WHAT IS A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT?
All property in the City of Buena Park is divided into zones. Each zone is designated with certain permitted, conditional and prohibited uses for the land. The purpose of a "conditional use permit" is to allow for special consideration of certain specified uses which may or may not be compatible with an area depending on the specifics of the particular project. The conditional use permit process gives the City sufficient flexibility to determine whether a specific land use on a given site will be compatible with the environment and the General Plan. In reviewing a conditional use permit application, the staff and Planning Commission will evaluate such items as building placement, massing, and size, characteristic of the use, traffic generation, noise, hours of operation, adequacy of parking, circulation, proposed intensity, landscaping and overall compatibility of the use with adjoining properties and other related development impacts. Conditions may be imposed as necessary to insure that the proposed use will be compatible with the surrounding properties and environment.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT?
Consideration of the Project
Early in the consideration of a "conditional use permit" the applicant should contact Planning staff to determine the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance criteria for the site under consideration. It is important that the proposed use is consistent with the City's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance. For all uses proposed in a Specific Plan area, the applicable provisions of the Specific Plan should be carefully evaluated.
Preliminary Application Review
Prior to submitting a formal land use development application, the applicant is advised to submit for Preliminary Application Review to obtain comments related to the feasibility of the request. This will allow city staff to review the request for compliance with the City's General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Specific Plans, and other applicable City standards. City staff and Orange County Fire Authority will assess possible environmental concerns, engineering/infrastructure requirements, traffic, landscaping, architectural design and safety criteria. A fee of $821 is required for Preliminary Application Review processing.
Click Preliminary Application Review to download an application
The applicant should submit the completed application, filing fee, and other required information to the Planning staff. Application review fees for Orange County Fire Authority and CEQA review may be also be assessed at the time of application submittal. A staff planner will be assigned to review the material to make sure all the required information is provided. The applicant will be notified within 30 days after filing as to whether the application is complete or what additional information is required.
Click Conditional Use Permit to download an application
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that all Conditional Use Permit requests be analyzed for potential environmental impacts. The applicant should request a meeting with a staff planner to determine the type of environmental analysis and process necessary.
Planning Division Review for Planning Commission
The Planning staff will study the application by reviewing the relationship of the request with the City's Zoning Ordinance, General Plan and any applicable Specific Plans, and analyze the environmental, land use, traffic, site plan and other concerns of the proposed project. A written staff report will be prepared for the Planning Commission which will include a description of the project and staff recommendation with any applicable conditions.
Planning Commission Review
The Planning Commission is required to hold at least one public hearing on the Conditional Use Permit application. At least 10 days prior to the meeting, owners of property within 300 feet of the subject site will be notified by mail of the forthcoming hearing, and a notice of the public hearing will be posted. At the public hearing, staff will first present an oral report and recommendation. This presentation is followed by testimony from the applicant and then by any interested persons who may wish to comment on the application. The Planning Commission will make a decision approving or conditionally approving the request, denying the request, postponing the decision to a later date, or the Commission may keep the public hearing open and continue it to a specified time, date and place. The Planning Commission's decision is final, unless an appeal is filed as described below.
City Council Review
The decision of Planning Commission is final unless it is appealed to the City Council or called up for review by the City Council. The appeal must be filed within 10 working days after the date of the decision. After the appeal is filed, a public hearing will be scheduled before the City Council. To obtain appeal processing requirements, contact the City Clerk's office at (714) 562-3750.
The Planning Division is open from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and closed alternating Fridays. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Division staff at (714) 562-3620.