Virtual & Online Services

The following online services are available for consultations and the submittal of permit applications.

Virtual Public Counter Consultations

New Planning (Land Use) Applications Planning (Land Use) Application Resubmittals Development (Building and Grading) Permit Applications

Public Inquiries

  • Email our Permit Center at [email protected] and our permit technicians will respond to you​

Checklists and Procedures

  • Agriculture Building Exemption
    The procedure to exempt certain agriculture buildings from requiring a building permit.
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control State License Clearance
    A checklist of documentation required by the Planning Office in order to process your application for Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) State License Clearance.
  • Alternate Material, Design, or Method of Construction
    A permit application and review process that can be used to propose an alternate means of code compliance. This process is separate and in addition to any other permit application made for a project.
  • Architecture & Site Approval and ASA Small Project Exemptions
    A review process typically required for commercial, institutional, office, industrial, and multi-family residential uses.
  • Building Permit
    A building permit must be obtained before you construct, enlarge, alter, move, replace, repair, improve, convert, or demolish any building or structure.
  • Building Site Approval
    A procedure generally required for new single-family home construction, and some additions. 
  • Certificate of Compliance
    An affirmation of lot legality after historical review.
  • Demolition Permit
    As well as a Building Permit, a Demolition permit is necessary in order to demolish an existing structure.
  • Design Review
    A review procedure applicable to residential development in specified areas deemed visually sensitive.
  • Drainage Permit
    If your project is creating more than 2,000 square feet of net new impervious area or changing an existing drainage pattern, a drainage permit is required.
  • Event Permit
    Includes Events with Tents, Fireworks, Generators, and several other considerations.
  • Fees
    A list of fees associated with various services our department offers.
  • FEMA - Change Special Flood Hazard Zone designation
    If your project proposes to change your Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Special Flood Hazard Zone designation, FEMA has created a process of preliminary approval.
  • FEMA - Remove a Structure
    To remove a structure from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Special Flood Hazard Zone, an application to amend (Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)), or revise due to the inclusion of fill (Letter of Map Revision-Fill (LOMR-F)), the limits of the flood zone is required by FEMA.
  • Fire Marshal Permits and Clearances
    Various permits and clearances issued by the Fire Marshal's Office.
  • Generator Application for Residential Use​
  • Grading Approval
    Checklist and requirements for both the Grading Approval necessary for grading on a property.
  • Grading Permit
    After your project has received Grading Approval from the Planning Office, you are authorized to apply for a Grading Permit.
  • Grading or Drainage Permit Modification
    If you need to modify your existing Grading or Drainage Permit.
  • Lot Line Adjustment
    A procedure that provides for the minor alteration of property lines between two or more contiguous lots.
  • Lot Merger
    A procedure to provide for the merger or two or more contiguous lots.
  • Movable Tiny Homes​
    Planning Clearance for Movable Tiny Homes
  • Open Space Easement Compatible Use Determination
    An evaluation of proposed uses and development is compatible with an open space easement.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Permit
    Information and Permitting requirements for a Photovoltaic (PV) Solar System
  • Post Approval Monitoring
  • Pre-Screening Process
    The pre-screening process is an optional review for property owners, architects, engineers and developers that provides preliminary project evaluation by County agency staff prior to application submittal.
  • Renewable Energy Permits
    Information and procedures to apply for an Electric-Vehicle charging station, Wind Turbine system, or Fuel Cell Power Generating System
  • Rezoning, Zone Changes, and Zoning Interpretation
    Information and procedures to have the zoning of a property interpreted for a specific use, or to apply for a rezoning or zone change for a property.
  • SB330 Housing Development Project
    Housing development projects pursuant to Senate Bill 330, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
  • SolarApp+
    County of Santa Clara and SolarApp+ provide near instant PV Solar permits for Residential Rooftop systems.
  • Special Permit
    A special permit is necessary for uses presumed to be generally appropriate within a zoning district, but whose intensity, impact, or other characteristics require discretionary review.
  • Sto​rmwater Quality Permit
    If your project creates more than 2,500 square feet of new impervious area, or changes the existing drainage pattern on the property, a stormwater quality permit is required.
  • Subdivision
    The subdivision procedure provides for the division of land for the purpose of sale, lease, or financing.
  • Subdivision Maps and Improvement Permit
    After the Tentative Map​ is approved in the Planning Office, Tract/Parcel Maps for recording and Improvement Plans require review and approval prior to recording.
  • Temporary Residence
    A bonding procedure to allow for the limited-time occupancy of a mobile home or recreational vehicle during the permitted construction of a dwelling or following a casualty event.
  • Tree Removal
    Information for the permit necessary to remove a protected tree.
  • Underground Utility Waiver
    A petition to evaluate special circumstances that may warrant an exception to the requirement for the underground installation of utilities. 
  • Use Permit
    A permit required for certain intensive uses on a property.
  • Variance
    A discretionary review to consider a request for exceptions from certain development standards.
  • Williamson Act Compatible Use Determination
    An evaluation of proposed uses and development on a Williamson Act contracted property to be compatible with and incidental to the commercial agricultural use as required.

A stack of documents



Permit Status

What is the Status of My Permit? Email our Permit Center to check up on the status of your permit.


Landscape views of a building blueprint

Digital Document Submittal Requirements

To encourage more efficient and sustainable plan review, Santa Clara County accepts digital submittals for all applications reviewed by the Planning and Development Services Office.

  1. The Applicant will compile all application materials in the required formats​ (including Naming Conventions​).
  2. Upload all required materials via the Insite Public Portal (with a hyperlink to the portal) or bring a thumb drive with all required materials to the Planning and Development Services Office to make the submittal.

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