Application Procedures

It is the goal of the Planning Office to assist homeowners and design professionals in securing prompt approval of their projects from the Architecture and Design Review Board (ADRB). To accomplish this, incomplete applications, applications with code inconsistencies, and/or applications which have not met the town’s Residential Design Guidelines will not be accepted.

Application Tips

In planning your project, please keep in mind the following:

  • Meeting schedule - Please review the annual ADRB calendar here: ADRB meeting schedule (PDF) Please contact the Planning Office at 650-375-7422 to confirm meeting dates and required filing deadlines. You may also sign up for notifications of upcoming meeting agendas or schedule changes through E-notify online.
  • Contact staff early - Make an appointment with a Planner at least 2 days prior to your desired appointment date. Complete applications are scheduled on the ADRB agenda on a first-come first-served basis.
  • File the application early - To increase chances that your application will be scheduled for your desired ADRB meeting date, make an appointment to submit your application on a date well in advance of the final filing deadline. The ADRB requires that only complete applications be accepted. If you wait to submit on the final filing deadline and the application is not complete, it may not be possible for the application to be submitted for that particular meeting agenda. 
  • Neighbor issues – The ADRB strongly encourages you to discuss the project with the surrounding neighbors at an early stage in project development to address any project issues early on in the design process. It is encouraged to conduct outreach to all neighbors within the 500-foot radius of the project site. This public outreach should occur prior to meeting with Planning staff, to identify any neighbor concerns and incorporate "good neighbor" design solutions into your project whenever possible.

Filing an ADRB Application

Step 1: Pre-Application Meeting with a Planner - A pre-application meeting with a Planner to review an application is required. A half hour pre-application meeting is included in the ADRB application fee; only one meeting should be necessary in most circumstances. This meeting will be used to review one set of plans and required application materials. If additional meetings with a Planner are needed, the cost of staff time will be charged. Call the Planning Office at 650-375-7422 to schedule an appointment, our front counter staff are happy to set appointments.

Step 2: Submittal to the Planning Office - No appointments are required to submit for ADRB review once you have completed the pre-application meeting with Planning staff. Please note that all required application materials must be submitted at this time. As noted above, incomplete applications may cause scheduling delays for your ADRB meeting date. Please remember to inform the property owner / occupant of the property that each individual ADRB member will conduct a site visit in advance of the scheduled meeting. If there are any site access restrictions, please inform staff of this early in the ADRB process.

If you have questions about the application requirements, please call the Planning Office at 650-375-7422.

Note: The ADRB process involves all applications for a new house receiving a Preliminary Review (PDF) by the ADRB at a scheduled meeting before a formal application may be submitted. If you wish to receive ADRB preliminary comments on any other type of application (which can be beneficial in developing your plans towards a successful approval), you may also submit for the Preliminary Review.

Preparing for ADRB Meetings

In order to best prepare you for the ADRB experience, we invite you to attend a meeting before your project is being presented. This will provide you a good understanding of the process, the level of design review and the types of questions and comments that may arise. One week prior to the ADRB, you should submit a PowerPoint presentation to the Planning Office including all of your design and landscape plan sets and any other visuals you would like to present. We advise a presentation time of ten minutes to allow for questions and answers, public comment and then ADRB deliberation on the project. You will be provided equipment to control your presentation and are welcome to come in for a dress rehearsal prior to the meeting. Staff will not be managing your presentation so please make sure you are familiar with the equipment. 

Key Dates for ADRB Applicants

Once you have submitted a complete application for review by the ADRB, a series of deadlines must be met in order to comply with notification requirements and story pole requirements. Staff will review and approved your story pole plan and provide you with an approval letter notifying you of the deadlines for installation and certification.

During the ADRB review process, Planning staff will prepare the public notice, which is required to be mailed to property owners within a 500-ft radius from the project site 15 days prior to the scheduled ADRB meeting.

Please note that if the deadlines are not met, it will result in a continuation to the following or future ADRB meeting date. As always, Planning staff remains availabel and happy to answer any questions and assist you through the process.