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Planning Division


What is Planned Development?

Chapter 21.16A of the Zoning Ordinance establishes the Planned Development (PD) Zoning District Overlay. An overlay district provides further regulation of land use and development within the primary zone categories. Overlay zone regulations apply in addition to the base or primary zone regulations (R1 PD, C2 PD, and M PD, are all examples of zones with a PD overlay.

The purpose of a Planned Development is to provide the Planning Commission with the opportunity to allow for innovation and flexibility in the design of residential, commercial, and industrial projects than would otherwise be afforded through strict adherence to the prescribed development standards. By providing for innovation and flexibility, it is envisioned that projects will be designed on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure that each project uniquely fits it’s site and it’s setting.

Modification of certain development standards for new projects can only be allowed if there would be greater public benefit provided than would otherwise be achieved. The development standards that may be modified through approval of a Planned Development are:

  1. Minimum lot sizes, minimum lot widths and depths that are required by the base zoning district if such modification is necessary in order to cluster lots to preserve natural resources.
  2. Minimum setback requirements.
  3. The descriptive, non-numerical grading standards of the R-1 Zoning District regulations for properties located with the R-1 and Hillside Development Districts. Such modification(s) can only be approved if it can be demonstrated that such modification(s) will still preserve the integrity of the existing topography and the basic landform of the site and will meet the intent of preservation of natural resources and/or conserve/provide for open space.
  4. Building Height limitations.
  5. The types and intensities of allowable land uses can be limited through a Planned Development.
  6. Provide flexibility to modify specific public improvements such as width and location of parkways and sidewalks when such limitations do not adversely affect public safety.

What is a Development Plan?

Municipal Code Section 21.23B.030 (A) lists the types of projects that are subject to a Development Plan review. There are some minor differences in the findings required for a project located in the Planned Development Overlay District (link to findings) and the findings for a project that requires a Development Plan approval. Either way, the application is called a PD and allows for flexibility in design as listed under the description for a Planned Development (link).

The following are projects that are subject to the Development Plan requirement:

Development Projects (All Types) subject to Environmental Review. Any development application, even a Minor Site Plan which normally could be approved by the Development Review Committee, must be approved by the Planning Commission as a PD application if it does not qualify for a categorical exemption from environmental review under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act.) (future link to CEQA info).

Any project that involves adding new multi-family residential units that will result in 5 or more units per lot (even if the first four units are existing and the project consists of adding a fifth unit to the lot) requires Development Plan approval and findings under a PD application. A Development plan approval is also required for any subdivision in a multi-family zone in which the number of units that could be developed is five or more.

New Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Projects of 10,000 square feet or more (gross) require Development Plan approval and findings. Also, projects of less than 10,000 square feet if all necessary infrastructure has not been installed, all necessary dedications have not been made, or special conditions are necessary.

Pre-Grading. Pre-grading of a site without any accompanying development plans where the surface area to be graded is greater than 20,000 square feet requires Development Plan approval and findings to be made by the Planning Commission.


The requirement for a Planned Development (PD) application is triggered in one of two ways: either by a project being located within a PD Overlay District or by a project that qualifies for a Development Plan as outlined in Municipal Code Section 21.23.B.030.(A), and listed below. The findings are slightly differed for Planned Development and Development Plans even though both are called PD applications. Both findings are below in the "Information" section.

Development Plans and Planned Developments are required for:

  • Development Projects (All Types) within a Planned Development (Overlay) District.
  • Development Projects (All Types) subject to Environmental Review.
  • Multi-Family Residential Development Projects resulting in 5 or more units per lot or part of subdivision
  • Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Projects of 10,000 square fee or more (gross) or projects of less than 10,000 square feet if all necessary dedications have not been made, or special conditions are necessary.

If you are already familiar with all the requirements and the process, you can download individual information sheets and/or applications as needed.

Additional Information

Major Development Application Guide [pdf:172k/5pp]

Street Tree List [pdf:98k/2pp]

Standard Conditions of Approval

Findings for Approval Planned Development [pdf:10k/1pp]

Findings for Approval Development Plan [11k/2pp]

Residential Planned Development Drawing Requirements [142k/3pp]

Time Frame [pdf:27k/1pp]


Environmental Information Form [pdf:93k/2pp]

Development Application [pdf:129k/2pp]

Certified Property Owners List Form [pdf: 9k/1pp]



Project "Pipeline" Report

Creston Road Complete and Sustainable Streets Corridor Plan

Uptown/Town Centre
Specific Plan

California Environmental Quality Act

Municipal Code Online Library

General Plan Maps [PDF]
Zoning Maps [PDF]

Zoning Information

Building or Engineering

User Fee Schedules

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