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Behind the Scenes: The Key Functions of Sacramento's Planning Division

Updated: Jan 23

The planning department processes in Sacramento, California, are managed by the City of Sacramento's Community Development Department, specifically the Planning Division. This division is responsible for a wide range of functions, from long-range planning policies to the processing of various applications related to land use and construction.

Key Functions of the Sacramento Planning Division

1. Long-Range Planning: This includes the development of policies and plans that shape the future growth and development of the city. This covers areas such as general plans, specific plans, and urban agriculture regulations.

2. Zoning and Environmental Review: The division administers the zoning ordinance, which regulates the size, type, structure, and use of land or buildings. They also manage environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to assess the environmental impacts of projects.

3. Planning Entitlement Applications: These include site plan and design reviews, conditional use permits, and administrative permits. The process and materials required for these applications are outlined on the city’s website.

4. Design Review and Preservation: The division promotes high-quality urban design and takes care in considering historic resources. This includes overseeing design review processes and managing historic preservation projects.

5. Plan Review and Permit Issuance: The Building Division of the Community Development Department handles the review of building plans and issues permits. This includes evaluating plans for compliance with building codes and zoning regulations.

6. Inspections and Compliance: Post-permit issuance, the department conducts various inspections to ensure compliance with approved plans and building codes. They also manage safety inspections in collaboration with utility companies.

The Process Overview

- Initial Inquiry and Appointment: Individuals can contact the Planning Division via email for any queries related to property and planning. Appointments for discussions can be made for specific days of the week.

- Application Submission: For specific projects, relevant applications need to be submitted, which could include detailed site plans, floor plans, exterior elevations, structural plans, and energy compliance documentation, among others.

- Review and Approval Process: Submitted plans undergo a review process, where they are checked for compliance with various codes and regulations. This process might require several cycles, depending on the complexity and compliance of the project.

- Expedited Review: For projects requiring faster processing, an expedited plan review service is available upon request, subject to approval and additional fees.

- Inspections and Final Approval: Once the plans are approved, inspections are carried out during the construction phase to ensure adherence to the approved plans and safety standards. Upon successful completion of the inspections, certificates of occupancy or final approvals are issued.

Additional Considerations

- Fees and Charges: The process involves various fees, which vary depending on the type and scope of the project.

- Public Participation: The planning department encourages public participation in the planning process, offering opportunities for public comment and involvement in major projects and planning initiatives.

The City of Sacramento's planning processes are detailed and comprehensive, ensuring that development and growth are managed in a way that aligns with the city's long-term vision and regulatory requirements.

For more detailed information and specific guidelines, you can visit the City of Sacramento’s Planning Division pages on the [City of Sacramento website](

AE Drafting provides drafting services around the country, including ADUs, New Construction Homes, Tiny Homes, and providing Drafting Services. Steve Tibbs started drafting in Sacramento CA 20 years ago. Please contact us if you need help with the planning process in Sacramento.

AI Usage Disclaimer: For full transparency, please note that some of the content presented here on may be generated using artificial intelligence. Additionally, other parts of the content have been authored by Steve Tibbs and spell-checked with the assistance of AI. The images included are a mix of 3D models created by Steve Tibbs and others generated by AI technology. This blend of human creativity and AI capabilities aims to provide a unique and engaging experience.

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