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Public Services Department

 

San Ramon Logo Planning Review for Development Projects

 

Pre-Application Project Review

Pre-Application review with an applicant of a conceptual development project may occur with the Planning Director, or Planning Services staff and/or other City staff as determined to be appropriate.

Provide 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.

Revisions to your development plan may occur as a result of recommendations from City staff and a subsequent Pre-Application Review may be desired and/or plan revisions may be incorporated into a formal application submittal.

If enough information is available City staff may make a preliminary determination on the environmental review process for the project application pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  For example, whether the project would likely be Categorically Exempt, or if an Initial Study/Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report is required

Application Submittal of Development Project

Upon formal application submittal of a development project, the Planning Director and his/her designee immediately assigns a project staff planner to review and process your application.

Upon application submittal a 30-day time clock review begins to determine if application submittal is complete or incomplete.

Within one week of submittal staff planner prepares a referral and routes application information and plans to applicable members and agency on the Development Review Committee (DRC) distribution list (DRC includes all City Departments and outside agencies such as PG&E, EBMUD, SBC, etc.)

Within two weeks requested comments from internal and external agencies are typically returned.

Review for Completeness

Based on staff planner review of the application and comments from the DRC the staff planner will determine if your application and plans are complete or incomplete.

If the project application and plans are complete, a Deemed Complete letter is prepared by staff planner and sent to applicant, as required by State law.

If the project application and plans are incomplete, a Deemed Incomplete letter is prepared by staff planner, listing all deficiencies, and sent to applicant.  A new 30-day time clock review begins upon resubmittal by the applicant.

Environmental Review

Within 30-days of deeming the application complete, the staff planner will determine the environmental review process for the project application pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires the potential environmental impact of a project be evaluated prior to approval. For example, whether the project is Categorically Exempt, or if an Initial Study/Negative Declaration or Environmental Impact Report is required.

A Negative Declaration is required for projects which have been determined to have no significant impacts and do not fall under a Statutory or Categorical Exemption as defined by CEQA. A Mitigated Negative Declaration is required for projects which could have a significant impact but will not due to mitigation measures incorporated into the project to mitigate the potential impacts. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required for projects which have significant impacts or impacts that cannot be mitigated.

The staff planner will determine if environmental review can be conducted in-house or whether portions or all of the environmental review should be conducted/contracted out to a professional environmental consulting firm.  If professional consultants are used, the staff planner prepares and coordinates applicable Requests for Proposal (RFP’s) and all associated contract documentation, fee collection from applicant, etc.

The necessary environmental review may be able to be completed concurrently with the Architecture Review Board review.

Architectural Review Board

Upon an application being deemed complete, the staff planner will schedule the development project application for review and consideration at an Architectural Review Board (ARB) meeting within 3-4 weeks.  ARB meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2:00 PM.

The week prior to the scheduled ARB meeting the staff planner will prepare and complete a staff report to be distributed with an ARB packet to the ARB members (a copy of the ARB agenda is provided to the Planning Commission and City Council).  Typical reports discuss the project and any applicable ARB issues such as site plan design, parking lot lay-out, architectural building design and landscape plan design with recommendation issue/items to be discussed by the ARB.

At the ARB meeting members will discuss the development project and offer design recommendations and/or changes to be made by the applicant.  ARB may request that project revisions be made and come back to the ARB for Final Review, or if comments are minor, ARB will provide recommendations subject to final staff review and/or Planning Commission review and approval.

