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Zoning Code

The Zoning Ordinance is an implementing tool to: 1) Achieve the goals and policies established within the Rancho Santa Margarita General Plan; 2) Serve the public health, safety and general welfare of the City of Rancho Santa Margarita; and, 3) Provide the economic and social advantages resulting from an orderly planned use of land and resources.  The Zoning Ordinance establishes regulations and provisions related to the use of land and resources within the City of Rancho Santa Margarita.

Under state law, the Planning Commission is charged with analyzing the draft Zoning Ordinance in great detail with the goal of consistency in its application to all present and future development within the City.  The Planning Commission must carefully consider the implementation of each development standard established in the draft Zoning Code.  Consequently, this requires a very thorough and detailed review of each section of the document.  Once the Planning Commission’s review is complete, the Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council at a Public Hearing to adopt the proposed Zoning Ordinance.

The City Council must analyze the zoning on a broad scale for the important policy considerations that will result through its adoption, as well as its consistency with the vision and policies developed in the City’s General Plan.  The City Council then adopts the proposed Zoning Ordinance through a Public Hearing.  Thirty days following the City Council’s action, the Zoning Code is effective.

On April 11, 2007, the City Council adopted the Rancho Santa Margarita Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.  The Zoning Ordinance went into effect on May 11, 2007.  The Zoning Code (including the most current Zoning Code Amendments) is best accessed through Title 9 of the City's Municipal Code.  For additional information on the City's Zoning Ordinance, please contact the City's Development Services Department at 949.635.1800 ext. 6701.

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