September 21, 2018

FAQ

Certificate of Compliance

Are certificates of compliance used for anything else?

Kern County uses the Certificate of Compliance as a means of officially recognizing the legal…

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Does a certificate of compliance mean that all laws are satisfied?

The issuance of a Certificate of Compliance simply means that the parcel complies with the…

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Can a certificate of compliance be issued for illegal parcels?

On occasion, we find that parcels have been created after March 4, 1972, in violation…

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What is a certificate of compliance?

A Certificate of Compliance is a legal recorded document which certifies that a parcel of…

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How long does it take to process a certificate of compliance?

The Planning and Natural Resources Department will attempt to process requests for Certificates of Compliance…

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Conditional Use Permit

What are the submittal requirements for a conditional use permit?

Applications for a conditional use permit may be obtained at the Kern County Planning and…

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How long does it take to process a conditional use permit?

Before permits can be obtained, the appli-cant will have to satisfy any conditions approved for…

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What is the conditional use permit process?

After a conditional use permit application has been formally accepted as complete, the application will…

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What is a conditional use permit (CUP)?

Certain uses of land or types of businesses specified in the Kern County Zoning Ordinance…

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Easement & Street Vacation

What are the submittal requirements for a vacation?

Applications can be mailed or obtained directly from the Kern County Planning and Natural Resources…

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What happens after the vacation is approved?

The action of the Board of Supervisors is final and is not subject to appeal.…

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What considerations affect the outcome of a nonsummary vacation?

Planning Staff considers all comments from property owners, agencies, and departments when formulating a report…

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How long does it take to process a vacation?

A summary vacation requires approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks processing time, while a…

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What is the process to vacant an easement?

There are two types of vacations – a summary vacation or a nonsummary vacation. A…

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What is a vacation?

The term “vacation” means the complete or partial abandonment or termination of the public right…

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Estray Ordinance

How is the estray ordinance amended?

There is a formal application for amending the estray ordinance.  Applicants wishing to amend the…

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How much time will this process take?

Before the request is accepted for processing, a preliminary review is performed by staff to…

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After the request has been approved, what happens?

After a decision is made by the Board of Supervisors to amend the estray ordinance,…

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What is the process?

On receipt of a request to amend the estray ordinance, a file is made and…

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What is an estray ordinance?

The California Food and Agriculture Code allows the Board of Supervisors to declare certain portions…

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General Plan Amendment

What are the submittal requirements for a general plan amendment?

Applications to amend the general plan may be obtained from the Planning and Natural Resources…

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How long does the process take?

After being accepted as complete, applications which require a Negative Declaration or do not require…

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After the project is approved, what follows?

Unless there are special conditions attached to a project, the approval of a general plan…

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What is the process for a general plan amendment application?

After the general plan amendment application is accepted as complete, work begins on determining the…

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What is a general plan?

California law requires that each county and city in the state develop and adopt a…

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Habitat Conservation Plan

How does the Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan work?

The MBHCP utilizes a mitigation fee paid by applicants for grading or building permits to…

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How does the Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan facilitate processing my land use permit?

The MBHCP was developed in conjunction with the local building industry to facilitate the land…

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How does the Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan affect me?

If you plan to grade, build, or otherwise develop land within the Metropolitan Bakersfield area,…

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How do the state and federal endangered species acts affect land use permit applicants?

State and Federal Endangered Species Acts prohibit the “take” (killing, harming, or harassment) of plant…

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Does everyone pay this fee?

Unless separate mitigation has been agreed upon by the wildlife agencies, all new development that…

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Why do we have a Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan?

The MBHCP is designed to bring certainty to the process of complying with endangered species…

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What is the Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan?

The Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan (MBHCP) is a program that addresses the effect of…

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Lot Line Adjustment

What happens after the lot line adjustment application is accepted as complete?

Under normal circumstances, the lot line adjustment process does not require any public hearings or…

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What are the submittal requirements for a lot line adjustment?

Applications for a lot line adjustment may be obtained at the Planning and Natural Resources Department…

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How long does it take to process a lot line adjustment?

Over-the-counter processing is offered for proposed lot line adjustments containing parcels/lots that were previously included…

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Parcel Map

How long does it take to process a parcel map?

An applicant can expect to receive an initial written response within 30 days of submittal…

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What is a parcel map (PM)?

A “parcel map” is a land division map processed through the Planning and Natural Resources…

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What are the submittal requirements for a parcel map?

Applications for a parcel map may be obtained at the Planning and Natural Resources Department public…

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Parcel Map Waiver

What is a parcel map waiver (PMW)?

Normally when land is subdivided, both a tentative and final map are required by the State…

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What are the submittal requirements for a parcel map waiver?

