Public Works: Planning Division

Division Overview

The City of Piedmont consists primarily of unique single family residences set among mature trees and other vegetation. The residents of Piedmont believe it to be in the welfare of all residents to preserve the beauty and architectural heritage of the City’s housing stock, the mature vegetation, and the tranquility and privacy which now exist. The residents also desire to reduce on-street parking and traffic in the neighborhood streets and to avoid overcrowding and its detrimental effects on City schools and other services and facilities. The Planning Division is responsible for maintaining the General Plan, enforcing zoning laws, processing applications for design review and Conditional Use Permits and working directly with the Planning Commission and City Council regarding review and approval of proposed construction projects.


Design Review

Please click here for detailed information about the Design Review Process.


Accessory Dwelling Units

In residential zones, Piedmont permits small second units through a ministerial, staff level Accessory Dwelling Unit permit process.


General Plan and Housing Element

The Piedmont General Plan is a State-mandated document containing the city’s official long-range policies for land use and development. Its policies affect a wide range of topics, including transportation, housing, natural resources, parks, public services, community design, and infrastructure. The General Plan was adopted by the City Council on April 6, 2009. The Housing Element, which is part of the General Plan, was adopted on June 6, 2011. The city of Piedmont is updating its Housing Element. Please click here for a description of the project, links to presentations and staff reports, and draft documents.


Zoning

The process of regulating the character of construction in the city to protect the integrity and beauty of Piedmont neighborhoods includes both the General Plan and the city's zoning ordinances. Piedmont is divided into five districts or zones. Within each zone only certain uses of land and buildings are allowed as permitted and certain other uses of land and buildings are restricted or prohibited. Other uses may be "conditionally" permitted if they meet certain criteria.

The City of Piedmont is divided into five zones:

More than 95% of Piedmont’s single family homes are located in Zone A. Less than 5% are in Zone E. Multi-family dwellings are generally located in Zone C.

Piedmont has two small areas which are zoned for commercial business (Zone D) and anyone wishing to conduct business in these zones must apply for a Conditional Use Permit. The Conditional Use Permit is reviewed by staff and is then scheduled for consideration by both the Planning Commission and the City Council. When approved, a Conditional Use Permit states the approved hours of operation, number of employees, parking restrictions and other details regarding the business.

Contact the Planning Division to verify your zoning district. Chapter 17 of the Piedmont City Code contains the specific regulations for each zone in the city.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan

On Monday, November 3, 2014, the City Council unanimously adopted the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (PBMP) and the Initial Study/Negative Declaration. To read the plan and its supporting documentation, please click here.


Complete Streets Policy

At its meeting of November 19, 2012, the Piedmont City Council adopted a “Complete Streets” policy for the City. The policy aims to promote the design of streets that are safer and more convenient for all users, including not only drivers but also pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders, as well as children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Depending on their context, Complete Streets may include safer crosswalks, sidewalks, curb ramps, medians, bike lanes, clearer signage and striping, slower traffic speeds and landscaping, among other features. By promoting a more balanced transportation system, Complete Streets offer a number of important community benefits: they are safer and more visually appealing, give people more transportation options, help to reduce car trips and encourage physical activity. Having an adopted policy will make the City eligible for various types of transportation funds from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The Piedmont Complete Streets policy, including the accompanying resolution, is available here.

Additional information about Complete Streets can be found at:


Hayward Fault Special Studies Zone

Piedmont is entirely outside the Hayward Fault Special Studies Zone. The fault lies approximately 1/4 mile east of the city limits.


Flood Map

No portion of Piedmont is within the 100-year flood plain of any creek or waterway, All properties are classified as Zone C on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps,


Crown Castle Wireless Distributed Antenna System - Application Documents

Crown Castle NG West LLC filed applications in November 2016 for nine proposed Verizon distributed antenna system wireless communication facilities, located generally around Piedmont Park and Piedmont High School. Crown Castle NG West LLC is a company that builds wireless communication facilities and then leases them to wireless service providers, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon.

On May 2, 2017, Crown Castle constructed a mock-up to represent a proposed light pole and wireless antenna near the Wildwood Ave. entrance to Piedmont Park. The mock up was also meant to represent the wireless antenna installations at eight additional sites.

On June 7, 2017, the Park Commission reviewed the possible impacts to street trees. On June 12, 2017, the Planning Commission reviewed the proposal and made recommendations to City Council on the design and location of each proposed wireless communications facility. Please see the Park Commission Agenda Report and the Planning Commission Agenda Reports in the documents list below.

