The City of Concord will host a second special joint meeting/workshop of the Planning Commission and Design Review Board on Thursday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. for considering and providing input on a draft framework for the City’s “Objective Design Standards” (ODS) for housing projects, in response to the City’s April 6 joint special meeting on updating the City’s design standards, as a result of recent State housing legislation.
The meeting will include the following:
- Summary review as to the purpose of the project;
- Presentation on existing conditions findings;
- Review and discussion of the draft framework for the ODS document; and
- Design exercise, including a photo discussion, to identify values and approaches toward design elements and priorities toward the application of standards.
The project team, comprised of City staff and their consultant, MIG, Inc., will explore the experiences of the Commission/Board members in their review of planning projects and the implementation and incorporation of the City’s design guidelines into development projects. The project team will also seek policy direction from the group on key items.
Because this is a special meeting, it will be held in-person only in the Permit Center Conference Room –Building D (1950 Parkside Drive), and will not be available by Zoom, nor will it be televised.
The project intends to support Concord’s tradition of high-quality design and streamline the review of housing projects, consistent with the State Housing Accountability Act.
In response to California’s housing crisis, several state laws have been enacted to bolster the State’s Housing Accountability Act, with the intent of stimulating housing production. These bills are intended to advance housing by streamlining permit processes and making it more difficult for communities to deny or reduce the density of housing projects that meet objective General Plan and zoning requirements.
The State has limited a local jurisdiction’s ability to apply subjective design standards. Going forward, the City can now only rely on the application of objective design standards for most housing projects. Objective Design Standards are those that do not involve discretion or subjective judgment and are verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion.
For further details, please contact Joan Ryan, Principal Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 671-3370.