Zoning and Design Standards
Zoning codes are a set of rules that regulate what can and can’t be done on a particular piece of property. They’re established and enforced at the city level. In California, you can find zoning codes for virtually every city in the city’s municipal code. Here is Santa Fe Spring's Zoning Code under the Municipal Code.
Development standards set the rules for development, including the height of buildings, the number of units allowed per parcel, the distance between buildings and adjacent properties, the amount of open space needed on a site, parking requirements, building design standards, and more.
The need for additional housing has prompted cities to review residential development standards to make them simpler to understand and easier to implement, resulting in faster permitting timelines. Cities are updating and adding to existing regulations to create development standards that can be “objectively” reviewed by staff, including:
- Creating easy-to-understand development and design regulations through measurable requirements, simple tables, and diagrams; and
- Requiring no personal or subjective judgment to determine if the standards have been met, allowing for a straightforward administrative process that reduces timelines, adds certainty, and achieves reasonable design goals.
About the SCAG Objective Development Standards Bundle Project
The City of Santa Fe Springs is a part of a project, funded by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) through the Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant program. The project will document, assess, and modernize multi-unit and mixed-use objective development standards and permitting and help support a greater understanding of the role of objective standards in increasing housing production in Los Angeles County and throughout California.
Related to multi-unit/mixed-use housing development, the project includes the preparation of an existing local policies and regulations review report, a current project review report, permit streamlining assistance, an online cost estimator tool, and the creation of objective standards for up to four multi-unit/mixed-use zones. For more information about the project and standards, please see the Project Fact Sheet and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Objective Design Standards Toolkit.
City Adopts General Plan in 2022
The General Plan establishes the framework for decision-making regarding land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, resource conservation, parks and recreation, public safety, and equity. This framework includes a vision for Santa Fe Springs supported by goals, policies, and implementation strategies.
The General Plan identifies a vision for the future and provides the foundation for all development decisions. The current General Plan was adopted in the 1990s. In this rapidly evolving world, an update creates the opportunity to address current challenges and emerging trends.
The General Plan touches many topic areas, such as where housing can be built, where new commercial businesses are needed, how the road network can better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians, how parks can be improved, and how public safety is addressed in our daily activities, including exposure of people to noise and air pollutants.
Input from the community is essential to the development of the vision, goals, and policy statements. Using an intensive, inclusive, and creative community engagement process, the new General Plan will focus on achieving well-defined guiding principles for a wide range of topics. This General Plan program represents an opportunity for residents and the business community to share their ideas about reimagining Santa Fe Springs, both in terms of near-term actions and a long-term vision.