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Issue with city of norco

nrbr

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I'm making the first of attempts to build a detached shop on my property. I'd like a 36x27 on a peice of property that's 240' x80'. They're telling me that I must keep 60% of my yard open for animal use. They refer to it as paka. Primary animal keeping area. Slope is not counted , only flat area. Most of my backyard is sloped. Basically they're trying to only let us build tiny buildings and keep non horse people outta here. First question is can they legally do this? I'd bought this place solely because I wanted a shop on site at home to play boats. Secondly they want a 3400$ filing fee!! Is this normal far as fees go on new buildings ? No water or sewer going to this building.
 

Mandelon

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Charging you for Plan Review is typical. That price seems pretty steep though. Does that include all the permit fees too?

You may need to grade a pad, and have it considered "flat" so you can keep under the 60% floor area ratio.
 

boatnam2

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I remember a few battles with Norco for a 14x40 boat shed, the inspector at the time was a cock, not sure if he is still there.
 

nrbr

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Charging you for Plan Review is typical. That price seems pretty steep though. Does that include all the permit fees too?

You may need to grade a pad, and have it considered "flat" so you can keep under the 60% floor area ratio.
No permit fees yet just to get it through planning commission. I know they'll try to make it hard but not sure I wanna gamble 3400 bucks
 

nrbr

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No permit fees yet just to get it through planning commission. I know they'll try to make it hard but not sure I wanna gamble 3400 bucks
Thought about bring a bobcat in and flattening a lot more of the lot . Creating a steep dropoff instead of gradual hill. Then filling it back after the final
 

Ultra912

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Shoulda checked before buying the house. They aren't gonna change the code/rules for you
Grading probably won't help or change their mind either.
Inspectors don't make the decisions for pulling the permit
Are you in an HOA near the prison? Forgetta bout it
If they let you move forward with grading the slope they'll make you do a 30K wall
 

nrbr

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Shoulda checked before buying the house. They aren't gonna change the code/rules for you
Grading probably won't help or change their mind either.
Inspectors don't make the decisions for pulling the permit
Are you in an HOA near the prison? Forgetta bout it
If they let you move forward with grading the slope they'll make you do a 30K wall
These rules went in 3 years after I bought. I attended city council meetings to oppose it to no avail. Thier response was "just file a variance and we will make it happen within reason" this is turning out to be untrue shocking lol. No I'm not in an hoa although it does feel like it
 

Mandelon

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Maybe find a local building designer who is familiar with the processes and knows how to get work submitted and accepted. I have one down here in SD. She knows all the planners and plan reviewers. It really helps. Ask a few local remodeling contractors who they might recommend.
 

Go-Fly

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Hire a land planning attorney for your county. Good money spent. If you try to game the system, you're going to get burned. Seeing how you bought before the rule change, there is room for grandfathering you in, if done right.
 

C-2

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Norco is a trip. There's tons of properties with huge amounts of space, and then you have that f*in PAKA, they want you to cram animals onto. It sounds like they changed the code to make animal keeping spaces larger than they were before? PAKA sizes in the past were ridiculously small.

That's a tough battle to win though as it's clear Norco is fighting tooth and nail to keep itself rural. But, you can't attract the high dollar horse owners and expect them to live like Hillbillies.

I was thinking about Norco just a bit ago. Residents hate the fact Arlington from Riverside spills onto the streets of Norco and tons of people use it to get to the 15 (myself included). So, they program the traffic light at Crestview for traffic calming purposes (or to dissuade commuters). But, doing so only pisses everybody off and the now angry drivers fly down Crestview and all other side streets at an even higher rate of speed. You know, to make up time lost from sitting at that dumb ass traffic light. Duh.
 

