Permit Center Reopening: In-Person & Expanded Digital Services

Date Posted: September 13th, 2021 @ 3:37 PM
Last Updated: December 7th, 2022 @ 12:57 PM

PHONE SYSTEM OUTAGE: The City of Oakland's phone system is currently experiencing service disruption, which may prevent calls or voicemails from going through to staff. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please visit our team directories for staff emails or find common answers at our Permit & Services Questions Portal.

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Welcome Back to Permit Center In-Person Services!

City of Oakland One Stop Permit Center Black on White Graphic

The City of Oakland welcomes you back to 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, our One-Stop Permit Center! This webpage is designed to assist you in accessing permitting services as we reopen to in-person services and continue to expand the range of services available online (see here for Online Services list).

In addition, the City has combined the permitting counter services of the Planning & Building Department, Oakland Fire Department, and Department of Transportation on the second floor to provide for a "one-stop shop" experience. We thank you in advance for your patience as we make these changes that over time will allow us to provide you with more responsive and efficient services.

MOST IN-PERSON SERVICES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: Please note that most in-person services at the Permit Center are by-appointment-only. Follow the instructions below to schedule your appointment.

Hours of Operation & Appointments

BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH PLANNING & BUILDING: At this time, Planning & Building is offering assistance to customers who have submitted an application to the Online Permit Center, or are seeking information on the City’s planning and building requirements and application processes. If you have not applied for your project, please come to the meeting prepared with a site address and description of the project. If you have already applied to Planning & Building, be sure to include your application number. If you are currently in contact with specific staff, please continue to work with them unless you are directed to schedule an in-person appointment through the links on this page. Please DO NOT use the links on this web page to schedule an appointment expecting to meet with a specific person, as we cannot guarantee their availability.

Photo of customer at Permit Counter

As of February 14, 2022, in-person permitting services have resumed at:

City of Oakland Permit Center
250 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
1st Floor (Greeter Station & Lobby) & 2nd Floor (Permit Counters)
Oakland, CA 94612

PARTICIPATING DEPARTMENTS:

HOURS OF OPERATION:

  • SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS - ALL DEPARTMENTS:
    Mon, Tue, Thu: 9 am - 4 pm
    Wed: 10 am - 4 pm
  • WALK-IN SERVICES - PLANNING & BUILDING ONLY*:
    Mon and Wed: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    * NOTE: Walk-in appointments are limited based upon availability, and are on a "first-come, first-served" basis. Permits are issued online only.

    WHAT TO EXPECT when you arrive
  • PERMIT COUNTER CLOSED TO PUBLIC ON FRIDAY

MOST SERVICES BY-APPOINTMENT-ONLY:

Most services will be by appointment only, with limited walk-in services available from Planning & Building. Please note that Planning & Building continues to provide online services through the Online Permit Center and as outlined below. Check out our Video Tutorials for assistance. We also recommend that homeowners, business owners and developers visit our Get Started on Your Project directory for step-by-step permit guidance for common project types reviewed by Planning & Building. Answers to Planning & Building frequently asked questions are also available on our online Permit & Services Questions Portal.

Schedule Your Appointment:

PLANNING & BUILDING APPOINTMENTS

BE PREPARED! Before in-person appointments concerning Planning & Building project permits, please be sure you have submitted your initial Zoning or Building Worksheet or permit application through the Online Permit Center. Documents must be submitted electronically; paper documents are NOT being accepted.

  • You may self-schedule an appointment for the following services:
    • Planning/Zoning-related questions
      ⇒ Schedule appointment: In-Person
    • Building-related questions
      ⇒ Schedule appointment: In-Person
    • Plan Check (Building Code)-related questions
      ⇒ Schedule appointment: In-Person
    • Pay/discuss fee(s) with the Cashier
      ⇒ Schedule appointment: In-Person
    • Reserve a self-service computer workstation onsite to:
      • Complete a permit application
      • Submit info or digital documents (thumb drive access available)
      • Submit a Public Records Request
      • Note: We recommend that you bring a USB flash drive to your computer workstation appointment, in order to upload and/or download any documents or materials, such as a permit application or plans.

