The regulation is designed to cut down on motor vehicle traffic in order to reduce polluting emissions.
Air District Spokesman Tom Jordan says this can be accomplished in a number of ways.
"Projects will have these design features that reduce emissions, like bike lanes, connected streets, grocery stores nearby, schools nearby, things like that that reduce pollution."
Developers who don't comply, face fees amounting to as much as 700 dollars for a new home and a million dollars for a shopping center.
The district calculates the rule, which goes into effect March first of next year, will eliminate 10 tons of pollution from the air per day by the year 2010. At that time the regulation will be re-evaluated.
During a public hearing before the vote at the board meeting in Fresno, a dozen people spoke out against the regulation. Among other things, those opposed said the measure put too much of the burden on reducing air pollution on developers.