceed five animals per acre of all the land available; provided however, the systematic rotation of animals with more than five animals per acre is permitted so long as the total number of permitted animals is not exceeded. The provisions of this paragraph apply to mature breeding stock, maintenance stock and similar farm stock, and shall not apply to the offspring thereof, if such offspring are being kept, fed or maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age. The earliest practical age of maturity for colts shall be two years. In all cases the permissible number of animals per acre shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio. Livestock shall not be kept or maintained within 50 feet of any residence in existence at the time such use is established.

 

A-D Zone:

The grazing of horses, not to exceed five animals per acre of all the land available; provided however, the systematic rotation of animals with more than five animals per acre is permitted so long as the total number of permitted animals is not exceeded. The provisions of this paragraph apply to mature breeding stock, maintenance stock and similar farm stock, and shall not apply to the offspring thereof, if such offspring are being kept, fed or maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age of maturity. In all cases the permissible number of animals per acre shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio.

 

C-V Zone:

The grazing of horses, not to exceed five (5) animals per gross acre of all the land available; provided however, the systematic rotation of animals with more than five (5) animals per gross acre is permitted so long as the total number of permitted animals is not exceeded. The provisions of this paragraph apply to mature breeding stock, maintenance stock and similar farm stock, and shall not apply to the offspring thereof, if such offspring are being kept, fed or maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age of maturity. In all cases, the permissible number of animals per gross acre shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio.

 

W-2 Zone:

Less than 1 acre:

The noncommercial keeping of horses on lots not less than 20,000 square feet in area and 100 feet in width, provided they are kept not less than 100 feet from any street and 20 feet from any property line. A maximum of two horses per 20,000 square feet and, in any event, not more than four horses on a lot will be permitted.

Greater than 1 acre:

The grazing of horses, not to exceed five animals per acre of all the land available; provided however, the systematic rotation of animals with more than five animals per acre is permitted so long as the total number of permitted animals is not exceeded. The provisions of this paragraph apply to mature breeding stock, maintenance stock and similar farm stock, and shall not apply to the offspring thereof, if such offspring are being kept, fed or maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age of maturity. In all cases the permissible number of animals per acre shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio.

 

R-D Zone:

The noncommercial keeping of horses on lots or parcels over 20,000 square feet in area and 100 feet in width, provided they are kept, fed and maintained not less than 50 feet from any residence existing at the time such use is established. Two such animals may be kept on each 20,000 square feet up to one acre and two such animals for each additional acre.

 

N-A Zone:

The grazing of horses is permitted subject to the following restrictions:

 a) Not more than two animals for each acre shall be permitted.

 b) The limitation on the amount of animals shall apply to mature breeding stock and maintenance stock, and shall not apply to the offspring of such stock, if such offspring are being kept, fed and maintained solely for sale, marketing or slaughtering at the earliest practical age. The permissible number of animals per parcel of land shall be computed upon the basis of the nearest equivalent ratio.

Back to Top

How many chickens & roosters may I have on my property?

The number of chickens, roosters and crowing fowl allowed on a property is dictated by the properties zoning. Please see the sections below:

R-R Zone:

The keeping of crowing fowl is allowed pursuant to the following requirements.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than twelve (12) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and ten (10) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

 

R-1 and R-1A Zones:

If a lot is one acre or more in area, poultry & crowing fowl (chickens only) may be kept for the use of the occupants of the premises only.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 7,200 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than four (4) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than 12 mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

In all cases, the crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

 

R-A Zone:

Poultry & crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants of the premises only. All poultry & crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area, located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence existing at the time such use is established.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than twelve (12) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and ten (10) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

 

R-2, R-2A and R-3 Zones:

If a lot is one acre or more in area, poultry & crowing fowl (chickens only) may be kept for the use of the occupants of the premises only.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

 SINGLE FAMILY LOTS OR PARCELS BETWEEN 7,200 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than four (4) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

 SINGLE FAMILY LOTS LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than 12 mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

 The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

 

R-T-R Zone:

The keeping and raising of poultry and crowing fowl for the use of the occupants of the premises is allowed, provided they are kept not less than 20 feet from any street and not less than 50 feet from any residence.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than twelve (12) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and ten (10) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants of the premises.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

 

A-1 Zone:

The keeping and raising of crowing fowl is allowed pursuant to the following requirements.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than twelve (12) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and ten (10) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

 

A-2 and A-D Zones:

The keeping and raising of crowing fowl is allowed pursuant to the following requirements.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and 10 mature male crowing fowl is allowed for the use of the occupants of the premises.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than one-hundred (100) mature female crowing fowl and twenty (20) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants of the premises.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

 

W-2 Zone:

Less than 1 Acre:

The keeping or raising of not more than 12 mature female crowing fowl on lots or parcels not less than 20,000 square feet for the use of the occupants of the premises. The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

1 Acre or greater:

The keeping or raising of not more than 50 mature female crowing fowl and 10 mature male crowing fowl on lots or parcels not less than 1 acre for the use of the occupants of the premises. The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

 

R-D Zone:

The keeping and raising of crowing fowl is allowed for the use of the occupants of the premises only pursuant to the following requirements.

NUMBER OF CROWING FOWL ALLOWED:

LOTS BETWEEN 20,000 SQ. FT. AND 39,999 SQ. FT. IN AREA: Not more than twelve (12) mature female crowing fowl (chickens only) allowed.

LOTS 40,000 SQ. FT. OR GREATER: Not more than fifty (50) mature female crowing fowl and ten (10) mature male crowing fowl allowed for the use of the occupants.

The crowing fowl shall be kept in an enclosed area located not less than 20 feet from any property line and not less than 50 feet from any residence and shall be maintained on the rear portion of the lot in conjunction with a residential use.

Subject to the provisions of Section 18.28b, the number of mature crowing fowl may be increased up to 50% over each (male and female) of the permitted numbers.

For more information see also:SECTION 18.28b. CROWING FOWL PERMIT

Back to Top

How may dogs may I have on my property?

One to four dogs on a property is allowed without a Kennel permit issued from the Planning Department.

The County defines "any building, structure, enclosure or premises whereupon, or within which, five or more dogs, four months of age or older, are kept or maintained" as a KENNEL. Therefore, to have five or more dogs on your property, you will need a Kennel permit. Kennels are allowed in the following zones and pursuant to the following development standards:

PERMITTED ZONING. Kennels and catteries shall be permitted in the following zones:

(1) A Class I Kennel (5 to 10 dogs) is permitted in the following zones provided a plot plan has been approved under the provisions of Section 18.30 of this ordinance: R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A, R-R, R-R-O, R-A, R-T-R, A-1, A-P, A-2, A-D, C/V, W-2, R-D, N-A, and W-2-M.

(2) A Class II Kennel (11 to 25 dogs) or a cattery (10 to 25 cats) is permitted in the following zones provided a plot plan has been approved under the provisions of Section 18.30 of this ordinance: R-R, R-R-O, R-A, R-T-R, A-1, A-P, A-2, A-D, W-2, R-D, N-A, and W-2-M.

(3) A Class I (5 to 10 dogs) or Class II Kennel (11 to 25 dogs) or a cattery (10 to 25 cats) is permitted in the following zones provided a plot plan has been approved under the provisions of Section 18.30 of this ordinance: M-SC, M-M, and M-H.

(4) A Class III Kennel (26 to 40 dogs) or a cattery (26 to 40 cats) is permitted in the following zones provided a plot plan has been approved under the provisions of Section 18.30 of this ordinance: R-R, R-R-O, M-SC, M-M, M-H, A-1, and A-2..

(5) A Class IV Kennel (41 or more dogs) or a sentry dog kennel or a cattery (41 or more cats) is permitted in the following zones provided a conditional use permit has been approved under the provisions of Section 18.28 of this ordinance: R-R, R-R-O, M-SC, M-M, M-H, A-1, and A-2..

DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS.

