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Building Today, and Planning for Tomorrow
The Planning and Building Department assists in the physical development of the City of Oakland, protecting the public's health, safety and welfare.
The Planning and Zoning Division, in coordination with the Planning Commission and community stakeholders, maintains the General Plan, a long-range policy document that guides the physical development of the City of Oakland. Neighborhood and Area Plans provide more specific guidance for particular geographic areas. On a smaller scale, the Planning Code (zoning regulations and maps) specificies permitted uses and development standards for every parcel in the City. Planning and Zoning, working closely with Building Services, assists customers as they prepare development projects or a new activity/business, by overseeing the preservation of Historic Resources, processing environmental review documents, and issuing zoning permits (including Green Building permits) for projects that meet Planning Code requirements.
The Building Services Division, in coordination with other City departments, assists customers as they prepare development projects (such as additions, new construction, or renovations of existing buildings). Working closely with Planning and Zoning, Building Services provides determination of the building permits and other project-specific information that will be required. After permits are issued, inspectors review construction to make sure it’s proceeding according to the approved plans and conditions-of-approval, and that it meets current Building Code standards, ensuring personal safety and securing the value of the improvement. Code Enforcement works to keep our community clean, safe and free of blight is supported by the Oakland Municipal Code 8.24.
Online applications make services more accessible to you!
- Watch Videos of City Council Meetings
- Register your Foreclosed and Defaulted Property
- Register your Investor Owned Residential Property
- Accela Citizen Access Portal
- Submit a Document Research Request or an Expedited Document Research Request
- Watch Wait time at the Permit Counter
Even more services will be available online soon, including the capability to search for official copies of documents.
Soft-Story Housing Improvement Plan for the City of Oakland
The City of Oakland is taking steps to identify soft-story multi-unit buildings vulnerable to collapse in earthquakes. Past earthquakes have demonstrated that these buildings pose a safety risk to tenants and occupants, a financial risk to owners and risk the recovery of the City and region. In 2008 Oakland surveyed its multi-family buildings with five or more units and in 2009 Oakland passed an ordinance that required the owners of these buildings to complete a simple evaluation of the ground floor. Click here to read the Association of Bay Area Governments' Soft-Story Housing Improvement Plan for the City of Oakland that discusses the data collected thus far as a result of that ordinance, and recommends next steps the City and residents can take to reduce damage to multi-unit wood-frame soft-story buildings in an earthquake.
Legislative and Advisory Bodies
The following Commissions and Boards provide guidance on citywide legislation and policies, as well individual project approvals:
- City Council
- Community & Economic Development Committee of City Council
- Cultural Affairs Commission
- Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board
- Planning Commission