The purpose of the DRB is:

1. To ensure development is compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood and the capacity of the circulation system;

2. To enhance aesthetic qualities of development, protect community oriented uses and enhance the pedestrian orientation of the area;

3. To provide design review guidelines and a process for review and approval;

4. To promote orderly and harmonious development…by prohibiting developments inconsistent with the Specific Plan or inappropriate to their site, surroundings, traffic circulation or environmental setting;

5. To adequately buffer new development from nearby residential users;

6. To assure that the Character of Sunset Blvd (and Pacific Coast Highway) conform to the character of the Commercial Village and assure projects are designed to have an overall unity and beauty, including landscaping enhancing the area's scenic status.



What is the Design Review Board?

The Design Review Board (DRB) is a citizen-led, seven-member Board appointed by Councilmember Mike Bonin. The Board is tasked with reviewing applications for proposed projects in the four Specific Plan Neighborhoods, The Village, Marquez Knolls, PCH-Sunset, and Santa Monica Canyon commercial areas of Pacific Palisades.

Are Design Review Board meetings open to the public?

Yes. Announcements are typically posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting date, consistent with Brown Act requirements.  

What is the Design Guidelines Committee?

The Design Guidelines Committee (DGC) is comprised of seven members, three of whom also serve on the DRB. These members were selected based on their professional qualifications in the fields of architecture, urban planning and design, landscape architecture, and real estate development. This DGC is tasked with developing design guidelines to accompany the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan.

Why do the Design Guidelines need to be rewritten?

The existing Design Guidelines were written in 1997 but never adopted by the Department of City Planning, effectively allowing new commercial development to occur without input on key design features that affect the aesthetics and livability of the Palisades. Residents and community members felt that ongoing growth pressures, demographic changes in the Palisades, and significant changes in the field of urban planning over the last 15 years necessitated a comprehensive update to the Design Guidelines.

What is the expected timeline of the Design Guidelines Committee in finalizing the Guidelines?

The DGC expects to issue draft Guidelines for public comment in 2015.

Will the Design Review Board have any say in Caruso’s redevelopment of the Village?

The Design Review Board will review the plan for conformity to the existing specific plan. 

What area(s) and topics will be covered by the Design Guidelines?

The Design Guidelines will apply only to the four Specific Plan Neighborhood of Pacific Palisades that are currently zoned for commercial uses. This includes both privately-owned parcels and public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks and streets. The Guidelines will cover topics such as landscaping, signage, surface materials, and sustainability.

How will the Design Guidelines fit into the overall City planning process?

All proposed land use changes and new development within the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan area must comply with the Specific Plan’s zoning requirements. The Design Guidelines act as an accompaniment to the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan, providing additional detail on the implementation of various provisions in the Specific Plan.

The Design Guidelines will be considered by the DRB in determining whether proposed projects are consistent with the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan. The DRB’s recommendation will be taken into account by the Councilmember, Los Angeles City Planning Department, and the West Los Angeles Planning Commission and or Citywide Planning Commission in determining a decision on a project.