(1) RESIDENCY: In those zones permitting Class I Kennels, such kennels may be placed upon parcels containing detached single family dwelling units. All Class II Kennels and all catteries shall include a single family dwelling to be used by a live-in caretaker, as required by the Riverside County standards for kennels and catteries. Notwithstanding any provision within this ordinance to the contrary, no parcel with a kennel or cattery shall contain more than the maximum number of detached single family dwelling units permitted by the existing zoning on the property. Multi-family dwelling units and attached single family dwelling units shall not be permitted in conjunction with kennels or catteries, provided, however, that a guest dwelling or second unit shall be permitted in accordance with current County ordinances.

(2) MINIMUM LOT SIZE: The minimum lot size for a kennel or cattery in an agricultural, residential, rural or open space zone is one acre (gross). There is no minimum lot size for a kennel or cattery in an industrial zone other than what is required by the existing zoning on the property.

(3) LICENSE: The applicant shall obtain and continuously maintain all necessary licenses from the Riverside County Health Department.

(4) COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. 630: All kennels and catteries are subject to the provisions of County Ordinance No. 630.

See Also:
County Ordinance No. 630 (Link opens in a new window)
Section 18.45. KENNELS AND CATTERIES.

Back to Top

Can I locate a mobile home or fabricated home on my property? What types of fees will I need to pay?

A property owner may utilize a mobile home or fabricated home as a single-family dwelling on his property in all zones that permit one-family dwellings subject to conditions as prescribed in the particular zone.

In addition to meeting development requirements for your particular zoning designation, you will need to work with the Department of Environmental Health if you are going to be using a septic tank. You may also be required to put the home on a permanent foundation.

The location of the parcel will dictate what the required fees will be. Location of a mobile home can require payment of fees for a Certificate of Land Division Compliance, Plot Plan, School Fee, RSA and other mitigation fees, and Building Permit fee.

Back to Top

While building a new home can I put a temporary mobile home on my property to live in while my house is under construction?

No.

Contact our public information section for more information.
Click here for Contact Information

Back to Top

Where can a mobile home park be located in Riverside County?

Mobile home parks are permitted pursuant to an approved conditional use permit in all zones that permit residential subdivisions.

Back to Top

In what zone may a recreational vehicle park be located?

Recreational vehicle parks, and recreational trailer parks are permitted pursuant to an approved conditional use permit in zones R-R, R-R-O, W-2, W-2-M, N-A, and W+1. They are also permitted in the R-D zone with an approved conditional use permit only if developed in conjunction with a mobile home park.

See ARTICLE XIXd RECREATIONAL VEHICLE PARKS for complete information.

Back to Top

Can I store my RV on my property?

The Riverside County Zoning Ordinance does not have restrictions on parking your personal Recreation Vehicle on your property. However, you may have private restrictions outlined within the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) written and adopted for your residential development.

Back to Top

Is it possible to locate an agricultural mobile home on my property?

Agricultural mobile homes only for owners' farm-workers on parcels being farmed are allowed subject to conditions prescribed in the following zones: A+1, A-2, A-D(10 acre minimum), and A-P(10 acre minimum/15,000 birds).

Back to Top

Can I place a second dwelling unit on my property?

An additional dwelling unit may be placed on a parcel provided a Second Unit Permit has been approved. The requirements for a standard second unit permit are:

(1) The proposed second unit must conform to all the requirements of the General plan for Riverside county,

(2) The lot is zoned for a one-family dwelling as a permitted use; provided, however, that the lot must be 1 acre of usable space or greater in area and may not be part of a Planned Residential Development (PRD) or the R-6 Zone,

(3) The lot contains an existing one-family detached unit, and either the existing unit or the proposed additional unit is and will be the dwelling unit of the owner-occupant, and

(4) The proposed second unit meets the zoning, lot size, and unit size standards set forth in Riverside county Ordinance No. 348. For further information on second unit permits contact a Planning Department staff member.

Back to Top

Can a second unit dwelling be two-stories?

Yes, as long as it meets the unit size standards outlined in SECTION 18.28a.c.
See below:

Usable Lot Area
Allowable Living Area*
1 acre but less than 2 acres
500 sq. ft. minimum
800 sq. ft. maximum
2 acres or greater
500 sq. ft. minimum
1200 sq. ft. maximum

* Living area includes the interior habitable area of a second unit including basements and attics but does not include a garage or any accessory structure.

