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Staff Approvals for Minor Improvements

A Staff Approval is minimum format for design review created as a quicker option for business and property owners wishing to make minor exterior improvements to their property. Scottsdale's Zoning Ordinance states that minor development requests may be administered by staff, as opposed to the Development Review Board. Most staff approvals can be processed within four weeks. (See Staff Approval Process Flowchart pdf/91kb/1p)


Typical situations that qualify for Staff Approval review include:

  • upgrading landscaping on a commercial or multi-family property.
  • adding an entry feature to a commercial or multi-family building.
  • adding entry gates to a subdivision or apartment complex.
  • color changes to a commercial or multi-family building. 
    (See Repainting Approval pdf/185kb/2pp)

Additions or changes to residences with single-family zoning do not need Staff Approvals and may submit for plan review without design approval.  Residences that have multi-family zoning would need a staff approval for any exterior changes.


Application Procedures

  • The submittal process begins with a pre-application.

  • Submit the complete form with all attachments and pay the application fee at the One Stop Shop.

  • City staff will review applications on a case-by-case basis and determine whether the proposed project is eligible for Staff Approval or must go through the Development Review Board Process. 

Please Note:  A proposed improvement may appear to be small in scope but may have potential implications to the surrounding area; that project would not be eligible for Staff Approval and would be required to receive more extensive input via the Development Review Board process.


Next Steps

If your project requires a building permit, submit plans for Plan Review with a copy of the Staff Approval letter.   For minor changes that do not require permits, you may begin your project, but keep a copy of the Staff Approval letter on site.