Locating a Business

Every business in Irvine must meet three primary tests before locating at a certain location.

1. The business, or “use” must be in a location (zoning district) for which it is properly zoned. 

Example: A professional office for a lawyer or insurance company would be a permitted use in many office parks and shopping centers (e.g. 4.1, 4.2, and 5.4B Zoning Districts) but would be prohibited in certain light industrial zones (e.g. 5.4 Zoning Districts in the Irvine Spectrum).

2. Every business location in Irvine is assigned a specific “entitlement value” or “Trip” rate which places limits on the amount of traffic a business can generate.  These categories include retail, office, research and industrial and so on.

Example: A professional office for a lawyer or insurance company would be a permitted use in most of the Irvine Business Complex (5.1 IBC Multi-Use Zoning District), however some specific buildings only feature enough entitlement to allow for partial office use or may have no intensity assigned for anything other than warehousing and manufacturing activities. This is why it’s important to always call or email the Development Assistance Center (Planning Counter) once you have identified a site to check whether the use is possible at a specific site. You can reach the Planning Counter at (949) 724-6308 or dac@cityofirvine.org

Special Note for 5.4 General Industrial Properties (Irvine Spectrum): These sites are intended for a variety of uses primarily focused on manufacturing, warehousing, and research and development. Professional offices are generally limited to take up no more than 50% of each suite and must function as office space in support of a permitted activity.

3. Every business must provide sufficient parking for the type of activity.

Example: A small warehouse and distribution firm located in the Irvine Spectrum which features a 1,000 square feet of warehouse space and a 1,000 square feet of administrative offices, lobbies, and restrooms would be require to provide 5 parking spaces (1 space for every 250 square feet of office use and 1 space for every 1,000 square feet of warehouse use).