Planning Permits

A planning permit entitles a particular land use or proposed development (subdivision, buildings, and works) to occur on a specific property or parcel. A permit may be specific to a person or operator with an expiration under specific circumstances, or it may ‘run with the land’ in perpetuity. The  permit approval authority may impose conditions when granting a permit, depending on what type of permit it is.


Only one planning application form is needed for a single development, even if it includes multiple planning  application types (i.e. Site Plan Review and Design Review). Use the following resources to submit a planning application:


The Process

You can determine whether a specific land use is permitted on any particular property by checking the zoning designation on the City’s GIS, and then reviewing Table 2-2 (Allowable Land Uses and Permit Requirements) of Title 16 of the Stockton Municipal Code (SMC).


Table 2-2 includes a list of:

  • approximately 150 land use types, or categories, and
  • all of the City's industrial, commercial, and residential zoning designations.

Comparing the two lists shows whether a proposed land use is permitted and what, if any, land use permit is required to initiate that use.  Other sections of the SMC provide additional information regarding development within the City.



If required by Table 2-2, land use permit applications are submitted to staff in the Permit Center to process.  Such permit types include:

  • Site Plan Review
  • Design Review
  • Use Permits,
  • Land Development Permits,
  • Tentative Maps,
  • Planned Developments,
  • Variances,
  • Rezonings and more.  


Plan/Application Review

Staff reviews applications to make sure that they are complete.  Any missing elements will delay the application until the applicant provides the needed information.


Complete applications are referred to specific City departments and outside agencies for comment.  


If the project site is located within a Design Review District, any new building or addition on the subject site is subject to an Architectural Design Review during the application processing.  Those departments and agencies will notify staff of applicable code requirements and may request discretionary conditions in the event the project is approved.


Most planning applications also require staff to publicly notify surrounding property owners and residents about the proposed project.  After reviewing the results of the project's referral and public notification, staff will either take action on the project or formulate a recommendation for any required Planning Commission or City Council hearings on the project.



Following project approval, required building permit applications may be submitted to staff for processing, and/or the approved use may be initiated.


For those applications that require action by the Planning Commission, the public should be aware that the action is not effective until after the end of a required 10-day appeal period.  


If an action of the Planning Commission is appealed, the Commission's decision is placed on hold pending a public hearing by the City Council.


Design Guidelines

The City of Stockton Citywide Design Guidelines apply to the review and approval of proposed new development within the City. 


These Guidelines will be used during the development review / approval process in compliance with the design review procedures contained in the SMC.   The Guidelines are intended as a reference point for the City's expectations for quality development.


 Home Occupation Permit

  • Review the Stockton Municipal Code Chapter 16.132 (Home Occupation Permits) to determine if a proposed Home Occupation use is allowable.  Also, review the prohibited activities.  See this link for allowable/prohibited activities.
  • Complete a Home Occupation Permit (download here). Note: the property owner must sign and enter their name and contact information.
  • Scan the completed applications with signature(s) to PDF format.
  • Email the completed applications to  In the subject line, please include: NEW HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT APPLICATION along with the property address.
  • Staff will then generate an invoice and provide instructions to the applicant through email for online payment.
  • Once payment is confirmed, the Home Occupation Permit will be provided.

Street Tree or Heritage Oak Tree Removal Permit




If you have any questions regarding the Planning Permits, please Contact Us or email us at Ask Stockton.


External Links

There are currently no external links.

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 8/30/2023