All City offices and buildings will be closed to the public from March 17, 2020 through April 7, 2020 due to the Shelter In Place Order issued by the Contra Costa County Health Department.  For more information, visit

Please note that while the Community Development Department continues to operate with modified procedures, the Department intends to pause all time-limits and deadlines associated with ongoing notices, application reviews, enforcement activities and other matters for the duration of the shelter in place order. We will continue to process Building and Planning permits during the shelter in place order. If you have specific questions about how the order affects your project, please contact us.

During this closure, the Planning Division will continue to respond to questions and inquiries via phone and email.  Please contact us at (510) 215-4330 or

We are also accepting new applications via mail, email, and drop-off at City Hall by appointment.

Procedures for application submittals:

Via US mail:

  1. Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
  2. Please mail your application materials to:

City of El Cerrito Planning Division
10890 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Please make checks for application fees payable to “City of El Cerrito”.  We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

Via email:

  1. Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
  2. Please email digital application materials to

Please mail a check for application fees according to the procedures for submittals via US mail.  Please ensure that the property address and applicant’s name are identified on the check.  We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

*Hard copies of application materials, including plans may be required.  If necessary, we will ask you to mail or drop off hard copies. 

Via drop off:

  1. Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
  2. Please email or call us to schedule an appointment for your drop off.  We will mail or email you a payment receipt.


The Planning division develops and implements policy documents that guide land use in El Cerrito. The documents include but are not limited to the General Plan, the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan, the Climate Action Plan and the Strategic Plan, as well as applicable sections of the municipal code. The staff also reviews development projects submitted to the city to ensure compliance with these policy documents.

Below are some helpful links for more information:

zoning ordinance

The Zoning Ordinance is found in Title 19 of the Municipal Code. It contains specific requirements for new projects and construction in El Cerrito. The Zoning Ordinance also establishes which land uses (types of businesses and residences) are allowed in each zoning district. The Zoning Ordinance is consistent with the General Plan and implements the goals and policies found in the General Plan.

General Plan and Zoning Maps are now located in the gis!

Zoning and General Plan designations for individual properties can be found by searching for a property address. The zoning and General Plan land use designations will appear in the search results. To view all City zoning districts or General Plan designations, turn on the zoning layer and labels under Planning in the Legend menu.

To use the City’s GIS, click here: Community View/GIS

Forms, Checklists, Frequently Asked Questions and Fees

Start here for to get started on new planning projects: Application Forms, Submittal Checklists and Information Sheets

Major Projects

Projects that have a high degree of community interest:
Major Projects

Environmental Documents

The page includes documents prepared for policy documents and current development projects that may be of community interest: Environmental (CEQA) Documents

document library

Click here to view the City of El Cerrito Document Library.

The Planning Division also serves as staff liaison for these two appointed bodies of the city:

Planning Commission
Design Review Board
  1. Planning Division

    Phone: (510) 215-4330
    Fax: (510) 233-5401

  2. Sean Moss

    Planning Manager
    Phone: (510) 215-4359

  3. Jeff Ballantine

    Senior Planner
    Phone: (510) 215-4358