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FREE Processing to assist with Outdoor Dining! Plus a Two-Day Turnaround!


The outdoor use permit is means to increase opportunities for outdoor dining/ recreation/ service uses on public and private property including the placement of chairs, tables, umbrellas, bar counters, and barriers to be placed outside of the business on public or private property.

Outdoor Use Permit Application

Outdoor Use Permit Handout


Please see the handout above for more information on what is required upon submittal. For addtiional questions, please spek to a Planner at (805) 461-5035.


Category: Planning Division

-Grand Oaks Micro Community-

In November 2019, the City Council approved the Grand Oaks Paseo Micro Community project consisting of a new mixed-use, residential and commercial project on the site of a previously approved mixed use project.A total of 30 residential units are proposed in the project, 26 of which would be on individual lots with 4 of them aboce commercial spaces close to El Camino Real. 

A planned development on the site, the "Acacias", was originally approved by the City Council in 2006 but the site has remained vacant since. A Planned Development Overlay Zone No. 27 was created to allow for a custom mixed use development that included commercial uses facing El Camino Real and residential condominium units on the rear portion of the site.

City Council Staff Report

Category: Planning Division

-Emerald Ridge-

The Conditional Use Permit for Emerald Ridge's Master Plan of Development was approved in November 2016. The Master Plan included a 208-unit apartment complex on 7.5 acres.A density bonus of up to 15% was also approved, allowing the applicant to add additional residential units beyond the maximum density for "exceptionally high quality design". The applicant is proposing improvements to be completed in three phases. 

The project is located along El Camino Real, between San Benito Road and Madera Place. Emerald Ridge was originally approved in 2004 as a 45-unit attached multifamily condominium project. In 2005, additional phases were approved and proposed architecture was revised. This approval expired and the current proposal was submitted in 2016.


2016 Staff Report

Mitigated Negative Declaration

Resolution (Certifying Mitigated Negative Declaration)

Resolution (Tree removals)

Resolution (Master Plan Of Development)

Category: Planning Division


Our department handles a variety of property questions on a daily basis. Here is a Frequently Asked Questions section with quick answers that may help you find the information you need. If you still have questions please feel free to contact a Staff Planner at (805) 461-5035.


Q: What is my Zoning or General Plan Designation?

A: The Department is pleased to bring back property information via its GIS based mapping service. You can currently search for a property by typing in an address (typing in both address, city and state). You can also zoom into the map and click on parcel specific information. This does require a high-speed internet connection for best use. If you have a specific question in regards to a lot or a property, please contact a Staff Planner at (805) 461-5035.

Q: All my neighbors' lots are smaller than mine, can I split my lot?

A: Generally speaking, most lots in Atascadero cannot be split at this time. Lot splits are dependent on the zone in which your property is in. The City has various minimum lot sizes throughout the City. If your lot is 1.6 acres in size, but the minimum lot size of your zone is 1 acre minimum, then you need at least 2 acres to split a lot, even if your neighbor's lots are smaller than 1 acre. If you have a specific question in regards to your lot or a property for sale, please contact a Staff Planner at (805) 461-5035.

Q: How many animals can I have on my property?

The maximum number of dogs or cats allowed on a property is three (3). Farm Animals are based on the amount of acreage on a property. Click this link to learn more about how many farm animals are allowed on your property. If you have specific property questions, please contact the Planning Department.

Q: What are my property setbacks?

Typical setbacks for a single family residence in a non-planned development (PUD) is 25-feet from the edge of right-of-way in the front yard; 5-feet on the sides, and 10-feet in the rear of the property. However, these can vary with the size and location of a lot. For more information on setbacks, click here. The edge of right-of-way may not be the edge of pavement. If you have a multi-family project or commercial project or want specific property setbacks please contact the Planning Department.

Q: How tall of a fence can I put up on my front yard / back yard?

Fencing standards vary based on the type of fencing, zoning district, and size of the lot. See current standards here. If you have more specific questions, please contact the Planning Department.

