Land Use Review Process Summary
The Planning Department coordinates discretionary reviews through a land use review process. The various review types, requirements and fees are listed on the Land Use Review Application Form. Before beginning your project, it is highly recommended that you first complete a Pre-application Review.
A pre-application review will help you understand how city codes and regulations apply to your specific project. An interdepartmental staff team is available to answer questions about how applicable regulations and application requirements may affect your project. Pre-application review is optional, but highly recommended for certain types of projects. Please read the Pre-application Review Brochure to determine if a pre-application review is relevant for your project.
Applying for Land Use Review
Submitting your Application
You can request a Land Use Review by completing and filing an application at the Planning and Development Services (P&DS) Center. Land Use Review and Technical Document Review applications must be submitted by 10 a.m. on either the first and third Monday of each month.
A case manager is assigned to each application and manages the land use review process for the individual project. The case manager also serves as the primary contact for the project in interactions with other city departments, the applicant and the public. For more information and to download the Land Use Review application, visit the Land Use Review page.
Each application is assigned to a "track" based on the availability of staff resources. The track determines the schedule of the review process and helps applicants gauge how long the review will take. Once a review track has been assigned, the city commits to this time schedule. However, the schedule may be accelerated or delayed based on the applicant's response time, the number of revisions, and the work volume of staff, the Planning Board and City Council.
The land use review process includes review by the Development Review Committee (DRC), which is made up of representatives from city departments and other referral agencies. Each representative provides review and comment about how the application complies with code and policy requirements within their area of responsibility. When the interests of individual departments diverge, the Policy Resolution Group (PRG), made up of supervisors from P&DS and the City Attorney's Office, works to reach a consensus.
Initial Review and Review of Revised Plans
Public notice, via mail and a posted sign on the property, is required during the initial review. The P&DS Center will provide you with a sign that you are responsible for posting on the property.
The review committee ensures that the project conforms to development standards and requirements, and may evaluate the project using qualitative design criteria. Following the project's initial review, P&DS will provide you with development review results, which include a summary of the city's findings, a list of requirements and informational comments. These results are issued approximately three weeks after the start of the assigned review track.
Depending on the results of this initial review, you may want to meet with your case manager to review and discuss the city's comments. Revisions or a written request for continuance must be submitted within 60 days from the date of city comments; otherwise, staff will either take action on the latest plans on file or void the application. Revised applications are evaluated by the DRC and review of revision comments are issued by the case manager within 15 working days after the start of the assigned review track. You can file up to two revisions for each project.
Note: Your initial application fee only covers the first review and the development review results and comments. Any additional time spent by staff after this point is subject to hourly billing or revision fees, when applicable.
Once the review is complete, the Planning Department either issues a staff decision or refers the project to the Planning Board or City Council. For site review, use review and subdivision (at final plat) review, the staff review team issues a "Notice of Disposition" stating the decision and listing any conditions of approval. These decisions become final after a 14-day "call-up" period. During this period, the decision may be called up by the Planning Board for a final decision or appealed to the board by the applicant or any interested person. Planning Board decisions are also issued as dispositions and are final after a 30-day call-up period, during which they may be called up for review by City Council. Decisions by Planning Board and City Council are made following public hearings at regularly scheduled meetings.
Some types of Land Use Review applications do not have dispositions issued and follow a slightly different review process at the time of the project decision. For additional information about the decision process for a particular application type, search for the application type in the P&DS Form, Application and Publication Database or contact the P&DS Center.
Technical Document Review and Permit Review
Most Land Use Review applications require city review and approval of the final technical documents associated with the project. Visit the Technical Document Review page to learn more about the types of projects that require a technical document review. The Technical Document Review process is similar to the Land Use Review process, with the same application deadlines, but no hearings are involved.
Expiration of Approval
For site and use reviews, you must begin and substantially complete an approved project within three years from the date of final approval, or according to the project's approved development schedule. If a project is not completed within this time frame, the approval will expire. You can request administrative extension of the development approval if your project is not on schedule. Up to two six-month extensions can be granted by staff. After that, extensions can only be granted by the Planning Board, after a public hearing and proof from the applicant that reasonable effort has been made to complete the project.
For more information about the land use review process, read the Review Processes (9-2) and Public Notice, Decisions, and Approval (9-4) chapters of the Boulder Revised Code.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 February 2013 12:41