What Are "Vehicular Residential Facilities"?
Vehicular Residential Facilities (VRFs) are residential dwelling units constructed on a vehicle chassis and are defined in Oakland Planning Code Section 17.10.700 as RVs under State law (Health and Safety Code Section 18010). VRFs include motorhomes, trailers, and tiny homes on wheels. They contain less than 320 square feet of internal living area and 400 square feet or less of gross horizontal area.
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.
VRFs require Zoning approval before they are placed on a site. For projects with 1-4 VRFs, a Design Review Exemption (DRX) is required. Projects with 5 or more VRFs will require regular Design Review (DR).
Building Permits are required to prepare the site (e.g., Grading Permit) and install utilities (e.g., Plumbing Permit, Electrical Permit).
See below for instructions on how to apply for your VRF or review our Guide to Vehicular Residential Facilities.
If no Building-related permits are required for the project, only Zoning approval is required, in which case either the property owner or authorized representative can apply. However, ONLY the following persons may apply for a Building Permit:
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Permits:
Once you receive Zoning approval, you may apply for building permits through our Online Permit Center (must be a fully registered and activated user):
Grading and Building Permits (for Retaining Walls):
If required for your project, you may also apply for a Grading Permit and Building Permit (for retaining walls) through our Online Permit Center. Please refer to the requirements for Grading Permits in the Oakland Municipal Code – Grading, Excavation, and Fills.
Curbs, Gutters, Sidewalks & Driveways:
If your project involves installation, widening, elimination, or repair to a curb, gutter or sidewalk (CGS), you will need to obtain approval from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Once we receive your application, staff will review your documents for completeness. If further information is needed, a planner will contact you at the email address provided. 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 & Services Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.
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