Entitlement Process

Who Is The Applicant?

When submitting a project to the local jurisdiction for entitlements, an application form will typically need to be filled out.  And on this form, there are typically requests for the property owner and applicant information.  So who typically is the applicant?

I have seen the applicant either be the property owner, the developer or builder, or a consultant.  As the entitlements are essentially the approval of a proposed project on the real property, the local jurisdiction will typically want to know that the property owner is giving its consent to the proposed project’s approval.  If the property owner is also the applicant, that box is checked off.

In some cases, a land developer will have an option contract, or long escrow, with the property owner to allow time to obtain the entitlements before closing escrow.  The developer is often the applicant, and the local jurisdiction will want some type of letter from the property owner giving the consent for the developer to propose the project.  Once this letter is provided, the local jurisdiction will look to the developer for anything related to the entitlement process.

In other cases, I have also seen that the property owner or land developer will ask a consultant to be the applicant.  Again, I would expect that the local jurisdiction will still require the letter of consent from the property owner.

If you have any experience, comments, or questions on this topic, we welcome you to share with us below.

John Kaye has over 30 years experience within the land development and homebuilding industries, having held senior management positions with The Irvine Company, Koll Real Estate Group, and Brookfield Homes. As a developer, John has overseen the land acquisition, entitlements, and development of master planned communities, residential tracts, urban infill sites, and land assemblages. His experience and skill sets include land acquisition, land brokerage, project management, market analysis, finance, and strategic planning.

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