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Meeting Date: October 8, 2002

Subject/Title: Interpretation of the Mid-Range Density Policy as it relates to Signature’s Tentative Subdivision Map No. 8426 to subdivide 10.4 acres into 97 single family residential lots located on the southwest corner of Chestnut and Garin Parkway.

Submitted By: Community Development Department (Oshinsky/Zilm)

Approved By: John Stevenson, City Manager

To give staff and the applicant direction concerning the Mid-Range Density Policy and how it should relate to Signature’s application to subdivide 10.4 acres into 97 single-family lots located at the southwest corner of Chestnut and Garin Parkway.

Garin Ranch Specific Plan approved December 1991.

The applicant is proposing a Tentative Subdivision Map to subdivide 10.4 acres into 97 single-family zero lot line lots for 9.3 dwelling units per acre. The original Garin Ranch Specific Plan allowed for a maximum of 292 dwelling units to be allocated to the Duet/Townhouse designation, which included Planning Areas 5, 9, and 11. This proposed project falls into Planning Area 5 of the Garin Ranch Specific Plan. The Specific Plan did allow for a maximum density of 10.0 dwelling units per acre for Duets (attached single family), townhouses, and low-density condominiums. Senior housing is also allowed in this planning area with a maximum density of 25 dwelling units per acre. 

Page 42 (second paragraph) of the Garin Ranch Specific Plan states that the maximum number of dwelling units was used to show the worst-case scenario for the project. Through approval of subdivision maps or other discretionary actions, the City may approve residential projects at less than the maximum allowable density due to such reasons as: 

1. Avoiding or reducing significant environmental impacts as identified in an Environmental Impact Report,

2. Achieving compliance with objectives and policies of the Specific Plan or General Plan,

3. Certain characteristics of a property exist such as topography, utility easements, shape or other items, which restrict the amount of development,

4. Aesthetic or site planning considerations are proposed which will improve the quality of the development or increase its compatibility with adjacent land uses, or

5. Compliance with the development regulations of the Specific Plan or other City ordinance, regulations or standards. 

The Garin Ranch Specific Plan was approved on December 21, 1991. On November 27, 2001 the City of Brentwood adopted the 2001 General Plan. Under this new General Plan the Garin Ranch planning area was given several different density designations. Planning Area 5 was given a Medium Density Residential designation having a density of 5 – 11 units per acre with a midrange of 8 units per acre. In the past the City Council’s direction has been to not process tentative maps going above the midrange unless certain amenities were to be offered by the applicant. This proposed project is for 97 lots to be spread over 10.4 acres or 9.3 dwelling units per acre, which would exceed the General Plan midrange by 1.3 units per acre or 14 units. The City Attorney has advised staff that since the General Plan was approved after the Specific Plan, it would take precedence over the Specific Plan and this project would be subject to the General Plan’s 8 units per acre midrange requirement; not the Garin Ranch Specific Plan’s 10 units per acre maximum density. 

This item did go before the Housing Sub-Committee where the issue of mid-range density and proposed and previously provided amenities by Signature were discussed. The consensus of the Sub-Committee was that the previously provided amenities would not apply to this proposed subdivision and that Signature would need to submit a new amenities list in order for the Sub-Committee to considered exceeding the mid-range density for this new project. The Sub-Committee suggested that Signature provide a pocket park within this proposed subdivision as an amenity item. Signature felt that they have provided an adequate amount of amenities for the entire Garin Ranch Project (see the attached Signature letter). The Sub-Committee recommended that this item be brought up before the City Council for a full review of the interpretation of this policy. That is the purpose of this agenda item. 


1. Proposed Tentative Subdivision Map No. 8426
2. Page 42 of the Garin Ranch Specific Plan 
3. Letter from Signature Homes dated September 5, 2002
4. Garin Ranch Specific Plan map
5. City of Brentwood’s General Plan map

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