Programs & Services :
The Development Review Division of the
Community Development Department assists the community with land use issues and questions,
evaluates all types of development applications (including City-sponsored projects), and
maintains the City's development regulations. The primary goals of the division are
to: 1) assist in achieving desired development within established policies, guidelines and
standards; 2) provide for an enjoyable place to live, work, or visit; 3) protect the
public health, safety and welfare; 4) stimulate high public awareness of decisions on
planning and environmental issues. The division has five major responsibilities:
applications Processing use permits, variances, architectural review
applications, development plans, subdivisions, and home occupation permit/business tax
certificate review; conducting environmental review of development projects and capital
projects referred by other departments; processing general plan and zoning amendments;
processing annexation and pre-zoning proposals.
Providing support and assistance to the Building Division, Public Works Department,
Economic Development Program, and Natural Resources/Environmental Program for project
review and program implementation.
regulations and standards Updating land use regulations (such as the Zoning
Regulations, Subdivision Regulations, Sign Regulations); updating Architectural Review
Guidelines and Environmental Review Guidelines.
Helping staff the department's public service counter and responding to citizen and
student requests for information as well as providing an important liaison between project
proponents and neighborhood groups.
Council and advisory body
support Providing staff support for the City Council, Cultural Heritage
Committee, Architectural Review Commission, and Planning Commission for development review
items and work goals.
The purpose of
long-range planning is to insure that the needs and desires of the
community continue to be met into the future. Long-range planning is the forum in which the community describes what it wants to be or
become, and how it will get there. The Long-Range Planning Division of the Community
Development Department prepares and maintains plans and programs to accomplish these
purposes. Plans cover topics that include how much land will be available for various
uses, maintaining an adequate supply of housing, and the use and protection of natural
resources. Programs are developed to implement the plans. Programs are carried out by all
of the departments in the City, and by individuals and organizations in the community.
The primary long-range plan is the
City's General Plan. The General Plan is the blueprint for the physical development
of the City. California law requires that all development be consistent with the General
Plan. In addition, all land acquisitions and disposal of real property by the City is
subject to a review for conformity with the General Plan. Ideas about the community's
future change as new concepts are developed, new problems are identified, old solutions
are reconsidered, and the population changes. Consequently, the General Plan is constantly
being studied and revised.
According to State law, a general plan
must address land use and transportation needs, housing needs, open space preservation and
resource conservation, and public safety and community noise levels. Local governments may
include other elements in their general plans. San Luis Obispo's General Plan
includes elements addressing park and recreation facility development, the use and supply
of water resources, and planning for wastewater treatment facilities.
The Long-Range Planning Division works
with the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to obtain Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds CDBG monies must primarily be used to benefit low and
moderate income people in the community. The Division assists the City Council in the
preparing the Comprehensive Plan, a plan for how the grants will be used. The Division
coordinates the monitoring and reporting required for disbursing the funds. Many of the
CDBG programs involve affordable housing and improving community services.
Other long-range planning activities
include working with the Local Agency Formation Commission on the annexation of additional
lands to the City and preparing and processing focused specific plans for
these areas; working with other City departments to prepare natural resource inventory
maps; working with other City departments to develop a long-term open space protection
program; working with the County and regional planning agencies to develop consistent
goals and to coordinate efforts; managing and coordinating programs to preserve the
historic and cultural heritage of the City; and working with various City departments to
evaluate the environmental impacts of City projects.
Link to Long Range Planning Home