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With these factors in mind, the easiest route to gain DRB approval generally involves meetings with staff for guidance on design and zoning issues, along with visits with surrounding residents to determine the character of a neighborhood and assesses potential impacts.
The DRB reviews the project at a noticed public hearing at which time the applicant and other interested parties may address the DRB. The DRB then determines whether the project meets the Design Review Ordinance (DRO) standards and whether to approve the project, usually with conditions; deny the project; or continue the application to a subsequent hearing to gain additional information or to allow the applicant to respond to concerns that may have been raised by Board members or the public.
Once the City’s Design Review Board approves a project, the applicant (usually the architect) prepares a more detailed set of “working” drawings for submittal to the Building Department for plan check review and ultimately receipt of building permits. The review and issuance of building permits is actually done by EsGil Corporation, which, as stated above, serves under contract as the City’s Building Department and operates out of offices at Solana Beach City Hall. City staff will also review the detailed “working” drawings, and issue an Authorization Form stating that the plans can be submitted for building permits.
City of Solana Beach Building ServicesMonday-Thursday 1:30 to 5:30pm and Friday 1:30 to 5pm (closed alternate Fridays) Solana Beach Building Permit Counter: 858-720-4450635 S. Highway 101 Solana Beach, CA 92075 Title 23.08 - Del Mar Municipal Code
While the language of the standards is broad, when the Design Review members use the Ordinance, they make specific, detailed findings to tie the standards to the particular project proposed.
The use of the DRO has played a large role in protecting the community character of Del Mar.
While you are not precluded from waiting until the DRB meeting to express your concerns, we have found the process to be more effective when staff and the project architect are aware of potential objections ahead of the public hearing. This also allows the DRB members an opportunity to review your objection at the project site before the meeting.
If your objection involves the potential for view blockage, additional information is available in a handout found at the Planning Department counter at City Hall. The handout will help you more clearly identify and document your objections for the DRB.
The steps involved in submittal of plans for Planning Commission review and the review process itself are roughly the same as that described above for the Design Review Board.