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Thread: Building height

  1. #1

    Building height

    I am seeking input regarding building height regulations. Our ordinance limits the height of structures based on both their measured height and the number of stories. Most districts, for example, limit height to 35 feet AND 2.5 stories. We are considering an amendment that would change the limit to only measured height. However, I am wondering if there is a reasonable rationale for including both standards that I am missing. Any input would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Here in Mill Valley we measure by just the height (25 feet/35 feet for areas with double setbacks), which allows structures to be more than 2.5 stories because they can step down the hillside lots. It encourages people to make use of any areas that may be excavated into the hillside, which do not add to the mass of a structure. So, a home could be 3 stories, with one story mainly underground, and only 25 feet in height.

  3. #3
    Here is something to consider. If you limit height by a measurement, a creative architect will cram more stories than you ever thought possible into that height measurement. Flat roofs could also be a result of people trying to get as many stories as possible into the maximum height measurement. If it is measured by number of stories, that leaves room to create better architecture, more options for roof forms, higher ceilings for ground floor public spaces, etc.

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