Form-Based Code Update


In 2008, the City initiated efforts to update the zoning of properties along Mission Boulevard from the northern City limit all the way down to the South Hayward BART Station area. The purpose of this update was to implement smart growth principles through form-based code, which differ from tradition zoning in that it emphasizes urban design, transit-oriented development, walkability, higher densities, mixed uses, and the public realm. This effort was split into two project areas, resulting in two different form-based codes: S. Hayward BART/Mission Blvd. Form-Based Code (adopted in 2011) and Mission Blvd. Corridor FBC (adopted in 2014). A map of these FBC areas is below.

Beige map of the project area

Since adoption, the downturn in the local and national economy between 2008 and 2012 limited the number of new development applications along the Mission Boulevard Corridor. However, the amount of development activity has increased over the past few years, which has highlighted the need to update the FBCs to address inconsistencies and redundancies and reflect new policies, development standards, and land uses. Therefore, the City initiated the FBC Update in 2018 to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Establish clear, concise, and implementable regulations;
  2. Address inconsistencies within the FBCs and between the FBCs and the City’s Zoning Ordinance to establish clear and consistent terms, definitions and development processes to increase efficiency and predictability; and
  3. Encourage development along the Mission Boulevard Corridor that is consistent with the purpose and vision of the FBCs and the City’s land use policies.


City staff has recieved the Final Draft of the updated Form Based Code with revised regulations based on feedback from the City's Planning Commission and Council Economic Development Committee. The updated Code proposed to modify the regulating plan, building form standards, land use regulations, street standards, and otehr elements needed to implement the principles of urbanism, planning, and practical growth management consistent with the community vision in the Hayward 2040 General Plan. The Public Review Draft, released in February 2020, is also located below for review.

​The proposed Code update also includes the consolidation of the two FBCs into one and creates new zoning districts across the plan area to replace the previous districts (e.g. T3, T4-1, T5). The list below provides the current and new zoning (and overlay, if applicable) for each parcel part of the FBC update. These new districts are referenced in the new development regulations in the Final Draft Mission Boulevard Code above.


Full Screen Form-Based Code Map


On April 9, 2018, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to update the FBCs. On May 22, 2018, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 18-085, which authorized the City Manager to execute an agreement with Lisa Wise Consulting, Inc (LWC) for the preparation of a comprehensive update to the FBCs. Since May 2018, LWC has been meeting with City staff, conducting public outreach with key stakeholders, and evaluating the existing FBCs to identify issues related to administration and implementation.

On December 10-11, 2018, LWC conducted numerous stakeholder interviews with other public agencies, transit providers, neighborhood associations, community stakeholders, developers, design professionals, and City staff. Several common themes emerged from the interviews:

  1. Complexity: The regulations are too complex and hard to interpret, and the document format and layout is difficult to navigate.
  2. Development Standards: The development standards should focus on key elements of building form. The standards are overly prescriptive in some instances, such as roof pitch and building articulation, and offer too many options in other instances.
  3. Parking Supply: The regulations should strike a balance between providing parking to ensure accessibility and limiting parking to encourage and support transit use and the development of vibrant, walkable, and mixed-use areas. Parking management and enforcement could help alleviate parking problems in the project area and adjacent neighborhoods.
  4. Ground Floor Uses: The Codes should ensure activity at the ground floor along street frontages. However, restricting the ground floor area to “retail” uses is onerous and likely not viable. Active ground floor uses could include a variety of restaurant, entertainment, and service uses, and in some areas residential and community uses, all of which contribute to a 24-hour street presence and ‘eyes on the street’.
  5. Thoroughfares: Connectivity is important but the thoroughfare standards in the FBCs are overly prescriptive, do not reflect Complete Street best practices and other City standards for the design of accessways/pathways and in some cases, render new development infeasible.
  6. Flexibility: The regulations should incorporate flexibility to address irregular lot sizes, unique site conditions, or specific issues while still ensuring the intent of the regulation is satisfied. This process can replace warrants/exceptions, which often has a negative connotation, with a new streamlined and simplified process that encourages creativity in design.


Upcoming Public Hearings - City Council:
A virtual public hearing is scheduled with the City Council on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 7 p.m. for adoption of the Mission Boulevard Code update. Staff report, related attachments, etc. may be found HERE once published. Staff reports are available the Friday before the hearing. The public, including residents, stakeholders, businesses, etc. are strongly encouraged to provide their questions or comments in writing to the City 48 hours prior to the public hearing using the comment box on the right side of this webpage or by contacting Marcus Martinez, Associate Planner by email at or via phone at (510) 583-4236.

Planning Commission Public Hearing for Adoption

On May 28, 2020, the Hayward Planning Commission voted 6-0 to recommend that the City Council approve and adopt the Mission Boulevard Code. The Planning Commission reviewed the code language changes they recommended that staff explore earlier this year based on the public review draft.  

Council Economimc Development Committee (CEDC)
On March 2, 2020, the City's Council Economic Development Committee (CEDC) hosted a work session to also review the Public Review Draft of the FBC update and provided comments to staff on the document parking standards, commercial land uses including applicable overlays, and potential branding for certain segments of the Mission Boulevard corridor. CEDC also recommended that the revised Code continue to prohibit certain sensitive uses such as tobacco shops, liquor stores, massage establishments, and check cashing facilities. 

Planning Commission Work Session #2
On February 13, 2020, the Planning Commission conducted a work session to review the Public Review Draft of the FBC Update (also known as the "Mission Boulevard Code"). The Planning Commission provided comments to staff related to the potential incompatability between some outdoor recreation/dining areas with Mission Boulevard, design guidelines to promote street-facing retail, objective design standards for future developments, etc.

City Council Work Session
On January 22, 2019, the City Council held a work session to provide early feedback on the FBC Update and direction to staff and the City's consultant, Lisa Wise Consulting (LWC), regarding the priority issues that need to be addressed. The Council indicated that they felt the existing FBCs have not been achieving all the goals that the City had envisioned for the Mission Boulevard Corridor. The Council also expressed support for significant revisions to the FBCs and directed staff to bring the FBC Update to the Planning Commission for a work session as well.   

Planning Commission Work Session
Following direction from the City Council, on February 28, 2019, the Planning Commission also held a work session and provided preliminary direction on the FBC Update to City staff and LWC. The Planning Commission stated that they would like to see the FBC Update encourage a safe pedestrian experiece and walkability along the Mission Boulevard Corridor with activated streets through appropriate ground-floor commercial uses. The Commission would like to see a simplified code that will have consistency requirements for developers.  

City staff are available to answer questions or provide additional information on the FBC Update.

Jeremy Lochirco, Principal Planner
City of Hayward, Planning Division
777 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541
(510) 583-4239