Small Lot Design Standards

The Small Lot Design Standards create specific and enforceable rules regarding the design for all small lots, including building orientation, primary entryways, façade articulation, roofline variation, building modulation, pedestrian pathways, landscaping, and common open space areas. This document consists of two parts: the Small Lot Design Standards Checklist (“Checklist”) and the Illustrated Guide. The Checklist should be used by applicants to show compliance with the Design Standards, and should be included in the application packet at the time of filing. The Illustrated Guide provides Small Lot project examples, as well as guidance and direction for applying the Design Standards. Both the Checklist and Illustrated Guide are intended for use by the Planning Department, other City agencies and Department staff, developers, architects, as well as community members in evaluating project applications.

The Checklist includes five sections:
A. Building Design  
B. Pedestrian Connectivity and Access  
C. Landscaping  
D. Mixed Use Small Lots  
E. Bungalow Courts and Existing Structures

All new small lot dwellings must comply with Section A through C; Mixed-Use projects must comply with Sections A through D; and Bungalow Courts and Existing Structures Small Lot projects must comply with the design standards set out in Section E. If new dwellings are added to a Bungalow Court or Existing Structure Small Lot project, they must also comply with Sections A through C.

The Design Standards should be used in conjunction with relevant policies from the General Plan Framework and Community Plans. Tentative tract and parcel maps for small lot subdivisions must be consistent with the City’s General Plan and Community Plans in order to be approved. The provisions of the Small Lot Ordinance shall supersede the provisions of a Specific Plan or other overlay district. The provisions of a Specific Plan or other legislatively adopted overlay district (not exempted under the Small Lot Ordinance) shall otherwise supersede. It is important to review all relevant City documents for policies that may affect your small lot design and layout.

All small lot subdivisions deemed complete or filed on/after April 18, 2018 must comply with the Small Lot Design Standards. Applicant should also refer to requirements found in the Advisory Agency Small Lot Map Standards and the Small Lot Ordinance Amendment.