The second unit shall comply with all development standards of the zone in which the lot is located, including but not limited to, height, setbacks, and lot coverage.

No second unit shall exceed the height of the existing primary dwelling unit.

Back to Top

What is zoning?

The purpose of zoning is to separate different land uses. The development standards found within riverside County Ordinance No. 348 try to insure that private development takes place within a given area in which:

(1) All uses are compatible,
(2) Common development standards are used, and
(3) Each development does not unreasonably place a burden upon its neighbors.

Back to Top

What is my property zoned; how do I find out?

To determine what the zoning designation is for a piece of property obtain the 9 digit assessor parcel number (APN). With that number there are a variety of options for you to utilize to obtain your zoning.

These include:

(1) Use Map My County (works best with Internet Explorer), on the Navigation Menu select "Search">> Click Here for more information

(2) Call or visit any of the TLMA Permit Assistance Centers in Riverside or Palm Desert. >> Click here for Contact Information

Back to Top

Can I put a billboard on my property?

Off-site advertising is permitted with planning approval only in zones C-1/C-P, M-SC, M-M, and M-H with a minimum 500 foot spacing interval.

Back to Top

If I want to establish a business, what land use permits are required, and does Riverside Count require a business license?

Riverside County does not require a business license to establish a business in the unincorporated areas of the County. The zoning designation on the site where the business will be established will determine the type of land use approval which will be required. Please check with Planning Department Staff to determine your zone and the requirements for your business proposal.

Back to Top

What are the setbacks on my property?

Setbacks vary depending on your zoning classification. In order to find your setbacks, you first need to find out your zoning. You can find out your zoning with your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) and Map My County (works best with Internet Explorer), on the Navigation Menu select "Search" >> Click Here For More Information.

Once you know your zoning, go to the Zoning Descriptions and Regulations to find your setback requirements.

Alternatively, you may contact our public information section with your APN and they will help you. Click Here for Contact Information.

Back to Top

How many dwellings may I have on my property?

Through the second unit permit process, up to two separate residential dwellings are allowed per individual lot within most residential and agricultural zones.

The lot's zone must allow for a one-family dwelling as a permitted use; provided, however, that the lot must be 14,400 square feet or greater in area and may not be part of a Planned Residential Development (PRD) or the R-6 Zone; and, the lot contains an existing one-family detached unit, and either the existing unit or the proposed additional unit is and will be the dwelling unit of the owner-occupant.

Multiple family dwellings may be erected in the R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-D and SP zones, subject to the following standards and conditions.

(1) The use shall comply with all provisions of the R-3 Zone.

(2) A plot plan has first been approved pursuant to the provisions of Section 18.30 of this ordinance. The plot plan shall contain the following information:

a) Location of each existing and proposed structure in the development area and the use or uses to be contained therein.

b) Location of all pedestrian walks, malls and recreation areas.

c) Location and height of all walls, fences and screen planting, including a plan for the landscaping and surfacing of the development.

d) Plans and elevations of typical structures to indicate architectural type and construction standards.

Back to Top

Can I put a metal accessory building on my property?

FOR PARCELS LESS THAN 1 ACRE IN AREA:

A. No bare metal buildings (metal buildings without paint or exterior architectural coatings or treatments) are allowed to be constructed in residential zones.

B. Bare metal garden sheds less than 120 sq. ft. in size are allowable so long as they meet setback requirements and are screened from view.

FOR PARCELS GREATER THAN 1 ACRE IN AREA:

A. In residential zones bare metal buildings are allowed.

B. If the accessory metal building is in close proximity to the main dwelling and R-O-W (100-ft.), the metal building shall closely blend in with the main dwelling.

1. The color of the of the accessory building shall be the same as the main dwelling.

2. The color of the roof of the accessory building shall be the same as the main dwelling.

3. Window and door types shall be similar to the main dwelling.

4. Landscaping shall be utilized to soften the impact and shield the accessory building.

5. Quonset style metal structures closer than 100-ft. to the main dwelling or R-O-W are not allowed.

6. Unpainted or gray metal buildings are not acceptable.

C. If the accessory building is not in close proximity to the main dwelling or R-O-W (>100 ft.), the metal building shall closely blend into the landscape environment in which it is to be located.

1. The color of the accessory building shall be neutral earth tones.

2. The color of the roof shall be neutral earth tones.

3. Landscaping shall be utilized to soften the impact and shield the accessory building.

4. Quonset style metal structures are satisfactory in residential zones if they comply with the above standards.

5. Unpainted or gray metal buildings are not acceptable.

D. Freestanding metal shade covers for recreational vehicles shall be considered as an accessory building and shall meet the standards set forth above.

Back to Top

Why do I need a change of zone on my property when the County already changed the zoning on my property when they adopted the new General Plan?

The General Plan's land use designation on your property is different than the zoning designation. Each land use designation has a set of corresponding appropriate zoning classifications. Currently, on some parcels, the land use designations adopted under the new General Plan do not correspond to the current zoning classification.

The land use designation and the zoning classification must agree. In order for them to agree, you may be required to apply for a change of zone application on your property when you apply for a development permit.

Back to Top

My home is in a commercial zone, can I expand my dwelling?

If your home is in a commercial or industrial zone that does not allow residential dwellings as an allowed use, it is considered non-conforming.

The total square footage of an existing nonconforming structure or use, excluding mobile homes, may be expanded a maximum of 25 percent on the same parcel of land from the time the use was deemed nonconforming. Such expansion shall require issuance of a building permit only and shall not extend the period of nonconforming time in which the use must be eliminated.

See SECTION 18.8. NONCONFORMING STRUCTURES AND USES for more information, or contact the Planning Department for more information.

Back to Top

What is the Riverside County General Plan?

The Riverside County General Plan is a comprehensive long-range plan intended to guide the growth and development of the unincorporated areas within the county. It includes analysis, recommendations, and policies for the community's population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use. Various Community Plans have been adopted by the Board of Supervisors to direct land use within specific regions of Riverside County. Minimum lot sizes and permitted land uses must conform to the Riverside County General Plan, adopted Community Plans, as well as the existing zoning on the subject parcel.

To review the Riverside County General Plan, please visit:
http://planning.rctlma.org/ZoningInformation/GeneralPlan.aspx

Back to Top

How do I get a General Plan Amendment (GPA) onto a GPA hearing calendar

General Plan Amendments to change the designation of properties within a Foundation Component may be considered at any time by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. They can be scheduled upon approval of the Planning Department and other affected agencies in the same manner as other major cases. However, they can be adopted a maximum of four times per year, pursuant to California state law. The Planning Department is responsible for "shepherding" the amendments into these four "cycles". Cut-off dates for inclusion in a cycle are determined on a cycle-by-cycle bases and are usually based on date of final Board of Supervisor's hearing, but may be affected by a number of other factors, including the potential for specific actions to be litigated. For more information regarding the "shepherding" of General Plan Amendments into cycles, please contact Riverside County Planning Department Public information at 951-955-3200.

Back to Top

Why does it take so long to process a major plot plan, conditional use permit, parcel map, etc.?

Major development applications such as conditional use permits and tract maps are transmitted to numerous County Departments and outside agencies for review and comment.

During the review and comment process, many times numerous issues are raised that must be addressed in the project design. This process of re-design and review may be required several times before a project is deemed approvable and ready to proceed to a public hearing.

The Planning Department, as the lead agency on most land development proposals, makes every effort to expedite the review process. The time required for the applicant and the applicant's engineer to review comments and proceed with a re-design and re-submittal of plans varies and is out of the Planning Department's control.

Back to Top

I left a message with a planner a week ago, and he/she has not returned my call. What should I do?

Please allow a minimum of two working days for a return call or e-mail from department personnel. After two days, you may phone or e-mail the planner again.

If you still do not get a response, please call 951-955-6892.

Back to Top

What is the status of my application pre-submittal? I was told I would receive an answer in 3 days and that a case planner would be assigned?

Please contact the public information section regarding your pre-submittal. Be sure to have the HR application number so that the person helping you can quickly check on your application status.

