Residential Design Standards Code Amendments (PA2019-070)

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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).

Tentative Schedule:

Staff Contact:

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
(949) 644-3209

Related Documents: