Planning Division

The Planning Division processes current development applications, maintains the General Plan and Local Coastal Program, and ensures that capital programs, zoning and other activities of the City are consistent with the goals and policies of the General Plan.


Special Reports and Studies

The Planning Division is engaged in a variety of on-going special studies which are of interest to the Village. Special reports and studies will be posted to our website as new information becomes available.


Design Study/Review Process

Most building or site alterations require some level of review and approval. Minor modifications may be approved by the Director while more substantial modifications may require  approval by the Planning Commission. If the property has been designated as a historic resource, approval by the Historic Resources Board may also be required.


Historic Preservation

It is a goal of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea to promote the identification and preservation of historic resources that represent the unique architectural, cultural, historic, and prehistoric identity of the City. The City maintains a Historic Context Statement that, along with the Historic Preservation Ordinance, provides a framework for identifying historic resources and determining their relative significance. The City also maintains an Inventory of Historic Resources that includes all properties that have been identified as historically significant to date.


General Plan

The General Plan is a comprehensive statement of the planning goals and policies for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea and its surrounding Sphere of Influence. State law requires each community to prepare, adopt and periodically update the General Plan.


Local Coastal Program

The California Coastal Commission has jurisdiction over land use projects within one mile of the Ocean. However, the Commission will transfer most permitting authority to local jurisdictions if they obtain a certified Local Coastal Program (LCP). Carmel had its LCP certified by the Coastal Commission in 2004. The LCP consists of the Land Use, Circulation, Coastal Access and Recreation, and Coastal Resource Management elements of the General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance(Implementation Plan), and the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance Appendices (see below).