Zoning Regulations Update

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BackgroundZoning Regulations Cover
Zoning Regulations are intended to guide the development of the city in an orderly manner, based on the adopted general plan, to protect and enhance the quality of the natural and built environment, and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by regulating the use of land and buildings and the location and basic form of structures.

The Zoning Regulations Update is focused on -and budgeted for-implementation of the policies and programs in the General Plan's Land Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE). The update also provides an opportunity to incorporate best practices and to address deficiencies identified by staff in working with the document daily.

2018 Zoning Regulations - effective on October 19, 2018

Project Schedule
Project Outline
Zoning Regulations - Track Changes
Draft Initial Study/Negative Declaration

Public Input Process
Staff is committed to keeping residents, the Planning Commission, and the City Council up to date on progress, and aware of the opportunities available to provide input and to participate in collaborative public meetings.

To date, the process of updating the Zoning Regulations has involved interviews with community members; the April 12, 2017 joint study session; a community workshop on June 3, 2017; regular updates with the Planning Commission; internal interaction among City departments; and weekly phone calls with the MIG team.

Stakeholder Interview Summary
Workshop Summary - June 3, 2017

The Zoning Regulations Update is included as a standing item on each Planning Commission agenda from August 2017 through completion of the Update. This provides an opportunity for the Planning Commission to become familiar with the re-organization, discuss implementation of the General Plan, and opportunity to introduce issues and articles for preliminary discussion, direction, and receive public comment.

The Scope of Work

The scope of work for the Zoning Regulations Update includes the following items that may be of particular interest to the Council and community.

White Papers

1) Emerging Housing Trends
2) Transitions Between Land Uses
3) Case Studies in Local Adult‐Use and Medical Marijuana Regulation
4) Flexible Density Downtown
5) Re-Envisioning Personal Mobility
6) Implementing the Climate Action Plan in the Zoning Regulations

LUCE Implementation

  • Consider new regulations to address neighborhood compatibility for infill development (Program 2.13)
  • Evaluate student housing preferences and consider revising development standards to better meet them in multifamily housing near campus (Program 2.11.1)
  • Adopt special development standards for dwellings in downtown residential areas (Policy 2.8, Program 2.12)
  • Evaluate alternatives to the current maximum number of dwellings units and height, parking, and setback standards, to regulate residential building intensity (Program 2.15)
  • Evaluate the potential to use portions of City-owned parking facilities for residents’ parking (Program 2.16)

Other Features of the Update

  • Reorganize the Zoning Regulations for simplicity and modernize for current and emerging conditions, and as necessary to meet new State requirements
  • Update Parking Standards (Table 6)
  • Update Land Use Table (Table 9)
  • Review existing “S” (Special Considerations) Overlay Zones
  • Update Land Use Definitions
  • Work with Cal Poly on a possible partnership to establish a form-based code in certain locations
Get Involved!

If you would like to be involved, have any questions, or would like to receive continued updates on the project and notifications of project developments including workshops, draft documents, and/or hearings, please sign up for the City's e-notification list and sign up for the groups such as: "Planning and Building" or "Neighborhood Wellness" or contact either Doug Davidson, Deputy Director at 805-781-7177, or by e-mail: or contact Kyle Bell, Associate Planner at 805-781-7524, or by e-mail:

Hard copy correspondence can be sent to the following address:

Zoning Regulations Update
Attn: Doug Davidson, Deputy Director
Community Development Department
919 Palm Street
City of San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3218