The Subdivision and Major Projects Unit works with applicants who are developing subdivisions. The unit also provides technical assistance to the Planning and Building Department for major projects.
SB9 Urban Lot Split Subdivisions
On 09/16/2021, the Governor of the State of California approved SB9 which allows for the administrative approval of certain small subdivisions in urban and urbanizing areas to facilitate and encourage the development of more housing. Government Code Section 66411.7(a) defines this type of subdivision as an urban lot split. SB9 streamlines the process in which a tentative map for an urban lot split subdivision is approved by a City or County. Unlike a traditional subdivision that requires a public hearing before the Planning Commission, an urban lot split subdivision is administratively approved by the Planning & Building Department. The County Geographic Information System (GIS) which is an online resource available to the public has a layer devoted to showing properties that may be eligible for an SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivision: Jurisdiction Boundaries & Land Use => Housing Inventory => Urban Clusters. The GIS layer considers baseline eligibility using Government Code Section 66411.7(a)(3)(B) being a legal parcel wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau. It is important to note that if your property is shown on the GIS as being potentially eligible for an SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivision there may be other factors that disqualify your property. A land development professional can help advise you on whether a traditional subdivision or a SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivision is best for your proposed project.
Public Works has established a set of uniform conditions of approval that apply to all SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivisions. Unlike a traditional subdivision, exception requests pursuant to County Code Section 325-9 are not available for SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivisions since it is administratively approved. If your project requires deviation from the Public Works SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivision conditions of approval, then your project may best be served by applying for a traditional subdivision.
The County's Zoning Regulations (County Code Section 311-1 et seq.) also apply. These regulations are administered by the Planning & Building Department. In particular maximum ground coverage of 35% (County Code Section 314-6 for inland R-1 zones and County Code Section 313-6 for coastal RS zones) apply. However, for inland zones County Code Section 314-22.214.171.124 allows for 50% maximum ground coverage in mapped Housing Opportunity Zones on lots 10,000 square feet or smaller if all structures are one story. This ground coverage limitation may reduce the viability for SB9 Urban Lot Split subdivisions where units larger than 800 square feet are contemplated.
Thinking of doing an SB9 Urban Lot Split Subdivision? Start by readingSB9.
The Planning & Building Department's GIS team has created a web tool to show what properties meet minimum SB9 eligibility criteria (zoning and urban cluster requirements); other factors discussed above may exclude SB9 viability for a property.
Contact the Planning Division of the Planning & Building Department for more information. Applications for SB9 Urban Lot Split Subdivisions are submitted to the Planning & Building Department.
Consultation for contemplated projects
Pursuant to County Code Section 321-13, Public Works provides up to two hours of consultation at no cost to applicants regarding any contemplated project involving the improvement, division or development of property. After the initial two hours a charge is imposed for further consultation. Contact the Public Works Land Use Division for an appointment at 707.445.7205. Public Works recommends that this consultation occur during an Application Assistance meeting with the Planning & Building Department.
Fire Safe Regulations
On 12/17/1991, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 1952 which established Fire Safe Regulations. This ordinance implemented provisions within State Fire Safe Regulations that allow the County to develop standards that had the same practical effect as State Fire Safe Regulations. On 11/17/2015, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 2540 which amended County Code Section 3111-1 et seq. to allow the County to continue having local standards that have the same practical effect as State Fire Safe Regulations. On 01/01/2020, State Fire Safe Regulations changed which superseded County Code 3111-1 et seq. because the County's local standards have not been recertified by the Department of Forestry pursuant to 14 CCR 1270.04. Until the Department of Forestry recertifies the County's local standards, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection SRA Fire Safe Regulations State Fire Safe Regulations 14 CCR 1270 et seq. apply.
Public Works ensures compliance with Fire Safe Regulations for subdivisions. For all other projects contact the Planning & Building Department for more information. Applications for Exception Requests for Fire Safe Regulations are submitted to the Planning and Building Department.