Go-Fly

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We have a project going in Durham Oregon. Plan review is 64 weeks.:eek:
 

monkeyswrench

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I think you may have luck dealing with a local based contractor...a person that has already greased the skids...so to speak. Out here, it's who you know, not what you know. I've seen them let locals skate on some horrid crap. I was new in town, so my stuff had to be code "plus".
I feel your pain. One of the reasons I left the I.E. was to build a shop...it took years to stack the money...then a year through the county:mad:
 

LDB 1

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Tell them your building a barn for your animals .You have to leave it a dirt floor and after you get your final you’d have to some how pour the concrete floor.i know a guy here in Norco is having the same problem with the city.
 

4Waters

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Tell them your building a barn for your animals .You have to leave it a dirt floor and after you get your final you’d have to some how pour the concrete floor.i know a guy here in Norco is having the same problem with the city.
See post 7
 

FishSniper

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I considered this! It cant have a concrete floor and supposedly they can come inspect it yearly to be sure I dont put one in
I doubt they would come check unless someone complained.
 

Melloyellovector

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Build a “barn” and use compacted base instead of concrete. Same stuff billy b used at his storage. Dust free and solid. And it not “concrete”
Norco is a pain in the ass, follow the rules and bend where you can.
Or do retaining wall into hillside and make the wall your exterior walls for garage. Costs will be a huge jump, but it’s not part of paka area.

I had a pool permit that we went back n forth nearly a year. Finally gave up.
 

LGETT

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Thought about bring a bobcat in and flattening a lot more of the lot . Creating a steep dropoff instead of gradual hill. Then filling it back after the final
Better do a grading plan or you'll be off to a rocky start with Building and Saftey
 

Go-Fly

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The good old days when you could do what you wanted on your property is long gone. We have made a government that pay people to make rules and regulations, guess what they do all day? The permit and inspections are designed to keep you in the system as long as they can. It's their job to do this work, why would they want less to do and lay people off. Don't take this personally, work the problems with professional help. It's going to come down to a cost issue. Know this going in when you drop $10k and haven't turned a shovel of dirt. Keep us up to date.
 

cabennett82

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I have to chime in here also.
I live in Norco and bought a year ago in 2018. I am also currently trying to build a workshop and am trying to jump through the planning department hoops, but its getting out of hand. I plan to fight this, go to the city counsel if I have to, public hearing, I don't know yet, but something needs to be done. I doubt it will make a difference. Maybe if we can get enough people together to support this.

Sounds like we have the same size lot. Right around half acre, mine is 210'x80'.
Yes, their absurd planning department fee is $3400.
Plus the Building Department has an additional $1600 to $2000 fee, depending on the value of the building.
And a Grading Fee if you have to move more than 60 cubic yards, is around $1200.
If you want to build something that doesn't follow their guidelines to a T, then they have a Variance fee which is around $3000,
The planner told me only 1 variance has been approved to date. Someone wanted larger than a 1,000sqft building on a 7 acre lot and he finally won. Everyone else has lost and wasted the $3000....
Here are some of there requirements:
Large Vehicle Accessory Building, which is what you probably want.
1,000sqft max, 16ft eave height max, 18ft peak height max.
Can add additional attached 400sqft if its a lean-to style workshop, however it has to have an 8ft eave height and 14ft peak height max.
50sqft washroom. Toilet and sink only. No Shower.
No interior wall separations.
Exterior walls have to match your primary dwelling, materials and color.
They use a graduated setback rule...8ft building height is a 5ft setback and for every 1ft you go up, you have to go 1.5ft out. The worst part, its based on any point of the building.
(This one is really killing me. I want to put a 18ft peak that is at the rear of my property, roof sloping towards the sides, so I have to have a 20ft setback...such a waste of land!)
You may not need to meet the recorded PAKA requirement, but you do have to have a contiguous animal keeping area. They claim this to be the number of animal units allowed on your property x a certain sqft per animal unit. For my just under half-acre, it came out to 4 animal units and 2400sqft. The area needs to be flat, 24ft minimum across, rectangular in shape, continuous and have vehicular access. Plus it has to have a 5ft buffer around it if it is adjacent to a property line/existing/new building and can't be within 35ft of your neighbors. It goes on and on.
The "Barn" that people are mentioning are even smaller, don't allow electrical outlets, no garage doors, etc. Animal keeping structures are required to be much smaller, unless you have a giant property. Its the number of animal units x 225sqft + 225 for tack storage. So in your case, your probably 4 or 5 AU's x 225 + 225.
Retaining walls are only allowed to be 6ft max. They consider them to be ugly, so that slope is going to be tough to deal with. I need a 10ft retaining wall and they are also going to give me a hard time.
What happened to the land of the free where you can build what you want on your own property???
Ordinance can be found here:
https://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Norco/html/Norco18/Norco1868.html
Zoning and Animal Keeping info can be found here:
https://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Norco/#!/Norco18/Norco1813.html
And here is the graduated setback info
upload_2019-11-28_19-35-47.png
 

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nrbr

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I have to chime in here also.
I live in Norco and bought a year ago in 2018. I am also currently trying to build a workshop and am trying to jump through the planning department hoops, but its getting out of hand. I plan to fight this, go to the city counsel if I have to, public hearing, I don't know yet, but something needs to be done. I doubt it will make a difference. Maybe if we can get enough people together to support this.

Sounds like we have the same size lot. Right around half acre, mine is 210'x80'.
Yes, their absurd planning department fee is $3400.
Plus the Building Department has an additional $1600 to $2000 fee, depending on the value of the building.
And a Grading Fee if you have to move more than 60 cubic yards, is around $1200.
If you want to build something that doesn't follow their guidelines to a T, then they have a Variance fee which is around $3000,
The planner told me only 1 variance has been approved to date. Someone wanted larger than a 1,000sqft building on a 7 acre lot and he finally won. Everyone else has lost and wasted the $3000....
Here are some of there requirements:
Large Vehicle Accessory Building, which is what you probably want.
1,000sqft max, 16ft eave height max, 18ft peak height max.
Can add additional attached 400sqft if its a lean-to style workshop, however it has to have an 8ft eave height and 14ft peak height max.
50sqft washroom. Toilet and sink only. No Shower.
No interior wall separations.
Exterior walls have to match your primary dwelling, materials and color.
They use a graduated setback rule...8ft building height is a 5ft setback and for every 1ft you go up, you have to go 1.5ft out. The worst part, its based on any point of the building.
(This one is really killing me. I want to put a 18ft peak that is at the rear of my property, roof sloping towards the sides, so I have to have a 20ft setback...such a waste of land!)
You may not need to meet the recorded PAKA requirement, but you do have to have a contiguous animal keeping area. They claim this to be the number of animal units allowed on your property x a certain sqft per animal unit. For my just under half-acre, it came out to 4 animal units and 2400sqft. The area needs to be flat, 24ft minimum across, rectangular in shape, continuous and have vehicular access. Plus it has to have a 5ft buffer around it if it is adjacent to a property line/existing/new building and can't be within 35ft of your neighbors. It goes on and on.
The "Barn" that people are mentioning are even smaller, don't allow electrical outlets, no garage doors, etc. Animal keeping structures are required to be much smaller, unless you have a giant property. Its the number of animal units x 225sqft + 225 for tack storage. So in your case, your probably 4 or 5 AU's x 225 + 225.
Retaining walls are only allowed to be 6ft max. They consider them to be ugly, so that slope is going to be tough to deal with. I need a 10ft retaining wall and they are also going to give me a hard time.
What happened to the land of the free where you can build what you want on your own property???
Ordinance can be found here:
https://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Norco/html/Norco18/Norco1868.html
Zoning and Animal Keeping info can be found here:
https://www.codepublishing.com/CA/Norco/#!/Norco18/Norco1813.html
And here is the graduated setback info
View attachment 820994
I was unaware of the "variance fee" ... I fought this tooth and nail when they were enacting it 2 years ago to no avail . One council guy in particular bash is mostly responsible for this. He had a neighbor put up a metal building for motorcycle repair partially blocking his view and threw a fit. Throughout the deal they kept telling everyone not to worry you can just file a variance if building is within reason.
 

pixrthis

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I'm making the first of attempts to build a detached shop on my property. I'd like a 36x27 on a peice of property that's 240' x80'. They're telling me that I must keep 60% of my yard open for animal use. They refer to it as paka. Primary animal keeping area. Slope is not counted , only flat area. Most of my backyard is sloped. Basically they're trying to only let us build tiny buildings and keep non horse people outta here. First question is can they legally do this? I'd bought this place solely because I wanted a shop on site at home to play boats. Secondly they want a 3400$ filing.

