Zoning and Specific Plan Updates and General Plan Cleanup

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This City-initiated project includes amendments to the Centennial General Plan, Zoning Code/map, and Specific Plans. This is a multi-phase continued effort to make Zoning and Specific Plans consistent with the General Plan, clean up and clarify planning documents and maps, and to make City Council directed changes, including an expansion of the Architectural Overlay.A more detailed project description is below.

For more information, please contact Christopher Wright, Associate Planner, at (949)361-6193 or wrightc@san-clemente.org

Project Description

  1. General Plan Amendment. Clean up and clarify items in the General Plan (often completed after a major update) and follow-up on City Council direction to review two types of changes.The first change is to the Architectural Overlay district. This change would expand the Spanish Colonial Revival Architectural Overlay district between the Downtown Core and Pier Bowl Specific Plan. The intent is to improve the connectivity and consistency of architecture character in this area by including properties that front common streets used to travel between the Downtown and Pier Bowl area. The second change being considered is regarding the method for measuring height of taller multi-family residential buildings in the high-density residential zones (within the Pier Bowl Specific Plan). Standards are being considered to limit height as an average or median over a geographic area (e.g. same block) to reflect “existing” height trends, not the maximum build-out allowed by code.  For a map of areas where changes are being considered, click here
  2. Zoning AmendmentThe Zoning Code and map are being updated for consistency with the Centennial General Plan, implement General Plan policies, reflect Coastal Commission direction, and make the code more user friendly in several ways. Most notably, improvements are being made to the code's format and references are being added so Specific Plan standards and uses can be accessed more easily.
  3. Specific Plan Amendments. The City has seven adopted Specific Plans; Forster Ranch, Marblehead Coastal, Marblehead Inland, Pier Bowl, Rancho San Clemente, Talega and West Pico Corridor. These Specific Plans are being updated to: 1) be consistent with the 2014 General Plan update, 2) clean up and clarify text, maps, and graphics, 3) implement General Plan policies and reflect Coastal Commission direction, and 4) remove outdated text and graphics in the Specific Plan that is no longer applicable, such as references to a redevelopment area that no longer exists. 

Public Outreach

  • Meeting #1, September 27th  
  • Topic: West Pico Corridor (“Los Molinos”) Specific Plan update. For the powerpoint presentation of this meeting, click here.
  • Meeting #2, September 29th 
  • Topic: Pier Bowl Specific Plan update and Architectural Overlay. For the powerpoint presentation of this meeting, click here.
  • Meetings TBD. 
  • Outreach meetings are to be scheduled for Ranch land Specific Plans (Rancho San Clemente, Talega, Forster Ranch), in which updates are needed for General Plan consistency. Information will be posted here on such meetings once scheduled.