Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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County supervisors update zoning code

By
From page A4 | July 16, 2014 |

WOODLAND — Efforts to update the county’s zoning code continued Tuesday as the Board of Supervisors approved a number of changes to the final draft, including several aimed at making it easier for residents in agricultural areas to do more with their land without triggering the need for use permits.

At the request of Capay Valley Vision, an Esparto-based ag group focused on collaborative planning, the board agreed to allow more animals on an agricultural parcel and allow small ag-tourism event centers to hold small gatherings without requiring additional permits.

The animal regulations allow for a fowl or poultry ranch with up to 20,000 birds by right, twice the initially proposed threshold for obtaining a use permit, but consistent with requirements set by the State Water Quality Control Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The threshold numbers for hog farms also were increased.

Meanwhile, small special event facilities also will be allowed by right. The event facilities are defined as being on more than 40-acre parcels, having no more than one event per month, and drawing no more than 100 participants per event. Capay Valley Vision has agreed to track the events held at any small facility and report back to the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors and advisory committees.

Also added to the code was language on beekeeping requested by Supervisor Don Saylor of Davis to clarify that noncommercial beekeeping is an allowed use in the county’s unincorporated towns.

Efforts to overhaul the zoning code began in 2010, shortly after the 2030 General Plan was approved. The code was last comprehensively revised 26 years ago, according to county staff, but has been incrementally rewritten and updated since then, resulting in “a mixture of current up-to-date regulations and byzantine zoning text with references to outdated uses that are no longer relevant to current land-use and development issues.”

In updating the code, the county hoped to make it easier for people to understand and for staff to implement, as well as to allow more benign land uses without the need for county staff and Planning Commission review.

The most recent update, which supervisors approved Tuesday, was aimed at doing just that.

Meanwhile, two other aspects of the zoning code will continue to be the focus of board task forces — an update to the county’s clustered ag housing ordinance as well as one to the ag mitigation ordinance. Both will be reviewed by the county’s Agricultural Working Group and brought back to the board within six months.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

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