Current Planning

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Winter Holiday Closure / 2022 Building Code Standards

The City of Palo Alto’s Development Center will be closed from December 24, 2022 through January 2, 2023 in observance of the winter holidays. The Development Center will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 8:30 AM.

Online Applications: Due to the City-wide winter holiday closure and application processing time required, all online development services applications (Building, Planning, Fire, and Public Works) will be accepted until 5:00 PM on Friday, December 16, 2022.

The State of California and City of Palo Alto adopted the 2022 California Code of Regulations, Title 24 (2022 California Building Code Standards), which will become effective on January 1, 2023. To qualify under the 2019 California Building Code Standards, all new instant building permit applications and building permit pre-applications must be submitted by the date above. Once a pre-application is received, a staff member will contact the applicant to determine application completeness and provide a notification for plan review fee payment. These fees must be paid online before 5:00 PM on December 23, 2022. Please be advised that due to an anticipated high volume of applications, plan review timelines may be extended through February 2023. Staff will make every effort to review permits as expeditiously as possible and provide ongoing communications with applicants.

Building Inspection Services: During the winter holiday closure, the City will be providing limited building inspection services. Inspection requests must be received and confirmed before the office closure occurs on December 24th. To request an inspection, please download our mobile application (Palo Alto iRequest) to your smart device or visit the Development Services website at:  https://aca-prod.accela.com/PALOALTO/Default.aspx (Accela Citizen Access).

We wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to working with you in the new year.

The Current Planning Division of the Planning & Development Services is your go-to for project guidance and advice. Our team works with community members, developers, designers, engineers, and other stakeholders through every step in the development process to achieve the best designs possible for our City. Once an application is submitted, our team reviews and approves (or denies) potential and proposed development projects. Such development projects range in size and scope from retail sign replacements and landscape updates to the design and realization of mid-rise offices and new residential developments. 

Please note that the division does not, however, issue building permits. For building permits and general development questions please contact the Development Services.

Areas of Work

We do it all! Follow the links to learn more about our development processes, considerations and forms as well as our current and recent projects.

Planning Entitlement Application & Review

Pending & Approved Projects

Planning staff works on projects of all types and sizes at all different stages in the design and development process. Some of the most common projects we work on are new single-family homes, home renovations and new retail and office spaces. However, we also work on everything else from storefront redesigns and landscaping projects to large, mixed-use developments.

All Planning Applications and Decisions

You may use our “BuildingEye” tool to view project applications (big and small!) all over the city. Simply click on the icons to learn more about each project.

Pending Projects (Subject to Public Hearing)

A handful of our projects require a public hearing by the Architectural Review Board (ARB), Historic Review Board (HRB), Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) and/or City Council. Visit our Pending Projects page to learn more about each of these public interest projects.

Approved Projects (Subject to Public Hearing)

You may view the details and development status of recently approved projects on our Approved Projects page.  Please note this page only features those projects that have been through a public hearing process. Many other projects are approved at the staff level.  Full details on these staff level projects may be found in Building Eye.

Pending Wireless Communication Facility (WCF) Permit Applications

Wireless Communication Facility (WCF) Permit applications are reviewed in accordance with Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC) Section 18.42.110. Visit our Pending Wireless Communication Facility Permit application webpage to learn more about each of these Tier 2 WCF and Tier 3 WCF applications.

Staff Level Decisions

Projects that do not require a public hearing are often subject to staff level review. This page provides updates on recent staff decisions.