November 19, 2015

Entitlement Services

The process of vetting a property and initiating the process with the county or municipality having jurisdiction over that property is known as Entitlement. It seems that it would be really straightforward, but many newer developers or owner developers are often caught off guard with the intricacies, the time and the expense involved with getting a property through the entitlement process.

To make matters worse, every jurisdiction has a different way of getting through the process so the lack of consistency makes it even more challenging to understand the best method for getting your project approved. At JPC, we help you avoid the costly wrong turns and work diligently to keep a tight grip on your expected timeline. After all, time is money.

To provide a little more insight into the entitlement process, we have to take a few steps backward to the Site Investigation Report. This is the report that tells you all about the property and what the city or county sees as the best intended use according to the General Plan.

On the real estate sales side, it is our job as your broker to make sure you are in the right property. In other words, that the designated use is suited for the purpose you desire to use it for after improvements are complete. As a broker, we can only verify at a high-level that the property is suitable for your intended use. This is the equivalent of a Tier 2 Site Investigation Report which we provide you at no charge when you purchase a property through us.

What really matters when you are ready to pull the trigger though, is what the city or county thinks of your intended use. A common misconception is that a property can be used for a purpose if the purpose fits into the right zoning category. This is not true. Here is where you need to take the extra step and, as a component of the negotiation, make sure the jurisdictional agency is on board with your vision.

There are any number of reasons a project can be denied even if it conforms to zoning or use so the best hedge is to communicate your intended purpose with the city or county to understand any roadblocks you may face before you consummate the sale or purchase. This is one purpose of a Tier 1 Site Investigation Report. The second purpose of this working document is to use it as a roadmap for navigating through Planning Approval.

Also known as the Entitlement Process, getting through planning approval entitles the owner or developer to obtain permits for the construction of the project as approved. To obtain this approval, a proposed project has to get through a number of departments that will check everything from grading to structure to landscaping to ensure it conforms to the overall vision of the community.

Whether you are an experienced or novice developer, the professional staff at JPC can help you through the process. Our mission is to protect your position and your assets.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please let us know.