Online Permit Services (OPS)

Start your Permit or Planning Entitlement in two easy steps!

Step One: Register on OPS/ACA Portal here

Step Two: Submit a Pre-Application

Schedule an Appointment

Any applicant is encouraged to schedule an appointment to engage with the Development Center team regarding any project. Please note that all Virtual and In-Person appointments will be hosted and attended by available staff members. If you wish to meet with a specific staff member, please reach out to them directly by email or phone call.

Should I consider an appointment?
Is this your first time using the Online Permitting Services (OPS) system?
Want your Building Permit application reviewed in real time with Project Coordinators?
Have an over the counter project?
Planning to come to the Development Center in-person

Schedule a Virtual Appointment

Applicants planning to come in person to the Development Center MUST schedule an appointment.

Schedule an In-Person Appointment

Schedule a virtual or in-person appointment online or by calling (650) 329-2496.

For general questions regarding building permits please contact Project coordination staff at buildingpermits@cityofpaloalto.org

How to Register on OPS/ACA Portal

Please watch the video that will walk you through the process of submitting a Pre-Application.
We strongly recommend watching the 'how to' video below at least once before submitting.

Register - Create an Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal Account

 

Need help creating an account?  Have other questions regarding Building Permits?  Set up an appointment or call (650) 329-2496 and we'll set up your appointment for you!

Schedule a Virtual Appointment

 

Already registered? Go to Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal to get started.

How to Submit a Pre-Application (Building, Planning, Fire, Public Works)

'First Phase Applications' or Pre-Applications - all applications start by submitting a Pre-Application through the online portal.  This includes Building Permit, Building Permit Revision, Fire Permit, Planning Entitlement, and Public Works Permit applications.  

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.

We strongly recommend watching all the 'how to' videos at least once before submitting.

How to Organize and Prepare Submittal Plans and Documents

 

Submit your Pre-Application

 

Interested in setting up an appointment to review your Building Permit Pre-Application?  Set up a 'virtual' appointment or call (650) 329-2496 and we'll set up your appointment with a Building Project Coordinator for you!

Schedule a Virtual Appointment

Finished watching the videos? Go to Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal.

Apply for a New Building Permit

  • New Building Permits must submit and complete a Building Pre-Application (please see Pre-application tab above)
  • Building Permits (e.g. construction of Single Family Residential, ADU's, A/C permits, Re-roof (Commercial), Tenant Improvement, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing permits, etc.)
  • Please complete your Building Permit Application form and submit with your Building Pre-Application
  • Some 'minor' permits referred to as 'direct' Building Permits may be instantly printed, please refer to the 'Apply and instantly print direct building permits' section/button.
  • Please call (650) 329-2496 and press option 1 for general questions regarding Building Permits or email buildingpermits@cityofpaloalto.org.

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Apply and instantly print 'direct' Building Permits

A direct permit is specifically limited to the 8 building permit types below. Licensed Contractors, with an active OPS portal account, can apply for and instantly print the following 'minor' building permits.

If your permit is not listed below then you must apply for a building permit through the pre-application process (refer to 'How to submit a pre-application' section/button above.)


Boiler Replacement Furnace Replacement (same location NO A/C)
Repair Gas Leaks Re-pipe water piping system (interior only, no sewer permits)
Re-roof (Residential, Non-Historic Properties, like for like) Water Back Flow
Water Heater (not tankless)

Window Retrofit (residential only)

Residential Solar with SolarAPP (pilot program)

 

 

Register - Create an Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal Account.

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Resubmit Plans or Documents to an existing application

How to Resubmit your Application (video)

  • Respond to Comment on an existing application (Resubmittal)
  • Please read and follow all instructions on 'Corrections Required" or "Notice of Incomplete" email from City on how to properly resubmit plans and documents.
  • Please check spam or junk email box if 'Corrections Required' or "Notice of Incomplete" email not found in your 'Inbox'.
  • Sample 'Corrections Required' email(PDF, 675KB) 
  • In your OPS portal account, use the red “Resubmit” button to upload your revised plans and other materials. Failure to do so may cause a delay in our response.
  • Do not use the "Add" button
  • Do not upload or add document mid-cycle, if needed contact your project coordinator
  • Contact the assigned City Staff for your application if you have any questions regarding the resubmittal process.
  • Applications submitted or resubmitted outside normal business hours will be processed the following business day, which will appear as the application submission date for all purposes. For our normal business hours please visit the Development Services page. 

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Apply for a Revision/Deferred Submittal to an existing Building Permit

A revision is a modification to an existing issued building permit. A deferred submittal is submitted as a Revision application.

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Check Building Permit Status

Did you know that you can check you building permit status on our OPS Portal

Here's how: Check the status of your Building Permit(PDF, 993KB)

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

 

 

Apply for a new Planning Entitlement

  • New Planning Entitlement applications must submit and complete a Planning Pre-Application.
  • Appointments are required for all Planning application submittals.  Please call (650) 329-2442 to set up an application intake appointment.  Please be sure to carefully review the application submittal checklists found on the Forms and Applications web page to be sure you are ready to submit your application. Incomplete applications may not be accepted.
  • All Planning forms, application and checklists can be found on the following webpage - bit.ly/PAplanningforms
  • Planning Entitlement Applications (e.g. Home Improvement Exceptions (HIE), Major or Minor Architectural Review Board (ARB), Sign Entitlements, Variance, Zone Change, etc.)
  • Applications submitted or resubmitted outside normal business hours will be processed the following business day, which will appear as the application submission date for all purposes. Please visit Development Services page for normal business hours.

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Apply for a new Fire or Public Works Permit

  • New Fire or Public Works Permit must submit and complete a Fire or Public Works Pre-Application
  • Fire Permit (e.g. Fire Permit for Fire Alarms, Fire Sprinklers, etc)
  • Public Works Permits (e.g. Encroachment in Right of Way (ROW), streetwork permits, grading permits, etc.)

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Download and complete Application Forms and other required documents for applications

For applications and other required documents, please visit our Development Services Forms page.

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

Schedule an Inspection

Schedule building inspection one of 3 ways...

Schedule an Inspection using the iRequest app

(iOS) (Android)

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

 

Online Permitting Services (OPS) Citizen Portal

 

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