PRINCIPLE 5: The buffer zone must support the core zone


The buffer zone should include the core zone and serves as the area that protects and sifts through urban development that may threaten the significance of the latter. The buffer zone also helps protect important views and other areas or attributes that are functionally important to the core zone.

The buffer zone represents an area that is not of any significant value, but may directly influence the significance of the Type 1 heritage structures in the core zone. The significance of the core zone of the San Pablo Heritage Zone lies in its being a prime example of American colonial city planning and the City Beautiful movement. Thus, the properties on either side of the main street (Rizal Avenue) will affect the significance of the zone.


The proposed buffer zone in the San Pablo Heritage District, it is recommended to encompass the core zone, including the first blocks on either side of Rizal Avenue.

It is highly recommended that the local government properly map out the limits of the core and buffer zones so that the Stakeholders have a clear understanding of the limits of both.

Suggested uses in the buffer zone

The following are the suggested compatible uses in the buffer zone:

  • Commercial
    • Restaurants / Cafes
    • Souvenir Shops
    • Retail
  • Residential
    • Private residences
    • Hotels / Inns
    • Bed and Breakfast
    • AirBNB
    • Pension Houses
  • Institutional
    • Schools
  • Religious
    • Churches / Worship Halls
  • Public spaces
    • Courtyards
    • Pocket parks
  • Others
    • Parking lots
    • Parking buildings
    • Public toilets

The following are the incompatible uses in the buffer zone:

  • Commercial
    • Karaoke bars
    • Pubs
    • Motels
  • Institutional
    • Hospitals
    • Clinics
  • Other
    • Funeral Parlor
    • Waste recycling center
    • Junk Shop
    • Garbage dumps
    • Warehouses


The heights in the buffer zone need to be controlled so as to not result in the overpowering of the scale of the building in the core zone.

Thus, it is proposed that the heights in the buffer zone be no more than twenty (20) meters, with a set back of seven (7) meters from the street, wherein the height will not exceed fifteen (15) meters.

Sidewalk and setback

A setback of 2-3 meters from the edge of the street to serve as public sidewalks is desirable where feasible. Otherwise, the maximum setback allowed by the National Building Code, as well as local ordinances, may be enforced.

Likewise, the paving materials of the public areas, sidewalks, and pathways in the buffer zone may also use similar materials as that in the core zone. Alternatively, it can use the same materials, but in a slightly different color so as to differentiate the core zone from the buffer zone.