Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

frequently asked questions:

Departmental Responsibilities

What does City of Sacramento Planning do?

Where can I find the City's Zoning Ordinance?

What are your hours of operation?

How do I make an appointment?

Obtaining Information About A Property

What can I build on my property?  What kind of uses are allowed?

How do I obtain a formal zoning determination?

How do I know if my property is a Historic District Landmark or in a Historic District?

Where are my property lines?

How can I speak with a planner regarding any question I may have?

Zoning Questions:  Use and Development Standards

What is the zoning for my property?

What can I do with my property?

Can I operate a business out of my home?

Can I obtain a short-term rental license for my property?

What are the standards for building a new fence or changing the fence on my property?

What are the standards for adding a new detached structure (shed/garage/pool, etc.) to my property?

What are the standards for adding to my home (adding a new room/extending an existing space/adding a patio, etc.)?

Can I add an Accessory Dwelling Unit to my property?

Can I add a second driveway to my home or widen my existing driveway?

Can I pave my front yard completely or replace my lawn with gravel?

Can I park my RV or boat at my home?

Where can I find my plot map?  Does Planning provide plot maps?/Can you send me a site plan/plot plan?

Where can I find Planning requirements for setbacks, maximum structure height, lot coverage, and density (Development Standards)?

Public Hearings:

I received a postcard in the mail about an issue before the City Council, City Planning and Design Commission or Zoning Administrator; how do I find out more information?

How do I submit public comment?

How can I find out if the City Council, Planning and Design Commission or Zoning Administrator passed an item on the agenda?

Planning Entitlement Applications

What is the Site Plan and Design Review?

What is a Conditional Use permit?

What is an administrative permit?

How long is the review process?

What is the application process?

What are the application materials?

How much do Planning Entitlements cost?

Record Retention:

Where can I find copies of my plans?

Signs:

What are the City's regulations for Signs?

How do I submit my sign permit?

Questions

Departmental Responsibilities

What does City of Sacramento Planning do? 

The Community Development Department’s Planning Division is responsible for the development of long-range planning policies and the processing of applications for parcel and subdivision maps, site plan and design review applications to promote compliance with the City’s design guidelines and principles, and the processing of conditional use permits. The division is also responsible for administering the zoning ordinance, promoting high-quality urban design, and collaborating on fostering careful consideration of historic resources. In addition, our environmental specialists manage and support review of projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Where can I find the City's Zoning Ordinance?

The Zoning Ordinance is used by the City to regulate the size, type, structure, and use of land or buildings in designated areas of the City.

The Zoning Ordinance can be found in Title 17 (Planning and Development Code) of the Sacramento City Code. 

What are your hours of operation?

The Public Counter is open for appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

You may contact the Planning Division anytime by email at Planning@cityofsacramento.org

How do I make an appointment?

Appointments will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with two appointments available for each half-hour time slot.

Please visit our Appointment Scheduling page for more details, and to schedule an appointment.

Obtaining Information About A Property

What can I build on my property?  What kind of uses are allowed?

Permitted uses for each zoning district can be found by using Title 17, Division II Zoning Districts and Land Use Regulations of the Sacramento City Code.

You can find the zoning designation for a parcel with the City of Sacramento Land Information Lookup App.

For additional information, or if your property is located within a SPD, Overlay Zone, or PUD, please contact Planning at Planning@cityofsacramento.org

How do I obtain a formal zoning determination?

A formal Zoning Affidavit Letter can be obtained by emailing Planning@cityofsacramento.org

How do I know if my property is a Historic District Landmark or in a Historic District?

The Land Information Look Up App  is an excellent tool to see if a property is in a Historic District or a Contributing Resource.  Historic Landmarks are not listed on the GIS Map.

A list of Historic Landmarks, Historic Districts, and Cultural Resources can be found through the Preservation Sacramento Register webpage (list updated in 2020)

Landmarks added after 2020 will not be listed. You may also contact Planning to determine if the property is in a Historic District or Landmark.

Please note, no changes to Historic Landmarks or properties within a Historic District can be made without approval from the City of Sacramento’s Preservation Division. 

Where are my property lines?

 

The Planning Division does not verify, plot, or determine property lines.  Limited lot size information may be available from the Sacramento County Assessor.

 

Planning does not know the location of a property line relative to a fence, sidewalk, nor to any other feature.  Please contact a licensed land surveyor to determine specific property dimensions and property line locations.

How can I speak with a planner regarding any question I may have?

You may contact the Planning Division at any time by sending an email to Planning@cityofsacramento.org. Please include the property address in the subject line.

