Home - Government - Development Services - Planning/Zoning
Zoning/Land Use FAQ

FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING ZONING AND LAND USE
 

  1. Is a permit required to paint one's house?
    No permit is required.
     
  2. Is a permit needed to have a garage sale?
    No permit is required. However, residents may have only two garage sales per calendar year that may be held no longer than two consecutive days. No sales are permitted in the front yard or a corner side yard. No signs advertising or promoting the sale may be posted on telephone or light poles, on the sidewalk or other public property. Only second-hand items may be sold.
     
  3. Is a permit required to build a wall or fence?
    A building permit is not normally required. However, the Planning Division must approve the wall or fence prior to installation. For approval, you will need a site plan of the property showing the locations of the property lines, house, garage and any other buildings such as storage shed, driveway, existing walls, fences and gates, and the location of the proposed wall or fence. The plan must also note the materials to be used, and height/length of the wall or fence. If all city requirements are met, the site plan will be approved. There is no fee for the review and no inspections are needed.
     

    The maximum height of residential walls or fences in a front yard or in the first five feet of a corner side yard is three feet. Front yard fences must be setback from the front property line (usually the edge of the sidewalk), a minimum of five (5') feet and are subject to review by the City Design Review Board. The
    maximum height of walls or fences in an interior side yard is six feet. Wood, brick, concrete block and wrought iron are acceptable materials. Chain link fences are prohibited in front and side yards but are allowed in interior and rear yards. Any sharp wire, such as barbed wire or razor wire is not allowed in a residential zone. Also, sharp projecting objects are not permitted at the top of any wall or fence.

      
    A building permit is only required if the height of the wall or fence will be greater than six feet high, or it will be used as a retaining wall that holds back more than 36 inches of soil.
     
  4. Is a permit needed to widen or install a new driveway?
    No permit is required. However, the Planning Division requires a site plan - even if the new driveway is exactly identical to the old driveway. The site plan should show the location of the property lines, house, garage and existing driveway, location of the new driveway, how it will be widened, and length/width dimensions. If the proposed driveway meets all city requirements, an approval will be made. No inspection is required.
     
  5. Is a permit needed to install a satellite dish or antenna tower?
    A permit may be required.

     
  6. Is a permit needed for installing security bars on a window?
    A permit is required for security bars to be installed on a bedroom window, but not on other residential windows. However, in either instance, the Planning Division requires a floor plan to show the sizes and locations of all windows and windows on which a security bar is to be installed.
     
    If the security bar is to be installed at a place of business, a floor plan of the store or office is required. It must show sizes and locations of all windows, which windows will have security bars, and placement of the bars either on the interior or exterior of the building. The Planning Division must approve the floor plan if the security bars are to be installed in the interior of the building; the Design Review Board must approve the bars if they are to be installed on the exterior of the building.

     
  7. What permits are needed to operate a business?
    All businesses operating from a store, office, warehouse, manufacturing plant, etc. must obtain permits for a Business License and Certificate of Occupancy. Applications for both are available on-line. Certificate of
    Occupancy permits are handled through the Planning Division. If approved, a minimum application fee of $65
    plus a $95 Fire Department inspection fee will be charged. The Business License application is handled through the Finance Department. Fees for this license can vary depending upon the gross annual receipts of the business. The business location must be inspected and approved by a Building Inspector and Fire Inspector before either permit is valid.

     
    Home-based businesses (maximum of 100 square feet of area) must apply for a Business License and Home Occupancy Permit. These applications are also available online. Home Occupancy Permits are handled through the Planning Division and have a $90 application fee. The Business License can be obtained through the Finance Department. No inspection is required for this type of business. For more detailed information on all that is required to start up a new business, click here

     
  8. How can I find my property lines?
    Unless a land surveyor has set spikes, stakes or pins, or any other markers on your property, there is no definitive way to determine the exact location of a property line except by hiring a land surveyor. A land surveyor will survey and place markers on the property, and record the survey with the County.
Related Link
Copyright ©2017 City of Alhambra
All rights reserved
Home   |   Government   |   Residents   |   Business   |   Community Life   |   About Us   |   Contact Us
Agendas & Minutes   |   News