Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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General Information
General Information

Common Projects that Require Zoning Review


Transfer of Business or New Business Location

All businesses in Berkeley must have a business license and prior to issuance of a business license, Planning Department staff must determine that the use is permitted under the Zoning Ordinance in the proposed location.   Prior to purchasing, transferring or relocating a business, please check to see whether the business has a Zoning Certificate; if not, you are advised to obtain such a certificate or other land use entitlement prior to purchasing the business or prior to leasing space for the business in a new location.   To determine whether the proposed use is allowed, you can check the Zoning Ordinance or speak with a planner at the Permit Service Center.  More detailed information about business licenses is available from the Finance Department.

Change of Use
What uses are allowed in a particular location is determined by the Zoning Ordinance.  Some types of businesses may only be permitted in certain Zoning Districts.  The following business districts in Berkeley have “quotas” for specific types of use:  Elmwood, North Shattuck, Solano Avenue, and Telegraph Avenue.  For example, in the Elmwood District, there can only be seven quick-service restaurants.  Modifications in an existing business to take on new business lines (such as selling take-out beverages at a bakery, or putting in a table in a take-out food establishment) may be considered a “change of use” and be subject to new permit requirements.  In West Berkeley , certain uses are “protected” and changes to other uses are either not permitted or permitted with significant restrictions.  Please check with the Zoning Counter in the Permit Service Center to determine what permit requirements may apply to a particular use in a particular site.

Residential Additions 
Prior to investing in plans or drawings for a residential addition to a single family home, please stop by the Zoning Counter in the Permit Service Center to determine what Zoning Ordinance provisions may apply to your property and what level of permit may be required for your proposed project.  Additions greater than 600 square feet or no more than 15% of the lot area, which ever is less, are permitted with a Zoning Certificate provided that the project is in full conformance with Zoning Ordinance requirements (related to setback from property lines, parking, etc.).  To qualify for a Zoning Certificate, the average height of the proposed addition may not exceed 14 – 16 feet, depending on the Zoning District (see Development Standards Related to Residential Additions for more information).  Projects that do not qualify for approval with a Zoning Certificate, require an Administrative Use Permit, notification of neighbors and, if initially granted by the Zoning Officer and appealed, a public hearing before the Zoning Adjustments Board.

The attached document provides more detail about various requirements for residential additions

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