Frequently Asked Questions
Standards for Dougherty Valley
Dougherty Valley is an unique community with zoning standards and design guidelines specific to this development. While the majority of the development standards for Dougherty Valley are similar to other parts of the City, please contact the Planning Services Division at 973-2560 for specific information.
1. What is my zoning?
A planner can tell you in which zoning district your property is located. You will need to provide either your street address or Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) or both. You can send an e-mail through our Customer Response Management System and select Planning/Zoning. You can call the planner-on-duty at (925) 973-2560 between 8:30 –5:00 Monday through Friday, or you can visit the office in person during the same walk-in counter hours listed above. You may need to leave a voice mail for the planner. The Planning Services Division has a policy of making every effort to return telephone calls within 24 hours. A digitized zoning map is available by clicking here
The Planning Division maintains a map that shows zoning for every parcel in the City. The map can be viewed at the Planning web page or at the Planning Services Counter, or anyone can call 973-2560 to speak with a planner regarding specific zoning, setback, and related questions. Typical minimum setbacks in single family neighborhoods are: 5 to 10 feet for side setbacks, 20 feet for front setbacks, and 15 feet for rear setbacks. Each zoning district establishes minimum setback requirements for the front, sides and rear yards. Some lots, such as "flag lots" or oddly configured lots, require that planning staff make a determination with respect to where each setback applies. Staff will consider the access to the lot and orientation of the house among other factors when making such a determination.
Residential accessory structures are permitted within residential zones. Minimum setbacks and maximum height requirements and floor area ratios are dependent on your property’s zoning. Call Planning Services to obtain the specific standards for your property. It is advisable to separate the accessory building from the primary building by at least 6-feet. If the accessory building is a 120 square feet or less, no building permit is required, provided that no electrical and/or plumbing work is proposed. A building permit is required for an accessory building more than 120 square feet. For accessory structure requirements in Dougherty Valley, please contact Planning Services at 973-2560.
A seven-foot tall fence, provided the top one foot is constructed of open lattice, is allowed on property lines at the rear and sides of most properties. A fence up to three feet is allowed within the front yard setback area (typically 20-feet) as measured from the front property line. A seven-foot fence may be constructed outside the front yard setback area. Please note that the sidewalk edge may not be the property line.
If you wish to conduct a business from your home within the City of San Ramon, you must file for a Home Occupation Permit and City Business License. In order to be eligible for a Home Occupation Permit, you must be able to comply with the following:
For additional information and an application follow the link to:
A large family day care home is a residence which provides family day care for nine to 14 children, including the children who reside at the home, as defined in regulations provided by the State of California. The City requires operators of large family day care homes to obtain a land use permit to establish a Large Family Day Care Home permit for several reasons. Surrounding neighbors should be notified and allowed the opportunity to comment on the permit application. The City must also consider the possible impacts of the proposed facility, particularly with regard to spacing or concentration of facilities, traffic, parking, and noise control. In addition, large family day care homes must also obtain a City Business License to operate. Information regarding obtaining a City business license can be found at the following link: http://www.sanramon.ca.gov/finance/buslic.htm
Please contact the Community Care Licensing Division for additional State requirements
A violation of the zoning or building code can be reported anonymously in the following ways. For potential zoning violations you may contact the Planning Services Division at (925) 973-2560 and for potential building code violations or contractors working with a building permit, you may contact the Building and Safety Services Division at (925) 973-2580. Additionally on the City’s Website http://www.sanramon.ca.gov
Click "Contact Us" from the "Select your topic" drop down menu and it will take you directly to our Customer Response Management System where you can select the Department and identify a specific topic.
The Planning Services Division posts a monthly Current Development Status Sheet that identifies status of the projects Planning Services is currently processing. Click on the following link to take you directly to this list. http://www.sanramon.ca.gov/plan/cdss.html
Any addition and remodeling first requires approval by the Planning Services Division prior to issuance of building permits. If a proposed improvement is determined to be minor in nature and would not cause a significant visual impact, an Administrative Architectural Review will be completed by the Planning Services Division along with the building permit review process. If a proposed improvement were determined to be significant and has the potential to cause a significant visual impact, then review by the City’s Architectural Review Board would be required. The Architectural Review Board (ARB) is a group of appointed professionals. The ARB would provide comments to the applicant and make recommendation to the Zoning Administrator for final approval. Additional information regarding Architectural Review Application and Guidelines is available on the City’s website at http://www.sanramon.ca.gov/plan/forms.html, and at the Planning Services Division during normal business hours.
If your property is a single family residence that cannot be further subdivided then you do not need a tree removal permit to remove a tree on your property except if you wish to remove a native oak tree 6 inches in diameter measured 54 inches above the ground.
If a non-oak tree, not including a willow, fruit tree, eucalyptus, alder, cottonwood, or pine tree, is greater than 8 inches in diameter measured 54 inches above the ground and is on a commercial property or on a property owned by a Home Owner’s Association then a tree removal permit is required.
For a copy of the tree removal permit application, please contact the Planning Services Division at (925) 973-2560 to fax or mail a copy to you or you can click here to download the application. Submit the application and the required submittal items to the Planning Services Division at 2401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583. All tree removal work shall be conducted by licensed tree care professionals.
A garage can be converted to living space (e.g., bedroom, family room, etc…) if the required number of parking spaces are provided and the appropriate interior garage dimensions of 20-feet by 22-feet for a 2-car garage and 10-feet by 22-feet for a single car garage are provided.
To locate a business in San Ramon, a business license must be issued by the City and the business located in the appropriate zoning district. For example, a retail business would be located within a retail zoning district and an administrative office in an office district. The Planning Division maintains a map that shows zoning for every parcel in the City. To ask questions regarding a specific business you are proposing to establish and to determine what the requirements might be, you may call 973-2560 to speak with a planner or send an e-mail request at our website http://www.sanramon.ca.gov and click "Contact Us".
Federal and State land use laws and regulations aside, the City of San Ramon has established land use regulations to protect the health and general welfare of all citizens and to manage growth and development responsibly. Citizens themselves through their opportunity to vote for their elected officials and to participate in public meetings, affect what kind of regulations the City adopts. The San Ramon Zoning Ordinance has been amended several times since its adoption in 1986, and each amendment process involves a significant public involvement and input. Any member of the public, as well as the City Council, Planning Services Division staff or the Planning Commission may initiate an amendment at any time. The document sets forth the general principles and strategies to be used by the City to guide land use decisions and the growth and development, as shaped by the public, City Council and Planning Commissioners.
The San Ramon Zoning Ordinance regulates the development and use of land within the City. These regulations protect the health, safety and general welfare of residents and property owners by creating zones to prevent incompatible uses in close proximity to each other. The regulations also maintain the character of established neighborhoods and prevent inappropriate activates, such as alcohol sales near parks and schools. Permitted and conditional uses are designated for each zoning district and are listed in the San Ramon Zoning Ordinance. Permitted uses are controlled by specific regulation, such as setback from a structure to the property line, height of the structure, number of parking spaces, etc. An example of a permitted use is a single-family residence. A land use permit is required when a proposed use may have a different operating characteristic than those permitted in the zoning district, such as a grocery store in an office zoning district. A land use permit typically includes conditions particular to the requested use to ensure that the use is compatible with the uses within the zoning district is located.