Zoning Variance

Each zoning classification requires development standards such as building setbacks, minimum lot areas, and parking requirements. Upon occasion there are situations when the strict application of the zoning ordinance is inappropriate because the property cannot physically meet the requirements. Some of these physical restrictions may include the size, shape or topography of the property. The variance procedure is intended to provide some flexibility in zoning requirements to allow development of unusual properties. Pursuant to State law, certain findings must be made and the Variance procedure cannot be used to allow a land use which is not authorized by the applicable zoning classification


  1. Pre-Application Meeting(s): A meeting with the Planning Division is strongly encouraged PRIOR to submitting an application. Such a meeting will help provide information in terms of requirements, standards, and fees and will help in preparing the application.
  1. Development Review Committee (DRC): The DRC is an advisory committee composed of City Staff and other agencies which review projects for compliance with existing code and standards. The DRC does not have formal decision making authority. Prior to public hearing, a DRC meeting is scheduled. After the DRC meeting, the applicant will be advised of conditions of approval and the City Staff's recommendation on your application. There is an opportunity at this stage of the process to discuss areas of concern or differences and resolve them prior to Planning Commission and City Council Action.
  1. Planning Commission: A public hearing before the Planning Commission is required for Variance applications. The Planning Commission may approve the request if they determine that there are compelling physical constraints which affect the ability of the property to meet the zoning requirements. The decision of the Planning Commission is final unless appealed to the City Council.

To ensure that applicants have gathered all necessary documents and information, a list of all Zone Variance Requirements and a Zone Variance Application (PDF) have been created.

Prior to submitting a Zone Variance Application, please contact the Planning Division at (626) 569-2140, or visit the office, located at Rosemead City Hall, 88338 E. Valley Blvd. The Planning Division counter hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.