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A. Authority. The Director has the authority to interpret any provision of this Code. Whenever the Director determines that the meaning or applicability of a provision is subject to interpretation, the Director may issue a written interpretation. The Director may also refer an issue of interpretation to the Commission for their determination.

B. Application of Code requirements.

1. Continuation of an existing land use. An existing land use within the Transect Zones is lawful and not in violation of this Code only when operated and maintained in compliance with all applicable provisions of this Code, except as may otherwise be provided by Article 25 of the Implementing Zoning Ordinance (Nonconforming Uses). However, the requirements of this Code are not retroactive in their effect on a land use that was lawfully established before the effective date of this Code or any applicable amendment.

2. Effect of changes on projects in progress.

a. An application for a Zoning Permit, Site Plan and Architectural Review, Minor Use Permit, Conditional Use Permit, or Variance that has been accepted by the Department as complete prior to the effective date of this Code or any amendment shall be processed in compliance with the requirements in effect when the application was accepted as complete.

b. A project that is under construction on the effective date of this Code or any amendment, need not be changed to satisfy any new or different requirements of this Code, provided that the approved use of the site shall be established, including the completion of all structures and other features of the project as shown on the approved permit, before the expiration of the permit, or applicable time extension.

3. Minimum requirements. The provisions of this Code shall be minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare. When this Code provides for discretion on the part of a City official or body, that discretion may be exercised to impose more stringent requirements than set forth in this Code, as may be determined by the review authority to be necessary to promote orderly land use and development, environmental resource protection, and the other purposes of this Code.

C. Language. When used in this Code, the words “shall,” “must,” “will,” “is to,” and “are to” are always mandatory. “Should” is not mandatory but is strongly recommended; and “may” is permissive. The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present. The singular number includes the plural number, and the plural the singular, unless the natural construction of the word indicates otherwise. The words “includes” and “including” shall mean “including but not limited to…“

D. Time limits. Whenever a number of days is specified in this Code, or in any permit, condition of approval, or notice provided in compliance with this Code, the number of days shall be construed as calendar days. A time limit shall extend to 5 p.m. on the following working day where the last of the specified number of days falls on a weekend or holiday.

E. Calculations - Rounding. Where provisions of this Code require calculations to determine applicable requirements, any fractional results of the calculations shall be rounded as provided by this Subsection.

1. Residential density, minimum lot area, number of lots, and parking requirements. The fractional/decimal results of calculations of the number of dwelling units allowed on a parcel based on maximum density requirements, and the number of parcels allowed through subdivision based on a minimum lot area requirement, shall be rounded down to the next lowest whole number.

2. All other calculations. For all calculations required by this Zoning Code other than those described in Subsection E.1 above, the fractional/decimal results of calculations shall be rounded to the next highest whole number when the fraction/decimal is 0.5 or more, and to the next lowest whole number when the fraction is less than 0.5.

F. Zone boundaries. If there is uncertainty about the location of any zone boundary shown on the Zoning Map, the precise location of the boundary shall be determined in compliance with Implementing Zoning Ordinance Section 3-200 (District Boundaries).

G. Allowable uses of land. A land use that is not listed in the table or is not shown in a particular zone is not allowed, except as follows.

1. Required findings. The Director may determine that a proposed use is similar and compatible to a listed use and may be allowed, only after first making all of the following findings:

a. The characteristics of, and activities associated with the proposed use are similar to one or more of the listed uses, and will not involve a greater intensity than the uses listed in the district;

b. The proposed use will be consistent with the purposes of the applicable zone;

c. The proposed use will be consistent with the General Plan and this Code;

d. The use will be compatible with the other uses allowed in the district; and

e. The proposed use is not listed as allowable in another zone.

A determination that a use qualifies as a “similar use” and the findings supporting the determination shall be in writing.

2. Applicable standards and permit requirements. When the Director finds that a proposed, but unlisted, use is similar to a listed use, the proposed use will be treated in the same manner as the listed use in terms of where it is allowed, what permits are required, and what other standards and requirements of this Code apply.

3. Referral for determination. The Director may refer the question of whether a proposed use qualifies as a similar and compatible use directly to the Commission for a determination at a public meeting.

4. Appeal. A determination of similar and compatible use may be appealed in compliance.

H. Warrants and Variances.

1. There shall be two types of deviation from the requirements of this Code: Warrants and Variances. Whether a deviation requires a Warrant or Variance shall be determined by the Director.

a. A Warrant is a ruling that would permit a practice that is not consistent with a specific provision of this Code but is justified by the provisions of the Intent at the beginning of this code. The Director shall have the authority to approve or disapprove administratively a request for a Warrant pursuant to process established by the Director.

b. A Variance is any ruling on a deviation other than a Warrant. Variances shall be granted in accordance with Section 24.050 (Variances) of the Zoning code.

2. The request for a Warrant or Variance shall not subject the entire application to public hearing, but only that portion necessary to rule on the specific issue requiring the relief.