Determine Project Zoning Conformity (Letter of Determination)

Developers and business owners may need a formal determination whether their proposed project meets Zoning designations or regulations, or may wish to challenge City interpretation of a project's Zoning conformity. They may seek these by applying for a Letter of Determination with the Zoning Division.

Date Posted: June 30th, 2021 @ 4:38 PM
Last Updated: August 13th, 2021 @ 2:10 PM

When Are Letters of Determination Needed?

Approval letter icon

Types of Letters of Determination:

  • Burn Down Letter: If you need an official letter confirming the Zoning Designation of a property
  • General Plan Determination: If your property's General Plan Designation does not match its Zoning Designation, you may request an official determination to resolve the mismatch
  • Determination by Staff (Research): If you need an official record from the City providing the Zoning history for a property and/or what is allowed under the property's Zoning Designation.
  • Zoning Manager Review: If you wish to legalize unpermitted units, memorialize condominium credits, memorialize permits on parcels that cut across City limits into other jurisdictions, or issue a challenge to code interpretations that are preventing aspects of your project from moving forward, you may apply for Zoning Manager Review. If you receive a Letter of Determination from the Zoning Manager rejecting your challenge, you may appeal the determination within 10 days.

Who Can Be Issued a Letter?

  1. Contractors who are licensed by the State of California with a classification appropriate for the work that will be performed and have a current Business Tax Certificate.
  2. Owners of a building or their legal representative.

How to Request a Letter



Once we receive your application we will review your proposal. Depending on the complexity of your request, it may take up to 8 weeks to issue a response. If we need further information, we will contact you.


Call (510) 238-3911

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