Requirements for Entitlements

Steps to Receive an Entitlement 

Download the Planning Commission Entitlement Process Chart for a visual representation of the entitlement process.

After Submission of Application

Once an application is submitted, it is reviewed by various City departments for code compliance and any concerns department members may have. Any comments are returned to the applicant, who then addresses the comments. Once all the comments are addressed to the satisfaction of each applicable department, the application is assigned to a Planning Commission meeting date. Planning Department staff then prepares the agenda packet and distributes it to the Planning Commission.

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At the Planning Commission Meeting

A representative for the application should attend the meeting in case the Planning Commission has questions. Staff will provide the Planning Commission and the audience a short presentation of the application. There will be a time for the applicant and any other member of the audience to speak. After hearing any public comments, the Planning Commission will deliberate and either approve, deny, or continue the application request.

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Appealing a Planning Commission Decision

All Planning Commission decisions may be appealed to the City Council for final consideration. Approvals or denials may be appealed by the applicant or any member of the public to the City Council within certain times frames.

  • For areas within the Coastal Zone, appeals must be filed within five (5) working days of the decision.
  • For Non-Coastal Zone areas, appeals must be filed within ten (10) working days of the decision.

Applications for filing an appeal are available at the Community Development Department, should be submitted directly to the City Clerk's office, and must be accompanied with the appropriate filing fee (as established by the Master Fee Schedule). After the Public Hearing regarding the appeal, the City Council may affirm, overturn, revise or modify the decision of the Planning Commission.

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Order of the Planning Commission Meeting

The Chairperson calls the meeting to order. Agenda items for discussion will be announced by the Chair, and the meeting proceeds as follows.

  • Planning Department staff will present the staff report, which will include a recommendation to be considered by the commission.
  • The Commissioners will be asked if they have any questions of staff on the project.
  • The public hearing will be opened. The project applicant or representative will be asked to present any further information that would be useful to the Commission. At this time, the Commissioners may direct questions to the applicant.
  • The public will be asked for comment or testimony about the item being considered. The Commission desires to hear all persons who want to give testimony. Those speaking in favor are asked to speak first, followed by those in opposition.
  • The project applicant or representative will be offered an opportunity for rebuttal or to clarify information previously presented.
  • The hearing will be closed to further public testimony and the Commissioners will be asked for their comments and a decision on the proposal in the form of a motion.
  • Following a motion, a second of the motion, and any further discussion by the Commissioners, the question on the motion will be called and a vote of the Commission will be recorded. Tie votes are recorded as a failure to pass the motion.

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Presenting Testimony at the Meeting

The Planning Commission is interested in the specific reasons you are for or against a proposal. The Commission's decision needs to be based on specific reasons, such as: consistency with the Grover Beach General Plan, architectural compatibility, appropriateness of land use, development guidelines, and the general health, safety, and well-being of the community.


Planning Commission hearings can involve highly emotional issues, so it is important we practice courtesy and treat each other with dignity and respect. In order to assure meaningful and timely conduct of the business at hand, we respectfully request you observe the following guidelines:

  • If you decide to speak, please come to the podium, give your name and address for the record.
  • Tell the Commission your concerns. We want your views so don't worry about how to say them.
  • All remarks must be addressed to the Chair who will make sure your presentation is not interrupted, but may ask for clarification on a point you are making.
  • At the end of your testimony, Commissioners may ask you questions in order to clarify your views.
  • Conversation or debate between a speaker at the podium and a member of the audience is not permitted.
  • Please keep your comments as brief as possible. If several people have spoken, try not to be repetitious. The Chair may limit the time of testimony - usually not more than three minutes for individuals and six minutes for a group representative. Focus on the most important facts you want considered.
  • Written testimony is helpful and may be submitted for the record at the meeting or for consideration in advance of the actual hearing.
  • The Planning Commission welcomes comments, however the Brown Act prevents the Commission from taking action on items not on the agenda.

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After the Meeting

If an appeal was not filed, the applicant comes to the office and signs the resolution the Planning Commission adopted. If the application was to operate a business, then staff can also sign the Business Tax Certificate application. If the application was for construction, plans may then be submitted for permit review.

If an appeal was filed, then the application is reviewed by the City Council in a meeting similar to that of the Planning Commission.

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