During the permit review process, Planning staff review the design of projects involving new construction or renovation that will expand an existing building or change exterior features (for example, by constructing an addition, adding dormer windows, decks, or stairs, adding a garage, or changing the façade).

The most used design guidelines for residential projects are the Planning Department's Residential Design Guidelines, which Planning staff use to review residential building permit applications.

For building expansions, which require neighborhood notification, Current Planners also consult the Residential Design Team, a group of planners that is well versed in the Residential Design Guidelines and helps by providing a consistent review process.