Pleasanton Objective Design Standards | Pleasanton, CA

Fitting Needed Housing Seamlessly into Context


As a prospering suburb in the Tri Valley just over the hills from the Bay Area, Pleasanton has a complicated relationship with growth. VMWP previously authored Transit Oriented Development Design Guidelines and Housing Design Guidelines for Pleasanton. Spurred by a statewide mandate to provide Objective Design Standards, VMWP has been working with the city of Pleasanton to modernize the Housing Design Guidelines into Objective Design Standards.
VMWP sees the revision as an opportunity to bring older regulations up to date with current development practices and to provide a clear, quantifiable baseline for appropriate design. As part of its process, VMWP has analyzed relevant built projects from the most recent development cycle, and used a rigorous testing process to draw on those buildings to create realistic and quantifiable Design Standards. VMWP has also been well positioned to advise Pleasanton on context-sensitive best practices and implementation approaches.

Design Features

  • Standards require long building massing to be subdivided to relieve long facades
  • Standards are applied differently for different size sites to encourage smaller-scale infill development, while demanding more benefit from large projects
  • Standards encourage connections between adjacent parcels to gradually reinforce the street grid over time.

Green Features

  • Landscape standards encourage water conservation by reducing irrigated areas
  • Lighting standards discourage the excessive lighting of parking lots and encourage smart controls to reduce light pollution at night.
  • The Design Standards impose the only current requirement for bicycle parking in the Municipal Code.

Project Information

  • Client: City of Pleasanton
  • Site Area: Designated RHNA sites
  • Completion: Ongoing

Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP