What are objective development and design standards?

Objective development and design standards are intended to make the requirements that apply to certain eligible residential projects more predictable and easier to interpret for all stakeholders, including decision-makers, staff, applicants, and members of the public. The purpose of objective standards is for applicants to know beforehand what requirements apply to a proposed development and for the applicant to be able to design a project that meets those requirements before submittal. Objective development and design standards are defined in Government Code Sections 65913.4 and 66300(a)(7) as standards that “involve no personal or subjective judgment 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 or proponent and the public official before submittal.”

Objective standards may include portions of the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, applicable Specific Plan or Overlay Zone, Building Code, subdivision and landscaping requirements, and other land development and safety regulations.

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1. What are objective development and design standards?
2. Which projects are eligible for streamlined ministerial review?
3. How do I submit a project that qualifies for streamlined ministerial review?
4. How does the Manual affect existing objective standards?
5. What if a project does not comply with the Manual?
6. Are developers required to follow a set design style as per the Manual?