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Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

Mission Statement
The mission of the Los Banos Community & Economic Development Department is to guide the physical development of the City in a manner that will foster positive social and economic growth, which is consistent with the goals of the General Plan and build a stronger community by planning, promoting, and facilitating economic development; increasing, improving, and preserving existing jobs and creating new ones; working to implement the City’s General Plan; and – to as great a degree as possible – working with owners and tenants to increase entrepreneurial opportunity and property values in the community.

The purpose of the City’s Community & Economic Development Department is to anticipate and provide for the orderly development of land within and around the City of Los Banos. Zoning implements planning and can be defined as the division of a land area (i.e. a city) into districts which specifies categories of use and parameters for development.

Specifically, the City of Los Banos is divided into various commercial and residential zoning districts. The zoning code defines which activities or uses are permitted in which zones and provides general development guidelines. For example, the zoning code identifies a single family residence as a permitted use in the R-1 (Low Density Residential) zoning district and specifies setbacks from property lines and the maximum height allowance.

If you are planning to open a commercial business, the zoning code will tell you if your business is permitted in the location and zone you have chosen. A Planner can help you determine whether or not your business is allowed in a specific area and whether any proposed changes or additions to the site or building will require additional parking spaces or other types of improvements. If you are planning new development, you will need to work closely with the Community & Economic Development Department throughout the development process. Call (209) 827-7000 ext. 2432 to speak to a Planner for more information.

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Submittal Requirements


It is recommended that all parties intending to fill out an application contact the Community & Economic Development Department prior to doing so to have a brief preliminary review with a Planner.

All applications can be typed but signatures must be original and fees must be included; no electronic submittals will be accepted. Please note that the fee schedule is attached to the Cost Recovery Contract.
To be submitted with ALL applications:

Annexation Submittal Requirements:

Area Plan Submittal Requirements:

Final Development Plan Submittal Requirements:

Lot Line Adjustment Submittal Requirements:

Master Signage Plan Submittal Requirements:
Master Signage Plans must be submitted with Site Plan Submittal

Parcel Map/Minor Subdivision Submittal Requirements:

Parcel Merger Submittal Requirements:

Prezone/Rezone/General Plan Amendment Submittal Requirements:

Reclassification to Planned Development Submittal Requirements:

Sign Review Submittal Requirements:

Site Plan Review Submittal Requirements:

Special Event Permit Submittal Requirements:

Temporary Use Permit Submittal Requirements:

Tentative & Vesting Tentative Subdivision Map Submittal Requirements:

Use Permit Submittal Requirements:

Variance Submittal Requirements:


Community & Economic Development Contacts


To contact the Community & Economic Development Department by phone:
(209) 827-7000 ext. 2433

Community & Economic Development Department:


City Hall
520 J Street
Los Banos, CA 93635

To contact us via e-mail:

Stacy Souza Elms
Community & Economic Development Director

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Housing Element Update


A Housing Element is one of the seven required elements of the General Plan. The Housing Element is also the only document that is standalone. The Housing Element includes a needs assessment, an analysis of opportunities and constraints, a review of past performance, a zoning classification for emergency homeless shelters or special needs housing and finally a policy program to implement. The Housing Element will be in effect from 2009 through 2014.

City of Los Banos Housing Element 2014-2023

General Plan Update 2040


Now is an exciting time for the City of Los Banos as the City embarks upon a targeted update to its 2009 General Plan, to help guide development and conservation in the city over the next 20 years. Specifically, the City is undertaking a comprehensive update to the major policy documents that guide the city’s economic and physical growth as well as preservation of natural and agricultural resources. While the 2009 General Plan is not quite yet 10 years old, those years have seen significant economic, political, and technological changes, with more on the horizon. The General Plan Update 2040 will position Los Banos to respond to those changes and gear up for the future.

The General Plan Update 2040 will focus on the City’s most important issues: economic development, growth management, Downtown, agricultural mitigation, and water supply. In addition, the General Plan will fulfill recent State required updates that have been enacted since the last update.