On August 4, 2017, Crown Castle NG West resubmitted plans and application forms with project revisions. The proposed revised projects included five installations on existing utility poles, three installations on the tops of existing street light poles, and one installation on a new light within Piedmont Park at the Wildwood Ave. entrance. The applicants have proposed that ground equipment related to the pole top antennas be located in various locations, including inside cabinets shaped like mailboxes on the sidewalk, behind shrouds mounted on the poles, and in underground vaults. On August 29, 2017, Crown Castle submitted revised plans which superceded those submitted on August 4, 2017. This submittal caused the postponement of a public hearing scheduled to be held before the City Council on Setpember 5, 2017 as the revised plans were submitted after the public hearing notice had been posted and mailed to property owners and residents. On September 18, 2017, Crown Castle withdrew the original designs filed in November 2016. The original designs are posted below for comparison.

The City Council considered the applications at a duly noticed public hearing held at its regular meeting on October 2, 2017. The City Council continued the Public Hearing to its regular meeting of October 16, 2017 and directed staff to prepare draft resolutions approving, with conditions, the proposed sites at or near 340-370 Highland Avenue, 740 Magnolia Avenue, and 799 Magnolia Avenue. The Council directed staff to prepare draft resolutions denying the applications at or near 150 Highland Avenue, 303 Hillside AVenue, 428 El Cerrito Avenue, 352 Jerome Avenue, and 1159 Winsor Avenue. The City Council directed staff to work with the applicant to improve the design proposed for 314 Wildwood Avenue and to present the application and plans to the Park Commission before Council action on the proposal.

On October 16, 2017, the City Council held a public hearing and denyed the applications for sites at or near 150 Highland Avenue, 303 Hillside Avenue, 428 El Cerrito Avenue, 352 Jerome Avenue, and 1159 Winsor Avenue. The Agenda Reports for the October 16, 2017 City Council meeting are available below.

On October 30, 2017, the City Council held a public hearing and approved, with conditions, the applications for sites at or near 340-370 Highland Avenue, 740 Magnolia Avenue, and 799 Magnolia Avenue. The Agenda Report for the October 30, 2017 City Council meeting is available below.

On November 1, 2017, the Park Commission held a public hearing on the proposed antenna installation across from 314 Wildwood Avenue. After taking public comment, the Park Commission adopted a recommendation that the City Council approve the proposed application, subject to staff recommended conditions of approval. The Park Commission also recommended that the City Council considered alternative locations for the communication equipment inside Piedmont Park and public right-of-way. The Agenda Report for the November 1, 2017 Park Commission meeting is available below.

On November 20, 2017, the City Council held a public hearing and approved, with conditions, the application for a wireless communication facilities permit for an antenna installation on a new lamppost across from 314 Wildwood Avenue. The Agenda Report for the November 20, 2017 City Council meeting is available below.

Placement of wireless communication facilities is governed by state and federal law, including the requirement that cities allow certain wireless communications facilities in the public right-of-way. Under the Federal Telecommunications Act, the federal government and FCC decide what is a safe level of EMF radiation. In addition, under these laws, cities cannot place conditions on, deny, or approve a proposed wireless facility based upon the health effects if the applicant demonstrates that the project meets federal safety requirements.

Appplication Materials

Application materials for each of the proposed installations are below. Click to view a map of the proposed sites.

1. 340 - 370 Highland Avenue

2. 505 Blair Avenue & 150 Highland Avenue

3. 799 Magnolia Avenue

4. 358 Hillside Avenue & 740 Magnolia Avenue

5. 303 Hillside Avenue

6. 428 El Cerrito Avenue

7. 355 Jerome Avenue & 352 Jerome Avenue

8. 1159 Winsor Avenue

9. 314 Wildwood Avenue & 100 Requa Road

Agenda Reports

Other Documents

Residents with questions regarding the application are welcome to contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald Powell via email or via telephone at (510) 420-3050.

Reference Documents

The American Planning Association offered a training on the basics of wireless communication facilities and recent case law on July 27, 2017. The training was recorded and is available at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WsOnJyCxHI

On August 21, 2017, the City Council received a presentation from the Jonathan Kramer of the Telecom Law Firm, entitled "Wireless Technology and Regulatory Setting Update." While not directly related to the Crown Castle Application, this presentation is posted here for reference purposes. Presentation from Telecom Law Firm to Piedmont City Council on August 21, 2017.