Current Planning FAQs

Can I convert my garage into a room?

You may be allowed to convert your garage into a room provided the setbacks for your property are met. A Covenant and Agreement will be required to ensure the room will not be used as a dwelling unit. Also, contact the Building Safety Division at (310) 253-5800 for building permit requirements


Can I have a business at my residence?

Yes, but the home occupation must be accessory to and compatible with the residential characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood. Refer to Section 17.400.055 Home Occupations in the Zoning Code for operating standards and allowed and prohibited home occupations. Also, contact the Finance Department at (310) 253-5870 to obtain the required Business Tax Certificate.


Do I need a permit for signage?

Yes. Planning approval is required for permanent signs, temporary signs, or banners. Refer to Table 3-5 Sign Standards for Non-Residential Zoning Districts in the Zoning Code for sign types and standards. Also, contact the planning counter for appropriate sign permit applications, fees, and submittal requirements. Once Planning has approved your plans, contact the Building Safety Division at (310) 253-5800 for information on applying for a building permit.


Do I need a permit to have an event on my property?

Yes. For allowed events refer to Chapter 17.520 Temporary Use, Special Event, and Temporary Event Permits in the Zoning Code and contact the planning counter for additional requirements. You will also need to contact the Finance Division at (310) 253-5870 for the appropriate application and fees.

How high can my fence be?

Generally, a residential zoned property may have a wall or fence 4 feet high maximum in the front yard and a maximum of 6 feet in height in the side and rear yards. When within a safety sight line, the portion of the fence above 30 inches in height shall be of an open work design. For additional requirements and to view maximum wall or fence height for commercial zoned property refer to Table 3-2 Maximum Height of Fences, Hedges, and Walls in the Zoning Code. Also, contact the Planning counter for applicable fence permit applications and approval.


I'm interested in opening a business, where and how can I find information about a particular space?

If you have a specific address in mind, you can use Culver City's Property Search to get zoning and overlay information. Once you know the zone, you can utilize the zoning code to ensure that your desired use is allowed. You would then meet with planning staff to ensure that the specific use is in alignment with the code.


What are the setbacks and development standards for my property zoned residential?
For setback information and/or development standards including maximum height, lot coverage, maximum density, etc., refer to Chapter 17.210 Residential Zoning Districts in the Zoning Code or contact the planning counter.


What is a legal non-conforming property, what does this mean to me?

A legal non-conforming property is a property that was legally constructed, but does not conform to current code provisions and standards. This means that certain additions and modifications to the property will have to conform with the current zoning code. Example: Legal non-conforming garage with a 1 foot rear setback is being remodeled to a 2-story, 3 car garage. If this modification were to be approved, the new garage would have to meet current zoning code setbacks. Therefore, the 1 foot rear setback will not be allowed anymore.


What is the process to remodel my single family residence?

First, contact the planning counter before you submit your plans to the Building Safety Division. It is recommended that you visit the planning counter with preliminary site, floor, and elevation plans to discuss your proposal with the planner on duty. Once the planner on duty has confirmed your proposal meets the developments standards, contact the Building Safety Division at (310) 253-5800 for building permit submittal requirements. Your plans will be routed to the appropriate divisions for further review prior to the final decision.


What is the zoning designation for my property?

You can locate your property on the Culver City Zoning Map or call the planning counter at (310) 253-5725 with the property street address or the Assessors Parcel Number (APN).


What type of permit do I need to sell alcohol at my commercial establishment?

If your establishment is within 300 feet of residentially zoned property or an elementary/secondary school, an Administrative Use Permit is required. If you are more than 300 feet away, no use permit is required. Refer to Chapter 17.400.015 Alcoholic Beverage Sales for additional information and contact the planning counter at (310) 253-5725. Also, contact the State of California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at (213) 736-2005 for additional requirements.


Where are my property lines?

You must hire a professional land surveyor to determine the exact dimensions and location of your property lines.

Visit La County Assessor to view your property on a parcel map with approximate property line dimensions or visit the Planning Division to view city maps.

Why do I need a survey?

A survey is needed to understand and recognize property lines along with other parameters. Culver City requires a survey to be submitted with plans when additions are made to a legal non-conforming property.


What if I will be demolishing a residential unit but building new units? 

The Project shall provide at least as many residential dwelling units as the greatest number of residential dwelling units that existed on the Property within the past 5 years. In addition, there may be relocation benefits that are to be paid to the tenant or affordable unit requirements. For more information, please refer to the SB 8 and SB 330 FAQs  and the SB 330 and SB 8 Application or contact Housing Services.