Division IV. Development Standards

Chapter 18.150
GENERAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS

Sections:

18.150.010    Purpose.

18.150.020    Applicability.

18.150.030    Exclusion of rights-of-way.

18.150.040    Fences and walls.

18.150.050    Frontage improvements.

18.150.060    Grading.

18.150.070    Height limits and exceptions.

18.150.080    Mechanical equipment screening.

18.150.090    Moving and relocation of buildings.

18.150.100    Open space and recreational facilities for residential development.

18.150.110    Outdoor lighting.

18.150.120    Outdoor storage.

18.150.130    Performance standards.

18.150.140    Setbacks.

18.150.150    Solid waste and recycling storage.

18.150.160    Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.

18.150.170    Traffic visibility at intersections and driveways.

18.150.180    Transitional requirements.

18.150.010 Purpose.

This chapter expands upon the development standards established in Division II of this title (Zoning DistrictsUses and Standards) by addressing the details of site planning and project design. These standards are intended to ensure that development is compatible with existing and future development and protects the use and enjoyment of neighboring properties, consistent with general plan policies. [Ord. 17-11 § 3 (Exh. 12); Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-294].

18.150.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter apply to all new development and uses and to modifications to existing structures and uses in combination with the standards for each zoning district in Division II of this title (Zoning DistrictsUses and Standards), except as specified in Chapter 18.530 CDC (Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Parcels). The requirements in Division V of this title (Standards for Specific Uses) shall also be considered     with these standards, as applicable. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-295].

18.150.030 Exclusion of rights-of-way.

All public or private rights-of-way, easements, or land offered for dedication for road or access purposes, and any portion of a flag or corridor access lot shall:

A. Be excluded from the gross lot area and shall not be included in the minimum net lot area required for a site, allowable density, lot coverage, or floor area ratio; and

B. Be excluded from the required setback area. All setbacks shall be measured from the edge of the public or private rights-of-way, easements, or land offered for dedication for road or access purposes, and any portion of a flag or corridor access lot. [Ord. 13-5; Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-296].

18.150.040 Fences and walls.

A. Purpose. This section establishes standards to encourage variety and flexibility in the design, development, and maintenance of fences and walls and to permit increased use of yard areas, as well as to establish the maximum heights of such fences and walls for maintaining clear sight distances.

B. Applicability. The requirements of this section apply to fences, walls, and combination fence/retaining walls, excluding fences or walls required by a state or federal agency or by the city for public safety.

C. Height Limit and Exceptions.

1. Fencing and walls located within the sight visibility triangle along a street intersection or driveway shall comply with CDC 18.150.170, Traffic visibility at intersections and driveways.

2. Fences and walls located along a front property line and/or within a required front setback shall not exceed a height of three feet.

3. On properties where residential uses are allowed, fences and walls shall not exceed a maximum height of six feet, except under the following circumstances:

a. Fences within required side or rear yard setbacks may be increased in height to seven feet if the top one foot is constructed of lattice (see Figure 18.150.040(A)), provided the fence complies with all other requirements of this section, including fence material limitations in subsection (E) of this section (Prohibited Fences).

FIGURE 18.150.040(A) – ADDITIONAL FENCE HEIGHT ALLOWED

b. Fences or walls within required side and rear yard setbacks may be increased in height to eight feet, subject to approval of a minor exception (Chapter 18.425 CDC, Minor Exceptions).

c. Fences or walls that meet the setback requirements for the primary structure may be increased in height up to eight feet.

4. On properties where nonresidential uses or mixed uses are allowed, fences and walls in the side and rear yards shall not exceed a maximum height of eight feet.

5. Retaining walls shall not exceed a height of four feet. An embankment to be retained that is over four feet in height shall be benched so that no individual retaining wall exceeds a height of four feet above finished grade, and each bench has a minimum horizontal distance of two feet between each wall (see Figure 18.150.040(B)). An exception may be granted for a taller wall if necessary due to slope and/or soils, based on a geotechnical report from a licensed civil or geotechnical engineer, and approved by the city engineer.

FIGURE 18.150.040(B) – RETAINING WALL DESIGN

*See CDC 18.150.040(C)(5), fences and walls, and 18.300.070(E)(1), Retaining Walls.

6. See CDC 18.150.180, Transitional requirements, for additional fencing and wall requirements between properties.

D. Measurement of Fence and Wall Height.

1. Fence and wall height shall be measured as the vertical distance between the finished grade at the base of the fence or wall to the top edge of the structure. The grade shall not be modified in order to increase fence height.

2. Where the elevation of the finished grade within six feet of the base of the fence differs from one side of the fence to the other, as when a fence is placed at the top of a slope or on a retaining wall, the height shall be measured from the side with the lowest natural grade.

3. Combination fence/retaining walls shall be measured as the total height of both structures, from the base of the wall at the finished grade on the lowest side to the top edge of fence material. When a fence is placed a minimum horizontal distance of 24 inches away from a retaining wall, the height of each structure shall be measured separately.

E. Prohibited Fences. The following types of fences or fencing material are prohibited unless specifically approved by the planning division for animal control, special security needs, or as required by city, state, or federal law or regulation:

1. Barbed wire, razor, or concertina wire;

2. Electrified fence;

3. Chain link fencing when visible from public areas, public rights-of-way, and/or private roadways; or

4. Temporary fencing such as plastic or wire mesh fencing, barricades, and panel-system fences, except for construction sites, city-sponsored events, and temporary uses approved under CDC 18.200.200, Temporary uses and structures. [Ord. 17-5 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 13-5; Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-297].

