Current Planning


Planning and Development Services proudly introduces:
The Online Permit Services System!

By offering online permit services, the City can continue to serve customers while sheltering in place. After discussing your project with a Planner, begin a pre-application by following these instructions and to learn more click here

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. Learn more about phone services here.
For general planning questions, please call 650-617-3117 or email
To schedule a building inspection for an essential project, please call 650-329-2496 and press 2.
To report a code violation, please use 311 or call our Code Enforcement Team at 650-329-2605. In accordance with the SIP 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.

COVID-19 Updates

Ordinance Addresses Expired Building Permits & Planning Applications/Entitlements 

On May 4, 2020, the Palo Alto City Council adopted Ordinance 5496 which temporarily suspends the expiration of Building Applications, Building Permits, Planning Applications, and Planning Entitlements. The ordinance automatically extends these applications and permits if their valid and  not in ‘expired’ status as of March 16, 2020.  

Planning Applications/Entitlements and Building Applications/Permits that were in ‘ACTIVE’ status on March 16, 2020 will be automatically extended six (6) months after the Shelter in Place (SIP) order is lifted.  No action is required on your part. The extensions will be automatically administered by City staff. 

Planning Applications/Entitlements and Building Applications/Permits expired or not valid prior to March 16, 2020 are not eligible for the automatic permit extension. Applicants and permit holders must apply for reactivation of their permits and applications.   Please fill out a request form to reactivate building permits and email completed form to   Please email or call (650) 329-2288 if you have additional questions regarding expired building permits.   For questions on expired Planning Applications/Entitlements, please contact Planner on Duty at (650)617-3117 or email

What We Do

The Current Planning Division of the Planning & Development Services is your go-to for project guidance and advice. Our team works with community members, developers, designers, engineers and other stakeholders through every step in the development process to achieve the best designs possible for our city. Once an application is submitted, our team reviews and approves (or denies) potential and proposed development projects. Such development projects range in size and scope from retail sign replacements and landscape updates to the design and realization of mid-rise offices and new residential developments. 

Please note that the division does not, however, issue building permits. For building permits and general development questions please contact the Development Services.

Areas of Work

We do it all! Follow the links to learn more about our development processes, considerations and forms as well as our current and recent projects.

What We're Up to Right Now

Check out some of our current projects and planning updates!

Contact Us!

Planner on Duty 
(650) 617-3117