A friend had a similar situation in Moorepark so he built a barn and turned it into a shop once it was signed off. Good luck.
 

dribble

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That's bullshit, I'd tell them to get a warrant. One more reason to GTFO of this state.

Not a California thing. I built a 1000 sq ft shop on my one acre in a high end area of the Sacramento region (East Loomis) without any permit. I told my neighbors what I was doing and nobody objected. My neighbor followed with a 1500 sq ft garage. The city of Norco is hellbent on preserving its horse identity.
 

Nordie

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Random thought, and excuse my stupidity as I don't know Norco codes, but I always look for loopholes. What about a pole barn with a hardscape floor (pavers). Maybe you could epoxy coat it or pour it with self leveling concrete afterwards? Or if you can only go with a 6foot retaining wall, and you stack and move in after backfill and do another 6 foot retaining wall? Granted that would be a very expensive option, but there has to be a way.
 

jet496

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I'm making the first of attempts to build a detached shop on my property. I'd like a 36x27 on a peice of property that's 240' x80'. They're telling me that I must keep 60% of my yard open for animal use. They refer to it as paka. Primary animal keeping area. Slope is not counted , only flat area. Most of my backyard is sloped. Basically they're trying to only let us build tiny buildings and keep non horse people outta here. First question is can they legally do this? I'd bought this place solely because I wanted a shop on site at home to play boats. Secondly they want a 3400$ filing fee!! Is this normal far as fees go on new buildings ? No water or sewer going to this building.
CA is messed up with these strange laws. I dealt with the same weird crap building an addition years ago.
 

Yellowboat

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Not a California thing. I built a 1000 sq ft shop on my one acre in a high end area of the Sacramento region (East Loomis) without any permit. I told my neighbors what I was doing and nobody objected. My neighbor followed with a 1500 sq ft garage. The city of Norco is hellbent on preserving its horse identity.
Loomis is not in scarmento county, its in very red placer county . Its also been the boonies until just recently.
 

the510

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I understand that this whole concept is frustrating for the ones who own property in Norco. It really does suck when any city says "no", and puts limits on what we can build on our property. I feel like America is taking our rights away when they do things like this. Its also very annoying when they tell me what kind of guns I can and cannot buy.

On the flip side I like what Norco is doing here. Its one of the last true equestrian towns in Southern California. They call it "HORSE TOWN USA" for a reason. It is probably one of the most affordable equestrian towns as well. I have been watching the real estate in Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Palos Verdes Estates for a year now. Its very sad to see beautiful ranch style properties that have wonderful land for horses and other farm animals get bull dozed and built on with huge mansions, pools, and other modern amenities. I am a Horse owner myself so my opinion is bias.
 

NicPaus

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On the flip side I like what Norco is doing here. Its one of the last true equestrian towns in Southern California. They call it "HORSE TOWN USA" for a reason. It is probably one of the most affordable equestrian towns as well. I have been watching the real estate in Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Palos Verdes Estates for a year now. Its very sad to see beautiful ranch style properties that have wonderful land for horses and other farm animals get bull dozed and built on with huge mansions, pools, and other modern amenities. I am a Horse owner myself so my opinion is bias.[/QUOTE]


Lomita feed just sold to developers I believe. Have not heard of many mansions replacing horse property on the hill but horse population has gone down. We used to own a feed store that supplied the hill. Lots of empty barns and stalls that used to be full. I would say it's not cause of development but the cost to own.
 
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C-2

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I doubt Norco will jump on the bandwagon, but as you may already know, many cities are easing building codes to deal with the ‘‘housing crisis.” ADU’s and granny flats are all the rage.

Is there any possibility of building an ADU and then later converting it to a shop?

The problem with Norco, as you have seen, is there is a group of fanatics who force their own ideals upon the whole city. Neighbors may be cool, but those roaming Nazi’s are not. :(
 

TPC

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Lawndale Ca:
9F80444E-0B73-4278-82CB-C41FA49B4980.jpeg
On the flip side I like what Norco is doing here. Its one of the last true equestrian towns in Southern California. They call it "HORSE TOWN USA" for a reason. It is probably one of the most affordable equestrian towns as well. I have been watching the real estate in Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Palos Verdes Estates for a year now. Its very sad to see beautiful ranch style properties that have wonderful land for horses and other farm animals get bull dozed and built on with huge mansions, pools, and other modern amenities. I am a Horse owner myself so my opinion is bias.

Lawndale also was a cool little beach city at one time.
Drive through it now and it’s cozy little 1940’s beach homes with multi story apartment buildings in the former back yard. Or your next door neighbors back yard. See pic above.

I’d do the stealth design like the other posters mention.
Smoke and mirrors.

We have horse owning friends in Norco and they have cleverly disguised huge shops and a Man cave w/full bar, indoor RV storage and what have ya.
“It’s a husbandry building.”

I’ll hand Norco one thing, they have active groups of organized MF’ers. The drive to shut down racing at Santa Anita is centered there.
That shitstorm is millionaires vs multi millionaires.

Just like here in RDP.
 
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nrbr

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I doubt Norco will jump on the bandwagon, but as you may already know, many cities are easing building codes to deal with the ‘‘housing crisis.” ADU’s and granny flats are all the rage.

Is there any possibility of building an ADU and then later converting it to a shop?

The problem with Norco, as you have seen, is there is a group of fanatics who force their own ideals upon the whole city. Neighbors may be cool, but those roaming Nazi’s are not. :(
This is exactly what I was thinking
 

cabennett82

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I doubt Norco will jump on the bandwagon, but as you may already know, many cities are easing building codes to deal with the ‘‘housing crisis.” ADU’s and granny flats are all the rage.

Is there any possibility of building an ADU and then later converting it to a shop?

The problem with Norco, as you have seen, is there is a group of fanatics who force their own ideals upon the whole city. Neighbors may be cool, but those roaming Nazi’s are not. :(

So I heard about a new bill that passed statewide for California's "housing crisis". AB-68. It just passed in October 2019.
It overrides local city/county regulations for lot coverage and setback requirements and allows single family zoned properties to build up to 3 residences on a single lot. That way you can live in one and rent out the other two. It also forces them to make a decision to approve/deny your plans in 60 days instead of 120 days.
If this is true, they won't be able to limit our shop based on lot coverage, animal keeping and setback requirements. The only catch is that it applies to "Accessory Dwelling Units" (ADU's), and I don't know about just "Accessory Buildings".

Of course, I went in to the planning department and questioned it. She knew exactly what it was but brushed me off and said it only applied to R-1 zoned properties, not A-1 zoned like most of Norco is. I think she is just trying to get me to go away because the bill says any properties that allow single family residences, which applies to A-1 as well. Also, when I went to the city council meeting, Bash mentioned AB-68 and how it is "going to destroy everything they have ever worked so hard for". His words.
Now, I don't necessarily agree with cramming even more people on a lot, but it may help us build the shop on our land that we want.

However, I don't know the legalities to push the issue and since the bill is so new, nobody really knows anything about it.
Has anybody else heard anything?

