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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the basic process for getting a planning permit?
Planning permits follow these basic steps.

1) Application Assistance - An applicant meets with planning staff to review the project proposal. Applicants receive an overview of the permit process and are provided with a list of application submittal requirements, estimates of permit fees and processing time.

2) Application Submittal - An applicant submits a completed application form along with copies of project plans and supplemental documents. Fees are collected at this time.

3) File Opening & Referral - Planning Division staff generate maps and other documents and send copies of the application to referral agencies for comment.

4) Staff Report - After the referrals are returned by the reviewing agencies, Planning Division Staff compiles a staff report for the decision-maker. Projects that involve environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act have additional reports documenting environmental impacts.

5) Public Notification - If required, notice of pending decisions are sent directly to surrounding property owners and published in the newspaper.

6) Decision - Depending on project type, the decision-maker can be the Director, Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors. Other than decisions made by the Director, public hearings are conducted where public testimony is received.

7) Appeals - After a decision is made, affected parties may appeal the decision within a certain time period. Appeal periods vary depending on the project type. The permit becomes effective upon completion of the appeal period. Any unpaid fees are invoiced at this time.

8) Post Approval Conditions - Most permits are approved with specific conditions. Conformance with permit conditions is coordinated between the applicant and Planning Division staff. The project is not complete until all required conditions are met.

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1. Is this lot “buildable”?
2. Is this lot within the Resort Improvement District’s service area?
3. What is the zoning for this lot? Is this lot located within the Coastal Zone?
4. What development does zoning allow?
5. What permits are required for development in Shelter Cove?
6. What is design review?
7. What are violations? Are there any violations on this parcel?
8. What is the basic process for getting a building permit?
9. What is the basic process for getting a planning permit?
10. What are typical fees for a planning permit?
11. Where can I get more Information?
12. Click here to return to the Planning and Building Department