Sequoia Park. | Image Courtesy City of Eureka.


From the City of Eureka’s Development Services Department:

Welcome to the 14th (and final) installment of our fourteen part series “Get to Know a Zone District.”  In this series, a staff-member in the Planning Division answers questions about each Zoning District in the City. This month we will be exploring one of our most puzzling zones: P.

  • What is P? What does it stand for?

“P” stands for “Public”.

  • What’s it for?

Land zoned P, for public facilities.

Well, interestingly enough, it’s really just for public facilities. While P zones sometimes include privately owned facilities (such as hospitals and railroads), most P zones contain public facilities owned by a government entity. Public facilities are things like parks, golf courses, schools, airports, cemeteries, power stations, corporation yards, jails, reservoirs, and wastewater treatment plants.

  • The first part of that list is pretty vanilla but the last part makes me feel uncomfortable. I would live next to a cemetery but I wouldn’t want to live next to a wastewater treatment plant!

I think most Eurekans would share your concerns. That’s why all of the uses are conditionally permitted (and not principally permitted).

  • What does that mean again?

A conditionally permitted use is one that requires a Conditional Use Permit. To get a Conditional Use Permit you have to submit an application, pay a fee, and attend a Planning Commission meeting. At the Planning Commission meeting, your proposal will be reviewed and additional regulations (known as “conditions”) can be added. In extreme cases your project can be denied outright. A principally permitted use is one where you get to skip all that. A principally permitted use is one that can be done “by right”.

  • That’s good to hear. So if it’s for a City-owned facility on City-owned property, the City has to apply for a permit for itself?


  • What happens to the fee that you have to pay to apply?

We don’t charge ourselves a fee.

  • Figures. 

Yeah…I mean, yeah. The real idea is that the public gets to have a chance to say what they think about the project. Otherwise, facilities would just appear and people would be unhappy.

  • So it sounds like this is the last of the series.

That’s correct. I hope that you can put all this good scoop to use. And remember, always call the City yourself if you’re thinking of buying property or building anything. It doesn’t cost anything to ask us questions and it could save you a lot of hassle/money down the road.

  • I’d really like to look at the City’s zoning map.

No prob. Click here.

  • Where can I get more information about this and other zoning stuff?

The Development Services Department (and Planning Division) is open Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm (closed from noon-1:00) at City Hall. Stop by or call 441-4160 to speak with a planner.