A General Plan is a set of long term goals and policies that a community uses to guide their development decisions. Zoning, on the other hand, regulates how development occurs. Under a zoning ordinance, development must comply with specific, enforceable standards such as minimum lot size, maximum building height, minimum building setbacks, and a list of allowable uses. Zoning is applied lot-by-lot, where as the General Plan has a community-wide perspective.
The Zoning Map identifies the specific zoning designation for each property within the City.
National City’s Zoning Ordinance is set-out in the Land Use Code, Chapter 18, of the Municipal Code. Specific zones define the distribution of residential, commercial, industrial, open space, and other zones based on the pattern of land uses established by the General Plan.
Contact the Planning Department at 619-336-4310 for any questions related to zoning and land use.
In certain cases, a property owner may propose a use that is not allowed in that zone. In order for the proposed use to become allowed a Zone Change or Code Amendment would be required. Upon receipt of a Zone Change or Code Amendment initiation application and appropriate fee, the Planning Division staff will review the application and (if appropriate) submit the request to the Planning Commission. The Commission will consider the request a make a recommendation to the City Council, who will take the final action on the request. In the case of a Zone Change, a General Plan Amendment may also be required.
An overlay zone provides an additional set of standards for a particular area to address specific goals and objectives consistent with the General Plan. The Planned Development overlay zone found along many of the City’s commercial corridors is an example.