October 17, 2018

Metropolitan Bakersfield HCP Incidental Take Permit

Changes in Permit Process with the Issuance of new Incidental Take Permit for the Metropolitan Bakersfield Area

The County of Kern and the City of Bakersfield have received a new Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The Metropolitan Bakersfield Habitat Conservation Plan (MBHCP) ensures protection of species habitat while allowing reasonable urban growth. Originally established in 1994, the MBHCP covers a 405-square-mile area of County of Kern/City of Bakersfield jurisdiction in and around Metropolitan Bakersfield. The plan boundary is the same boundary used for the joint city/county general plan. Development within the plan boundary is subject to the terms and benefits of the MBHCP, although habitat is purchased both inside and outside this boundary.

FORM 627 - MBHCP Compliance Info

In addition to the San Joaquin kit fox, the covered species in the ITP now include the Tipton kangaroo rat, San Joaquin antelope squirrel and Bakersfield cactus. In addition to the collection of the current $2,145.00 fee per gross acre, the changes in the ITP now also require the following to be completed prior to issuance of a grading or building permit:

  • Biological Clearance Survey is required on all projects no more than 30 days prior to grading by a CDFW-approved Qualified Biologist.
  • All surveys must be delivered to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the County of Kern.
  • If survey results include presence of Covered Species, then the ITP requires the submittal of additional information to adhere to the conditions of the ITP and minimize take of a Covered Species.

To minimize confusion and delays in the issuance of grading and building permits, County and City Staff have developed compliance guide forms. A copy of the County’s compliance guide forms can be found below. The County and the City are also discussing a joint workshop for developers and engineers on this matter. Please check back for workshop date, time and place.

In the interim, should you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact:
Roque Nino,
Supervising Planner with the County of Kern at
(661) 862-5044