City Council to hold Feb. 20 public hearing on updates to Zoning Ordinance and General Plan

From a Feb. 16, 2023 press release:

The City Council will hold a public hearing on a series of measures to implement Piedmont’s 6th Cycle Housing Element on Tuesday, February 20th. At the meeting, the Council will consider proposed amendments to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, amendments to the General Plan, and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Housing Element implementation.

The proposed amendments 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 (HCD) certified in November. The EIR studies and discloses the environmental impacts of Housing Element implementation as a whole – looking at the overall impacts to Piedmont once each of the 77 programs included in the Housing Element are realized.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council approve these measures at a public hearing on January 29th, following four months of review and refinement during study sessions held during regularly scheduled Commission meetings. The City Council previously discussed these proposals during public study sessions in November and December 2023.

Key changes proposed for the General Plan and 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 primary homes and an ADU as long as the lots meet minimum size requirements and other standards. The proposed Zoning Ordinance update would create Piedmont-specific development standards for such lot splits and implements Housing Element Program 1.J.
  • New ADU requirements: When constructing a new home on properties over 5,000 square feet, a new 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. 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.
  • Proposed new and amended General Plan policies to protect special status animals and historical resources, reduce noise from construction, and reduce vehicle miles traveled by residents: The proposed amendments to the Environmental Hazards Element, Transportation Element, Design and Preservation Element, and the Natural Resources and Sustainability Element include measures to protect the natural and built environment.
  • Proposed new designations on the Land Use Diagram of the Land Use Element: The proposed Land Use Diagram would have a new Moraga Canyon Specific Plan land use description and the areas corresponding to Zone C would be clearly indicated.

For a detailed description of all proposed amendments, see the presentation from the Planning Commission public hearing on January 29, 2024:

Watch and comment in person or online via Zoom

Community members can watch and provide comment in-person or via Zoom:

City Council: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m. (Agenda | Staff Report)
Piedmont City Hall, 120 Vista Ave.

Each participant will have the opportunity to speak once on the public hearing after the presentation and before the discussion. The Council will set a time limit for individual comments based on the number of participants.

About the 6th Cycle Housing Element

Piedmont’s 6th Cycle Housing Element lays out an ambitious plan to accommodate 587 new homes by 2031 – a target mandated by the State of California. The Housing Element includes 7 goals, 56 policies, and 77 programs. Several programs identified in the Housing Element have already been completed, including new incentives for the creation of affordable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), objective design standards for multi-family and mixed-use development, and securing a “Priority Development Area” designation for areas of land near Grand Avenue and in Moraga Canyon, which increases Piedmont’s eligibility for additional State funding to support affordable housing development in these areas.

Learn more about Piedmont’s Housing Element at With questions, email

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