Objective Design Guidelines


SCH Number
Public Agency
City of Concord
Document Title
Objective Design Guidelines
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Adoption of Ordinance No. 23-6 Amending the City’s Development Code (Title 18) by adding Chapter 18.152 – Objective Design Standards (2023-2031 Housing Element Objective 15.3) (PL23101 – DC), which incorporates the 2023 City of Concord Objective Design Standards to ensure quality, economically feasible, and sustainable design under the streamlined review and approval process required by state law of qualifying housing projects. State has limited a local jurisdiction’s ability to apply subjective design standards for qualifying housing projects, whereby the City of Concord can now only rely on the application of objective design standards. To address this limitation, the Council has prioritized the development and adoption of Objective Design Standards to apply to qualifying housing projects.

Contact Information

Joan Ryan
Agency Name
City of Concord
Job Title
Principal Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Contra Costa
Other Location Info

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Title 14, Chapter 3, Sections 21065, 15060(c)2, 15378, 15061(b)(3)
Reasons for Exemption
Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970, Public Resources Code Section 21000, et. seq., as amended and implementing State CEQA Guidelines, Title 14, Chapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations (collectively “CEQA”), the adoption of the Ordinance implementing the objective design standards and the 2023 City of Concord Objective Design Standards document do not constitute a “project” within the meaning of Public Resources Code Section 21065, 14 Cal Code Regs. Section 15060(c)(2) or 15378 because it has no potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment. Even if the adoption of the Ordinance implementing the objective design standards and the 2023 City of Concord Objective Design Standards document did constitutes a project under CEQA, the objective design standards documents fall within the “common sense” exemption set forth in 14 Cal. Code Regs. Section 15061(b)(3), excluding projects where “it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment…” Therefore, the proposed objective design standards documents do not warrant further environmental review.
County Clerk
Contra Costa


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