General Planning Application Submittal Requirements

General Planning Application Submittal Requirements are listed below.   All documents, reports and plans must be provided in digital format.


Section 1 – General Requirements                                                                               

  1. Completed General Application. Property owner signature is required.
  2. Fees. A planner will review your online submittal and assess the appropriate processing fees. An invoice will be emailed to the application with instructions to pay through the online application portal. The application will not be deemed officially submitted until the date required payment is received. See Fee Schedule

Note: any deposit covers a set number of staff time hours. The applicant is responsible for cost recovery of total number of hours for Planning staff to review this application. Additional time will be charged per staff hour worked as necessary, plus any costs for outside consultant peer reviews. The applicant will be required to replenish funds as necessary; any unused fees will be refunded.

  1. Project Noticing Board. A public hearing notification sign shall be required for the following applications: planned developments, rezoning's and general plan amendments involving a land use change, tentative maps, variances, use permits involving new construction and environmental and design review permits when development is proposed on a vacant lot or when additional building area is proposed on an existing developed property. For these project types, install a project noticing board made from a weather durable material (e.g. corrugated plastic) on site, visible to passerby, at each frontage. Submit color photos that show the poster installed at the site and that clearly shows the poster’s content. Use the following to assist in creation of the noticing board:
  1. Project Narrative. Submit a written statement (on separate 8½" x 11" paper) that briefly describes the proposed project and how it satisfies the findings required by the Zoning Ordinance, as well as any request to waive a submittal requirement with accompanying reason.
  2. Site Photographs. Submit one set of exterior photos, that meet the following requirements:
  3. Mount or copy photos on 8½" x 11" paper with captions or a key indicating the location (perspective) of each photo. Do not submit individual jpegs or other image files.
  4. Provide an adequate number of photos to show entire project site and all adjacent buildings for context. Where possible, take wide-angle shots showing project site and adjacent buildings together.

Section 2 – Use Permit Applications

For projects requesting a conditional use permit, submit the following:

  1. Business Narrative. Provide a written description of the business and how it will operate. (i.e.: Hours of operation, number of employees, etc.)
  2. Site Plan. Provide a site plan that identifies the structure, parking lot and any potential site improvements.
  3. Floor Plan. Provide a floor plan that show both the existing and proposed space. The floor plan should include the square footage calculations of the proposed use(s).
  4. Inventory of Existing and Proposed Uses. For Use Permits on multi-tenant sites, provide an inventory of all business uses on site, with square footage.

Section 3 – Environmental & Design Review Permit Applications: Plan Set         

For projects involving new construction, or physical modifications to existing structures or landscaping, submit one electronic plan. All plan sheets must be fully dimensioned and include:

  • Name of person preparing plans
  • Dates of preparation and revisions
  • Project Address
  • Graphic scale – list scale and provide scale bar
  • North arrow
  • Legend describing all symbols and notations

Plan sets must include the following sheets:

  1. Site Plan. The site plan must show the following:
  • Property lines and lot dimensions
  • Setbacks – note required setbacks for zoning district
  • Existing Site Conditions - show existing building and site conditions, including site slope(s), property lines, easements, adjacent street names, roadway and frontage improvements, parking conditions, outdoor improvements, accessory structures, exterior decks, fences and retaining walls, hillside natural state, significant trees and vegetation, pools/spas, A/C units/generators, any other mechanical equipment, and any other existing site features.
  • Proposed Site Conditions - show any proposed building envelope expansion, roadway and frontage improvements, parking modifications, outdoor improvements, accessory structures, replacement or expansion of exterior decks, fences and retaining walls, hillside natural state, tree and vegetation removal or addition, pools/spas, A/C units/generators, any other mechanical equipment, and any other proposed site features.
  • Site Work - extent of grading, including filling and cutting or excavation. Note: a separate grading plan may be required.
  • Adjacent Properties - include primary buildings, accessory structures, and uses on parcels adjacent to the subject property
  1. Vicinity Map. Mark the site location and surrounding features, topography, vegetation, existing improvements, and prominent public viewpoints and view sheds (if applicable).
  2. Project Data. Show existing and proposed site size, building floor areas, parking supply, landscape and natural state, required yard areas and other relevant zoning district development standards.
  3. Floor Plans. Floor plan(s) must show the following:
  • All floors, including mezzanines, basements, and attics
  • Interior dimensions of all rooms
  • Use of all rooms (existing and proposed), per the California Building Code
  • Location of windows, doors, equipment rooms
  • Trash room(s) pursuant to Public Works Department requirements
  • Long-Term Bicycle parking, showing location of lockers or racks suitable for secure locks and
  • For changes to existing buildings, provide separate plans for existing and proposed conditions, or if changes are limited, use dashed lines for demolished features and solid lines for new features.
  1. Roof Plan. Show property lines, outline of building footprint, direction and slope of drainage, location of drainage collectors, rooftop structures (i.e., vents, equipment, screening, access), material, ridge elevations, roof levels and slopes
  2. Landscape Plan. Show all existing and proposed landscape improvements, total landscape area in square feet, types of plant and landscape materials proposed, soils characteristics, and plant/landscape amenities cut sheets or illustrations
  3. Elevations. Show all existing and proposed landscape improvements, total landscape area in square feet, types of plant and landscape materials proposed, soils characteristics, and plant/landscape amenities cut sheets or illustrations
  • Existing Elevations - include all sides of structure(s) and existing features (windows, doors, decks, etc.) with height and length measurements
  • Proposed Elevations - include all sides of structure(s) and existing features (windows, doors, decks, etc.) with height and length measurements
  • Exterior Details, existing and proposed - include light fixtures, materials, colors and finishes, and signs (if applicable)
  1. Sections and Profiles. Provide to-scale cross sections, as necessary, to illustrate building and floor area details, grading, etc. Include references on relevant site, floor, and/or elevation drawings.
  2. Grading Plan. For projects involving cut and fill, provide to-scale plans graphically identifying areas of cut, areas of fill, and total cut/fill amounts, retaining walls and heights, locations of significant trees and driplines.

Existing and proposed contour lines shall be indicated with existing contours indicated with a solid line, contours to be eliminated with a dash line and new contour lines with a bold solid line, at intervals as follows:

SLOPE                 Under 5%         5-20%              Over 20%

INTERVAL                  2’                   5’                         10’

  1. Boundary Survey. Required for construction of any new main building or for any construction located within four feet of a property line. The survey must meet the following requirements:
  • Wet-stamped, signed by a licensed CA surveyor or appropriately licensed civil engineer
  • Minimum scale of 1/10” = 1’
  • All property lines, curb and sidewalk, spot elevations, existing structures, building dimensions, and setbacks to all property lines
  • For projects in the Hillside Overlay, survey must be no more than five years old and must show contour lines with minimum 5-foot intervals.

Section 4 – Additional Requirements for Projects Subject to Affordable Housing Requirements

