By Marina Temkin | Special to the Almanac
The Atherton City Council last night (July 15) approved changes to its ordinance regulating basements.
One of the main changes reduces the allowable building area for a basement that extends beyond the first floor of the main building. Under the current ordinance, the allowable building space for such basements is 130 percent of the total floor area of the first floor; the council action reduces that to 120 percent.
Another change to the code shifts routine review and approval of basement extensions to the administrative staff from the Planning Commission. For example, the staff will now approve basement extensions under non-habitable accessory buildings, but the Planning Commission will continue to review basement extensions under all accessory buildings when windows are included.
Prior to bringing these changes to the council, the town's staff discussed all proposed modifications with members of the town's Builders Roundtable. Members were supportive of all changes, according to the staff report.