Planning & Zoning


The Planning and Zoning Division is committed to helping business owners, developers, real estate professionals, property owners and residents understand the process and requirements for planning and zoning, which precede the building permit process. Staff provide excellent customer service and are available to discuss review and approval processes, and planning application requirements.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Phone: 510-215-3030      Email:


Applications For Planning

Note: New construction or construction to modify an existing building requires a Building Permit. To obtain a Building Permit, the project must first be reviewed through the City’s Plan Check process. Find out and learn more about Plan Check.


  • Under the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, applicants may opt to complete the following preliminary application form for those housing development projects seeking vesting rights,  Check out and obtain Application.

Notice:  Pursuant to the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, applicants shall provide the following additional information as part of their planning application:

Any information necessary to determine compliance with Government Code § 66300(d), including, but not limited to, information on the number of dwelling units being removed if any, whether any dwelling units meet the definition of a “protected unit” (Gov. Code, § 66300(d)(2)(E)(ii)), whether any dwelling units were subject to rent or price control, and whether any dwelling units are for rent.


  • Electronic submission - Weblink
  • Email applications to
  • Mail applications to 1000 Gateway Avenue, San Pablo, CA 94806
  • Public Counter is open Monday - Thursday from 7:30am - 4:00pm
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  • Envíe planos electrónicamente - Weblink
  • El mostrador publico esta abierto lunes a jueves de 7:30am - 4:00pm
  • Las solicitudes de planificación pueden enviarse por correo (1000 Gateway Avenue, San Pablo, CA 94806) o por correo o electrónico

Master Fee Schedule

Accessory Dwelling Units
California law related to the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) has changed as of January 1, 2020, per Government Code Section 65852.2. Please contact the Planning Division directly for additional information or inquiries regarding ADU approvals. 

Senate Bill 9: The California Home Act (Atkins)

Effective on January 1, 2022, Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) amended the Government Code to allow for ministerial approval of two-unit (duplex) housing development on single family residential (R-1) parcels and one-time subdivision of existing single-family residential parcels into two parcels.  Please contact the Planning Division for additional information or inquiries regarding SB 9 approvals.

The City of San Pablo's National Pollution discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES Permit No.CAS612008) requires the City to implement significant changes to portions of Section C.3 (New Development and Redevelopment) as of July 1, 2023.  Some of these changes include:

  • Impervious surface threshold for most projects will drop from 10,000 to 5, 00 sq.ft (all new and replaced impervious surface as part of the project will count including sidewalks and roads in both private and public right-of-way)
  • New categories of regulated projects include: 
    • Road and sidewalk repair projects ≥ contiguous sq. ft.
    • Road reconstruction and pavement widening ≥ 1 contiguous acre
    • Detached single family home that creates or replaces ≥ 10,000 sq.ft.
  • Special Projects Category C definition changes.

This notice is to inform interested parties that their project may be affected by these changes.  Projects that do not have building permits issued prior to July 1, 2023, will likely be subject to these new requirements.  The Contra Costa Clean Water Program has updated its Stormwater C.3 Guidebook (8th Edition) to include these changes.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

New Construction/ Adding To Existing Residences

Before designing new construction or adding to an existing structure, the building setbacks, maximum height, maximum building coverage, and other development standards must be reviewed. These standards are determined by the zoning district in which the property is located. You can determine what district your property is located in by looking at the zoning map. Refer to Title 17 - Zoning Ordinance of the Municipal Code for setbacks, maximum height limitations, and other building restrictions.


Fences, Walls, Gates and Screening

Fences and walls are allowed to be built along property lines as long as they do not exceed the maximum height. In general, fences or walls may not exceed six (6) feet in height along the rear and side property lines and no more than three (3) feet in height within the front setback area.

Check out the Fences, Walls, Gates and Screening development standards


Remodels of existing residences are generally allowed, but may require a building permit. Remodels of existing residences to another use (i.e. commercial use) are allowed in some zoning districts, but require a change of occupancy permit and may have additional requirements. It is recommended to contact the Fire Department and Public Works Department for any additional requirements related to a remodel.