Planning Commission Mtg: February 4, 2004
FROM: Planning Staff
SUBJECT: Interpretation of SMMC Section 9.04.02.030.825 Pertaining to the Substantial Remodel Definition
On November 19, 2003, the Planning Commission considered a Zoning Administrator interpretation regarding the substantial remodel definition contained in the City’s Zoning Ordinance. The interpretation was prepared in order to clarify when a structure is considered a substantial remodeled and, therefore, must comply with applicable development standards and land use entitlements.
Staff previously identified a range of issues at the November hearing that were addressed in the interpretation. Specifically, concerns regarding the application of the definition to certain types of construction practices, compliance with the Building Division’s technical codes, consideration of different types of construction associated with residential and commercial developments, recognition of historically significant structures listed as City Landmarks or listed on the City’s Historic Resources Inventory, and issues related to routine maintenance and repair, were raised at that prior hearing.
The Planning Commission heard testimony from some members of the community and believed that greater participation was needed before providing staff direction. A Planning Commission run workshop was proposed and scheduled for February 4, 2004. In preparation for that workshop, the Planning Commission requested a copy of the substantial remodel definition, which is provided below.
Section 9.04.02.030-825 Substantial remodel.
A substantial remodel involves the removal, in whole or part, of a structure. A structure shall be deemed to have been substantially remodeled or demolished if at least fifty percent of exterior walls have been removed or relocated for any duration of time. A substantially remodeled or demolished structure shall lose any legal, non-conforming status which it may have had and may only be replaced or rebuilt if the entire structure is made to conform to all current, applicable Zoning Code requirements, including, but not limited to, setbacks, height and parking.
In determining whether a project is a substantial remodel, a wall shall be deemed to be demolished if the structural supporting members (columns, two-by-fours, or other such elements) of the wall have been removed or are no longer attached to the foundation. The roof structure must also be retained unless the roof line is being modified or additional floors are being added, in which case the roof structure may be removed.
Demolition and new construction shall mean the same as substantial remodel as defined above. (Added by Ord. No. 1826CCS § 1 (part), adopted 11/7/95)
In an effort to encourage participation at the workshop, staff prepared a public notice. The notice was published in the California section of the Los Angeles Times, posted at the public Planning counter, and mailed to architects and developers that frequently conduct business in the City of Santa Monica.
Staff recommends the Planning Commission conduct the public workshop, receive public testimony, and direct staff accordingly.
Prepared by: Suzanne Frick, Director of Planning and Community Development
Amanda Schachter, Acting Planner Manager
Jonathan Lait, AICP, Senior Planner