Planning & Zoning

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

Following the declarations of emergency by the Federal, State and County governments, the City of San Pablo City Council proclaimed the existence of a local emergency due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 16, 2020.  Also on March 16, 2020, the Contra Costa Health Services, along with 6 other Bay Area Counties and the City of Berkeley, issued an order directing non-essential individuals to stay in their residences and limiting travel and activities For more information about how to stay safe during this emergency, links to resources can be found here 

We are accepting plans electronically or plans can be dropped off Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00pm - 3:00pm, call 510-215-3030 to coordinate plan drop off.  Planning applications can be mailed or emailed to or call 510-215-3030. 

Estamos aceptando Planos electrónicamente y tambien se pueden ir a dejar de Martes y Jueves de 12:00pm - 3:00pm, llame al 510-215-3030 para coordinar la entrega de planos.  Las solicitudes de planificación pueden enviarse por correo o por correo o electrónico o llamar al 510-215-3030.

Submit Plans Electronically: Click Here

**Plans must include: Property address, landlords first and last name, contact information and type of project**


Before designing an addition, it is recommended to determine the building setbacks, maximum height, maximum building coverage, and other development standards. These 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 (updated 2018).

 Refer to Title 17 - Zoning Ordinance of the Municipal Code for setbacks, maximum height limitations, and other building restrictions.

California law related to the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) has changed as of January 1, 2020, per Government Code Section 65852.2.  As a result certain local San Pablo regulations pertaining to ADUs are no longer in effect.  Please contact the Planning Division directly for additional information or inquiries regarding ADU approvals.  The San Pablo zoning code will be updated to reflect these changes later in 2020.

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.


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.


Zoning regulates land uses within the City. Each parcel in the City is assigned to a zone which describes the regulations under which that land may be used. Title 17 of the Municipal Code is known as the Zoning Ordinance, and it identifies allowable uses and sets standards such as minimum lot size, maximum building height, and minimum front yard depth. The purpose of the Zoning Ordinance is to promote growth of the city in an orderly manner and to promote and protect the public health, safety, peace, comfort and general welfare in conformance with the general plan.

Zoning Code - Adopted May 18, 2015


View Planning & Zoning Master Fee Schedule
To view the New Building Master Fee Schedule Effective January 1, 2021 ​click here

State of California Public Resources Code 21000-21189.3 has regulated to local governments the requirement to maintain a quality environment for the people in the state now and in the future.  A high-quality environment will result in healthful circumstances for all people.  The capacity of that environment is limited.  Local government has a duty to preserve and enhance the environment.  The legislature requires all agencies to regulate activities of private individuals, corporations, and itself to protect that environment through project analysis and alternatives using the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The City of San Pablo as the lead agency has the responsibility of project review.  During the initial 30-day completeness review of applications for entitlements or permits, environmental issues might be identified which may require environmental evaluation of that project following the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code 21000-21189.3.  The public is invited to review and comment on current negative declarations or environmental impact reports.  The following projects are available for review and comment:

None at present

The following projects have final CEQA determinations:

New City Hall Design and Construction:
Notice of Determination
Purchase and Sale Agreement with Capital Partners of the Civic Center Site (current City Hall site):
Notice of Exemption

Existing City Hall Proposed Land Use Change:
Notice of Determination

New Fire Station #70
Notice of Exemption

Zoning Amendment
Notice of Exemption

Casino Parking Lot Project
​Notice of IS/MND
Notice of Determination

13956 San Pablo Avenue
​Notice of Exemption


Accessory Structures - Planning and Building Division Requirements
Credit Card Authorization Form 
Density and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Calculations
Fences, Walls, Gates and Screening
Home Occupation Conditions
Home Occupation Conditions (Spanish)
Plan Check Intake Process
Planning Pre-Application
Planning Application
R-1 Development Standards
R-2 Development Standards
R-3 Development Standards
R-4 Development Standards

Forms may also be obtained by visiting the Permit Counter Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. For questions, please call (510) 215-3030.