The Community Development Department consists of the Planning, Engineering and Building Divisions.
From the grading of the lot to the construction of the building and installation of final improvements such as landscaping and signage, Community Development is involved in all aspects of development.
About the Divisions
The City’s Community Development Director oversees the four divisions, which make up the Development Application Process (PDF).
The Planning Division facilitates the land use planning and development process, assisting the City Council, Planning Commission and the Development Review Committee in establishing and carrying out land use policies and plans.
The city’s General Plan is the document that contains the city’s land use policy, and the city’s specific plans and Zoning Code are implementation tools. All land use related applications and entitlements (use permits, i.e. conditional) are processed through the Planning Division.
The Building Division (Public Works Department) interprets the Building Code by overseeing the plan check and inspection process for all construction requiring a Building Permit. The Building Official and a team of construction management specialists also oversee major city capital projects including those buildings authorized for funding by the voter approved "Measure D" of 1998.
The Engineering Division interprets the Engineering Standards, Sewer and Water Atlas’s. The Engineering Division is responsible for ensuring that private developments are designed in a manner consistent with city and other applicable codes and standards. The Engineering Division deals with development on private property and connections to city infrastructure.
Housing Programs provides services related to low and moderate income housing, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded projects, and use of the Redevelopment Agency’s "Housing Set Aside" funds.
How the Divisions Work Together
Step One: Planning Division
For example, the process of building a new home may start with a developer submitting plans for a single-family residence or an entire tract to the Planning Division. There it is reviewed for consistency with the Municipal and Zoning Codes and the General Plan.
Step Two: Engineering Division
The Engineering Division checks plans to verify they will properly connect to the City infrastructure (water, sewer) and ensure grading is properly done and required improvements (such as sidewalk, curb and gutter) are installed.
Step Three: Building Division
From there, the Building Division reviews the plans and inspects dwellings as they are built to ensure safe habitation under the Building Code.
The process is similar for commercial development. It begins with the Planning Division, plans are checked by Engineering, and finally permits are issued by the Building Division, if all necessary criteria and fees are met.