Davis, CA, Municipal Code

Updated October 2021

By: City of Davis

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Table of Contents

Active Transportation

The city’s municipal code sets long-term bicycle parking minimums by use, and as a ratio to short-term parking (Article 40.25A). Davis, California has extensive bicycle infrastructure, and requires relatively high amounts of bicycle parking. The minimums are set for bicycle parking as a whole, and then a ratio of long and short-term parking is set to apportion the spots.  The design standards are according to the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals’ Bicycle Parking Guidelines and the City of Davis Project Development Standards Guide.

Farmland Protection

The city’s municipal code addresses farmland protection in its chapter on Right to Farm and Farmland Preservation (Chapter 40A).

The Right to Farm article (Article 40A.01) notes the city’s goals and policies to work with adjacent counties to preserve agricultural land and minimize conflicts between agricultural and nonagricultural lands. It requires as a condition of approval for discretionary development permits within 1,000 feet of agricultural operations a right-to-farm deed restriction and requires a right-to-farm notification as part of the transfers of such properties. It also sets a minimum buffer for new development adjacent to agricultural or greenbelt lands of 150 feet consisting of 50 feet of agricultural transition area located contiguous to a 100-foot wide agricultural buffer located contiguous to the agricultural area. Permitted uses in the 100-foot buffer include native plants and stormwater features, with public access not permitted; recreational uses are permitted in the 50-foot agricultural transition area.

The Dispute Resolution article (Article 40A.02) provides for dispute resolution procedures and establishes that a properly operated farm is not a nuisance.

The Farmland Preservation article (Article 40A.03) implements the general plan’s land conservation policies and requires agricultural mitigation for discretionary development projects that convert agriculturally designated, zoned, or used lands to nonagricultural uses, at a ratio of 2 acres of protected agricultural lands for each converted acre. New developments adjacent to agricultural land must provide agricultural mitigation lands, using a farmland conservation mechanism (conservation easement or deed restriction) of one-quarter mile width along the entire nonurbanized perimeter of projects.

Inclusionary Housing

The city’s municipal code has addressed affordable housing requirements in its Housing chapter since 1990 (Article 18.05). The ordinance begins with a purposes and findings section along with definitions. Development applications require affordable housing plans.

For ownership development, the code establishes very low/low/moderate affordability requirements for developments of 5 or more units ranging from 10 to 25 percent of units, depending on the size of lots and type of housing. The code establishes standards addressing density bonuses, housing mix, unit price, buyer/tenant screening and selection, and perpetual affordability requirement. Compliance options include on-site unit construction, land dedication, permanent affordability protections for existing units, or in-lieu fees.

For rental developments, very low- and low-income affordability requirements range from 25 to 35 percent of units for projects with more than 5 units, depending on project size.

The zoning code also provides for an additional middle-income affordability requirement for projects of 26 or more units ranging from 10 to 20 percent, depending on the size of the project (Article 18.06).

The city’s Affordable Housing Program website provides additional information and documentation on the city’s affordability requirements.

Solar energy

The city's municipal code includes an article on solar shade control establishing protections for solar collectors from being shaded by trees or shrubs between 10am and 2pm; trees and shrubs predating the installation of the collector that shade the collector are exempted (Article 40.38).

The municipal code includes a provision that subdividers may be required to dedicate solar access easements for each parcel or unit in the subdivision (§36.08.110).

Davis, CA

2010 Population: 65,622

2010 Population Density: 6,637.20/square mile