Planning & Building
James A. Bergman
Deputy Director, Permitting
Deputy Director, Policies and Programs
Use the Land Use Permit Application package to apply for any of the entitlements listed below. Standard submittal requirements are discussed in the application package. Read the User’s Guide to the Land Use Permit Process for more information. Additional information may be required depending on site circumstances. The application fee must also be paid upon application.
The pre-application meeting is intended to aid prospective applicants in understanding the required rules and regulations that apply to your project and to reveal potential problems. Our goal in this process is to make the permitting process as efficient and understandable as possible.
Within 30 days of application submittal, Planning staff will visit the project and provide a written letter. The letter will either formally accept the application, or request additional information. Once the project is accepted, the project will need to go through the environmental review process. Once that has been completed, the project will be noticed for hearing.
Strategic growth is a version of the national movement called “smart growth.” Good news for "Smart Growth" development projects! We've initiated priority processing for land development or subdivisions that include features attributed to Smart Growth principles. Projects that score a certain amount of points on a checklist of criteria could qualify for quicker review and save months in the time it takes to process applications. Download the Smart Growth Criteria for Development Projects Checklist.
If you have questions or would like to have your proposed project reviewed for possible priority processing, please contact Mike Wulkin at 781-5608.
Projects must comply with all applicable ordinances. Ordinance provision include (but are not limited to) setbacks, height, parking, landscaping, and access.
Projects within the Coastal Zone are subject to the Title 23 (Coastal Zone Land Use Ordinance), where the rest of the County is subject to Title 22 (Land Use Ordinance). Additionally, Area Plan standards may apply, and where Area Plan standards provide different limits than Title 23 standards, the Area Plan standard are to be followed.
Most land use permits are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act, often referred to as CEQA. Additional submittals such as (but not limited to) archaeological reports, botanical reports, and geological studies may be necessary. The required reports may be discussed during a pre-application meeting or in a letter requesting additional information after application. Please Note: a filing fee is charged by the County Clerk on behalf of the Department of Fish and Game for most projects that are not exempt from CEQA.
A Land Use Permit authorizes only the use itself. If you’re proposing to build a structure, modify a building, or do grading, you will typically need to apply for a Construction Permit or Grading Permit following Land Use Permit approval. If approved, your Land Use Permit will have conditions that you must comply with. These conditions may require that you apply for approvals through other agencies (e.g. Public Works, Department of Fish and Game, Regional Water Quality Control Board). You may also have mitigation measures that you must comply with.
Depending on your conditions of approval, you may be required to enter into an agreement with the county (e.g. open space, avigation, mitigation).
After the land use permit process is complete, you will likely encounter additional fees. These fees include:
These fees are in addition to any mitigation fees, Building Permit fees, and project review fees charged by other agencies.