18.150.050 Frontage improvements.

A. Purpose. This section establishes requirements for installing frontage improvements including, but not limited to, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, street paving, lighting and planting, storm drains and structures, sanitary sewers and structures, or any combination thereof.

B. Applicability. The requirements of this section apply to all planning permits. The city engineer shall use the general plan, and/or related master plan, policies, or standards as a guide in determining the frontage improvements required.

C. General Requirements.

1. Applicant shall dedicate to the city all public rights-of-way and/or easements necessary for constructing the frontage improvements.

2. Frontage improvements shall be installed at the sole expense of applicant and without cost to the city.

3. The city engineer shall certify that the required frontage improvements have been installed prior to approval of a planning permit or that contractual arrangements supported by a proper bond have been made to provide the required improvements without unreasonable delay.

4. Property owners shall be responsible for maintaining and repairing improvements fronting or abutting their property, as required by state law.

D. Appeal. The determination of the city engineer may be appealed to the city council in accordance with Chapter 2.05 CMC, Article II, Appeals to City Council. The council may grant a planning permit without requiring frontage improvements upon finding that the proposed use will not cause an additional traffic or drainage burden in front of the property for which the planning permit is sought. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-298].

18.150.060 Grading.

A. Purpose. This section establishes requirements for grading (e.g., filling, excavating, leveling, or stockpiling of earth, rock, sand, gravel, or similar materials) and are in addition to the requirements of Chapter 16.10 CMC, Grading, Erosion and Sedimentation Control.

B. Applicability. Design and site development review shall be approved by the planning division prior to the issuance of a grading permit.

C. Exceptions. Design and site development review shall not be required for:

1. Grading that involves the movement of less than 200 cubic yards of materials if not related to previous grading on the property, regardless of previous amounts, provided the grading does not involve hauling to or from the site, does not occur within a hillside protection area, and does not affect a wetland, creek, or drainage channel;

2. A grading plan previously approved by the engineering and planning divisions as part of an approved building permit;

3. A grading plan previously approved by the planning and engineering divisions as part of an approved planning permit such as a use permit or tentative map;

4. When the planning division determines that the grading is minor and will clearly not cause any adverse environmental or visual impacts; or

5. The grading is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare in the event of emergency or disaster. In permitting grading to proceed under this exception, the city may impose and require compliance with conditions, which are reasonable under the circumstances. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-299].

18.150.070 Height limits and exceptions.

A. Purpose. This section establishes rules for measuring the height of structures and exceptions to height limits.

B. Measurement of Height. The maximum height shall be measured as the vertical distance from finished grade at the base of the structure to an imaginary plane located at the allowed number of feet above and parallel to the finished grade at any point (See Figure 18.150.070). Finished grade shall be established in a manner consistent with other parcels in the vicinity and shall not be artificially raised to gain additional building height. Fence and retaining wall height shall be measured in compliance with CDC 18.150.040 (Fences and walls).

FIGURE 18.150.070 – HEIGHT MEASUREMENT

C. Exceptions to Height Limits. No structure or accessory structure shall exceed the height limit established for the applicable district in Division II of this title (Zoning DistrictsUses and Standards), except for the following:

1. Chimneys may exceed the height limit by three feet.

2. Cupolas, gables, domes, elevator penthouses, mechanical equipment screening, monuments, spires, or towers less than 10 percent of the roof area may exceed the height limit by 10 feet with approval of a minor exception.

3. Rooftop open space features such as sunshade and windscreen devices and open trellises less than 10 percent of the roof area may exceed the height limit by 12 feet with approval of a minor exception.

4. Skylights or vents may exceed the height limits by three feet.

5. Catwalks, fire escapes, and open railings may exceed the height limits by eight feet.

6. Rooftop solar panels may exceed the height limit by eight feet.

7. Flagpoles may exceed the height limit by 10 feet.

8. Public utility poles, towers, distribution and transmission lines, water tanks, radio towers, and similar structures shall not be subject to the height limitations prescribed for the applicable district.

9. Wireless communications facilities and microwave equipment including antennas, monopoles, towers, and necessary mechanical appurtenances may be authorized to exceed the height limit if in compliance with Chapter 18.205 CDC (Wireless Communications Facilities for New or Substantially Changed Facilities) and/or Chapter 18.207 CDC (Wireless Communications Facilities for Eligible Facilities Requests).

10. Height limits established by a planning permit or specific plan. [Ord. 17-11 § 3 (Exh. 12); Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-300].

18.150.080 Mechanical equipment screening.

A. Purpose. This section establishes standards for screening mechanical equipment from public views.

B. Applicability. This section applies to all projects requiring a planning permit, except for planning permits related to development or use of an existing single-family residence.

C. Screening Requirement. Screening is required for all exterior mechanical equipment, devices, and utilities including air conditioning, ductwork, heating, plumbing lines, refrigeration equipment, utility meters and structures, transformers, trash compactors, and backflow devices. Screening shall be designed as follows:

1. Screening for roof-mounted equipment shall be architecturally compatible with the design, color, and materials of the building. Screening incorporated into the building design such as mechanical wells and parapet walls are preferred.

