The Planning Commission consists of five members appointed by a majority vote of the City Council. Members must be residents and registered voters of Rancho Santa Margarita and normally serve 2-year terms.
As stipulated by California law, the Planning Commission advises the City Council in developing and drafting land use and planning legislation, including the General Plan, specific plans, and implementing ordinances such as the Zoning Code. The Planning Commission also makes recommendations to the City Council regarding land use, reviews proposed development for consistency with the Zoning Code and the General Plan of the City and for compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood and environment. The Planning Commission performs a quasi-judicial function by deciding whether particular projects or requests presented to the City for consideration meet requirements of the General Plan, Zoning Ordinances, and/or state law.