- Text was approved and implemented on Jan. 1, 2000.
- The mapping process
The text was approved in October 1999 and implemented on
January 1, 2000.
The mapping process
began in 1998 and will continue at least through 2003.
- The public process took ten years and included more
than 300 public meetings.
- Neighborhood planning
boards were influential throughout the process.
Each neighborhood had a planning board that had influence
over the City Council. Developers and concerned citizens came to board meetings
to voice their concerns about the zoning code. These were passed on to the
Planning Commission. In all, the public process took 10 years with more than 300
public meetings and workshops. In the end, developers as well as the public were
comfortable with the rezoning because they had had the opportunity to voice
their opinions and concerns. Older communities were more directly affected by
the zoning code. Newer communities, often in Planned Unit Development (PUD)
districts, were not affected by the rewrite.
Special Provisions and Innovations
- The rewrite did not produce extensive changes in the
- The City added a townhouse district requiring a
minimum linear street frontage.
- The City created a mixed-use district for commercial
and residential use.
- The new code included
an urban overlay district requiring certain levels of public space.
In terms of its impact on existing districts, the zoning
rewrite was not a major overhaul. Most districts were simply renamed and the
text was cleaned up for better organization and clarity. Regulations for the
newly named districts were minimal.
A few new districts and an overlay district were included in
the rewritten text. The new districts were a townhouse district that requires a
minimum of linear street frontage and a mixed-use district for commercial and
residential use with commercial activity primarily limited to ground-floor
retail. A new urban overlay district uses features such as increased open space
- “Not In My Backyard” attitudes presented a powerful
political obstacle, particularly with regard to increased density.
- Compliance with the
California Coastal Commission was difficult because of the lengthy review
“Not In My Back Yard” politics presented the most powerful
political obstacle. The majority of opposition was against increased densities
in certain areas. Developers were generally happy with the new zoning, and did
not object to the text adoption and implementation. Some architects opposed the
new text, which restricted increased density on sloping areas for environmental
California Coastal Commission compliance posed a large
problem according to city staff. It involved lengthy State reviews and stringent
regulations on coastal zones that prevented certain zoning changes from being
- The City established a deadline for complying with
the new code.
- The Planning
Commission held a training session for City planners and other staff one year
prior to the effective date for the new code.
A Jan. 1, 2000 deadline was established for permit
applications to be considered under the old text. Since the old zoning text had
been in place for so long, many developers had spent their entire careers
working with one zoning code. The Planning Commission provided a training
session one year before the effective date for the new code to help city
planners and staff understand the new code and ease the transition for
developers and communities. Public training sessions, sponsored by local
businesses, were also held.
- City staff believed that public involvement was
important and were satisfied with the level of participation.
- More presentations to
subcommittees would have eliminated misunderstandings.
A high level of public involvement was a major attribute of
this program, according to City staff. However, misunderstandings about the
rewrite process resulted in some heated discussions in the City Council. This
could have been avoided if there had been more presentations about various
topics to Council subcommittees. Even so, no major changes to the process are
The processes for new construction and changes have been
streamlined. This has made the zoning code popular with developers.
Lay of the Land 2003: A National Survey of Zoning