What are the special development standards?

The Kern County Zoning Ordinance regulates the use of private property. It lists certain allowed uses according to the zoning of the property. Zoning districts that allow construction of multifamily dwelling units, (R-2, R 3), commercial uses, (CO, C-1, C-2, CH) or industrial uses, (M-1, M-2, and M-3) are subject to the Special Development Standards (Chapter 19.80). In certain limited circumstances, projects within the A and NR zone districts may also be subject to the Special Development Standards.

Special Development Standards are the regulatory development requirements that are imposed upon a development project that is not subject to a public hearing process. These requirements include:

  • Dedication of land for road widening
  • Pavement of street frontage, possibly including curb, gutter, and sidewalk
  • Adequate parking facilities
  • Paving of parking lots and driveways
  • Placement of utility services underground
  • Separation of incompatible land uses with adequate screening/fencing
  • Glare reduction from exterior lighting
  • Screening of trash receptacles and trash pick up requirements
  • Screening of outside industrial storage areas
  • Adequate laundry facilities
  • Bicycle storage
  • Screening of mechanical equipment
  • Regulation of storage of hazardous materials
  • Noise generation standards
  • Adequate landscaping
  • Proper signage

These items are required to ensure that “commercial” type projects within Kern County meet at least minimum acceptable standards. These standards are specified in more detail in Chapter 19.80 of the Kern County Zoning Ordinance.