Gross Floor Area Revisions

Project Description
On April 21, 2009, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 963, amending the Zoning Ordinance definition of gross floor area (GFA) and related provisions. GFA is a measurement of the size of the building, in which certain features of a building are either specifically included or excluded from the measurement, and is used in calculating the floor area ratio (FAR) and parking requirements for developments in all zoning districts except for single-family residential and R-2 (Low Density Apartment) districts.

Current Status
As part of its action to adopt the ordinance amendment, the City Council directed that staff prepare a report for the Planning Commission and City Council on the implementation of the ordinance amendment 12 months after its effective date, with particular attention to data on the "grandfathering" provision (GFA Exemption Certification) and the percentage allowance for non-usable or non-occupiable space. This report provides the review directed by the City Council. The Planning Commission considered the review on August 30, 2010, and the City Council considered the review on November 16, 2010. Consistent with the Planning Commission's recommendations, the review of GFA was continued to conduct a second one-year review, which took place at the Planning Commission meeting of October 17, 2011. The City Council will conduct its two-year review at the meeting of November 15, 2011 (staff report).

Environmental Review
The ordinance amendment to clarify the definition of gross floor area was exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines because it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility of significant environmental effects occurring as a result of the adoption of the ordinance amendment.