What are development codes and specific plans?

The City of Ventura has four special districts that are either Specific Plans or Development Codes, which follow “form-based code” instead of conventional zoning. Form-based codes are special rules and regulations that focus on how a community or specific area can develop. Essentially, form-based codes are rules and guidelines that steer how buildings and neighborhoods should look and function. Unlike traditional zoning, which focuses primarily on the separation of land uses (i.e. residential, commercial, and industrial), form-based code puts emphasis on the physical characteristics and appearances of buildings and streetscapes. 

These areas have their own specific zoning codes, which are more thoroughly explained in their respective Specific Plan or Development Code 

There are four areas with special plans and specific plans:

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1. How do I submit a Planning Application?
2. What are development codes and specific plans?
3. How can I view files associated with my property or a planning project?
4. What uses are allowed on my property and what can I build?
5. Can I build an ADU on my property and where do I start?
6. How do I get planning approval to receive my business license?
7. How do I know if my property is historic?