New Duplex

For new duplexes, regular Design Review (DR) and a Building Permit is required. The application will start with review by the Bureau of Planning.

Date Posted: June 16th, 2021 @ 4:38 PM
Last Updated: December 31st, 2021 @ 3:51 PM

When Are Permits Required?


Regular Design Review (DR) is required for the construction of two (2) new primary dwelling units (a duplex), other than a secondary unit. 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 duplex includes all related Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work within the building, and must be obtained before any construction work begins. Separate Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) permits for the project are not required.

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.

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


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.

STEP ONE: Design Review
  • Submit a Zoning Worksheet through our Online Permit Center
  • In the Worksheet, upload your completed Basic Application for Development Review*, Design Review Findings, and all associated plans and documents
    * Please note that a duplex is distinct from a Single Family House with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
  • A planner will review your submission
  • Please note that public notice of your project will be required
  • Once approved, you will receive a decision letter from the Bureau of Planning
STEP TWO: Building Permit
  • Submit a Building Worksheet through our Online Permit Center
  • In the Worksheet, upload your completed Building Permit Application, including a description of all Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work to be performed, and all required documents as outlined in the Submittal Checklist for New Construction

Refer to the following as applicable:


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 Questions Portal.

Additional Resources