Planning & Development Services COVID-19 Response

Planning & Development Services staff are available to serve you virtually and in-person! 

In-person services are provided by appointment only
While we are open for in-person services, the City has moved to an all-digital application and plan review platform. This means that we no longer accept paper plan submittals. All submittals must be done in digital format.
Schedule a Virtual Appointment
Schedule an In-Person Appointment

To our valued customers: Since March 17, 2020, the Planning & Development Services Department has operated remotely. Thanks to Santa Clara County's high vaccination rate and the success of the vaccines in reducing the spread of COVID-19, we are re-opening for in person services as of August 9, 2021.

Note: Planning & Development Services' COVID-19 response continues to be updated and modified based on Santa Clara County's Health Order and any other applicable health order in the State of California.

Building & Construction

Online Permit Services System

The City continues to serve customers while sheltering in place. After discussing your project with a Planner or Project Coordinator, start a pre-application by following the instructions.

Ordinance Addresses Expired Building Permits, Planning Applications/Entitlements, Permissions, and Approvals - effective July 1, 2021

On June 7, 2020, the Palo Alto City Council adopted Ordinance 5525 which rescinded Ordinance 5496 (“Emergency Extension Ordinance”).  An entitlement, approval or permit that would have expired between March 16, 2020 and the date on which the City’s Local State of Emergency is terminated (July 1, 2021) will expire 180 days after the date on which the City’s Local State of Emergency ends.

Updated Construction Protocols - effective July 1, 2021

Per the Santa Clara County Public Health Order update on June 21, 2021, the City of Palo Alto will follow the newly adopted Cal/OSHA workplace regulations. Please familiarize yourself with the regulations.

The updates include changes to face coverings and physical distancing requirements.  More information on the revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards can be found in Cal/OSHA's Frequently Asked Questions.


Schedule Inspections 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 Inspections By Phone

To schedule a building inspection, please call (650) 329-2496 and press 2.

Contact Us

  • To reach Development Center staff, please call 650-329-2496. To learn more about phone services click here.
  • To schedule a building inspection, please call 650-329-2496 and press 2.
  • In accordance with the Shelter in Place Order, Code Enforcement staff are not performing on-site inspections.

To our valued customers: As you know, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all. Impacts to our organization include a reduction in staff and other resources. Please know we are working hard to respond as quickly as we can to your inquiries, but it may take longer than usual during this time. Please refrain from calling multiple staff, as several team members responding to you will further reduce resources. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.