The City of Grass Valley's planning services are administered by a four-member team of planners and administrative staff. The Planning Division has primary responsibility for activities including: coordination and support for the Planning Commission; coordination and support for the Development Review Committee; coordination and support for the Historical Commission; development, coordination and review of the Cityís General Plan; environmental review for various projects (Environmental review responsibilities are principally defined by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires preparation of environmental impact determinations, environmental impact reports, and coordination with other local, State, and Federal agencies); review of plans for consistency with City zoning ordinance and development standards; review and issuance of special use permits; review and issuance of sign permits; activities related to the City's Sphere of Influence, annexations and much more.
Another essential function for the Division is to provide the public with information and guidance concerning development, General Plan policies, zoning district regulations, permit procedures, floodplain boundaries, planning statistics, property information, growth trends, and other information relevant to land use and the orderly development of the community. We welcome your comments and inquiries. See the information listed at the end of this page to contact us by phone, fax, email, letter, or in person.
The following is the typical schedule for the commissions and committees connected to the Planning Division:
Meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall. The Commission reviews zoning, planning and use permit applications.
Development Review Committee:
Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. in the Hullender Conference Room, City Hall. The Committee reviews and acts on minor development proposals and serves in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission for larger projects. Click HERE for more information.
Meets the third Thursday of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the Bodmin Conference Room, City Hall. The Commission maintains the City's historic building inventory and promotes historic preservation.
The Planning Division provides pertinent zoning information on a particular parcel or street address within the Grass Valley City Limits. Current zoning information can be obtained by providing the street address and/or Assessorís parcel number. A particular business activity may or may not be allowed depending on the location and the zoning district.
Signs are an essential element in identifying a business. Signage should identify the business but not advertise products or services. Signage should also be designed to be compatible with the building and design in accordance with the Cityís Sign Regulations. There are specific sign standards for each zoning district within the City Limits. Signs that require an exception to the sign regulations require approval of the City's Development Review Committee.
Installation of new signs or any alteration to existing signs, including relocation, requires a Sign Permit prior to installation of the sign(s). To obtain a sign permit, plans showing sign details and a Sign Permit Application Form, along with the appropriate fee, should be submitted to the Planning and Building Division for approval.
New businesses often desire to establish their identify and location with the help of temporary signs such as banners. Such signage may be permitted on a limited basis through approval of a Temporary Sign Permit issued at no charge by the Planning Division.
Off-Street Parking Regulations
Sufficient off-street parking must be provided for a business. Information on the gross square feet of floor area within the facility to be occupied by the business will need to be provided. The number of required off-street parking spaces is dependent on the type of business. A copy of the Off-Street Parking Regulations may be obtained from the Planning Division.
If you are planning a home based business, please check with the Planning Division. Although home occupations are typically allowed, certain restrictions do apply. Home occupations do require the securing of a Business License from the Finance Department.
Exterior Improvements to Commercial Buildings
Any proposed alteration to the exterior of a building located within the Historical District in Downtown Grass Valley is subject to Design Review Committee approval. This includes signage. Exterior painting approval is obtained over-the-counter.
Most exterior building remodeling and new building construction within the City Limits requires design review approval with the exception of single family homes. (See Design Review)
Planning Commission Applications
Planning Commission approval is required for changes in land use; e.g. Tentative Maps (lot splits, lot line adjustments/mergers), Use Permits, Variances, Rezone/Prezone, Annexation, General Plan Amendments.
Contact the Planning Division for Application Fee information, copies of application forms and appropriate checklists. Forms and fees are also available on this website.
Heritage Home Awards
The Heritage Home Awards recognize homes that have been determined by the Historical Commission to have historical and architectural significance and are important historic resources which help preserve the history and character of our community. During National Historic Preservation Week, the City of Grass Valley has presented a bronze "Historic Resource" plaque to the owners of historic homes within the original 1872 Grass Valley Townsite, in appreciation of their efforts to maintain or restore their historic homes.
City of Grass Valley Planning Division
125 East Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Phone: (530) 274-4330
Fax: (530) 274-4399