Pasadena Municipal Code


17.36.010 Specific purposes.
In addition to the general purposes listed in Chapter 17.04, the specific purposes of the OS district are:
A. Provide a suitable classification for large public or private sites permanently designated for park or open space uses.
B. Protect public health and safety by limiting lands subject to flooding, slides, or other hazards to open space uses.
C. Allow the commission and the city council to consider the most appropriate use of a site following discontinuance of a large public or private open space use without the encumbrance of a base zoning district that may or may not provide appropriate regulations for future development of the site.
D. Ensure the protection of landmark, specimen and native trees to the extent set forth in Chapter 8.52 of this code (City Trees and Tree Protection Ordinance). (Ord. 6896 § 17, 2002; Ord. 6685 §§ 43, 45, 1996; Ord. 6096 § 2 (part), 1985)

17.36.020 Applicability.

The OS district is a base district for open space, park and recreational facilities of a landscaped, open character having a minimum contiguous site area of 2 acres. The land use regulations of Section 17.36.030 shall apply. The OS district does not apply within the CD district. Open space use classifications on sites of less than 2 acres shall be subject to the regulations of the base and overlay districts in which they are located. (Ord. 6096 § 2 (part), 1985)

17.36.030 Land use regulations.

In the land use regulations schedule contained in this chapter (OS District: Land Use Regulations), the letter "P" designates use classifications permitted in OS district; the letter "C" designates use classifications permitted subject to approval of a conditional use permit, the letter "E" designates use classifications permitted subject to approval of an expressive use permit, the letters "MC" designate use classifications permitted subject to approval of a minor conditional use permit and the letters "TC" designate use classifications permitted subject to approval of a temporary conditional use permit. When neither "P," "C," "E," "MC" or "TC" is shown for a use, or a use classification is not listed, this classification is not permitted. The letters "P/C" designate use classifications permitted on the site of a permitted use, but requiring a conditional use permit on the site of a conditional use. Letters in parentheses in the "Additional Regulations" column reference regulations following the schedule. (Ord. 6849 § 11 (Exh. 7), 2001; Ord. 6731 § 20 (Exh. 13), 1997; Ord. 6725 §§ 18, 19 (Exh. 4), 20, 1997; Ord. 6685 §§ 44, 46 (Exh. 13), 1996; Ord. 6652 § 42 (Exh. 14), 1995; Ord. 6616 §§ 12 (Exh. 5), 13, 14, 1994; Ord. 6407 §§ 15, 16, 1990; Ord. 6392 §§ 22, 23, 1990; Ord. 6381 §§ 3, 4, 1990; Ord. 6372 § 10, 1990; Ord. 6096 § 2 (part), 1985)



Use Classifications
Additional Use Regulations


Caretaker’s Quarters

Public and Semi-Public

Clubs and Lodges
Cultural Institutions
Maintenance and Service Facilities
Open Space

Park and Recreation Facilities

Public Safety Facilities

Utilities, Major

Utilities, Minor


Commercial Entertainment
Commercial Recreation

Recycling Centers

Small Collection Facility

Swap Meets


Accessory Uses

Accessory Antenna Array


Animal Shows
Circuses and Carnivals
Farmers’ Market
Filming, Long-Term

Filming, Short-Term


Nonconforming Uses, Structures and Signs




(A) Limited to one dwelling unit per site.
(B) Limited to facilities accessory to an open space. An accessory use shall not cover more than 5 percent of the open space area.
(C) See Chapter 17.76: Nonconforming Uses, Structures and Signs.
(D) See Chapter 17.64, Recycling centers.
(E) Horticultural or nursery uses are not permitted to replace a park, golf course or recreational use.
(F) Not used.
(G) Tents in the Arroyo Seco area of the Rose Bowl are exempt if the tent is associated with an event in the Rose Bowl and the tent will be erected for not more than 72 hours.
(H) Swap meets shall not result in the construction of permanent structures.
(I) See Chapter 17.88, Temporary conditional use permits.
(J) See Chapter 17.94: Expressive Use Permits.

17.36.040 Development standards.

Development standards shall be as specified by a conditional use permit; provided, that if the conditional use permit fails to regulate an element regulated by an abutting district, the regulations of the abutting district shall apply to each portion of an OS district. Prior to approval of the conditional use permit or master development plan, OS district properties shall be subject to the development standards of the most restrictive abutting base district. Developments consistent with an approved master plan as prescribed by Chapter 17.98 shall not be subject to conditional use permit review. City Construction projects shall meet the public art design standards of Chapter 17.78. No construction shall be permitted that results in the injury or removal of a landmark, native, or specimen tree as defined under Chapter 8.52 unless findings are made pursuant to Chapter 8.52.
The creation of a flag-lot shall not be allowed. (Ord. 6903 § 11, 2002; Ord. 6896 § 18, 2002; Ord. 6645 § 31, 1995: Ord. 6096 § 2 (part), 1985)

