Planning & Zoning Division

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Planning Division, (626) 570-5034
Counter Hours: M-F, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.


The Planning Division reviews all new construction from small home additions to large commercial projects to ensure that the work to be performed conforms with the City's zoning laws. 

The Planning Division maintains the City's land development and land use standards. City staff work with contractors and homeowners to help streamline the permit process using an easy step-by-step guide. On large-scale projects, pre-construction coordination meetings are held with project managers and City staff who play a role in the construction process to help ensure a smooth running project.


  • The Planning Commission, comprised of ten Alhambra residents appointed by the City Council, guides the City's planning process by identifying planning-related problems and opportunities, reviewing proposed project plans that require zoning changes, variances, or subdivision approval, as well as publicly-supported projects.
  • Meets the first and third Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. 


  • Size of new construction - A new or expanded home is typically considered compatible if the size of the home does not exceed the mean and median size home by more than 75%.  
  • Lot areas and floor area ratios - In addition to total floor area, the Planning Commission reviews lot areas and floor area ratios for the affected properties to give a more complete picture of the neighborhood. Projects that comply with the policy are not guaranteed to be approved, and projects that exceed the 75% threshold above the mean and median house size are not automatically rejected. The policy is one of several tools used by the Planning Commission in reviewing projects, including architectural design, bulk, scale, materials of construction, building height, setbacks, parking and landscaping to determine compatibility with the existing neighborhood. 
  • R-3 Zoned Properties To promote additional development, Alhambra affords flexible development standards on R-3 zoned properties. The goal is to promote higher quality multiple family residential development, encourage innovative design and efficient use of land that might otherwise be stifled by rigid development standards, encourage consolidation of parcels, and judge permit developments on individual merits. The flexible development standards provision allows for variation from up to three of the provisions required by the R-3 zone, three provisions required by the property development standards, and three provisions required by the design standards. In addition, flexible parking standards may also be requested but are subject to approval by the Planning Commission. Flexible development standards are restricted to lots 40,000 square feet and larger. 
  • Other Common Planning Issues include downzoning areas to preserve the single-family character and integrity of neighborhoods; reducing the number of units that can be built on any given parcel to create more open space; and reducing parking problems by researching ways to modify the City's zoning ordinance.


Relevant Permits, Licenses, & Applications

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More Information

Alhambra General Plan MapAlhambra General Plan Map

View the Alhambra General Plan Map

Building and Zoning Complaint HotlineBuilding and Zoning Complaint Hotline

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