The City of Marina is embarking on a project to create objective design standards for all new residential and residential mixed-use projects in the city. Recent State laws require local jurisdictions to adopt objective standards and streamline their housing development and review process to ensure high quality design and facilitate efficient delivery of new residential units.
About This Survey
The City of Marina is conducting a Community Visual Preference Survey to better understand community priorities and concerns that should be considered when creating objective design standards. Please share your preferences.

Introduction & Background

California State Senate Bill 330 (SB 330) requires individual jurisdiction to establish a clear and impartial approval process for all housing projects.

Today, the City of Marina primarily relies on the Zoning Ordinance and five Specific Plans to address the character of residential developments including infill projects, additions to existing homes, or new construction. These documents include objective development regulations and “subjective” design guidelines. The goal of this project is to create “objective design standards” that apply citywide to areas outside of these Specific Plans. These design standards will allow flexibility in design, but require key elements that support the pedestrian experience, create human-scaled buildings, and preserve the character of Marina’s neighborhoods. Rather than dictate particular styles, the objective design standards will focus on building form, massing, articulation, and site context. These objective design standards will be formally incorporated into the Zoning Ordinance once approved by City Council.

Areas in the City Where Objective Standards Will Apply
ODS Applicable Areas
To learn more about this project please visit the project website:

What is an Objective Design Standard?
An objective standard (usually written with a “shall” statement) involves no personal or subjective judgment and is uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion. By contrast, a non-objective or subjective guideline or standard (usually written with a “should” statement) is a standard that cannot be measured or requires interpretation. An example of a non-objective guideline and objective standard is shown below. There is often a trade-off between increased design control and level of specificity (standards) versus allowing greater flexibility and creativity in design (guidelines).
  • Example Non-Objective Guideline: “Fences and walls should be constructed of high quality, durable materials.”
  • Example Objective Standard: “Fences and walls shall be constructed of brick, stone, concrete, textile block, wood, iron, or steel. Chain link, barbed wire, razor wire, and corrugated metal fencing is prohibited."
Where Objective Standards Apply
The Objective Standards Project is focused solely on residential buildings in the City of Marina. This includes single family homes of more than one dwelling unit, multi-family housing such as apartments, and mixed-use housing with at least two-thirds residential component. New individual single-family homes, commercial only projects, and other project types still need to meet existing development standards in the Zoning Ordinance, Specific Plan design guidance (if applicable), and if discretionary approval is