2. Screening for building-mounted equipment such as utility closets and wall recesses shall be incorporated into the building’s design. Access doors or gates shall be an opaque durable material. Perforated metal, landscaped metal trellis or similar view-obscuring design is acceptable. Chain link gates with slats or fabric screening are not permitted unless the gate is not visible from off-site views.

3. Screening for ground-mounted equipment shall be as follows:

a. Equipment located within a required front or street side setback shall be enclosed in subsurface vaults, except utility meters for single-family dwellings that may be located within interior side setbacks and where otherwise required by the utility.

b. Equipment located outside of required yard areas shall be screened by a welded wire trellis system or similar view-obscuring green screen.

4. When landscaping is used for screening, larger sized plant materials shall be installed, as approved by the planning division. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-301].

18.150.090 Moving and relocation of buildings.

The moving or relocation of buildings shall be conducted according to the standards and procedures in Chapter 15.100 CMC (Moving of Buildings). [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-302].

18.150.100 Open space and recreational facilities for residential development.

A. Purpose. This section establishes private and common open space requirements for residential development.

B. Applicability. The requirements of this section apply to all residential development of three or more new dwelling units, and the conversion of three or more dwelling units into condominiums.

C. Private and Open Space Requirement. Developments with three or more dwelling units shall provide at least 200 square feet of private and/or open space per dwelling unit. This requirement may be met by providing a combination of private and common open space as long as each unit has a minimum private open space of 60 square feet.

D. Recreational Facility Requirement. In addition to open space requirements, a project of 25 units or more shall provide at least one recreational facility such as a game court, play lot, swimming pool, sauna, or exercise room. Projects with 100 or more units shall provide a multi-purpose or recreation room. Up to 50 percent of the floor space of such recreational facilities may be credited towards the required common open space.

E. Exclusive Dedication. Off-street parking and loading areas, driveways, and service areas shall not be considered as required open space areas.

F. Private Open Space. Private open space may include, but not be limited to, decks, balconies, porches, patios, and enclosed yards. Private open space shall meet the following standards:

1. Be immediately accessible from a habitable room or hallway within the unit (e.g., not only accessible from a ground floor garage);

2. Have access from only one dwelling unit;

3. Have at least two weatherproofed electrical outlets; and

4. Have a minimum dimension of 10 feet for ground level units and six feet for above-ground units (e.g., balconies).

G. Common Open Space. Common open space may include, but not be limited to, parks, gardens (including rooftop gardens), courtyards, and barbecue areas. Common open space shall meet the following standards:

1. Not exceed a slope of 10 percent;

2. Be centrally located within the development and accessible to all units (except for rooftop facilities);

3. Have a minimum area of 500 square feet and dimension no less than 15 feet when a rectangle is inscribed within it;

4. Contain amenities that enhance its usability such as benches, tables, BBQ equipment, gazebos or similar shade structures;

5. Be open to the sky and unobstructed, except for improvements that enhance its usability, and structures projecting from upper level units such as balconies, trellises, or similar shade structure, provided such structures do not cover more than 25 percent of ground-level common open space;

6. Not have more than 50 percent of the area used for bio-swales, bio-retention areas, or similar stormwater treatment features;

7. Be located outside of setback areas adjacent to a public street; and

8. Be located at least 15 feet from any door or window of any dwelling unit.

H. Surfacing. The surface of open space areas may be any combination of lawn, brick, flagstone, wood planking, concrete, or other serviceable, dust-free surface.

I. Exceptions. The open space or recreational facility requirements may be modified by the decision-making body based on findings that the site is physically constrained, or that the quality of life accommodated by the project will not be compromised, or that the residents will benefit from other amenities that are located in close proximity to the project site. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-303].

18.150.110 Outdoor lighting.

A. Purpose. This section establishes standards for efficient, safe, and attractive outdoor lighting while preventing nuisances caused by unnecessary light intensity, direct glare, and light trespass.

B. Applicability. The requirements of this section apply to all projects requiring a planning permit.

C. General Standards.

1. Light fixtures shall not exceed 25 feet in height except when adjacent to residential development where the height shall be limited to 16 feet. The height of light fixtures shall be measured from ground level to the highest point, including the base.

2. All outdoor lighting shall be energy efficient with a bulb life of not less than 10,000 hours.

3. All outdoor lighting shall use full cut-off luminaires with the light source downcast, except as follows:

a. A lighting fixture may be aimed against a structure if the light is effectively contained by the structure and no glare is visible from off site.

b. Floodlights that do not meet the definition of “full cut-off” may be used if permanently directed downward, if no light is projected above the horizontal plane, and if fitted with external shielding to prevent glare and off-site trespass. Unshielded floodlights are prohibited.

4. Outdoor light fixtures shall be directed so there is no objectionable direct glare source visible above a height of five feet from any property.

5. Light fixtures adjacent to residential properties may require special shielding devices to prevent light trespass as determined by the city.