Upon receiving Final Architectural Review Board review, your project may proceed to Planning Commission

Land Use Development Application Processing Timelines

 Applications are generally processed based on the following schedule: 

30 Days or Less
(Assumes CEQA Exemption or Previously Certified Environmental Document)
  • Tree Removal Permits (No ARB Review)
  • Sign Permits
  • Lot Line Adjustments
  • Single Family Residence- Alt./Add.
  • Temporary Use Permits
  • Home Occupation Permits
  • Administrative Architecture Review
  • Temporary Sign Permits
  • Zoning Clearance Permits
45 Days or Less
(Assumes CEQA Exemption or Previously Certified Environmental Document)
  • Tree Removal Permits (ARB Review)
  • Large Family Daycares
  • Minor Land Use Permits (e.g. studio uses)
  • Minor Exception Permits
  • Variances
  • Master Sign Programs
  • Architecture Board Review (commercial addition and second story addition to existing single story home and new single family homes)
90 Days or Less
(Assumes CEQA Exemption Negative Declaration or Previously Certified Environmental Document)
  • Telecommunication Facilities
  • Land Use Permit Applications (e.g. churches, preschools)
  • Development Plan Applications and Amendments – Retail/Commercial/Office
120 Days or Less
(Assumes CEQA Exemption, Previously Certified Environmental Document or Negative Declaration)
  • Large commercial developments
180 Days or Less
(Assumes Negative Declaration)
  • Mixed-Use Developments
  • Residential Development Applications
  • Hillside Residential Developments
     
180 Days or More
(Assumes EIR or Complex Negative Declaration)
  • Any project requiring the preparation of an EIR.
  • Rezoning
  • General Plan Amendment
  • Specific Plan Amendment
  • Zoning Text Amendment

Please note that these timelines are to be  used as a guide in determining how long your project may take to complete. The timelines begin once all the information is received and your application has been deemed complete for processing.

Administrative Zoning Administrator Review

  • Development and land use applications of a minor nature (.e.g., change of use, telecommunication facilities, etc…) can be processed administratively.
  • Staff will mail a required Notice of Application to all property owners located within a 300-foot radius of the project, providing ten (10) days for anyone to request a public hearing for the  proposed use.
  • If no request for a public hearing is received, then the Zoning Administrator will render a decision. If objections are received then a public hearing will be scheduled before the Zoning Administrator.
  • An applicant or other interested party may within 10-days of the adoption of the Zoning Administrator Order either approving or denying the project may file an appeal of the decision with the City Clerk to the Planning Commission.
  • If no appeals are filed, the applicant may proceed to Site Development Permit/Grading Permit and/or Building Permit submittal and subsequently project construction.

Public Hearing - Zoning Administrator (ZA)

  • If a request for a public hearing is received, or staff cannot support the applicant’s request, a public hearing before the Zoning Administrator will be scheduled. Zoning Administrator Hearings are held the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 3:00 PM. in the City Council Chamber.
  • A required Public Hearing Notice of the Zoning Administrator meeting date is mailed out 10 days in advance to all property owners properties located within a 300-foot radius of the project.
  • The week prior to the scheduled Zoning Administrator meeting, the staff planner will prepare and complete a staff report to be distributed to the Zoning Administrator.  Typical reports discuss the project and any applicable issues such as Zoning and General Plan consistency, land use compatibility, neighborhood concerns, ARB issues, site plan and parking design, architectural building design and landscape plan design with recommendation issues/items to be considered by the Zoning Administrator.
  • At the Zoning Administrator meeting public testimony will be heard, the project issues discussed and recommendations and/or changes presented by the staff and/or the applicant.  The Zoning Administrator may request that project revisions be made and come back for final review and consideration, or if comments are minor, the ZA may conditionally approve the application subject to final staff review.
  • Typically, upon a motion being made by the Zoning Administrator of his/her intent to approve or deny a project staff will come back at the next meeting with a Zoning Order and conditions of approval (if recommended for approval).
  • An applicant or other interested party may within 10-days of the adoption of the Zoning Administrator Order either approving or denying the project may file an appeal of the decision with the City Clerk to the Planning Commission.
  • If no appeals are filed, the applicant may proceed to Site Development Permit/Grading Permit and Building Permit submittal and subsequently project construction.

