Architectural Review Board (ARB)

Pursuant to the provisions of California Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20, issued on March 17, 2020, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Architectural Review Board meetings will be held by virtual teleconference only, with no physical location. The meeting will be broadcast on Cable TV Channel 26 and live on the Midpen Media Center website. Members of the public who wish to participate by computer or phone can find the instructions below. To ensure participation in a particular item, we suggest calling in or connecting online 15 minutes before the item you wish to speak on.

Instructions: How to Join Zoom Meeting to Give Live Comments

Members of the Public may provide public comments to teleconference meetings via email, teleconference, or by phone. 

1. Written public comments may be submitted by email to

2. Spoken public comments using a computer will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Board, click on the link below for the appropriate meeting to access a Zoom-based meeting. Please read the following instructions carefully.

A. You may download the Zoom client or connect to the meeting in-browser. If using your browser, make sure you are using a current, up-to-date browser: Chrome 30 , Firefox 27 , Microsoft Edge 12 , Safari 7 . Certain functionality may be disabled in older browsers including Internet Explorer.

B. You will be asked to enter an email address and name. We request that you identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak.

C. When you wish to speak on an agenda item, click on “raise hand”. The moderator will activate and unmute attendees in turn. Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. The Zoom application will prompt you to unmute your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

D. When called, please limit your remarks to the time limit allotted.

E. A timer will be shown on the computer to help keep track of your comments.

3. Spoken public comments using a smart phone will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Council, download the Zoom application onto your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enter the Meeting ID below. Please follow instructions B-E above.

4. Spoken public comments using a phone use the telephone number listed below. When you wish to speak on an agenda item hit *9 on your phone so we know that you wish to speak. You will be asked to provide your first and last name before addressing the Board. You will be advised how long you have to speak. When called please limit your remarks to the agenda item and time limit allotted.

Meeting ID: 953 0076 3839

Phone number: 1 669 900 6833 (you may need to exclude the initial “1” depending on your phone service)

The City continuously accepts applications for Boards and Commissions. Apply for the Architectural Review Board.

ARB Purpose
The Architectural Review Board is charged with design review of all new construction, and changes and additions to commercial, industrial and multiple-family projects. The Board's goals and purposes are to:

  • Promote orderly and harmonious development of the City
  • Enhance the desirability of residence or investment in the City
  • Encourage the attainment of the most desirable use of land and improvements
  • Enhance the desirability of living conditions upon the immediate site or in adjacent areas
  • Promote visual environments which are of high aesthetic quality and variety and which, at the same time, are considerate of each other.

The Board is composed of five members, at least three of whom are architects, landscape architects, building designers or other design professionals. Terms are for three years and commence on November 1. See Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC) Sections 2.16 and 2.21. In order to be notified of vacancies and appointment procedures, you may contact the City Clerk's Office at (650) 329-2571.

If you wish to send e-mail to the Architectural Review Board, please use the following e-mail address:

Regular meetings are at 8:30 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month and are cablecast live on Government Channel 16.


Board Members

Chair: Osma Thompson
Vice Chair: Grace Lee
Staff Liaison: Jodie Gerhardt, AICP, Manager of Current Planning,

Image of Boardmember Baltay BALTAY, Peter
Term Expires: 12/15/2021


Image of Boardmember Hirsch
Term Expires: 12/15/2021


Image of Boardmember Lee
LEE, Grace
Term Expires: 12/15/2023


Image of Boardmember Lew LEW, Alexander
Term Expires: 12/15/2021


Image of Boardmember Thompson THOMPSON, Osma
Term Expires: 12/15/2023


Architectural Review Board Procedural Rules(PDF, 93KB)

Architectural Review Board By-laws(PDF, 43KB)