If you are looking to build something or start a business or activity in the City of Oakland, the Planning and Building Department oversees the use and development of properties within the City of Oakland to ensure that what citizens want to build or do on their properties is safe, allowed, and applicable with all codes and regulations. NOTE: Permit counters are re-organizing – please see the notice in the About section below for details.

Learn More about Permit Fees


Holiday party photo montage of celebrants from the Planning and Building Department. Photos by Aaron Lehmer-Chang.
Dec 11, 2019

Happy Holidays from Planning & Building

From all of us at the Planning and Building Department, we wish you and yours a very happy and joyous holiday season! We will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.


NOTICE: Permit Counters Reorganizing - Here's What You Should Know

To improve customer service to those seeking project permits in Oakland, our 2nd floor Planning & Building Counters are being re-organized.

Here's what to know during the transition:

  • To receive the fastest and most efficient customer service for submitting and receiving permits at the Building Counter, we encourage customers to make an appointment with a Process Coordinator (see list below).
  • We are unable to make same-day appointments for major projects or multiple addresses.
  • All required documentation must be submitted during intake with the Process Coordinator. Any applications with missing documents will not be accepted.
  • Cancellations for appointments must be made at least 24 hours prior to the appointment time to avoid cancellation fees assessed to the project.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact one of the following Process Coordinators:

Getting Started: Before you Build

Most development projects, ranging from replacing a window, adding on to an existing building—all the way to constructing a new building are required to go through a review and permitting process. The permit process ensures that work is done safely and meets the minimum code requirements, thereby minimizing the risk of hazards such as fires, flood damage and/or structural problems. The permit process includes inspection approval from a certified City inspector. Following zoning and building requirements improves the quality and attractiveness of your neighborhood, which raises property values.

What Permits are Needed?

Consult with Planning and Zoning and/or Building Services staff to check on permit requirements before you start the work to save yourself time and money. You may visit the Permit Center in-person where our knowledgeable staff can determine the types of permits, documents and other project specific information that will be required. All but the most minor work on your house or other structures on your property will require review and permits from the Planning and Zoning and/or the Building Services Divisions of the City of Oakland. Permits from other departments, such as Public Works and the Fire Department may also be required.

Zoning Permits

The first step for determining how your property can be developed is to review Planning Codes and Zoning Maps, which are available in the Planning and Building Codes section. The Zoning District for your property will provide guidance on the types of allowable land uses, as well as development standards, such as building height limits, required setbacks, parking regulations and building materials.

Building Permits

After you have received Zoning approval, you may apply for your building permits. City’s building regulations define standards for the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures. Part of the permitting process includes a Plan Check where our engineers review your plans for compliance with applicable codes and regulations. Plan check usually takes four to six weeks. Your plans will also be submitted for review by Fires Services which takes one to 10 days.

During Construction

Once your project plans are approved, all fees are paid and the required permits have been issued, construction can begin. Refer to Construction Codes for information on hours, noise, safety and environmental requirements. Building permits are valid for six months. Throughout construction, you will need to call for regular building inspections as outlined. Upon passing the final inspection, the inspector will release your utilities and issue a Certificate of Occupancy if warranted.

Contact Us

Map location for Permits, located at 250 Frank H Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612
250 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
2nd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone Numbers

Email Address

Open Hours

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM