Budget Functional Statement
The Planning and Natural Resources Department was established in accordance with Section 65200 of the Government Code and is responsible for carrying out State mandated planning functions and facilitating the processing of various land use applications. The Planning and Natural Resources Department provides staff support to the Planning Commission.
Fundamental Functions and Responsibilities of the Planning and Natural Resources Department:
- Prepare, administer and update the Kern County and Metropolitan General Plans and implement programs to effectuate General Plan goals and policies
- Prepare, administer and update Kern County Zoning and Land Division Ordinances
- Prepare environmental documents pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
- Administration of the Agricultural Preserve Program, Home Rule Program, endangered species planning and other activities
- Respond to applicant, agency and public comments and inquiries regarding land use, environmental and coordinative matters
To administer land use programs in a manner that fosters economic vitality, resource conservation, and responsiveness to public needs. Promote customer service and delivery of programs in a responsive and cost-effective manner.
Advance Planning/ Community Development Division:
Anjanette Simon - Division Chief
* CEQA/Home Rule Unit - Terrance Smalls, Supervising Planner
This unit is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the various elements of the Kern County General Plan, specific plans and preparation of Environmental Impact Reports for major development projects. This unit serves as the lead for all matters for the County regarding implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as both Lead and Responsible Agency. In addition, this unit is responsible for administering the County's Home Rule Program, which involves the monitoring, coordination and commenting on State and Federal regulations that affect County residents.
* CEQA/Community Development Unit - Shawn Beyeler, Supervising Planner
This unit is primarily responsible for the preparation and coordination of various countywide community planning and visioning activities, including implementation of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the recently created RENEWBIZ program. This unit coordinates with other jurisdictions and represents the County during the preparation of these regional planning efforts.
Current Planning Division:
Craig Murphy - Division Chief
* Land Division Unit - Holly Nelson, Supervising Planner
This unit is responsible for the review and processing of parcel maps, tract maps, lot line adjustments and other applications subject to the County's Land Division Ordinance. This unit is responsible to chair the County Subdivision Review Committee and coordinates comments from various agencies related to land division applications.
* Operations Unit - Dennis McNamara, Supervising Planner
This unit is responsible for reviewing and processing general, community and specific plan amendments and zoning applications including conditional use permits, variances, road vacations, street name changes, etc. It administers the Williamson Act Program and the Zoning Ordinance. It prepares staff reports for the Director's Hearing, Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors and responds to public inquires.
Energy/ Permitting Division:
Scott Denney, AICP - Division Chief
*Permit Assistance Center & Energy Implementation - Roque Nino, Supervising Planner
These units are responsible for receiving and reviewing applications for planning related cases. It reviews applications for completeness, collects fees and provides the public with procedural and technical information. These units review ministerial zoning permits and responds to inquiries from the public. These units are also responsible for providing graphic support to the Department. Its functions include updating of maps and other land use data, development of graphics and administration of the street addressing program. Energy Implementation is responsible for providing mitigation compliance for renewable energy projects and is responsible for processing the ongoing Oil & Gas Zoning Amendment and Environmental Impact Report.
Administrative Support Division:
Adrenne Lane-Price - Office Services Coordinator
This Division is responsible for administrative, technical support and agenda items. The Office Services Coordinator undertakes various administrative and coordinative functions in support of the Director.
* Word Processing Unit
This unit is responsible for the preparation of public hearing notices and agenda items for Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and Director's hearings for all planning applications. It is responsible for the typing of staff reports, negative declarations, general and specific plans, ordinances, document duplication, mail services, filing room, and clerical work for special planning projects.