Chapter 17.112


17.112.010    Purpose.

17.112.020    Application preparation and filing.

17.112.030    Application fees.

17.112.040    Application review.

17.112.050    Multiple permit applications.

17.112.060    Project evaluation and staff reports.

17.112.070    Environmental review.

17.112.080    Applications deemed withdrawn.

17.112.010 Purpose.

This chapter establishes procedures for the preparation, filing, and processing of permits required by the zoning code. The term “permit” when used in this chapter refers to any action, permit, or approval listed in Table 17.108-1 (Review and Decision-Making Authority). (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.020 Application preparation and filing.

A. Pre-Application Conference.

1. The city encourages prospective applicants to request a pre-application conference with the community development department before completing and filing a permit application.

2. The purpose of this conference is to:

a. Inform the applicant of city requirements as they apply to the proposed project;

b. Inform the applicant of the city’s review process;

c. Identify information and materials the city will require with the application, and any necessary technical studies and information relating to the environmental review of the project; and

d. Provide guidance to the applicant of possible project alternatives or modifications.

3. The pre-application conference and any information provided to prospective applicants by city staff shall not be construed as a recommendation for approval or denial of an application.

4. Failure by city staff to identify all permit requirements shall not constitute a waiver of those requirements.

 Figure 17.112-1: Typical Permit Review and Approval Process

B. Application Contents.

1. All permit applications shall be filed with the community development department on an official city application form.

2. Applications shall be filed with all required fees, information, and materials as specified by the community development department.

C. Eligibility for Filing.

1. An application may only be filed by the property owner or the property owner’s authorized agent.

2. The application shall be signed by the property owner or the property owner’s authorized agent if written authorization from the owner is filed concurrently with the application. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.030 Application fees.

A. Fee Schedule. Fees required to process permit applications are identified in the planning fee schedule approved by the city council.

B. Requirement of Payment.

1. The city may deem an application complete and begin processing the application only after all required fees have been paid.

2. Failure to pay any required supplemental application fees is a basis for denial or revocation of a permit application.

C. Refunds and Withdrawals.

1. Application fees cover city costs for public hearings, mailings, staff and consultant time, and the other activities involved in processing applications. Consequently, the city will not refund fees for a denied application.

2. In the case of an application withdrawal, the community development director may authorize a partial refund of a deposit account based upon the pro-rated costs to date and the status of the application at the time of withdrawal.

3. Flat fees submitted in conjunction with a permit application are nonrefundable. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.040 Application review.

A. Review for Completeness.

1. Initial Review. The community development department shall review each application for completeness and accuracy before it is accepted as being complete and officially filed.

2. Basis for Determination. The community development department’s determination of completeness shall be based on the city’s list of required application contents and any additional written instructions provided to the applicant in a pre-application conference and during the initial application review period.

3. Notification of Applicant. Within thirty calendar days of application submittal, the community development department shall inform the applicant in writing that the application is complete and has been accepted for processing, or that the application is incomplete and that additional information is required.

4. Appeal of Determination. When the community development department has determined that an application is incomplete, and the applicant believes that the application is complete or that the information requested by the community development department is not required, the applicant may appeal the community development department’s determination in compliance with Chapter 17.152 (Appeals).

5. Submittal of Additional Information.

a. When the community development department determines that an application is incomplete, the time used by the applicant to submit the required additional information is not considered part of the time within which the determination of completeness for resubmitted materials shall occur.

b. Additional required information shall be submitted in writing.

c. The community development department’s review of information resubmitted by the applicant shall be in compliance with subsection (A)(5)(a) of this section, along with another thirty-day period of review for completeness.

6. Environmental Information. After the community development department has accepted an application as complete, the department may require the applicant to submit additional information for the environmental review of the project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.050 Multiple permit applications.

A. Concurrent Filing. An applicant for a development project that requires the filing of more than one application (e.g., zoning map amendment and a conditional use permit) shall file all related applications concurrently unless the concurrent filing requirements are waived by the community development director.

B. Concurrent Processing. The community development department shall process multiple applications for the same project concurrently. Projects requiring multiple permit applications shall be reviewed and acted upon by the highest review authority designated by the zoning code for any of the applications (e.g., a project requiring a zoning map amendment and a conditional use permit shall have both applications decided by the city council, instead of the planning commission acting on the conditional use permit). The planning commission shall provide a recommendation to the city council on permits and approvals ordinarily acted upon by the planning commission. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.060 Project evaluation and staff reports.

A. Staff Evaluation. The community development department shall review all permit applications to determine if they comply with the zoning code, the general plan, the local coastal program, and other applicable city policies and regulations.

B. Staff Report. For all permit applications requiring review by the planning commission or city council, the community development department shall prepare a staff report describing the proposed project and including, where appropriate, a recommendation to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application.

C. Report Distribution. Staff reports shall be furnished to the applicant at the same time as they are provided to the review authority before action on the application. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.070 Environmental review.

A. CEQA Review. After acceptance of a complete application, the community development department shall review the project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to determine whether:

1. The proposed project is exempt from the requirements of CEQA;

2. The proposed project is not a project as defined by CEQA;

3. A negative declaration may be issued;

4. A mitigated negative declaration may be issued; or

5. An environmental impact report (EIR) is required.

B. Compliance with CEQA. These determinations and, where required, the preparation of appropriate environmental documents shall be in compliance with CEQA and any adopted city CEQA guidelines.

C. Special Studies Required. Special studies, paid for in advance by the applicant, may be required to supplement the city’s CEQA compliance review. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)

17.112.080 Applications deemed withdrawn.

A. Response Required. If an applicant does not pay required supplemental fees or provide information requested in writing by the community development department within nine months following the date of the letter, the application shall expire and be deemed withdrawn without any further action by the city.

B. Resubmittal. After the expiration of an application, future city consideration shall require the submittal of a new complete application and associated filing fees. (Ord. 1043 § 2 (Att. 2), 2020)