Common Questions
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Residential
I’m building a room addition. What are my setbacks?

You must know the zoning designation of your property in order to determine the setback information. You can obtain zoning information in this website on the Zoning Maps page, if you know the street address or cross streets. Zoning information is also available by contacting the Planning Division at (949) 361.6100. If you know your zoning designation you can view the setbacks online using the Zoning Ordinance.

What new housing developments are going on in San Clemente?

Contact the Planning Division or the Building Division at (949) 361.6100 to obtain information of new developments within the City of San Clemente.

Do I need a permit to build a wall or fence? What is the height limit of a fence or wall?

The Planning Division reviews all plans for walls and fences. Building permits are required for any walls that are taller than 42 inches. Building permit applications are available through the Building Division. The maximum height permitted in the City of San Clemente is 6 feet; however, this depends on the location of the wall on the property. Please contact the Planning Division at (949) 361.6100 or check Zoning Ordinance Section 17.24.090 to obtain specific information on block walls and fences.

How can I set up a business in my home?

Please contact the Business Relations Officer at (949) 361.6100 to determine home occupation requirements and to apply for a home occupation permit. You may obtain additional information from Zoning Ordinance Section 17.28.160

Commercial
Do I need a permit to reface my sign?

Yes. Planning Division approval is required and a building permit may be required. Requirements for signs are located in Zoning Ordinance Section 17.84.

Click here for the Administrative Sign Permit Application

I would like to obtain a temporary banner permit for my business. What is the process?

You will need to fill out a temporary banner permit application and submit the application with the filing fee of $12 at the Planning Counter. Each permit is valid for 30 calendar days for one banner. You are permitted to have a banner 120 days per calendar year.

Click here for the Temporary Banner Permit Application

What is the parking requirement for my business?

The parking requirements differ depending on the type of the use. Specific parking requirements are available in Zoning Ordinance Section 17.64. If your property is located within the Pier Bowl Specific Plan or Talega Specific Plan, parking standards may differ.

Process
What is a Variance?

A variance is a permit issued to a specific location by an administrative agency (Planning Commission, or the City Council acting as an administrative agency) to deviate from development standards (e.g. parking, setbacks) set forth in the zoning regulations. In order to be approved for a variance the proposal must meet several State-mandated findings. Variances are different than Minor Exception Permits (see below).

Click here for the Variance application

What is a Minor Exception Permit?

A Minor Exception Permit is a streamlined review process of requests for minor modifications to some development standards, such as setbacks and parking. The permit is issued to a specific location by an administrative agency (Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, or the City Council acting as an administrative agency).

Click here for the Minor Exception Permit application

What are the fees of the Planning Division?

Click here for fee information

What is the process for a condominium conversion?

Click here for information on General Condo Conversions

Other
How do I determine where my property lines are?

A licensed surveyor completing a survey of your property can determine the location of your property lines. The City has plans that show your lot dimensions; however, you cannot determine the exact location of your lot lines without a survey of the property. The City does not recommend any specific surveyor or survey company.

Where can I get a copy of "as-built" plans of my house/site/commercial building?

You may contact the Building Division at (949) 361.6100 to find out if we have a set of plans for your house/site/commercial building on microfilm.

What is the zoning on my property?

You can obtain zoning information in this website on the Zoning Maps page, if you know the street address or cross streets. You may also contact the Planning Division at (949) 361.6100 to obtain zoning information.

What can I build on my property?

Once you obtain the Zoning and General Plan designation for your property from the Planning Division, you can view our Zoning Ordinance or Specific Plans and review all permitted uses within your zoning district.

Where can I find the Assessors Parcel Number (APN) for my property?

If you know the property's address you can either call the Orange County Assessors Office or visit our SkyView GIS maps

Where can I find fee information for permits or services?

Information on fees collected can be found here.

NEW - Where can I find informational Planning Videos?

Condtional Use Permit - 10 Easy Steps to Approval can be found here.

Click here to go to the Planning Division home page.

City of San Clemente
City Hall | 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672 | Phone (949) 361-8200  |  FAX (949) 361-8285
Community Development | 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA, 92673 | Phone (949) 361-6100  |  FAX (949) 361-8281
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