Planning & Development Services
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. To learn more about phone services click here.
For general planning questions, please call 650-617-3117 or email Planner@CityofPaloAlto.org.
To schedule a building inspection, 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 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 submit an application, please utilize the Online Permit Services system.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email email@example.com 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 Planner@CityofPaloAlto.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
What We Do
Planning & Development Services (PDS) Department provides the City Council and community with creative guidance and effective implementation of land use development, planning, transportation, housing and environmental policies, plans and programs in order to maintain and enhance the City’s safety, vitality, and attractiveness.
The PDS Department includes the following functional areas.
- Development Services
- Long Range Planning
- Current Planning
- Historic Preservation Planning
- Transportation (including Safe Routes to School, Parking & Traffic Engineering)
- Code Enforcement
Note: Building permits and general zoning and development review are handled by the Planning & Development Services.
Check out some of the most commonly visited pages on our website.
- 2030 Comprehensive Plan
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance Update
- City of Palo Alto Municipal Code
- Development Forms and Applications
- Housing Work Plan
- North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan
- Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs)
- Parcel Reports
- Traffic and Zoning Concerns
- PDS Director Interpretations
Please follow the below links to learn how to connect with us in person or by phone or email.