Zoning is the process used by cities and counties regulates the use and development of property. The purpose of the zoning ordinance is to specify which uses are allowed on a given property, establish development standards, and implement the policies of the general plan. The Zoning Ordinance classifies land i by category or district. These land use categories define land by use type (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial, agriculture). By classifying land by these broad categories, the County can assign specific development standards (e.g., lot size, building height, yard setbacks), to maintain compatible and consistent development within a given area. These standards emphasize the importance of the interaction between building facades, site plans, public spaces, and neighboring development.
As required by State law, the Madera County Zoning Ordinance includes permitted land uses and development standards linked to and consistent with the General Plan goals, policies, and programs. It is through this link that the land uses, and development standards establish the basis for project approval and the entitlement process. The Madera County Zoning Ordinance regulates, among many things, permitted land uses, density, lot size, building height, yard setback, parking, landscaping, and signs.
Over time, it is essential that municipalities revisit the standards and regulations in their zoning ordinance. By revising and updating its Zoning Ordinance, Madera County will ensure its regulations comply with new State law and reflect community values and expectations.