This portion of the City of Berkeley website is intended to assist you to find the information you need about planning and development in Berkeley, as well as assist you should you be interested in development in Berkeley – from additions to your home, to constructing a new office building. We welcome suggestions on improving our website. We also want to provide the best possible service to our customers and would appreciate comments on the service you receive.
The following is a summary of the role and responsibilities of each division within the Department:
Land Use Planning Main Number: 510-981-7410
Land Use Planning is responsible for preparing long-range policy plans for the future development of Berkeley including the General Plan and area plans. It also manages regulation of proposed development projects under the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance. The Division is staff to several Council-appointed commissions and boards, including the Planning Commission, which advises the Council on planning policy; the Zoning Adjustments Board, which reviews most proposed development projects; and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which identifies and protects the City’s historic and cultural heritage. It administers Zoning Regulations, reviews development projects, and reviews Land Use Permits. It also staffs various standing and temporary committees/task forces related to land use planning.
Building & Safety Main Number: 510-981-7440
Building and Safety provides information and reviews plans for development projects for conformance with the Uniform Building Code as amended by the City of Berkeley, inspects projects to ensure that construction conforms to approved building plans, and manages programs to mitigate seismic risk.
Permit Service Center Main Number: 510-981-7500
The Permit Service Center is located at 2120 Milvia Street (corner of Milvia and Center Streets) and provides direct customer service to those seeking building permits and zoning information. Applications for building and zoning permits are accepted at the PSC and building permits are issued here. The Permit Specialists at the PSC coordinate review of building permit applications with other City agencies as needed.
Toxics Management Main Number: 510-981-7460
Toxics Management Division is responsible for ensuring the safe management of toxic substances within the City of Berkeley (businesses, citizens, environmental programs and other information such as Used Oil Recycling and Universal Waste Recycling for Berkeley). TMD acts as the City’s Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) under State law, charged with enforcing various state regulations related to the control and management of toxic substances, including underground tanks and hazardous material storage facilities. TMD is staff to the City’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission which advises the Council on environmental concerns.
The Office of Energy and Sustainable Development Main Number: 510-981-7439
Energy and Sustainable Development seeks to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in both City operations and the greater Berkeley community. The Office of Energy and Sustainable Development leads the City’s sustainability efforts through the Climate Action Plan by helping Berkeley residents, businesses, and city government create a healthy urban environment. In addition, the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development develops polices and programs to encourage building green, including creating green building permit guides and offering programs and rebates that promote energy efficiency, water conservation, solar and other sustainable practices. Energy and Sustainable Development is staff to the City's Energy Commission which advises the Council on energy concerns. To keep informed about news and programs, subscribe to: Sustainability Updates.