Development Review Process
The Planning Division reviews small to large-scale residential and commercial development applications for compliance with the City's Land Development Code and for conformity to adopted city plans, laws, regulations, and ordinances. Certain development projects require review by the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, or Governing Body at a public hearing.
For those projects, the Development Review timeline varies based on the complexity and quality of the application, the total number of plans under review by the department, and public hearing requirements. For applications requiring a public hearing, there are three phases of review: Pre-Application, Development Review, and Public Hearing.
This phase begins with a Pre-Application Conference (Pre-App) (SFCC 14-3.1(E)), where the applicant presents their proposal to the City's Development Review Team (DRT) for initial review and feedback. The DRT is a multi-disciplinary team of City employees who are responsible for reviewing all development and permit applications. The Pre-App is an opportunity to review the proposal for conformity with the general plan, utility accessibility, road and street system capacity, terrain management, and suitability for the proposed project in relation to city codes, regulations, and ordinances. If the applicant wishes to proceed, a case planner is assigned to assist the applicant through the remaining Development Review Process.
The DRT schedules Pre-applications on alternating Thursday mornings. Pre-applications are required at least 15 days before certain applications are submitted. If you would like to request a Pre-application, please complete the request form and email it to email@example.com.
Early Neighborhood Notification
For many applications, the next step is to schedule, notice, and host an Early Neighborhood Notification Meeting (ENN) in coordination with their case planner. The intent of the ENN is to provide for an exchange of information among the applicant, residents, and property owners prior to application submittal. ENN notification requirements are set forth in SFCC 14-3.1(H).
ENNs are conducted online and scheduled Monday – Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm. ENNs must be held at least ten days before an application is submitted.
Intake and Invoicing
Development Review begins once the application and all required submittals are prepared and submitted by the applicant or their agent to the City at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt, the applicant will receive a confirmation email and invoice for all corresponding fees.
All applications received by the monthly application deadline are eligible for review during that cycle. Applications are due to email@example.com on the following Mondays by 5:00 pm:
Initial DRT Review
The initial DRT Review timeline is approximately four weeks, after which the applicant will receive a review memo from their case planner outlining requests for additional information, conditions of approval, and technical corrections identified in the initial review period. To stay on track, the applicant/agent must submit revised materials within two weeks from receipt of the initial review memo. All correspondence between the applicant/agent and members of the DRT must be coordinated through the case planner.
Secondary DRT Review
The DRT will conduct a secondary review of the revised application in approximately three weeks, after which the applicant will receive a final review memo either requesting additional revisions or confirming the application is complete. It may move forward to a public hearing.
The timeline for the Development Review Phase can range from 9-12+ weeks depending on the complexity and quality of the application and the total number of plans under review by the department.
The Planning Commission meets on the first Thursday of the month to review and approve proposals for new development projects in the City of Santa Fe. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Governing Body on requests for rezonings, master plans, annexations, and amendments to the City's Land Development Code. Applications requiring approval by the Governing Body must coordinate with their case planner and planning manager to schedule a public hearing in front of the Governing Body.
The seven-member Board of Adjustment meets as needed on the first Tuesday of the month to review and decide appeals of final actions of the Land Use Director, requests for special use permits, and variances associated with single-family residential construction.
Public Hearing agendas are finalized approximately three weeks prior to the hearing date.
Applicants must coordinate with their case planner and planning administrator to ensure all notification requirements of Chapter 14 are met for public hearings as set forth in SFCC 14-3.1(H).
Resource FAQs and Administrative Review
The Planning Division provides information, guidance, and assistance on a variety of administrative processes, including zoning verification letters, general public inquiries, preliminary zoning reviews, building permit reviews, administrative lot splits, and lot line adjustments.
The City’s interactive GIS map has information on current zoning, overlay districts, parks, short-term rental locations, and commercial cannabis retail locations, among other details. Please click here to visit the City’s Interactive GIS Mapping website.
The City’s Constituent Services Office has an online dashboard for constituents to submit concerns or questions. Click here to use the Report and Request tool.
The City’s Land Development Code (Chapter 14) is available online. Article 14-6, Permitted Uses and Regulations, provides information about uses that are permitted, prohibited, or require special use permit approval.
The City’s Land Development Code (Chapter 14) is available online. Walls and Fences provide maximum fence and wall heights for residential and nonresidential development.
All Planning and Land Use ENNs are hosted online. Information about upcoming ENN meetings, Planning Commission hearings, and all other public board meetings are available at the City’s Primegov public portal.
For additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To request a Zoning Verification Letter, please provide a written request including property address, current and proposed uses, company/owner name, contact information, and purpose of the request to email@example.com. Zoning Verification letters cost $75 per letter/property address. Payment must be received prior to formal issuance.
For cannabis-related businesses, please include the Cannabis Zoning Verification Letter and email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City’s Land Development Code allows administrative review of subdivisions and summary subdivisions, commonly known as lot line adjustments, lot consolidations, and lot splits. Applications are available online. Applications and all required submittals are due electronically as PDFs to email@example.com.
Prior to submitting an application for a Historic Design Review Board (HDRB) review, all applicants must first obtain a Historic Preliminary Zoning Review from the Current Planning Department. The HPZR does not grant zoning approval for a building permit but allows applicants to move forward to the HDRB for historic approvals. Following approval from the HDBR, a final zoning review will be performed at the time of the building permit. The HPZR application is available online. Applicants must submit complete and accurate information for review to firstname.lastname@example.org. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Prior to submitting a commercial building permit, applicants may request or be referred for a Commercial Preliminary Zoning Review with the Current Planning Department. The CPZR does not grant zoning approval for a building permit but may facilitate a faster permit review process by identifying zoning compliance issues early in the process. A final zoning review will be performed at the time of the building permit. The CPZR application is available online. Applicants must submit complete and accurate information to email@example.com. Incomplete applications will not be processed.