Permitting Temporary Uses and/or Structures
new informational handout
is available for permitting
temporary uses and/or structures on private property. The City has experienced
an increased volume of these types of activities and the new handout is
intended to inform and guide applicants of the City approvals that may be required
prior to establishing a temporary use on private property, or commencing any construction
activity associated with a temporary use. Examples of temporary uses are commonly
referred to as ‘pop-ups’ in the commercial industry; however, the temporary
nature of these uses does not preclude or exempt them from compliance with
state and local codes such as the Building Code and Zoning Ordinance. The City
will continue to assess the permitting process for these types of activities to
identify areas where opportunities for improved efficiency may exist. Visit the
Applications and Forms
page to download the
Temporary Uses and Structures handout
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Standards
On June 12, 2018 the Santa Monica City Council adopted modifications to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) standards. These revised standards become effective on July 12, 2018.
The following are the key changes:
- Maximum Size:
- 650 SF for parcels 6,000 SF and smaller
- 800 SF for parcels greater than 6,000 SF
- Second Story Size:
- No limit; however, the second story cannot exceed the area of the first story
- ADUs must still be clearly subordinate to the main dwelling unit on the parcel in terms of size (i.e. floor area), location, and appearance.
ADUs continue to be excluded from R1 parcel coverage calculations per the R1 Interim Zoning Ordinance currently in effect. The ADU development standards will be revisited as part of the forthcoming effort to review and update the R1 Single-Unit Residential development standards over the next 12-18 months.
Click here for more information regarding ADUs.
If you have any questions, please contact the City Planning Division at (310) 458-8341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
R1 Interim Zoning Ordinance
On February 13, 2018, the Santa Monica City Council adopted an interim ordinance that temporarily reduces the size of new construction in R1 single-unit residential zoning districts pending the completion of a comprehensive review of R1 zoning standards. The interim ordinance comes on the heels of Council’s January 9, 2018 direction to prioritize a comprehensive review of R1 development standards. Although the ordinance does not take effect until March 16, 2018, the changes are retroactive and will apply to any project in the R1 zone submitted after February 23, 2018. You can look up the zoning for your home on the interactive zoning map to determine whether this ordinance applies to you.
The following is a summary of changes:
Building Height: Max 28 feet
Parcel Coverage: Max 50% total on a sliding scale, Max 20% on second story
Second Floor Decks and Balconies: Max aggregate of 400 square feet
Accessory Dwelling Units: Excluded from parcel coverage calculations
The interim ordinance may be extended for a period up to five years pending adoption of permanent revised standards. The comprehensive review process is anticipated to begin in the first part of 2019 and will involve a significant public engagement process to identify the appropriate scale of new construction and additions in R1 neighborhoods.
Click here to sign up for R1 Zoning Ordinance updates
If you have any questions, please contact any planner at the City Planning Division at (310) 458-8341 or email@example.com.
New Supplemental Soft Story Permit Application Packet
The City of
Santa Monica’s Building & Safety Division is implementing a simplified
process for soft-story seismic retrofit building permit applications. The new Soft-Story Seismic Retrofit supplemental application,
simplifies a project’s plan check by removing the need for review by the City
Planning and/or Mobility Divisions for most projects.
The Soft-Story Seismic Retrofit supplemental application
is completed in conjunction with the City’s regular Plan Check application and includes a series of questions
about the project to determine whether the project qualifies for the exception
from plan check review by City Planning and/or Mobility.
tenant-occupied residential properties, a simplified Soft-Story specific Means
& Methods form is provided with the new application to replace the standard
long form Means & Methods Plan. An applicant is only required to sign the
Soft-Story Means & Methods form 1)
acknowledging the tenant protections during construction and tenant relocationrequirements mandated by the Santa
Monica Municipal Code (SMMC), and 2) agreeing to abide by these, and all other
applicable requirements of the SMMC.
The simplified Soft-Story Seismic Retrofit
supplemental application and Mean’s & Method form will be available
beginning February 20, 2018. For further
information regarding the details of the application process for soft-story
seismic retrofits, or other questions related to the City’s Seismic Retrofit
ordinance, please visit
Commercial Cannabis Licensing Update
The City of Santa Monica is currently accepting applications to select two (2) Medicinal Cannabis Retailers. For more information on how to apply or for information on the permitting process for Medicinal Cannabis Light Manufacturing please visit the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing page. Please note the City
has a prohibition on adult use non-medicinal commercial cannabis
Downtown Community Plan is Now Online!
The adopted Downtown Community Plan is live on the world wide web!
New Water Neutrality Ordinance in Effect
The Water Neutrality Ordinance is a code that caps water use for new developments and new or enlarged pools, spas, ponds, and water features by limiting a project to the historical water use for that individual parcel. Click
for more information.
Historic Resource Inventory Update
Santa Monica Citywide Survey Update
In 2016-2017, the City of Santa Monica will be conducting an update to the City’s Historic Resources Inventory. Working with a consultant team of Architectural Resources Group and Historic Resources Group, the project will consist of the creation of a comprehensive Citywide Historic Context Statement, and a Citywide Historic Resources Survey that will be used to update the City’s Historic Resources Inventory. The context statement and survey will consider properties constructed through 1977. The team will look at all property types – residential (single- and multi-family), commercial, industrial, and institutional (civic buildings, schools, social clubs, etc.), as well as historic sites and landscapes – and will evaluate properties for potential architectural, social, and cultural significance. The team will be conducting outreach throughout the project, both to keep the community apprised of the project status and solicit input on potentially significant properties and neighborhoods. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list for community outreach meetings, or watch this space for updates. Follow #samosurvey on social media on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for periodic updates and interesting finds.