The level of Landmarks Commission Design Review varies based on whether the project involves a ministerial permit only or a project that includes a discretionary permit; and includes the activities below that may affect historic or potentially historic resources:
- Repair, alter, add to the exterior, or relocate an existing structure
- Construct a new structure
- Demolish an existing structure
If property is a designated County Landmark or has Historic District (HD) Zoning, Landmarks Commission Design Review is required and the Landmarks Commission (or Landmarks Commission staff) is the decision making body. Examples of ministerial permits include building permits and demolition permits. Design Review approval must be obtained before the building permit can be issued.
If property is a designated County Landmark, has Historic District (HD) Zoning, is in the Historic Resource Inventory indicating that it is potentially eligible for historic designation, or there is other evidence that it could be eligible for historic designation, then a referral to Landmarks Commission staff by the Project Review Planner is required.
The referral is to determine:
- if a Historic Resource Survey or Evaluation is required; and
- if the project requires review and recommendation at a Landmarks Commission meeting
For discretionary permits (e.g. Use Permits), the Landmarks Commission acts in an advisory role to the decision making body authorized to approve the discretionary permit – such as the Board of Zoning Adjustments. For discretionary projects that are referred to the Landmarks Commission for recommendation, no additional application or fee to the Landmarks Commission is required because such discretionary projects are typically processed on an “At-Cost” which recovers all of the Permit Sonoma staff’s time associated with the project review.