COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

110 S. Pine Street, No. 101
Santa Maria, CA 93458

The Community Development Department is responsible for the planning and building divisions functions. Staff reviews all residential, commercial and industrial projects in the City. The Planning Division writes and updates the City's General Plan and Specific Plans including the Downtown Specific Plan. Staff reviews all projects for zoning compliance, processes land division applications, and processes all environmental assessments and reports. The Building Division regulates building and associated construction activities to protect public health, safety and welfare pursuant to uniform construction codes governing land use and code enforcement. The staff's activities include building plan review and inspection during construction.

Reduced Office hours
Due to a reduction in staffing, as approved by the City Council on June 21, 2011, the Community Development Departmentís counter hours are 9:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00-4:00 p.m. You may reach us by phone during business hours (8:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m.).

Additionally, over-the-counter permits will be processed and ready the following day.

photo of Larry Appel, Director of Community Development LARRY APPEL
Director of Community Development

City Phone: (805) 925-0951 x240
City Fax: (805) 928-7565
E-mail

EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT:

  • B.A. Environmental Studies (U.C. Santa Barbara)
  • A.S. Biology (Santa Barbara City College)
  • Certificate of Post-Graduate Education, Supervisory Skills (U.C. Extension)
  • Director, Community Development Department, City of Santa Maria
  • Acting Director, Development Services, El Dorado County
  • Deputy Director, Development Services - Planning, El Dorado County
  • Senior Planner, Planning and Development, County of Santa Barbara
  • Environmental Specialist, Senior Environmental Planner, and Supervising District Planner, County of Santa Barbara
  • Environmental Specialist, Interface Planning, Santa Barbara

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

  • Member, Allan Hancock College Concert Band
  • Member, Grace Baptist Church
  • Rancho Verde HOA, past Recording Secretary
  • El Camino Jr. High School, PTC past member

PERSONAL:

  • Marital status: Married 33 years
  • Children: Two
  • General interests: Scuba, long-distance bicycling, music, and photography

DESCRIPTION OF RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Community Development Department Director is responsible for Current and Advance Planning, maintenance of the General Plan, Specific Plans, and Secretary to the Planning Commission. The Community Development Director is responsible for the Building Division which processes and checks all plans for compliance with the building codes, processes all building permits and inspects all buildings. The Community Development Director is also the "Environmental Officer," "Noise Control Officer," "Secretary to the Planning Commission," and "Zoning Administrator."

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Mission Statement
To plan for the orderly growth of the City, consistent with the goals and objectives of the community's General Plan, to process projects quickly and efficiently consistent with the public's interest and safety in mind, and to provide departmental services in a courteous and responsible manner.

2013-14 Goals/Objectives

  1. Successfully work with the owner of the Town Center mall to bring to fruition renovations to the mall, to include the opening of the new theater, way finder signage and new parking orientations in selected lots.
  2. Continue to be an active and engaged member of the Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Commission while developing additional public/private partnerships.
  3. Continue to revise and update the Downtown Specific Plan to meet the interests and values of the community.
  4. Complete the Entrada Specific Plan update which covers the Broadway and Main Street corridors (State Highways 135 and 166).
  5. Prepare for consideration revisions to the Santa Maria Municipal Code or new ordinances as needed to address concerns of the community.
  6. Continue to operate the mobile home maintenance inspection program and distribute the recently revised staff-developed mobile home reference booklet to all mobile home parks within the City.
  7. Provide training for all Building Inspectors to successfully pass the CASp (accessibility certification) exam so that the City is in full compliance with State regulations.
  8. With implementation of the 2013 Building Codes in January 2014, continue to update Building forms and exhibits to reflect the most recent Code amendments.
  9. Develop and implement a policy in the Building Division for Storm Water Management that will be used for plan check and inspection verification.
  10. Evaluate zoning districts and propose amendments to the City Council in order to address current and future needs of the economy to foster job growth.