Design Review Subcommittee

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Wu, Zhen

  • Departments:Community Development
  • Divisions:Planning Commission
  • Title:Commissioner
  • Phone:(949) 361-6183
  • Email:


I am a certified planner, licensed architect, and accredited designer on sustainability. Recently I became one of few certified in the country by American Institute of Certified Planners for advanced specialty on urban design. I hold master's degrees on city planning and architecture from USC, after receiving bachelor degree in 1994 from Tsinghua University in Beijing. I consider myself an urbanist with a holistic approach to design of built environment, mostly on resort, destination, and residential projects. I operate a boutique design studio, ZW&A Planning and Architecture.

Since my family moved to San Clemente twelve years ago, we have greatly enjoyed the small town. Firstly I learned surfing. Then we raised our child here. We love walking with friends on Del Mar to the pier and Casa Romantica. I occasionally bike through the neighborhoods for errands. I travel internationally to study cities and culture. The more I experience the world, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of San Clemente, given its rich historic heritage and exquisite natural environment.

I feel honored to be given the opportunity to serve my home community, to engage fellow citizens on issues that are important, and to contribute to solutions on the planning challenges we all face. I hope that my knowledge and experience help to make San Clemente a better place.

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Design Review Subcommittee

What is the purpose of the Design Review Subcommittee?
The purpose of the Design Review Subcommittee is to provide direction, insight, concerns and options to applicant’s on how their project can best comply with the City’s Design Guidelines and/or City Policies.  The Subcommittee is not an approving body.  They make recommendations to the Planning Commission and Zoning Administrator regarding a project’s compliance with City Design Guidelines.  Each of the Subcommittee members will provide input and suggest recommendations to the applicant based upon written City Design Guidelines and/or City Policies.  The Subcommittee will not design the project for the applicant, nor will the members always agree on the best course of action.  The applicant can then assess the input and incorporate any changes accordingly with the understanding that the Subcommittee is simply a recommending body.  Decisions to approve, deny, or modify a project are made by the Planning Commission, City Council, or the Zoning Administrator with input and recommendations from the Subcommittee and City staff.  The chair of the Subcommittee will lead the discussion.  Planning staff will be available to provide technical assistance as necessary.  Time is limited.  Consequently, the Design Review Subcommittee will focus on site and project design rather than on land use issues, which are the purview of the Planning Commission, City Council or the Zoning Administrator.

When and where do they meet?
The Design Review Subcommittee meets twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 3 PM in the City’s Community Development Building, Conference Room A.  The building is located at 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, CA 92673.

Who is on the Design Review Subcommittee and how do they get their positions?
The Design Review Subcommittee is a three member subcommittee of the Planning Commission.  The Design Review Subcommittee members are appointed by the Planning Commission to 2 year terms. A person must be actively serving on the Planning Commission to be appointed to serve on the Design Review Subcommittee.   An interest in architectural design, site planning, landscaping, preservation of cultural and aesthetic resources, and the welfare of your community is an important asset for a person seeking appointment on the Design Review Subcommittee. 

How do I get an agenda or minutes of the Design Review Subcommittee Meetings?
Agendas and minutes are available on line under the Meetings / Design Review Subcommittee menu items. Agendas should be available by the Friday before the next scheduled meeting.

Where do I find out more information about the Design Review Subcommittee?

You are welcome to email or call us for more information at (949)361-6183.