Development Services

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Development Center Staff are Working Remotely Due to the

Santa Clara County Shelter In Place Order.

Development Center Services staff are available by phone.

Please call 650-329-2496.

The Development Center is not open for walk-ins.

 

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Online Permit Pre-Applications Available

Pre-applications for building permits can be filed online through Palo Alto’s Accela Citizen Access portal link: click here (https://aca.accela.com/paloalto/default.aspx). The online pre-application process allows prospective building permits applicants to submit their pre-applications and upload digital building plans and documents. Staff then review the application materials to ensure all necessary documents have been provided. The applicant will be notified once the online submittal package is considered complete and ready for the building permit application intake phase.

The Energy Reach Code Ordinance, which requires “All-Electric” designs for all new low-rise residential projects, takes effect on April 1, 2020. This pre-application process will allow applicants to submit their projects before the new code takes effect.


Changes to ACA Online Permits

Due to COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order the below online permits have been suspended. They will be reinstated once the Order has been lifted. 

  • Water Back Flow Device
  • Re-Roof
  • Window Retrofit (Residential only)

The remaining online permits below must be used for EMERGENCY REPAIRS ONLY.

  • Boiler replacement (same location less than 399k BTU)
  • Furnace Replacement (same location)
  • Repair Gas Leak
  • Repipe-Water Piping System
  • Water Heater (No Tankless)

Building Inspections Continue for Essential Construction Projects Only

To see if your construction project is considered essential, please refer to the Santa Clara County Public Health Order, as revised and issued on March 31, 2020.

To schedule an inspection you may call 650-329-2496 and press 2. The mobile scheduling app has been disabled.

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


Our Mission

Development Services is a resource for homeowners, businesses, designers and contractors. The goal of our staff is to help our customers build safe, healthy and sustainable buildings that comply with applicable codes and regulations. We see ourselves as an integral part of each project team and are committed to establishing positive working relationships with our partners, while focusing on problem solving and delivering exceptional customer service. 

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Building Division

The Palo Alto Building Division serves as a resource for homeowners, businesses, designers and contractors. The goal of our staff is to help our customers build safe, healthy and sustainable buildings that comply with applicable codes and regulations. We see ourselves as an integral part of each project team and are committed to establishing positive working relationships with our partners, while focusing on problem solving and delivering exceptional customer service. Programs included in the division include building plan check, inspections, permitting, and green building.


Fire Prevention Bureau

 The mission of the Palo Alto Fire Prevention Bureau, within the city's Development Center, is to provide quality and timely development services. Our fire prevention staff performs fire plan checks, reviews, permitting, and field inspections. Our goal is to accommodate all requests for service in a time frame that meets our customer's needs. 


Planning & Development Services

Planning & Development Services (PDS) provides services in long range planning, current planning, and transportation. The Planning Section provides staff support for the Planning & Transportation Commission, the Architectural Review Board, the Historic Resources Board, and administers the City's housing programs as well as preparing and monitoring the Comprehensive Plan and providing long-range planning studies.


Public Works

Public Works provides services integral to our community on a daily basis. Our department's mission is to provide quality services with commitment, courtesy and pride. In partnership with the Palo Alto community, we strive to offer efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible services that make Palo Alto a beautiful, vibrant and appealing City in which to live and work. The Public Works Department is comprised of a variety of divisions however there are three divisions that typically relate to development services. These divisions include Public Works Engineering, Water Quality, and Urban Forestry.

Utilities

 We in Utilities are eager to help make your project successful and be sure you are safely hooked up to all the electric, gas, water and sewer services you may need. Utilities also handles commercial "dark fiber optic network" connections. Be advised that all utility-related projects within the City's public right of way (including gas services up to and encompassing the gas meter) need to conform to the Water, Gas & Wastewater Standards and Electrical Requirements as described on the linked pages and any relevant Public Works Standards---unless otherwise approved in writing by the responsible Engineering Manager. Private utilities on private property are under the jurisdiction of the City's Planning Department, Building Inspection Division.