Sunrise MarketPlace Overlay Zone Proposal

On October 27, 2022, the City Council will be considering an amendment to the City's Zoning Code which would create an overlay zone which further refines the allowed uses within the Sunrise Marketplace area.  The proposed overlay zone will prohibit some auto-intense uses such as gas stations, car washes, auto repair and similar.  The elimination of these uses will further the Community's goal of providing vibrant and active space and further the City's economic goals for the area.  

The city's Planning Commission reviewed the proposal on September 28th and took public testimony.  After a lengthy discussion, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to support the proposal.

The public is encouraged to participate in the upcoming City Council meeting.

City Council Meeting 

Citrus Heights City Council Chambers

6360 Fountain Sq Drive - Citrus Heights

Thursday, October 27, 2022 6:00 PM

Meeting Materials

What is being considered?

A zoning overlay is being considered to restrict auto-oriented uses like gas stations and car washes in the Sunrise MarketPlace area.

What is an overlay zone?

A zoning map overlay is a land use tool that can be used to change or modify the provisions of the zoning code that are applicable to a defined area in the city, without actually rezoning any of the land. A zoning map overlay is, in essence, a second zoning map superimposed on the existing map for the land in question. 

What is the purpose of the Sunrise Market Place Overlay Zone?

The overlay zone would further refine the allowed uses within the Sunrise MarketPlace to retain this area as the Citys core area for shopping, dining and entertainment.  

Over 57 percent of vehicle trips on Sunrise Boulevard are from non-Citrus Heights residents (cut through and commute traffic). The trips are typically travelers that are cutting through the City to connect to adjacent jurisdictions or Interstate 80 or Highway 50, often not stopping to shop or dine in Citrus Heights.  The uses like gas stations, car washes, drive through services/restaurants, etc. are in high demand along the Sunrise Corridor because of this traffic pattern and volume. 

Conversely, the City has heard from the community that residents want more non-auto-oriented uses that create community vibrancy like sit-down restaurants, entertainment and local neighborhood services.   Although a variety of factors impact the ability to attract these uses, availability of adequate sites is one factor within the Citys control and of increased importance given Citrus Heights is 98% built out.   Recently, demand for auto-oriented uses has hit a new high, generating significant interest to convert existing vacant restaurants or add new construction in the Sunrise MarketPlace area for gas stations and car washes. These uses are often profitable for property owners and in higher demand than alternatives. The overlay zone would restrict uses like this that encourage cut-through traffic to preserve remaining available real estate for uses that support neighborhood vibrancy.

What are the consequences of auto-intense uses?

Additional auto-intense uses can have adverse effect on community character, neighborhood vibrancy, and the perception of the MarketPlace and the City. These uses also have a ripple effect: rather than attracting other uses that enhance community character, these uses tend to attract other auto-centric uses. Concentrations of auto-oriented uses often deter sit-down dining and entertainment due to the atmosphere, appearance, and associated impacts (traffic, air quality, noise, etc.). 

How would an overlay benefit the Citys future?

To ensure the limited space left within the district would be available to create community vibrancy, the City would need to implement zoning that reflects the communitys desired uses and shared vision and restrict undesired uses.

One of the most important aspects of the shared vision for Sunrise MarketPlace is the recently adopted Sunrise Tomorrow Specific Plan (STSP). The plan provides a path to transform Sunrise Mall into a new economic engine and place for residents to shop, work, live and play.   The plan promotes development that will attract uses that contribute to neighborhood vibrancy  and the Citys economic growth.  The vision of the Plan creates a walkable and pedestrian oriented areas and less auto-centric uses. Drive-throughs, gas stations and similar uses are prohibited on the 100-acre Sunrise Mall site to accomplish this vision. 

Extending this restriction to the immediate trade area preserves the limited land available so it can benefit from the Specific Plans uplift.

How can the City protect key sites?

In order to preserve remaining available sites in the Sunrise MarketPlace area and to support Sunrise Tomorrow, the Citys Community Development Department is considering establishing a zoning overlay.  This zoning overlay would ensure redevelopment of the SMP supportive of the Citys goals by encouraging more shopping, dining and entertainment experiences without adding new land uses that encourage cut-through traffic and other auto-intense land uses i.e. gas stations, car washes, etc.

What if a gas station is already operating within the SMP?

All legally existing businesses could remain in operation.  The overlay would not allow NEW service stations or auto-orientated uses.

Does the city currently have any other zoning overlay districts?

Many residential properties along Sunrise Boulevard and Antelope Road (major corridors) are within an overlay zone which allows some business activities on the residential properties.

What City Goals would the Overlay help deliver?

The SMP Overlay District is consistent with the Citys three-year strategic plan goals in the areas of enhance alternative modes of transportations, diversify for a reliant economy, and enhance community vibrancy and engagement. 

How do I learn more about the SMP Overlay Project?

To learn more about the project contact the Planning Division at (916) 727-4740 or by email

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