Development Code



The City Zoning Ordinance promotes the public health, safety and general welfare and implements the policies of the General Plan. The zoning code establishes land use districts (zones) designated to promote the orderly growth of the community by grouping together uses which are similar, and protecting them from the intrusion of uses which might be detrimental or incompatible. The zoning code describes the uses which can be established in each zone, and the zoning map delineates the boundaries of all zones. In addition to regulating use of property, the zoning code also provides standards such as building setbacks, height of structures and lot area. The division of a city into zones is a necessary part of planning in order to ensure rational and orderly development. A comprehensive update is underway and anticipated to be adopted by the City Council in fall of 2010.


The City of Duarte zoning code is available online, and is keyword searchable.


Table of Contents

Article 1: Enactment, Applicability, and Enforcement
Article 2: Zones, Allowable Uses, and Development Standards
Article 3: Regulations Applicable to all Zones
Article 4: Standards for Specific Land Uses and Activities
Article 5: Subdivisions
Article 6: Nonconformities
Article 7: Permit Processing Procedures
Article 8: Development Code Administration
Article 9: Definitions

Zoning Map


Common Zoning Procedures


Administrative Variance

Allows for minor adjustments, which are indicated in the City of Duarte Zoning Ordinance. These include adjustments to the required yard setbacks, and fence height. An Administrative Variance may not be granted to authorize an adjustment not permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.

Conditional Use Permit (CUP)

Allows a particular use or activity not allowed as a matter of right within a zoning district, subject to conditions of approval and a public hearing.

Landscape Documentation Package

Promotes the value and benefits of landscapes while recognizing the need to invest water and other resources as efficiently as possible. A landscape documentation package is required for all developer installed new and rehabilitated landscaping for projects that require a building, grading, or use permit.

Unclassified Use Permit

Designed to give the Planning Commission an opportunity to study specific requests for certain uses which are not listed as a permitted use in the zoning ordinance. Recognizes that in the development of a comprehensive zoning ordinance not all uses of land can be listed, nor can all future uses be anticipated. The Planning Commission may permit a use, which is similar and not detrimental as permitted in the zone for which the request is being made.


Allows a project to deviate from the provisions established in the zoning district in which the property is located. A variance may be granted if it can be shown that because of special circumstances inherent in the property, the strict application of the specific sections of the code would deprive a property of privileges enjoyed by other properties in the same areas and having the same zone.


Zone Change

Changes the zoning district of a parcel or group of parcels to allow for development. A request made be made by a property owner or by City staff, and the City Council is the final approval body.




Subdivisions are the division of improved or unimproved land for the purposes of sale. The City regulates and processes subdivisions (Tract and Parcel maps) in accordance with the California Subdivision Map Act and the City Subdivision Ordinance.

The primary goals, when reviewing Subdivisions are to:

  • Encourage the orderly community development through regulation and control of the design and improvement of the subdivision
  • Ensure that areas within the subdivision that are dedicated to public purposes or private common areas are properly improved.
  • Maintain the zoning standards applicable to the creation of new lots.


Parcel Map

Used for subdividing property into four or less separate lots for the purpose of developing. This process is regulated by State law in the Subdivision Map Act.

Tract Map

For subdividing property into five or more separate lots for the purpose of developing. This process is regulated by the State of California Subdivision Map Act and the City of Duarte Division of Land Ordinance.


Lot Line Adjustment / Certificate of Compliance

Allows for the adjusting of lot lines between two or more parcels. A licensed Land Surveyor is required to prepare the lot line adjustment legal description and closure calculations. A Record of Survey may be required and existing Deeds of Trust or similar documents will require modification to reflect the entire area of the adjusted parcel.

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