What Parties Are Involved in ihe Development Review Process?
Project customers are required by the Land Development Code. to make application for a permit or other approval based upon the type of project proposed, where it is located, and the regulations applicable. They have a responsibility to submit a complete project application per the City's submittal requirements and to diligently process their project through the review and construction process.
project customers are not required to attend or make presentations to community planning committees for projects that require discretionary decisions. The customer is only required to provide an extra copy of the materials being reviewed by City staff. The copy is forwarded to the planning committee for their review and recommendation. City staff, however, encourages project customers to contact the appropriate planning committee early in the process and to work cooperatively with them throughout the project review.
Community Planning Group
The responsibility of the Community Planning Group (CPG) is established by Council Policy 600-24 (PDF). Review and recommendations on how well a proposed development project complies with the adopted community plan for an area is the primary responsibility of the CPG. CPG recommendations are forwarded to staff and the decision maker. All recommendations provided by the committee should cover whether a proposed project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the adopted plan. If the CPG feels there are conflicts, they should clearly indicate the specific provisions of their plan with which the project, or aspects of the project design, conflict.
Providing a timely recommendation to the City is also an important responsibility of the Community Planning Group. Projects often go through months of review, involving a number of City staff review cycles. Providing early feedback makes the goup's issues known during the time when most project changes are occurring. It also avoids placing the group in a position of requesting a delay in a project's schedule. CPGs should make the best and timeliest recommendation they can with the project application materials that they have available to them.
There are two general groups of staff involved in project review of the project multi-disciplinary team reviewers (MDT) and the development project managers (DPM).
The MDT members are staff responsible for determining if a proposed project complies with state and local land development policies and regulations. They represent expertise in the building and site engineering, planning, landscape architecture and architecture disciplines. Each time a project is submitted for review, the appropriate project review team from this group of disciplines is formed. This staffs then make recommendations on the proposed project's compliance with applicable development standards and requirements during each review. The DPMs are responsible for process-related matters on development projects. They have responsibility for all formal project communication between the customer and staff and with the community. Development projects are facilitated through the project review process by the DPM. When design conflicts arise on a project between staff recommendations and a customer's proposal, the DPM has the responsibility to make sure the conflict is resolved in a timely manner.
The overall role of City staff is to ultimately provide a recommendation to the decision maker on whether a project should be approved or denied and to provide alternatives for the consideration.
The decision maker varies on development projects based on several factors. These include the type of project proposed (rezoning, conditional use permit, building permit, etc.); the location of the project (Coastal Zone, Community Plan Implementation Overlay Zone, Beach Impact Area, etc.); and what is on the property (wetlands, historical structures, steep slopes, etc.). Projects with detailed regulations and no discretion exercised are typically decided by staff. Projects with discretion as provided in the Land Development Code are decided at a public hearing by a Hearing Officer, the Planning Commission or City Council.
The role of the decision maker is to review the evidence provided by the customer, planning committee, and staff and then make a finding on the project. The Land Development Code identifies the basis to be used by each decision maker in making a finding on a project. They must provide the basis or evidence for their find as part of the project's public record.