Phase 5: Application Review Process

County staff begins project review and preparation of environmental documents.

Your Progress

Once a discretionary permit application is received by the Planning Division, it is assigned to a Case Planner who will process it. Initially, the Case Planner will review the application to ensure it includes all of the required information and materials needed for processing. At the same time, copies of the discretionary permit application will be distributed to the appropriate agencies, districts, departments, and/or divisions in order for their staff to determine if the permit application is complete for purposes of processing and whether the proposed project complies with local, state, and federal laws.

County agencies, departments, and/or divisions that review most discretionary permit applications include but are not limited to the Watershed Protection District (WPD), Transportation Department, Integrated Waste Management Department (IWMD), Air Pollution Control District (APCD), Environmental Health Division (EHD), Fire Protection District (FPD), Planning Division, Public Works Development Services/Grading, and the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. To learn more about the role of each agency, division, and/or department in the discretionary permitting process, you may click on any of the individual One-Stop website links in the above navigation "County One-Stop Departments".

After all of the appropriate County agencies, divisions, and/or departments have reviewed the discretionary permit application, the applicant will receive a letter from the Planning Division within 30 days of submittal to inform him/her that the project is “complete” or “incomplete.” An incompleteness letter will request additional information from the applicant in order to deem the project “complete.” The applicant must submit all of the information listed in the incompleteness letter in order to begin another 30-day completeness review process. Once the application is deemed “complete,” the Planning Division and other County agency, division, and department staff can then continue to the next step of the review process

HELPFUL TIP: If you receive an incompleteness letter, please provide all of the information as soon as possible back to the Case Planner. For each incompleteness letter, the application may be reviewed for an additional 30 days to allow adequate time for routing to other agencies, departments and divisions. To expedite the application review process, it is recommended that you speak to the Case Planner to fully understand the issues and/or additional materials that may still need to be addressed.

During the review process, County staff may determine that your project requires an Initial Study Assessment to determine if there are any potentially significant impacts to the environment that would result from the proposed project. If required, your proposed project may need an environmental document to address these issues in the Initial Study Assessment. To learn more about the CEQA review process, please click on the “Phase 6” link.

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