Pinole's Use Permits

Use Permits


A Use Permit is required for proposed uses which are not permitted by right in a particular zoning district. An approved use permit will allow a specific use with special conditions. The Zoning Ordinance describes, for each zoning designation, which land uses are permitted outright and those require a use permit. Some uses which require a use permit include:

The Planning Commission is responsible for the issuance of all use permits. Please contact the Planning Division at (510) 724-8912 to verify if a particular use requires a use permit.


You may request a pre-application review of your project with City staff. By meeting with staff early in the review process issues may be resolved which could otherwise cause later delays. A pre-application review can be scheduled by calling (510) 724-8912.


The submittal requirements for a use permit are listed below. Ten (10) 24x36 size sets of plans and one (1) 11x17 reduction will be needed for review by the Planning Commission. Once submitted, the application will be reviewed for completeness. You will be contacted within 30 days if additional information is required.

The site plan shall include all of the following information:

  1. North arrow and title block with:
    1. Scale of plans;
    2. Name and address of applicant; and
    3. Date of preparation.

  2. All boundary lines on the subject property fully dimensioned and tied in with the center line of adjacent or nearby streets.
  3. The name, location, and width of any adjacent public or private streets. Widths should include any required street widening. Pavement, curbs and sidewalks should be indicated.
  4. A complete legal description showing the width and location of all existing or proposed public or private easements.
  5. All proposed improvements properly dimensioned. For structures located near major or minor ridge lines, as shown in the General Plan, the applicant must provide documentation of the setback from the ridge line. Structures, where possible, must be setback 400 feet horizontally from major ridge lines and 100 feet from minor ridge lines and a vertical setback of 100 feet from both.
  6. All parking spaces and aisles drawn and dimensioned with the flow of traffic noted by arrows and calculations of required number of parking spaces.
  7. Preliminary grading plan, including new and existing contours.
  8. The location and width of all vehicular and pedestrian access openings into and out of the property.
  9. All proposed walls and fences, including height and material.
  10. Exterior lighting fixtures and locations (including style, height, color, and intensity).
  11. The zoning and existing land use of the subject property and properties contiguous to its boundaries.
  12. Location of trash enclosures and solid fences.
  13. Location of nearest walls and structures on adjacent properties, the use therein, and adjoining driveways.
  14. Conceptual sign program.
  15. Location, dimension and elevation of all drainage facilities and utility connections.
  16. Location of fire hydrants and watermain sizes.
  17. Provisions for undergrounding of all utilities.
  18. Indicate all existing street lights, utility poles, trees and signs within the public right-of-way adjacent to the site.
  19. All exterior elevations; scale as appropriate for presentation but in no case less than 1/8" = 1'.
  20. Specific materials for roofing, siding, trim, windows, doors, fences, etc.
    1. One elevation should be in color
    2. Color samples and materials mounted on a board or rigid surface should be submitted.

  21. Proposed screening of all mechanical equipment, gas meters, electric meters, electric transformers, etc.
  22. Floor plans.
  23. Conceptual landscaping plans. (Note: Prior to issuance of building permits, a final plan will be required.)
    1. Compliance with City's "Landscape Requirements for New Construction" Ordinance;
    2. Provisions for automatic sprinkler system;
    3. Location, type and approximate size of existing trees where trunk exceeds 6 inches in diameter at a point 24 inches above grade;
    4. Location of existing shrubs of 10 feet or more in height or width or hedges of 5 feet in height and 15 feet in length;
    5. All trees more than six inches in diameter to be removed shall be noted; and
    6. Location and dimension of all planted areas.

  24. For wireless communication facilities an applicant shall be required to submit the following information:
    1. A master plan for all related facilities, either existing or proposed, within the city limits of Pinole and within one-quarter mile therefrom.
    2. Computer enhanced photo image of the site where the facility would be located showing before and after images or acceptable alternative as determined by the City Planner.
    3. For sites where antennas will be located on or mounted to a building a mock-up of the proposed antenna must be installed at least ten days before the hearing at which the application will be reviewed.
    4. A preliminary report quantifying the project's radio frequency emissions and potential human exposure, the cumulative emissions of other facilities located on the same site and compare them to current standards recommended by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Analysis must be based on the current FCC rules, regulations and standards
    5. Provide alternative site analysis prepared by or on the behalf of the applicant, subject to the approval of the Planning Commission, which identifies all reasonable, technically feasible, alternative locations and/or facilities which could provide the proposed wireless communication facility service. The intention of the alternative analysis is to present alternative strategies which could minimize the number, size and adverse environmental impacts of the facilities necessary to provide the needed service to the City. The analysis shall address the potential for co-location and the potential to locate a facility as close to the intended service area. It shall also explain the rationale for the selection of the proposed site in view of the relative merits of any feasible alternative. The City may require independent verification of this analysis at the applicant's expense.

  25. A brief written statement describing the use proposed, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Number of people involved, either as employees, clients, students, customers, etc.;
    2. Type of vehicular traffic involved: auto only, truck deliveries, parent drop off/pick up, bus service, etc.;
    3. Hours of operation;
    4. Product produced, if any;
    5. Outdoor activities (storage, work areas, play areas, etc.);
    6. Hazardous or volatile materials or chemicals involved; and
    7. Other uses/businesses located on the site, if any.

  26. An Environmental Checklist form (original only), unless the project is exempt from environmental review. Ask City Planner to find out if project is exempt.
  27. Filing fee (see Fee Schedule for correct amount). Checks should be made payable to "City of Pinole.


The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that certain design review applications undergo environmental review. You will be informed if such review is required for your application. A separate "Environmental Review" handout contains additional submittal requirements.


Once an application is determined to be complete, it is formally accepted for processing. Copies of the application are sent to reviewing agencies and departments for comments. The application is then scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission.

Planning Commission hearings are held once each month. A schedule of hearing dates and submittal deadlines may be obtained from the Planning Division. It should be emphasized that submittal on a given date does not guarantee scheduling for a particular meeting. Hearing dates can only be confirmed following acceptance of the application. Generally, however, the entire process from application acceptance to hearing takes 45 to 60 days, unless additional time is needed for environmental review. Public hearing notices are mailed to owners of all property within 1000 feet of the site at least 10 days prior to the meeting and a legal notice is published in the paper.


At the Planning Commission hearing the the project request will be presented with a staff report detailing the application. The Commission will receive testimony from the applicant and any other interested parties. At the hearing, the Commission will act to approve, approve with conditions, continue to a date certain if there are unresolved issues, or deny the application request.

The Commission's action is final unless appealed to the City Council within 10 calendar days of the date of action. Information on appeals may be found in a separate information sheet. An approved use may not commence until the close of the appeal period.

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