Residential Hillside Development

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The Residential Hillside (RHS) Ordinance regulates single family residential development in the hillside zones in a manner that preserves the natural setting of the hillsides.

The ordinance incorporates performance standards and specific regulations to ensure that the utilization of land for residential uses is balanced with the need to conserve natural resources and protect life and property from natural hazards. 

Development that meets the regulations of the RHS ordinance may be permitted through the building permit process. However, in some cases, if an exception to any of the regulations is required to develop the property, a public hearing with the Planning Commission may be necessary.

Development in the RHS zone requires several studies including, but not limited, to arborist reports and geotechnical reports prior to project approval. These reports are peer reviewed by the City's consultants.

For projects that need a public hearing, once the project is deemed complete, please fill out the application form and pay the fees online or at the Planning Counter. Your Project Planner will inform you of the hearing date.

RHS Development Standards

The calculation of the maximum allowable floor area in the RHS zone is dependent on the lot area, and the average slope of the net lot area. The size of all development on property zoned RHS may not exceed 6,500 sq. ft. regardless of the lot area and average slope of the property.

Calculation of Maximum Allowable Floor Area for property zoned RHS

 Area

 90,000 sq. ft.

 Creek Easement  12,500 sq. ft.

 Driveway Easement

   2,500 sq. ft.

 Lot Area =   Area
                   
-  Creek Easement
                   
-  Driveway Easement

  90,000 sq. ft.
 -12,500 sq. ft.
 -  2,500 sq. ft.
  75,000 sq. ft.

 Average Slope of Net Lot Area

 The average slope must be calculated by a civil  engineer.

 20% (0.2)

 Slope Adjustment Factor = 

 (1 - (1.5 x (Average Slope of Net Lot Area - 0.1)))

 On lots with slopes of over 10%, the allowable floor  area is  reduced by 1.5% for each percent of slope  over 10%.

 (1 - (1.5 x (0.2 - 0.1))) = 0.85

 Maximum allowable floor area is the lesser of:

  • 6,500 sq. ft.

OR

  • 4,500 square feet plus 59.59 square feet for every 1,000 square feet over 10,000 square feet of net lot area times the Slope Adjustment Factor. 

 Lesser of:

  • 6,500 sq. ft.

OR

  • (4,500 + 59.59 * ((Net lot area - 10,000)/1,000))) x (Slope Adjustment Factor)
    =(4,500 + (59.59 x ((75,000 - 10,000)/1,000))) x 0.85
    = (4,500 + (59.59 x 74)) x 0.85
    = 8,909.66 x 0.85 = 7,573.21 sq. ft.

 Therefore, Maximum Allowable Floor Area is  limited to: 6,500 sq. ft.

 

Setbacks

 Slope 

 Minimum Front Yard Setback

Minimum Rear Yard Setback

Minimum Side Setback

Maximum Building Height

Interior Lot Side Setback

Street Side on Corner Lot

First Story

Second Story

Third Story

First Story

Second Story

Third Story

First Story

Second Story

Third Story

First Story

Second Story

Third Story

≤20%

20’

25’

25’

20’

25’

25’

10’

15’

20’

15’

15’

20’

30’

> 20%

10’

25’

25’

20’

25’

25’

10’

15’

20’

15’

15’

20’

30’

Decks

N/A

17’

17’

N/A

20’

20’

N/A

15’

15’

N/A

15’

15’

30’

 

The RHS ordinance also regulates subdivisions, grading, driveways, accessory structures, fences, outdoor lighting and color scheme. Please read carefully and contact the Planning Division with any questions.

Fences - Fence requirements are different in the RHS zones than in other residential areas.

Driveway gates - Gates may be used to control access to private roads and driveways in the RHS zones as long as the Director of Community Development approves of the design.