Overlay Zones

Overlay zones have the ability to apply additional standards and criteria for specific properties or districts beyond traditional zoning. Overlay zones may be used to protect or used to promote specific community features or types of development projects, such as affordable housing, mixed use or transit-oriented communities. Overlay zones may be used to help agencies meet specific community goals and address social equity. A major applicable overlay zone is the 2022 MTC Transit-Oriented Communities Policy.


  • Apply overlay zones to protect historic, cultural, or environmental features, or to promote specific types of development. 
  • Update underlying zoning as needed to ensure compatibility between zoning and overlay zones requirements.
Design Guidelines
Policy & Implementation
The Role of Local Government & Transit First Policies
Guiding Principles of Land Use
Flexible Zoning Strategies
Street Design Implementation
Revising Transportation Analysis Practices
Transportation Demand Management
Rethinking Vehicle Parking Requirements
Parking Management
Best Practices to Attract Successful Developers
Clarifying Design Expectations
Integrating Retail into Transit Oriented Development
Community Planning for Rail Transit
Additional Resources
A graphic of the Berryessa BART Urban Village Plan land-use map showing mixed-use, residential, etc zones.
Berryessa BART Urban Village Plan (Source: BART)