Bookmark and Share
Planning Department Banner, This link takes you back to home page

Search Planning Website

Quick Links

The Public Counter is Open for In-Person and Phone Visits. Appointments are Required.

Now also providing appointments with Public Works and Environmental Health

The Department's Zoning, Building, Environmental Planning and Geologic Hazards staff is available by in-person or telephone appointments, which are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 11:30 AM. An appointment is required, please self schedule your time here. Appointments ensure you will have a time certain conversation with a staff person in the right topic area. This appointment system is in addition to the email service that continues to be available during normal business hours. Addresses for email are available here. Records Room inquiries must be scheduled through the Records Room to ensure that the records will be available for your appointment. Please email:

The Santa Cruz County Sustainability Update has launched!

This project is a comprehensive update to Santa Cruz County’s General Plan/Local Coastal Program and modernization of the County Code.

Join us for COMMUNITY MEETINGS in Spring 2022! Draft documents are available for review online and in hard copy at the Planning Department front counter and at the Downtown and Capitola libraries. Visit the project website to learn more:

New this week: The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is available for review and public comment!

Participate in the ONLINE SURVEY and join us virtually on Monday, May 9th at 6:00pm for COMMUNITY MEETING #6: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIR)


Zoning Administrator Meeting

The next Santa Cruz County Zoning Administrator meeting will be held on: Friday, May 20, 2022 beginning at 9:00 am.

View Agenda: Click Here

Join on your computer via Teams: Click here to join the meeting

Join by phone: +1 (831) 454-2222, Conference ID: 834 093 107 #

Agricultural Policy Advisory Commission Meeting

The next Santa Cruz County Agricultural Policy Advisory Commission meeting will be held on: Thursday, May 19, 2022 beginning at 1:30 pm.

View Agenda: Click Here

Join on your computer via Microsoft Teams: Click here to join the meeting

Join by phone: (831) 454-2222, Conference ID: 233 528 732 #

County of Santa Cruz
Planning Department

To apply for an ePermit (reroof, water heater, etc):

To submit a building permit application
with building plans for review:

For zoning information:, or schedule an appointment with a planner here, or call 831-454-2130

To schedule a discretionary permit intake appointment:
call 831-454-3252
To contact us for information by email:

Quick Links


Featured Items


News and Announcements​

  • Sustainability Update Draft Documents Now Available!
  • The Sustainability Policy and Regulatory Update (Sustainability Update) is a comprehensive update to the County’s General Plan/Local Coastal Program and modernization of the County Code. The goal of this update is to implement new policies and code regulations that support more sustainable communities in Santa Cruz County.

  • Get a summary of proposed changes here: What's Included.

    View current drafts here: Project Documents.

    Join us at upcoming community meetings to learn more about the changes proposed and provide your input. You can also submit your comments using the Public Comment Portal 

    The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is available for review and public comment April 14 - May 31, 2022.

  • ADU Ordinance Adopted and Certified by California Coastal Commission
  • On October 19, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance updating the County's ADU regulations to further streamline ADU development and align with state laws and guidelines. On March 11, 2022, the California Coastal Commision certified the ordinance with no changes. Find more information here.
  • New State Housing Laws Now in Effect
  • The Planning Department has prepared public materials to help property owners understand new state laws in effect starting on January 1, 2022. Please use the links below to learn more about how these new laws might apply to your housing project.
    • • SB 8: extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (SB 330) to encourage more housing production [SB 330/SB8 Guide] [SB 330 Pre-Application]
    • • SB 9: increases development potential on eligible urban single-family zoned lots [SB 9 Information]
    • • SB 478: encourages development of small-scale multifamily “missing middle” housing [SB 478 Guide]
    • • AB 803: allows subdivision of multifamily-zoned lots for single-family starter homes [AB 803 Guide]
  • New Building Permit Resources are Available
  • New resources to help upload electronic building permit applications are available here. You can find ePlan Review "how to" videos here, and a flowchart of the building permit process here.

  • Year 2022 Growth Goal Adopted
  • Santa Cruz County Code sets out a growth management system that implements Measure J, the Growth Management Initiative approved by County voters in 1978. Each year, the Board of Supervisors is required to establish an annual population growth rate that represents Santa Cruz County's fair share of statewide population growth. On September 28, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a 0.25% growth rate for the year 2022. You can find more information here: Board of Supervisors Public Hearing, September 28, 2021, Year 2022 Growth Goal
  • SB 9: New housing bill will take effect January 1, 2022
  • SB 9 will impact development potential on single-family parcels in census-designated urban areas. The Planning Department will prepare educational materials to help property owners understand the law and how it relates to existing County regulations.  Here is a link to the law: Bill Text - SB-9 Housing development: approvals. (
  • Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
  • The 2021 update of the County’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is now available. You can find more information and links to the documents here.
  • Medical Office Building - Draft EIR
  • The Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Medical Office Building Project at 5940 Soquel Avenue has been released. Comments will be accepted until August 9, 2021. You can find the Notice of Availability and the Draft EIR here.
  • ePlan – Building Permit Processing
  • Santa Cruz County reviews and issues building permits using ePlan. Submittals are made electronically with pdf files, and legacy paper processes are being eliminated incrementally. Please note the following:
  • Building permit applications are required to use ePlan. This includes express plan check projects, construction change documents, and deferred submittals.
  • Property owners and applicants will access plan review corrections and application status online at the Application Status website. Website enhancements will be implemented over time.
  • Approval Letters: Approval letters and related forms are being transitioned online. Check the Planning Department website for updates.
  • ePermit – Instant OTC Permits Online!
    Contractors and Homeowners can process, pay & print permit cards online! Most projects meeting the over-the-counter (OTC) criteria, that do not require plan review, can be processed using ePermit. Please submit an online account request at ePermit.

    OTC examples include: Reroofing, water heater replacements, minor electrical alterations & service panel replacements, forced air & air conditioner unit replacements, minor mechanical alterations, minor plumbing alterations, window replacements (like for like), sheetrock/siding/stucco replacement, and fireplace inserts.
  • Vacation Rental Permits
    The Board of Supervisors adopted an amended Vacation Rental Ordinance on January 26th, 2021. On February 25th, 2021, the amended ordinance went into effect. You may view the amended ordinance here:

    As of February 25th, 2021, the moratorium on issuance of new vacation rental permits is now lifted. The Planning Department has commenced processing applications for new vacation rentals. For more information on how to apply for a new vacation rental permit, or to renew an existing (soon to expire permit), please visit the Vacation Rentals web page here: Vacation Rentals

    Please note, the three Designated Areas, which are the Live Oak Designated Area (LODA); the Seacliff/Aptos/La Selva Beach Designated Area (SALSDA); and the Davenport/Swanton Designated Area (DASDA) are currently at capacity. There is currently a Wait List for new permits in these areas. For more information on how to submit a Wait List request, please visit the Vacation Rental web page here: Vacation Rentals
  • The County is issuing a Notice of Preparation for a Draft Environmental Impact Review for a Medical Office Building. To view the item, please click here.
  • Attention Multifamily Project Applicants!

    Find out if your project is eligible for streamlined SB 35 review using the SB 35 Streamlined Review Guide and Application Form.

News Archive...