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A. All Districts. A building or structure may not project into a required setback area except as specifically permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.

B. Residential Districts.

1. Corner Lots with a Rear Lot Line Abutting a Key Lot. For corner lots in the R-1, R-1A, R-2 and R-2A districts with a rear lot line abutting a key lot, the minimum street side setback is either:

(a) One-half the front setback required or existing on the key lot, whichever is less; or

(b) Four feet if the corner lot maintains 50 feet or more rear setback.

2. Setback Reductions. Lot line setback reductions are only permitted as shown in Table 23.304-1. Otherwise, they are not permitted.

Table 23.304-1. ALLOWED SETBACK REDUCTIONS IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS

DISTRICT WHERE ALLOWED

WHEN ALLOWED

MINIMUM SETBACK WITH REDUCTION

REQUIRED PERMIT

REQUIRED ADDITIONAL FINDINGS [1]

Front Setback Reductions

ES-R

On any lot

No minimum.

UP(PH) [2]

The reduced setback is: 1) necessary to allow economic use of property due to the size, shape of the lot or the topography of the site; and 2) consistent with the ES-R district purpose.

R-S; R-SMU

On any lot

No minimum

AUP

The reduced setback is appropriate given the setbacks and architectural design of surrounding buildings

R-SMU

For either: 1) a main building with dwelling units or group living accommodations; or 2) any building north of Durant Avenue

No minimum

AUP

The reduced setback is appropriate given the setbacks and architectural design of surrounding buildings

Rear Setback Reductions

ES-R [3]

On any lot

No minimum

UP(PH) [2]

The reduced setback is: 1) necessary to allow economic use of property due to the size, shape of the lot or the topography of the site; and 2) consistent with the ES-R district purpose.

R-1, R-1A

On a lot less than 100 ft. deep

20% of lot depth

ZC

None

R-1A

To construct a dwelling unit

12 ft.

AUP

The unit would not cause a detrimental impact on emergency access; or on light, air or privacy for neighboring properties.

R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-S, R-SMU

On a lot with two or more main buildings with dwelling units

No minimum

AUP

No additional findings

R-SMU

For either: 1) a main building with dwelling units or group living accommodations; or 2) any building north of Durant Avenue

No minimum

AUP

The reduction is appropriate given the setbacks and architectural design of surrounding buildings

Side Setback Reductions

ES-R [3]

Any lot

No minimum

UP(PH) [2]

The reduced setback is: 1) necessary to allow economic use of property due to the size, shape of the lot or the topography of the site; and 2) consistent with the ES-R district purpose.

R-1, R-1A

Lot width less than 40 ft. [4]

10% of lot width or 3 ft., whichever is greater

ZC

None

R-2, R-2A

Lot width less than 40 ft.

First and second stories: 10% of lot width or 3 ft., whichever is greater; Third story: 5 ft.

ZC

None

R-SMU

For either: 1) a main building with dwelling units or group living accommodations; or 2) any building north of Durant Avenue

No minimum

AUP

The reduced setback is appropriate given the setbacks and architectural design of surrounding buildings

Notes:

[1]Findings are in addition to any AUP or Use Permit findings required in 23.406--Specific Permit Requirements.

[2]Fire Department must review and approve reduced setbacks in respect to fire safety.

[3]For lots less than 5,000 square feet, reductions are not allowed for property lines abutting a property under different ownership.

[4]Not permitted for rear main buildings in the R-1A district.

3. Allowed Building Projections. Table 23.304-2 shows building features which may project into a required setback. All projecting features must maintain a minimum 3-foot distance from an interior side lot line.

Table 23.304-2. ALLOWED BUILDING PROJECTIONS

BUILDING FEATURE

MAXIMUM PROJECTION INTO REQUIRED SETBACK (MUST MAINTAIN 3 FT MINIMUM FROM INTERIOR SIDE LOT LINE)

FRONT

REAR

INTERIOR SIDE

STREET SIDE

Chimneys, Water Heater Enclosures, Flues, Heating and Cooling Equipment

2.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

1.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

Eaves, Cornices, Canopies, Awnings and Bay Windows [1]

2.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

1.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

Uncovered decks, porches, landings, ramps and stairs when 30 inches or more above grade at any point [2]

6 ft.

