Planning & Building Department Expenditures

General Fund Department 01-2115

Planning and Building Department Mission Statement

"The mission of the Planning and Building Department is to provide professional and equitable administration of the State of California and Town of Yountville's codes and policies while fostering creative and diverse design and uses for an exceptional, safe, and quality-designed livable built environment."

Department Overview

The Planning & Building Department is responsible for guiding the physical growth and development of the community. Building staff reviews building permit applications for compliance with State and local building codes (structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and energy efficiency) and provides plan check and inspection services for all new construction activity. Planning staff provides information on land use, zoning and site development standards and reviews land use and design review applications for consistency with the Town’s General Plan and Zoning regulations. Planning staff is also responsible for various regulatory and policy programs, including administration of the Town’s General Plan, State compliance reporting, rental registration permitting, Use Permit compliance monitoring, and employee parking monitoring. Both building and planning staff are responsible for investigating complaints concerning possible violations of the Town’s building and zoning code regulations.

The Department is currently staffed with three full-time planning positions and one part-time building position. Planning positions include the Director of Planning & Building (Department Head) and two Associate/Assistant Planners. Historically the Department has been staffed with one Planning Manager and one Associate/Assistant Planner level position, however the Planning Manager position is currently under-filled at the Associate/Assistant Planner position level. The part-time building position is provided under contracted consultant services. Code compliance responsibilities are supplemented with a shared code compliance position in the Town Manager’s office. Administrative duties are supported by a shared, part-time Accounting Assistant with the Finance Department.

Fiscal Year 2022/2023 Accomplishments

  • Successfully completed transitions in key Department leadership positions (Planning & Building Director and contract Building Official).
  • Implemented online permit submittal systems for building permit applications and rental registration permits.
  • Successfully completed a State-mandated update to the Housing Element of the Town’s General Plan.
  • Successfully completed an update to the Town’s Building Code.
  • Successfully completed updates to the Town’s Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations to implement changes in State law.
  • Investigated over 65 complaints of violations of the Town’s building and zoning codes.
  • Processed 12 land use permit applications.
  • Registered over 140 rental properties comprising 385 rental units.

Fiscal Year 2023/2024 Goals and Objectives

  • Certification of Housing Element.
  • Implementation of Housing Element Programs and Policies and as part of this implementation process work with standing committee of Council to analysis the Housing Element Programs and Policies.
  • Continue conversations with various partners to enhance affordable housing opportunities within the town limits.
  • Encourage workforce rentals with the adoption of a grant deed restricted units, senior and workforce share program, and others.
  • Development of written internal Planning policies and procedures.
  • Update the Safety Element.
  • Review and update the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance as necessary.
  • Work towards changing the ZDRB to a Planning Commission regulatory body.
  • Initiate a comprehensive review of the Sign Ordinance in coordination with the industry and the Chamber of Commerce, and the ZDRB.
  • Continue to scan additional Planning and Building Department paper files to make them available to the public via user-friendly public website portal.
  • Continue to expand the online building permit programs with a goal to include all land use/planning related permits managed online.
  • Review and analyze the Solar App+ software program to determine if appropriate for Yountville and if appropriate implement the APP for use by the staff and public.
  • Revise the recommended tree list to include only drought tolerant trees.

Budget Highlights

  • $113,500 budgeted for provision of contract building inspection and plan check services which reflects a decrease of $31,500 from the prior year.
  • $60,000 is budgeted in Contract Services for legal assistance from the Town Attorney for items including development project legalities, Municipal Code amendments, and code compliance.
    • Contract Services budget is reduced by $54,000 mostly because it does not include prior year consulting costs for Housing Element Update.
  • $60,000 is budgeted for on-call specialty consultants to service needs for arborists, (historical) architects, and environmental consultants (CEQA).
  • $7,500 is budgeted for implementation of web-based rental compliance monitoring and reporting system.

Did You Know?

  • There are 482 cities in the State of California. In terms of population, Yountville is the State's 447th smallest city.
  • The Town’s population dropped by 113 people from 2,942 in 2021 to 2,829 in 2022 (California Department of Finance).
  • The average home value in Yountville is $1,252,500, up 6.7% over the past year.
  • 63% of households in Yountville are owner-occupied and 37% are renter occupied.
  • The valuation of current building permits for new construction is about $850 per square foot for moderate construction improvements and up to $1,200 per square foot for higher end improvements and some commercial construction improvements.
  • The Town’s Employee Parking Management Program includes 15 businesses, with 618 enrolled employees.
  • The Town’s pedestrian Wayfinding Sign Program includes 18 participating businesses covering 172 signs.

Department Expenditures

Program Revenues

*Special Event Permit revenue moved from the Parks & Recreation department to the Planning & Building department in Fiscal Year 2023/2024.

Full-Time Staff Allocations

*Planning Manager position currently under-filled by Associate/Assistant Planner position.

Performance Measures

The Town of Yountville considers it crucial to measure how individual department activity ties into the overall Town Strategic Plan. The Planning Department focuses on two of the Town's Strategic Plan Critical Success Factors: