Site Plan Review (SPR)
WHEN IS SITE PLAN REVIEW (SPR) REQUIRED?
SPR is required for all projects where the Planning Director determines that the development would materially alter the appearance and character of the property or area or if it may be incompatible with City policies, standards and guidelines. Site plan review includes design review of all proposed structures, fencing, signs, landscaping, etc.
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
It is a way of ensuring that development complies with Environmental, Zoning, and Building regulations, General and Neighborhood Plans, City Design Guidelines, Green Building Requirements and Policies, and requirements of the Public Works, Fire and Police Departments.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The initial application fee for SPR is a $2,000 deposit to be used for cost of staff review time and materials. If the cost to process the permit exceeds this deposit, the applicant or owner must cover the cost. If the cost ends up being less than the deposit, the difference is refunded.
WHO APPROVES A SITE PLAN REVIEW APPLICATION?
An application may be approved by the Planning Director when all City design guidelines and City policies are met. The Planning Director may refer it to the Planning Commission for decision because of the magnitude, controversy or location of a project or when all Design guidelines and policies are not met. A decision of the Planning Director or the Planning Commission is final unless appealed within fifteen days of the Planning Director’s decision or ten days of the Planning Commission’s decision.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS?
- Make an appointment with a Planner at the Permit Center by calling 510-583-4005. A Planner will run through what specific things you need to submit for your application.
- Submit a completed application form, filing fee and required materials for review to the Planning Division.
- A Planner will review your application to ensure that it contains sufficient information to process. Copies if your proposal will also be referred to other affected departments, other agencies and to property owners and occupants in the area for comment. Upon receipt of their responses, the project planner may contact you to obtain additional information.
- When all additional information requested has been received and your application is deemed complete, a decision may be issued on the application by the Planning Director or a hearing scheduled before the Planning Commission.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?
Once the application is complete with all requested information submitted, the process takes approximately eight to twelve weeks. Proposals requiring special environmental studies may require additional time. Estimated processing time does not include time needed by the applicant to revise and resubmit plans and studies.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL?
Approval of an application by the Planning Director is final unless appealed. Notice of the Planning Director's decision is circulated to persons owning and occupying property within 300 feet of the boundaries of the project and to interested parties. If not appealed, the applicant may apply for a building permit pursuant to complying with the conditions of approval.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A PUBLIC HEARING?
Between ten and twenty days before a public hearing of an application, the applicant and all property owners and occupants within 300 feet of the boundaries of the project will be notified when the hearing will take place. At the hearing, the Planning Commission will consider the report and evaluate testimony from the applicant and the public. After the public hearing portion of the meeting is concluded, the Planning Commission may conditionally approve the project, deny it, hold the matter over for redesign or refer the matter to the City Council.
CAN A DECISION BE APPEALED?
An applicant or anyone else who may be impacted by the decision of the Planning Director may appeal the decision to the Planning Commission within 15 days or may appeal the Planning Commission's decision to the City Council within 10 days. To appeal, a written statement explaining one’s objections must be filed with the Planning Division.