What is the difference between an entitlement and ministerial approval?


Entitlements provide individuals and groups (e.g., corporations, trusts, etc.) the legal rights to develop and permit a project. Many developments cannot be built until an entitlement has been approved. For example, significant cuts to the grade on a property requires the review and approval of a Grading Plan Modification (GPM); new commercial buildings require the review and approval of an Architectural Control (AC). The zoning code identifies appropriate uses and development standards for a property. However, the city may require an entitlement review to ensure the cities design guidelines and environmental requirements are being met. 

Ministerial projects in comparison, can be built solely through permits. These kinds of permits or projects have shorter processing time frames, don’t involve public hearings, and are approved administratively by a Department Director or City staff. This is often the case with Building permits, where a project that has already received an entitlement will have its corresponding Building permit approved ministerially by City staff.

Show All Answers

1. What do Cities do?
2. What is Planning’s role in City government?
3. What is a General Plan?
4. What is Land Use?
5. What is a Municipal Code?
6. What is Zoning?
7. What is the difference between an entitlement and ministerial approval?
8. How do I know which entitlements I need for a project?
9. How do I find property information?
10. How do I locate property boundaries?
11. How do I know the zoning of a property?
12. How do I view or request a copy of building permits or building plans?
13. What are the development standards for my property’s zoning district?
14. What are the setbacks for a property?
15. Where do you measure setbacks from?
16. What are the requirements for submitting plans?
17. How do I look up information on Major Development Projects in the City?
18. How do I look up the status of a building permit?
19. How can I verify permits for a property?
20. How much do permits cost?
21. How do I use the City Interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) map portal layers?
22. Are short term rentals allowed?
23. Where can I locate the Planning Commission Agendas and Reports?
24. Where can I attend a City Council or a Planning Commission Meeting?
25. Where can I submit questions for the Planning Division?
26. What new housing developments are in the City?
27. What is an ADU?
28. Can I build an ADU on my single-family residential lot?
29. Do I need to provide parking for my ADU?
30. Where are the cities major transit stops or high-quality transit corridors?
31. Do I need a permit to build a block wall, fence, or a retaining wall?
32. Do I need a permit for a business sign?
33. How do I find if my commercial unit has a sign program?
34. What is a SB 9 or an Urban Lot Split?
35. What is the City’s protected ridgeline and ridgeline buffer?
36. Are planning entitlement project applications accepted online?
37. Where can the public access environmental documents and public records?
38. What does “non-conforming” mean?
39. How do I determine if a property is located within a flood zone?
40. What is the required setback for a pool or spa?
41. How do I file an appeal?
42. What types of affordable housing are available?
43. Do I need a tree removal permit to remove a tree on my property?
44. What protected trees are identified as heritage trees?
45. Does my property have a historic designation?
46. What are AB 2011 and SB 6?
47. What is AB 2097?
48. What are the requirements for a landscape or outdoor project in my residential yard?
49. Which jurisdiction should be contacted for mobile home repairs?