When a property owner wants to use his/her property for a use not allowed by the current zoning, the owner may apply for a zone change. The proposed new zone must be consistent with the City's General Plan. The City Council may act to change the zoning of any property in the City of Santa Rosa.

Steps for Rezoning

Step 1 - File Application

The first step is to file a Rezoning Application with the Department of Community Development and pay the required fees. You may be required to submit a Development Plan and Policy Statement at the time that you submit your application. This requirement depends on the type of development you propose. When you file your application, you will be required to submit 14 copies of scale drawings showing the zoning and existing land uses. Please see the Rezoning Application for a list of submittal requirements.

The Department of Community Development will review the application within thirty days to see if all the needed information was submitted. If all information is not submitted or is found inadequate, you will be notified by mail within fifteen days. That notification will tell you what additional information is required. When the application is complete, it will be assigned to a planner. The planner will refer your proposed project to other City departments and public organizations for their review. The planner will be your contact throughout the process.

Step 2 - Environmental Review

All rezoning applications will require a preliminary environmental review by the planner. The purpose of this review is to see if the project would cause any environmental impacts. You may be required to submit additional information regarding traffic, noise, etc. Following a review of all information, the planner will make the appropriate environmental determination. Please see Environmental Review for details about the environmental process.

Step 3 - Development Advisory Committee

If the application includes a Development Plan and a Policy Statement, it will be scheduled for review by the Development Advisory Committee. This committee will make recommendations about the engineering details of the project. You will be notified of the meeting date and time. The Development Advisory Committee meets each Wednesday, and their meetings are open to the public. Before the meeting, you will receive a draft report that contains the Committee's preliminary conditions and recommendations. These will be finalized and sent to the Planning Commission when the project is scheduled for Commission consideration.

Step 4 - Design Review

If the project application includes a Development Plan and Policy statement it will be scheduled for review by the Design Review Board. The Design Review Board's recommendations will be sent to the Planning Commission. The Design Review Board meetings are open to the public. You will be notified of the meeting date and time. The Design Review Board meets the first and third Thursday of each month. Please refer to Design Review for details.

Step 5 - Planning Commission Action

All rezonings require a public hearing before the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission's role is to recommend either approval or denial of the project to the City Council. The planner will prepare a report with recommendations and forward it to the Planning Commission and to you before the meeting. The Planning Commission meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month. At the Planning Commission meeting you will be given an opportunity to present your proposal. The planner will then present staff's analysis and recommendation. Any member of the public wishing to speak on the matter may do so. Following public comments, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation on your project to the City Council. If denied, the decision may be appealed to the City Council. The appeal must be filed in writing with the City Clerk within 10 calendar days from the date of the Planning Commission action.

Step 6 - City Council Action

If the Planning Commission recommends approval to the City Council, the Council must hold a public hearing before taking final action. The case planner prepares a written report that includes the recommendations of the Planning Commission and forwards it to the City Council. You will receive a copy of the report and will be notified by mail of the date and time of the City Council meeting. City Council meetings are held every Tuesday except the fifth Tuesday of any month. The planner will present the Planning Commission recommendation to the City Council and you will be given an opportunity to present your proposal. Any member of the public is allowed to speak. Following public comments, the City Council will approve or deny your rezoning proposal. The City Council's decision is final.

Other Actions

Approval of the Tentative Map, if proposed, and the Conditional Use Permit if appropriate.