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 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.
- 1 - Land Use Application (Note: This document should be completed by a planner and is not available online.)
- 2 - Project Design Data
- 3 - Multi-Tenant Parking Matrix
- 4 - Use Permit Information
- 5 - Variance
- 6 - Conditional Fence Permit
- 7 - Landmark/Historic Alteration
- 8 - Relocation of Structures
- 9 - Residential Allocation
- 10 - Demolition/Conversion Authorization Permit
- 11 - Coastal Permit
- 12 - Amendments
- 13 - Subdivisions and Minor Land Divisions
- 14 - Lot Line Adjustment
- 15 - Application for Revocable License to Operate Extension Area
- 16 - Fee Waiver Supplemental Application
Development Review Information
- ISA Certified Arborist List
- Archaeological Consultants
- Biological Consultants
- Historic Consultants
- Environmental Impact Report Consultants
- City's Water-Efficient Landscaping Requirements - See Chapter 16.16 of Santa Cruz Municipal Code - Required by Water Department
- Bicycle Parking Requirements - See Section 24.12.250 BIKE PARKING REQUIREMENTS of Santa Cruz Municipal Code
- Refuse Container Storage Facility Standard Design Policy - Required by Public Works Department
- Private Development and Public Right-of-Way Requirements - Required by Public Works Department
- Development and Remodeling Projects Storm Water Best Management Practices - Required by Public Works Department
- Food Service Facility Wastewater Discharge Questionnaire - Required by Public Works Department
- Transportation Impact Study Guidelines - Required by Public Works Department
The Current Planning Division administers a variety of City regulations relating to physical development of the community.
- 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?Join the eNotification list to stay up to date on current projects. If you are interested in planning and community development you will want to sign up for eNotifications of the following advisory bodies: Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Zoning Administrator, and City Council.