There are several steps in the planning process. These steps are dependant on the project, where it is located and what the codes and regulations state as criteria for processing the project application.

The City of Grass Valley offers, at no cost, a preapplication meeting with a staff planner. The purpose of the meeting is get a clear understanding of the project, specific site constraints, infrastructure needs, costs and to determine which process the project would need to pursue.

Preapplication: A planner meets with an applicant to discuss the project. This meeting is used to determine if a project is consistent with the current zoning and the General Plan land use designation. In addition, the planner lets the applicant know what type of application may be required (i.e., use permit, tentative map, design review, etc.), costs, noticing requirements and the general time frame for processing the application. This meeting is recommended by staff but is optional and at the discretion of the applicant.

Conceptual: If an applicant has a project that is unique or may need input to determine its feasibility, a conceptual review may be requested. This review is done at a nominal cost to the applicant and may include review by the Development Review Committee (DRC) as well as the Planning Commission. The applicant submits a detailed proposal statement and a site plan that would allow the DRC and Planning Commission to understand what the project entails. The review is scheduled on a regular agenda of the DRC and follows on a regular agenda for the Planning Commission. These meetings do not require a public hearing. The DRC and Planning Commission then review these projects and comments are forwarded to the applicant.

Application: The information the applicant receives at the preapplication and/or conceptual reviews will assist them in preparing an application for processing. The applicant submits a complete application packet. The packet generally includes a completed and signed application form, preliminary title report, indemnification agreement, fees, plans (site, elevations, preliminary landscape plans, preliminary grading ad drainage plans, etc.), and a detailed proposal statement of the project.

Referral: When an application is submitted a planner is assigned to the project. The planner reviews the application packet and then refers the packet materials to other departments and agencies that may have an interest in the project. The departments and agencies review the application and forward their comments to the project planner.

These comments are used to prepare staff reports, request additional information/reports, preparation of the initial study and to prepare the conditions of approval for the project. 

Development Review Committee (DRC):  This committee is made up of staff from the planning division, engineering, fire department, a Planning Commission representative and an architect. During the processing of two or more times. Initially, the committee will review an application for completeness and these comments are forwarded to the applicant. Generally, these comments may include the need for additional studies/reports (traffic, noise, tree, etc.), zoning and General Plan consistency and other issues that may need to be addressed in conjunction with the project. Additional review by the DRC may include the submittal of requested additional materials and prior to a final action on the project a review of the draft resolution and conditions of approval.

Planning Commission:  The standard procedure for review of a project at the Planning Commission includes a preliminary review and a final action. The preliminary review requires noticing and allows for a public hearing to be held at the Planning Commission meeting. This allows the Planning Commission to obtain public testimony on a project during the initial review. Comments from the preliminary hearing are forwarded to the applicant. These comments are used in preparing the final documents for review by the Planning Commission. A public hearing is held on the project and the Planning Commission approves, denies or makes a recommendation.

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