17.36.050 Master development plans.

The planning director may require public and semi-public and open space uses involving construction of 5,000 square feet of gross floor area or more to submit a master development plan, as provided in Chapter 17.98. (Ord. 6610 § 17, 1994: Ord. 6096 § 2 (part), 1985)

California State Government Code Sections 65560-65569

 (a) "Local open-space plan" is the open-space element of a
county or city general plan adopted by the board or council, either
as the local open-space plan or as the interim local open-space plan
adopted pursuant to Section 65563.
(b) "Open-space land" is any parcel or area of land or water that
is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open-space use as defined
in this section, and that is designated on a local, regional or
state open-space plan as any of the following:
(1) Open space for the preservation of natural resources
including, but not limited to, areas required for the preservation of
plant and animal life, including habitat for fish and wildlife
species; areas required for ecologic and other scientific study
purposes; rivers, streams, bays and estuaries; areas adjacent to
military installations, military training routes, and restricted
airspace that can provide additional buffer zones to military
activities and complement the resource values of the military lands;
and coastal beaches, lakeshores, banks of rivers and streams, and
watershed lands.
(2) Open space used for the managed production of resources,
including but not limited to, forest lands, rangeland, agricultural
lands and areas of economic importance for the production of food or
fiber; areas required for recharge of ground water basins; bays,
estuaries, marshes, rivers and streams which are important for the
management of commercial fisheries; and areas containing major
mineral deposits, including those in short supply.
(3) Open space for outdoor recreation, including but not limited
to, areas of outstanding scenic, historic and cultural value; areas
particularly suited for park and recreation purposes, including
access to lakeshores, beaches, and rivers and streams; and areas
which serve as links between major recreation and open-space
reservations, including utility easements, banks of rivers and
streams, trails, and scenic highway corridors.
(4) Open space for public health and safety, including, but not
limited to, areas which require special management or regulation
because of hazardous or special conditions such as earthquake fault
zones, unstable soil areas, flood plains, watersheds, areas
presenting high fire risks, areas required for the protection of
water quality and water reservoirs and areas required for the
protection and enhancement of air quality.

65561. The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) That the preservation of open-space land, as defined in this
article, is necessary not only for the maintenance of the economy of
the state, but also for the assurance of the continued availability
of land for the production of food and fiber, for the enjoyment of
scenic beauty, for recreation and for the use of natural resources.
(b) That discouraging premature and unnecessary conversion of
open-space land to urban uses is a matter of public interest and will
be of benefit to urban dwellers because it will discourage
noncontiguous development patterns which unnecessarily increase the
costs of community services to community residents.
(c) That the anticipated increase in the population of the state
demands that cities, counties, and the state at the earliest possible
date make definite plans for the preservation of valuable open-space
land and take positive action to carry out such plans by the
adoption and strict administration of laws, ordinances, rules and
regulations as authorized by this chapter or by other appropriate
(d) That in order to assure that the interests of all its people
are met in the orderly growth and development of the state and the
preservation and conservation of its resources, it is necessary to
provide for the development by the state, regional agencies, counties
and cities, including charter cities, of statewide coordinated plans
for the conservation and preservation of open-space lands.
(e) That for these reasons this article is necessary for the
promotion of the general welfare and for the protection of the public
interest in open-space land.

65562. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this
(a) To assure that cities and counties recognize that open-space
land is a limited and valuable resource which must be conserved
wherever possible.
(b) To assure that every city and county will prepare and carry
out open-space plans which, along with state and regional open-space
plans, will accomplish the objectives of a comprehensive open-space

65563. On or before December 31, 1973, every city and county shall
prepare, adopt and submit to the Secretary of the Resources Agency a
local open-space plan for the comprehensive and long-range
preservation and conservation of open-space land within its
jurisdiction. Every city and county shall by August 31, 1972,
prepare, adopt and submit to the Secretary of the Resources Agency,
an interim open-space plan, which shall be in effect until December
31, 1973, containing, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The officially adopted goals and policies which will guide the
preparation and implementation of the open-space plan; and
(b) A program for orderly completion and adoption of the
open-space plan by December 31, 1973, including a description of the
methods by which open-space resources will be inventoried and
conservation measures determined.

65564. Every local open-space plan shall contain an action program
consisting of specific programs which the legislative body intends to
pursue in implementing its open-space plan.

65566. Any action by a county or city by which open-space land or
any interest therein is acquired or disposed of or its use restricted
or regulated, whether or not pursuant to this part, must be
consistent with the local open-space plan.

65567. No building permit may be issued, no subdivision map
approved, and no open-space zoning ordinance adopted, unless the
proposed construction, subdivision or ordinance is consistent with
the local open-space plan.

65568. If any provision of this article or the application thereof
to any person is held invalid, the remainder of the article and the
application of such provision to other persons shall not be affected