Building in the City of Avalon – Catalina Island:

The City Council adopted the City of Avalon 2030 General Plan/Local Coastal Plan.

The General Plan is a comprehensive legal document that outlines the City’s principles for long-term planning and acts as a roadmap for realizing the community’s future vision. The General Plan outlines objectives, regulations, and direct development and land use plans. These components are divided into Land Use, Open Space, Conservation, Housing, Circulation, Safety, and Noise Elements.

The Zoning Ordinance’s objectives include: encouraging, classifying, designating, regulating, restricting, and segregating the highest and best location and use of buildings, structures, and land to serve the needs of residences, commerce, industry, and other purposes in appropriate places; regulating and limiting the height, the number of stories, and size of buildings and other structures, hereafter designed, constructed, or altered; and handling and determining the size of yards and other open spaces; to control and limit population density; to enhance public welfare, safety, and general prosperity to maintain a healthy, functional, and appealing community.

The City’s Zoning Ordinance, which establishes districts and performance criteria for various land use types detailed in the General Plan, serves as the primary vehicle for implementing the Land Use Element.

A corresponding zone or zones govern the intended land use for each General Plan land use category. The permissible uses for each type and the relevant development regulations are specified in the zone districts.

The residential zones are designed to offer residential areas with various population densities appropriate for each category and suitable for family living, as well as the necessary ancillary and auxiliary amenities and uses related to such living places.

The residential zones are divided as follows: Low-Density Residential and Low-Intensity Recreation (LD), Multiple Residential and Medium Density (MD), Multiple Residential and High Intensity (HD), and Low and Moderate Income Housing (L/M). 

The purpose of Commercial Zones is to create locations where businesses can operate, services can be provided, public events can be held, and other similar activities associated with commercial development.

The Commercial Zones are divided as follows:

The “C” zone was planned to provide locations for the growth of specific commercial and professional offices, services, and related uses, namely those that efficiently serve the general public.

The Special Commercial (SC) area is created to provide an area where small-scale residents and neighborhood retail and services can coexist harmoniously. 

The Resort/Recreation R/R zone was created to encourage and enable various uses connected to Avalon’s resort atmosphere. The R/R zone is primarily used for resort hotel use and related activities.

The Public “P” zone was developed to provide a location for activities essential to delivering public services.

The Cemetery “CE” zone is established to create an area suitable for cemeteries.

The zoning map is located in the Knowledge Center.

The General Plan must include the Housing Element as required by the State.

Every eight years, the City of Avalon must update its housing element.

The Housing Element’s aims and objectives for housing production, rehabilitation, and conservation are described to satisfy the community’s needs. It also identifies the community’s housing needs and specifies the policies and programs that will be used to address those needs.

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation’s (RHNA) goals are to:

  • Increase housing supply and the variety of housing types.
  • Promote infill, equity, and the environment.
  • Ensure that jobs are balanced and appropriate for housing.
  • Advance regional income equity.
  • Affirmatively advance fair housing.


City of Avalon – Catalina Island – Planning Department:

The Department organizes various land use studies and planning projects for the Planning Commission and City Council to consider. These involve the preparation of the General Plan and the Specific plans.

The Department is in charge of assessing regional problems that call for local solutions to preserve and improve quality of life, such as traffic, housing, air pollution, open space preservation, and land use planning.

For the Planning Commission and City Council to review, the Department organizes various land use studies and planning initiatives. The creation of the General Plan and the Specific Plans is included in these.

The Department is in charge of evaluating regional issues like transportation, housing, air pollution, open space preservation, and land use planning that require local solutions to maintain and enhance the quality of life.


City of Avalon – Catalina Island – Building and Safety Department:

Building under construction and construction plans are subject to assessment by the Building and Safety Department. The department does this to guarantee that all local, state, and federal building codes and essential safety and building standards are adhered to.

The City has adopted the California Residential Code as its official building code.

Unless otherwise modified, this shall be the City’s Residential Building Code for the construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, moving, demolition, height, area, and maintenance of all residential buildings in the City.

According to the California Residential Code Section, the building official may request a geotechnical report. The Building Official will demand a site visit as part of this assessment to evaluate whether a geotechnical report is necessary.


City of Avalon – Catalina Island – Public Works Department:

The Public Works Department is dedicated to offering the best service to build, maintain, and improve public programs, infrastructure, and facilities in a way that is both efficient and affordable. The City’s public buildings, parks, and landscaping are all maintained by the Public Works Department.


General Area Summary: 

Avalon is the only incorporated City on Santa Catalina Island, in the California Channel Islands, and the southernmost City in Los Angeles County. Avalon has a population of over 3,300 people. The town is a resort area with businesses catering to tourists on the waterfront. Small dwellings and two- and three-story structures in various traditional architectural styles are the primary building types in the older parts of the town on the valley floor.


Contact Information:

You can visit the city hall from Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at 410 Avalon Canyon Rd. P.O. Box 707 Avalon, CA 90704, or call them at (310) 510-0220.