D. Hours of Illumination. All new outdoor light fixtures for nonresidential uses that are adjacent to residential developments shall remain off or set on a motion sensor between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., except when:

1. The hours of operation of the associated use extend beyond the required off-hour;

2. Illuminating flags representing country, state, or other civic entity and that are not located in residential areas; or

3. Outdoor lighting is functioning as security lighting, such as illuminating a pathway or building entry.

E. Recreational and Sports Facility Lighting.

1. Lighting shall be shielded whenever possible with directional and glare control devices when necessary to comply with light trespass requirements.

2. The height of the light fixtures shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the reviewing authority.

3. The illumination for any game or event shall be turned off within one hour after the event.

F. Prohibitions. The following outdoor lighting fixtures are prohibited:

1. Blinking, flashing, moving, revolving, changing intensity, and changing color lights; and

2. Search lights, laser source lights, or any similar high-intensity light, except in emergencies by police and fire personnel or for temporary lighting under an approved special event permit.

G. Exemptions. The following are exempt from these standards:

1. Lighting required by state or federal regulatory agencies.

2. Temporary lighting used for the construction or repair of roadways, utilities, and other infrastructure.

3. Seasonal displays using multiple low wattage bulbs (approximately 15 lumens or less); provided, that they do not constitute a fire hazard, create a nuisance, and are maintained in a safe and attractive condition.

4. Light fixtures installed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title, unless 50 percent or more of the light fixtures on the premises are replaced.

5. Temporary lighting required by the Concord police department, Contra Costa fire protection district, or other emergency provider.

H. Independent Lighting Study. A lighting study may be required to determine appropriate on-site lighting. Said study shall be performed by an independent consultant at the project applicant’s expense. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-304].

18.150.120 Outdoor storage.

A. Purpose. This section establishes requirements for the outdoor storage of goods, materials (except temporary storage of construction materials associated with an active building permit), machines, vehicles, and other equipment.

B. Applicability. The requirements of this section shall apply to outdoor storage in zoning districts listed in Table 18.150.120.

C. Exceptions. The standards in this section shall not apply to outdoor sales and display areas for retail uses such as automotive sales, nurseries, and garden centers subject to the requirements of CDC 18.200.160, Outdoor sales and displays, and outdoor storage associated with a residential use.

D. Permitted Locations. Outdoor storage may be permitted when incidental to, and located on the same property as, a principally permitted use in accordance with the following table and standards. Storage in zoning districts not listed in the table below must be located within an enclosed building.

Table 18.150.120

Outdoor Storage Regulations

By Zoning District 

Zoning District

Requirement

HI (Heavy Industrial), IBP (Industrial Business Park), PS (Public and Semi-Public), SC (Service Commercial)

Permitted in side and rear yards when enclosed by a solid eight-foot masonry wall with landscape screening. Not permitted in front yards or street facing yards.

OS (Open Space), PR (Parks and Recreation), RL (Rural Lands Conservation), WC (Wetlands Resource Conservation)

Permitted if associated with a permitted agricultural use, and not located within a required setback.

E. Screening Requirements.

1. Outdoor storage areas shall be screened by an eight-foot-high, solid masonry wall.

2. Access gates and doors may be constructed of open wrought iron or metal pickets if a perforated metal screen or other durable material is incorporated into the design that obscures views through the gate. Chain link gates with slatted or fabric screening are not permitted unless the gate is not visible from off-site views.

3. Stored materials and equipment shall not extend above the height of the screen wall.

4. The screen wall shall not be located within any required front yard or street side yard setback area.

5. A landscaped area with a minimum dimension of 10 feet shall be provided in front of the wall.

6. Outdoor storage areas shall not be visible from public streets, freeways, residential district, public open space area, parking area, access driveway, or similar thoroughfare. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-305].

18.150.130 Performance standards.

A. Purpose. This section establishes performance standards for all new and existing land uses, including temporary uses, to minimize operational impacts and promote compatibility with adjoining areas and uses, unless specifically exempted herein or through a condition of approval.

B. Applicability.

1. Existing Uses. Uses existing on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall not be altered, modified, or operated to conflict with these standards.

2. New Uses Allowed with a Zoning Clearance. New uses allowed with a zoning clearance shall be operated in compliance with these standards. An administrative permit may be required if a new use produces any impacts that need mitigation in order to comply with these standards.

3. New Uses Approved by Planning Permit. All uses subject to planning permit approval shall comply with these standards.

C. General Standard. Land or buildings shall not be used or occupied in any manner that is dangerous, hazardous, or injurious as a result of smoke, dust, odor, air pollution, glare, refuse, wastes, chemicals, or other nuisance.

D. Electrical Disturbance, Electromagnetic Interference, or Radioactivity.

1. All activities, processes, and uses shall not cause electromagnetic interference with normal radio or television reception, or with the function of other electronic equipment beyond the property line of the subject site and shall comply with applicable Federal Communications Commission regulations.

2. All handling, storage, transportation, and use of radioactive materials shall comply with the provisions of the California Code of Regulations, Title 17, and any other applicable laws.

E. Fire and Explosive Hazards. All activities, processes and uses involving the use of, or storage of, flammable and explosive materials shall comply with the requirements of the Contra Costa fire protection district.

F. Ground Vibration. All activities, processes, and uses shall not generate ground vibrations that are perceptible without instruments by a reasonable person at the property line of the subject site. Vibrations caused by temporary activities such as construction, demolition, and truck traffic are exempt from this standard but are subject to all conditions of any approved permit.

