PLANNING APPLICATION INFORMATIONAL PACKET
What Is a Planning Application?
A Planning (PLN) Application is the means by which the Planning Department collects the information required for analysis of discretionary and administrative projects.
To assist you in the preparation of your project, general information and guidelines for common land use applications are provided below. If you have questions about the applications, please visit the Planning Department on the first floor of the Eric Rood Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City.
Research Request or Pre-Application Review
Many complicated or policy-related types of development permits may require discussion with staff prior to formal application submittal. For those developers who want to consult with a Planner for more than a twenty-minute counter discussion, they should request one of the following:
What Makes an Application Complete?
In order for the Planning Department to determine that an application is complete, it must contain all of the required information listed in the Planning Application checklist. All forms must be completed, signed, and submitted as a hard copy with an electronic copy of a flash drive to the Planning Department. The application must be accompanied by all required supporting materials (architectural plan sets, photographs, etc.), and all required application fees must be paid.
In addition, the application must include adequate information necessary for project analysis including environmental review and demonstration of compliance with all applicable ordinances and codes. The County will not act on an application until it has been determined to be complete by all County and Responsible Agencies reviewing the application and environmental review is completed.
What Is a Supplemental Application?
Supplemental Applications collect additional information required for the review of specific projects such as Communication Towers or Comprehensive Master Plans and are a required component of a complete application. Supplemental Application forms must be submitted as an attachment to the Planning Application and not as a stand-alone submittal.
Can I Appeal the Completeness Determination?
Yes, if the application along with the submitted materials are determined to be incomplete the applicant can appeal that decision in writing along with a filing fee.
Can I Make Changes After I Submit?
Yes, however once an application is determined to be complete, changes that will increase the number of units, add uses that were not previously listed, substantially change the site plan, or other changes that trigger the need for additional discretionary approvals may require a new application or restart the review “clock.”
Pre-Application review provides information from Planning staff or other County departments that should be considered before formally submitting an application. It is optional but recommended on complex development to discover potential hurdles and identify the approvals needed.
Submit a Planning Application
Once you are ready for project approval, submit your Planning Application. The project will be assigned to a planner who reviews the application materials, conducts the environmental review, and makes a staff recommendation. Within 30 days, you will receive a determination in writing if the application is determined to be complete.
Go to Development Review Committee Meeting
The Development Review Committee Meeting is an optional discussion to receive any clarification on comments made by reviewing agencies or to find guidance on the next steps.
A duly noticed public hearing will be held after the application is determined to be complete and the environmental review is done. The public hearing will be posted in the local newspaper and property owners near the project site will be notified. If the determination is not appealed, the original decision stands; otherwise, the appellant body hears the appeal before rendering a final decision.
For subdivisions, the Planning Department and the Department of Public Works will review the map to ensure that the map addresses all conditions and mitigation measures prior to recordation.
Submit a Building Permit Application
Following all discretionary approvals, you are ready to submit for a Building Permit or a Public Works permit, if required. The plans will be checked by your assigned planner and by other County departments to verify that the project is consistent with the approved design and is in compliance with all Conditions of Approval and Mitigation Measures. At the successful completion of this review process, permits will be issued for the project and construction may commence.
The County departments will inspect the site to verify the conditions have been met prior to final occupancy.
For more information, see the attached Discretionary Land Use Entitlement Process Flowchart.
Once you have compiled all the documents required by the application, submit the packet to the front counter of the Planning Department. The project will be assigned to a planner who will then route project to appropriate agencies or departments for review along with reviewing the project for compliance with County ordinances for consistency with the scope of a Program Environmental Impact Report.
If any of the reviewing agencies determine the project is not in compliance with County code or if there is not adequate information about the project it will be determined to be incomplete. The applicant will receive a letter listing the items that are incomplete which need to be addressed in a resubmittal. All responses to department comments must be compiled into one resubmittal packet that is delivered to the Planning Department. After the application is determined to be complete and the project has been determined to meet all the required standards, a Conditional Approval will be sent. The Conditional Approval includes specific conditions that must be addressed based on the specified timing.
After the administrative approval of the land use entitlement, you are ready to apply for a Building Permit. The plans will be checked by Planning and by other County departments. At the successful completion of the review process, permits will be issued for the project and construction may commence.
For more information, see the attached Administrative Land Use Entitlement Process Flowchart.