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Planning Division FAQ's

When is a parcel map needed?

A parcel map is required whenever a property owner wishes to subdivide property for sale, lease or financing into 4 or fewer parcels. The General Plan, Subdivision Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance govern the design of the subdivision. A Parcel Map approval requires a public hearing by the Planning Commission.

When is a tract map needed?

A tract map is required whenever a property owner wishes to subdivide property into for sale, lease or financing into more than 4 parcels. Typical tract map requirements include, but are not limited to: dedication of Rights of Way (ROW), easements, street improvements, etc. Subdivision Map approval requires a public hearing by the Planning Commission.

Who can prepare these maps for me?

A professional surveyor or engineer licensed to do such work by the State of California, who may be found in the local yellow pages.

When can I get a lot line adjustment?

A lot line adjustment may be used if there is just the relocation of property line, which results in the same number or fewer lots.

What type of business can I do at home?

The City allows many types of businesses to operate out of your home. A home occupation permit can be obtained that will allow you to operate a business, subject to certain restrictions. These limitations include, provided several conditions can be satisfied, including, but not limited to: no business related signage, no more than one client at a time, no merchandise visible from street, nothing that would disrupt the peace or interfere with the residential character of the neighborhood.

How do I get a Home Occupation permit?

Contact our public counter at 661/326-3733.

How much does a Home Occupation permit cost?


How do I find out the zoning on a parcel?

Call our main phone line at 661/326-3733. A good description of where the property is located is needed to ensure an accurate response. A street address is preferred; however, if no address exists, an assessor's parcel number (APN) or general location (i.e. major cross streets) may suffice.

How do I get a copy of a zone map?

Please stop by the Development Services Department office at 1715 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, California 93301, or call 661/326-3733. Each map covers 1 square mile and there is no cost for us to mail or fax you a copy of the map.

How do I start a project?

Any start of a new project should involve the research of current conditions of the property that includes zoning requirements, available infrastructure and access. We must first determine if the project can be allowed and if the property is of sufficient size to accommodate the use. Please consult with our public service counter or call 661/326-3733.

What is zoning?

Zoning districts are established to promote compatible patterns of land use within the zoning jurisdiction of the City and to establish site development regulations and performance standards appropriate to the purposes of each district and their respective uses. Each property is assigned a zone which specifies how the land may be used. The Zoning Ordinance establishes uses allowed and standards that must be met within each zone.

What is the General Plan?

General Plan is the City's blueprint for future development. It describes the City's development goals and policies and forms the basis for land uses decisions. In addition to goals and policies, the General Plan also contains a Land Use Diagram (map) which designates land areas for specific uses.

How do I know if I my residence is in the City limits or the County?

Call 661/326-3733 with your address and City staff will look it up for you.

What is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

This the portion of State law which basic purpose is to 1) inform government decision makers and the public about the potential environmental effects of a proposed activity 2) to identify the ways that the environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced 3) to prevent significant avoidable environmental damage by requiring changes in projects, either by the adoption of alternatives or imposition of mitigation measures and 4) to disclose to the public why a project was approved if that project would have significant effects.

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

A public document used by the governmental agency to analyze the significant environmental effects of a proposed project, to identify alternatives and to disclose possible ways to reduce or avoid the possible environmental damage. CEQA requires an EIR whenever the initial study or other evidence in the record has produced substantial evidence that the proposed project might significant environmental effects.

What is a Negative Declaration?

A written statement briefly describing the reasons why a proposed project will not have a significant environmental impact.

How can I check on an address?

Call Patty Beard at 661/326-3042.

How do I find out about the annexation process?

Contact Martin Ortiz in the City's Planning Department at 326-3788.  The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) is the agency that certifies final annexations.