Objective Design Standards

On May 3, 2021, the City Council approved Interim Objective Design Standards that are required for all mixed-use and multi-family residential developments with 2 or more residential units. A more comprehensive set of standards is currently being drafted and will replace these standards in fall 2021 (see below). On Thursday, September 2nd 2021, the Planning Commission reviewed a draft set of comprehensive objective design standards. Public Comments were received on the draft, resulting in recommendations for a revised draft that was reviewed by the Planning Commission on September 16, 2021 and recommended for City Council approval. The 9-16-21 and 9-2-21 Planning Commission meetings including the respective packets and videos can be viewed in the Meeting Calendar.  

UPDATE: On Monday October 18, 2021. the City Council will review the Draft Comprehensive Objective Design Standards Once adopted, the Gilroy Mixed-Use Residential and Multi-Family Residential Objective Design Standards Policy will be in effect for all mixed-use residential and multi-family residential development projects in Gilroy. The City Council Agenda and staff report can be viewed online. The City welcomes all comments, suggestions, and concerns. Comments may be emailed to the City Clerk’s Office at cityclerk@cityofgilroy.org or mailed to the Gilroy City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 7351 Rosanna Street, Gilroy, CA 95020. Comments received by the City Clerk’s Office by 1 p.m. on the day of a Council meeting will be distributed to the City Council prior to or at the meeting and available for public inspection with the agenda packet located in the lobby of Administration at City Hall, 7351 Rosanna Street prior to the meeting. Any correspondence received will be incorporated into the meeting record. 

What are Objective Standards? State law defines objective standards as those that “involve no personal or subjective judgement 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 and public official prior to submittal.” 

Why is Gilroy creating objective design standards? Many design standards are “subjective” and require personal interpretation of their meaning and application. This interpretation, in turn, can lead to a lengthy project review and approval process. 

State Legislation: The State of California continues to enact new laws that require streamlined housing approval by establishing a by-right, ministerial approval process for multifamily residential development. Key to ministerial approval is the replacement of subjective design guidelines with objective standards. California State Senate Bill 35 (Government Code Section 65913.4) requires cities to establish objective design standards for multifamily residential development. 

Community Outreach

  • In December 2020 and January 2021, the City's consultant held virtual meetings with stakeholders in the community including residents, contractors, developers, realtors, and other interested individuals. 
  • On March 8th 2021, the City Council held a public study session to discuss objective design standards and the City's expectations moving forward. Please review the recorded video and agenda at your convenience.  
  • On May 3rd, 2021, the City council reviewed and approved the interim standards at their regular public meeting. Comments were received from the public and are expected to continue to be received following the Council meeting.
  • The City welcomes all comments, suggestions, and concerns. 
  • Please email your comments and suggestions to Cindy.McCormick@cityofgilroy.org.