Homepage > City Services > Questions and AnswersE-mail storyPrint friendly format
Planning and Zoning
Search

Administrative Relief

The City of Irvine Zoning Ordinance ensures consistency between the City's General Plan and proposed development. The Zoning Ordinance identifies land use categories, boundaries and development standards; as well as, requirements for discretionary procedures, such as Administrative Relief, Conditional Use Permit, Master Plan, and Tentative Map. The Administrative Relief procedure allows for flexibility in regulations when a standard is inappropriate to a specific use or design. Administrative Relief may only be requested for parking, walls and fences, landscaping, signs and child care centers.

 

A copy of the Administrative Relief Information Sheet may be obtained by clicking on the attached link or by contacting the Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308. 



Administrative Relief Information Sheet

Commercial Zones
The City of Irvine has several commercial zones, ranging from neighborhood commercial, which provide convenient access to goods and services within residential neighborhoods, to regional commercial, which provide shopping, restaurants and entertainment opportunities to a wider regional area.  These zones are located throughout the City.  For specific information regarding the uses permitted within each commercial zone, and the other development requirements such as setbacks, building height and minimum site coverage, go to www.municode.com, select online library, choose California, and then select Irvine Zoning.   From there, click on the yellow folder next to Division 3 along the left side of your screen, then click on the yellow folder next to Section 3-37, and then click on any of the text page icons next to the Section numbers.  This will bring you to the beginning of Chapter 3-37, and you can then scroll down to the commercial zone sections, which are Sections 3-37-19 to 3-37-28.  Note that some commercial uses are also permitted in multi-use zones.  For more information, consult Sections 3-37-17 and 3-37-29.

Find Flood Zone Information for a Parcel
For information regarding a specific address in the City of Irvine, please contact the City's Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308. 

Find Zoning Information for a Parcel
For information regarding a specific address in the City of Irvine, please contact the City's Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308. 

General Plan

The General Plan is a state-mandated document that represents the long-range vision of the City.   The Irvine General Plan is a comprehensive, long-range statement of Irvine's development and preservation policies.  The Plan is comprehensive because it addresses all geographic areas of the City and its sphere of influence and the relationships between social, financial, environmental and physical characteristics.  To view the City's General Plan click here General Plan. 

 

For more information regarding the City's General Plan contact Bill Jacobs, Principal Planer at (949) 724-6521 or email If you would like to obtain a copy of the General Plan call the City's Records Department at (949) 724-6281.



General Plan

General Plan Amendment Process

A General Plan Amendment is a development case is specified by the Zoning Ordinance to be initiated by a property owner, the City Council, Planning Commission, or Director of Community Development.  The purpose of a General Plan Amendment is to amend any portion of the City of Irvine General Plan, which is the legal document of goals, policies, and implementing actions regarding long-term development on the City.  The City Council is the final approval body of a General Plan Amendment, with advisory recommendations from the Planning Commission and other commissions as appropriate.  The cost of processing a General Plan Amendment is charged according to the hours spent by staff in checking plans, writing a staff report, preparing an environmental analysis, notifying the public and attending the public hearing.  Total cost varies according to the size of the project and the complexity of the issues. At the City's sole discretion, a planning consultant may process your application.

 

For more information on submitting a General Plan Amendment, see the City of Irvine General Plan Amendment information sheet, which is available on the City's website or through the Development Assistance Center (DAC) in the Community Development Department.  The DAC can be reached at (949) 724-6308. 

How to Obtain Copies of Building Plans

Copies of building plans are available through the Office of Records and Information. Because building plans are copyrighted, the law requires that the City request the permission of the architect or engineer before copies can be made. The process to obtain copies of building plans includes the following steps: 

  1. Call the Office of Records and Information at (949) 724-6281 to make sure the City has the plans you are looking for. 
  2.  If you are not the owner of the building, a signed letter from the owner is needed to request the release of any architectural plan.
  3. The Office of Records and Information sends a notarized Affidavit of Intent by certified mail to the architect or engineer.  The City charges $10 for each notarized signature, and the rate of certified postage mandated by the USPS.  By law, we must allow the architects and engineers 30 days to respond to a request for copies of plans. 
  4. Once the releases are received, we will make 11 x 17 copies of the requested plans at 10¢ per page.  If full size blueprint copies are needed, arrangements can be made with a bonded reprographic company to make copies at your expense.

If you have any additional questions, contact the City Clerk's Office of Records and Information at (949) 724-6281.


