Submitting a Planning Application
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Who needs to approve?
- 3. Application Preparation & Fees
- 4. Application Submission
- 5. Application Processing
- 6. How to get help
- Minor Application (Link): This application is submitted at the ePermit Center and is often processed administratively, unless a public hearing is requested. The application is for Home Occupation Permits, Property Use Verifications, Substandard Sized Lot Design Reviews, and Kensington Design Reviews.
- General Applications (Link): All other projects are submitted at the ePermit Center and require additional review by a Planner. Many of these projects are discretionary and require a public hearing prior to approval. The time to process varies significantly, depending on the complexity of the project.
- Special Administrative Applications: Temporary Event and Short Term Rental Applications are submitted by email the completed application form to email@example.com.
Who Needs To Approve Your Project?
The first step in determining who needs to review your project, is checking what jurisdiction the project is located. The County Planning Agency (DCD) only reviews projects in unincorporated Contra Costa County. If you are within city limits, you will need approval from your city's Planning Agency.
You can use our CCMAP online mapping tool to check your jurisdiction.
If you are in unincorporated Contra Costa County, determine which application you need (Link).
If your project is within a city's boundaries, Contra Costa County is not your planning agency. Contact you city directly to verify their requirements. If your project is in the cities below, our department provides Building Permits. See the Building Permit page (Link) for more information.
Please Note: Most projects require other Department's (Public Works, Environmental Health, etc.) and Agency's (Fire District, Sanitary District, etc.) approval
Preparing to Submit an Application
Anyone with an ePermit Center (Link) account can submit a Minor or General Application. However, all applications require submittal of a Property Owner Authorization Form (PDF) and all General Application submittals must also include an Important Notice To Applicants and Property Owners Form (PDF).
Register for an account on the ePermits Center (Link). It only takes a few simple steps and you'll have the added benefits of seeing a complete history of applications, access to your invoices and receipts, checking on the status of pending activities and more.
What Documents Should Be Included?
The documents you must submit varies depending on the type of application and scope of your project. The following guidelines are generally applicable*.
- Minor Applications:
- General Applications:
- Property Owner Authorization Form (PDF)
- Important Notice To Applicants and Property Owners Form (PDF)
- Plan Set (Site Plan, Floor Plan, Architectural Elevations). View Preparing Electronic Plans (PDF) guide for details.
- Detailed Project or Business Description. This can be a separate document or entered on the application form.
- Special Reports if applicable (Tree Removal and Protection Plan, Stormwater Control Plan, Radio Frequency Report, Biological Resources Assessment, etc.)
- See the General Planning Application Checklist (PDF) for more details.
- Special Administrative Applications
- See Applications For Details.
The County Fee Schedule outlines all Planning application fees. The following are fees for commonly submitted applications. Most applications include an initial deposit which is billed to for time and materials.
- Undersized Lot Review: $300 filing fee. If public hearing is requested, $3,000 minimum deposit
in addition to review fee. Time and materials.
- Home Occupation Permit: $150 filing fee.
- Land Use Verification: $200 filing fee.
- Alteration of Protected Trees: $750 minimum deposit. Time and materials.
- Accessory Dwelling Unit Application: $2,000 minimum deposit. Time and materials.
How Do I Submit?
Once you have gathered your documents and information, you are ready to submit your Planning Application using the ePermits Center.
How Your Application Is Processed
The processing of all applications has three main components: Intake, Review, and Determination. Processing time for applications varies significantly depending on the type and complexity of your project. Check you application progress on the ePermits Center.