Starting a New Business in Sand City
Building Safety and Inspection
Washing Vehicles and Discharges into the Storm Drain System
Starting a new business in Sand City.
Q. I’m starting a new business. What do I need to do?
A. Prior to establishing a new business in Sand City, you will need to get zoning approval and a business license. Depending upon the type of business you are pursuing, you may also need licenses from other governmental agencies (i.e. Monterey County Health Department, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, Department of Alcohol & Beverage Control, etc.).
Q. How do I get zoning approval for a new business in Sand City?
A. Either call, stop by City Hall and speak with the Planning Department staff about your business. The Planner will be able to advise you as to whether the use is appropriate for a particular zoning district, what issues might be applicable, and what type of permit is necessary. Applications for zoning permits are available only at City Hall.
Q. What is a Conditional Use Permit?
A. A conditional use permit is a type of zoning permit that authorizes a specific land use at a specific property. These permits are issued at the discretion of the City Council, and can be denied if it is determined that a use would present detrimental impacts or is otherwise incompatible with surrounding land uses. Conditional use permits typically takes about 30-45 days to process; and are presented to the City Council as a public hearing item at one of the regularly scheduled City Council meetings. Applications requiring expanded environmental review or proposed uses with complex issues may require additional time to process. The business license application is available on the website.
Q. How do I get a business license?
A. Once you have received zoning approval from the City, you can submit the application for a business license and pay the appropriate fee. The license will then be processed and mailed to you upon completion.
Q. I already have a business license and zoning permit for my current location in Sand City, but I’m looking to move to a new location in the City. Is my license and permit good for the new site?
A. Zoning permits are site specific; meaning, if you relocate, you will need a new zoning permit. The business license, if fully paid for that fiscal year, is still good for the new location for the remainder of that fiscal year; but you will have to submit an application to change the address, so that City Hall can update its records and issue an updated license with the new address.
Building Safety and Inspection
Q. What types of permits are there?
A. The Building Department issues a variety of permits for different types of projects. These permits are as follows:
Q. When do I need a building permit?
A. • New building construction.
• To build a storage shed in excess of 120 square feet.
• To build a fence greater than 6-feet in height.
• To build a retaining wall greater than 3-feet
• Window framing changes.
• Re-Roofing any building.
• For any electrical work EXCEPT changing plugs and/or lights.
• To replace or install a water heater.
• To replace or install a gas, water or waste pipe.
• To install a spa or hot tub.
Q. How long will it take to review my construction plans (a.k.a. "Plan Check")?
A • Plan check review varies, depending upon the size and complexity of a project. The first review of construction
plans is typically completed within 21 working days, with subsequent reviews of plan corrections (a.k.a. "Back
Checks") taking approximately 10 working days.
Q. Who can take out a permit?
A • Only a building/property owner or a California State licensed contractor.
Q. Who else do I need to contact?
A. • For a new plumbing fixtures, contact Monterey Peninsula Water Management District at
831-658-5600. For new electrical service, contact PG&E at (831) 648-3231.
Q. Anything else?
A. • Even if you don’t need a building permit, you may still need Planning Department review
for exterior building changes or alterations to site layouts. Contact the Planning Department at (831)
Washing vehicles and discharges into the storm drain system.
Q. Can I wash my business vehicles at my business address in Sand City?
A. No. The City’s Municipal Code prohibits the washing of commercial vehicles where waste water enters into the storm drain system that discharges directly into any water body, such as the Monterey Bay.
Q. Why can’t I wash my vehicle(s)?
A. In response to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (a.k.a. “Clean Water Act”), Sand City adopted a Storm Water Management Ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 13.05) to reduce pollutants from entering the storm drain system and being discharged into the Monterey Bay. Runoff from washing motor vehicles typically contains detergents, solvents, and other human-made compounds that can detrimentally affect water quality. By prohibiting non-storm water discharges from entering the drainage system, the amount of pollutants into natural bodies of water is reduced.
Q. Can I wash my private car at my home’s driveway?
A. Yes. The code does not apply to individual residential car washing at a person’s home in Sand City.
Q. What discharges are not considered a violation of this City Code?
A. Water line flushing, landscape irrigation, diverted stream flows, rising ground water, uncontaminated ground water infiltration, uncontaminated pumped ground water, discharges from potable water sources foundation drains, springs, water from crawl space pumps, footing drains, lawn watering, individual residential car washing, de-chlorinated swimming pool discharges, and flows from fire fighting activities. (City Code Section 13.05.060.C)
Q. Can my organization hold a non-profit car wash fund raiser in Sand City?
A. Maybe. The storm water collection system at the Sand Dollar and Edgewater shopping centers have on-site percolation systems that do not discharge into the Bay; so these sites are compliant with the Ordinance for this type of activity. However, you MUST first obtain approval from the shopping center’s manager and nearby stores before conducting such an event, as these shopping centers are private property.