Base Zones

Get information about base zones and development standards.
A map showing the following base zones: R5a, OSc, and OSp. Text notes that upper case letters and numbers represent base zones.

Base zones state two purposes:

1. State what uses are allowed on property
2. State required development standards that apply (such as maximum height and required setbacks)

There are five categories of base zones: single dwelling residential zones, multi-dwelling residential zones, commercial / mixed use zones, employment and industrial zones, and campus institutional zones. Base zones are shown as a combination of capital letters and numbers on a zoning map. 

How the property is used

A “use” is essentially how the property is used. Some uses are allowed by right, other uses are limited or require a conditional use review. Finally, some uses are prohibited and are not allowed in the zone at all.

To determine in what zones a specific use may be located, you must first determine what land use category it is in. Use Chapter 33.920, Descriptions of the Use Categories, to classify the specific use. For example, a clothing store is classified as a retail sales and service use and a dry cleaning shop is classified as an industrial services use. Once you have determined the appropriate use category, review the primary use tables in the Use Categories handout or in the below base zone links to see the status of that category to determine whether the use is allowed, limited, conditional or prohibited.

If the proposed use is allowed by the base zone, you will also need to find out if the site is subject to additional uses from an Overlay ZonePlan District, or Additional Use and Development Regulations.

Development standards

Development standards are set by the zone. Standards regulate the size, bulk and location of development on a site. Development standards can include maximum allowed height, setbacks and allowed density.

You may review the summary handouts and applicable zoning code chapter for the zone to review the allowed uses and development standards:

To find the zoning on your property, view Find My Zoning.

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If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, please schedule a free 15-minute appointment with a city planner.