The Design Standards and Guidelines

The City of Piedmont first adopted design guidelines in 1988. On September 5, 2023, the City Council adopted updated City of Piedmont Design Standards and Guidelines. The Standards and Guidelines have been developed to be used by homeowners, design professionals, interested neighbors, City staff and Planning Commissioners. They incorporate planning and land use provisions from the General Plan, and relevant aspects of the City Code, Chapter 17 Planning and Land Use (Zoning Ordinance). The document includes standards and guidelines for building design, site improvements such as fences and retaining walls, landscaping and commercial signage. Design standards and guidelines for wireless communication facilities will be added at a later date.

When taking action on an application for design review, the Planning Commission and City staff will need to find that the project is consistent with the City of Piedmont Design Standards and Guidelines. In doing so, the reviewing body will cite specific guidelines to which the project conforms (or does not conform).

The Design Standards and Guidelines demonstrate, through photos and diagrams, how to determine appropriate design solutions to address context, architectural character, building form, landscape, site amenities, and the relationship to the street and neighboring properties. This allows for a more comprehensive and consistent method for project reviews, while outlining expectations by the City staff for project applicants and their neighbors.

Many of the photographic examples of good design included in the Design Standards and Guidelines are construction projects that received the City’s Annual Design Award. The purpose of the Design Awards program is to promote good design in the City. These projects provide real-world local examples of design excellence.   

The City of Piedmont Design Standards and Guidelines are composed of seven chapters and an appendix, plus a table of contents. The ADU floor plans and elevations in Appendix A may be used by eligible applications to obtain expedited planning approval. Copies of each chapter and appendix may be downloaded at the links below.

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