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Long Range Planning


How Long? and How Much?

What will it cost? How long will it take?

    How much does it cost?

    You may have already incurred some cost for plans, maps and other submittal requirements. You may have hired an architect or a permit expediter to assist you. Depending on the complexity of your request, you may also have hired a licensed engineer.   The Planning and Development Department collects fees for all of the Departments who must review your application and distributes that money to them.  For most permit types, the fee required is a fixed amount set by the Board of Supervisors (fees may revised annually).  Fixed fees are charged for cases where processing time is predictable.  All other cases are a charged deposit; deposits range between $350 and $5,000. Within 30 days of your submittal, a planner will meet with you to discuss the estimate of processing costs which they have prepared.  Other departments will also inform you whether they require any additional fees.  This will give you an opportunity to include these costs in your project budget.  More about fees...


    How long will this process take?

    The California Permit Streamlining Act (PSA) sets elapsed time limits for government action on some types of projects. On average, Planning and Development takes less time than the PSA allows.  In general, you may expect that once your application is deemed complete it will be through the decision hearing (not including any appeals) in sixty days if your project is exempt from environmental review; four months if your project requires an ND (Negative Declaration), and one year if your project requires an EIR (Environmental Impact Report).  These times may vary depending on project complexity, neighborhood controversy, degree to which the project mitigates environmental impacts, and degreee to which the project conforms with existing regulations & standards.


    What can you do to save time and money?

    • Take advantage of the pre-application process and adhere to any Planning and Development submittal recommendations.
    • Review the application requirements carefully and ensure your submittals are complete and correct.
    • Submit proof of water & sewer availability.
    • Read the applicable policies and zoning requirements for your project to ensure your project description conforms with these legal standards.
    • Write a detailed project description.
    • Quickly respond to your planner's requests for information; ask for clarification if you do not understand a request.
    • Review the draft environmental document for your project and discuss any concerns with your planner.
    • Review the Conditions of Approval from all departments (these will be included in the project staff report). You will be required to strictly adhere to these conditions. If you don't think you will be able to comply, or there are any conditions you don't understand, talk to your planner or raise the issue at the hearing.
    • Once your project is approved, comply fully with all conditions, plans and codes.


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