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Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance

The Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance was unanimously approved by the City of Sacramento City Council on December 11, 2018.  The Ordinance will be effective beginning on January 10, 2019.  The staff report may be viewed here and the meeting video may be viewed here.  

The purpose of the ordinance is to incentivize transit supportive uses near light rail stations, and to preserve transit areas for appropriate development opportunities.  

Why Transit-Oriented Development?

The Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance is the City’s proposed next step in ensuring that the investments made in our regional transit systems are continually supported and utilized to their full extent. If approved, the ordinance would achieve the following anticipated community benefits:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create healthier communities through increased transit ridership
  • Increase pedestrian access around businesses
  • Provide long-term return on investments for landowners
  • Provide easy access to goods and services for seniors and other persons with access and functional needs who are unable to drive
  • Create more vibrant transit centers and corridors with a mix of pedestrian friendly uses

Incentivizing Transit Supportive Uses:

For uses that increase transit ridership, such as high-density housing and job-intensive uses, the City is proposing the following incentives:

  • Building review incentives for multi-unit housing projects with 25 or more units
  • Reduced parking requirements near transit stations
    • ¼ mile of a light rail station: no minimum required off-street vehicle parking
    • ½ mile of a light rail station: required off-street vehicle parking reduced by 50%

Preserving Transit Areas for Future Transit Oriented Development:

The following uses would be prohibited within a ¼ mile of an existing or proposed light rail station:

  • Auto-sales, storage, rental (outdoor)
  • Auto-service, repair
  • Drive-through restaurant
  • Gas station large*
  • Gas station (small)
  • Mini storage; locker building
  • Warehouse; distribution center

The following uses would require a conditional use permit within a ½ mile of an existing or proposed light rail station platform:

  • Auto - sales, storage, rental
  • Auto service, repair
  • Cannabis cultivation
  • Cannabis manufacturing, nonvolatile
  • Drive-through restaurant
  • Equipment - rental, sales yard
  • Gas station (large)*
  • Gas station (small)
  • Manufacturing, service and repair
  • Mini storage; locker building
  • Plant nursery
  • Warehouse; distribution center
  • Wholesale store

*Prohibited Citywide but allowed with a conditional use permit if located greater than 1/4 mile from the center of an existing or proposed light rail station platform and located within 500 feet of freeway right-of-way or located within 500 feet of a roadway with six or more lanes.  Defined as gas stations capable of fueling more than ten vehicles simultaneously. 

Projects with planning applications submitted prior to October 1, 2018 will be exempt from the ordinance.


City Council

October 17, 2017

Law and Legislation Committee

April 24, 2018

Planning and Design Commission

September 20, 2018

Law and Legislation Committee

November 13, 2018

Planning and Design Commission

November 29, 2018

City Council (Approved)

December 11, 2018

Ordinance Effective Date

January 10, 2019

Click on the map below to explore all the properties that would be subject to the ordinance.


Transit Oriented Development Map Grid

Additional resources on Transit-Oriented Development

Regional TOD Planning

TOD and Housing Affordability

TOD and Public Health

TOD and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

TOD Case Studies

Fiscal Impacts of TOD