This is a great starting point if you are researching (most people have never heard of all these fees.) But we can guarantee that your project will be different.
This information came from three phone conversations with the Orinda Planning Department over the months of June and July, 2016.
Q: What is the zoning district?
A: RL-20 (Residential Low Density 20,000).
Q: What is the allowable coverage? How is it measured?
A: 4,440 Square Feet (parcel size X .2). Coverage is measured at the exterior wall face and includes accessory structures. Covered porches do not count if sufficiently open.
Q: Is there a floor-area ratio (FAR) between the main home and the second unit? What is it?
Q: What is the maximum allowed size for the second unit?
Q: Do chimneys, window boxes, and/or bay windows count toward the square footage of the second unit?
A: Chimneys do. Window boxes and bay windows do not.
Q: Do other structures count toward the existing footprint? What are they?
A: Accessory structures do. Decks do not.
Q: Does the basement and/or attic count toward the floor area of the main home?
A: There is no basement. The attic is excluded where the ceiling height is less than or equal to eight feet.
Q: Can the second unit have two floors?
A: Yes, the house can have two floors.
Q: Can the second unit have a loft, mezzanine, open storage, closed storage, and/or attic?
A: The house can have a loft, a mezzanine, open storage, closed storage, and an attic.
Q: Can the loft be habitable space?
Q: Can the second unit have a basement, workspace, or other area? Do they count toward square footage?
Q: What landscaping requirements and exceptions are there?
A: It’s only required to provide a landscaping plan if there are significant alterations.
Q: Is this a liquefaction zone?
Q: Is this a fire zone?
Q: Is this a flood zone?
Q: Is this an environmental zone?
Setbacks and Dimensions
Q: What is the front setback?
A: 25 feet.
Q: What are the side setbacks?
A: 15 feet.
Q: What is the rear setback?
A: 15 feet.
Q: What are the required setbacks to the main home?
A: See above.
Q: What are any other required setbacks? (Special setbacks may be needed for creeks, power lines, key or corner lots, etc.)
Q: Are there any setback exceptions?
A: Eaves may extend three feet into setbacks. Open stairs may extend four feet into setbacks.
Q: Can the second unit be connected to the main home? If not, how far apart do they have to be?
Q: Can we continue the wall of an existing structure within a setback? Is there a maximum length for walls?
A: A wall may be continued vertically with an exception application. This would likely be granted considering the corner lot condition and existing non-conforming garage.
Q: What is the maximum height limit? Is there a max average height limit? Can we match the height of the existing house?
A: 27 feet above grade. The limit follows the topography. 27 feet is measured to the mid-point of dormers or architectural elements.
Q: Do we measure from the sidewalk, the property line, or from somewhere else?
A: From the right-of-way.
Q: How many parking spaces are required for the main home? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have?
A: Two enclosed and two unenclosed.
Q: How many more new spaces are required for the property? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have? Do they require a border around them?
Q: Is there a turning radius or other parking rule to test?
Q: Enter any additional notes.
A: This project will require a General Planning Application, a Design Review Application (because of the second-story addition), and an Exception Application (because of vertical extension of existing walls in setback),
For a detailed budget of this project and floor plans or to use the free New Avenue project management system, you can sign up for free here: Get Started