Q: Can I find out if there is an easement on my property or I can I obtain a map of my property?

The City normally does not keep easement information or the official "recorded" plot map of your property. You may contact the San Luis Obispo County Recorder's Office for information in regards to easements and/or plot maps of your property or visit their website

Q: Can I Build a 2nd Unit or Granny Unit/Guest House on my property and what are the fees?

Yes, you can typically build a 2nd unit on your property if you meet the following criteria:

  • If your property is on city sewer


  • If your property is on septic and more then one (1) net acre in size

The Planning Department has developed a handout with accessory structure definitions, including second units. Please click here for that handout. For an estimate of fees associated with your second units, please fill out a fee estimate form and return this to the Community Development Department. If you have specific questions for 2nd units, please contact the Planning Department.

Q: I am interested in building a home on an empty lot, what are your fees?

Please see our new residence handout or manufactured home installation handout. You can also fill out a fee estimate form with specifics of the project and return it to the Community Development Department for a fee estimate. If you have specific questions to fees and/or your proposed building site, please contact the Planning Department.

Q: There is an oak tree in my yard that I want to remove, do I need a permit for that?

Typically, single family homes with no open building permits or permits are going to be sought, that are zoned residential single family or residential suburban do not need a permit to remove an oak tree. The department has developed a handout with additional information on tree removal permits here.  For more info on native trees, visit our native tree information page here.

Category: Planning Division




The La Plaza Development is located between Highway 101 and the City’s primary corridor: El Camino Real. All of the properties are zoned Downtown Commercial and lie within the Downtown Revitalization Plan. The existing site includes a vacant building, small commercial structures, and a telecommunications tower. Only the telecommunications tower will remain.



The proposed La Plaza development is a homage to Atascadero history and its founding years. The original La Plaza, which was also known as the Mercantile, was built in 1917 and then fell victim to a fire in 1934. The development team is heavily inspired by the founding days of Atascadero, which has spurred the desire to reference certain attributes of these first buildings of Atascadero. The architectural style of the proposed La Plaza development is in the same Palladian style as the City Hall building, The Printery building, and the former La Plaza building. E.G. Lewis, Atascadero’s founder, envisioned all the main and dominant buildings within the Atascadero Estates to be built in this style and it is the goal of the La Plaza development team to continue in that vision. The project, like the original La Plaza, will consist of commercial/retail space and residential uses. It will have two buildings with a combined total of 18,000SF of commercial/retail space and 42 residential units built to condominium specifications. There will be 5 different floor plans for the residential units and the retail/commercial space will be divided on an as needed basis. All commercial/retail space will be equipped with venting, electrical, and plumbing that any restaurant would need.

The zoning for this project is Downtown Commercial and typically would only allow for 36 residential units, but The City of Atascadero granted the project a 15% bonus for architectural excellence. This allows the project to move forward with 42 units. Because this project is in a “Downtown Commercial Zone” where there is no requirement for parking for the commercial space. However, one space is required per residential unit so our requirement for parking is 42, 27 of which will be private garages. The proposed project recognizes the city and local businesses need for more parking and will be providing a total of 89 parking spaces on site, 4 of which will be designated for electric car charging stations.

A component of the Project will further the goals of the Downtown Revitalization Plan by facilitating the development of a public plaza in the location of Atascadero Mall, directly across from Sunken Gardens Park connecting the park and downtown to the pedestrian connection underneath the US 101. The plaza space will remain a publicly owned space.

Image of a portion of the Downtown Revitalization Plan Vision. Note the proposed
plaza and configuration of Multi-Story Mixed Use buildings with parking adjacent
to Hwy 101 in very similar layout to the La Plaza project.



·Building A: One three-story building with approximately 14,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and 38 air space residential condominium units on the 2nd and 3rd floors

·Building B: One three story building with 3,749 square feet (sf) of commercial uses on the first floor and two residential units on each of the 2nd and 3rd floors.