G. Hazardous and Extremely Hazardous Materials. All activities, use, handling, storage, disposal, and transportation of hazardous and extremely hazardous materials shall comply with all the requirements of the California Hazardous Materials Regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 4), and any other applicable federal, state, and county requirements.

H. Heat and Humidity. All activities, processes, and uses shall not produce any unreasonable, disturbing, or unnecessary emissions of heat or humidity that cause material distress, discomfort, or injury to people residing or working in the immediate area.

I. Hours of Operation. Nonresidential uses with outdoor parking or wall openings (i.e., windows and doors) located within 100 feet of a residential district shall not operate between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless authorized by a planning permit.

J. Lighting and Glare. All activities, processes and uses shall be operated in compliance with CDC 18.150.110 (Outdoor lighting).

K. Mechanical or Chemical Processes. All light or glare from mechanical, chemical, or high-temperature processes, such as combustion or welding, shall be shielded or modified to prevent emission of adverse light or glare beyond the property line.

L. Outdoor Display and Storage. When allowed, all outdoor storage and display areas shall comply with the requirements of CDC 18.200.160, Outdoor sales and displays, and CDC 18.150.120, Outdoor storage.

M. Liquid or Solid Wastes.

1. Discharges to Water or Sewers. Liquids and solids of any kind shall not be discharged into a public or private body of water, sewage system, or into the ground, except as permitted by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

2. Solid Wastes. Solid wastes shall be handled and stored to prevent nuisances, health, safety, and fire hazards and to facilitate recycling. There shall be no accumulation of solid wastes outdoors conducive to the breeding of rodents or insects.

N. Maintenance of Nonresidential Properties. All properties shall be maintained in a manner that is not detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety, and general welfare or interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property as a result of neglect or improper maintenance of property improvements. All property owners shall provide ongoing repair, replacement, and maintenance of all exterior improvements including buildings, parking areas, private roads, walkways, landscaping, irrigation, signs, fences, walls, and other improvements.

O. Noise. All noise emanating from the subject site shall comply with the noise standards in the safety and noise element of the general plan. An acoustic study may be required, at the project applicant’s expense, for any use which could create or be subject to noise exposure greater than that deemed normally acceptable by the general plan. The acoustic study shall include recommendations on noise attenuating or mitigating measures to reduce noise impacts to acceptable levels. The following are exempt from this requirement:

1. Emergency Warnings. Warning devices used for alerting persons to the existence of an emergency such as police, fire, and ambulance sirens.

2. Temporary Uses. Special events such as fairs, festivals, civic and community events, seasonal sales lots, and similar events subject to CDC 18.200.200 (Temporary uses and structures).

3. Churches, Schools, and Similar Institutions. Bells, chimes, or similar sounds used by churches, schools, and similar institutions played between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. if not played more than five minutes in any one hour.

4. Municipal Solid Waste Collection. Collection of solid waste and recyclable materials by the city or under contract with the city.

5. Public Projects and Utilities. Public projects and maintenance undertaken by the city, Contra Costa County, the state or a public utility regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

6. Construction. Site preparation and construction activities between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays (except on holidays) or as approved by the city as part of a planning permit.

7. Residential Activities. Home improvement and related activities; provided, that such activities do not constitute a nuisance pursuant to CMC 8.25.020 (Nuisances defined).

P. Odors. All activities, processes, and uses shall not produce obnoxious or objectionable odors or fumes, perceptible without instruments, beyond the property line of the site.

Q. Screening Between Contiguous Properties. Fence or wall screens on property lines shall be provided in compliance with CDC 18.150.180 (Transitional requirements).

R. Determination of Compliance.

1. Measurements necessary for determining compliance with the standards of this section shall be taken at the property line of the subject site.

2. Any measurement or study required to determine compliance with these standards shall be prepared by an independent licensed consultant, approved by the city, at the expense of the applicant or owner. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-306].

18.150.140 Setbacks.

A. Purpose. This section provides standards for measuring setbacks and exceptions to required setbacks for structures on residential properties.

B. General Requirements and Exceptions. Structures on residential properties shall comply with the setback requirements of the applicable zoning district established by Division II of this title (Zoning DistrictsUses and Standards) or with the setback requirements under a specific plan, subdivision map, or other entitlement for the subject property, with the following exceptions:

1. Architectural projections as allowed in subsection (D) of this section;

2. Fences or walls in compliance with CDC 18.150.040 (Fences and walls);

3. Decks, freestanding solar devices, pavement, and other site design elements placed directly upon grade which do not exceed a height of 18 inches above finished grade;

4. Accessory structures in compliance with CDC 18.200.030 (Accessory structures);

5. Retaining walls less than 36 inches in height above finished grade;

6. Pools, ponds, and spas less than 18 inches in height above finished grade that meet the requirements of CDC 18.150.160 (Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas); or

7. Other stand-alone structures that are less than six feet in height.

C. Measurement of Setbacks. Setbacks shall be measured and applied as follows, unless different setback measurement methods are required due to an unusual parcel configuration that makes the following infeasible or ineffective.

1. Corner Lot. The front property line on a corner lot shall be the most narrow lot line abutting a street. If the property lines on both frontages are the same length, the property line to be used for the front setback measurement shall be that to which the city has assigned a street address.

