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.

All applications begin at 'First Phase' to avoid unnecessary delays by allowing staff to review your application submittal for completeness and accuracy to help ensure your project is ready for review before advancing to the 'formal review' phase of your application.

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 an inspection with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or PA iRequest App - effective July 1, 2021
Scheduling inspections with the City’s Accela Citizen Access (ACA) web portal or from your mobile phone with the Palo Alto Inspection Request app are available. The Palo Alto Inspection Request app for iOS (Apple) or Android can be downloaded from the Apple App store or Google Play store to your mobile device (search for Palo Alto iRequest).

Effective July 1, 2021, applicants who wish to schedule inspections online with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or the Palo Alto iRequest app are no longer required to complete the “Inspection Screening Form”. 

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.

Webinar Events

2021 California Access Training

A brief history of accessibility regulations pertaining to federal, state and local government, and commercial building facilities. A review of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) as it pertains to state and local government, and commercial buildings and facilities. A detailed study of the 2019 Calif. Bldg. Code (CBC) provisions for accessibility to public buildings, public accommodations, and commercial buildings and facilities. This seminar has been updated to include the 2019 CBC mid-cycle code changes.

This training will take place on August 4, 11, 18, and 25, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Zoom Webinar. For event details and registration information, please view this flyer(PDF, 241KB).