Multi-Unit Residence (3+ Unit Apartment Complexes)

For new multi-family residences of 3 units or more, regular Design Review (DR) and a Building Permit is required. The application will start with review by the Bureau of Planning.

Date Posted: November 17th, 2020 @ 4:38 PM
Last Updated: July 2nd, 2021 @ 11:16 AM

When Are Permits Required?

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Regular Design Review (DR) is required for the construction of three or more new primary dwelling units, other than an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). In addition to other possible required approvals, the project must obtain Design Review approval from the Bureau of Planning prior to submitting for a Building Permit. The Building Permit for a new 3+ unit building and permits for all related Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work within the building must be obtained before any construction work begins. Other permits will be required depending on the scope of the project.

Who Can Be Issued a Permit?

  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 Apply

Pre-Application Meeting Recommended:

For complex projects, a pre-application meeting with a Planner is recommended. This will provide an opportunity for feedback from City staff on complicated projects or proposals.

Step One: Planning Review
  • Submit a completed Basic Application for Development Review and Design Review Findings
  • Include plan sets as required in the Basic Application for Development Review submittal
  • A planner will review your submission
  • Once approved, you will receive a decision letter from the Bureau of Planning
Step Two: Building Review
  • Submit your Building Permit application and MEP Application Worksheet
  • Include all submittal documents as required by the Submittal Checklist for New Construction

Refer to the following as applicable:


Complete the following:

Once complete, e-mail your completed application form(s) and all associated plans and documents to or via our Digital Inbox for applications over 20MB.


Once we receive your application, staff will contact you regarding your intake appointment during which your submittal will be reviewed for completeness. It is recommended that you are available for questions during that appointment, but not required.


Call (510) 238-3911

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