2. Flag Lot. For lots with a fee ownership strip extending from a street or right-of-way to the building area of the lot, the front setback shall be measured from the nearest point of the wall of the structure to the point where the access strip meets the bulk of the lot; establishing a setback line parallel to the lot line nearest to the public street or right-of-way.

FIGURE 18.150.140(A) – FLAG LOT SETBACK

3. Front and Street Side Setback. The setback from the front or street side yard shall be measured from the nearest point on the property line abutting the street right-of-way or private road easement to the nearest point of the wall of the structure.

4. Interior Side Setback. The interior side setback shall be measured at right angles from the nearest point on the side property line of the lot to the nearest point of the wall of the structure, establishing a setback line parallel to the side property line and extending between the front and rear setbacks.

5. Rear Setback. The rear setback shall be measured at right angles from the nearest point on the rear property line to the nearest line of the primary building, establishing a setback line parallel to the rear property line.

a. The planning division shall determine the location of the required rear setback on a double-frontage lot.

b. Where a lot has no rear lot line because the side lot lines converge to a point, a presumed line 10 feet within the parcel, parallel to, and at a maximum distance from the front lot line, shall be deemed to be the rear yard setback. (See Figure 18.150.140(B).)

FIGURE 18.150.140(B) – DETERMINING SETBACKs

c. For single-story additions to existing single-family homes in the RS-7, RS-7.5, and RS-8 zoning districts, the rear yard setback may be reduced to 15 feet, when all of the following criteria are met:

i. The side yard setbacks conform to the required setbacks for the subject zoning district;

ii. There is an open usable rear yard with a minimum dimension (length or width) of 20 feet;

iii. There is an open usable rear yard with a minimum area equal to 10 times the minimum lot width required by the applicable zoning district; and

iv. The existing and proposed improvements do not exceed the maximum lot coverage.

d. The required rear yard setback for a single-family residence may be met by averaging the setback on a single site, to achieve the required setback, when:

i. No more than 50 percent of the residence extends closer than the required setback; or

ii. No portion of the residence extends closer than 15 feet to the rear property line.

6. Front Setback Averaging. Lots in areas where existing development has front setbacks less than required by the applicable district may reduce the required front setback as follows:

a. On a site situated between two developed lots, the minimum front yard setback shall be the average depth of the two front yards on either side.

b. Where a site is not situated between lots improved with buildings and where lots comprising 40 percent of the block frontage are improved with buildings, the minimum front yard setbacks shall be the average of the existing front yard depths on the block.

c. In computing average front yard setbacks, a depth of 10 feet shall be used for lots with front yard setbacks that are less than 10 feet. For an interior lot in a residential zoning district that adjoins a lot on the same street frontage, but in a different zoning district, the required front setback on the interior lot may be reduced to not less than the average of the required depth and the width or depth of the setback required on the parcel in the other zoning district.

7. Determination of Setbacks on Irregular-Shaped Lots. The planning division shall determine setbacks for irregular-shaped lots that are not covered by any of the above examples on a case-by-case basis.

D. Projections into Setbacks. Where allowed in the applicable district, an architectural feature that is part of the primary structure may extend beyond the wall of the structure and into a required front, street side, side, or rear setback in compliance with Table 18.150.140. These requirements do not apply to accessory structures subject to Division V of this title (Standards for Specific Uses).

Table 18.150.140

Allowed Projections Into Setbacks 

Projecting Feature

Allowed Projection into Required Setback

Front/Street Side Setback

Interior Side Setback

Rear Setback

Awnings and canopies

6 feet

30 inches(1)

6 feet(1)

Balcony, landing, porch, stairway – Uncovered, unenclosed, and less than 30 inches above grade

25 percent of setback

Balcony, landing, porch, stairway – Covered and enclosed by roof and walls

Not allowed in any setback

Balcony, landing, porch, stairway – Covered but unenclosed

6 feet

30 inches(1)

6 feet(1)

Bay window, or similar projecting feature

30 inches

The greater of 30 inches or 20 percent of setback(1)

30 inches

Chimney/fireplace, six feet or less in breadth, media niche

24 inches

24 inches(1)

24 inches(1)

Chimney/fireplace, more than six feet in breadth, media niche

Not allowed in any setback

24 inches(1)

24 inches(1)

Cornice, eave, mechanical equipment, roof overhang

24 inches

24 inches(1)

24 inches(1)

1. May project an additional six inches if the setback is greater than five feet.

E. Uses within Setback Areas.

1. Play Structures, Freestanding Solar Devices. A deck, freestanding solar device, or other site design element that exceeds a height of 18 inches above the finished grade at any point shall comply with the setback requirements for the primary structure, except as provided in CDC 18.200.030, Accessory structures.

2. Mechanical Equipment. Ground-mounted mechanical equipment shall comply with the setback requirements of the applicable district. Examples of this equipment include HVAC units, swimming pool pumps and filters, ventilation, and similar equipment; and cable television distribution boxes, transformers, and other utility equipment that is not installed underground, unless within the public right-of-way and approved by the city.

3. Storage. No front, rear, side, or street side setback shall be used for the accumulation, placement, or storage of automobiles or other motor vehicles, building materials, junk, machinery, or scrap, except for the following:

a. Automobiles and trucks, not in excess of one-ton capacity regularly in use, with current registration, able to move under their own power, and be legally driven on a public street that are parked within a designated driveway; and

b. Building materials stored on site required for construction on the subject parcel immediately before and during a construction project.

