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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Planning

By law the City is required to have a master plan identifying the location of various land uses. The master plan is often referred to as a "General Plan." The General Plan is comprised of seven major elements: land use, open space /conservation, circulation, noise, housing, public health and safety, public services and facilities and economic development. The elements provide policy direction for the development of the City for a ten to twenty year period.

To implement the General Plan, in part, the City adopts a zoning map and Development Code. These two documents are very important in that they further define what can be located on a property in Highland and how to develop a site. Standards are created to insure the general public's health and safety is maintained.

The City of Highland, like most cities, adopts rules and procedures to review projects proposed by the general public. These rules and procedures are typically outlined in the City's Development Code to review a plan or project application is completed which describes the development. Listed below are the typical applications found in Highland to process or plan a project:

Conditional Use Permit Review: Intended to control the establishment of those uses which have some special impact or uniqueness, such that their effect on the surrounding environment cannot be determined in advance of the use being proposed for a particular location.

Department Review Permit: Intended to control the establishment and operation of new and existing development in the commercial, employment and multi-family zone district, whose potential impacts and relative compatibility to the surrounding land use is generally well known.

Design Review: Reasonably ensure that new developments, including residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial developments, do not have an adverse aesthetic, health, safety or architecturally related impact upon existing adjoining properties, or the City in general.

Development Agreement Review: The City may enter a development agreement with an applicant for development projects to strengthen the public planning process, encourage private participation in comprehensive planning by providing a greater degree of certainty in that process and reduce the economic costs of development.

Environmental Impact Report Review: A review of a project in terms of its potential environmental impacts in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its implementing guidelines.

General Plan Amendment Review: As conditions within the City of Highland change, it may from time to time, become necessary to amend the General Plan to enhance its effectiveness.

Lot Line Adjustment: The adjustment of a lot line between two or more adjacent parcels, where the land taken from one parcel is added to an adjacent parcel where no additional parcels are thereby created.

Parcel Merger: The removal of a lot line between two or more adjacent parcels, where the land is joined as one parcels.

Sign Permit: Required for any business installing a new sign. Special Event Permit - Intended to allow for the short-term placement of activities on privately or publicly owned property with appropriate regulations so that such activities will be compatible with the surrounding areas.

Temporary Occupancy Permit: Ensures the feasibility of such projects as real estate offices on the site of a proposed subdivision, model home complex, construction and security personnel offices on active construction sites, on-site contractor's construction yard, etc.

Tentative Parcel Map Review: Review of a map made for the purpose of showing the design and improvement of a proposed subdivision of three or fewer lots and the existing conditions in and around it and need not be based upon an accurate or detailed final survey of the property.

Tentative Tract Map Review: Review of a map made for the purpose of showing the design and improvement of a proposed subdivision and the existing conditions in and around it and need not be based upon an accurate or detailed final survey of the property.

Tree Removal Review & Permit: Required for the removal or relocation of any heritage tree. A heritage tree is any tree not bearing a fruit or nut. This permit does not apply to properties less than 20,000 square feet in area developed with a primary structure other than a sign.

Variance Review: The purpose of variances is to provide for equity in the use of property, and to prevent unnecessary hardships that might result from a strict of literal interpretation and enforcement of certain regulations prescribed by the City's land use policy.

Zone Change Review: Provides and ensures consistency between the City's land use policy and the General Plan and State law, to increase the effectiveness of the Land Use Title, and to improve clarity in implementing General Plan goals and objectives.


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