Residential Development Standards

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Why do we have Property Development Standards?

The purpose of these development standards is to provide for open areas around structures where needed for access to and around buildings, to protect access to natural light, vibration and direct sunlight, to separate incompatible land uses, to provide space for privacy landscaping and recreation, to regulate the height of structures, to support public safety, and to preserve neighborhood character.

These provisions are also intended to provide orderly development of the city through design review of new buildings and structures to establish usage that will promote and enhance good design, site relationships and other aesthetic considerations in the city.

There are three (3) kinds of residential zones: R-1, R-2, and R-3. An R-1 zones are designated for single-family residential development. An R-2 zone is a multifamily zone that allows for a maximum of two (2) units, while an R-3 zone is multifamily zone that allows for a higher density. Below are the different development standards for each of the three (3) residential zones. To find out what your property is zoned as, click on the Zoning Map at the bottom of this page.

 

R-1 Development Standards

All R-1 projects may be subject to the following standards. Contact the Planning Division for more information. You can also download the R-1 Development Standards brochure at the bottom of this page.

Setbacks and Standards for R-1 Properties

Minimum Front Yard:

25 feet for structures up to 20 feet in height.  If street has right-of-way of less than 60 feet, 55 feet from centerline of street for structure up to 20 feet in height. For structures over 20 feet in height, an additional 5 feet of front yard or a 40° angle from the front property line, whichever is greater, shall be provided for that portion of the structure above 20 feet.

Minimum Side Yard:

Five (5) feet for each interior side yard, increased by one (1) foot for each story or partial story above the first floor.

Minimum Corner Side Yard:

10 feet for street side of a corner lot, or 40 feet from centerline of street where lot sides upon street having a right-of-way of less than 60 feet. For a reversed corner lot, a side yard equaling the required front yard set-back of the first lot to its rear.

Minimum Rear Yard:

20% of lot depth, up to 15 feet.

Maximum Floor Area Ratio:

Lot area less than 10,000 square feet: 0.35.

Lot area between 10,000 and 19,999 square feet: 0.325.

Lot area 20,000 square feet and over: 0.30.

Maximum Height:

2 stories, 25 feet.

Maximum Lot Coverage:

50% if all buildings on the property are one story, 40% if any buildings or portion thereof contain more than one story.

Minimum Distance Between Buildings:

6 feet.

Minimum Habitable Space per Dwelling Occupant:

150 square feet.

 

R-1 Landscaping Requirements

No more than 25% of the front yard setback area shall be covered by non-decorative hardscape features.

No more than 25% may be covered by decorative permeable hardscape features.

The remaining 50% front yard setback area, must be of drought tolerant landscape material.

Artificial turf must adhere to all design standards outlined in AMC Section 23.48.020(1).

Any changes to existing Landscaping shall be approved by the Planning Division.

Drip irrigation shall be considered whenever appropriate.

See AMC Section 23.48 for more details.

R-1 Parking Standards

Two (2) covered spaces within an enclosed garage for each unit with a minimum width of nine feet, zero inches and a minimum depth of 20 feet, zero inches (9’0” X 20’0”).

One (1) additional parking space for each 750 sq. ft. of gross living area in excess of 2,000 sq. ft.

Tandem parking may be permitted per §23.52.070(C)(4). See a Planner for more information.

See AMC Section 23.52 for more details.

R-2 Development Standards

All R-2 projects may be subject to the following standards. Contact the Planning Division for more information. You can also download the R-2 Development Standards brochure at the bottom of this page.

Setbacks and Standards for R-2 Properties

Minimum Front Yard:

Average of the front setbacks of the two adjacent properties, with a minimum of 20 feet. Minimum of 50 feet from centerline of street if street has right-of-way less than 60 feet.

Minimum Side Yard:

Five (5) feet for each interior side yard, increased by one (1) foot for each story or partial story above the first floor.

Minimum Corner Side Yard:

10 feet for street side of a corner lot, or 40 feet from centerline of street where lot sides upon street having a right-of-way of less than 60 feet. For a reversed corner lot, a side yard equaling the required front yard set-back of the first lot to its rear.

Minimum Rear Yard:

10 feet

Maximum Height:

2 stories, 25 feet.

Maximum Lot Coverage:

45%

Maximum Floor Area Ratio:

0.35

Minimum Distance Between Buildings:

6 feet if only one orneither building is used for residential purposes. 10 feet if both buildings are used for residential purposes.

Minimum Habitable Space per Dwelling Occupant:

150 square feet.

 

R-2 Landscaping Requirements

No more than 25% of the front yard setback area shall be covered by non-decorative hardscape features.

No more than 25% may be covered by decorative permeable hardscape features.

The remaining 50% front yard setback area, must be of drought tolerant landscape material.

Artificial turf must adhere to all design standards outlined in AMC Section 23.48.020(1).

Any changes to existing Landscaping shall be approved by the Planning Division.

