BRENTWOOD — The City of Brentwood is updating its zoning ordinance requiring input of residents on the city’s key development related decisions.

Zoning regulations govern development, regulate key factors such as land use, building size, location and height, landscape and setback (the distance a structure must be from the road or other sensitive landmark) requirements.

“Public input will be an important part of the update to the zoning code, and there will be many opportunities for the planning commission and council to shape this code,” said Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall.

This new zoning update will give prominence to residents and their input on essential matters including height of future office development, potential caps on the number of similar businesses within closed areas or shopping centers.

It also includes decisions on if the city should let Brentwood staff approve future projects that are consistent with the zoning ordinance, bypassing the planning commission and city council; and the possible phasing out of legal nonconforming uses.

Legal nonconforming includes land uses or structures that were legally established under previous regulations but have since changed making them illegal.

Businesses that were legally established in the past may have to close after a designated period of time as their building structure may be conflicting with that of nearby homes.

“We are going to get input on the things the community will care about,” said Grindall, and added it would be done using appropriate technology such as virtual surveys or meetings and information will be collected as per the pandemic regulations.

City leaders say this change in zoning ordinance is needed to align with the 2014 updated general plan that was created with vision for growth, development, open space and resource conservation of the city’s future.

“The general plan is like the constitution for development,” Grindall said. “It generally says what should happen, the vision document, and then the zoning is the actual law that implements that.”

The city council recently approved a contract of up to $315,000 with Miller Planning Associates to carry out the new plans. It is mainly funded through state grant funds and the project is expected to be completed by July 2021.

During the process, the planning commission and city council are expected to provide feedback on key policy decisions before both bodies evaluate the drafts or final plans.

According to city officials the end product will encompass the community’s values; streamline development review processes; line up with the general plan; and align with professional best practices and local, state and federal laws.

Vice Mayor Joel Bryant said the finished product could streamline the arrival of future employers.

For more information on the zoning update, visit page 556 at