Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning


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Created On:
Dec 02, 2008
Last Updated:
Feb 25, 2019
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How-To, FAQ,

Conditional Use Permit (CUP) FAQ

Why does my project require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)? What are CUPs?

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required for certain land uses which may need special conditions to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. These uses are specified under “Uses Subject to Permits” in the zones or specified in a Community Standards District (CSD). To be approved, a CUP must be consistent with the existing adopted General Plan, including local area and community plans, which reflect the County’s policy regarding land use, and the Los Angeles County Code Title 22 Planning and Zoning.

Major issues involved with the evaluation of CUP requests include consistency with the General Plan; compatibility with surrounding land uses; conditions to ensure compatibility; land suitability and physical constraints; project design; availability of adequate access, public services, and facilities to serve the development; and potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures.

To apply for a CUP, please follow the instructions on the Zoning Permit application (PDF or Word) for submittal. Along with the items listed on that application checklist, you will have to submit a CUP Findings. Please refer to the fee schedule for the cost of a particular application submittal. Note that all discretionary applications requiring a public hearing, except Subdivision applications or in conjunction with Subdivision applications, are currently taking approximately 1 year to process. Applications which involve a subdivision are currently taking a minimum of 2-3 years to complete. Please contact the public counter for more information or assistance.

What happens after I submit my CUP application?

The application is reviewed within 30 days. You will be notified, in writing, of any required or advised corrections. Once the application is deemed “complete,” it is ready for assignment to a case planner for evaluation. Please see the application process flowchart (PDF or Word).

How much time should I allow to process my CUP application?

Generally, a CUP application takes 10 to 12 months to process.

What happens at the public hearing?

Planning staff and the applicant will make presentations to the Hearing Officer, Regional Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors. The hearing is opened to the public for comments and questions. The Hearing Officer, Regional Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors may choose to continue the hearing, to deny or approve the application.

What is the Burden of Proof?

A requirement of the zoning ordinance; an obligation of the applicant to establish that project satisfies the required criteria, as provided by the zoning ordinance.

My CUP application is only for my business. Why do I need to include information regarding all tenants and uses located on the property?

All existing and proposed uses and structures located on the same parcel are evaluated.

With whom should I consult before submitting my application?

You are advised to consult with planning staff before you submit your application. You should also consider consulting with neighbors, community organizations or the town council.

What conditions might be required to approve my application?

Some examples include parking and access, landscaping, building size and placement, architectural style, signage, hours of operation, or other conditions as deemed necessary.

Some examples include parking and access, landscaping, building size and placement, architectural style, signage, hours of operation, or other conditions as deemed necessary.

No, CUPs are not always approved. The decision is determined by the Hearing Officer, Regional Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors.

Do I need to be present at the public hearing?

Yes, the applicant or a representative must be present at the public hearing.

How do I appeal the determination?

To appeal the Hearing Officer’s determination, contact the Regional Planning Commission secretary at 213-974-6409. To appeal the Regional Planning Commission’s determination, contact the Board of Supervisors’ Executive Office at 213-974-1426.

Do I need a new CUP if the use changes?

Yes, a change of use requires a CUP modification or a new CUP.

If I purchase the adjacent lot, will my existing CUP cover the additional property?

No, an approved CUP covers only the project described in the authorized approval.

Can I operate my business before my CUP is approved?

No, if required you must have an approved CUP before you establish or operate your business. Operating your business without an authorized CUP is in violation of the County’s zoning ordinance.

My CUP expires soon. What should I do?

At least six months prior to the expiration date, file an application for a new CUP to continue the use.

Is a CUP required for a wireless telecommunication facility located on private property on in the public right-of-way?

Yes, a CUP is required to establish a wireless telecommunication facility on private property or within the public right-of-way.

Can I hire a consultant to act at my agent?

Yes, you may hire a consultant to act on your behalf to process your application.

Who is the assigned case planner for my CUP application?

Call Zoning Permits at 213-974-6443 and speak with the “Planner of the Day.”

What is the status of my CUP application?

Call Zoning Permits at 213-974-6443 and speak with the “Planner of the Day.”

What is the Initial Study?

The Initial Study is an evaluation process to determine if your project may have a significant impact on the environment.

Does my project require an environmental review (Initial Study)?

Generally, a CUP requires an environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). However, your project may be exempted if it meets certain CEQA criteria. When you file the application, Regional Planning staff will determine if your project is exempt.

The Assessor’s Parcel Map (APN) indicates a dashed-line parcel. Do I need a Certificate of Compliance (COC)?

In most cases, yes. Contact Land Divisions Research & Enforcement at 213-974-6458 with questions. Additional FAQs can be found under the heading “Certificate of Compliance”.

What is an SEA - CUP?

The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for development in an SEA will contain conditions that are specific to the proposed development in that SEA.
For more information on resources and locations of SEAs, click here

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Department of Regional Planning
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T: (213) 974-6411 . F: (213) 626-0434
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