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San Ramon LogoAbout Architectural Review

What is Architectural Review?

Communities are shaped in many ways. The general plan, a city’s blueprint for development, guides overall building activities in our City. The San Ramon’s General Plan 2020, identifies where land uses are located.

Architectural review regulates the design of structures and other elements on property.   Most cities adopt architectural review guidelines as a tool to ensure that the architectural design of structures, their materials, and colors are visually harmonious with surrounding development and with the natural landforms and vegetation of the areas in which they are proposed to be located. Architectural review can also regulate the size, location and scale of buildings. The City’s guidelines reflect our community’s vision and attitudes for how the City should look. San Ramon’s Architectural review standards are found in Section D6-22 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Decision-Making Process

The City of San Ramon assigns the task of architectural review to our Architectural Review Board (ARB). The ARB reviews items and makes a recommendation to either the Zoning Administrator or the Planning Commission for approval or denial of the proposal. Individuals with expertise in design, serve on the City’s ARB.  The ARB reviews a proposed project in light of San Ramon’s adopted design standards.

Application Information

To file an application please take a few minutes to review Development Application and Building Permit Processing Timelines.  This document will provide you with an overview of our process and processing times. To apply for Architecture Review you will need to download the following documents:           

We encourage all applicants to contact the Planning Services Division to schedule a meeting prior to filing your application. This will provide us with an opportunity to review the appropriate forms, discuss the process, including the necessary committee and commission meetings, projected timelines any potential issues and answer questions you might have. We may be reached at (925) 973-2560.

To Learn More

  • The Planning Commissioner’s Handbook, League of California Cities, 2005, Chapter 4: The Planning Framework www.ca-ilg.org

  • Curtin’s California Land Use and Planning Law addresses Architectural  review issues, available from Solano Press, www.solano.com



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2401 Crow Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2560 | Fax (925) 838-3231