  1. Housing Affordability Statement. For developments of two or greater residential units, provide a statement describing the following:
    1. How the project complies with the City’s Affordable Housing Requirements Affordable Housing Requirements
    2. Level of affordability that will be provided and/or amount of in lieu fee that will be paid. For Projects of greater than 15 units, commitment for Primary and Secondary Requirements
    3. Number and proposed location of any affordable units provided
    4. Size and amenities (bedrooms, bathrooms, parking facilities) of any affordable units
  2. Housing Demolition/Government Code §66300(d) Compliance. Fornew housing developments that propose the demolition of any residential dwelling unit, provide a statement that includes the following:
    1. Number of existing and proposed residential dwelling units, and maximum number of dwelling units on the site within five years of the date of application submittal if different than existing
    2. Number of existing units that are currently occupied and income level of occupant household, if known
    3. Number of residential dwelling units proposed to be demolished
    4. Number of residential dwelling units proposed to be demolished that are protected. “Protected units” means any of the following:
  3. Residential dwelling units that are or were subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of lower or very low income within the past five years.
  4. Residential dwelling units that are or were subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power within the past five years.
  5. Residential dwelling units that are or were rented by lower or very low-income households within the past five years.
  6. Residential dwelling units that were withdrawn from rent or lease in accordance with Chapter 12.75 (commencing with Section 7060) of Division 7 of Title 1 (the Ellis Act) within the past 10 years.
    1. Number of units to be demolished for which the applicant does not have and cannot obtain information that the occupants are above the lower income level.
  1. Density Bonus Analysis. Required for projects requesting a density bonus pursuant to Government Code Section 65915 and City Council Resolution No. 14891. Submit the following information:
    1. A written statement that includes the following information:
      1. Number of “base project” units
      2. Number and percent of affordable units on site and level of affordability
      3. Percent density bonus requested and allowed pursuant to Government Code Section 65915
      4. Any requested waivers or modifications of development standards necessary to physically accommodate “density bonus” units (e.g., increased height, reduced setbacks or parking, etc.)
      5. If the project is requesting an incentive or concession, describe each incentive or concession being requested in addition to (or instead of) waivers or modifications necessary to accommodate density bonus
      6. Parking ratio requested pursuant to Government Code §65915(p).
    2. Plans showing a “base project” that complies with all applicable Zoning Ordinance requirements, without any waivers or modification to development standards.

Section 5 – Additional Requirements that May be Required or Requested

  1. Historic Resource Evaluation. Required for projects involving demolition, substantial change or exterior modifications to a building greater than 40 years old. Submit a State of California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) 523 form. completed by a qualified historian, architectural historian or historic architect. Evaluation must include references to development history documentation (including but not limited to photographs, building permits, Sanborn maps, and directory listings).

Alternatively, submit an evaluation by a qualified historian, architectural historian, or historic architect that determines that the proposed project complies with preservation standards and environmental practices.

California guidelines are available online at:

  1. Geotechnical/Soils Report. Applications for master plan zoning, subdivision, use permit/grading permit, design review, or conditional certificates of compliance require geotechnical studies. If the site is rated 3 or 4 (most hazardous) on the General Plan Geoseismic or Slope Stability Maps, a Geotechnical Investigation Report will be required for projects to be deemed complete. If the site is rated 1 or 2, a preliminary Geologic Report will be required. A Geotechnical Investigation may also be required on a more stable site if the use is a defined "critical use" or if the site is downslope of possible debris flow avalanche areas. Additionally, for use permits, subdivisions except lot line adjustments, design review permits and master plan zonings located on artificial fill or on land which has been used by businesses, the preliminary Geotechnical Report would include a preliminary hazardous materials evaluation. If the preliminary evaluation identifies evidence of hazardous materials, a Hazardous Waste Investigation Report will be required. To determine slope stability of the project site, see Appendix F: Geotechnical Review Requirements.
  2. Transportation Impact Analysis. Projects that propose net new commercial square footage and/or residential units, that are requesting a parking modification may be required to submit a Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) to demonstrate consistency with the General Plan or the Congestions Management Plan, as a CEQA compliance requirement, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the Traffic Engineer. More information can be found on line in the City of San Rafael Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines
  3. Arborist Report. Projects involving any construction activity (including excavation, trenching, demolition, paving, storage of materials, and parking of vehicles) within the drip line of a significant tree may be required to submit a report by a certified arborist assessing the project’s impacts on the affected tree(s) (tree may be located either on- or off-site) and recommending preservation measures both during and after construction, as applicable.
  4. Photometric Study. Projects involving the installation of new or modified lighting may be required to submit a photometric study to show that proposed/installed lighting complies with the required Light and Glare standards pursuant to SRMC §14.16.227.
  5. Preliminary Title Report. Projects involving new development, subdivisions, work in public or private rights-of-way, or that on occurs on parcels subject to a recorded easement may be required to submit a preliminary title report.

Additional Information and/or Technical Reports may be required or provided with initial submittal or in response to project completeness.

Close window