Planning Division

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Planning Division
1735 Montgomery Street
Oroville, CA 95965
Phone: (530) 538-2401
Fax: (530) 538-2426

Zoning Ordinance (Title 17 of the Oroville Municipal Code)


Division Overview

The Planning Division is responsible for both current and long-term planning functions. Current planning functions deal with day-to-day land use and development applications which includes processing requests for discretionary actions (land divisions, rezones, general plan amendments, conditional use permits, variances, annexations, etc.) which require approval by the Planning Commission and/or City Council, and ministerial items such as second dwelling units, large family daycares, home occupations, temporary uses, and pre-applications/development review. Long term planning includes activities such as the creation, implementation and maintenance of the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and related policies.

  • Current Planning: Current Planning activities include advising the Planning Commission and City Council regarding applications for land use changes and development permits. These applications include conditional use permits, variances, subdivisions and design review. Also included in Current Planning activities are the review of building permits and other ministerial applications for Zoning Ordinance compliance, and environmental review of discretionary development applications.
  • Long Range Planning: Long Range Planning is concerned with the preparation, updating and amendment of General Plan elements, Specific Plans, and the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Public Information: Each day the Planning Division receives a large number of requests for planning information from the public. In order to provide this information, the Division maintains a public counter that is staffed 40 hours per week and provides telephone, mail, and e-mail response services.

Development Review Committee

The Development Review Committee (DRC) is comprised of two Planning Commissioners, representatives from different City departments (Planning, Building, Fire, Public Works/Engineering, Police), and any agency potentially affected by the proposed development, and is responsible for evaluating and reviewing certain development applications, designs of structures, and other site improvement projects. The DRC evaluates the architecture, landscaping, signage, circulation, grading, infrastructure impacts, and other relevant physical features of a project. The purpose of a DRC approval is to promote orderly attractive, and harmonious development within the City. Additionally, the DRC is available for pre-application meetings to provide early comments/feedback to project proponents on the anticipated requirements of a proposed project.

Administrative Permits

Permits for a specified land use, building or structure that is issued as a ministerial function, rather than at the City’s discretion. Examples include home occupations, second dwelling units, temporary uses, cottage food operations, farmers markets, and large family daycares.Oro Bay Mission Valley Properties

Land Division

The Subdivision Ordinance for the City of Oroville is adopted to promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare through the orderly regulation of land division. Further, the purpose of this ordinance is to:

  • Provide the economic and social advantages resulting from orderly land division.
  • Encourage and guide development consistent with the City’s General Plan.
  • Provide lots of sufficient size and appropriate design so as to be usable for their intended purposes.
  • Provide for the preservation of environmental assets and natural resources, including land, water, air, minerals, vegetation, wildlife, historic or aesthetic sites, and open space.
  • Ensure provision of adequate traffic circulation, utilities, and services.


Accessory Uses/Structures

Residential accessory structures include shade structures, gazebos, covered patios and detached garages. An accessory use is clearly incidental to and customarily found in connection with an established use of a site, or building located on the same site. An accessory building is a subordinate building, the use of which is clearly incidental and secondary to that of the main building on the same site. If an accessory structure exceeds 120 square feet in floor area, a building permit is required. Regardless of the size, permits are always required for any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical (heating, cooling, etc.) improvements made.

Conditional Use Permits

Use permits provide an opportunity to review the location, site development or conduct of certain land uses, activities and structural features that generally have a distinct impact on the area in which they are located or are capable of creating special problems for bordering properties unless given careful attention. Use permits are discretionary and may be granted or denied by the Planning Commission under the provisions of the City's Zoning Ordinance. A use permit is valid only for the property for which it was issued. Use permits do not transfer from one property to another. If the Planning Commission grants a use permit, it may attach any conditions to the use permit that are deemed necessary to achieve the purposes of the City's Zoning Ordinance, and that also promote the general health, safety and public welfare of the City.


When the strict and literal enforcement of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance results in unreasonable and unnecessary hardships, or in results inconsistent with the general purposes of the Zoning Ordinance, the Planning Commission has the authority to grant variances that are in harmony with the purposes of Zoning Ordinance. The sole purpose of any variance shall be to prevent discrimination and undue hardship, and no variance shall be granted that would provide a special privilege not shared by other property in the same vicinity. A variance shall not permit any land use that is not allowed in the applicable zoning district.


The Planning Division has zoning information for all lots within the City of Oroville. When you have determined the zoning of your property you may search our Zoning Ordinance for further information regarding allowed land uses, development standards and other permitting requirements.

General Plan

The General Plan is a comprehensive document that covers many aspects of the community including development, preservation of the community and safety. The General Plan is a long-term document that is intended to guide the growth of the City.

The General Plan provides a policy framework for development decisions. It has three functions:

  • To enable the City Planning Commission and City Council to reach agreement on long-range development policies.
  • To provide a basis for judging whether specific private development proposals and public projects are in harmony with the policies.
  • To allow other public agencies and private developers to design projects that are consistent with City policies or to seek changes in those policies through the General Plan amendment process.

Copies of the General Plan and the General Plan Land Use Map are also available from the Planning Division.

Housing ElementYellow House front enterance

Every 5 years the State of California requires that local municipalities update the Housing Element chapter of the General Plan. The Housing Element is 1 of 7 mandated elements of the General Plan and must address the existing and projected housing needs for all segments of the community.

Home Occupations

A Home Occupation is the gainful employment of a resident in a dwelling with limited commercial activity; wherein the employment activity is incidental and subordinate to the residential use of the property. A City of Oroville Business License is required for all Home Occupations. No Home Occupation may be conducted unless a Business License has been approved and issued.