Industrial Zones
The City of Irvine has two industrial zones, one is called the Spectrum areas of the City, and the other is located in the Irvine Business Complex.  The intent of industrial zones is to provide an area of the City reserved for uses such as manufacturing, warehousing, research and development, and other service industries.  For specific information regarding the uses permitted within each industrial zone, and the other development requirements such as setbacks, building height and minimum site coverage, visit www.municode.com,   select Online Library, choose California, and then select Irvine Zoning.  From there, click on the yellow folder next to Division 3 along the left side of your screen, then click on the yellow folder next to Section 3-37, and then click on any of the text page icons next to the Section numbers.  This will bring you to the beginning of Chapter 3-37, and you can then scroll down to the commercial zone sections, which are Sections 3-37-19 to 3-37-28.  Note that some industrial uses are also permitted in the multi-use zones and in the medical and science zone.  For more information, consult Sections 3-37-17 and 3-37-29, and 3-37-34.

Looking for Legal Description of a Parcel
For information regarding the legal description of a parcel, call (949) 724-6306

Subdivision Map Approval Process

Under the Subdivision Map Act, any time land is subdivided in order to be sold, leased, or financed, the subdivision must be approved by the City of Irvine.  For this purpose, the City of Irvine has adopted subdivision regulations that comply with the State law.  In the City of Irvine, a Tentative Parcel Map is required for the division of four (4) or fewer residential lots or non-residential subdivisions, and a Tentative Tract Map for division into five (5) or more residential lots.  All subdivisions require discretionary review and approval by the Planning Commission and/or the Subdivision Committee.  Once the Tentative Map is approved, a Final Map is subject to the review and approval by the City Council of Irvine.  A copy of the Subdivision Map Approval Information Sheet may be obtained by clicking on the link below or, by contacting the Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308.



Subdivision Map Approval Information Sheet

Zone Change
Properties in the City of Irvine have various zoning designations such as Residential, Commercial, and Industrial etc.  A Zone Change is the process that enables a property owner or the City to change the land use designation of properties from one land use category to another such as from Commercial to Residential. To obtain information on Zone Changes, contact the Development Assistance Counter at (949) 724-6308.

Zone Change Packet

Zoning Administrator Meeting

Zoning Administrator Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 1:30 pm in Room L102 at City Hall, and are open to the public. The Zoning Administrator will open the public hearing, receive the staff report, accept public comment, ask questions of staff or the applicant, then either approve or deny the request, or to continue the item for further discussion.

 

An agenda may be obtained by contacting the Zoning Administrator secretary at (949) 724-6401. 

Zoning Districts
Establishes areas within the City for general type of land use development (i.e. 2.2 Low Density Residential, 3.1 Multiuse, 4.2 Community Commercial, 5.4 General Industrial and 6.1 Institutional) to maintain the public health and well being by ensuring incompatible uses are not developed adjacent to each other such as a childcare center located next to a rock crushing plant.  Within each zoning district, permitted and conditionally permitted land uses are listed as well as development standards including, but not limited to, maximum building height, minimum setback dimensions, and maximum lot coverage.  For more information, consult the Zoning Ordinance online (See website www.municipalcode.com).   Click on Online Library; California, Irvine Zoning.  Once the Irvine Zoning Code is on your screen, you can move throughout the document by simply using your cursor in the gray box to the left of the screen.  By clicking on the file you can identify the chapters, and then sections.  By clicking on the page icon you can open the section you would like to see.  It will appear on the right side of your screen.

Zoning Ordinance

The City of Irvine Zoning Ordinance ensures consistency between the City's General Plan and proposed development. The Zoning Ordinance identifies land use categories, boundaries and development standards; as well as, requirements for discretionary procedures, such as Administrative Relief, Conditional Use Permit, Master Plan, and Tentative Map.  Development standards include information on setbacks, building height, site coverage, parking and sign requirements. Where a proposed development is inconsistent with adopted land use categories or development standards, Administrative Relief  or a Zone Change: click here  may be requested.  

For a copy of the zone change form click here

For a copy of the administrative relief form click here

 

If you would like the zoning or development standards pertaining to a specific site or project, please contact the City of Irvine Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308.  

 

Or, visit www.municode.com.  Click on Online Library; California, Irvine Zoning. Once the Irvine Zoning Ordinance is on your screen, you can move throughout the document by simply using your cursor in the gray box to the left of the screen. By clinking on the file you can identify the chapters, then sections. By clicking on the page icon, you can open the section you would like to see. It will appear on the right side of your screen.


Show all Categories
Back