Residential Development Standards

Why We Have Property Development Standards

The purpose of these development standards is to provide for open areas around structures where needed for access to and around buildings, to protect access to natural light, vibration, and direct sunlight, to separate incompatible land uses, to provide space for privacy landscaping and recreation, to regulate the height of structures, to support public safety, and to preserve neighborhood character.

These provisions are also intended to provide orderly development of the city through a design review of new buildings and structures to establish usage that will promote and enhance the good design, site relationships, and other aesthetic considerations in the city.

There are three kinds of residential zones: R-1, R-2, and R-3. R-1 zones are designated for single-family residential development. An R-2 zone is a multifamily zone that allows for a maximum of two units, while an R-3 zone is a multifamily zone that allows for a higher density. Below are the different development standards for each of the three residential zones. To find out what your property is zoned as click on the Zoning Map link.

Development Zones

Accessory Structures for R-1, R-2 & R-3 Zones

Minimum Rear Yard

  • 3 feet

‍Minimum Side Yard

  • 3 feet, except that for a corner lot, the street side setback shall be 10 feet. For a reversed corner lot, the side setback shall be the required front yard setback for the key lot.

‍Minimum Distance Between Buildings

  • 6 feet

‍Garage Corner Side Yard

  • A garage with the automobile entrance facing a street shall be set back 20 feet from the street side property line, or 50 feet from the centerline of the street if it has a right-of-way of less than 60 feet.

‍Residential Development Application Process

‍R-1, R-2, & R-3 Process

Additions Less Than 50% of Existing Home

  • Any expansion that is less than 50% of the existing home requires applicants to submit for Plan Check with the Building Division. The Building Division will then route plans to each of the applicable Divisions for review. Upon receiving departmental approvals, the applicant will then be issued a Building Permit. Any addition visible from the public right-of-way shall require approval from the Design Review Board (see Uniform Planning Application) prior to submitting to the Building Division. For more information, contact a Planner.

Additions Greater Than 50%, New Construction & /or 2nd Story Additions

  • Any expansion that is greater than 50% of the existing home, New Construction, or second story additions, requires a Planned Development Permit and approval from the Design Review Board (see Uniform Planning Application) prior to submitting to the Building Division.

Note: Prior to submitting an application to the Planning Division, a review shall be conducted by staff to ensure that your proposed project will meet all development standards with the City of Alhambra's Zoning Ordinance. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the residential development standards or the application process, please contact the Planning Division at 626-570-5034 or by email.