Estimated Time Frames

Building Permits

Ministerial building permits involve only the use of fixed standards or objective measurements. For building permit turn-around times, review  Policy Bulletin 031 [PDF].

However, building permit plans submitted for an approved discretionary development project must substantially execute the approved project. Your approved design plans stand as your commitment and the City's expectation of what will be constructed. Substantial deviation from the approved design may require that the project return to the reviewing body for consensus.

Discretionary Development Review

The length of time required to obtain all required discretionary approvals depends highly on the complexity and content of the project, the quality of the plans, responsiveness of your development team, and the level(s) of approval required to earn the project's entitlements. Small, simple projects can take as little as 30 days but a project that requires environmental review and multiple hearings can take up to one year or longer.

Typical Time Cycles

  • Initial review and subsequent resubmittals: 30 days per review period
  • "Complete" application notification to first hearing. 21-30 days, minimum. Depends on impacted commission agendas
  • Multiple hearings: 30-45 days between hearings -  Depends on required/requested revisions and impacted commission agendas.

Important! The time cycles above do not include the time necessary for your development team to respond to plan revisions or information requests.

Example:
Request: A new 12,000 sq.ft retail building with a restaurant that provides full alcohol service, one tree removal, rezoning from Office-Commercial (OC) to Central-Retail (CR), and environmental review.
Types of Applications Required: Design Review, Conditional Use Permit, Tree Removal Permit, Rezoning, and Environmental Review
Required Public Hearings: Design Review Commission, Planning Commission, City Council
Possible Public Hearings: Transportation Commission, Arts Commission (for public art)

Site Development Permits

The initial plan review cycle is typically 21 days and subsequent reviews are about 14 days. Again, these time cycles do not include the response time for resubmittal. Due to the complexity of engineering designs, it is recommended that your qualified professional contact the New Development Engineering Division for project-specific information and required fees.

Final Subdivision Maps

After the initial 28-day final map review cycle, subsequent review cycles take about 21 days from the date of resubmittal of revised plans and maps.  Contact the New Development Engineering Division for additional information.

Helpful Tips for Efficient Processing

  • Use high-quality design professionals.
  • Ensure your plans reflect and comply with the current adopted building, electrical, plumbing, and energy efficiency codes.
  • Review the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Design Guidelines, and other applicable standards.
  • Take advantage of the Preliminary Review Team (PRT).
  • Designate a coordinator - A single point of contact on your team to communicate and coordinate tasks, schedules, & expectations.
  • Listen to and communicate with City staff. We are here to help you as well as implement the City's vision.

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