OAKLAND FIRE & DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION APPOINTMENTS

  • If your appointment concerns a permit application, we will accommodate only one project application per appointment. If you have submitted multiple applications, you must be scheduled for separate appointments. Depending upon staff availability and the timing of your application submissions, we cannot guarantee concurrent ("back-to-back") appointments.
  • Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment to allow time to get through building security. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late to your appointment, staff will need to reschedule your appointment. Staff cannot guarantee that you will be seen the same day. If you fail to appear for a scheduled appointment, you may be charged a fee. We ask that you cancel your appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

NEED TO RESCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT?

  • Please cancel and reschedule your appointment if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone that has tested positive. COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to: chills, cough, fever, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
  • Need to cancel or reschedule your appointment? Please refer to the original confirmation message you received when booking to cancel or reschedule. To reschedule Planning & Building Department appointments, you may also call (510) 238-3891. We ask that you cancel or request to reschedule at least 24 hours in advance. This will allow staff to offer appointments to other patrons in need of assistance.

In-Person Services

Service Category Service Descriptions

Planning Bureau (PB) Services


  • Planning/Zoning Approval - once your application has been approved and the City has received payment, you will be notified by email. Planning & Building is currently not issuing same-day approvals at the Permit Center.

Building Bureau (BB) Services

Call (510) 238-3891

  • Permit Issuance - Once your permit is approved and the City has received payment, your permit will be issued via email. Planning & Building is currently not issuing same-day permits at the Permit Center.

Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) Permitting Services

Learn what services are available, what is required and what to expect during your meeting with FPB:
FPB Permitting Services

Currently available in-person services are*:

  • Vegetation Management meeting
  • Occupancy Permit meeting
  • Special Event Permit Application Meeting
  • Submit Payment to FPB

*FPB cannot guarantee same-day (over the counter) permit issuance.

Schedule an appointment
Call (510) 238-7926

Oakland Dept. of Transportation (OakDOT) Permitting Services

Learn what services are available, what is required and what to expect during your meeting with OakDOT:
OakDOT Permitting Services

Currently available in-person services from OakDOT are:

  • Submit Curb, Gutter & Sidewalk (CGS) Permit*
  • Submit Traffic Control Plan (OB) Permit
  • Submit Obstruction (OB) Permit*
  • Submit Sewer Lateral (SL) & Minor Excavation Permits*
  • Submit Sidewalk Certification*
  • Submit Utility and Telecom Permits (X, OB, ENMI)
  • Submit PX - Offsite Infrastructure Permit Application
  • Submit Major/Minor Encroachment Permit Application
  • Existing Application Meeting
  • Offsite Infrastructure (PX) Permit Meeting (for an existing PX application)
  • Traffic Control Plan (TCP) Meeting
  • Pre-Application Meeting
  • Pay for permits at the Cashier's Office

*This permit is available for same-day (over the counter) issuance

Schedule an appointment
Call (510) 238-3199

Cashier

  • Submit payments (by Credit Card [Visa and Master Card Only])
  • Submit a request for refunds
  • Request demand payoff
  • Submit a Code Enforcement billing appeal
  • Receive assistance with fee-related questions

Schedule in-person appointment
Call (510) 238-4774

Code Enforcement

  • File a property complaint concerning blight, unpermitted work, housing or Zoning violations
  • Apply to property improvement programs

Call (510) 238-3381
Email bbcode-inspect@staging.oaklandca.gov

Records Requests

  • Submit a records request (available onsite)

Call 510-238-3606

When You Arrive & Covid Safety

Covid-19 safety protocols graphic

WHEN YOU ARRIVE:

Please do not come to City buildings or facilities if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to: chills, cough, fever, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, or sore throat.

  • Masks are required for entry into City buildings, regardless of vaccination status

You are required to check in with building security and to go through a temperature screening before entering the building.

All customers must go to the Greeter Station on the first floor to check in for a previously scheduled appointment, schedule an appointment, or receive customer assistance.

OakDOT or FPB staff will meet you on the first floor, then escort you to the second floor for your counter appointment with their department.

  • For the sake of reducing density in the building, we ask that you come to your appointment alone if at all possible
  • You may notice that we may be less talkative during your appointment. This is for your safety as well as the safety of staff.
  • Please wear a mask always during your appointment or visit.
  • Please sit in designated areas only.
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are available for your use.
  • Please cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Please throw used tissues or wipes into the trash bin.
  • Please do not eat or drink inside the building while receiving or waiting to receive service.
  • Please remain behind the plexiglass barriers. They have been placed on the counter to protect you and City staff.
  • Restrooms are available on the first floor for use by members of the public.

