Design Review Subcommittee

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Smith, Michael

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

michaelsmith1Term Expires: June 2018

Planning 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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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.