Design Review

Every planning permit request starts with a Planning Permit Applicationwhich is supplemented by additional information needed to process the request.  You will find checklists and other information for common permit types.

If you are having trouble completing the application, download the fillable forms first, then complete them.

Design Review

The City of Arcata Land Use Code requires Design Review for certain construction projects to enhance the natural beauty and the historic and rural character of the City. Design Review is a planning permit that authorizes development and, if the project is not exempt, must be completed before applying for a building permit.

Design Review is often part of a larger application process.  If a non-Administrative Design Review permit only is needed, the same deposit applies, whether the public hearing is with the Zoning Administrator or the Planning Commission.   

Following are the various types of non-Administrative Design Review permits.

Small Design Review:  4 or fewer units, no more than two stories, no historic designation
Large Design Review:  5 or more units, 3 or more stories, historic designation
Sign Design Review:  Signs more than 20 SF, signs in residential zoning (unless smaller than 2 SF), in Neighborhood Conservation Areas, on historic structures or sites, part of a development project, and at the Director's option
Master Sign Design Review:  Signs for a non-residential project with 2 or more tenants, one main building 10,000 SF or more, on parcels one or more acres in size, on theaters or auditoriums (places of public assembly), on parcels with frontage on more than one street or alley, and non-conforming signs involuntarily damaged by more than 50% of its replacement cost

We encourage you to speak with a planner if you have any questions.

Permit or Action and Deposit Required

   $675.84   Non-Administrative Design Review (or Amendment)
$1,689.60   Mills Act Enrollment
$6,758.40   Environmental Impact Report 
   $844.80   General Plan Consistency       
$1,689.60   Historic / Landmark Designation  

    $394.24  Preliminary Review 
$ 1,903.62  Appeal of Zoning Administrator Decision to Planning Commission
$ 1,903.62  Appeal of Planning Commission Decision to City Council

(Planning permit deposits and fees increased on 07-01-19.)

Additional Links and Information

Small Design Review may require a Small Landscape Plan
Large Design Review may require a Large Landscape Plan
Design Review - Master Sign Checklist
Design Review - Small Sign Checklist
Small Site Plan may be required for some applications
Large Site Plan may be required for some applications
Appeal Checklist

NOTE:  Download all fillable forms first, then complete them.