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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 the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and you think it will have a 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 your request.)