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County offices will be closed on dates that the Board of Supervisors has approved furloughs of staff to reduce the County budget.  Click here for furlough dates.

County of Santa Cruz
Planning Department
Beginning June 3rd the Planning Department will offer appointments for certain services, in addition to services that are available through a variety of electronic methods. Walk in visitors cannot be served at this time.
To apply for an ePermit (reroof, water heater, etc):
http://eplanningpermit.santacruzcounty.us/

Click Here for the Temporary Use Permit Application
PlanningTemporaryUsePermits@santacruzcounty.us

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

http://scceplanreview.santacruzcounty.us/

For zoning information and to make an appointment:
Planning.ZoningInfo@santacruzcounty.us or call 831-454-2130

To schedule a discretionary permit intake appointment:
call 831-454-3252
To contact us for information or to schedule an appointment:
(Masks will be required for all appointments)

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News and Announcements​

  • ePlan – Building Permit Processing
    Santa Cruz County has issued over 1,600 Building permits for projects using ePlan. Submittals are made electronically with pdf files, and legacy paper processes are being eliminated incrementally. Please note the following:
  • Effective November 1, 2020: Building permit applications are required to use ePlan. This includes express plan check projects, construction change documents, and deferred submittals.
  • Effective November 1, 2020: Property owners and applicants will access plan review corrections and application status online at the Application Status website; and the process of sending correction letters is discontinued. Website enhancements will be implemented over time.
  • Approval Letters: Approval letters and related forms should be transitioned online in 2021. 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 approved Vacation Rental Ordinance Amendments on January 26, 2021. The California Coastal Commission is slated to consider the adopted Ordinance on February 13, 2021. Following approval by the Coastal Commission, the amendments will go into effect, the moratorium on issuance of new permits will be lifted, and the Planning Department will commence processing permit applications. For more information on the Vacation Rental Permit process, please email Planning staff at: Planning.ZoningInfo@santacruzcounty.us

    *Please note, the three Designated Areas: Davenport/Swanton (DASDA), Live Oak (LODA), and Seacliff/Aptos/LA Selva Beach (SALSDA) are currently at capacity. The Planning Department is currently maintaining a Waiting List for these areas. To be placed on the Waiting List, please email Planning staff at: Planning.ZoningInfo@santacruzcounty.us. Provide your name, address or APN, email, and telephone number as part of your request.

    You may view the amended Vacation Rental Ordinance here: Amended Vacation Rental Ordinance
  • Sustainability Update
    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. Click here for more information.
    The agency and public comment period on the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the CEQA Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been extended until 5 p.m. on August 21st. Click here to view the NOP and/or submit comments on the scope of the EIR.
  • 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.
  • New State ADU Laws – Effective 01/01/2020
    New state laws are making it even easier to construct ADUs, starting January 1. The Santa Cruz County Code is in the process of being updated to comply with these new laws, which cover the topics of streamlined project review, reduced fees, more lenient development standards, lower parking requirements, Junior ADUs, multifamily dwelling ADUs, owner occupancy requirements, short-term rentals, nonconformities, and code enforcement. Click here for information about the new laws.

  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey - Attention ADU Property Owners! The County has created a survey to help improve our ADU program. If you own an ADU in Santa Cruz County, please complete our survey on the Accessory Dwelling Units website.
  • March 26, 2019 - The County has reached its limit of 250 Hosted Rental Permits. The Hosted Rental Program is full; no additional permits are available at this time.
  • Safe Structures Program Has Been Launched.
    This program certifies qualifying unpermitted construction as safe, habitable, and a low priority for code enforcement. Click here for eligibility criteria and an explanation of the program.
  • Short-Term Rental Permits Required.
    Short-term rentals are residential rentals less than 30 days. Homeowners must obtain permits to operate Hosted Rentals (short-term room rentals) or Vacation Rentals (short-term whole house rentals). Want more information? Check out the Hosted Rentals and Vacation Rentals websites.
  • Interactive ADU Website.
    The County has developed tools to help homeowners make decisions about building Accessory Dwelling Units. Check out the "Basics", Design, and "Financing an ADU" guidebooks, GIS tool, fee and cost estimators, financial assistance programs, and more, all on the Accessory Dwelling Units website!
  • Did You Know? ADU Permit Fees Have Been Reduced!
  • Starting January 2, 2019, ADUs 640 square feet or smaller do not pay planning permit fees. Use the fee estimator to calculate your savings!

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