Planning Division Role
The Community Development Department’s Planning Division is responsible for the development of long range planning policies and the processing of current applications for parcel and subdivision map changes, site plan and design reviews to promote compliance with the City’s design guidelines and principles, and the processing of conditional use permits. The division is also responsible for administering the zoning ordinance, promoting high-quality urban design, and collaborating on fostering careful consideration of historic resources. In addition, our environmental specialists manage and support review of projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Our Division employs about 40 planners, architects, project managers, and planning specialists. We welcome volunteers and strive to create internships for those currently studying planning programs offering bachelor’s or master’s degrees in our field. Please explore this site, as we have updated our content.
The mission of the Community Development Department is “To help plan, build, and maintain a great city.” Thus, we are committed to providing a robust toolset to guide new development, and support infill investment. We enjoy collaborating with other city or regional agencies, neighborhood associations, as well as the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Our values include professionalism, innovation, courtesy, collaboration, and consistency. We invite you to explore our website, and welcome your feedback.
We strive to provide high-quality services. To help us better serve you, we would appreciate your feedback to our 2017 customer survey. The survey takes less than four minutes to complete. Beginning in February, we will post our scorecard on this page. We appreciate the time taken to complete the CDD Planning Survey.
Latest Planning Division News
Development Tracker is now available! Development Tracker is a web-based tool that allows the general public to explore in-progress planning applications. Built upon software from Civic Insight, Development Tracker allows queries by parcel number, address, neighborhood, or council district with text input or a map interface. A pop-up window identifies the assigned planner, their email address and phone extension. There are links to the application form on file, and other materials which present the proposed project, including text documents, drawings, and area photographs.
Planning allows you to pay fee balances online as an alternative to paying at the counter.
The Planning Division is developing a portal to allow online submittal of planning applications. Look to submit planning applications online in 2017.
We now have a 3D computer model of the entire downtown/midtown core, from the two rivers to business route 80 and Highway 50. We request applicants filing new planning applications to provide a digital 3D model in Google Sketchup ® format, suitable for studying the building’s compatibility with its surrounding context.
For those who want to speak with our senior staff or send email, please visit our Contact Us page.
Active projects and recent DECISIONs
Current projects and recent decisions on entitlement applications are posted on the city’s website daily. Projects are listed by City Council District and the assigned planner's name and phone number is listed for each project. Please contact the planner directly or email us if you need additional information on a specific project.
Planning Project Status Report
Reconsideration of Staff Decisions
Any person dissatisfied with a staff decision has the right to request reconsideration by the Director. To request a reconsideration of a staff decision, complete the Reconsideration Form and submit within seven (7) calendar days from the date the project is posted on the website. The decision of the Director shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal.
Director Decision Appeals
Any person dissatisfied with a Director decision has the right to request an appeal by the Planning and Design Commission or Preservation Commission. To appeal a decision of the Director, complete the Appeal Form and submit within 10 calendar days from the date of the director decision. The decision of the Commission shall be final and shall not be subject to further appeal. The decision of the Director on a Reconsideration of Staff Decision shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal.
Commission Decision Appeals
Decisions by the Planning and Design Commission or Preservation Commission on projects appealed from the Director level are final except for parcel maps. Any person dissatisfied with a Commission action, which was not initially a director level decision, has the right to request an appeal hearing before the City Council. To appeal an action of a Commission, complete the Appeal Form and submit within 10 calendar days from the date of the Commission action. The decision of the City Council shall be final and shall not be subject to further appeal.