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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a land use designation?
Similar to zoning designations described above, all properties within the county are also assigned a land use designation. For example, many properties are assigned an RL or Residential-Low Density designation. Land use designations are derived from the land use goals, policies, and standards of the Humboldt County general plan. Land use designations establish the distribution, location, and extent of the uses of property. Residential land use designations also establish a residential density expressed in terms of residential units per acre. Land use designations are more general than zoning classifications. Typically, land use designations focus on allowed uses whereas zoning classifications provide specific standards related to building height and setbacks. Both are used by decision-makers to determine whether a proposed use, development, or subdivision is appropriate.

Land use designations are described in the Framework Plan, Community Plans, and Coastal Plans. These documents are available from the Plans and Ordinances page.

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1. What is an assessor’s parcel number?
2. How do I find out if my parcel is the city or in the county?
3. What is a zoning classification?
4. What development does zoning allow?
5. What is a land use designation?
6. What is a combining zone?
7. What are building setbacks?
8. What is the minimum parcel size?
9. What permits are required to build, rebuild or remodel a house?
10. What’s the difference between building in the coastal zone and the inland areas?
11. How do I research if a property is in the coastal zone?
12. Can I place a manufactured home on my property?
13. Are accessory dwelling units allowed on a property?
14. How tall can a fence be built?
15. Are horses, chickens, goats or other domesticated animals allowed in residential zones?
16. Can I remove trees from a property?
17. Can a person live in a travel trailer on a property?
18. How do I determine if a lot was legally created?
19. Are there any easements that affect a property?
20. Is my property subject to flooding?
21. What is a nonconforming structure or use?
22. If an old structure burns down, can it be rebuilt?
23. Can a house be remodeled if it does not meet the required setbacks?
24. Can a parcel be subdivided?
25. What is the basic process for getting a building permit?
26. What is the basic process for getting a planning permit?
27. What are typical fees for a planning permit?
28. How do I get help applying for a planning permit?
29. I’m thinking about buying a property. How can I research more about it?
30. How do I research which zones allow a particular use?
31. What is the difference between a principally permitted use and a conditionally permitted use?
32. What is the process for annexing a parcel into a city?
33. Does the county enforce covenants, conditions, or restrictions in subdivisions?
34. Click here to return to the Planning and Building Department