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All businesses in Ventura require approval from the Planning Department through a zoning clearance form to obtain a business license. Please submit the form to [email protected].
A zoning clearance is not required for businesses brick and mortar businesses already established outside of the City but conducting business in the City. Examples include plumbers and contractors.
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All Planning Applications must be submitted through Ventura OPS. Please submit Planning Applications in the ‘Planning Application/Land Use Permit’ category. All applications and submittal requirements can be found on the City’s Planning Application Materials and Forms webpage.
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:
The City of Ventura is committed to digital transparency. The City utilizes OnBase, a specialized software product that allows for the scanning and storage of City documents, as well as easy access to those documents by City staff and the public. To use the Public Records Access Portal, please click here.
Please note that due to proprietary information, building plans are not available online. To view any building plans associated with your property, please visit Room 117, located on the 1st floor of City Hall at 501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA 93001.
To view files associated with a planning application that is currently being processed, please start with the City’s Development Map. You may also submit a Public Records Request.
Allowable land uses for each zone can be found in the City’s Municipal Code in Title 24 - Zoning Regulation, Division 2. Zoning Regulations. You can also find your zoning using the City of Ventura’s GIS map, please see the FAQ above for “What is my zoning” for more details. For a quick reference guide on the allowed uses for each zone, please refer to the Use Matrix.
If your property falls within a Specific Plan, such as the Downtown Specific Plan, or a specific Development Corridor, such as the Victoria Avenue Corridor, the allowable land uses for each Specific Plan can be found on the City’s Planning Documents webpage.
If your property is in a residential zone (e.g., R-1, R-2, R-3) or mixed-use zone that allows residential uses and/ or has an existing residential use on it, then you can build an ADU. For more information on ADUs, please refer to the City’s webpage on ADUs for general information. Please be advised that an update to the ADU ordinance is scheduled for Planning Commission review on September 27, 2023.
There are a number of reasons that a building or property could be considered "historic." The City has a list of designated landmarks available. The procedure for designating a landmark can also be reviewed.