Development Code Update

General Plan
Development Plans
Current Plans
Contact Us
Development Code Update
Downtown Plan
Development Services
Gen. Plan & Dev. Code Cleanup
Get Involved/Public Meetings

Infill Committee
Subscribe to Email List
Contact Us
Development and Resource Management Administration
2600 Fresno St
Room 3065
Fresno, CA 93721
E-Mail Us
Department Home

Citywide Development Code Update

On December 3, 2015 the City of Fresno adopted a new Development Code. This code replaced the former code in its entirety. It establishes new zone districts, permitted uses, development standards, and procedures in a contemporary, well-organized, and comprehensive manner.

View the Development Code here.
View the Zoning Map here.


Why Was the Development Code Updated?

Like most cities, Fresno has a Development Code, also known as the Zoning Ordinance. The Code is the DNA of the city. It provides rules for development which ensure that Fresno’s growth will take place in an attractive, orderly manner. What parts of the city should have housing, and where are retail businesses allowed? Where can they be mixed together? The Development Code establishes these rules.
In December of 2014, the City Council adopted a new General Plan, which is the grand vision for Fresno’s next twenty years. Normally, the Development Code is an essential tool for implementing this vision, but the former Code had not been updated since the early 1960s and didn’t reflect the fact that tastes and needs have changed over the past five decades. Although there had been several piecemeal efforts to make modifications to the 1962 Code, such amendments resulted in a fragmented code that was difficult to comprehend. A fresh start was needed in order to implement the new vision.

The new code reflects contemporary planning and business practices and sets clear, but fair, criteria for new development. Proposals that conform to the new vision will have a streamlined approval process, which will boost economic development. In addition, infill has never been as feasible in Fresno as it will be under the new Development Code, ensuring that we have balanced growth in the coming years.

Image taken at Fashion Fair Mall

Image of Fresno home

Image taken at River Park

Image of walking path

For more information on why the Code was updated and how the new Code works, see the User's Guide to the New Development Code.

The Adoption Process and Associated Materials
Preliminary work on the new Code began in 2010. City staff, consultants, and local stakeholders worked for several years to construct a draft that would achieve the vision of the General Plan, meet local market conditions, would be far easier to use than the old Code. On March 31, 2015 the Public Review Draft of the new Development Code was released. The public comment period was open until June 1. During this period, the City received more than 40 comment letters with over 400 individual suggestions. Staff assessed all of them and incorporated many into the Planning Commission and City Council Review Draft, which was released on September 11, 2015 (Clean Version | Redline Version).

Click on the following links for additional materials which were released with the September 11 draft to help explain a) how the new Development Code will work and b) what had changed since the March 31 Public Review Draft.

Valley Code Comparison
Response to Comments
Summary of Major Changes

The Planning Commission held a hearing on September 30, 2015 and recommended approval of the draft with changes.
The City Council held workshops on the Code on November 3 and 12. A hearing to receive public comment was held on the evening of November 12. The Code was considered by the Council and approved for introduction on November 19. The second reading and adoption of the Code was December 3rd.

During the November 19 hearing, the Council tabled sections 15-1004-E, 15-1005, 15-1104-F, and 15-1105 with instruction to revise and reintroduce them within 30 days. The sections were brought back before the Council on December 17 where they were continued to a future hearing.

On December 3, changes were made by the Council to sections 15-1102 (small scale entertainment in the Neighborhood Mixed-Use district), 15-2741, Mobile Vendors, and 15-2750, Recycling Facilities. These changes were adopted on their second reading on December 17, 2015.

Update to Exhibit D: Revisions - November 18, 2015
City Council Review Draft Redline - November 9, 2015

Additional Information

For additional information, send email to or call 559.621.8003.