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City of San Mateo Municipal Code.

27.02.060 Height Limitations and Exceptions.

(a) No building, structure, or land shall hereafter be used or occupied, and no building or part thereof, or other structure, shall be erected, raised, moved, reconstructed, extended, enlarged or altered except in conformance with the regulations specified for the district in which it is located, except as described in subsection (b).

(b) The following are exempt from maximum height limitations:

(1) Pergolas, trellises, skylights, attached flagpoles, parapet walls, roof gardens, screens (or similar features necessary to screen roof top mechanical equipment as described in subsection (2)), and other similar features related to architectural design or style and that are accessory to the primary structure in function and appearance provided that they do not add floor area.

(2) Roof top mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, elevators (including related equipment and bulkheads), solar collectors, and other mechanical equipment required for the property's use and size, provided that all roof top mechanical equipment shall be screened such that it is not visible from the adjacent public right-of-way(s).

(3) Antennas mounted on a building or property by a public agency for public safety purposes.

(4) Other accessory architectural features, subject to a Site Plan and Architectural Review (SPAR) planning application reviewed and approved by the Zoning Administrator.

(c) For any application exempt under subsection (b), the Zoning Administrator may determine that additional review by the Planning Commission is required based on the size, shape, location, or impacts of the proposed feature in relation to the rest of the development.

(d) For improvements or additions to existing nonconforming buildings, the maximum height and bulk regulations set forth elsewhere in this Title shall not apply to:

(1) Improvements required for seismic retrofitting, Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibility, required life and safety upgrades, and historic preservation.

(2) Mechanical upgrades, including but not limited to equipment upgrades, elevators (including related equipment and bulkheads), HVAC installation, and solar equipment installation; and any screening that may be necessary to screen the above, such that it is not visible from the public right-of-way.