Planning Commission

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Smith, Michael

  • Departments:Community Development
  • Divisions:Planning Commission
  • Title:Commissioner
  • Phone:(949) 361-6195
  • Email:

michaelsmith1Planning Commissioner and Alternat to the Design Review Subcommittee.

Leadership San Clemente Program,  June, 2012.
Commissioner for City of San Clemente, Beaches, Parks and Recreation Commission, June, 2012 - 14. Liaison Member to the Coastal Advisory Committee, June 2012 - 14. Director, Friends of San Clemente Foundation, 2014.  Board Member Shorecliffs Beach Club, 2014.  Mayor's Advisory Committee for the rezoning  overlay of Shorecliffs Neighborhood , 2006. California State University, Fullerton Sustainability Committee, 2008.

I have had 45 year career as a Licensed Architect in California practicing in a number of different public and private sector management roles within the Construction Industry. My professional experience includes architectural design, planning , project management and teaching. I have worked all over California including:  Sacramento, Berkeley, San Francisco and San Jose.  Most recently,  I retired from the California State University, Fullerton in 2011 as the Director of Design and Construction. During my 18 year tenure there, I had the great opportunity to help direct and manage the completion of over 22 Major Campus Projects totaling over one half billion dollars in capital funding . With the addition of new these buildings, the CSUF campus doubled in size and made it now one of California's largest Universities in the state.

At  15, I moved from Holland , Michigan to Sacramento where I went to Sacramento High School. From there, I went on to the University of California, Berkeley where I completed both my undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and Masters of Architecture and Master Planning. While at UCB,  I received a teaching fellowship and helped teach several architectural design courses.

My wife Christine and I moved from the Bay Area to San Clemente in 1994 where we found our "ocean view dream home" in  the Shorecliffs neighborhood. We  consider ourselves extremely lucky  and truly fortunate to live and thrive in such a beautiful community. We love San Clemente and plan on continuing  to volunteer and help serve and preserve the City which we love. For fun we enjoy our Beach Club where we meet our friends and neighbors and I get to boogie board and play paddle tennis. We also like to play golf together throughout Southern California. We love to travel the world where we enjoy studying art and architecture and experiencing new cultures,  exotic wines and of course, great food. We know how blessed we are to be able to do all this wonderful stuff and live in Paradise too !

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What is the purpose of the Planning Commission?
The purpose of the Planning Commission is to advise the City Council on land use policies and laws, and to make final decisions on certain kinds of development and use permits.

When and where do they meet?
The Planning Commission meets on the Wednesday night which follows the City Council’s normal Tuesday night meetings. Their public hearing agenda begins at 7:00 PM. Click on the following link for a map to our normal meeting location.

Click here for a map to City Hall

How can I present my comments to the Planning Commission?
The Planning Commission conducts its business in public hearings. Your input is very important. You may contact the Planning Commission via the City’s Planning Division at (949) 361-6184. You may also e-mail us at

Who is on the Planning Commission and how do they get their positions?
The Planning Commission consists of seven citizens who are appointed by the City Council to 2 year terms.  Click on the links at the top of this page to meet the current Commissioners. 

I want to speak at a Planning Commission Meeting. What do I do?

To speak at a Planning Commission meeting, you are asked to fill out a speakers slip at the meeting, prior to the time the agenda item you are interested in begins. Speakers usually are allotted three minutes to testify. You will be asked to provide your name and city of residence for the record. The agenda also has a time for ‘public comment’ to the Planning Commission on matters within the responsibility of the Planning Commission but which are not subject to a particular public hearing that night.

How can I serve on the Planning Commission?
To become a member of the Planning Commission citizens are asked to file an application with the City Clerk, prior to an interview and selection by the City Council. These selections normally occur in June of each year, or at other times when an vacancy on the Commission occurs. For more information on applications for Planning Commission please send an email to or Click Here to get more information.

How do I get an agenda or minutes of the Planning Commission Meetings?
Agendas and minutes are available on line under the Meetings / Planning Commission menu items. Agendas should be available by the Friday before the next scheduled meeting. Note the links under meetings for agendas, packets, and minutes.

Where do I find out more information about the Planning Commission?

You are welcome to email or call us for more information at (949)361-6185.

Link to Planning Division website

Click here to view the Planning Division home page.