Development Review & Project Design Process

The city's Development Review and Project Design Process was established as a means to implement the goals and policies of the General Plan.

The City of Paso Robles enjoys its "small town" character and seeks high quality development that properly implements the City's vision with respect to design, method of construction, aesthetics, and sensitivity to the physical, social, and economic environment.

Intent of the Process

The intent of the Development Review and Design Review Process is to ensure that the physical design of new development and changes in existing development meets the following objectives:

  • To accommodate the aesthetic quality of the city as a whole, especially where the development will be visible from gateways to the city, and scenic corridors
  • To ensure that development is compatible with existing scenic, environmental and cultural resources - such as:
    • Hillsides
    • Historic buildings and structures
    • Oak trees
    • Stream courses
    • Vistas
  • To ensure that development is compatible with, and is not detrimental to, surrounding land uses and improvements by requiring that the design be one that is visually appropriate and that mitigates (to the extent feasible) and environmental and social impacts (e.g. privacy)
  • To ensure that the development of individual properties contributes to the orderly development of the city as a whole
  • To protect the public health, safety, and general welfare where it is related to a land use or to the design of development

Types of Development Review Applications

There are 3 types of Development Review Applications

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Staff Review

Consideration of these applications is a discretionary act and specific findings need to be made by the city before any of these types of applications are approved with or without conditions.

Multiple Application Approvals

In some cases, a development project may require more than one type of application approval simultaneously; i.e., a Planned Development (PD), a Conditional Use Permit, and a Parcel Map, for a new commercial development in the PD overlay district involving a lot split and a conditionally permitted use.

Planning Applications and COVID

We are accepting all planning applications digitally. Please submit your completed application with appropriate supporting materials to If your attachments exceed 20MB, you will need to transfer your documents through a third-party file-hosting service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  If you do not have access to this type of service, you can use the City's box, here.  Once your application is received, you will be contacted to submit the required fee deposit.  Credit card transactions are subject to an approximately 3% convenience fee.  Checks can be submitted by mail or at the City Hall counter.     

As  permitted by California Executive Order N-29-20, which allows for a deviation of teleconference rules required by the Ralph M. Brown Act, public hearings are being conducted as hybrid meetings.  Meetings are live-streamed at the City's YouTube page here.