Discretionary Review

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A special power of a planning commission, outside the normal building permit application approval process, through which the commission can modify or disallow a proposed, zoning-compliant project when exceptional and extraordinary circumstances associated with a proposed project exist. These exceptional and extraordinary circumstances often involve conflicts with a jurisdiction’s general plan or other policies. For example, if zoning permits a four-story building on a parcel but every building in the neighborhood is two stories tall, the planning commission may exercise its power and deny a permit for a larger building because of general plan language requiring that new buildings reflect the existing character of a neighborhood.

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