The City Design Guidelines were adopted in 1991. The Design Guidelines are used to evaluate proposed development projects that require design review and a discretionary approval (public hearing process). When a project does not require a discretionary permit, then the Design Guidelines are used to show chich design principles are recommended for projects to incorporate. All property owners, developers and design professionals are encouraged to carefully review these Design Guidelines before commencing planning and design studies, and to consult with the City's Community Development staff should questions or the need for interpretation occur.
Below are projects that often require a discretionary approval and design review:
- All projects located on a historically significant site
- All applicable projects within 300 feet of a historically significant site
- All commercial and industrial projects
- All new residential projects, which include five or more units
- All projects within the Pier Bowl Specific Plan area, along El Camino Real (west of I-5), the Downtown Core, and within North Beach
- The Design Guidelines apply to the previous categories of projects throughout the City, except Specific Plan areas,which have their own Design Guidelines in the adopted specific plans
For your convenience, the Design Guidelines are separated into different chapters and sections. Select the appropriate section below to review the Design Guidelines.
- Table of Contents
- Introduction and General Design Guidelines
- Additional Design Guidelines for Development Types
- Additional Design Guidelines for Special Districts and Sites
- Appendices A through E
Henry Lenny Architectural Design Guidelines
The Henry Lenny Architectural Design Guidelines are intended to assist the public by clarifying the design criteria and procedures for the Architectural Overlay District. A map of the Architectural Overlay District can be accessed by this LINK. The Henry Lenny Architectural Design Guidelines and City Design Guidelines are used to determine if projects enhance and preserve San Clemente’s historical and architectural tradition. These guidelines are also intended to provide architects and designers with the basic principles inherent in Hispanic Architecture. Creativity is highly encouraged and possible within this design vocabulary. These guidelines can be accessed by this LINK.
Specific Plan Design Guidelines
There are several areas of the City that are regulated by Specific Plans, including Forster Ranch, Marblehead Coastal, Marblehead Inland, Pier Bowl, Rancho San Clemente, Talega, and West Pico Corridor. These Specific Plans typically include additional design guidelines for these areas. Developers should also reference and follow these design guidelines when projects are proposed in a particular Specific Plan area. Specific Plans can be accessed by this LINK.