6 ft.

1.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

Balconies and fire escapes [1]

6 ft.

6 ft.

1.5 ft.

2.5 ft.

Notes:

[1]Projecting bay windows and balconies may not exceed 25% of the length of building wall to which its attached.

[2]Uncovered decks, porches, landings and stairs less than 30 inches in height (not including railings) are not subject to minimum setback requirements.

4. Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. Wheelchair ramps, lifts, and other structures to accommodate persons with disabilities that are less than 30 inches above grade (not including railings) are not subject to minimum setback requirements. Any accessibility feature with a height above grade of 30 inches or more (not including railings) may project into a required setback area with approval of a reasonable accommodation request. See Section 23.406.090 (Reasonable Accommodation). Preferred designs would comply with the following:

(a) One side yard with a pedestrian pathway of at least 3 feet in width that provides access to the rear yard shall be maintained on the lot. A public sidewalk that provides access to the rear yard would also meet this requirement, and

(b) The projection may not block access to or encroach into any required off-street parking space or driveway leading to such space unless there is no other feasible location for the accessibility feature.

5. Building Groups. Where two or more main buildings are constructed as part of a single project, the Zoning Officer may approve an AUP to reduce the minimum side setback requirement if:

(a) Each building is constructed on a separate contiguous lot; and

(b) Each building satisfies the requirements of the Berkeley Fire Code and Berkeley Building Code.

6. Subterranean Structures.

(a) A subterranean structure may project into required front, side, and rear setbacks if:

i. The structure has a roof;

ii. The roof elevation does not exceed 3 feet above finished grade; and

iii. The roof is landscaped and developed so as to qualify as usable open space in conformance with 23.304.090 (Usable Open Space).

iv. A subterranean structure that projects into a required setback must be setback at least 6 feet from the front, side, and rear lot lines.

7. Solar Energy Equipment. The Zoning Officer may approve an AUP for solar energy equipment to project into a required setback upon finding that:

(a) The projection is necessary to install the solar energy equipment;

(b) The proposed structures and equipment are installed with the primary purpose to collect, store, and use solar energy.

C. Non-Residential Districts.

1. Single-Use Residential Development. Allowed setback reductions and projections in 23.304.030.B (Residential Districts) also apply to single-use residential development in a Non-Residential District.

2. Lots Adjacent to Residential Districts.

(a) Standards. Table 23.304-3 shows minimum setbacks on lots in a Non-Residential District that abut or confront one or more lots in a Residential District. Required setbacks apply to structures occupied by any use, including residential-only buildings.

Table 23.304-3. SETBACKS ADJACENT TO RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS

District

Minimum Lot Line Setback when Lot Line Abuts or Confronts a Lot in a Residential District

Front

Rear

Interior Side

Street Side

All Commercial Districts, MU-LI

Same as required in adjacent Residential District [1]

10 feet or 10% of the lot depth, whichever is less

5 ft.

Same as required in adjacent Residential District [1]

MU-R

10 ft. [1]

10 feet or 10% of the lot width, whichever is less [2]

Notes:

[1]In the MU-LI and MU-R districts, setback may be reduced to the smaller of front setbacks on abutting lot with an AUP.

[2]This applies to lots that abut or confront a lot either in a Residential District or containing one or more dwelling units.

(b) Modifications in Commercial Districts. For lots in a Commercial District that abut or confront one or more lots in a Residential District, the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) may approve a Use Permit to allow setbacks smaller than required in Table 23.304-3 upon finding that the reduced setback would provide greater privacy or improved amenities to a lot in the Residential District. (Ord. 7882-NS §§ 14, 15, 2023; Ord. 7835-NS §§ 6, 8, 2022: Ord. 7787-NS § 2 (Exh. A), 2021)