    Public Hearing - Planning Commission Review

  • Upon ARB recommendations being incorporated and the application and plans being deemed complete, and upon completion of required environmental review work the project is scheduled for a Planning Commission meeting.  Planning Commission meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers.
  • A required Public Hearing Notice of Intent to Adopt an Initial Study/Negative Declaration is mailed out 20 or 30 days (30 days when State or Federal Agencies are notified) in advance of Planning Commission meeting to all properties located within a 300-foot radius of the project (a distance radius of 500-1,000 feet is often required for large or sensitive and telecommunication projects in San Ramon to provide greater public outreach).
  • If an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required a Public Notice of Completion and Review is mailed out with a 45-day review and comment period.  A special meeting to review and receive comments from the public on an EIR, separate from the public hearing on the proposed project may occur by the Planning Commission.
  •  A required Public Notice of the Planning Commission meeting date is mailed out 10 days in advance to all properties located within a 300-foot radius of the project (a distance radius of 500-1,000 feet is often required for large or sensitive projects in San Ramon to provide greater public outreach).
  • Staff will schedule your project for review and comment with the necessary City committees or commissions to review and provide recommendations on your project to the Planning Commission.
  • The week prior to the scheduled Planning Commission meeting the staff planner will prepare and complete a staff report to be distributed with a Planning Commission packet to the Commission members  Typical reports discuss the project and any applicable Planning Commission issues such as Zoning and General Plan consistency, environmental issues land use compatibility, ARB issues, site plan and parking design, architectural building design and landscape plan design with recommendation issues/items to be discussed and considered by the Planning Commission.
  • At the Planning Commission meeting members will hear any public testimony, discuss the development project and issues and offer recommendations and/or changes to be made by the applicant.  The Commission may request that project revisions or further analysis be made and come back to them for final review and consideration, or if comments are minor, they may provide recommendations subject to final staff and/or ARB review and approval.
  • Typically, upon a motion being made by the Planning Commission of their intent to approve or deny a project staff will come back at the next meeting with a resolution and conditions of approval or denial.
  • An applicant or other interested party may within 10-days of the adoption of the Planning Commission resolution either approving or denying the project may file an appeal of the decision with the City Clerk to the City Council.
  • If no appeals are filed and if no City Council actions are required of the development project, the applicant may proceed to final architectural approval, if necessary, Site Development Permit/Grading Permit and/or Building Permit submittal and subsequently project construction.

City Council Review

  • If the development application is appealed or requires City Council review and approval (in the case of Zone Changes or General Plan Amendments) the project will be scheduled for a subsequent City Council meeting.  The City Council meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 PM.
  • A required Public Hearing Notice of the City Council meeting date is mailed out 10 days in advance of City Council meeting to all property owners located within a 300-foot radius of the project (a distance radius of 500-1,000 feet is often required for large or sensitive and telecommunication projects in San Ramon to provide greater public outreach).
  • The week prior to the scheduled City Council meeting the staff planner will prepare and complete a staff report to be distributed with a City Council packet to the Council members (copies of all Planning Commission staff reports, meeting minutes and information are provided to the City Council).  Typical reports focus on the Planning Commission issues or appeal issues with recommendation issue/items to be discussed and considered by the City Council.
  • At the City Council meeting members will hear any public testimony, discuss the development project and issues and offer recommendations and/or changes to be made by the applicant.  The Council may request that project revisions be made and come back to them for final review and consideration, or if comments are minor, they may provide recommendations subject to final staff, ARB and/or Planning Commission review and approval.
  • Typically, upon a motion being made by the City Council of their intent to approve or deny a project, staff will come back at the next meeting with a resolution and conditions of approval or upholding the Planning Commission decision or denying the appeal, etc… Typically, upon the City Council adoption of the resolution the action becomes effective immediately or within 30-days if a Zone change or a General Plan Amendment is involved.
  • The decision of the City Council is final, thus there are no appeals of the City Council’s decision.  An applicant or interested party wishing to contest the City Council decision would have to take legal action through the Court system.

**Please note that all reference to days discussed are based on calendar days.

 

 

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