COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

Current Planning Division

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Planning & Community Development


Submitting a Planning Application

In Person: Come to the Planning Counter for assistance with a project submittal or get answers to your questions. Meeting with a planner is on a first-come first-serve basis at the counter; however, appointments can be made.


It is our goal to continuously improve our website tools to help guide and assist you. Presently, self help features include maps to assist you with gathering your zoning and land use information. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also available. You may also talk to a planner during business hours or send a your questions to our general email

Pre-Application Materials

Pre-application reviews are an opportunity for an applicant to receive preliminary feedback on a project from staff of various City departments/divisions. The benefit of a pre-application review is that a formal permit submittal can be designed in response to city comments and that can lessen the overall permit processing time.

On January 1, 2020, SB330 took effect which, among other things, includes provisions that lock in policies and ordinances in effect when a completed preliminary application for a housing development has been filed for a period of six (6) months. Housing development includes:

  • residential projects,
  • mixed-use projects with at least 2/3 of the square footage dedicated to residential units,
  • and transitional or supportive housing projects.

If an applicant wishes to take advantage of the vesting rights provisions included in SB330, review the Pre-Application-Required Materials document which shows the minimum required application materials that must be submitted in order for the pre-application to be deemed complete.

If an applicant does not want to take advantage of the vested rights provisions of SB330 or is seeking feedback on a non-housing project, the items listed in the Pre-Application-Required Materials document are not all required.  Pre-application responses will be commensurate with the detail included in the plans. Feel free to contact the Current Planning Division for more information at (831)420-5110.

Land Use Application Information

The forms listed below (Items 2 - 16) are supplemental to the main Land Use Application (Item 1) and are based on the project type. Please consult a planner for help in determining the specific submittal requirements for your application.

Development Review Information


The Current Planning Division administers a variety of City regulations relating to physical development of the community. 

Duties include:

  • Answering zoning questions by email or by phone at 831-420-5416
  • Maintains and updates the Current Cumulative Project List
  • Reviewing proposed businesses and issuing zoning clearances for permitted uses
  • Reviewing development plans submitted for building permits for compliance with the zoning code
  • Reviewing land use applications such as use permits, variances, coastal permits, design permits, historic alteration and demolition permits, tentative parcel and tractmaps, etc.
  • Preparing staff reports with findings and conditions to present before the Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and City Council
  • Conducting environmental reviews and coordinating environmental compliance activities of other city departments
  • Preparing recommendations for zoning code amendments
  • Attending neighborhood meetings to help answer questions/concerns over zoning issues or project details
  • Investigating complaints regarding violations of zoning, housing, and property maintenance requirements and securing property owner compliance
  • Monitoring conditions of approval and mitigation measures




  • How can I find out when a new building/project is being proposed?
More FAQs

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer