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About the Costco Pre Application and Conceptual Design Review

Posted on August 21, 2019

*This post has been edited to include the scheduled Design Review Board and Planning Commission meeting dates (edit 9/30/2019)

Costco has applied for a “Pre Application and Conceptual Design Review” for their proposal to demolish the existing multi story Sears building along with the two out buildings (former Sears catalog building and automotive center building) at the southern portion of Northgate Mall.  In  place of these structures, Costco is proposing to build a new 146,9858 sq ft Costco Warehouse Center, including a 141,773 sq ft warehouse, 5,185 sq ft attached tire center, along with a detached fueling station. The proposal also calls for 2-3 levels of rooftop parking on top of the proposed Costco warehouse.

Conceptual Design Review will include public meetings with the Design Review Board (10/22) and Planning Commission (10/15). Conceptual Review is a process that is required for major projects within the City of San Rafael and provides an opportunity for early input on a project’s design approach by the City’s Design Review Board and the public before plans and materials are fully developed.

This review will be focused on the design direction of site planning, mass/bulk, architecture, colors/materials and landscaping. The process allows the City and public to share preliminary comments with the developer prior to formal application.  The item will also be heard by the Planning Commission, right after the Design Review Board review, to get the Planning Commission’s preliminary input on the project.

No final decision to approve the project is granted during the Conceptual Design Review or Pre-Application process; it’s just a way to provide an applicant with early feedback.


Meeting dates are tentatively Tuesday October 22, 2019 for the Design Review Board review and Tuesday, October 15, for the Planning Commission review.  Design Review Board and Planning Commission both meet at 7:00pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1400 Fifth Avenue San Rafael, California.


Raffi Boloyan, Planning Manager
Community Development – Planning Division
(415) 485-3095


Find information about the project and updates on the dedicated project web page.

Read about the Community Development Review Process

Sign up for the Costco Public Notice Mailing List (Postcards)

Please submit your name, mailing address and email address with the subject line “Add to Costco Mailing List” at the link below:

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