Planning Review Process

Blue prints with a ruler and pen on it
Process Overview
Most projects are required to go through the Planning Review Process depending on the parcel's zoning requirements and the type of project proposed. We encourage all applicants to meet with Planning staff early in the process to ensure project feasibility and compatibility with City standards.

Preapplication Review
The submittal is an optional courtesy review by Planning staff, which provides applicants with preliminary feedback on development proposals prior to submitting a formal application. It does not typically include review by other departments.

What to Bring

  • 1 set of scaled, dimensioned plans. 
  • Detailed description of project
Submitting an Application
Once the preapplication process concludes, a formal application will need to be submitted. Once the application packet is determined to be complete, most projects will take 8-12 weeks to process. Some projects may take longer than others depending on environmental impacts and other considerations.

To minimize delay and duplication, the Planning Division encourages applicants to apply for all the discretionary permits and approvals needed for the review of their project(s) at the same time. The concurrent review of these applications will also facilitate the environmental review process. Where the same information is required for more than one permit or approval, it is not necessary to duplicate the information submitted.

What to Bring
  • 1 completed Application.
  • 1 full set of plans in PDF format.
  • 1 full set of plans reduced to 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
  • 5 full sets of plans reduced to 11 inches by 17 inches and folded.
  • 10 full sets of plans, full-size (24 inches by 36 inches), to scale, dimension and folded.
  • Labels, envelopes, and postage for notices to property owners within a 300 foot radius.
  • List of property owners within 300’ radius of proposed project (prepared by a title company).
  • Payment for Planning and Environmental Fees.
More Information
If you would like more information about the Planning requirements that apply to your project, please contact the Planning Division at 209-863-7124. 

Where to Submit

Planning Division
City of Riverbank
6617 3rd Street
Riverbank, CA 95367
Phone: 209-863-7124

Project Review

All application packets must be received by a Planner to determine if all submittal criteria have been met. A Project Planner will be assigned to process the application and will review the application with staff members from other departments for their input.

Staff Report

When the Project Planner review period has ended and the identified issues have been resolved, the application is scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission. A staff report is written, and a copy is sent to the applicant. The staff report includes staff's recommendation and conditions to be applied to the project.

Public Notification

Public Hearing notices are sent to all property owners within 300 feet of the property at least 10 days prior to the public hearing.

Public Hearing

At the public hearing, the project may be approved or denied. Staff provides an oral report on the proposal and the staff recommendation. The applicant is then given an opportunity to address the commission, and members of the public are asked for input. The commission will then make its decision of approval or denial.


During a 10-day period after the public hearing, the applicant or members of the public may appeal the commission's decision to the City Council by filing a letter of appeal with the City Clerks Office (a fee will be required). Denials by City Council cannot be appealed.

Post-Application Information

Subsequent to project approval there may be additional processes required before a project can be constructed, such as obtaining a Building Permit; additional fees may be incurred.