The Design Guidelines

The City of Piedmont first adopted design guidelines in 1988. On June 3, 2019, the City Council adopted updated Design Guidelines. The 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 guidelines for building design, site improvements such as fences and retaining walls, landscaping and commercial signage. Design 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 Guidelines. In doing so, the reviewing body will cite specific guidelines to which the project conforms (or does not conform).

The Design Guidelines demonstrate, through photos and graphic examples, how to determine appropriate design solutions to address context, architectural character, building form, landscape, site amenities and their 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 Guidelines are projects that have 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 Guidelines is composed of seven chapters, plus a table of contents and a glossary. Copies of each chapter may be downloaded at the links below.

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