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Review Process

Depending on the type of project, review and approvals could be required by city staff, the Carlsbad Planning Commission and/or the City Council.  In some cases, public notice through mailings and signage is required.

  • The applicant must obtain discretionary approval from the city for such aspects of the project as zoning compliance, mapping, and conditional use permits, if needed, before the city can issue a building or construction permit.  
  • The city has four principal areas of review on development projects once they have obtained their discretionary approvals: final/parcel map review, grading and improvement plans, landscape plans and building plans.
  • Although building permits can be processed simultaneously with the discretionary review process, applicants run the risk of spending money when the project might be changed during the discretionary review process, or it might not receive the necessary discretionary approvals as currently proposed.
  • New information: March 2017 - The city has released helpful information related to how development projects demonstrate compliance with the city's approved Climate Action Plan.  For more information, visit the codes and policies page.  

The city's goal is to provide the best information to project applicants as early in the process as possible, allowing them to make timely business decisions. At the same time, the city strives to ensure that members of the public receive timely information about projects that may affect them, so all interested parties can provide input to the city during its decision-making process.