Click the link below to find out more about this exciting update.

City of Los Banos General Plan Update 2040

Community & Economic Development Documents


City of Los Banos Community Design Standards (28.2 MB)

Rail Trail Corridor Regulating Code (10.7 MB)

*Pending LAFCO Approval

Oct 20, 2010 Zoning Ordinance and Map

Ordinance No. 1095 (5.88 MB)

Zoning Map Oct 20, 2010 (634 KB)

Zoning Districts


Zoning is the division of the City into districts and the application of different regulations in each district. According to Section 9-3.302 of the Los Banos Municipal Code, no person shall use any land, building, or structure, nor shall any building or structure be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, moved, or used, in any district shown on the zoning map, except in accordance with the provisions pertaining to each zoning district. The following is a list of the several districts into which the City is divided and the provisions associated with each district:


Zoning Map Oct 20, 2010

Industrial Park


There are more than 800 acres within the City limits zoned for light to heavy industry; over 40 percent is vacant and available in parcels ranging in size from 1 to 200 acres. Included in this area are two industrial parks, one on the northwest side of the community, the second, approximately 250 acres is zoned for Highway Commercial (HC) and light industrial uses. The terrain is flat. Drainage is good. Subsoil is clay loam, and piling is not required. Sizes of water mains range from 4 to 12 inches. Sizes of sewer lines range from 6 to 24 inches.

The G Street Industrial Park, home of Kagome Foods, offers many condominium style offices still available to the public, as well as a 23,000 sq. ft. building formerly housed by Fisher Laboratories.


Los Banos Street Index




The Community & Economic Development Department consists of the Planning and Economic Development divisions. The Department is located at Los Banos City Hall at 520 J Street in Los Banos. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Zone changes and General Plan amendments require Planning Commission review and the approval of the City Council. Zone changes require a General Plan amendment if the proposed zoning district is not consistent with the General Plan.
Accessory structures less than 120 square feet or seven feet in height are allowed in the required side or rear setback within five feet of a property line. A structure of this size is allowed without any zoning approvals or a building permit. Any accessory structure in excess of 120 square feet, up to 12 feet in height will be subject to the requirements set forth by Section 18.56.010B of the zoning ordinance.
First, determine the zoning district your property is located by checking the City’s zoning map or calling the Community & Economic Development Department at (209) 827-7000 ext. 2432. Then, look up the permitted uses for your zoning district. If your use is not listed in the permitted use section, check the conditional use section to determine if your use requires a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Some general uses that typically require a CUP includes drive-through restaurants, gas stations, childcare facilities, and educational facilities.
All business identification signs (new or replacement signs) must be reviewed and approved by the Community & Economic Development Department and obtain a building permit prior to installation. Most multi-tenant and business park areas have Uniform Sign Programs that the sign needs to conform to. All signs must conform to the Sign Code (Chapter 18.76 of the Municipal Code).
Please refer to Chapter 18.50, Off-Street Parking And Paving Standards of the zoning ordinance
The term setback means the required distance separating a building or structure from a property line. Setback regulations for buildings are included in the Zoning Ordinance under Title 18. Setbacks regulations for accessory structures are included in the Zoning Ordinance under Chapter 18.56 Title 18
Some parcels have flood zone designations as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that require certain development standards that are established in the municipal code. A parcel’s flood zone designation predicts the likelihood of the parcel enduring flood damage over 100 to 500 year periods. The Planning Division and our Public Works Engineering Division can provide flood zone information to interested property owners. For more general information about flood zones and flood insurance, you can contact the National Flood Insurance Program at (800) 638-6620.
In rare cases, property owners can be granted an exception from a development standard, such as setback requirements or coverage limitations. A variance can only be granted for relief from a particular development standard; a variance can never be granted to allow land uses prohibited by the property’s zone classification.Minor exceptions to building setbacks and height limits may be approved by the Community & Economic Development Director. Please refer to Chapter 18.57 of the Zoning Ordinance to determine if a minor exception is possible.