Site Plan Review

What is the process?

Step 1: Schedule Pre-Application Meeting (Optional)

A pre-application meeting is intended to aid prospective applicants in understanding the required rules and regulations that apply to their project and to reveal potential problems. The goal of providing a pre-application meeting is to make the permitting process as efficient and understandable as possible. These meetings are typically optional. If the applicant chooses to utilize this process, there is a separate fee that must be paid prior the meeting.

Schedule a Pre-Application Meeting.

Step 2: Complete an Application Package

Step 3: Apply Online

  1. To apply online, click Land Use Permit Application
  2. Click Apply
  3. Log In or Register
  4. Upload the Attachments Required for an Online Submittal before clicking Submit.


***Digital Copies are now required with submission***

Planning staff will look over the application submittal package and contact the primary contact with any questions.

If you would like to learn more about our online services, click here: Learn about PermitSLO.

Step 4: Pay Invoice

Staff will email the billing contact an invoice. Pay invoice here* on PermitSLO.

Once the invoice is paid, the project review timeline will begin.

Please note for all Planning and Building applications, after 15 days of non-payment of invoice, the application will be voided and resubmittal will be required.

Step 5: Application Completeness Review

Department of Planning & Building staff reviews the application for consistency with applicable land use regulations. An application may be deemed incomplete and require additional information, and an information hold letter will be sent to the applicant, or authorized agent for the applicant. If the application is complete, the application will be accepted as complete for processing.

Step 6: Environmental Review

Where a Site Plan Review application is required by Drainage or Combining Designations to include a drainage plan, or where Standards for Specific Land Uses otherwise require an environmental determination, the determination shall occur with Environmental Review.

  1. If Environmental Review will occur, additional fees will be invoiced.
  2. If an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required, the project shall be processed and authorized only as a Conditional Use Permit.
  3. Where no EIR is required, processing shall be as described in Step 4 through Step 9.

Step 7: Review and Approval

The Director shall approve a Site Plan Review application if the proposed project satisfies all applicable provisions of this Title. Where a negative declaration on a Site Plan Review identifies necessary environmental impact mitigation measures, they shall apply to the approved Site Plan Review as conditions of approval. The approval shall become effective for the purpose of building or grading permit issuance, or establishment of a use not involving construction, on the date of approval of the Site Plan Review application unless an appeal is filed 

Step 8: Appeal of Site Plan Review Decision (If Needed)

Any aggrieved person may appeal a Site Plan Review decision as stated in Section 22.70.050 (Appeal) within seven days of the decision; provided the only basis for an appeal, or action on an appeal by the appeal body shall be whether the proposed use satisfies all applicable provisions of this Title.

Step 9: Extend Approval (Optional)

The applicant may apply for a time extension to extend the approval date for one year. The maximum available time extensions are based on the land use entitlement type.

Step 10: Proceed with Entitlement

Approval of a land use permit only entitles the use itself. This approval includes conditions (such as requiring additional approvals from other agencies) and possible mitigation measures that the applicant must comply with. Because only the use is entitled with approval of a land use permit, any construction or grading is subject to separate permits.

Is there a charge for this service?

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

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.

Location, directions and hours of operation

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

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

976 Osos Street Room 200
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5600

Fax: (805) 781-1242

Permits/Inspections: (805) 788-6602


The definitions of the various planning permits are provided on the Land Use Entitlements page.

Ultimately, the use proposed by a land use permit application must be consistent with applicable land use regulations, including but not limited to the County's General Plan, land use ordinances (inland or coastal), and any applicable area and community plans.

Link to the complete Site Plan Review process in the Inland Land Use Ordinance 22.62.040 - Site Plan Review.

There are a number of issues you should consider when developing your project and preparing your application, including:

  • Is my proposed use allowed in the area where it is being proposed?
  • Are there specific standards that apply to the property?
  • What permit fees are required to be paid?
  • What types of permits may be required?
  • Will my proposed use raise any environmental concerns?
  • Is the property near any known hazards?
  • Are utilities available to serve my proposed use?
  • Are existing roads adequate to serve my proposed use?
  • Are there adequate fire safety provisions for my proposed use?

The County, through adoption of various ordinances, has determined that there are certain types of uses that may have an impact on the area in which they are located. These types of uses require the approval of a land use permit, which sets conditions for the use's establishment and operation.

Site Plan Review is required by this Title for projects more intensive than those requiring a Zoning Clearance. Site Plan Review considers the greater effects these uses may have upon their surroundings, and characteristics of adjacent uses that could have detrimental effects upon a proposed use. Like the Zoning Clearance, a Site Plan Review is also a ministerial land use permit. When Site Plan Review is required, application preparation and processing shall occur as follows.

Land use regulations are important because they determine where particular uses can be allowed and what requirements must be met and procedures be completed before a particular use is allowed.