Sustainable Development & Planning

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Question and Answers 
These questions are from Leads Club members trying to learn about my services.

Q1. How do you explain what you do in simple words?
A.   I am a Land Use Consultant/a Zoning Planner and help you navigate the Building Permit process to get you a Building Permit.  Such permits are required to:
·      build new homes and remodel older homes as well as granny units,
·       to produce certain agriculture crops,
·       approval for subdivisions,
·       commercial projects, and much more.
·       I specialize on ‘’green projects’’ but work with all projects.

I resolve Red Tags as described in the next question and conduct workshop and presentations on Sustainability principles.  I use a Sustainability Template that helps my clients make sustainable decisions.

Q2.  How do you handle a Red Tag (County Code Violation)?
A. There are 4 parts in taking care of a Red Tag:  
·      Determine the Sections of the Code which were violated and contact the Code Enforcement Officer who issued the Notice of Violation.  At times the entire scope of the job can be determined just by completing this step.
·       Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis to evaluate if it is a benefit to remove or demolish the work done without a permit or to proceed and get it recognized and approved. (This will include a Preliminary Property Evaluation Protocol*1).
·       Select professionals or assemble a professional team to prepare the blue prints to be submitted to the County or other local jurisdiction.  Planning Departments do not approve anything without a piece of paper they can stamp APPROVED on.
·       Submit the application to the local jurisdiction and respond to their comments back and forth till the project is approved; (this is called “processing the plans” to acquire the Building Permit.)

There are 2 phases in the approval process.  Receiving the Zoning Clearance and then submitting plans for Building Department Plan Check.
·       Zoning Clearance is first and is a conceptual review mostly looking at the impact of the project on the environment and the community, with issues related to environmental restrictions, such as riparian areas, endangered species, land use/development standards, and basic infrastructure and public services, such as fire prevention, water supply etc.
·       Building Department Plan Check looks at the structure/building or house itself, its systems like plumbing, energy conservation, foundations, structural,etc.

Involvement of Contractors--Usually involving Contractors comes in after I processed the plans and acquired the Building Permit.  Unless, the project is really simple and does not require any zoning type of work then a Contractor or the Designer or Architect may accept to take care of the project themselves directly, and I can save the Client money.  I make this determination in the beginning during the Preliminary Evaluation Protocol*1.

Q3. Talk about zoning for residential versus commercial in the City of Capitola.
A. Capitola has many Zoning Districts and the Code tries to protect the residential areas from tourist traffic and activities.  Although, there are many vacation homes in Capitola.  The population of Capitola may go from 10,000 to 50,000 people during Summer/vacation months, so the restrictions need to be substantial to encourage the natural market while protecting the community. Pls let me know if you need more info. 

Q4. How do out of area owners affect your ADU/home plans/permit  processing business?
A. Out of the area property owners are those that profit the most from my business as they do not need to travel and spend many hours waiting to be attended at the County or City offices or monitoring their house construction; in addition, I have a network of professionals that have the respect of County officials and it makes it so much easy and cost-effective for them to hire someone like me to be their Agent.

Q5. You frequently talk about “County” but I live in the “City”- Can you compare County and City planning?

The answer is coming up next week! Come back and check it out!  If you have questions I can try answering them.  I also offer a 15 minutes free phone or Face time Consultation.  Please text me at: (831)334 2383

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