Click Here for Information on Contacting Planning

Back to Top

How are development proposals, permits and applications approved?

All projects reviewed by the Planning Department are discretionary and therefore are approved through a standardized review process.

When a land development application is formally submitted to the County, it is assigned to a planner. The planner manages the project's journey through the public review process. The process for review depends on the type of project. To see flowcharts that outline the various types of development review go to the Development Review Flowcharts section of this website.

Depending on the case type, it may go to a public hearing before the Planning Director's Hearing (DH) or the Planning Commission (PC). Most projects go before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for final action after they go before the DH or the PC.

For some cases, a pre-application review (PAR) can be prepared. During the PAR, the project exhibit is distributed to various County departments for review. Each department outlines issues with the project that the applicant should address prior to submitting the application formally. The PAR helps shorten the formal review period, and allows the project to go to a public hearing quicker.

Please contact the Planning Department for more information.

Back to Top

How much are fees for application forms?

Fees for different applications vary and are outlined in the adopted Fee Schedule and Price List.

Click here to go to the Fee Schedule.

Back to Top

Can I split my parcel into more lots?

In order to divide your parcel, you must first determine your zoning classification. Each zone has a minimum parcel size that must be adhered to. If your parcel is large and can be divided into two or more parcels that each meet the minimum parcel size, then you may submit a parcel or tract map application.

BE ADVISED: Many issues must be taken into consideration before a subdivision can be recommended for approval. It is best to speak to someone in the Planning Department regarding the feasibility of your proposed subdivision before every submitting a formal application.

Click here for information on contacting the Planning Department.

Back to Top

What methods may I use to split my parcel or adjust my property lines?

The Subdivision Map Act is the state law which regulates the division of land. Originally part of the Business and Professions code, the Act specifies the procedures for all land divisions in California. There are various ways to split or reconfigure existing parcels; however, whatever is proposed must meet current general plan and zoning requirements. Some of the methods which may be utilized to split existing parcels or change existing parcel lines include:

Lot Line Adjustment:

Lot Line Adjustments are minor changes to existing lot lines that creates no new parcel, and result in lots which conform to zoning ordinance size requirements. These applications are reviewed administratively by the Planning Department, and the County Surveyor.

Parcel Map:

Parcel Maps subdivide a plot of land into four or less parcels. Upon submission of a complete application to the Planning Department, the parcel map is transmitted to various agencies for review, and scheduled for a Land Development Committee (LDC) meeting. Upon clearance from the LDC, the map is scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Director. Upon the Planning Director's decision on the map, the case is placed on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors consent calendar. If no public hearing is held before the Board, the final conditions of approval are mailed to the applicant.

Tract Map:

Tract maps are required to subdivide a plot of land into five or more parcels. Upon submission of a complete application to the Planning Department, the map is transmitted to various agencies for review, and scheduled for a Land Development Committee (LDC) meeting. Upon clearance from the LDC, the map is scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission.

Final Maps:

After a map receives its tentative approval, the applicant is given a period of time to provide the final improvement plans for streets, utilities, grading, and all final conditions of approval. The final map is reviewed by the County Surveyor.

Back to Top

Why does my parcel need a Certificate of Land Division Compliance?

No building permit, grading permit, or any other permit or approval necessary to develop a parcel of land in Riverside County may be granted for any parcel which has resulted from a division of land which does not appear to be in compliance with the State Subdivision Map Act. If it cannot be clearly determined that an existing parcel was created in compliance with the Subdivision Map Act a Certificate of Compliance (COC) will be required. Upon submission of the appropriate application materials, the COC is reviewed by staff from the Planning Department and County Surveyor. If it is determined to meet the requirements of the Subdivision Map Act and Riverside County Ordinance the Certificate of Compliance will be officially recorded with the Office of the County Recorder as proof that the parcel has been deemed to have been legally created. Permits may then be issued.

Back to Top

I have several parcels with the same Assessor's Parcel Number (APN). Can I get a separate APN for each of them?

You need to contact the County Assessor's office regarding a situation like this.

Click here to go to their website.

