Review and approval by the Design Review Board is required for any building, exterior addition, signs, sculptures or structures, including walls or fences 3 feet or more in height that are within 500 feet of a scenic corridor and can be seen from the scenic corridor road. The following roads are designated as scenic corridors (MMC Sections 8.132.020 and 8.132.040 and Design Guidelines SC):
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The building setbacks for residential properties in Moraga depend upon the zoning district.
Most of the homes in Moraga were built prior to the Town’s incorporation in November of 1974, and the Contra Costa County Building Department did not start to microfiche copies of plans until the middle of 1986 when Title 24 took effect. Therefore, we do not have plans for most of the homes in Moraga. If there were any additions or improvements done to the home after 1986, the Building Department may have copies of some of those plans on microfiche.
Property information can be obtained from the Planning Department.
The Contra Costa County Building Department may require a survey of a property line to verify the required setbacks for construction. Do not assume that a fence is a reliable marker for the location of a side or rear property line.
Depending on the width of the public right-of-way, the front property line is generally located 7 to 12 feet behind the face of curb or edge of paving. You may check with the Planning or Engineering Department to determine the exact distance between the face of curb and your front property line based on the improvement plans for the subdivision. If the proposed construction is within 5-feet of the minimum required setback you will have to provide a survey to confirm the location of the proposed improvement on the lot.
Building setbacks are the minimum distance measured perpendicular to the property lines, except for homes on private roads. On private streets the front and exterior side yard setbacks are measured from a line that is 26-feet from the center of the private street, which is one-half of the 52-foot right-of-way width specified for a minor street. (MMC Section 8.68.110)
In some cases a geotechnical engineer may recommend structural setbacks greater than the Town’s minimum setback requirements to provide a safe distance from the bank of a creek channel or bottom of a potentially hazardous landslide area. On residential projects that require a use permit or subdivision approval, the conditions of project approval may include additional setbacks to address scenic corridor issues or mitigation measures from an environmental study.
For two-story buildings, the minimum side yard setback shall be increased by one additional foot for each foot of "end wall" height greater than 20-feet. End wall height is the maximum vertical height from finished grade to outer roof surface at the side yard (Design Guidelines SFR2.6).
For more information, please refer to the Town of Moraga Design Guidelines document.
Information on the location and width of the public right-of-way for a particular street can be obtained from the Planning Department.
Surveys are required for variance applications and may be required by the Building Department to verify the required setback for construction. If the proposed construction is within 2-feet of the minimum required setback then a survey is encouraged to accurately plot the location of the home on the lot. (Please note that fences are NOT reliable markers for the location of property lines).
The only permitted use on properties zoned "OS" (Open Space) and "OS-M" (Open Space -MOSO) is agriculture. Any residential use requires approval of a Open Space Conditional Use Permit or a Moraga Open Space Ordinance Application by the Moraga Planning Commission prior to approval of plans by the DRB (MMC Section 8.52.040). The Planning Commission will establish the development standards for the project site, such as minimum lot size, building setbacks, maximum building height, etc. (MMC Section 8.52.050). Development is also prohibited above the 800-foot contour line on minor ridges and within hazardous areas.
Waste Management Plan Acknowledgement forms (PDF) are required for any project which includes an addition or alteration to a building that increases conditioned area, size, construction; or projects with a valuation of $50,000 or greater and demolition-only projects of 300 square feet or greater. The form is an agreement that project waste materials will be diverted from the landfill through recycling and salvage, and that recycling receipts will be uploaded to Green Halo Systems, a web interface.
Political signs are considered Temporary Freestanding Signs and can be placed without a permit on private property with permission from the property owner, but cannot be placed in the public-right-of way. Signs cannot exceed 6 square feet and shall be removed within 10 days after the election. Permanent political signs require a permit and shall comply with Chapter 8.88 of the Municipal Code.
A kitchen would have a 220-volt power and a range or a built-in oven and stove-top.
Residential roof-mounted solar panels under 10 kilowatts are exempt from design review and approval, but require Contra Costa County building permit. Non-exempt solar projects must be reviewed by the Planning Department. These include commercial solar panels installations, solar panels supported by a new structure or new ground mounted racks which may be subject to design review and approval.
A home occupation is permitted in any residential land use district in accordance with the performance standards listed in MMC Section 8.112.030. Only the residents of the dwelling unit can be employed at a home occupation, which must be an accessory use to the primary residential use. No sign or advertising may be displayed and no other exterior evidence of the home occupation shall be visible from off site. A phone number may be listed in the "Yellow Pages", but not the address of the residence where the business is located (MMC Chapter 8.112).
No permit is required from the Town as long as the number of occupants does not exceed 6. Up to 6 adults or children are allowed provided that the property owner obtains the necessary state licenses.
No. They are prohibited in all zoning districts.
Solicitors must register with the Police Department, and are given a permit which they must carry and exhibit on request. They shall not create any public nuisance or disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood by the use of loud noise, brilliant lights or any act offensive to the senses. If you do not want solicitors to come to your door, you must post a sign stating "No Peddlers or Solicitors" to prohibit them from your property.
Sidewalks are not maintained by the Town of Moraga. Repair of cracks in sidewalks are the responsibility of the abutting property owner. A property owner may be required to make repairs to the sidewalk along their frontage if the Town determines a public safety hazard exists.
You should consult with the Engineering Department at 329 Rheem Boulevard; however, an Encroachment Permit (PDF) is generally required for any construction within the public right-of-way, including:
Public streets should not be used for the temporary storage of construction or landscaping materials, such as stacks of lumber, piles of sand or landscape boulders. An encroachment permit is also required for the temporary use of a public street, such as placement and pickup of a trash collection dumpster. A deposit may be required to cover the cost of repair of damaged paving as a result of the encroachment.
Yes, Housing Element Policy H3.4 states: The Town shall continue to allow the renting of rooms/quarters in single family homes as a permitted use in single-family zones to help meet the needs of extremely low-income households and students enrolled in Saint Mary’s and other colleges, provided the character of the neighborhood is not adversely affected.