·Public improvements that include a pedestrian plaza and a driveway access on Atascadero Mall



On November 21, 2017, the Planning Commission reviewed the La Plaza Mixed-Use project and recommended approval of the development project and the related road abandonment, road closure and plaza project to the City Council. Following review by the Commission, the applicant amended the project to replace proposed office space with residential units on the upper floors of Building A, thereby triggering additional review by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission reviewed the project a second time on March 6, 2018 and recommended the project approval to the City Council. On April 10, 2018 the City Council approved the project with amendments.


Staff Reports

CEQA Mitigation Measures

Design Review Committee – 7/12/2017

Planning Commission – 11/21/2018 & 3/6/2018

City Council – 3/12/2019

Category: Planning Division
Category: Planning Division

General Plan Information

The General Plan has been described as the "Blueprint" for a city's development: the foundation upon which all development decisions are based. When entitlement or building projects are submitted to the City, Staff reviews proposed projects to ensure consistency with the adopted General Plan. The State of California requires that every City and County have an adopted General Plan (also known as a Comprehensive Plan) which covers seven (7) general elements: Land Use, Circulation, Noise, Safety, Housing, Open Space, and Conservation.

There are times when amendments may be proposed to the designations of specific properties as shown on the land use diagrams, or to tables or textual language in the plan. Evaluation of requested General Plan amendments reviews the conformance of the amendment with applicable General Plan goals, objectives and policies. Of amendments are proposed which are not consistent with specific goals, objectives and policies, then all relevant goals, objectives and policies need to be reexamined and changed before approval of such amendments.

General Plan Amendments may be initiated by the City or private property owners or their authorized agents.

Applications to amend the General Plan shall be accompanied by detailed information to document the scope and impact of the amendment request. This information should include revised text, tables and diagrams for all affected elements. For additional information, please refer to the General Plan Land Use, Open Space and Conservation Element (Page II-51).

The following is the City's adopted General Plan, as amended through 2016. This document has been updated with various amendments, including the Housing Element. This document is a PDF.

Zoning Ordinance / Zoning Handbook

The City's Zoning Ordinance (adopted at Title 9, Zoning Ordinance of the Atascadero Municipal Code) implements, or are the "details" of the City's General Plan. The Zoning Ordinance contains specific development standards such as what types of uses can go on properties, lot sizes, fence heights, as well as rules and regulations regarding signs, special uses, and other details when it comes to development and construction on properties with the City. The City's Zoning Ordinance can be viewed here by click this link.

City Staff has created a Zoning Handbook to help in guiding residents, property owners, and developers on what they can and cannot do on their properties. The Zoning Handbook takes the City's adopted Zoning Ordinance and makes it easier to read and follow. If you have any questions in regards to the City's Zoning handbook, please contact the Community Development Department at (805) 461-5035.

Zoning Handbook (PDF)

Zoning Map - Static PDF

Interactive Zoning Map (updated as of April 2014)

Other Adopted Policy Documents

The following are additional policy documents that have been adopted by City Council and are utilized for development review of proposed projects within the City or within specific development areas.

Appearance Review Manual Adopted 1987. Used for review of all non-residential, multi-family projects
Native Tree Ordinance Adopted 1998. The City's Native Tree Ordinance which is used to protect trees that are designated as native to Atascadero.
Downtown Revitalization Plan Adopted in 2000. Provides a guide to revitialization and used downtown.
Downtown Design Guidelines Adopted in 2001. Provides a set of guidelines for new construction in Downtown Atascadero.
Oak Ridge Estates Master Development Plan Adopted in 2003. Development for Single Family Residential lots along San Marcos Road on the westside of the Community.
Woodlands Specific Plan (Las Lomas) Adopted in 2005. Provides development standards, guidelines, and zoning for a housing development between Haclon Road and Viejo Camino.
Del Rio Road Commercial Area Specific Plan Adopted in 2012. Provides development standards, guidelines, and zoning for non-residential development at the intersection of Del Rio Road and El Camino Real.
Atascadero Signage Handbook Adopted in 2016.Provides a guidelines for development of signage within the City.


Category: Planning Division

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