Much of the Planning Commission’s work is devoted to hearing Neighborhood Compatibility Applications. The purpose of the Neighborhood Compatibility Application process and Neighborhood Compatibility Application Guidelines are to preserve the natural scenic character of the City by establishing minimum standards relating to the siting and massing of either a new structure or the remodel of an existing structure in a neighborhood. This is to assure, to the greatest extent practicable, that the resulting structures are compatible with the neighborhoods within which they are located.
Generally, new and remodeled homes maintain compatibility with the neighborhood when they:
• Have appropriate volume, massing, height and scale,
• Use materials and designs that conform with the surroundings,
• Are positioned so they do not block light and views, and
• Minimize privacy impacts to surrounding properties.
When a Neighborhood Compatibility Application is received by the City, City staff will review the application for completeness and accuracy. The Neighborhood Compatibility Application process includes the provision of notice to potentially affected neighbors and the opportunity to address concerns before the Planning Commission hears the application. If complete, the application will then be placed on a Planning Commission agenda. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the application, and those in support of or in opposition to the application will have an opportunity to express their opinions and concerns.
The Planning Commission may approve, approve with conditions, deny or continue the application. The applicant or any property owner entitled to notice of the hearing, may, within fifteen days after the date of the Planning Commission decision, appeal the Planning Commission’s decision to the City Council. The City Council may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application. The decision of the City Council is final. Any unauthorized alteration after approval by the Commission and/or City Council may require that the plan be resubmitted for approval before a building or grading permit can be issued.
Please contact the Planning Department at (310) 378-0383 with any questions on proposed new single family residences, additions and remodeling which may trigger neighborhood compatibility, grading, variance, miscellaneous, or coastal development review. Structures within set-back areas often need approval as well.
Preliminary approval by the Palos Verdes Homes Association is also required for most projects and involves a separate process.
Please review the following web-link for helpful tools and guidelines: Guidelines for Building & Remodeling.