You will be notified when Planning & Building staff is ready to serve you on monitors located in the first-floor lobby of 250 Frank H. Ogawa and in the Permit Center, as well as through speakers located in the Permit Center. You are not required to stay in the building while you are waiting, and can instead provide your cell phone number or email address to receive a notification when staff are almost ready to serve you.

Online Services

Find or apply for the permits you need, ask permit questions 24/7, or get started on your project today!

Service Category Service Descriptions

General Online Permit Services

  • Get Started on Your Project – New online directory offering step-by-step permit guidance for common project types by homeowners, business owners and developers.
  • Online Permit Center
    - Apply for selected permits
    - Check on your permit status
    - Research property records
    - Pay permit fees
    - Print permits or inspection cards

Planning Bureau (PB) Services

  • For general questions or to consult with a planner about Zoning and design requirements for your project
    Call (510) 238-3911

Building Bureau (BB) Services

  • Plan Check Services - To consult with a Building Services engineer about building code-related issues (structural, fire, accessibility, safety and habitability issues).

Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) Permitting Services

Schedule an in-person appointment
Call (510) 238-7926

For Vegetation Management questions, email: wildfireprevention@staging.oaklandca.gov

For Special Event permit questions, email: fpbevents@staging.oaklandca.gov

For Cannabis questions, email: ofdcannabis@staging.oaklandca.gov

For Homeless Encampment questions or issues, email: homelessness@staging.oaklandca.gov

All other questions or concerns such as Fire Plans, New Construction, Mobile Food Vending, or scheduling inspections (not Vegetation Management) please email: fbpreceptionist@staging.oaklandca.gov

Oakland Dept. of Transportation (OakDOT) Permitting Services

  • Apply for a permit or get answers to permit-related questions.

Schedule an in-person appointment
Call (510) 238-3199

Email DOTOnlinePermits@staging.oaklandca.gov

Building Inspections

Cashier


  • Submit payments (by Credit Card [Visa and Master Card Only])
  • Submit a request for refunds
  • Request demand payoff
  • Submit a Code Enforcement billing appeal
  • Receive assistance with fee-related questions

Call (510) 238-4774

Code Enforcement

Records Requests

Call 510-238-8354

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission promotes the orderly growth and development of the City through studies, decisions on development proposals, policy recommendations to the City Council, and related activities. With the revised Emergency Order No. 3 of the City of Oakland, the City has resumed Planning Commission meetings (see full schedule here). As such, the Planning Bureau has resumed making administrative decisions on projects appealable to the Planning Commission and scheduling entitlement cases.

Planning Policies and Major Development Projects
Community Input Opportunities

The following Policy Projects are currently underway in the Planning & Building Department and will have formal opportunities or processes for public input:

The following Major Projects are currently under development review in the Planning & Building Department and will have formal opportunities or processes for public input:

Permit Processing Turnaround Time Estimates

EXPEDITED REQUESTS: We are not accepting expedited requests on application intake processing at this time. However, we are accepting expedited requests for Planning & Building Plan Review and issuance processing, depending on staff availability for overtime work. To make a request for expedited review, please fill out this Overtime Plan Check Request Form.

We understand this unprecedented time has been challenging for many of our customers. It is our ultimate intention to return to the response times established prior to the Alameda County Shelter-In-Place Orders going into effect, as they are updated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To assist in getting your application started AND moving, please note that your application is considered to be completely submitted for processing ONLY after application materials are received and all application fees have been paid.

Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times (Estimates Only)

How to Obtain Status on Your Permit:

Permit Processing Overview

Building permit graphic showing sample blueprints and fee calculator

Permits are required in the City of Oakland either to operate a business or perform construction on buildings or structures. The permitting process will vary based on your project. You may need to obtain permits from the Planning Bureau, Building Bureau, Fire Prevention Bureau, Department of Transportation, Oakland Public Works, the Alameda County’s Environmental Health Department, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or other governmental agencies. [See "Permitting Process" overview for details.]

Depending on the scope of work and the zoning of your property, your project may need to conform with design standards as outlined in one or more of Oakland’s various Neighborhood Plans and Citywide Plans. You can also check the zoning requirements for your property by visiting our Oakland Zoning Map.

Permit Processing Overview

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