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Planning & Development Process

The City of Fresno’s straightforward approach identifies projects based on their complexity. There are four project levels, each with an optimized process. The more simple a project, the quicker the review—some even approved over the counter. For more complex projects, the developer can meet with the Development Review Committee (DRC) comprised of all of the reviewing departments, to collaboratively discuss the application and receive concise and thorough feedback.

The City of Fresno has established accountability, clear protocols, and authority for decision-making that align with the General Plan, Development Code, and pre-zoning. Improved technology, customer service, and continuous improvement through training and staff development will help us keep the commitment to our standards, to honor developers’ time and budgets, and to work together to “get to yes.”

Business Friendly Fresno
Process Performance
15234 TOTAL APPLICATIONS PROCESSED
74721 INSPECTIONS
7047 PLAN CHECKS
4477 SOLAR PLAN CHECKED
2.3 DAYS AVG. TURN-AROUND FOR SOLAR PLANS
3207 SOLAR RESIDENTIAL PERMITS
43 SOLAR COMMERCIAL PERMITS
70% PROJECTED TIMEFRAMES MET
14685 CUSTOMERS SERVED AT FRONT COUNTER
16 MIN. AVERAGE WAIT TIME
Level 4

Days

Project Status within 30 days with a specified time for completion (goal of 90–120+ days)

Project Types

  • Multiple Applications (i.e. rezone and CUP)
  • Rezone
  • Plan Amendment
  • Annexation
  • Text Amendment

PROCESS

PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW
Initial Planning Review
STEP 1
Applicant makes an appointment with a Supervising Planner to discuss proposed project.
STEP 2 Supervising Planner confirms with Planning Manager that staff is in support of project. Supervising Planner determines whether DRC review is necessary.
SCHEDULE
DRC MEETING
NO MEETING
REQUIRED
Development Review Committee Applicant meets with DRC. Within 10 days, Planner sends out summary letter of pre-application review. SKIP
Pre-Application Verification Correspondence Applicant makes appropriate modifications and submits plans to Planner electronically. Planner will confirm within one week if the application is ready to submit.
PROCESSING
Submittal Applicant makes an appointment with Planner to submit complete application(s) in accordance with relevant submittal checklist(s).
Cross-Dept Review Project is routed to internal departments and outside agencies for comments and conditions.
Formal Planning Review Within 30 days from submittal date, Planner will give applicant timeline for project approval.
CORRECTIONS AND APPROVALS
Project Approval
STEP 1
Planner prepares staff report. Project is scheduled for Planning Commission and City Council.
STEP 2 Project is approved/denied by Planning Commission and City Council.
Corrected Exhibit Process Applicant makes necessary changes to the project and resubmits the exhibits.
Planning Sign-off on Building Permits Within two weeks, the Planner verifies all conditions are met and Applicant inserts the site plan, building elevations and landscape plans in the construction set and schedules a meeting with the Planning Division and Traffic Division for permit sign-off.
Level 3

Days

75-90 days

Project Types

  • Amendment1
  • Full Site Plan Review Application
  • Full Conditional Use Permit Application
  • Tentative Parcel or Tract Maps
  • Standalone environmental assessments (MND)

PROCESS

PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW
Initial Planning Review
STEP 1
Applicant makes an appointment with a Planner to discuss proposed project.
STEP 2 If Planner confirms proposed use is allowed, applicant schedules a meetingwith DRC.
Development Review Committee Applicant meets with DRC. Within 10 days, Planner sends out summary letter of pre-application review.
Pre-Application Verification Correspondence Applicant makes appropriate modifications and submits plans to Planner electronically. Planner will confirm within one week if the application is ready to submit.
PROCESSING
Submittal Applicant makes an appointment with Planner to submit complete application(s) in accordance with relevant submittal checklist(s).
Cross-Dept Review Project is routed to internal departments and outside agencies for comments and conditions.
Formal Planning Review Planner reviews for consistency with code and policies. Once all comments are received, Planner prepares approval documents.
CORRECTIONS AND APPROVALS
Project Approval
STEP 1
Director takes action to approve or deny and notices are sent to surrounding property owners (CUP only). Applicant is given conditions of approval.
STEP 2 If project is not appealed, Applicant can move forward. If appealed, project goes to Planning Commission. Tract Maps always go to Planning Commission.
Corrected Exhibit Process Applicant makes necessary changes to the project and resubmits the exhibits.
Planning Sign-off on Building Permits Within two weeks, the Planner verifies all conditions are met and Applicant inserts the site plan, building elevations and landscape plans in the construction set and schedules a meeting with the Planning Division andTraffic Division for permit sign-off.

