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Planning Division Frequently Asked Questions

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Q:     What is Zoning and how can I find out what the Zoning designation is for my property?

A:      Zoning divides the city into specific areas (most typically Residential, Commercial, and Industrial) in order to regulate the development standards like number of units, building height, setbacks, and appearance required for each zone.  To quickly find the Zoning designation of your property, you can use the City of Buena Park’s Interactive Zoning Map by clicking here.


Q:     What types of uses are allowed on my property?

A:      The types of uses allowed on your property depend on the Zoning designation. There are two types of allowable uses: Permitted and Conditional.

  • Permitted uses are compatible with the underlying Zoning designation. These uses do not require special conditions and can be developed after plans have been reviewed and permits are issued.
  • Conditional uses require specific conditions to ensure their compatibility within the surrounding area. Conditional Uses are approved by the Planning Commission after review and recommendation by the Community Development Department.

For information on specific uses, please contact the Community Development Department at 714-562-3620 and speak with a City Planner.


Q:     How big is my property? How do I find the dimensions for my lot?

A:      The size of your property listed in square feet or acres can be found on your Property Survey which can be typically found with Title and Deed documents for your home.  The City of Buena Park does not maintain this specific property information. However, you can find property size by contacting the Orange County Assessor at 714-834-2727 or


Q:     What is a legally non-conforming building, structure, or use?

A:      A building, structure, or use is considered legally non-conforming if it was legally constructed or established prior to the current Zoning Code regulations.  In most instances, legally non-conforming buildings, structures or uses can remain indefinitely; however, if substantial improvements are proposed or the legally non-conforming buildings, structures or uses are removed, eliminated or destroyed they may not be allowed to continued or re-built. For more information regarding a legally non-conforming buildings, structures or uses, you can read Section 19.204 of the Buena Park Zoning Code.


Q:     What are the parking requirements for my business?

A:      The number of required parking spaces is determined by your property’s specific use. To find parking requirements Multifamily Residential, you can refer to Section 19.436.050 of the Buena Park Zoning Code.  For Commercial and Industrial parking requirements, please refer to Section 19.536.040 of the Buena Park Zoning Code.


Q:     I want to build a shed, garage, or some other accessory structure on my property. How close to my property line can I build?

A:      Accessory structures like a detached garage or shed required a minimum 5 foot setback from your side and/or rear property lines. If your property is on a corner, a 10-foot setback will be required for accessory structures.


Q:     I would like to put up a block wall on my property line. How tall can the block wall be?

A:      Block walls and Fences can be installed along your property line up to a certain height. For Residential properties, block walls or fences can only be 3.5 feet tall along your front property line.  For a 7-foot tall block wall or fence, it fence must be set back 20 feet from your front property line. 7-foot tall fences are allowed along your side and rear property lines.  Block walls or Fences erected along shared property lines will require your adjacent neighbor’s written permission.  For more information on Block Walls /Fences in Residential zones, you can refer to Section 19.328.020 of the Buena Park Zoning Code.  For Commercial and Industrial zones, please refer to Section 19.528.010 of the Buena Park Zoning Code.


Q:     I want to expand my house to add more rooms.  How much can I expand?  Can I add a second story?

A:      Expansion of existing homes is generally allowed and typically depends on the size of your property.  The expansion area plus all other roofed structures on your property (the house, detached garages, patio covers and sheds) cannot be more than 40% of your property’s size (Example: if your property is 6,200 square feet and all the roofed structure total a size of 2,000 square feet, you can expand your house an additional 480 square feet).

Second story additions are allowed; however, the City will require certain safeguards to protect neighboring single-story homes. These safeguards may include the location of windows and balconies, and landscaping.

If you are proposing an expansion of more than 50% of the existing home, you will be required to submit a Site Plan Review application.  Site Plans are reviewed and approved by the City Zoning Administrator in a public hearing.   

It is recommended that you contact the Community Development Department at 714-562-3620 and speak with a City Planner about your plans first before submitting an application.


Q:     Can I have a Yard Sale at my house?

A:      Yes. Yard Sales are permitted activities on most residential properties.  You can hold a yard sale two (2) consecutive days within any 6-month period.  Yard sales may begin at 8AM and must end at sunset. A city permit is not required.