Frequently ​Asked Questions

The information listed herein is intended for general information purposes only and should not be used in place of adopted County ordinances and regulations. Please contact the Office of Planning and Environmental Review at for information regarding specific regulations or before submitting an application.​​ Alternatively, you may schedule an appointment​ with the Planning front counter of the Building Assistance Center.​

A Use Permit, also known as a Conditional Use Permit or Special Use Permit, allows specific land uses in zones not normally allowed for a particular site to ensure that the proposed use is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

Minor Use Permits typically have less impact on adjacent properties than a Conditional Use Permit, require less intensive review, and may be approved by planning staff, upon compliance with staff recommendations and conditions for approval. Unlike a Conditional Use Permit, Minor Use Permits do not require a public hearing.

A Special Development Permit is a discretionary permit which may be granted by the appropriate authority to provide greater flexibility from and alternatives to development standards, minimum lot area and lot width, and minimum public street frontage in any zoning district.

Discretionary entitlement applications, such as Use Permits, Special Development Permits, Tentative Parcel Maps, Rezones, etc. can take anywhere from six to twelve or more months to process​. This timeline includes review of application for completeness, comments from internal and external agencies, public hearings and notices, and the preparation of necessary planning and environmental documents. Lower level discretionary permits, such as Minor Use Permits, and administrative permits can take anywhere from a few weeks to four months to process.

A mailed notice of a public hearing is sent to property owners who are adjacent to a property with a proposed entitlement application. It is generally encouraged that you review the mailed notice and visit our Planning Projects Viewer to find more information regarding the project. You may also contact us at or via the contact information on the mailed notice for more information about the project. Please include the Control Number in all correspondence regarding a proposal.

Comments for projects can be submitted to our office directly or sent via email to either or to the staff person assigned to the project. Comments can be mailed to our office at:
Office of Planning and Environmental Review
827 7th Street, Room 225
Sacramento, CA 95814​​​​

Please refer to our SB 9 / SB 10 webpage​ for more information.​