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Development Services

Tips on Making Effective Comments

Although the quantity of letters the Development Services Department receives regarding land use activities may indicate the extent of neighborhood or agency interest, it is the relevance of the comments -the information they contain- that will most affect a project outcome. Here are some tips on making your comments effective:

  • Briefly explain who you are and why you are interested in the project.
  • State your concerns clearly and succinctly using objective language.
  • Comment only on issues relevant to the decision being made.
  • State opinions and preferences, ask questions and propose alternative solutions to particular issues. Provide informed opinions and, where possible, include data to support your opinion.
  • Review the project's technical reports or Environmental Impact Report data, and comment on conclusions, assumptions and the data collecting methods.
  • Keep focused on your objective. You want the decision makers to hear your concerns and be compelled enough to investigate further.
  • Identify the topics you want to include in your letter and how you want to organize them.
  • Ask for studies that you think are important, but have not been provided.
  • If the proposed project is subject to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and you think it will have significant environmental impact, request that an environmental document be prepared.
  • Provide your own information.
  • Identify project features that you like and think should not be changed.
  • Provide any comments about the project's compliance with the Land Development Code.
  • Focus on the required findings; relate information directly to the findings required for each project.  Findings are different for each type of discretionary permit, and are described in the Land Development Code.
  • Ask to be added to the project mailing list and request a copy of the notice of decision. (Copies are sent via U.S. mail, so please provide your mailing address when making request.)