Drip irrigation shall be considered whenever appropriate.

See AMC Section 23.48 for more details.
 

R-2 Parking Requirements

Two (2) covered spaces within an enclosed garage for each unit with a minimum width of nine feet, zero inches and a minimum depth of 20 feet, zero inches (9’0” X 20’0”).

One (1) additional parking space for each 750 sq. ft. of gross living area in excess of 2,000 sq. ft. Additional spaces may be uncovered.

Tandem parking may be permitted per §23.52.070(C)(4). Contact a Planner for more information.

See AMC Section 23.52 for more details.

 

R-3 Development Standards

All R-3 projects may be subject to the following standards. Contact the Planning Division for more information. You can also download the R-3 Development Standards brochure at the bottom of this page.

Setbacks and Standards for R-3 Properties

Minimum Front Yard:

Average of the front setbacks of the two adjacent properties, up to a maximum of 30 feet, with a minimum of 20 feet. Minimum of 50 feet from centerline of street if it has right- of-way less than 60 feet. For properties which have their front yards on Curtis or Electric Lanes, 15 feet.

Minimum Side Yard:

5 feet for each interior side yard, increased by 1 foot for each story or partial story above the first floor.

Minimum Corner Side Yard:

10 feet for street side of a corner lot, or 40 feet from centerline of street where lot sides upon street having a right-of-way of less than 60 feet. For properties on Curtis and Electric Lanes, 10 feet. For a reversed corner lot, a side yard equaling the required front yard setback of the first lot to its rear

Rear Yard:

10 feet. For properties which have rear yards on Curtis or Electric Lanes, 15 feet.

Maximum Height:

See AMC §23.42.020

Maximum Lot Coverage:

55%

Maximum Floor Area Ratio:

0.60 for all living area (excluding non-living areas and garages), for lots up to 19,999 square feet.

0.70    for all living area (excluding non-living areas and garages), for lots 20,000 square feet and larger

Minimum Distance Between Buildings:

6 feet if only one or neither building is used for residential purposes. 10 feet if both buildings are used for residential purposes.

 

R-3 Landscaping Requirements

No more than 25% of the front yard setback area shall be covered by non-decorative hardscape features.

No more than 25% may be covered by decorative permeable hardscape features.

The remaining 50% front yard setback area, must be of drought tolerant landscape material.

Artificial turf must adhere to all design standards outlined in AMC Section 23.48.020(1).

Any changes to existing Landscaping shall be approved by the Planning Division.

Drip irrigation shall be considered whenever appropriate.

See AMC Section 23.48 for more details.

R-3 Parking Requirements

Two (2) covered spaces within an enclosed garage for each unit with a minimum width of nine feet, zero inches and a minimum depth of 20 feet, zero inches (9’0” X 20’0”).

One (1) additional parking space for each 750 sq. ft. of gross living area in excess of 2,000 sq. ft. Additional spaces may be uncovered.

Tandem parking may be permitted per §23.52.070(C)(4). See a Planner for more information.

See AMC Section 23.52 for more details.

 

Accessory Structures for R-1, R-2 and R-3 zones

Minimum Rear Yard:

3 feet

Minimum Side Yard:

3 feet, except that for a corner lot, the street side setback shall be 10 feet. For a reversed corner lot, the side setback shall be the required front yard setback for the key lot.

Minimum Distance Between Buildings:

6 feet

Garage Corner Side Yard:

A garage with the automobile entrance facing a street shall be set back 20 feet from the street side property line, or 50 feet from the centerline of the street if it has right-of-way of less than 60 feet.

 

Residential Development Application Process

R-1, R-2, and R-3 Process

Additions less than 50% of existing home:

For properties zoned R-1, any expansion that is less than 50% of the existing home requires applicants to submit for Plan Check with the Building Division. The Building Division will then route plans to each of the applicable Divisions for review. Upon receiving departmental approvals, the applicant will then be issued a Building Permit. Any addition visible from the public right-of-way shall require approval from the Design Review Board (see Uniform Planning Application below) prior to submitting to the Building Division. For more information, contact a Planner.

 

Additions Greater than 50%, New Construction, and/or 2nd Story Additions:

For properties zoned R-1, any expansion that is greater than 50% of the existing home, New Construction, or second story additions, requires a Planned Development Permit and approval from the Design Review Board (see Uniform Planning Application below) prior to submitting to the Building Division.

NOTE: Prior to submitting an application to the Planning Division, a review shall be conducted by staff to ensure that your proposed project will meet all development standards with the City of Alhambra’s Zoning Ordinance. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the residential development standards or the application process, please contact the Planning Division at (626) 570-5034 or Planning@cityofalhambra.org.

Residential Development Standards Handouts

Click on the any of the handouts or maps for more information and a downloadable PDF.

Residential Design Guidelines

 Permits, Licenses, & Applications

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More Resources

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