4. Parking. Except in single-family residential districts, parking shall not be located within a required front or exterior side setback area.

5. Storage of Trailers, RVs, and Larger Trucks Prohibited. All trailers and recreational vehicles as defined in Chapter 18.20 CDC, Article II (Use Classifications) and/or trucks not customarily used for personal use shall be stored or parked outside of the required front yard setback area, except in compliance with CDC 18.160.160 (Parking and storage of recreational vehicles). [Ord. 13-5; Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-307].

18.150.150 Solid waste and recycling storage.

A. Purpose. This section provides standards in compliance with the California Solid Waste Reuse and Recycling Access Act (Public Resources Code Sections 42900 through 42911).

B. Applicability. These requirements shall apply to all multifamily and nonresidential development in addition to all applicable requirements of the city’s franchised waste hauler, this development code, and Chapter 8.20 CMC, Solid Waste.

C. General Standards. Solid waste and recycling bins shall be stored within a fully enclosed structure that meets the following requirements.

1. The enclosure design shall be architecturally compatible with the other structures on site;

2. Trash enclosures shall be constructed with a minimum six-foot-high masonry wall or comparable solid material that screens bins from public view;

3. Access gates constructed of solid metal material or view-obscuring perforated metal. Gates shall swing outward more than 90 degrees without encroaching into, or interfering with the use of, adjacent improvements such as landscaping, parking, walkways, and driveways;

4. All trash enclosure areas shall be provided with a solid roof cover, constructed of materials and design compatible with the other structures on site;

5. Screening or other materials shall be provided to enclose any gap between the roof and the wall of the enclosure to prevent access;

6. A minimum six-inch concrete slab foundation shall be located in front of the enclosure and a concrete curb stop set a minimum of six inches shall be located inside of each wall;

7. A rubber or wood bumper located midway on each wall to protect the wall from damage;

8. All enclosures shall be provided with a drainpipe connecting to the sanitary sewer, in accordance with the requirements of the city’s franchised waste hauler; and

9. The enclosure shall be designed to accommodate two containers with at least 50 percent of the area for recycling and, if green waste is generated, additional space shall be provided;

10. Enclosures shall be located:

a. Outside of any required parking, driveway, landscape, utility easement, or setback area, unless there is no feasible alternative;

b. A minimum of five feet from an adjacent parking space;

c. A minimum of 20 feet from the property line of an abutting single-family residential district; and

d. A minimum of 20 feet from the public right-of-way line or access easement;

11. Enclosures shall be maintained by the property owner or manager in a good, usable, clean and sanitary condition.

D. Additional Standards.

1. Enclosures for recycling bins shall comply with the following:

a. Recycling bins shall be located in the same enclosure as solid waste containers wherever possible. If, due to space limitations or other property constraints, the bins must be in separate locations, the recycling and green waste containers shall be located so they are as convenient as the solid waste containers.

b. The property manager or homeowners’ association representative, or other appropriate agent of the owner or owners of each residence at the time a lease or rental agreement is signed, is required to inform all new tenants of the availability of recycling, the location of the recycling collection site(s), and the materials that can be recycled.

2. Enclosures for multifamily residential and mixed-use projects shall comply with the following:

a. In mixed-use projects, residential and nonresidential bins shall be located in separate areas.

b. Enclosures shall be located within a walking distance of 150 feet from the door of any dwelling unit, except for units served by chute(s) located within the required distance that access both solid waste and recycling enclosures.

c. Enclosures shall be located a minimum of 20 feet from any dwelling unit.

d. Tenants and/or employees shall have convenient access (i.e., through a pedestrian opening) to bins without having to open the main enclosure gates.

E. Enclosure Review Procedures.

1. The enclosure shall be submitted to the planning division and the city’s franchised hauler for review and approval of the proposed design, size, location, number, type, and placement of solid waste, recycling and green waste bins, boxes, and containers.

2. The planning division shall assure plans conform to the enclosure design and construction requirements in this section. In addition to these requirements, plans shall conform to design, building code, and other regulatory requirements.

3. The planning division shall approve such plans, require modifications, or impose additional requirements necessary for the safe and efficient collection of solid waste, recycling and green waste materials. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-308].

18.150.160 Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.

A. Applicability – Relationship to Other Regulations. The requirements of this section apply to swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs on private property and are in addition to the requirements of the Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Code.

B. Setbacks. Swimming pools, hot tubs, spas and related pool equipment shall be set back a minimum of five feet from side and rear property lines to the water’s edge and shall not be located within a front setback. Pool equipment shall be less than six feet in height.

C. Use. Any swimming pool or spa located on a single-family lot in a residential district is solely for the use and enjoyment of residents of the property and their guests and not to be leased for commercial purposes.

D. Security and Screening. Swimming pools shall be walled or fenced to prevent access from the street or from adjacent properties. All fencing shall comply with the requirements of the Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Code. [Ord. 18-1 § 1 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-309].

18.150.170 Traffic visibility at intersections and driveways.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to limit the height of structures and landscaping to provide adequate sight distances for pedestrian and vehicle traffic at intersections and driveways.

