Hillside Development Permit

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A Hillside Development Permit (HDP) is required for development in the Hillside Overlay District (HOD). The Hillside Overlay District is intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of the city by establishing regulations for the development of ridgeline, hillside and other rural residential areas within the city. All projects, subject to a Hillside Development Permit, must substantially comply with the Residential Design Review Guidelines.

Is my project subject to a Hillside Development Permit?

If your property is within the Hillside Overlay District and you propose any of following, then your project is subject to a Hillside Development Permit:
  1. Construction involving the erection, modification, or relocation of a structure
  2. Grading or other site work.
  3. Removal of a native tree 4 or more inches in diameter as measured at 4’-6” above grade.
  4. Removal of native riparian vegetation.
  5. Change in density or intensity of land use.
  6. Subdivision of land.
  7. Lot Line Adjustment.
  8. Phase I HDP  (siting and massing determination for development of a vacant lot).
  9. Phase II HDP (review of the design and impacts of the project).
A Hillside Development Permit is not required if:
  1. The construction does not require a Building Permit or Grading Permit.
  2. The construction is entirely within the interior of an existing structure.
  3. The construction is routine maintenance or replacement work that does not change the exterior appearance of the existing structure.

A Hillside Development Permit must be submitted to the Planning & Building Department for review. Projects minor in scope can be acted upon at a staff level by the Zoning Administrator, while larger and more complex projects are acted upon by the Design Review Commission. Development within a protected ridgeline setback are acted upon by the Planning Commission.

We recommend that applicants consider submitting a Study Session Application, which enables you to receive feedback from the Design Review Commission on a preliminary design of your project and often results in a better project and a smoother review process. For other tips, please visit our Marquis de Lafayette's Tips for Success handout.

Check the Project Checklist to determine if your project is subject to other triggers for review.