The City Council has directed staff to prepare code changes regulating the bulk and articulation of new single-unit and two-unit dwellings due to growing community concerns related to residential massing.
Draft amendments to the Zoning Code and Local Coastal Program have been completed and are now available for public review from the following link: Proposed Code Amendments
Notable changes include:
Revisions to 3rd Floor Standards
- 3rd floor step backs would apply to covered deck areas (currently applies only to enclosed floor area).
- 3rd floor side step backs would apply to lots 30 feet wide or greater (currently applies to lots wider than 30 feet).
- Maximum covered 3rd floor area (enclosed or unenclosed) limited to 50% of buildable area. Uncovered deck area would remain unrestricted.
- 3rd floor step back standards (front and rear) would apply to 25-foot wide or less lots zoned R-2 (currently exempt)
3rd floor step back standards (front, rear, and sides) would apply to single- and two-unit dwellings in Multiple Residential (RM) zones (currently exempt).
Clarification of Gross Floor Area
- Unfinished attics with a ceiling height of 6 feet or higher would count as floor area (currently only finished attics count).
- Covered patios, decks, and balconies above 1st floor would count as floor area unless completely open on at least 2 sides, rather than one side.
- Carports only open on one side would count as floor area.
Single-Unit and Two-Unit Dwellings in R-BI
- 3rd floor and open volume standards applicable to R-1 and R-2 zones would now apply to single and two-unit dwellings in Two-Unit Residential, Balboa Island (R-BI).
- Planning Commission - May 7, 2020; review and recommendations
- Removed from calendar to allow staff to seek guidance from State regarding compliance with State law.
- Planning Commission - September 17, 2020 - Staff Report
- City Council - Approved November 24, 2020 - Staff Report
How does this affect projects under review or planned for submittal?
The City understands that projects currently under review and projects already designed and planned to be submitted for review in the near term could be impacted by the proposed amendments. Therefore, the ordinance exempts the following types of projects from the amended regulations:
- Discretionary Applications: An application for a coastal development permit, variance, modification permit, or site development permit for a residential project deemed complete prior to January 7, 2021.
- Plan Checks: An application for any building permit or zoning clearance for a residential project submitted prior to February 1, 2021.
- Previously Approved Projects: An application for a building permit or zoning clearance for a residential project that has been granted a coastal development permit, variance, modification permit, or site development permit for a residential project that has not expired.
If you have any questions, want to submit comments for staff’s consideration, or would like to be added to an interest list regrading this item, please contact:
Jaime Murillo, Principal Planner
- Community Meeting - August 19, 2019
- City Council Study Session - September 10, 2019
- Community Meeting Presentation - March 9, 2020
- Planning Commission Presentation - May 7, 2020
- Planning Commission Presentation - September 17, 2020
- Notice of Upcoming Changes to Residential Design Standards - effective January 7, 2021