Administrative Design Review

Does Your Project Qualify for Administrative Design Review?

Arcata has a tiered Design Review process, meaning the level of required approval is determined by the location and type of project.  Administrative Design Review is when a building project falls within certain standards, and can be reviewed together with a building permit application.  This saves valuable time and project costs.

Building projects not eligible for Administrative Design Review require design review approval by the Zoning Administrator (ZA) or Planning Commission (PC) before building plans are submitted.  These approvals usually require a public hearing.

Want to know if your project requires design review in any form?  Check out this information.

There are four steps to determine whether your project qualifies for administrative review.  Use our Design Review Guide, together with information on this page.  As always, call our Planning Division at 707-822-5955 if you have any questions.

Step 1 - Find your property report at https://gis01.cityofarcata.org/web/COA_Parcel_finder/.  You will use this report in determining eligibility.

Step 2 - This is the first test.  Using information from the property report and the Design Review Authority Table in the Guide, see if your project can be approved administratively.  If it can, move on to the next step.  

If your project cannot be approved administratively, it will need to go to the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission.  You can find a Design Review application and checklists here.

Step 3 - The second test is to compare your project's information to the standards listed on our Summary Zoning Compliance Tables (found also on the menu to the left).  Chose the zoning district found on your property report.  If your project meets the standards for the zone, move on to the final test.  If it doesn't, can you change certain features of your project to make it fit?

If your project cannot pass the second test, it will need to go to the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission.  You can find a Design Review application and checklists here.

Step 4 - The last test is to check the General Plan Elements Table  (also on the menu to your left) for your project.  You can find the table that fits your project below.  If your project meets the Plan criteria, the project can be approved at the administrative level.  If it doesn't, check to see if you can change certain features of your project to make it fit.  Please note that Agricultural Residential properties should use the residential table.

If your project cannot pass the final test, it will need to go to the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission.  You can find a Design Review application and checklists here.
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