Local Planning Departments Shutting Down in California

The entire state of California is now on a shelter in place order, but planning desks and public hearings on land use issues were already in the process of shutting down.

1 minute read

March 23, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


City Hall

trekandshoot / Shutterstock

The Land Use & Natural Resources Team at Cox Castle & Nicholson, LLP is tracking developments related to the processing of land use and planning applications as California cities work to contain the coronavirus, most recently updating the status of those processes on March 18. Since then, the entire state has been ordered to shelter in place, but several themes were already emerging, according to the article. 

  1. zoning counters and planning departments are closing for some period of time; some are maintaining virtual services;
  2. public meetings are being cancelled or delayed; in some cases social distancing is being enforced; in other case telephonic participation may be provided;
  3. cities have declared, or are preparing to declare, suspensions of deadlines under various state land use and environmental planning laws.

The blog post lists specifics for some of the largest cities and counties in California—detailing the status and linking to the official statements announcing the temporary policies—including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Newport Beach, city of Los Angeles, county of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Menlo Park.


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