Bill AB-68
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB68
 

monkeyswrench

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I don't know how Cali is, but in our county in Az a "house" has to have a bathroom, and a kitchen area. If that's the case, you can just set up your shop with the kitchen, bath and a "great room". There is a guy that did that up here...a 4 plus car garage with a kitchen and bath in the workshop portion. On the county books, it's listed as a 1bd home. His goal was to live in it while building his dream house, but zoning said you must have a house before garage.
 

brgrcru

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I live in lake view terrace . Kind of like norco , but in LA county . 1/2 --2 acre Horse propertys , our horses. Are gone . just horse power . Now.
Two years trying to get a shop approved. Not all city fault . Ill take blame also . Being lazy .
My mistake is, I took down our 10x20 tack room . As it was falling apart .
I should of just added to it .

One day it will be done .
 

cabennett82

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Hell yea, call it a barn.

"Barns" are a different category entirely. And they have a lot more requirements such as no roll up doors, 10ft eave height max, size is limited to AU x 225. It doesn't say anything about concrete floors. I believe there have been people trying exactly what you guys are mentioning and getting shut down in the process and they also check up on the building apparently like someone else has mentioned.
Funny thing to me, Norco no longer allows Barn style buildings.

Basically from all my research,
Norco DOES NOT allow this
upload_2019-12-1_9-57-36.png


But DOES allow this
upload_2019-12-1_9-14-50.png
 

monkeyswrench

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"Barns" are a different category entirely. And they have a lot more requirements such as no roll up doors, 10ft eave height max, size is limited to AU x 225. It doesn't say anything about concrete floors. I believe there have been people trying exactly what you guys are mentioning and getting shut down in the process and they also check up on the building apparently like someone else has mentioned.
Funny thing to me, Norco no longer allows Barn style buildings.

Basically from all my research,
Norco DOES NOT allow this
View attachment 821412

But DOES allow this
View attachment 821405
WTF? I think management caught a hoof to the head. If I had the money, my shop would have looked more like the stable. I would have loved to do a barn style setup.
 

Thunderhead1

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Attach it to your house via a breezeway. Then its a room addition and not a stand alone shop. The Barn is the other way to get it done and as far as the yearly inspection... They can inspect anything they want from the street.
 

nrbr

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So I heard about a new bill that passed statewide for California's "housing crisis". AB-68. It just passed in October 2019.
It overrides local city/county regulations for lot coverage and setback requirements and allows single family zoned properties to build up to 3 residences on a single lot. That way you can live in one and rent out the other two. It also forces them to make a decision to approve/deny your plans in 60 days instead of 120 days.
If this is true, they won't be able to limit our shop based on lot coverage, animal keeping and setback requirements. The only catch is that it applies to "Accessory Dwelling Units" (ADU's), and I don't know about just "Accessory Buildings".

Of course, I went in to the planning department and questioned it. She knew exactly what it was but brushed me off and said it only applied to R-1 zoned properties, not A-1 zoned like most of Norco is. I think she is just trying to get me to go away because the bill says any properties that allow single family residences, which applies to A-1 as well. Also, when I went to the city council meeting, Bash mentioned AB-68 and how it is "going to destroy everything they have ever worked so hard for". His words.
Now, I don't necessarily agree with cramming even more people on a lot, but it may help us build the shop on our land that we want.

However, I don't know the legalities to push the issue and since the bill is so new, nobody really knows anything about it.
Has anybody else heard anything?

Bill AB-68
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB68
I have heard about it and am probably going to be forced to go that route.
 

lf2

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Attach it to your house via a breezeway. Then its a room addition and not a stand alone shop. The Barn is the other way to get it done and as far as the yearly inspection... They can inspect anything they want from the street.


There is a big ass garage/shop that just went up on Vine and bluff and i noticed it had a breezeway from the house.
 

Harry Sachz

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This post went up yesterday. Bits of good information, maybe reach out to Jim. He said using the right engineer helps.
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This house just sold for 100k + more than it should have. Main reason was the large shop. New owner plans on using it to do body work, and get rid of the building he leases in corona. Our shop is grandfathered in, just like the neighbors barn
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(with plumbing and electrical). Our shop is good size, and I’ll just rebuild and add on as I want. Good luck, hopefully you get what ya want without too many headaches. Norco is an awesome place to live.
 
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