Development Review Committee (DRC)

What It Is

The City of Petaluma’s Development Review Committee (DRC) was formed in 2011 as a way to expedite the permitting process for business without compromising the City’s commitment to safety and smart growth.

The development review team meets weekly to review pending development applications and discuss fees, requirements and next steps with applicants. The DRC will review plans at any stage–enabling business owners, architects, engineers and other relevant parties to identify and address concerns as early as possible in the development process.

DRC members are manager-level staff representing Planning, Long Range Planning, Fire, Building, Public Works, Building, Engineering, Neighborhood Preservation, Fire Prevention, Police, and Economic Development.

DRC meetings are as much about brainstorming solutions as they are about informing project leads about potential problems. The interactive, team approach helps everyone—DRC members as well as applicants—stay on “the same page” as a project progresses.

How It Works

DRC meetings take place every Thursday morning (with some exceptions) and include DRC members and invited guests (e.g., applicants or other city staff).

At the meeting, applicants have an opportunity to present their project in its current stage. DRC members take turns assessing the project, asking questions of the applicant or each other, and then making a recommendation or requesting follow-up actions by the applicant. Throughout the meeting, the applicants and the DRC members engage in useful dialogue about the project. At the end of the session, DRC members reiterate next steps required of the applicant.

An agenda for each meeting is prepared up to a week in advance based on requests by DRC members and applicants. Projects are given an allotted amount of time (usually between 45 and 60 minutes) on the agenda.

Applicants are asked to submit relevant documents to the DRC coordinator a week before the meeting to ensure DRC members have ample time to review the project before the designated meeting. Applicants are invited, but not required, to attend meetings at which their projects are being discussed.

To request an appointment, email

Why It Matters

City staff and members of the business/development community cite many positives of the DRC format, including:

An Expedited Permitting Process
Projects move more quickly through the approval process because communication between applicants and city staff happens efficiently.

Better Relationships
Mutual respect develops earlier in each project as all the parties involved see each other working diligently and in good faith.

A Stronger City
With a city government that’s effective and efficient, and a business community that’s in tune with the needs of Petaluma’s citizens, Petaluma is able to retain its economic health as well as its charm.

The Development Review Team

Planning coordinates, as well attends, the meeting each week. This department answers questions about zoning requirements and use permits.

The Building Division provides input about the safety, design, and construction requirements your project might trigger.

Representatives from Public Works and Engineering advise applicants about city requirements related to public streets and sidewalks, waterways, water and wastewater, and utilities.

Fire Prevention helps applicants ensure their buildings and business processes meet fire and life safety codes.

Economic Development is a liaison between the City and the applicant.

The Police Department provides feedback about general public safety as well as requirements related to alcohol production, distribution, or sales.

Petaluma’s Neighborhood Preservation officer addresses questions about mobile businesses, parking, and other code enforcement issues.



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