Objective Design Standards

The City of Pleasanton has initiated a process to develop an updated and expanded set of objective design standards for residential development. The intent of this effort is to address recent changes in State law that seek to streamline and increase housing production, focused on making approval processes more routine and predictable for developers. 

A key component of several of these new laws is increased limitations on discretionary review processes, placing an increased emphasis on objective design and development standards as the primary criteria that may be used as the basis for project approval or denial. 

With these new criteria and procedures in place, and expecting the emphasis on objective standards to continue in future legislation, it is in the City’s interest to have a robust body of residential design and development standards (i.e. objective design standards) in place, to ensure that projects deliver high-quality design, appropriate site planning and amenities, and are compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and the community, even in the absence of discretionary review. 

The project is anticipated to have two major components:

  • Update to the Housing Site Development Standards and Design Guidelines – modify subjective standards in this document such that they are objective.
  • Objective Design Standards for Other Types of Residential Development – develop objective design standards for other types of residential development, such as two-, three-, and four-plexes, in addition to considerations for sites that are rezoned as part of the upcoming update to the Housing Element.

The Planning Commission is the primary reviewing body that will guide this process and provide feedback and direction, although City Council will provide direction at key intervals throughout the process.


Below are meeting materials and drafts of the objective design standards.

Kickoff meeting with Planning Commission

December 9, 2020
Planning Commission Meeting
January 13, 2021

Self-guided Tour Materials
Memorandum to Planning Commission
Online Survey




If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Shweta Bonn, Senior Planner, at 925-931-5611 or sbonn@cityofpleasantonca.gov