Appeals

Who can use this service?

Any aggrieved person (including the applicant) may file an appeal within the applicable time limit of the decision being appealed.

Is there a charge for this service?

Please refer to the Department of Planning & Building Fee Schedule for application fees.

What is the process?

Step 1: File Appeal

The appellant files the completed appeal form (coastal or inland, or negative declaration determination) and pays any required fees within the time limit applicable to the decision being appealed.

Step 2: Review by Staff

Staff reviews the appeal, develops a recommendation based on the merits of the appeal as they relate to applicable ordinances and regulations, and prepares a staff report for the hearing body. The hearing body is dependent upon the circumstances of the appeal.

Step 3: Hold Public Hearing

The hearing body weighs the merits of the appeal as they relate to applicable ordinances and regulations and makes a decision. Depending upon the decision being appealed, this decision may itself be subject to a new appeal.

When and where is this service offered?

Appeals may be filed with the Department of Planning & Building during normal business hours. Coastal Commission appeals* may be filed directly with the Santa Cruz office of the California Coastal Commission.

*PLEASE NOTE: All possible local appeals (those available at each stage of the process) must be exhausted before filing an appeal with the Coastal Commission.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Old County Courthouse Building

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

976 Osos Street Room 200 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5600

Permits/Inspections: (805) 788-2076

Fax: (805) 781-1242

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I appeal an administrative fine?

An Administrative Fine may be appealed within twenty (20) calendar days of the Date of Notice. All Administrative Fine appeals are considered by the Hearing Officer at a Planning Department Hearing. An Administrative fine may only be successfully appealed on the following grounds:

  • The party subject to the fine is not the responsible party;
  • The party subject to the fine was not properly notified; or
  • The party subject to the fine does not own the subject property.

Decisions of the Hearing Officer may be appealed de novo to Superior Court.

How do I appeal a Board of Supervisors decision?

The only decisions by the Board of Supervisors that can be appealed are those that are within the Coastal Zone or otherwise fall under jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission. Those decisions can be appealed to the Coastal Commission within ten (10) working days from the date that the Coastal Commission received the County's Notice of Final Action.

How do I appeal an environmental determination?

An Environmental Determination may be appealed within fourteen (14) calendar days of the Courtesy Notice announcing the determination. Environmental Determination appeals are considered by the body tasked with considering the application that the Environmental Determination is attached to. In cases where there is no body tasked with considering the application, the Environmental Determination appeal is considered by the Hearing Officer at a Planning Department Hearing.

How do I appeal a Director of Planning & Building decision?

A decision by the Director of Planning & Building (or their designee) may be appealed within fourteen (14) calendar days of the decision. All appeals of Director of Planning & Building decisions are considered by the Planning Commission.

How do I appeal a Planning Commission decision?

A decision by the Planning Commission may be appealed within fourteen (14) calendar days of the decision. All Planning Commission appeals are considered by the Board of Supervisors.

How do I appeal a Planning Department Hearing decision?

A decision by the Planning Department Hearing Officer may be appealed within fourteen (14) calendar days of the decision. All Planning Department Hearing appeals are considered by the Board of Supervisors.

How do I appeal a site plan decision?

A decision on a site plan may be appealed within seven (7) calendar days of the decision. All site plan appeals are considered by the Hearing Officer at a Planning Department Hearing. Site plan decisions may only be appealed on the basis of whether or not the proposed use satisfies all applicable provisions of the Land Use Ordinance.

How do I appeal the denial of a curb, gutter, and sidewalk waiver?

Please contact the County's Department of Public Works for details.