Permits & Processes
All land in the County of Lake has a zoning category that determines how you can use and develop your property. Some activities or actions are allowed without the need for a permit of any kind, and some actions require the landowner to obtain a permit from either the Planning or Building Departments.
Based on the land use and zoning classification that your land is in, and what you plan to do, you may need a use permit.
You cannot build on land that is not a verified legal lot of record (PDF), so you must first verify your property boundaries, and make sure your property is a legal lot of record. You also may need to work with a land surveyor, engineer (PDF), or title company (PDF) to research or verify your lot and deed boundaries.
If you find you do not have a legal lot you would need to apply for a Conditional Certificate of Compliance and submit the application forms to the Planning Department.
Site Plan Requirements
All proposed new construction on your land requires submission of a detailed site plan (PDF) indicating the location and sizes of both existing and proposed buildings, paving, clearing or property line adjustments.
Changing the Zoning Designation of Your Property
All property in Lake County has been classified into zoning districts based on the overall land use plan for the county. Each district is classified in a category for reasons dealing with public health, safety, infrastructure, environmental constraints or protection, public services, and overall land use compatibility. If a property owner desires to use their land is a way not allowed by the zoning district standards in the zoning ordinance, they may apply to Rezone their land or apply for a Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. Depending on the request, a General Plan Amendment may also be required. A pre-application meeting (PDF) with planning staff is recommended before considering applying to rezone your property.
Changing the General Plan Designation of Your Property
All property in Lake County has a land use designation based on the overall land use plan, and General Plan for the county. These classification and land use patterns were determined based on the long-range vision of growth and development on the county, with public health, safety, infrastructure provision, environmental constraints or protection, ability to provide public services and historic uses and patterns. If a property owner desires to use their land in a way not identified by, or appropriate for, the land use classification, a General Plan Amendment and zoning district change may be required. A pre-application meeting (PDF) with planning staff is recommended before considering applying. staff may be able to provide other options for you.
If you want to adjust, divide or merge your property, you need to know what zoning district and General Plan Land Use category your property is in. Each district has standards that establish lot size and other land division standards according to the Lake County Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, the General Plan and state law. All changes must meet the standards of the zoning category the property is in. You cannot make any changes unless you have a legal lot of record (PDF).
Changes to land may require environmental review and additional impact studies, which may increase overall project costs.
Adjusting Lot Lines or Lot Line Adjustment
If you are considering adjusting the property boundaries between parcels to address a property line dispute, a building setback problem or to imply exchange land with a neighbor, you can apply for a lot line adjustment. The parcels need to share boundaries (contiguous) and not involve more than 4 lots.
Combining Lots or Lot Merger
If you own one or more contiguous parcels and you want to combine them into one parcel, you may merge your parcels or lots into one undivided piece of land through a voluntary merger.
If you want to divide your property into 4 or fewer lots, and your zoning district and General Plan land use designation allow it, you can apply for a Parcel Map.
Any division of land into 5 or more lots requires approval of a Subdivision Application.