Planning Info & FAQs for the COVID-19 Office Closure

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The City Offices may be closed, but we are still here to help you!

Please see below for answers to questions you may have regarding current activities, building permits or discretionary development applications.

The best way to contact the department is to email your project planner.  General inquiries can be sent to planner@lovelafayette.orgYou can also connect with a Planner in real time during our virtual Planning Counter hours from 1pm-3pm Monday – Friday by using the following Zoom link: https://bit.ly/2WkgHcv or join by telephone at (669) 900-9128 with meeting ID: 880 8067 2124.

Planning FAQs

Updated to reflect 4/29/20 SIP Order extension

Has all work stopped?

No.  Planners are working remotely and, under the 4/29/20 Public Health Order, construction work may continue so long as safety protocols are put in place and followed.

How do I find out what’s going on with my project?

You may reach out to your assigned planner directly via email or phone if you have an active project. 

How can I talk to a planner?

You may reach out to your planner directly if you have a current project.  General inquiries or questions about a new project may be directed to Planner@LoveLafayette.org or you may visit our virtual planning counter M-F 1pm-3pm to ask questions.  To visit the counter, connect via this Zoom link: https://bit.ly/2WkgHcv  or join by telephone at (669) 900-9128 meeting ID: 880 8067 2124.

Can I drop off construction drawings for approval?

 The City and County have established procedures for providing stamps digitally. Submit PDFs of your drawings via email to your project planner or planner@lovelafayette.org. 

How are public hearings affected? How do I submit public comments?

City Council, Planning Commission, and Design Review Commission meetings are being held virtually and may be streamed via the City of Lafayette Youtube channel. Please check the City's events calendar for the most up-to-date meeting dates and times.

Members of the public can provide public comment by sending an e-mail to the project planner or planner@lovelafayette.org. To be read into the record, the e-mail must contain in the subject line “Public Comment” and include the agenda item number or “Public Comment – Not on the Agenda” for general comments not associated with a project.

Public comments e-mailed to planner@lovelafayette.org may be received during the meeting as requested by the Chair, and up until the public comment period on the relevant agenda item is closed. Staff will read comments into the record at their normal cadence and will be limited to a maximum of 3 minutes. If the Commission has a question or seeks clarification on your public comment, staff will immediately send you an email invite to join the Zoom meeting.

Can you release my hold?

The Planning Department may be able to release a hold for you if your planner is able to verify you have complied with the conditions of the hold.  If you have a discretionary permit, you should refer to your conditions of approval to determine why a hold has been placed.  Please keep in mind the County Building Inspection Office will not be issuing new permits or inspecting projects unless they are emergency work, new housing units, or existing projects that need to be completed for health and safety reasons. 

What about Green Halo?

Green Halo Waste Management Plans will continue to be reviewed digitally.  You may submit your plan or upload your tickets on the website www.greenhalosystems.com .  If this is your only requirement, the hold on your permit will be released as normal. 

How do I submit revisions?

Submit revisions directly to the assigned planner via email.

Are other development review agencies processing applications?

For most development projects in the City, the three agencies involved besides the Lafayette Planning Department are the Contra Costa County Building Inspection Department (CCCBID), the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD), and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD). Each agency is operating in unique ways in response to the County Health Order:

Contra Costa County Building Inspection Department (CCCBID)

The Lamorinda satellite office is currently closed to the public. The Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development has provided an updated operations summary for changes effective May 4th.  Please visit the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department website for more information.

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD)

Please visit the district’s website for more information. Check regularly for updates.

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD)

CCCFPD is accepting and processing drop-offs for all development projects at the Port Chicago Highway office. Please check with the CCCFPD’s Engineering and Plan Check Division at (925)941-3300 for more information.

 How do I submit payments?

If you have submitted a discretionary application or construction drawings your planner will email you the fee amount due.  Call the Planning Assistant, Lisa Martin, at  (925) 284-1976 to pay over the phone Monday - Thursday between the hours of 9am and 3pm.

How do I submit a new discretionary application (i.e. Hillside Development Permit, Design Review)?

Applicants may submit PDFs via email, dropbox or other method to the Planner inbox (Planner@LoveLafayette.org). At a minimum, the application must include the appropriate application form, photos, response to findings and plans. The subject line of the email should be “New Application for ___(application type) at ___(address)”. Applications will be assigned to planners to begin completeness review and CEQA evaluation.

Application fees will be accepted via phone by the Planning Assistant. To submit payment, call  (925) 284-1976 Monday - Thursday between the hours of 9am and 3pm.  The fee may be charged when the office is reopened and the required fee will be a completeness item. The Permit Streamlining Act (PSA) timeline will not start until payment is made.

Will you approve my tree permit?

You may submit a tree permit digitally to Planner@LoveLafayette.org.  Please refer to the application for tree permit.

My neighbors are working - is it ok?

Thank you for looking out for your neighborhood! Under the new Order, all construction projects can resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued as part of the Order. (These protocols replace the COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines applicable to the Prior Order).

Small Construction Project Safety Protocol

Large Construction Project Safety Protocol

Should you wish to advise the Police Department of a situation you believe to be unsafe, you may contact the non-emergency line at (925) 284-5010.

What are Planners working on remotely?

We love interacting with the public, homeowners, contractors, etc., but planners do much more than answer questions and stamp plans.  Planners continue to receive discretionary applications for Hillside Development, Design Review permits, Variances, etc, and review them for compliance with the City’s rules and guidelines. Staff continues to write reports and present discretionary applications at Planning Commission and Design Review Commission meetings (public via teleconference). We also work on code updates, such as the revised Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), regulations and long-range planning projects, like the General Plan update.  

My approval is about to expire - will you be granting automatic extensions?  

Extensions for approvals that would expire during the shelter-in-place order will be extended.  If the work is not “essential” under the order(s), then the approval will be extended for the length of time the order was in place.  As an example if your project is set to expire on April 1, 2020 and the shelter-in-place order is in effect for 2 months, your new expiration would be June 1, 2020.  Planning staff will work cooperatively with you upon reopening to quickly and efficiently process your construction drawings.  While the orders are in place you may continue to work on your conditions of approval as much as feasible.  All “essential work” is able to continue and thus no extension should not be required.

We hope this information helps you and we encourage you to email us at planner@lovelafayette.org with comments, thoughts, or additional information you feel might help others in our community during this time. - Your City of Lafayette Planners