Natural Habitat Protection (NHP)

INTENT: The “NHP” designation is intended to protect sensitive environmental habitats by minimizing site disturbance and development. Private lands placed in this district contain valuable wildlife habitat, scenic resources, and/or areas subject to natural hazards. Lands contained in this district are high priorities for land exchanges into public holding or purchases by land conservation organizations.


  • Single-family dwelling (excluding mobile homes)
  • Accessory buildings and uses1
  • Wildlife preserves, botanical preserves, wetland preservation/banking, and similar uses  c,  gp  


  • Transient rentals (rental for fewer than 30 consecutive days) of up to three dwelling units (i.e., rental cabins or bed-and-breakfast establishments).


  • Construction of an accessory building prior to construction of the main building
  • Limited-density residential development such as condominiums, cooperatives, townhouses, and cluster developments, if found to be compatible with the natural habitat area by the Commission
  • Commercial lodging uses such as limited-scale hotels, motels, including lodges, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and cabins if found to be compatible with the natural habitat area by the Commission
  • Recreation facilities, such as improved bike, cross country skiing, and pedestrian trails, golf courses, tennis courts, stables requiring modification of the natural landscape, if found to be compatible with the natural habitat area by the Commission
  • Educational facilities such as a nature or interpretive center focusing on natural site characteristics, if found to be compatible with the natural habitat area by the Commission


Minimum Parcel Size:         2 acres

Minimum District Area:      5 acres

The Planning Commission may reduce the minimum district area in order to protect sensitive environmental habitats.

Minimum Lot Dimensions:      None stated

Maximum Site Disturbance: 10% maximum lot coverage for all structures, parking and access is 5%. The county General Plan, area plans or specific plans may contain more-restrictive coverage limitations (i.e., see the June Lake Area Plan Natural Habitat Protection District policies). Project site plans shall show the extent of lot coverage and site disturbance.

Minimum Setbacks:  30 feet from any property line or road. Variances may be granted where the project is located to minimize impacts to significant natural site features, but shall not be granted to increase development intensity.

Density:         1 du/5 acres

                        Commercial lodging units, one unit/three acres

Population Density:      Maximum population density is one person/acre for commercial lodging uses.

Maximum Building Height:        24’          See for other provisions

Additional Requirements:      

  • Development projects in the NHP district shall be located in a manner that minimizes visual impacts on surrounding property owners and scenic highways or major thoroughfares. Visual screening may also be used to minimize visual impacts.
  • Development projects, where feasible, shall be located away from or outside sensitive wildlife habitat areas.
  • Projects in potential wetland areas shall receive 404 permit approvals or other applicable clearance from the Army Corps of Engineers prior to applying for County development permit.
  • Other requirements may be required in area or specific plans.


  1. Accessory buildings and uses customarily incidental to any of the permitted uses are permitted only when located on the same lot and constructed simultaneously with or subsequent to the main building.
  2. Large-scale projects may be subject to a specific plan (Ch. 36) in conformance to the General Plan.
  3. Uses may have been omitted from the list of those specified, hence the Commission may find other uses to be similar and not more obnoxious or detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. See explanation of interpreting "similar uses" Chapter 04, Uses not listed as permitted.


Land Development Regulations – 

Ch. 03             Uses Permitted

Ch. 04             Development Standards – General

Ch. 06             Development Standards – Parking

Table 04.010  Building Heights


c.         Clarification

gp.       General Plan addition