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Planned Unit Development (PUD)

What is a Planned Unit Development (PUD)?

The PUD review process addresses a wide range of development issues, including: land use, site planning, grading, traffic, noise, housing affordability, viewsheds, exterior architecture, colors, parking, illumination, landscaping, and open space. PUD applications require review by both the Planning Commission and the City Council. The PUD process typically involves two primary elements: 1) the rezoning of the subject property to the PUD district; and 2) the approval of a specific development plan for the site. However, a PUD application may involve only one of these two elements in certain cases. The Planning Department strongly encourages you to submit no-fee preliminary, conceptual plans for your project for staff comment prior to the submittal of a formal PUD application.

PUD Considerations

The Municipal Code establishes a list of development factors for the Planning Commission and City Council to consider prior to the approval of a PUD application. You should keep the following considerations in mind when designing your project and formulating your PUD application submittal:

  1. Is the plan in the best interests of the public health, safety, and general welfare?
  2. Is the plan consistent with the City's General Plan?
  3. Is the plan compatible with developed properties in the vicinity and the natural, topographic features of the site?
  4. Is the proposed grading designed to avoid negative environmental impacts, such as erosion, slides, and/or flooding?
  5. Are streets and buildings designed and located to complement the natural terrain and landscape?
  6. Have adequate public safety measures been incorporated into the design of the plan?
  7. Does the plan conform to the purposes of the PUD District?

Information Required

A total of twenty (20) complete sets of exhibits are required to accompany the initial PUD application submittal. At least three (3) sets of plans must be submitted on 18" x 24" or 24" x 36" standard, full-sized sheets. The remaining 17 copies may be submitted on sheets which have been photographically reduced to 11" x 17" size. Plans must be legible and folded to fit an 8.5" x 11" file folder in order for the application to be accepted. Additional copies of exhibits will be required for the City Council meeting.

The Municipal Code states that a PUD development plan submittal should be prepared by a design team consisting of a registered civil engineer and either a licensed architect, professional planner, or licensed building designer.

Depending on the size and nature of the project proposed, your project may be subject to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A planner will determine whether the initial environmental assessment form and fee are required to accompany your application.

Please refer to Chapter 18.68 of the Pleasanton Municipal Code for more detailed information on the PUD process. Copies may be obtained at the Planning Department.

PUD development plan submittals must be accompanied by the following items:

  1. A complete application form and $2,000 application fee. Please clearly state the purpose of the application (e.g. size/area of the project site, size/number of proposed buildings, number of proposed dwelling units, unique characteristics of the proposal, etc.) In addition, the property owner must sign the application form or provide a written letter of authorization;
  2. A written narrative which introduces the project and describes in detail any elements of the project which are not readily apparent in the exhibits;
  3. A site plan showing locations of all streets, on-street and off-street parking, buildings, and other structures and, where applicable, any bicycle paths and trails; should include lots, boundary lines, dimensions, setbacks, easements, north arrow, written scale, and graphic (bar) scale; the full width of perimeter streets should be shown, as well as any existing and proposed medians, median openings, and adjoining driveways;
  4. Typical elevations showing all four (4) sides of any structure(s) proposed in the plan; should be of sufficient detail to show building heights, materials, colors, textures, and general design; for commercial projects, conceptual sign plans showing sign type, size and location must be included;
  5. For residential projects, floor plans showing all model types must be submitted; floor plans may also be required for commercial projects;
  6. A table listing land coverages by percentage and acreage for the following: landscaped areas and natural open space, building coverage, parking, streets and sidewalks, and recreation facilities;
  7. A topographical map showing existing contours and proposed lot lines (may be integrated with the site plan described above); this map must normally be at a scale no smaller than 1" = 100' with contour lines at an interval no greater than 10 feet;
  8. A grading plan showing existing and proposed contours and the depths of all cuts and fills; on both the grading plan and topographical map, contour lines should be carried a minimum of 50 feet beyond the project boundaries; the grading plan should show direction of drainage, retaining walls (height and materials), building pad elevations, and finished floor elevations;
  9. A slope classification map showing the following: lands < 10% slope; lands 10%-20% slope; and lands > 20% slope;
  10. Development profiles which show the relationship of the proposed project to any dominant geological or topographical features on the site or in the vicinity (if required by the Planning Director);
  11. A tree survey showing any existing trees on the site, including size, species, and whether or not such tree(s) are proposed to be removed or destroyed; any "heritage" trees on the site should be designated on the plan; accurate outlines of the drip lines of all existing trees must be shown; a tree report prepared by an approved horticultural consultant may also be required;
  12. Street improvement plans, including sufficient dimensions and detail to show right-of-way and pavement widths, street grades, whether streets are to be public or private, and all proposed frontage improvements on new and existing streets; typical street sections for each type of street should be provided;
  13. A preliminary soils report, geologic report, and/or geotechnical study prepared by a registered civil engineer and/or registered geologist (when development is proposed in areas of > 10% average slope, potential ground instability, significant erosion, high water table, special seismic study zones, or if required by the Planning Director);
  14. A detailed landscape plan showing the natural open space, if any, which will remain upon completion of development, all existing trees, and the precise boundaries of additional landscaping; the landscape plan must include the following: species (botanical and common names), container sizes, and dimensions and locations of all proposed trees, shrubs and groundcover; paving materials; street furniture; and fencing materials; evidence of an irrigation system (indicating whether manual or automatic) must also be shown;
  15. Residential developments must include a calculation of the population density of the development, the location and types of dwelling units, and a calculation of the number of bedrooms to be constructed;
  16. Commercial developments must include a specification of the permitted and conditional uses desired in the development plan;
  17. For certain developments, a traffic analysis prepared by a certified traffic engineer may be required.

