Land Use Permits
What is this service?
The County, through adoption of various ordinances, has determined that there are certain types of uses that may have an impact on the area in which they are located. These types of uses require the approval of a land use permit, which sets conditions for the use's establishment and operation. Approval of a land use permit only entitles the use itself; separate permits may also be required for any construction or grading activities.
Who can use this service?
Anyone can use this service.
Is there a charge for this service?
Please refer to the Department of Planning & Building Fee Schedule for application fees.
What is the process?
Step 1: Schedule Pre-Application Meeting (Optional)
Pre-application meetings are intended to aid prospective applicants in understanding the required rules and regulations that apply to their project and to reveal potential problems. The goal of providing a pre-application meeting is to make the permitting process as efficient and understandable as possible. These meetings are typically optional. If the applicant chooses to utilize this process, there is a separate fee that must be paid prior the meeting.
Step 2: Submit Application
The applicant submits a completed application package* and pays all applicable fees.
*Digital Copies are now required with submission
Step 4: Schedule Hearing
Staff schedules the application for a public hearing - either Planning Department Hearing, Subdivision Review Board, or Planning Commission based on the land use entitlement type.
Step 5: Reach Decision
During the public hearing, the hearing body considers the application and reaches a decision to either approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application.
Step 6: Appeal Hearing (If Needed)
Any person can appeal a decision to the Board of Supervisors. Projects located within the Coastal Zone can be appealed to (or by) the California Coastal Commission.
Step 7: Record Agreements
Depending on the conditions of approval, the applicant may be required to enter into one or more legal agreements.
Step 8: Extend Approval (Optional)
The applicant may apply for a time extension to extend the approval date for one year. The maximum available time extensions are based on the land use entitlement type.
Step 9: Proceed with Entitlement
Approval of a land use permit only entitles the use itself. This approval includes conditions (such as requiring additional approvals from other agencies) and possible mitigation measures that the applicant must comply with. Because only the use is entitled with approval of a land use permit, any construction or grading is subject to separate permits.
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
Old County Courthouse Building
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
976 Osos Street Room 200 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Tel: (805) 781-5600
Permits/Inspections: (805) 788-2076
Fax: (805) 781-1242
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between land use permits, minor use permits, and conditional use permits?
The definitions of the various planning permits are provided on the Land Use Entitlements page.
What is considered when approving or denying a land use application?
Ultimately, the use proposed by a land use permit application must be consistent with applicable land use regulations, including but not limited to the County's General Plan, land use ordinances (inland or coastal), and any applicable area and community plans.
What should I consider when applying for a land use permit?
There are a number of issues you should consider when developing your project and preparing your application, including:
- Is my proposed use allowed in the area where it is being proposed?
- Are there specific standards that apply to the property?
- What permit fees are required to be paid?
- What types of permits may be required?
- Will my proposed use raise any environmental concerns?
- Is the property near any known hazards?
- Are utilities available to serve my proposed use?
- Are existing roads adequate to serve my proposed use?
- Are there adequate fire safety provisions for my proposed use?
Why are land use regulations important?
Land use regulations are important because they determine where particular uses can be allowed and what requirements must be met and procedures be completed before a particular use is allowed.
Interactive Maps (Land Use View)
Our interactive Land Use View mapping application can be used to look up property information by assessor parcel number (APN), plan or permit number, or address.
Launch Land Use View Application
Online Services (CSS Portal)
The County of San Luis Obispo provides online services through Citizen Self Service (CSS) to request a building inspection, research construction permits and property information, and to pay fees.
Launch CSS Portal