Building Permits

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Due to the Shelter in Place Order, Planning & Development Services staff are working remotely. Walk-in services are not available.
  • 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.
  • Before scheduling an inspection, you must implement Appendix A and either Appendix B-1 or B-2, as appropriate, of the County Health Order.
  • In accordance with the Shelter in Place Order, Code Enforcement staff are not performing on-site inspections.
  • For COVID-19 related questions, please call the Community Support Call Center at (650) 272-3181.

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.


 Online Permit Services

Through the Online Permitting Services (OPS) system, customers can submit applications for planning and building permits, as well as other City-issued permits. The City can continue to serve customers while the Shelter in Place Order continues. To begin a pre-application and learn more head to Online Permitting Services.

The following building permit categories are currently available to licensed contractors online through the Citizen Access Portal.

  • Water Back Flow Device
  • Boiler replacement (same location less than 399k BTU)
  • Furnace Replacement (same location)
  • Repair Gas Leak
  • Repipe-Water Piping System
  • Re-Roof
  • Water Heater (No Tankless)
  • Window Retrofit (Residential Only)

Schedule Inspections with Accela Citizen Access or PA iRequest App

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

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)  must  complete the “Inspection Screening Form” 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.

Accela Citizen Access (ACA) – View all Building or Fire permits, cancel or reschedule inspections and view inspection history.

Building Permit Forms

A building permit is required before you undertake most types of construction. On this page you will find application forms and information, as well as additional information you may need to submit prior to obtaining a building permit, or starting construction.

Current permit application status updates are available online through our Citizen Access Portal
On this page:

  1. Building Permit Submittal Forms
  2. Residential Forms
  3. Commercial Forms
  4. Most used forms and information
  5. Other forms and information commonly needed for building permit submittal
  6. Permit fees - Please review the latest fee schedule. If there are questions, contact a Project Coordinator.
  7. Tree protection forms and tree information
  8. Public Works Department specifications (e.g. sidewalk, curb, and gutter replacement)
  9. Flood zone information
  10. Utility Forms and Handouts