Sacramento County is planning for a future with a more efficient development process, a greater number of high quality buildings, new walkable neighborhoods, and increased use of drought-tolerant landscaping. For the first time in 30 years, the County is conducting a major update to its Zoning Code and Design Guidelines. Halted in 2008, the latest update was restarted in 2012. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will review the update for approval at a public hearing October 7, at 2:00 p.m.
The Department of Community Development set three main goals for the update.
1. Provide business and user friendly practices that promote economic development and streamline the entitlement process, offering flexibility while ensuring appropriate community review.
2. Create Design Guidelines and Development Standards that achieve higher standards for the quality of both residential and commercial buildings.
3. Promote low-impact development, active design, walkable communities, energy efficiency and water conservation.
“We are making it more efficient and less expensive for businesses to relocate to and grow in Sacramento County, while maintaining the opportunities for community feedback on important projects,” said County Executive Bradley J. Hudson.
To help property owners navigate the new Zoning Code, the Department wrote a Zoning Code User Guide. The Guide summarizes the various sections of the Code and provides detailed instructions on how to determine the allowable uses on a property.
Another highlight of the update is the addition of new Mixed-use Zones designed to encourage infill, higher density housing and higher intensity commercial space. The new Design Guidelines also encourage “active design” – an approach to the development of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods that uses architecture and urban planning to make daily physical activity and healthy foods more accessible and inviting – as stated by The Center for Active Design.
During the past two years, the Department has presented the Zoning Code update to a variety of stakeholders, community groups, business organizations and more. Ideas and feedback from these meetings have been included in the final version. The Department has made more than 100 key changes to the Public Review Draft between February 2014 and August 2014.
For more information and related documents, visit the Zoning Code Update web page.