Piedmont’s Planning & Building Department has published draft updated multifamily development design standards for public review and comment. The draft standards, officially called the Piedmont Multifamily Objective Design Standards, or “MODS,” would govern new development in existing commercial and multifamily zones.
This project is separate from Piedmont’s Housing Element update and began in 2019, when the City applied for an SB2 planning grant to fund development of the standards. The purpose of objective design standards is to ensure new multifamily and mixed-use development aligns with and enhances the character of Piedmont’s neighborhoods.
These standards would apply to proposed developments in Piedmont’s Zones C and D, where mixed-use and multifamily development is already allowed. These areas constitute less than 5% of total land in Piedmont.
The standards are intended to help maintain privacy and mitigate other possible impacts to neighbors and surrounding single-family properties. They provide specific guidelines for design elements like:
- Setbacks, building placement, and façade design
- Size, placement, and materials for windows and outdoor spaces like balconies and decks
- Location and visibility of parking areas
Objective design standards are required by state laws, including SB 35 (2017) and SB 330 (2019). The purpose of these laws is to streamline the review process for multifamily properties statewide, with the goal of easing development of housing that is affordable to both owners and renters at all income levels. Piedmont’s draft standards support this goal while ensuring new development will not compromise existing community character.
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft standards this winter, likely in December or January.
The City is accepting public comment on the draft standards through Nov. 21, 2022.
Community members can email comments to Piedmontishome@piedmont.ca.gov.