Citizen Group AVPORT to deliver petition to County Board of Supervisors

ANZA – The Board of Supervisors of Riverside County will receive a petition on Friday, March 15, calling for changes to some county building codes for residents of Anza, Aguanga, and the surrounding rural areas.

With over 250 signatures of local residents, the petition, drafted by local citizen’s group AVPORT (Anza Valley Property Owner’s Rights Team), seeks to change certain county rules that put an undue burden on rural land owners.

AVPORT reviewed an array of recent Code Enforcement actions against property owners since their founding last summer, and now believes that many cases resulting in hefty fines and added worries for taxpayers already feeling the economic pinch were blown out of proportion, or could have been avoided altogether.

Mike Machado, spokesman for the grass roots group, says, “The county codes should be more in line with rural zoning. Right now we are expected to live up to codes designed for densely populated non-farm areas.”

The petition covers five specific sections of the code, and has been published for review by all residents of the greater Anza Valley with minimal objections. AVPORT believes that the County Supervisors will take seriously the call to action of the people.

AVPORT was formed on September 8, 2012, with the mission of helping local residents alleviate problems with Riverside County Code Enforcement and the escalation in general of cases being filed against owners.

Last year, District 3 Supervisor Jeff Stone promised an “amnesty” program for open cases, but AVPORT believes the program did not live up to its title. This came after a shuffling of personnel in the department after complaints of abuses of authority, and promises to change some procedures, such as the investigations of “anonymous” complaints. However, the plan fell deficient of offering any kind of actual amnesty.

“While there are some legitimate issues, the majority of cases against property owners went against legitimate land-use expectations of a rural area with ranches and farms. We feel that the changes put forth in this petition address these issues in a practical and reasonable manner,” said Machado.

He also suggests that neighbors work out problems on their own, and only use Code Enforcement as a last resort.

AVPORT seeks to help others in the community who have been contacted by Code Enforcement, and will review individual cases for legitimacy. They can be reached at (951) 389-4884, or by email anza.avport@gmail.com.

Riverside County Ordinance 457

General Amendment

Definition: The square footage of any structure regardless of use shall be determined by the useable space of the structure’s interior. The term habitable space or living space shall be determined in a like manner except that interior walls shall be included.

Impact: Provides a clear definition of square footage for permitted structures, so as to define square footage fee’s in a uniform and consistent manner makes clear the structure size for structures exempt from permit.

As amended 1/6/2013

Riverside County Ordinance 348

General Provision

The R-R Zone – Recreational Vehicles

The keeping and occupancy of a recreational vehicle shall be permitted by the Owner and/or Agent of the Owner provided a temporary use permit has been obtained.

Intent: To provide for the temporary use of a bona-fide RV for occupancy upon owner’s own property where a demonstration of compliance to a Public Safety standard has been sustained. Said permit can include the installation and operation of specific utilities for agriculture uses and/or security purposes where on site habitation is required during a specific period.

Impact: Limited to the R-R zone and the agricultural zones where the lot size exceeds 2 acres and/or when a residence already exists. It cannot be used as a rental or for any permanent residential purpose. Desired to help property owners provide security for their property, temporary use by siblings, aging parents or on-site workers engaged in an agricultural operation. Includes temporary use for recreation and camping not exceeding 11 calendar months of continual occupancy. Cost of annual permit to be determined.

As amended 1/6/2013

Riverside County Ordinance 348

Section 18.50

Shipping Containers and Storage Boxes

Proposed Amendment: Section B, Article 4-A: The minimum lot size shall be changed from 5 acres to 2.5 acres.

Section B, Article 4-B: The number of containers shall be changed from 1 container to 2 containers.

Section C, exceptions: The R-R Zone shall be included as exempt as like to the A-P, A-Z, or A-D zones on parcels of 5 acres or more. A single shipping container or metal storage box of a sized not greater than 320 sq. ft. may be permitted on acreage of one-half acre to 2.5 acres.

Impact: Allows as a matter of right the use and keeping of metal shipping containers and like structures to twice the density as currently allowed. Allows the minimum lot size to be smaller and exempts lot sizes or greater in the R-R zone. Allows greater flexibility to Anza residents in allowing inexpensive storage capability. All other conditions under Section 18.50 shall apply.

As amended 1/6/2013

Riverside County Ordinance 457

General Provision

Special Use Permit

Not withstanding any other provision of the Ordinance, a special use permit may be issued on any structure of any construction, particularly structures built prior to the permitting process, residential or temporary structures and/or noncompliant structures for habitability or not which can meet the basic standard of public safety as determined and recognized by the State of California pursuant to the Health and Safety Code of which an application has been made, a fee paid, and an annual permit issued.

This permit is not transferable to a new owner or to anyone not the owner of said property and does not apply to owners building without a permit after 1995 in the construction of a residence or engineered structure or commercial structure and/or any construction outside the R-R zone, the AP zone or any agricultural zone. Said special use permit is restricted to an existing structure or modification thereof where no other method of compliance is practical, affordable or reasonable or when enforcement of unlawful construction would result in homelessness of the occupant or owner and/or when abatement would have a financial impact upon the owner, beyond the owners ability to comply, causing an unreasonable financial hardship.

Impact: Means that unpermitted structures of any type might be conditionally permitted to prevent homelessness and poverty. This provision requires a Public Safety component and a hold harmless agreement to indemnify the County of Riverside. This would allow the permitting process to recognize any and all structures of which no permit was required and/or when no permits can be found. Provides a first step in the permitting process for eventual compliance and/or temporary use renewable annually. Cost of permit and inspection to be determined. Requires basic inspection to insure the Public Safety.

As amended 1/6/2013

Riverside County Ordinance 457

General Amendment

Definition: The square footage of any structure regardless of use shall be determined by the useable space of the structure’s interior. The term habitable space or living space shall be determined in a like manner except that interior walls shall be included.

Impact: Provides a clear definition of square footage for permitted structures, so as to define square footage fees in a uniform and consistent manner makes clear the structure size for structures exempt from permit.

As amended 1/6/2013

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