Design Study/Review Process
Understand How Design Guidelines are Utilized
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.
Residential Design Study
The City has established two residential design study tracks for projects in the single-family residential (R-1) district. For more information on the design study review process, refer to the Residential Design Study Flowchart.
Track One Design Study
Track one is a staff-level discretionary review for projects that do not require a coastal development permit and are exempt from public hearing requirements. Staff shall review projects for compliance with all applicable zoning regulations and standards and for compliance with the residential design guidelines. For more information, refer to the Track One Residential Design Study Submittal Requirements.
Track Two Design Study/Preliminary Site Assessment
Track two is a discretionary review process for projects that require a public hearing with the Planning Commission. The first step in the process is a Preliminary Site Assessment. For more information, refer to the Preliminary Site Assessment Application Requirements.
The next step is the submission of design concept plans. For more information, refer to the Track Two Residential Design Study Submittal Requirements.
Commercial Design Review
The City has established two tracks for design review of projects proposing new construction, alterations, rebuilds, additions, demolitions, and other exterior design changes in the central commercial (CC), service commercial (SC) and residential and limited commercial (RC) districts and the multifamily residential (R-4) district.
Track One Design Review
The Director may approve Track One applications for design changes in all commercial zoning districts and the R-4 district based on a determination that such projects comply with the Zoning Ordinance and all applicable commercial design guidelines and public way design guidelines.
Track Two Design Review
The Planning Commission shall review and approve Track Two applications. This is a discretionary process for reviewing substantial design changes in commercial zoning districts and the R-4 district.
Upon submittal of a design study, building permit or other application for alteration of the property, the City shall determine if the subject property contains historic resources and is therefore eligible for the Carmel Inventory of Historic Resources. If it is determined that the property contains historic resources, the applicant shall be required to obtain a determination of consistency with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties as part of the project review process.
Determinations of consistency for minor alterations shall be reviewed by Staff for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Minor alterations that are found not to comply with the Secretary’s Standards shall be considered and processed as major alterations requiring an evaluation by a qualified professional and final action by the Historic Resources Board.
Determinations of consistency for major alterations shall require an evaluation by a qualified professional and shall be reviewed and approved by the Historic Resources Board.