Long-Range Planning Initiatives
Updates to General Plan, Zoning, Design Guidelines, Ordinances, etc.
2023-2031 Housing Element
The City is working on a Housing Feasibility Study which will inform the 2023-2031 6th Cycle Housing Element Update. Public meetings will be held in the Fall/Winter of 2022 and throughout 2023.
2021 Housing Element Annual Progress Report
AMBAG Final 6th Cycle Regional Housing Needs Allocation Plan 2023-2031
11.17.22 Housing Ad Hoc Committee Meeting Presentation Slides and Recording
DRAFT Glossary of Terms
Design Guidelines and Zoning Code Update
In January 2018, the City Council authorized staff to initiate a comprehensive update to the City’s Residential and Commercial Zoning Code and Design Guidelines. The Planning Commission Chair appointed a subcommittee and workshops were held in 2018 and 2019. Work on the project was paused during the pandemic but Nore’ Winter and Company were contracted in 2022 and the ‘Design Guidelines 1.5′ effort recommenced. Potential amendments to the design guidelines and the zoning code are based on the experiences and issues that the Community Planning and Building Department and Planning Commission have encountered in reviewing Design Study and Design Review applications for residential and commercial projects, respectively. Areas of study will include business land use regulations, development regulations such as parking standards and housing density, and potential for a downtown specific plan to address the Downtown Conservation District, as well as the City’s cap on hotel units. This project will likely involve an update to the City’s General Plan – Land Use Element.
Relevant documents and recordings can be found below.
Historic Context Statement Update
The City’s Historic Context Statement (HCS) is an important tool in evaluating which properties potentially qualify for the City’s Historic Inventory. The HCS was last updated in 2008. The City received a $30,000 grant from the California Office of Historic Preservation to assist with updating the HCS to cover a twenty-year period (1968 to 1986). The updated Historic Context Statement and all relevant materials and drafts can be found below.
Beach Fire Pilot Program
Components of the City’s Local Coastal Program (LCP), including Title 17 of the Zoning Code and the Coastal Access and Recreation Element, authorize an unlimited number of (wood-fueled) fires on Carmel Beach between 10th Avenue and Martin Way. The Beach Fire Management Pilot Program was adopted by the City Council in June 2016, in response to growing concerns regarding fires on Carmel Beach and associated air quality, aesthetic and public safety impacts. The Pilot Program expired on September 15, 2021. The City is in the process of preparing a Local Coastal Program Amendment to make permanent changes to the beach fire rules, which will be informed by the Pilot Program.
Climate Action and Adaptation Plans
In June 2019, the City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2019/20 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which included the Climate Change and Resilience Plan (Plan). The description of the project was to “ascertain impacts of climate change” and “identify and prioritize specific measures to minimize adverse impacts from climate change.” In August 2019, the City Council opted to have a committee composed of two Council members, two staff members, and up to four members of the public to develop the City’s Plan. Council appointed two Council Members, Mr. Jeff Baron and Ms. Carrie Theis, to lead the committee. Two staff members, Mr. Evan Kort, Associate Planner, and Ms. Agnes Martelet, Environmental Compliance Manager, were appointed to the working group by the City Administrator. The committee’s mission statement was identified as follows: We will assess the threats and challenges of climate change as they relate to our community by seeking input from experts and local constituents. We will use these inputs to develop actionable plans to mitigate those threats and educate the community.
Workshops were held on a regular basis to discuss the project. All meetings can be viewed here. Final drafts of the Climate Action and Climate Adaptation Plans were adopted by the City Council in July 2022.
Federal and State laws are increasingly limiting local land-use
discretion over wireless communications facilities. Under the
Telecommunications Act, local governments retain their authority
to regulate wireless facilities as long as the regulations:
1) Do not prohibit or “effectively prohibit” wireless
communications facilities; 2) Do not unreasonably
discriminate between communications service providers; or,
3) Do not regulate based on potential environmental impacts
associated with radio frequency (RF) emissions. The City is
updating its Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance to ensure that
it is compliant with Federal and State Laws, while protecting
community character. Work on this update is ongoing in
The workshop for this topic was postponed due to considering community feedback. Stay tuned for further information regarding the new workshop date.