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Development Services

Preliminary Review

A Preliminary Review is a flat fee-based service tailored to your specific project to help you obtain general information on the regulations that apply to your project, find out which permits you must obtain, the review process that applies to your development, and obtain interpretations on how the City will apply code provisions to specific situations. Staff responses to your specific questions will be documented and provided to you at the completion of the review.  

Preliminary Reviews are not comprehensive plan reviews and do not replace services provided by design professionals, such as architects, engineers, land-use attorneys, code professionals and consultants.

Plan Your Project

What You Should Know

  1. Single Discipline Preliminary Review

    • Reviews that a single discipline can best answer.

    • A single-discipline review has a turnaround time of 20 business days from when the application is deemed complete and the fees are paid.
  2. Multiple Discipline Preliminary Review

    • When questions and the information requested involve more than one review discipline, the project is considered a multiple-discipline Preliminary Review.
    • These projects receive a Development Project Manager who will help facilitate the project and provide coordination between all the review disciplines.
    • The Development Project Manager will coordinate the reviewer’s written responses to your specific issues and forward them to the applicant. The response will include submittal requirements, schedules, and processing costs, as appropriate for your project.
    • After the initial review, at the applicant’s request and in coordination with the assigned DPM, the appropriate fees will be addressed for a follow-up review or meeting.
    • A multiple discipline Preliminary Review is expected to be completed 20 days from the application deemed complete date when all fees are paid.

Review Option for SB-330 Eligible Projects: Single and Multiple Discipline

Effective as of Jan. 1, 2020, and expiring on Jan. 1, 2025, California Senate Bill (SB) 330, otherwise referred to as “The Housing Crisis Act of 2019,” allows for eligible housing development projects seeking approval enhanced streamlining and vesting opportunities, such that the project is only subject to the ordinances, development regulations, policies, standards, and fees at the time the Preliminary Review application is deemed submitted. If applying under SB-330, this option must be selected.

Check DSD’s Zoning & Parcel Information Portal to learn more about the zoning and other land use regulations that may apply to your property.

Your project may require a historical review to determine conformance with the historic resources regulations if your project is located:

  1. On a site with a designated historic resource.
  2. Within a designated historic district.
  3. On a site containing a structure of 45 years or more.
  4. Please review Information Bulletin 581 for additional information. 

The Preliminary Review Assessment Letter may support a future project application for up to one year from the date issued.


Preliminary Review fees are either based on a single discipline or multiple disciplines. Depending on your project scope, you can add more than one discipline to your Preliminary Review request. Learn more.

The Preliminary Review fee does not include meetings with DSD staff. You may request a Preliminary Review meeting with the reviewer(s) to discuss the Preliminary Review results. An additional fee is required for this meeting, based upon an hourly rate for each staff person requested to attend the meeting.


  • No inspections are required.


  • No exemptions apply.

Compliant Outdoor Expansion

Apply for a Permit

Step 2

Read the PDF icon requirements for PDF file uploads.

Not following the PDF requirements will delay project review and approval.

Step 3

Complete the following document:

  1. Preliminary Review Questionnaire

Step 4

Your PDF documents MUST meet our upload requirements. See Step 2 for more info.

Validate your PDF documents with Scout™

Step 5

Apply for the permit

You will be required to upload the completed documents from Step 3.