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Please review the Permit Requirements below as these vary from project to project.
Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.
Design Review (DS-1 or DR) is only required for tenant improvements on commercial properties or units undergoing extensive exterior modifications or a change of use. In addition to other possible required approvals (such as a Conditional Use Permit), these projects must obtain Design Review approval from the Bureau of Planning prior to submitting for a Building Permit. The Building Permit for commercial tenant improvements and permits for all related Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work within the building must be obtained before any construction work begins.
Please note that separate permits will also be required from the Oakland Department of Transportation, Oakland Fire Department, and Oakland Public Works depending on the scope of the project.
For complex projects that include extensive exterior modifications or a change of use, a pre-application meeting with a Planner is recommended. This will provide an opportunity for feedback from City staff on complicated projects or proposals. Pre-application could involve discussion with staff about the scope and complexity of the project or could involve a formal Zoning Pre-Application Review session with a fee. Please call (510) 238-3911 for more information.
Prior to applying for a Commercial Tenant Improvements Permit for your Restaurant and/or Bar, you must obtain approval from the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
Click the button below to be taken to an external website for the Alameda County DEH.Visit Alameda DEH Website
Many tenant improvements do not require Design Review. Complete this step as applicable
If your project requires Design Review:
If your project does not require Design Review:
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. For the latest processing estimates, please see our Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times webpage.
Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit & Services Questions Portal.
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