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Development Opportunity Initiative

Development Opportunity Initiative


Lake County’s Development Opportunity Initiative is designed to spur local economic investment and encourage local job creation.

This multipronged economic development initiative includes a temporary waiver of planning fees and deferral of water and wastewater capacity expansion fees; proactive initiation of the entitlement process for specific properties, making them “shovel-ready” for development; and a range of improvements to Lake County’s permitting process including a shift to a “single point of contact” approach that will enable planning staff members to provide one-on-one guidance to businesses all the way through the process to help minimize delays.

This initiative applies only to economic development projects/properties within the unincorporated areas of Lake County.

Fee Waiver and Deferral Policy – effective through December 31, 2012

The temporary Fee Waiver and Deferral Policy for Economic Development Projects is designed to help stimulate investment in the local economy through upfront cost-savings to developers of specific types of projects.

Economic development projects are defined as commercial projects, industrial projects, and major residential projects (greater than 10 units) that will create or retain jobs and/or increase the County’s property tax base and sales tax receipts.

Note: Specific benefits to the County must be met, including a combination of job creation and/or retention, use of local vendors, local hiring during project development, and development of main lines in areas considered to be in-fill development. Refer to the policy for details.

Planning Fee Waiver

A range of planning fees may be waived, including fees related to general plan amendments, rezones, general plans of development, major use permits, minor use permits, initial studies, etc.

Amount of waiver: up to 100 percent of fees related to in-fill projects; up to 50 percent of fees related to projects that are not considered in-fill.

Refer to the policy for specific criteria for projects to qualify as in-fill projects.

Water/Wastewater Capacity Expansion Fee Deferral

All or a portion of water capacity expansion fees and/or wastewater capacity expansion fees may be deferred for up to two years. To qualify for the deferred payment plan, the project must be completed within one year of receiving the building permit and must meet other special conditions.

Permitting Process Improvements

This initiative includes improvements to the permitting process for economic development projects.

Planning staff in Lake County’s Community Development Department now provide a “single point of contact” approach that allows for an assigned planner to work closely with an individual business/developer throughout the entire permitting/entitlement process to help minimize delays and identify solutions.

In addition, planning staff now are available for direct consultation during the preliminary project concept stage and will coordinate a project site visit with the developer and associated permitting agencies once the application is made.

Shovel-Ready Projects

This initiative also includes creating “shovel-ready” project sites to attract potential investors. County staff will work with the owners of properties that meet specific criteria to initiate the process of pre-entitling those properties with permits for certain types of development/uses. The uses will be consistent with the County’s General Plan, and the process will include completion of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act).

Extension for Vesting of Entitlements

On October 25, 2011, the Lake County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary two-year time extension to the current time period allowed for properties to vest their land-use entitlements (e.g., use permits, general and specific plans of development, variances, design review permits).


More Information

For questions about this initiative, contact the Lake County Marketing and Economic Development Program, a division of the Lake County Administrative Office, at (707) 263-2580.

For questions regarding planning fees and in-fill criteria, contact the Lake County Community Development Department.

For questions regarding capacity-expansion fees and deferral payments, contact Lake County Special Districts.