You will receive an automatic response acknowledging receipt of your message. 

Responses can be expected within two business days of receipt. 

Alternatively, you may speak with a planner in person at 300 Richards Boulevard with an appointment. Appointments will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with two appointments available for each half-hour time slot.

Please visit our Appointment Scheduling page for more details, and to schedule an appointment.

Zoning Questions: Use and Development Standards

What is the zoning for my property?

Zoning information can be found using the City of Sacramento's Land Information Look Up Website.  The site can also provide information regarding the General Plan designation, Design Review Area, Council Districts, and more.  

What can I do with my property?

All properties are classified into a Zoning District, which will limit the allowable uses on the property.  The zoning district for a specific address can be found using the City of Sacramento's Land Information Look Up Website.  Permitted uses for each zoning district can be found in Title 17, Division II of the Sacramento City Code.

Can I operate a business out of my home?

If you plan to conduct a business out of a residence in the City of Sacramento, you must obtain a Home Occupation Permit (HOP). The application fee for the permit is $154.00. A home occupation is a secondary use, not the primary use of the residence. The intent of regulating home occupations is to reduce the impact of the business on the surrounding neighborhood and to insure compliance with applicable City codes.

Home Occupation allowed uses and regulations can be found in Section 17.228 of the City Code

To obtain your licensing online please visit Revenue’s website

Can I obtain a short-term rental license for my property?

Short term rentals are regulated by the City of Sacramento’s Revenue Division of the Department of Finance. Additional information can be found in the links below:

Short-Term/Vacation Rental Website

Short-Term/Vacation Rental Fee Assessment Forms

Short-Term Rental City Code

What are the standards for building a new fence or changing the fence on my property?

Fences not over 7 feet high do not require a Building Permit. All proposed fencing is subject to Planning Division approval and the applicable standards set forth in Section 17.620 (Wall, Fence and Gate Regulations). Questions related to fencing requirements can be directed to the Planning Division at Planning@cityofsacramento.org

What are the standards for adding a new detached structure (shed/garage/pool, etc.) to my property?

Detached structures or “detached accessory structures” must follow setback, lot coverage, rear lot coverage, distance from main building, height, driveway and other standards found in Section 17.624.050 of the City Code. 

What are the standards for adding to my home (adding a new room/extending an existing space/adding a patio, etc.)?

Extending existing space within a home must comply with the standards (lot coverage, setbacks, height) for the zone that the main dwelling resides in. 

Attached structures and “attached accessory structures” must comply with setback, lot coverage, rear lot coverage, height, driveway and other standards found in Section 17.624.040 of the City Code. 

Can I add an Accessory Dwelling Unit to my property?

In most cases, a maximum of two accessory dwelling units are permitted on a lot developed with a single-unit, duplex, or multi-unit dwelling.

For more information regarding ADUs in the City of Sacramento can be found using the Sacramento’s ADU website or City Code Section 17.228.105 (Accessory dwelling units)

Can I add a second driveway to my home or widen my existing driveway?

Driveway and paving must comply with the landscaping and paving regulations set forth in City Code Section 17.612.010.  Information about adding or modifying driveways can be found on the City of Sacramento Development Engineering webpage, here.

Can I pave my front yard completely or replace my lawn with gravel?

A maximum of 50% of each of the required front-yard and street side-yard setbacks may be paved for off-street parking, driveways, walkways, uncovered patios, and other forms of hardscape. However, this maximum limitation does not apply to that portion of the street side-yard located behind a fence that complies with the street side fence requirements set forth in Section 17.620 of the Sacramento City Code.

Can I park my RV or boat at my home?

Section 15.140.020 of the City Code; Location of trailers in places other than authorized camp.

                A.            Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, it shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to establish, keep or maintain upon any lot or other place within the city, any trailer, auto coach or trailer coach primarily designed for transportation purposes upon a public highway, for occupancy as living quarters for a longer period than forty-eight (48) hours, unless the same is kept and maintained on a regularly established auto and trailer camp operated under permits from the state of California and city-county health department.

                B.             Except for loading and unloading:

                1.            No trailer coach shall be parked within the setback area of a dwelling; and

                2.            No trailer coach shall be parked on residential property within five feet of the adjoining real property line.

Where can I find my plot map?  Does Planning provide plot maps? /Can you send me a site plan/plot plan?

The Planning Division does not verify, plot, or determine property lines.  Limited lot size information may be available from the Sacramento County Assessor.

Where can I find Planning requirements for setbacks, maximum structure height, lot coverage, and density (Development Standards)?