B. Applicability. This section applies to all structures and landscaping located adjacent to street intersections (public or private street) and driveways.

C. General Requirement and Exception. No fence, wall, structure, sign, or vegetation/landscaping element shall exceed three feet in height within the visibility triangle created by two intersecting streets, or the intersection of a driveway with a property line, except as may be allowed for the following:

1. Existing public utility poles, traffic signs, and signals;

2. Trees with their canopy trimmed to a minimum of eight feet above grade;

3. Corners where the contour of the land itself prevents visibility; and

4. Development in DMX and DP districts and at intersections where pedestrian and vehicle safety is enhanced by traffic signals, stop signs, crosswalks, slower traffic speed, and other mitigating factors as approved by the city engineer.

D. Visibility Triangle Measurement. The visibility triangle shall be measured as follows:

1. Corner Lots/Street Intersections. The corner visibility triangle shall be measured along the property frontage at the curb line (or edge of pavement lines) for a distance of 40 feet along both lines from their intersection. The visibility triangle is the area between the street and the line formed by connecting the outer points of each line.

2. Driveways. The driveway visibility triangle for each side of the driveway shall be determined by measuring 15 feet along the front property line, away from the driveway, beginning at the intersection of the driveway with the front property line, and measuring 15 feet along the driveway beginning at the intersection of the driveway with the front property line. The triangular area formed by connecting the outer points of each line across the intervening property is the visibility triangle.

FIGURE 18.150.170 – VISIBILITY TRIANGLE AT STREET INTERSECTIONS AND DRIVEWAYs

[Ord. 17-5 § 2 (Exh. C); Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-310].

18.150.180 Transitional requirements.

A. Purpose. This section provides standards for additional setbacks, screening, and landscaping to provide an appropriate transition between abutting properties.

B. Applicability. All projects requiring a planning permit shall comply with these transitional requirements, except for planning permits related to a single-family residence, such as a variance or minor exception, provided the subject property is not part of a multi-lot subdivision approved with transitional requirements.

C. Setbacks. The following setbacks shall apply to all nonresidential, mixed-use, and multifamily residential buildings abutting a residential district.

1. Buildings 30 feet or less in height shall have interior side and rear setbacks equal to the side and rear setbacks required in the abutting residential district.

2. Buildings exceeding 30 feet in height shall have a minimum setback of 20 feet, plus one additional foot of setback for every foot of building height over 30 feet, up to a maximum setback of 40 feet. Portions of the building above 30 feet may be staggered to comply with the additional setbacks, as shown in the following figure.

FIGURE 18.150.180 – TRANSITIONAL HEIGHT AND SETBACK

Table 18.150.180

Transitional Fence and Wall Requirements 

Proposed Use

Adjoining Use

Required*

Residential

Residential

6-foot fence

Commercial, office, retail, public/quasi-public with no outdoor storage or uses

8-foot wall

Business park and industrial with no outdoor operations or storage

8-foot wall

Any use with outdoor operations or storage

8-foot wall

Street with four or more lanes

6-foot wall

Street with three or fewer lanes

6-foot fence

Commercial, office, retail, public, or quasi-public use with no outdoor operations or storage

Residential

8-foot wall

Commercial, office, retail, public/quasi-public with no outdoor operations or storage

6-foot wall

Business park and industrial with no outdoor operations or storage

6-foot wall

Any use with outdoor operations or storage

6-foot wall

Business park and industrial with no outdoor operations or storage

Residential

8-foot wall

Commercial, office, retail, public/quasi-public with no outdoor operations or storage

6-foot wall

Business park and industrial with no outdoor operations or storage, or vacant land zoned for such uses

6-foot wall

Any use with outdoor operations or storage

6-foot wall

All uses with no outdoor operations or storage

Vacant property

None

All uses with outdoor operations or storage

All uses

6- to 8-foot wall; Also see CDC 18.150.120, Outdoor storage, for additional standards

*Unless otherwise approved by the review authority.

D. Fencing and Walls. Proposed developments shall provide a solid masonry wall or wood fence in accordance with the following table and standards.

1. All walls and fencing shall comply with CDC 18.150.040 (Fences and walls).

2. Walls shall be architecturally treated on both sides, as approved by the planning division.

3. Landscaping adjacent to masonry walls shall comply with Chapter 18.165 CDC (Landscaping).

4. This requirement may be waived, or an alternate method of compliance approved, if the review authority determines any of the following:

a. The relationship of the proposed uses makes screening unnecessary;

b. The intent of this subsection can be better met by alternative screening methods, including site planning, building orientation, additional setbacks, and landscaping;

c. Physical characteristics and/or constraints on the site make the required screening infeasible or impractical.

5. The wall or fence requirement under Table 18.150.180 may be increased in height or upgraded to an alternative wall or fence type, if the review authority determines any of the following:

a. The alternative wall or fence is necessary due to noise, light trespass, privacy, security, maintenance, or other concerns particular to the use or surrounding area; and

b. The alternative wall or fence is necessary due to the physical characteristics of the site or surrounding properties, such as topography and existing improvements.

E. Landscaping. A landscape buffer shall be provided between active uses (e.g., parking and loading areas) and the abutting residential district in accordance with CDC 18.165.060, Parking lot landscaping. [Ord. 12-4. DC 2012 § 122-311].