The Planning Division has two primary functions:
- Assisting the community, and ultimately the City Council, plan for the City's future development, and
- Reviewing proposed development projects for conformance with the City's adopted policies and ordinances and environmental laws.
The Division is responsible for maintain and implementing the City's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, which guide development decisions, and the City's Climate Change Action Plan which seeks to lower emissions of greenhouse gases and adapt to the effects of climate change.
The Planning staff work with prospective applicants and neighbors to assure that new development improves the area and is consistent with adopted community-wide objectives.
The Division provides staff support to the Planning Commission and Design Review Commission.
NEW! Business Counter
An online tool, powered by Open Counter, to help businesses navigate the City's permit process. Businesses will be able to look up zoning requirements, permits and fees. Just answer a few questions about your business to receive a customized report on the permits, licenses, and estimated fees required for your project.
NEW! Zoning Check
Select a land use and location to see how the zoning code will impact your project. This also helps applicants understand their options before choosing a location for their business.
Planning Documents & Additional Resources
What is my zoning?A planner can tell you in which zoning district your property is located. You will need to provide either your street address or Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) or both. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the planner-on-duty (you may need to leave a voicemail) at (415) 899-8989 between 9am - 5pm, Monday-Thursday and alternating Fridays (see Calendar for closure dates) or visit the office in person during walk-in counter hours 9am - 11am, Monday-Thursday. The Planning Division has a policy of making every effort to return phone calls within 24 hours. We hope to have the Zoning Map available online in the near future.
What are my setback requirements for an addition to my home?The Planning Division maintains a map that shows zoning for every parcel in the City. The map can be viewed at the Planning Services Counter, or call (415) 899-8989 to speak with a planner regarding specific zoning, setback, and related questions. Each zoning district establishes minimum setback requirements for the front, sides, and rear yards. Some lots, such as "flag lots" or oddly configured lots, require that planning staff make a determination with respect to where each setback applies. Staff will consider the access to the lot and orientation of the house among other factors when making such a determination.
Can I build a storage arbor/shed/garage in my backyard?
Residential accessory structures are permitted within residential zones. Placement is dependent on minimum setbacks, maximum height requirements and lot coverage which are dependent on your property's zoning. Call the Planning Division to obtain the specific standards for your property.