Item 2

Plain English

Joint Living and Work Quarters (JLWQ) in districts other than manufacturing are "as-of-right," meaning no discretionary zoning approval is required. Nevertheless, it is advisable to make an appointment with a zoning official (tel. (510) 238-4799 for a preliminary review of your project (first run it by your architect). In manufacturing zones, JLWQ requires securing a minor Conditional Use Permit, a six-week process which does not require a public hearing unless appealed; these submissions are rarely ever denied or appealed by staff.

If you require a variance because, for example, you:
1) want to put a new penthouse on an otherwise "as-of-right" JLWQ,
2) want to exceed height limit, setback, parking or open space requirements,
3) want to do anything outside of the straight-ahead JLWQ conversion or home occupation,
you will need to go through a zoning approval process to secure it. Home Occupation, by the way, would normally require residential design review. There are no parking requirements under zoning for JLWQ other than a prohibition on removing or reducing existing parking; likewise, Section 7020-- the live/work provision in the Zoning Regulations–does not specify any required open space for JLWQ.
It should also be noted that while true live/work (as opposed to home occupation) is only permitted in existing buildings, the raising of a building's roof specifically to create headroom in a mezzanine is allowed as long as a full extra level is not being added. Normally this would mean adding two to five feet in height in the area of the mezzanines. The text of this zoning code ruling is reproduced in the appendix.
Whenever you submit any type of project for building permit, you (or your drawings) are "routed" through the zoning counter. Thus, requirement #2’s instruction to contact the zoning department is redundant, but like many aspects of this strange animal called live/work, the intention is to be totally clear on what is being applied for, because there are few clear precedents.


The nature of all City Planning approvals required and obtained, including use as JLWQ pursuant to Section 322B.2.1, and show any City Planning conditions of approval within the plans;

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