Bill of Rights

This document describes the obligations of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission to the public in providing an appropriately timely and equitable regulatory process. The obligations described in the document reflect existing provisions of current laws, policies, regulations and practices. The document does not impose any new requirements on the Commission, applicants or the public. Therefore, the document does not have to be adopted as a regulation to comply with the provisions of the California Administrative Procedures Act.

Any member of the public may directly communicate with the Commission during the public comment period at the beginning of each BCDC meeting and through letters, e-mail and other forms of communication concerning issues the public believes the Commission has a responsibility to address.

The Commission will fairly and objectively consider all information and will make decisions on proposed planning policies based on the consistency of the proposed policy with state law and upon information supporting such proposed policies provided in a background report that is available for public review.

Permit applicants will receive assistance in understanding BCDC's regulatory and permit requirements. BCDC's staff is available to assist applicants in understanding these requirements and advising applicants how best to meet the requirements. The staff is also available to meet with applicants and potential applicants at most any time and is always available by email, telephone and fax.

BCDC staff will inform permit applicants the fees the applicant will be charged and how to dispute any fees the applicant believes are inappropriate. The Commission's regulations and application instructions booklet itemize the fees required for various types of applications and projects, how the fees must be paid, and the process for appealing to the Commission of the staff's determination of an application fee.

Permit applicants will receive complete and clearly written guidance documents that explain the regulatory requirements. The Commission has produced detailed application instruction booklets for its application forms, including helpful hints and glossaries. The application forms and the Commission's regulations list all of the information required of applicants and these forms have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law.

Permit applicants will receive a timely determination of whether a permit application is complete. State law requires BCDC's staff to inform applicants within 30 days as to whether or not an application is complete.

Permit applicants will be informed exactly how an application is deficient and what further information is needed to make the application complete. State law requires BCDC's staff to inform applicants within 30 days of receiving a permit applications what materials must be submitted to complete the application if it has been found to be incomplete.

Permit applicants will receive a timely decision on a permit application. Once a complete application is filed, the McAteer-Petris Act and Suisun Marsh Preservation Act require that the Commission must act on that application within 90 days. If the Commission fails to act by the prescribed deadline, the permit application is deemed approved without conditions.

Permit applicants have the right to challenge permit review requirements the applicant believes are unreasonable and appeal time limits that have been violated. The Commission's regulations allow the executive director to waive, modify or postpone filing requirements under certain circumstances and allow an applicant to appeal to the Commission an executive director's determination not to file an application.

Permit applicants will be told which BCDC staff member will be handling an application and the time required to complete the full review process. As soon as an application is submitted, it is assigned to a BCDC staff permit analyst who contacts the applicant either by telephone or mail as part of the Commission's normal permit process. That permit analyst becomes the "project manager" and principal point of contact for the applicant. At that time, the permit analyst will explain how the application will be processed and what procedures will be used.

The public may review information provided by a permit applicant to the Commission, describing a proposed project, prior to Commission action on the project.

The public and permit applicants can communicate with the Commission, in a manner consistent with BCDC's ex parte communication regulations, concerning whether a permit application should or should not be approved.

The Commission will fairly and objectively consider all information and will make decisions on permit applications based on the consistency of a proposed project with the relevant policies of state law, the San Francisco Bay Plan, the Suisun Marsh Protection Plan and the Commission's regulations