Board to look at zone code

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Consider this: Calaveras County's zoning code states that it's OK for owners of land zoned as residential/agricultural to operate private stables.

But the same zoning code prohibits building stables on those lots.

Those kinds of glitches are exactly what Calaveras County Planning Director Kim Hansen wants to fix.

"Our zoning code is really out of date," Hansen said.

The code has only been revised twice since it was adopted in 1961.

The zoning code update has already started. In March, the Planning Department paid a San Luis Obispo consultant $89,500 most of the department's $100,000 budget for the job to help revise the code.

Updating the zoning code would clarify the process that county residents must follow to build projects on their properties. It would also make life easier for Hansen and her staff.

"In the overall scheme of things, it's going to benefit all of the residents, because it's going to clean things up," Hansen said.

At a Monday afternoon study session, Hansen will talk to the Board of Supervisors about the need to update the code. She will also show them a list of code changes suggested by the consultant.

For example, updates to agricultural zones might allow existing residential structures to be used as bed-and-breakfast inns. Current zonings allow for agricultural "homestays," which are smaller and used for educational purposes.

A revised code would also clarify regulations about wineries and vineyards.

"Our definition of winery doesn't take into account that there is difference between a winery and a wine-tasting room and a vineyard," Hansen said.

Updates to residential codes could affect structures that are used as storage containers, such as old box cars and cargo containers.

The memo also talks about writing a new section of the zoning code to address the growing telecommunications industry.

The county has about 10 applications for new telecommunications towers, but has no zoning code to guide their placement.

Other proposed changes to the zoning code such as issuing "major" and "minor" conditional use permits, depending on the goals of project applicants will also be part of the discussion.

Contact Scott Pesznecker at spesznecker@uniondemocrat.com .

11505259
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