Planning requirements are specific for the zoning district a parcel is in. A parcel’s zoning can be found using the City of Sacramento Land Information Lookup App. Regulations for each zone can be found in the zoning districts and land use regulations section of the City Code. 

Public Hearings:

I received a postcard in the mail about an issue before the City Council, City Planning and Design Commission or Zoning Administrator; how do I find out more information?

City of Sacramento’s Agency Counter can be used to find information on development activity by using the site address or Planning project number. This will provide you with the project description, submitted documents, and the assigned project planner information for further inquiries. 

How do I submit public comment?

Public comments can be submitted by emailing the assigned project planner. If you do not know the contact information for an assigned planner, you can email comments to Planning@cityofsacramento.org

How can I find out if the City Council, Planning and Design Commission or Zoning Administrator passed an item on the agenda?

A list of active projects and recent project decisions can be found on the City of Sacramento's Planning Webpage.  Projects are listed by City Council District and the assigned planner's name and phone number is listed for each project.  Please contact the planner directly or email planning@cityofsacramento.org if you need additional information on a specific project.

Planning Entitlement Applications

What is Site Plan and Design Review?

The purpose of the Site Plan and Design Review entitlement is to ensure that the physical aspects of development projects are consistent with the City Code, zoning ordinance, general plan, and applicable specific plans or transit village plans, and with all applicable design guidelines.  Site Plan and design review is a discretionary permit and approval is not the automatic right of an applicant.  

For more information, visit Section 17.808 Article I. Site Plan and Design Review

What is a Conditional Use Permit?

A conditional use permit is a zoning instrument used primarily to review the location and conduct of certain land uses that are known to have a distinct impact on the area in which they are located, or are capable of creating special problems for bordering properties, unless given special attention.  A conditional use permit is a discretionary permit and approval is not the automatic right of an applicant.  More information can be found within Section 17.808.200 (A)) of the City Code.

What is an administrative permit?

Administrative permits are used to determine the conformance of a proposed project to applicable development standards, use regulations, location restrictions, and similar requirements. Administrative permits are ministerial permits, meaning Planning staff reviews a project to determine conformity with applicable standards found in Title 17 of the City Code.  The determinations are objective and solely based on the standards set forth in Title 17.  

How long is the review process?

The following timelines assume projects are consistent with the zoning and development standards; or if exceptions/deviations are requested, those exceptions/deviations will meet required findings. Please note there are many variables in the review process and the timelines below are approximate estimates:

Staff Level Site Plan and Design Review: 2-3 Months

Director Level Site Plan and Design Review: 4-5 Months

Planning and Design Commission: 6-7 Months

What is the application process?

Applications are submitted electronically through the Citizen Permit Portal: https://aca-prod.accela.com/SACRAMENTO/Default.aspx  Choose Planning then Create Planning Application OR Clearance to Submit to Building.   

Note:

Upload files using the correct file naming convention, listed below:

XYZaddress _APP_(Application – Form CDD 0063) –(Page 2 has a list of submittal components)

XYZaddress __APP_(Design Review Checklist)

XYZaddress __PLANS_(Plans/Drawings)

XYZaddress __SUPP_(Includes Photos, Cutsheets, etc)

View and download all forms and applications on the Planning Forms page.

All forms need to be merged and attached as a PDF document.

You have a successful submittal when you receive a PLN#.  We will review for completeness, and you will then pay your fees online. All correspondence is through email.

SUBMITTAL LINK:

https://www.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Planning/e-Planning

*tutorial also available at this above link to assist

What are the application materials?

Application materials for entitlements can be found on the Submittal Matrix on page 2 of the Planning Entitlement Application (CDD-0063). Planning Application Forms can be found here

How much do Planning Entitlements cost?

Planning entitlement fees can be found on the Planning Forms webpage here. Please contact the Planning email at Planning@cityofsacramento.org for fee estimates. 

Record Retention:

Where can I find copies of my plans?

Record retention is maintained and researched through the City Clerk's online website

Signs:

What are the City's regulations for Signs?

Sign Regulations can be found in Chapter 15.418 of the City Code.

Regulations are specific to the Zone of the parcel the proposed signage is in.  Applicants may use the Land Information Look Up App to find the zone of the parcel. 

If a sign is in a Planned Urban Development (PUD) please reach out to planning@cityofsacramento.org, so a Planner can assist you with finding additional regulations specific to the PUD. 

How do I submit my sign permit?

Signs are submitted through the Building Division. 

Please email them at EZPermit@cityofsacramento.org for their submittal process.