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The primary purpose of the Code Compliance Program is to work effectively with landowners to ensure the maintenance of public health and safety and protection of the environment. The Program establishes a limited-term, voluntary process for landowners to apply for new use permits or modifications to resolve existing violations. After the established deadline, owners who are in violation will be required to come into immediate compliance with their existing legal entitlements, and remain in compliance for at least one year before the County will consider changes to their use permit.
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No, the Code Compliance program applies to all permits on any parcel in the unincorporated area. While winery and vineyard operations are a part of the Code Compliance consideration, all uses requiring a permit are also subject to the Code Compliance program.
The first step is to review your use permit. To obtain a copy of your use permit, you may visit the Napa County Department of Planning Building and Environmental Services located at 1195 3rd Street, Second Floor or call (707) 253-4417. If you identify violations of the use permit, you must voluntarily apply to remedy the violations by 2:00 PM on March 29, 2019.
Landowners may schedule an appointment to review their permit with the Napa County Planning, Building and Environmental Services Department and apply for a “status determination.” A status determination is a review of the existing entitlements and clarifies what they allow. If a status determination application is submitted prior to 2:00 pm on March 29, 2019, and based on the staff response the owner determines that there may be a violation, the deadline to submit a use permit or modification application will be extended by the time needed to process the status determination application, not to exceed 120 days.
The deadline for all landowners who wish to voluntarily apply for a use permit or use permit modification to remedy their violations is 2:00 pm on March 29, 2019. Qualified use permit or modification applications must be substantially conforming and must be received by the Planning, Building, and Environmental Services (PBES) Department by the deadline. A “substantially conforming” application must include a substantially complete set of the documents required in the application checklist, and information responsive to the requirements. A “substantially conforming” application need not include technical studies where the applicant demonstrates that studies could not be completed by the deadline due to seasonal conditions or other extenuating circumstances. All excluded technical studies must be submitted as soon as possible, not to exceed 120 days from the deadline. Applicants must make a good faith effort to make the application as complete as possible.
Within 30 days of the submittal of a substantially conforming application (see definition above), County staff will schedule and conduct a compliance inspection of each property for which an application was received pursuant to this program. The inspection would verify the violations that the applicant was requesting to correct in the application and the existence of health and safety violations. Upon verification of violation(s), staff will send a Notice of Violation to the owner, which will clearly list the verified violations and any health and safety violations determined through the inspection, and will describe how the owner can come into compliance. The owner must abate those violations that pose an immediate threat to public health, safety, and/or threaten the environment, before the application can be deemed complete.
No, owners who submit an application for any new or modified permit by the above deadline would continue to be subject to penalties for constructing improvements without a Building Permit.
An application for a Use Permit or Use Permit Modification will follow the planning division’s regular process. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. Depending on the complexity of your application, processing can take from 2 months (Very Minor Modifications) to 4-months (Minor Modifications), or to 1 year or more to process a new use permit or a Use Permit Major Modification. Times may vary depending on the amount of applications received and the completeness of the application.
The status determination process will assist you in determining if your current business operation is in or out of compliance. If you find you are out of compliance, you have the choice to apply for the necessary permits to bring the business into compliance or reduce your business operations to comply with your existing permit levels.
It will depend on the complexity and information availability. The Board resolution allows for a maximum of 120 days to process an application, but staff will complete most determinations within 30 days.
A status determination requires a minimum deposit of $1,500 based on an hourly fee. Depending on the complexity of the historical permitting on the property, the cost could be less or more.
No. The status determination is simply a review and acknowledgment of your existing vested rights, use permits and use permit modifications. However, a status determination may be appealed pursuant to County Code Chapter 2.88.
No. The status determination does not approve any additional uses or entitlements; it is simply a review and acknowledgment of your existing legal entitlements and/or permissible uses of your property.
If you provide a complete application by the March 29, 2019 deadline, you will be able to continue your existing operations barring any health and safety issues. If staff discover any health and safety issues during the site inspection, the property owner will be required to address those issues immediately. If the life safety issues are significant, this may affect continued operations.
If a property owner does not apply for voluntarily compliance by March 29, 209, immediate compliance with legal entitlements and all applicable County Code requirements will be required. Owners of properties with health and safety or significant violations shall be required to operate within their existing legal entitlements for one year from the date of the initial Notice of Violation, absent extraordinary circumstances, before a use permit or modification application to remedy the violation(s) may be submitted to PBES. Owners may also be subject to fines or penalties for past and ongoing violations. Owners may submit a use permit or modification application to remedy violation(s) during the one-year period while they operate within their legal entitlements, but only if they agree in writing that their legal entitlements or their existing legal operations, whichever is lower, shall be used as the environmental baseline for all CEQA analysis related to the application. Public hearings for such use permit or modification applications shall not be scheduled until the owner has operated within legal entitlements for one year from the date of the Initial Notice of Violation, absent extraordinary circumstance.
For additional information or to discuss specific questions, please call (707) 253-4417.