Sausalito is moving forward with permanent rules to govern new housing development under state law for properties zoned single-family residential.
The City Council unanimously voted to advance an ordinance that would allow the development of new units under Senate Bill 9. The housing law, which took effect Jan. 1, modifies residential zoning rules to allow up to four homes to be built on a property zoned for one house.
The city’s rules “follows the state mandate closely, with some exceptions,” said Dan Hortert, interim community development director.
Hortert said a second reading and adoption of the ordinance was expected at the council meeting on June 28.
The rules would be effective on July 28, or 30 days after the second reading.
“I think it’s a good place to start,” said Councilmember Susan Cleveland-Knowles.
Previously, the council had directed staff to prepare an ordinance for implementing new SB 9 guidelines. In February, the council’s legislative committee reviewed a draft of the ordinance before forwarding it to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation to the council. The commission unanimously advanced the resolution for approval on May 4.
The city’s interim guidance met the requirements of SB 9. The permanent rules do the same, officials said, but with a few key changes.
The standards for Sausalito include a maximum of 1,200 square foot units and a maximum height of 16 feet and a state-mandated 4-foot side and rear setbacks. The state law requires a minimum unit size of 800 square feet, but Sausalito’s law caps the maximum size.
Decks and balconies must be a minimum of 15 feet from the property line and included in the overall footprint of the proposed structure. The properties are also prohibited from being used as short-term rentals.
For lot splits, all newly created lots must have a minimum of 20-foot frontage along a public or private street. For a flag-lot, or a lot at the end of a street, the minimum public or private street frontage can be 10 feet. The smaller of any new lot in an urban lot split cannot be less than 40% of the original lot size. The number of dwelling units on newly created lots is limited to two per lot.
The Planning Commission made recommendations such as removal of time limits for application processing and removal of requirements that new buildings face the street or use the same materials as the primary structure.
The city has 1,022 parcels zoned single-family residential, with 77 exempt because they are in a very high fire severity zone. No parcels are located in a historic district, though some may also be eligible for exemption under environmental protection or conservation easement laws.