Back to Top

What are easements? Can I build on an easement?

In most planning situations, an easement is a legal agreement in which the easement holder is given some type of limited use of another property owner's land.

A good example would be an access easement. An access easement would allow the owner of property that has no road access to access their property across a specified portion of another land owner's property. The area within the easement belongs to the land owner, but is legally accessible to the easement holder for purposes of automobile access.

You cannot build anything on an easement that would infringe on the easement holder's limited use of the portion of the property.

Back to Top

How can I tell if my property might be affected by the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP)?

Please contact the Environmental Programs Department regarding MSHCP, ERP and HANS questions.

Their website is: http://www.rctlma.org/epd/index.html

Back to Top

What regulations do I need to comply with in order to conduct a home occupation?

Home occupations are those uses that are customarily conducted in a residence, provided the uses are incidental and secondary to the principal use of the dwelling as a residence. The following criteria apply to any home occupation:

(a) Except for large family day care homes which may require one assistant to be present in addition to the licensee or provider, no person other than a resident of the dwelling shall be employed on the premises in the conduct of the home occupation.

(b) A home occupation shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling and shall be incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling as a residence.

(c) A home occupation shall not be conducted in an accessory structure and there shall be no storage of equipment or supplies in an accessory structure or outside the building.

(d) The residential character of the exterior and interior of the dwelling shall not be changed.

(e) No vehicles or trailers except those normally incidental to the residential use shall be kept on the site.

(f) No signs other than one unlighted identification sign, not more than two square feet in area shall be erected on the premises.

Back to Top

What types of Riverside County development fees may I be faced with?

In addition to the normal application fees for Planning approvals and Building Permits a property owner or developer may be required to pay other types of development fees. These may include the following as described:

Developer Agreement Mitigation Fee:

Developer Agreement mitigation fees are part of a contractual agreement entered into between private property owners and the County of Riverside. The fees are intended to pay for unfunded portions of public facilities and services incurred by new land developments. The fee is usually required before single family residential dwelling building permits are issued or are given a final inspection by Building & Safety. The amounts of this mitigation fee and exactly when they are required to be paid are specified in each individual contractual agreement. Fee amounts are identified by TLMA Building & Safety and/or Planning Land Use staff and the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center.

Developer Mitigation Fee:

Ordinance 659 requires the payment of an impact mitigation fee prior to the final inspection by Building & Safety of any residential dwellings and any mobile homes installed on a permanent foundation. The fees are for the construction and acquisition of public facilities identified in the "Public Facilities Needs Through the Year 2000" report on file with the Riverside County Executive Office. Funds may also be used for the purchase of regional parkland and the preservation of habitat and open space. The fee is geographically defined and ranges between $2,135 and $2,883 per dwelling unit. Fee amounts are determined by TLMA Building & Safety and/or Planning Land Use staff and the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center. Refer to Riverside County Ordinance 659 for a complete list of exemptions, credits, or reductions which apply to this county-wide mitigation fee.

Fire Mitigation Fee:

This mitigation fee was authorized by the Board of Supervisors to fund the acquisition of land, buildings, furnishings and apparatus necessary to mitigate fire risks. The mitigation fee requirement is identified during the land development review process by Riverside County Fire Department Emergency Services Engineering and Planning Staff located at TLMA Permit Assistance Centers. Current fee amounts are $400 per single family dwelling unit and $0.25 per square foot for all other types of developments. The fee typically is due prior to the recordation of land divisions however, there are provisions for deferral of the fee to the building permit stage. Payment of the fee is made to Fire Department staff located at the TLMA Permit Assistance Centers.

Coachella Valley Fringe-Toed Lizard Mitigation Fees:


This mitigation fee was adopted pursuant to the terms of the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard Habitat Conservation Plan, as developed pursuant to Section 10(a) of the United States Endangered Act of 1973. Mitigation fees are required when lands within the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard Fee Assessment Area are disturbed and/or divided. See Ordinance No. 460 Section 10.15 for more information.

