One of the City’s strategic priorities is to create and sustain a strong local economy, and one way to do this is to support Shadelands as a world-class business center that attracts diverse and innovative businesses, enhances property values, and enriches quality of life for businesses, customers, and visitors. In March 2016, the Walnut Creek City Council adopted zoning amendments, proposed by the Shadelands Steering Committee, allowing greater zoning flexibility.


The dynamic and diverse businesses coming to Shadelands—and those that are here and expanding in Shadelands—represent job creation and career creation for today’s workforce and for generations to come. Shadelands is home to businesses that want to attract and retain employees; people who want to start a business in a creative and energized environment; and people looking for jobs and careers in engineering, finance, tech, manufacturing, education, sports, the arts, professional services, and health fields.


The zoning amendments offer opportunities to create incentives for the types of development that the community desires, while ensuring the new development remains compatible with adjacent residential neighborhoods. And, they recognize the importance of allowing employment-generating uses in Shadelands to flourish, while also re-imagining the business center for new and future technologies and a younger workforce.




  • Hotels are now permitted (rather than prohibited) upon the approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the Planning Commission.
  • Skilled nursing facilities with a typical stay of 30 days or less, but no more than 100 days, are now permitted (rather than prohibited) upon approval of a CUP.
  • Nurseries remain prohibited under the new Business Park Zoning District regulations, as they are considered a retail use. However, horticultural uses, which include the growing of plants, trees, and such, as well as indoor cultivation of edible plants, are now permitted (allowing wholesale and some limited retail sales).
  • Schools, public and private, are now permitted (rather than prohibited) upon the approval of a CUP.
  • Artists’ studios are permitted only if conducted entirely within a building. If the use includes outdoor use, then it is permitted upon approval of a CUP.
  • Eating & drinking establishments, health clubs, banks, personal improvement services and personal services are now permitted uses, unless within and completely occupying a freestanding building, in which case approval of a CUP is required.
  • Retail uses that are accessory to the primary use are now permitted, unless within and completely occupying a freestanding building. In that case, approval of a CUP is required, and a finding that the retail use is accessory to the primary use must be made.
  • Craft wineries & breweries (and other forms of alcohol production) are now a subset of the Custom Manufacturing use. There are some limitations to the location (entirely within a building) and volume of small-scale production.
  • Limited industry uses are now permitted with no restrictions on floor area devoted to manufacturing uses, provided they are accessory to the business & professional offices or commercial research & development services uses. If manufacturing is the primary function, the use requires approval of a CUP.