Other consultants focus on getting approvals over what happens after approval. We pay attention to those details that might limit your ability to thrive after approval, such as not enough tables, limited hours, expensive parking requirements or unnecessary operating restrictions. We understand your business first, then we get to work on an approval that allows you to succeed after opening!
Applications are discretionary, but we maximize our client’s successful navigation of the process. We work with retail, restaurant, residential and industrial applicants. From the small business owner to the property manager, developer or regional investor, we can be of service to you.
Fees vary based on the number and type of Planning entitlement applications required, such as: Conditional Use Permit, Zoning Determination, Zone Variance, Design Review, Specific Plan Exception, Development Permit, Density Bonus, Zone Change or Subdivision.
We work closely with the Client’s architectural team and specialty services to ensure consistency throughout the entitlement process.
For alcohol applications (for on-site or off-site consumption), additional services include:
- Need approval from the Planning Department?
- Have to file an application to City Hall?
The sooner you talk to us...
The sooner we can be of help!
At its most basic, zoning is designed to protect residential uses. General Plans arrange major land uses - commercial, manufacturing, residential. Zoning codes provide more specific direction. They say where they want single family neighborhoods, verses apartment buildings or where they want malls verses small shops. They also plan for how the buildings should be designed - such as enough parking, windows, or landscaping.
When a use is permitted, but might have impacts on the surrounding neighborhood, the city requires a Conditional Use Permit. This means the use is allowed, but the city wants to hold a hearing to determine what conditions to place on the use, so it doesn't negatively impact its surroundings. Neighbors and politicians are notified of the hearing, and City departments can file reports to suggest conditions. A common example is alcohol sales. Restaurants are allowed in commercial zones. However, alcohol sales could be a problem without protective conditions. Some examples of conditions might be hours of operation, direction of lights in the parking lot or limitations on happy hours and dancing.
When a business does not match the zone, a variance is required. Some variance examples include modified parking, use (commercial in residential zone) or setbacks (putting a building closer to a property line than is allowed). Again, the city holds a hearing to determine if the variance should be approved and the community is notified. [break]
Conditional Use Permits and Variances are discretionary. The city can say yes or no. Often the critical factors are how the case is presented to the city, buy-in from relevant departments, professional representation at the public hearing, previous decisions on similar cases, support from the community and how the business has operated in the past.
Success requires addressing the code, the bureaucracy, and the community in a way that still meets your business needs after approval.
- Radius map
- Owner’s lists, occupants list and abutting owners
- Posting of hearing notices
- Police outreach
- California State Alcoholic Beverage Licensing
- ABC license escrow liaison
- Monitoring of application package
- Public Convenience or Necessity approvals
Zoning codes are meant to protect surrounding uses from potential impacts from new uses. This is why a City or State agency may place conditions of approval on a new use which limit its operation and why grants are often set to expire after a period of time.
Our Condition Compliance Monitoring Program provides you and the Government Agency assurance that your business will operate within required conditions. We create a documented history of compliance. We educate new managers on operating conditions, and we provide a seamless transition for renewals when the grant expires. We also let you know when your business is expanding beyond previous approvals and help you build a case favorable future entitlements.
Start Up Work (per location)
Train management and staff on conditions compliance including make sure they are ready and able to produce upon inspection:
• Approved Site Plan, Floor Plan and Elevations
• Approvals by the City, including Conditions of Approval
• Radius Map, as well as Ownership, Occupant, and Abutting List
• Recorded Covenant and Agreement
• Recorded Parking Agreements
• Agreements with Neighborhood and Community groups
• Photographs documenting compliance
• Identification of critical contacts to maintain, including police, neighborhood groups and elected officeholders
• Identification of conditions yet to be cleared
• Goals which need to be met prior to filing for renewal
• Site visit to verify continued compliance
• Meeting with on-site management
• Update to off-site management
• Documentation of compliance to Planning Department public file to build a case for renewal of your license
• Documentation of compliance to Corporate Office
• Consistent compliance at each location
• No disruption to operations
• History of systematic compliance= easier licensing in new locations
• Smoother, less costly renewals with longer terms and better conditions
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