Application Definitions

Summary Descriptions

Accessory Dwelling Unit

Secondary Living Units are independent dwellings located on the same lot as an existing single-family residence. The unit may either be attached to the main residence or a separate structure.


Annexation involves the inclusion of a parcel(s) of land within the incorporated City limits. The site must be prezoned to a City zoning designation. The annexation must be consistent with State Law (California Government Code 56000 et. seq.) and any other City policies which might regulate annexation applications. The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) is a state mandated agency that oversees the boundary changes (i.e. annexation, detachment) to cities and special districts. There is a LAFCO in every county in California.

Conditional Use Permits

Conditional Use Permits are required for uses listed as conditional in the Zoning Ordinance or a Specific Plan. It is a land use permit allowing a use under specified conditions which assure that the use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare and will not diminish the integrity and character of the zone district. Each application is considered on its individual merit and, if approved, the Conditional Use Permit runs with the land.

Design Review

Design Review is the part of the project review process that addresses the aesthetic character of lands and buildings and the overall layout of a development on a site, as well as its compatibility with surrounding land uses. The design review approval can be incorporated into other project approvals, such as a conditional use permit or a planned development, thereby eliminating the need for separate applications and review.

General Plan Amendment

An amendment to the General Plan may involve a land use designation change or of a site or sites a change to policies, text, or maps in an element of the General Plan. If a proposed amendment is inconsistent with other text/maps in the General Plan, changes to these other areas must also be proposed. State Law requires a General Plan to be internally consistent.

Home Occupation Permit 

A Home Occupation Permit is required from the City of Dixon for any business operated from a residence, pursuant to Chapter 18.30 of the Zoning Ordinance. Not all businesses are permitted as home occupations. Prior to submitting an application. it is recommended that you discuss your proposal with Planning Staff to determine if your proposed business is allowed.

Initial Study 

The environmental information form is required to be completed and submitted with major project applications in the City of Dixon. The purpose of the information form is to assist Community Development staff and interested persons in reviewing the environmental impacts caused by a project and in making the appropriate California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) determination.

Parcel Map

The Land Division process is for the subdivision of parcels which are exempt from filing a Tentative Map application under the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act. In requesting approval of a parcel map (4 or less lots), the resulting lots must meet all area, width, and depth requirements for the zoning district and/or Specific Plan area in which the parcel is located.

Planned Development 

The purpose of the Planned Development Zoning District (PD Zoning District) is to provide the City with a process which authorizes more flexibility in the design of development projects with specially designated areas of the City than would be possible through the strict application of the zoning regulations contained in this Zoning Ordinance. The area designated as a PD Zoning District may, as determined by the Council, consist of a single parcel or may include an entire neighborhood.

Tentative Maps 

Tentative Map applications are required for the subdivision of residential zoned land into five or more legal, developable parcels which meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance or applicable Specific Plan.

Vesting Tentative Maps 

Vesting Tentative Maps are similar to regular Tentative Maps except that the approval confers a vested right to proceed with development in substantial compliance with the ordinances, policies and standards in effect at the time the vesting map is deemed complete.


Variances may be granted with respect to fences and walls; site area, width, depth, and coverage; front, rear, and side yards; height of structures; distances between structures; and off-street parking and loading facilities. The Planning Commission is authorized to grant variances in order to prevent or lessen practical difficulties and unnecessary physical hardships inconsistent with the objectives of the Zoning Ordinance. In order to grant a variance, the Planning Commission must make seven (7) required findings.

Zone Change (Rezone) 

A property owner or authorized agent desiring a change in the boundaries of the district in which the property is located may file a zone change application. A General Plan Amendment application may also be required to change a zoning designation.

General Information
Community Development Director
Raffi Boloyan
Chief Building Official
Larry Paisley
Associate Planner
Scott Greeley
Building Inspector
Joel Engrahm
Contract Permit Technician
Terra Hudson
600 East A St.

Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm