Development Services

Decorative image of plan review

Planning & Development Services Response to COVID-19. Learn more

Development Services is a resource for homeowners, businesses, designers and contractors. The goal of our staff is to help our customers build safe, healthy and sustainable buildings that comply with applicable codes and regulations. We see ourselves as an integral part of each project team and are committed to establishing positive working relationships with our partners, while focusing on problem solving and delivering exceptional customer service.

Online Permit Pre-Applications Available

Pre-applications for building permits can be filed online through Palo Alto’s Accela Citizen Access portal. The online pre-application process allows prospective building permits applicants to submit their pre-applications and upload digital building plans and documents. Staff then review the application materials to ensure all necessary documents have been provided. The applicant will be notified once the online submittal package is considered complete and ready for the building permit application intake phase.

Please visit our Online Permit Services web page to learn more.

Schedule Inspections

Scheduling inspections with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or the PA Inspection Request Mobile App (PA iRequest) Now Available!

Schedule and inspection via PA iRequest App
In accordance with the City of Palo Alto’s protocols to ensure compliance with Santa Clara County’s Public Health Order, applicants who wish to schedule inspections online with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or the Palo Alto Inspection App (PA iRequest for iOS and Android) must  complete the “Inspection Screening Form(PDF, 226KB)” and email the completed form to inspectionscreeningform@cityofpaloalto.org

City staff will review the form and reply back with further instructions on utilizing ACA  or the PA iRequest App for scheduling of inspections. Only one completed screening form is required for each permit and is valid for all inspections required for the scope of the permit.

Schedule an inspection through OPS
Logging on or registering for an account not required to schedule an inspection via OPS

Schedule an inspection via phone
To schedule an inspection you may call 650-329-2496 and press 2. Before scheduling an inspection you must implement Appendix A and either Appendix B-1 or B-2, as appropriate, of the County Health Order.

Building

The Palo Alto Building Division conducts plan review, issues building permits, provides inspection services, and oversees the Green Building program.

Fire Prevention Bureau

The mission of the Palo Alto Fire Prevention Bureau, within the city's Development Center, is to provide quality and timely development services. Our fire prevention staff performs fire plan checks, reviews, permitting, and field inspections. Our goal is to accommodate all requests for service in a time frame that meets our customer's needs. 

Public Works

Public Works provides services integral to our community on a daily basis. Our department's mission is to provide quality services with commitment, courtesy and pride. In partnership with the Palo Alto community, we strive to offer efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible services that make Palo Alto a beautiful, vibrant and appealing City in which to live and work. The Public Works Department is comprised of a variety of divisions however there are three divisions that typically relate to development services. These divisions include Public Works Engineering, Water Quality, and Urban Forestry.

Utilities

We in Utilities are eager to help make your project successful and be sure you are safely hooked up to all the electric, gas, water and sewer services you may need. Utilities also handles commercial "dark fiber optic network" connections. Be advised that all utility-related projects within the City's public right of way (including gas services up to and encompassing the gas meter) need to conform to the Water, Gas & Wastewater Standards and Electrical Requirements as described on the linked pages and any relevant Public Works Standards---unless otherwise approved in writing by the responsible Engineering Manager. Private utilities on private property are under the jurisdiction of the City's Planning Department, Building Inspection Division.