Jurupa Law Enforcement Mitigation fee:

The Jurupa Community Plan development guidelines require new commercial and residential developments to mitigate the increased demands for law enforcement in the Jurupa Community Plan area. The fees are for funding of a Sheriff's substation and law enforcement services. The mitigation fee is $410 per acre or fraction thereof, of new commercial and industrial development. For new residential developments, the mitigation fee is $100 per residential dwelling unit. The fee is identified by Planning Department staff during the land development review process and can be found in the individual land development entitlement conditions of approval. The mitigation fee is required to be paid usually before a building permit is issued by Building & Safety. The fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center.

Road and Bridge Benefit District Mitigation fee:


The purpose of this mitigation fee program is to fund the construction of major thoroughfares or bridges of regional significance. There are several areas of benefit that have been established in Riverside County by Board of Supervisors resolution and the fee amounts differ. Residential developments within an an established area of benefit pay the mitigation fee on a per dwelling unit basis while commercial/industrial developments pay a fee based upon the gross acreage of the project. The fee is required to be paid prior to the recordation of any land divisions however, there are provisions for deferral of the fee to the building permit stage. The mitigation fee is subject to an annual adjustment. The fee amounts for any specific project are determined by Transportation Department Permits staff and the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center.

Stephens' Kangaroo Rat Mitigation fee:

Ordinance 663 establishes the Stephens' Kangaroo Rat Habitat Conservation Plan Fee Assessment Area and sets the fees. The mitigation fee is $500 per gross acre of the parcels proposed for development. For single family residential developments where all lots within the development are larger than half an acre, the fee is $250 per dwelling unit. For agricultural developments where a discretionary development permit is necessary to conduct the agricultural operation, the mitigation fee is $100 or 1 percent of the valuation of the buildings to be constructed (excluding single family residences) whichever is greater. In no case however, are agricultural developments required to pay more than if the $500 per gross acre fee calculation were applied to the development. The mitigation fee is required to be paid prior to the issuance of a grading permit, however the fee may be deferred to the issuance of the first building permit within the development provided a deferral agreement instrument is recorded by the applicant. Fee amounts are determined by TLMA Building & Safety and/or Planning Land Use staff and the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center. For additional information regarding potential reductions, exemptions, and credits that may apply to this mitigation fee, refer to Riverside County Ordinance 663.

Traffic Signalization Mitigation fee:

Ordinance 748 establishes a county-wide mitigation fee program to fund the installation of traffic signals and related road improvements. Currently the fee amount is $240 per dwelling unit for single family residential developments and $224 per dwelling unit for multi-family residential developments. For Senior/Retirement single family residential developments the fee amount is $161 per dwelling unit while the fee for Senior/Retirement multi-family residential developments is $149 per dwelling unit. For industrial developments the fee is $2797 per acre and for commercial developments the fee is $3995 per acre. Institutional and non-profit developments are exempt from this mitigation fee. Payment of the fee is required prior to the final inspection performed by Building & Safety. This mitigation fee is subject to an annual adjustment. The fee amounts for any specific project are determined by Transportation Department Permits staff and the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center. Refer to Riverside County Ordinance 748 for additional details and information regarding other exemptions.

Transportation Uniform Mitigation fee:

Ordinance 673 establishes a mitigation fee program for funding the engineering, the purchase of right-of-way, and construction of transportation improvements required by the year 2010 in the Coachella Valley. This fee is required of only those land developments in the Coachella Valley. The fee amounts are based on an equation involving the number of average weekday trips generated by a particular development. Trip generation rates are calculated by either gross square footages, number of development units, number of rooms, or number of parking spaces. Payment of this fee is required prior to the issuance of a building permit by Building & Safety. The fee calculation for any specific project is performed by Transportation Department Permits-Indio Office staff ONLY however, the fee can be paid at any TLMA Permit Assistance Center. Refer to Riverside County Ordinance 673 for additional details and information regarding other exemptions, credits, or reductions.

Western Riverside County Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee Program:

Ordinance 824 fees collected pursuant to this Ordinance shall be used to help pay for the construction and acquisition of the Regional System improvements identified in the Nexus Study. The need for the improvements is related to new development because such development results in additional traffic thus creating the demand for the improvements.

Back to Top