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The Torrance Planning Process

Notice of public hearings can be accessed here.

Click here for the city's "Hillside Overlay Flowchart" and an overview of the permitting process for development in the Hillside Overlay.

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This step-by-step process explains how development plans are presented to, reviewed and then approved or denied by the city:

1) Applicant files application.

2) Application is completed, verified and assigned a case number.

3) Application is reviewed by staff.

  • Review the plans.

  • Double check that plans meet R-1 zone.

  • Double check that plans meet HOO provisions - design guidelines, adverse implications, etc.

IMPORTANT: Proposed plans are available to view at the city Permit Center. The Permit Center is located at 3031 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503, and is open 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, closed alternate Fridays.


To view the plans, please ask to see the Planning Division and reference the particular case #.


Property owners may request a site visit by a city official to witness firsthand how a proposed plan would affect their view, light, air, privacy. Here's how to contact city officials:

4) Site visits are conducted to: 

  • Share plans submitted.

  • Explain the implications of the silhouette flags, roofline.

  • Listen to neighbor concerns.

5) This information is taken into consideration for the overall review of the project.

6) A Final Staff Report is then written by case manager to recommend for approval or to not recommend for approval.

7) Final Staff Report with recommendation is sent to Planning Commission to review.


8) Notifications are sent 10 days prior to the Planning Commission Meeting.

  • Mailed to registered property owners (not to the residents who rent) within the 500 foot radius of the plan.

  • Posted on the actual property - a City Yard Sign with the Notification.

  • Posted in the Daily Breeze.

  • Posted on the City Web Page and City Hall's Public Notice Board.

9) All letters, petitions, emails, phone calls are added to the case file and become part of the public record

  • It is advised to submit all comments one week prior to the city case manager to be sure that the comments are delivered and reviewed by the Planning Commissioners before the hearing.

  • Email comments to the case manager's direct email (if given) or to the Torrance Community Development Dept. Make sure to include the case # in your correspondence.

  • Email:

  • Phone: 310-618-5990

  • Mail to: 3031 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503 

Neighbor comments should be in the case manager’s hands one week before the hearing.

  • It is advised to describe yourself in a descriptive format instead of your name and address. Because these comments become part of the public record they will need to be redacted. For example:

    • I am a homeowner within the 500 foot radius of the project at XYZ.

    • I live 2 doors down from the project at XYZ.

    • I live within the Hillside Overlay (HOO).

    • I reside in the Hollywood Riviera.

    • I live in the pink house near the project at XYZ.

  • All letters, emails, petitions, calls that were made prior to the project being assigned a case number will be included in the case file. 

    • If you send in a new comment, you can add

      • "This is my second letter..."

      • "In addition to the comments I made in my letter addressed on X/Y/Z, I would like to add…"

10) Planning Commission approves or denies plans.

  • Applicant can appeal to the City Council.

11) City Council hears appeal.

  • City Planning department, applicant and opposition speak.

  • City votes to approve or deny.

IMPORTANT: According to the city's website: "If you challenge any of the above matters in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the Community Development Department or the office of the City Clerk, prior to the public hearing and further, by the terms of Resolution No. 88-19, you may be limited to ninety (90) days in which to commence such legal action pursuant to Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure."

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This information is deemed reliable but not absolute. Check with the city to verify.

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