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City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


(a) The purpose of the CBD District is to encourage the development and re-use of existing downtown structures as a center for retail, cultural, entertainment, and community service uses. Pedestrian activity should be strongly encouraged at the ground floor level, while upper floor office and residential uses should be encouraged to promote active daytime and nighttime use of the downtown area. Amenities that will enhance the downtown environment for public and public oriented uses shall also be encouraged.

(b) In order to insure that these purposes will be carried out, a basic set of regulations establishing maximum permitted floor area, building setback requirements, maximum height and bulk, minimum open space standards, and required retail ground floor uses have been set forth.

(c) For the areas in the required retail frontage area as designated by the Downtown Plan, it is intended that ground floor retail and service uses with windows be provided to maintain downtown's commercial vitality and continuity within the retail core. Uses within this area should enhance the pedestrian scale of the downtown core and allow for a compact walking environment in which all shopping opportunities are easily accessible. It is intended that all uses in this area maintain ground floor visibility to serve patrons on an unannounced or drop-in basis, conduct a majority of their business face-to-face on the premises with their customers, and maintain retail storefronts comparable to traditional retail sales operations, including display of goods and services for sale.

(d) The Central Business District zoning district will be restricted to those properties within a parking assessment district. It is the intent of these regulations to insure the continued growth and development of the downtown area, thereby enabling it to remain an important retail, cultural, entertainment, business, financial, and medical center of the City and of mid-San Mateo County. Residential uses will be encouraged by increased housing densities in the downtown area in order to provide a wide range of housing opportunities for growing number of downtown employees, as well as existing residents.

(e) It is the intent of these regulations to encourage development of higher intensity than in other parts of City in order to create the concentration of development and activity appropriate to a major business center. Development intensities should vary by subarea to minimize impacts on adjacent areas, moderate transportation and parking requirements, preserve essential physical characteristics of the primary shopping area, conserve architectural, historical and natural values and make new residential development possible.