The City of Mill Valley has three different levels of review for planning applications. Review level is based on the type of application, its complexity, and the applicability of state law and local policies and regulations. All applications are reviewed by staff for compliance with the Mill Valley Municipal Code the MV2040 General Plan, City Design Guidelines, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and State Planning and Zoning laws to the extent they may be applicable.
Staff Review. Applications reviewed and acted on by Planning Department staff are "ministerial." Ministerial applications are those where the proposed project or action requires no exercise of discretion and, to be approved, must meet all applicable requirements of the Municipal Code or State law. These applications include Lot Line Adjustments, Lot Mergers, Certificates of Compliance, Tree Removal, Home Occupations, certain types of Second Units, Signs, and Fence permits.
Zoning Administrator (ZA). Reviews applications specified by Chapter 20.62 of the Municipal Code. These projects are typically design review applications for remodels or additions to existing residences that are large enough to trigger design review, but not considered significant enough to require Planning Commission review. The Zoning Administrator hears ZA applications at a public hearing on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 in the Council Chambers.
Planning Commission. A quasi-judicial body appointed by the City Council, and hears more complex applications, such as new residential and commercial development, use permits, and proposed subdivision projects. Current projects being reviewed by the Planning Commission are scheduled for upcoming Planning Commission hearings. The agenda, upcoming hearings, and application materials are posted approximately one week prior to the regularly scheduled Planning Commission hearings. Please click here for more information on the Planning Commission.
Public Review & Approval Process. The ZA and Planning Commission public review period consists of a 10-day comment period, during which time the public may review and comment on the application, and the public hearing. During the review period, the application materials and any supplemental documents for these projects are available for public review at City Hall and the Mill Valley Library reference desk, or online(see calendar links below). Comments must be submitted in writing to the Project Planner at 26 Corte Madera Ave (City Hall, Planning Department) or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Notices are sent out to properties located within a minimum of 300 feet of the subject property. The applicant is also responsible for displaying a Public Notice poster on site. For Design Review projects where a change in roofline is proposed, storypoles are required to be constructed and displayed.
Any decision made may be appealed by filing a letter with the Planning and Building Department within 10 calendar days following the date of the decision describing the basis for the appeal and accompanied by the $250.00 appeal fee.
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