Applications for a parcel map waiver may be obtained at the Kern County Planning and Natural…

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What is the process a parcel map waiver goes through?

After a parcel map waiver application has been formally accepted as complete, the illustration is…

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Precise Development Plan

What are the submittal requirements for a precise development plan?

Applications and instructions for preparation of a PD plan can be mailed or obtained directly…

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What happens if the land use changes?

The Director may approve minor plan modifications to an approved PD plan if it is determined that…

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What happens after the precise development plan is approved?

Any decision rendered at the Director’s Hearing is subject to appeal by any interested party.…

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How long does it take to process a precise development plan?

Applicants should allow up to 30 days for completion of the preliminary review.  If the…

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Are there any exceptions to a precise development plan?

The Director has the authority to approve a temporary use in a PD District if…

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What is the process required for approval of a precise development plan?

Director’s Hearings are conducted by the Hearing Officer and are held the first and third…

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What is a precise development (PD) plan?

If your property is zoned with the PD combing district with your base zoning, such…

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Special Development Standards

What are the special development standards?

he Kern County Zoning Ordinance regulates the use of private property. It lists certain allowed…

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How do I obtain approval of my site plan?

A site plan should be included with the building or grading permit and will be…

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Are special development standards required for every project?

It is important to note that not all of the development standards are required for…

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When are the special development standards imposed?

The Special Development Standards are an integral part of the building permit process. This process…

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What should be shown on the site plan?

A site plan must contain the following information: Topographic information (when deemed necessary by the…

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Specific Plan

How do I start the specific plan process?

After you have been formally advised that your project warrants the preparation of a specific…

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How do I go about preparing a specific plan?

It is suggested that anyone preparing a specific plan in Kern County consult Appendix C…

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How can I determine if I need a specific plan?

Prior to accepting an application for a development project, the Department typically suggests to a…

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What does a specific plan look like?

According to state law, a specific plan must be in the form of a map…

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What determines if my development is subject to a specific plan?

In some instances, a developer may choose to prepare a specific plan simply because he…

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Other considerations

Following environmental review, a public hearing will be scheduled before the Kern County Planning Commission. …

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What is a specific plan?

A specific plan is a tool that the Planning and Natural Resources Department use to…

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What information does a specific plan contain?

State law (Government Code Section 65450 et seq.) states that a specific plan must in­clude…

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Tract Maps

What is the process a tract map goes through?

After a tract map application has been formally accepted as complete, the map is sent…

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What are the submittal requirements for a tract map?

Applications for a tract map may be obtained at the Planning and Natural Resources Department public…

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How long is the tentative approval of a tract map good for?

The life of an approved tentative tract map is for an initial period of thirty-six…

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How long does it take to process a tract map?

Unless an environmental document is required, a tract map will typically take between six to…

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What is a tract map?

A tract map is one of the processes used to subdivide real property into smaller…

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Zone Change

What is a zone district?

Base zone districts were established to regulate and allow a diversity of land uses. The…

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What are the submittal requirements for a zone change?

Applications can be mailed, obtained directly from the Department, or their website. Submittal requirements include…

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What happens after the zone change is approved?

If the Board of Supervisors approves the zone change, it normally becomes effective in thirty…

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What considerations affect the outcome of a zone change application?

Most completed zone change applications are ultimately approved if they are consistent with the overlaying…

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How long does it take to process a zone change?

Applicants should allow two (2) weeks for a preliminary review. A typical zone change will…

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When is a zone change necessary?

A property owner may discover that their property’s existing zone district does not allow a…

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What is the process for a zone change?

Completed applications will be set for a public hearing before the Kern County Planning Commission…

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Zone Modification / Variance

What are the submittal requirements for a zone variance or modification?

Applications can be mailed, obtained directly from the Department or the department website at https://www.kernplanning.com/planning. Along…

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What is the difference between a zone modification and variance?

A modification may be processed to provide limited reduction of the following: A. Lot sizes, not to…

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What is a zone modification or zone variance?

The Zoning Ordinance lists development standards for each zone district. Relief from strict application of…

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What happens if the zone variance or modification is approved?

Any decision rendered at the hearing is subject to appeal by any interested party. The…

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What considerations affect the outcome of a zone variance or modification applicationn?

In order for Staff to recommend approval of a modification or variance, certain findings are…

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How long does it take to process a zone variance or modification?

Applicants should allow approximately two (2) weeks for a preliminary review. If the application is…

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When is a zone variance or modification necessary?

The most common requests relate to setbacks. For example, a property owner may wish to…

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What is the process for a zone variance or modification?

Completed applications are set for a Director’s hearing. Property owners within 500 feet of the…

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