Land Use Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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General Plan > Elements > Land Use Element > Commercial Land Uses
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Commercial Land Uses

San Clemente offers a full spectrum of retail, service, professional, office, medical, tourist-related, and entertainment uses at a range of intensities to meet the daily needs of our residents and employees and attract visitors to our key destination areas. In addition to providing jobs, amenities and services, commercial uses generate tax revenues that are essential for maintaining our community’s quality of life.

The City’s key commercial areas are discussed in detail in the Focus Areas section of the Land Use Element.


Achieve and maintain a healthy employment base with diverse retail, office, and service uses that: 1) meet citizens’ needs; 2) help generate municipal revenues that improve quality of life; 3) are compatible with adjacent residential neighborhoods; and 4) support the goals and policies of the Economic Development Element.


LU-2.01. Quality. We require that new development protect community character by providing architecture, landscaping and urban design of equal or greater quality, and by respecting the architectural character and scale of adjacent buildings.
LU-2.02. Identification of Commercial Areas. We require distinctive entry and informational signage, street trees, street furniture, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and other improvements to uniquely identify individual commercial districts.
LU-2.03. Neighborhood Compatibility. We require that commercial projects abutting residential neighborhoods be designed and operated to protect residents from the effects of noise, light, odors, vibration, traffic, parking and other operational impacts.
LU-2.04. Maintenance. We require proper maintenance of commercial areas to ensure they reflect community expectations for a quality environment and remain competitive with commercial facilities located outside of the City.
LU-2.05. Pedestrian, Bicycle and Transit Access. We require commercial projects to be designed to promote convenient access to and from nearby neighborhoods, transit facilities, bikeways, and other amenities.
LU-2.06. Multi-Use of Public Alleys. We consider alleys as multi-use public spaces that buffer commercial uses from residential areas and serve circulation, parking, utilities, loading areas and trash receptacles. They may also provide access to paseos, rear commercial entries, multiple storefronts and public use areas.
LU-2.07. Environmental Compatibility and Quality. We require commercial districts and uses to be compatible with their environmental setting, promote City environmental goals and be designed and operated to avoid or mitigate environmental impacts.
LU-2.08. Drive-Through Facilities. We support land use regulation to encourage healthy dining options and discourage the proliferation of drive-through facilities.



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City of San Clemente
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