Design Review

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Many development projects involving new building construction and/or the significant remodeling of existing structures require a Design Review Permit. The intent of this review is to ensure that new and remodeled projects will be compatible with their surroundings and not detract from established character of the neighborhood. Projects subject to Design Review, must substantially comply with the Residential Design Review Guidelines or with the Downtown Design Guidelines.

Is my project subject to a Design Review Permit?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions below, then your project is subject to a Design Review Permit:
  1. Will the proposed structure be more than 17-feet in height?
    (building height is measured from the average grade along the lowest foundation wall to the high point)
  2. Will the sum of the structures on the property exceed 6,000-square feet?
    (including all structures – i.e. the house, garage, pool house, shed, etc.)
  3. Is the property in a commercial or multi-family zoning district?
  4. Is the property subject to a Design Review Permit because of a subdivision condition of approval or prior development application approval?

A Design Review Permit application must be submitted to the Planning & Building Department for review. Projects minor in scope can be acted upon at a staff level by the Zoning Administrator, while larger and more complex projects are acted upon by the Design Review Commission. New commercial buildings are acted upon by the Planning Commission. A Design Review Permit will only be approved if it meets the required findings.

We recommend that applicants consider submitting a Study Session Application, which enables you to receive feedback from the Design Review Commission on a preliminary design of your project and often results in a better project and a smoother review process.  For other tips, please visit our Marquis de Lafayette's Tips for Success handout.

Check the Project Checklist to determine if your project is subject to other triggers for review.