Objective Design Standards

Cluster Housing

Objective Design Standards

On July 13, 2022, the Grover Beach Development Code was amended and formally codified Residential Single Family, Residential Multi-Family, and Mixed-Use objective design standards for all new residential and mixed use projects in Grover Beach.

The intent of Objective Design Standards is to provide applicants and developers with a clear understanding of the City’s expectations for mixed-use and residential project design. Objective design standards are written as requirements, rather than guidelines; therefore, all residential and mixed-use  projects applying under Housing Accountability Act (HAA) protections shall comply with each standard. Importantly, objective design standards regulate site and structure design only. Projects must also comply with all applicable Local Coastal Plan, California Building Code requirements and Development Code requirements (i.e., height, setbacks, landscaping requirements, etc.).  

What are Objective Standards?

State law defines objective standards as those that “involve no personal or subjective judgement by a public official and are uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant and public official prior to submittal.”  

The State of California continues to enact recent legislation that require streamlined housing approval by establishing a by-right, ministerial approval process for residential development. Key to ministerial approval is the replacement of subjective design guidelines with objective standards.  Government Code Section 65913.4 requires cities to establish objective design standards for multifamily residential development.  

Are There Guidelines or Checklist Available?

Yes! The city has developed a checklists to assist property owners and design professionals in navigating these new standards. Please refer to the list below. When submitting for a pre-application, entitlement, or building permit, please include the appropriate checklist with your electronic submittal. 

What If My Project Cannot Meet The Standards

The City has established "modification to standards" to provide the flexibility necessary to allow for minor deviations or exceptions from development standards and/or objective design standards applicable to development to respond to unique conditions of a property or project. Modifications are not waivers, so as a property owner or developer, you must demonstrate a superior design and unique condition for a modification for standards. Please refer to our modification to standards checklist, and contact Planning Staff at (805) 473-4520 or via email at comdev@groverbeach.org to discuss any modification to standards.