The Application Process




Staff Analysis

The Planning Department encourages the submittal of no-fee, preliminary applications. This process enables the applicant to obtain early feedback from the Planning Department. Upon formal application submittal, your application will be examined to make sure that it is complete. Partial or incomplete applications may delay processing. If the application is found to be in order, it will be reviewed at the first available Planning Department staff meeting, which generally occurs weekly on Monday mornings. In addition, the application will be reviewed by other City departments at the weekly Staff Review Board which meets on Thursday afternoons. The project will be assigned to a staff planner who will contact you to schedule a site inspection and to ask any necessary questions concerning the application. You will receive feedback concerning your proposal, and it is possible that changes may be suggested and revised plans requested.

Planning Commission Public Hearing

Prior to the Planning Commission hearing, the project planner prepares a detailed staff report. The Planning Commission staff report will address a broad array of issues, including: General Plan land use, site plan layout, architecture, grading, landscaping, traffic engineering, noise attenuation, housing affordability, viewsheds, open space, color/materials, and other concerns. The report will contain a recommendation for action and proposed conditions of approval to address the issues analyzed in the report.

Public notice will be mailed to residents and property owners within 1,000 feet of the site informing them of the date, time, place, and purpose of the Planning Commission hearing. At the hearing, the Commission will consider the information in the staff report and any testimony given at the hearing. You should attend the Planning Commission hearing to represent your application and to answer any questions that the Commission may have. The Commission will take action either to recommend approval to the City Council or to deny the application. If the recommendation is for approval, the application usually then progresses to a public hearing before the City Council approximately three weeks later.

If the PUD is denied at the Planning Commission hearing, you may appeal the decision to the City Council by submitting a written request within 15 days of the Commission's action. The City Council can also elect on its own to review the case. To make your appeal, you must make a written request and submit a fee of $25.00 to the Planning Department within the 15-day appeal period. An appeal will be scheduled for the first available City Council meeting.

City Council Public Hearing

A staff report is also prepared for the City Council hearing. This staff report summarizes the features of the proposed project as well as all action which has taken place on the project to date. The recommendation of the Planning Commission is stated, as well as staff's recommendation for action concerning the application. The City Council staff report typically includes an attachment of a draft ordinance with recommended conditions of approval. If the PUD application is approved, this document will become the official City record of the rezoning and development plan approval.

Public notice will again be mailed to residents and property owners within 1,000 feet of the site informing them of the date, time, place, and purpose of the City Council hearing. The Council will consider the information in the staff report and any testimony given at the hearing. Once again, you should plan to attend the Council hearing to represent your application. The Council will take a final action to approve or to deny the proposed PUD. If the application is approved, the draft ordinance will be "introduced" (sometimes with modifications).

Project Approval

The ordinance is adopted upon a "second reading" by the City Council at the next Council meeting (usually two weeks later). The PUD approval becomes effective 30 days after the ordinance is adopted. At this time, you may proceed with your project subject to the conditions of the ordinance and any other pertinent City requirements (such as the requirement for Growth Management approval for residential projects). You will be informed by letter throughout the City review process of all action taken by the Planning Commission and City Council.
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