Apply for a planning permit

Getting a planning permit is part of the review and steps involved to:

  • Get approval for a project, or
  • Be allowed to do something

For certain projects you need entitlements before you are allowed to get building permits and start construction. This is also sometimes referred to as the development process.

Learn about the planning process.

Need to know

  • You need to apply online. Paper and email applications are no longer accepted for most permit types.
  • Permit costs vary depending on the type of permit.
  • Timeline varies depending on the size and complexity of the project.
  • If you don’t get a planning permit, you won’t be able to get a building permit (unless your project is exempt)

Go to the eTRAKiT portal

Before you start

The planning process can be complicated. If your project is complex, we recommend you work with a design professional. They can help prepare the materials you will need to apply.

We want to help make your project a success. If you have any questions during the process, call, email, or visit our office. We’re here to help.

Find the permit you need and prepare materials for your application.

Permits have different requirements, depending on the nature of the work. Contact us if you have questions about what permit you need or the requirements.

Learn about types of the planning permits and their requirements.


1. Login and start your application.

  • Visit the City of Piedmont eTrakit website and login to your account. If you don’t have an account, visit the Create an account page to learn how.
  • Select Apply for New Project in the menu under Planning Permits. You’ll need to confirm that you have read and agree to the Permit Application Confirmation. If you disagree, you will not be able to apply online.
  • As you navigate through the application process, never use the back arrow in your browser to visit a previous page. Instead, use the Previous Page and Next Page buttons at the bottom of the screen.

2. Select your project type.

  • The project type is the kind of permit you need. Based on your answer, different fields will appear.
  • If your project type is not in the drop-down list, contact us.

3. Enter your project information.

Describe your project and provide the details we need to review your application. You may need to reference your plans or documentation to complete all the fields.

4. Add the location of your project.

  • Select the address of your project. Enter the street number and name. It works best to enter the partial name of the street. For example, entering "75 Sea" for 75 Sea View Avenue or "500 Hamp" for 500 Hampton Avenue. Sometimes entering the full address may not work.
  • Click search and select the correct address from the results.

5. Attach requirement documents.

This might include plans, diagrams, or other required information, based on the permit type.

  • Make sure the filename does not contain any special characters.
  • Label the filename so it describes the information, such as “Findings Worksheet” or “Submittal Checklist.” You can use the description field to add more context.
  • Combine pages or sheets so that each document matches a specific requirement.
  • There are no file size limits.
  • Use PDF format if possible.

Repeat the upload process until all your documents are added.

6. Enter contact information for the project team.

Some of this information may populate based on your account profile and other City records. If the information is incorrect, you can correct it.

  • Applicant: this information will populate for you based on your account profile.
  • Owner: this is the property owner. If this information is in the City’s files, it will populate for you.
  • Design professional: if you have a design professional account, this information will populate for you and cannot be edited. If the information is incorrect, contact us. If you are not a design professional, but you are working with one, enter their contact information.

Other fields may appear depending on the permit type.

7. Review and submit.

Review your application to make sure the information is correct. You can use the Edit button to make changes. Check the fees to make sure they look right. If everything looks good, select Next Step.

8. Pay fees.

You can pay by credit card or eCheck. We no longer accept paper checks.

  • Credit card payments have an additional 2.75% service fee
  • eCheck payments have an additional $2 flat service fee

If you are submitting a single application, use the Pay Now option. If you are submitting multiple applications, you can add it to the Shopping Cart if you want to pay for all of them at the same time.

The payment confirmation page will have your permit number. You’ll also get a receipt by email, but it won’t have your permit number on it.

Learn more about payments and fees.

What’s next

After you submit your application, we will review your plans. Depending on the nature of the project, the review could involve several departments.

How long will it take?

Planning permits can take several weeks or months to complete. After you submit your application, we will contact you within 30 days and give you more information about your timeline.

If your permit requires Planning Commission or City Council approval, it will take time to schedule public hearings. Some projects require approval from the Oakland City Council also.

Once a project is considered complete by City staff, we must make a decision within 30 days. If you want more time to prepare your application for the public review process, you can request a 90-day extension.

How are corrections, clarifications, and changes made?

If information is missing, we will send you a letter with a list of the incomplete items. Contact the planner assigned to your project if you have any questions about them. Once you correct the information and make any needed revisions to your plans, you can resubmit them.

You will need to write a response to our letter describing what you’ve done to address the incomplete items. You can upload this online as a PDF in the eTRAKiT system along with the revised plans.

How do I get my permit?

Once we approve your permit, you will get an email letting you know.

How long is my permit valid?

Your planning permit is valid for up to 1 year from the date of approval.

If you need an extension, you can apply for one.

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