1 Defined in Policy and Procedures G-003. Application for a modification to a developed site (Modification to approved site plan or conditional use permit.)

Level 2

Days

30-45 days

Project Types

  • Major Revised Exhibit1 (routing required)
  • Industrial Site Plan Review
  • Alcohol conditional use permit
  • Standalone environmental assessments (<MND)
  • Director’s Classification (different process: see Supervising Planner for verification)

PROCESS

PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW
Initial Planning Review
STEP 1
Counter staff reviews application and confirms use is allowed.
STEP 2 Supervising Planner confirms that routing is required and determines whether DRC review is necessary.
SCHEDULE
DRC MEETING
NO MEETING
REQUIRED
Development Review Committee Applicant meets with DRC. Within 10 days, Planner sends out summary letter of pre-application review. SKIP
Pre-Application Verification Correspondence Applicant makes appropriate modifications and submits one set of plans to Planner. Planner will confirm within one week if the application is ready to submit.
PROCESSING
Submittal Applicant makes an appointment with Planner to submit complete application(s) in accordance with relevant submittal checklist(s).
Cross-Dept Review Project is routed to internal departments and outside agencies for comments and conditions.
Formal Planning Review Planner reviews for consistency with code and policies. Once all comments are received, Planner prepares approval documents.
CORRECTIONS AND APPROVALS
Project Approval
STEP 1
Planner takes action to approve or deny. If approved, Applicant is given conditions of approval.
STEP 2 SKIP

 

Corrected Exhibit Process Applicant makes necessary changes to the project and resubmits the exhibits.
Planning Sign-off on Building Permits Within two weeks, the Planner verifies all conditions are met and Applicant inserts the site plan, building elevations and landscape plans in the construction set and schedules a meeting with the Planning Division and Traffic Division for permit sign-off.

1 Defined in Policy and Procedures G-003. Application for a modification to a developed site (Modification to approved site plan or conditional use permit.)

Level 1

Days

1-14 days

Project Types

  • Tenant Improvement (verification of allowed use)
  • Standard Sign Applications
  • Zoning Clearance for Business License
  • Rear Yard Encroachment
  • Minor Deviation
  • Standard Plans for Single Family Homes
  • “File Stuffer”1
  • Minor Revised Exhibit (no routing required)
  • Zoning Inquiries (different process: application submittal, staff research, letter sent to applicant)

PROCESS

PRE-APPLICATION REVIEW
Initial Planning Review
STEP 1
Counter staff reviews proposal. Counter staff reviews application. Counter staff reviews application and confirms use is allowed.
STEP 2 SKIP Counter staff confirms all needed documents are submitted. Supervising Planner confirms that no routing is required.
Development Review Committe SKIP SKIP
Pre-Application Verification Correspondence
PROCESSING
Submittal
Cross-Dept Review
Formal Planning Review Planner reviews for consistency with code and policies.
CORRECTIONS AND APPROVALS
Project Approval
STEP 1
Planner prepares approval letter or signs off on standard plan. Planner takes action to approve or deny. If approved, Applicant is given conditions of approval.
STEP 2
Corrected Exhibit Process
SKIP SKIP
Planning Sign-off on Building Planner signs off document that allows applicant to move to the Building Division for permits(if permits required). Planner signs off on plans or other necessary documents needed for building permit approval. Within one week, the Planner verifies all conditions are met and Applicant inserts exhibits into the construction set and schedules a meeting with the Planning Division for permit sign-off.

1 Defined in Policy and Procedures G-003. Application for a modification to a developed site (Modification to approved site plan or conditional use permit.)