Development Review Process

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The Development Review process encompasses a number of distinct but related functions that provide approvals or entitlements for the development and use of public and private properties. The process generally involves an assessment of a project's consistency and compliance with the City's stated goals and objectives that are established in the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, City Codes and in other regulations and standards.

Some projects may benefit from, or be subject to, considerations prior to the normal land use approvals of the development review process, such as leases that convey land use entitlements, and may require environmental review prior to approval. Large and complex projects may also benefit from preliminary review to determine the scope of actions required through the entire process.

A project application formalizes a development and/or land use request that is made to the City. A completed application, along with the pertinent fee(s) and project plans and details, as described on the project application form, is typically scheduled for review by staff departments within 10-20 days of the application submittal.

The Project Clearance and Subdivision Committees (PCC/SC) review project applications for completeness and compliance with City standards and other necessary requirements that apply to the specific request. The Committees meet weekly to guide a project through the process in an expeditious manner and may require plan revisions to assure inclusion of necessary project information. The Committees do not take action on most applications, but provide recommendations to the decision-makers, such as the Architectural Committee, Planning Commission and City Council.

Discretionary projects are subject to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in accordance with the City's adopted procedures through the Project Clearance Committee. Determinations on the applicability of CEQA shall be made within 30 days of a determination that the project application is complete. Additional information is available from the Planning Division.

The Planning Commission has final authority to approve Use Permits and Variances to zoning standards and makes recommendations to the City Council on General Plan Amendments, Rezoning of properties and Tentative Subdivision Maps. Public hearing items are subject to a Notice of Hearing distributed to property owners within 300 feet of a project site. Where a project is subject to the requirements of CEQA, the decision-making body approves any required environmental document prior to taking action on the proposed project.

The City Council has final authority on General Plan Amendments, Rezoning of properties and Tentative Subdivision Maps through a public hearing process. Appeals of Planning Commission actions are also reviewed in the context of a public hearing before the Council.

Standards for Architectural Review are based upon the Community Design Guidelines adopted by the City Council. Projects scheduled for review by the Committee should be consistent with General Plan and Zoning Ordinance standards. The Committee has delegated certain categories of projects for Zoning Administrator action. Architectural Review on Zoning Administrator action should be complete prior to issuance of Building Permits.

Below is additional information on common Planning Applications:

General Plan Amendments 
Parcel Maps 
Tentative Subdivision Maps
Use Permits
Zoning Amendments (Rezoning)

Please contact the Planning Division for further information.

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