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Zoning

ZOU Title
New Burlingame Zoning Ordinance
Adopted by the City Council
December 6, 2021
(effective January 5, 2022)


Burlingame Zoning Ordinance
(click here for entire ordinance or below for specific sections)
Table of Contents
Article 1 - General Provisions
Article 2 - Zoning Districts, Allowable Uses, and Development Standards
Article 3 - Regulations and Standards Applicable to All Zoning Districts
Article 4 - Regulations for Specific Land Uses and Activities
Article 5 - Nonconformities
Article 6 - Permit Processing Procedures
Article 7 - Zoning Ordinance Administration
Article 8 - Definitions
Zoning Map

In 2015, the City of Burlingame initiated a multi-year process focused on a community-led effort to update the City’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, called “Envision Burlingame.”  The City Council adopted the General Plan on January 7, 2019.   Adoption of the Zoning Ordinance Update is necessary to implement the goals and policies in the General Plan.   The General Plan and Zoning Ordinance are the City’s two documents that regulate all land use, environmental, and transportation decisions made by City leaders.

The Zoning Ordinance Update included a restructuring of the entire current Zoning Code and adoption of the Zoning Map.  The restructuring also included incorporating Title 21 (Historic Preservation) and Title 22 (Signs) of the Burlingame Municipal Code into the Zoning Code, since these are areas covered more appropriately in the Zoning Code.

Adoption of the Zoning Ordinance Update also involved two corresponding amendments to the General Plan:

  • Increase in Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for office and research/development projects fronting Old Bayshore Highway in the Innovation Industrial district. A General Plan Amendment has been prepared to amend the Innovation Industrial (I/I) Land Use Development Standards to specify up to 2.75 FAR for office and research/development uses fronting Old Bayshore Highway. Hotels would continue to be allowed up to 3.0 FAR.
  • Additional specificity to Sea Level Rise (SLR) goals and policies. The Burlingame General Plan Community Safety Element includes Goal CS-5, which specifies protecting vulnerable areas and infrastructure from flooding related to rising sea levels in the San Francisco Bay. Supporting Goal CS-5, Policy CS-5.6 (Sea Level Rise Defense Strategy) has been amended to read: “Develop and implement a local sea level rise defense strategy for Burlingame that includes protection for transportation and utility infrastructure, schools, public safety facilities, and hazardous material sites, and include identification of funding mechanisms.”
The City is divided into various residential, commercial and industrial zones.  For commercial and industrial areas, the Zoning Ordinance specifies what types of businesses can operate in each of these areas and regulates where on a property a building can be placed.  In residential areas, the Zoning Ordinance regulates setbacks, height and contains measurements of mass and bulk.

If you have a zoning questions or are interested in building on a property, please contact the Planning Division and a staff member will be happy to assist you.
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Zoning Maps6 documents

  • Citywide Zoning Map
    document seq 0.00

Enlargement Zoning Maps - by QuadrantNo documents

Enlargement Zoning Maps - Areas5 documents

  • Zoning Map - Downtown (draft/beta version)
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  • Zoning Map - Broadway and California Drive (draft/beta version)
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  • Downtown Specific Plan Map
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  • Broadway Commercial Area Map
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  • Map of Properties Requiring Hillside Area Construction Permits
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