Planning Commission OKs revisions to city’s zoning ordinance, amendments to General Plan, and EIR

A sign outside City Hall in November 2022

The Planning Commission on Monday night approved a series of measures to implement Piedmont’s 6th Cycle Housing Element, moving them forward for the City Council to consider at its Feb. 20 meeting. The recommendations include revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance, amendments to the General Plan, and environmental review for Housing Element implementation.

Key changes proposed for the Zoning Ordinance include:

  • Development standards for SB9 lot splits: SB9 is a state law that allows property owners to divide their property into two lots, each of which could have two housing units. The proposed Zoning Ordinance update would create Piedmont-specific development standards for such lot splits.
  • New ADU requirements: When constructing a new home on properties over 5,000 square feet, an ADU or JADU would be required as part of the project. This requirement would also apply to remodel projects that demolish 70% or more of the existing residence, subject to exceptions for rebuilding after a disaster. This measure implements Housing Element Program 1.E.
  • Revised development standards for multi-family residential: This proposal would revise rules around setbacks, parking, density, and lot coverage for multi-family residential developments in areas where multi-family housing is already allowed. The new standards would permit heights up to 4 stories. This measure implements Housing Element Programs 1.D, 1.F, 1.G, 1.H, and others.

The proposed revisions will make the Zoning Ordinance and General Plan consistent with the programs outlined in the Housing Element, which the City Council adopted in March 2023 and the California Department of Housing and Community Development certified in November.

One thought on “Planning Commission OKs revisions to city’s zoning ordinance, amendments to General Plan, and EIR

  1. The Housing Element projects 40 SB9 units to Piedmont – in the next housing cycle. That’s unfortunate because had that number counted in the 6th Cycle, Piedmont would not have to plan for so much density in Moraga Canyon and Grand Avenue. That density increases the likelihood of conversion of important commercial services like Ace Hardware to multi-family residential. Atherton projected 48 SB9 units that counted towards its 6th Cycle RHNA allocation. Other cities did as well. Atherton was also approved for 120 very low ADU units while Piedmont was approved for only 48. Again, this undercounting for growth in Piedmont drives the need for more affordable units elsewhere in town, particularly Moraga Canyon.

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