Code change aimed at streamlining business approval process

Claremont officials are looking to change the way the city does business, at least in terms of the city’s review and approval process.

A series of major changes to Claremont’s municipal code will be heading in for commission and council review next month. Among them is a proposed change to simplify the new business review process.

The proposal, which was given a preliminary review by the Planning Commission earlier this month, recommends the city no longer mandate a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), requiring commission approval, for businesses deemed to have “few, if any, impacts” or generally viewed as “noncontroversial.”

These include establishments such as dancing studios or tutoring centers. Businesses such as these would now only require a “Special Use and Development Permit” (SUDP). Under this type of license, such businesses would still be subject to zoning requirements, but would be able to receive approval at the city staff level without the need for a commission review. Brian Desatnik, director of community development, hopes this translates to time savings across the board.

“This will streamline the process, while still protecting the city’s interest,” Mr. Desatnik said. “The same kind of conditions will still be in place without having to go to commission review with not a whole lot to talk about.”

In addition to the switch from CUP to SUDP, city staff is recommending the introduction of a “Not Permitted in the Commercial Freeway Zone” designation. This change was deemed necessary in order to be consistent with regulations under the city’s General Plan, which states that the city’s Commercial Freeway Zone is for those businesses “oriented toward the regional market and benefiting from high visibility, including automobile sales and ancillary uses, supermarkets, hotels, larger retailers, restaurants and drive-through restaurants.” Non sales-tax generating businesses, like insurance companies, will now be included under the “Not Permitted in the Commercial Freeway Zone” classification.

The COURIER will continue to publish updates on the proposed code changes as more information becomes available.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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