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Architectural Review

Powers and Duties: Monterey City Code, Ch. 2 Art. 5

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Preserving Monterey’s Unique, Historic Character
Monterey is full of character. From New Monterey to Old Town, from Fisherman’s Flats to Cannery Row, each of our neighborhoods – commercial and residential – has distinct features that make it special. In order to maintain these unique qualities, the City established an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) to encourage and promote development that is harmonious with the surrounding area as it exists.

What is the purpose of the ARC?
The seven-member ARC is composed of citizens with expertise and interest in design and architecture. ARC reviews all aspects of a proposed project that deal with the outside appearance.

Some of these include access, on-site circulation, grading, tree impacts and building placement. The Committee also analyzes landscape areas and planting, architectural style, bulk, mass and color to make sure they conform with adopted guidelines. Projects must demonstrate conformance with all applicable zoning standards before architectural review. Projects with proposed variances in setback, lot coverage, floor-area ratio or parking must first be reviewed by the Planning Commission or Zoning Administrator before going to ARC.

Agendas and Agenda ReportsI-SEARCH-Magnify-Glass
Agendas are posted outside of the Council Chamber 72 hours prior to meetings. Attachments including agenda reports, written comments and letters are not posted outside the Council Chamber with the Agenda, however, they can be viewed online at or in person at the Planning Office in the lower level of Colton Hall, at the corner of Pacific and Madison streets. These materials are also available for viewing at the Monterey Public Library.

For more information about ARC or design guidelines please call the Planning Office at (831) 646-3885, or visit

The ARC meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m., plus occasional field trips.

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