How SB-9 applies to properties in Oakland?

Posted on
January 11, 2022

Under Senate Bill 9 (SB-9) Single Family zoned lots in Oakland become:

* Two-Unit residential development, and

* Parcel Subdivision resulting in Two Lots

Single family development options under SB-9

The new State of California law (SB-9) requires the City to create a ministerial approval process for single-family residential zoned lots to 1) approve two residential units on a single-family lot and/or 2) subdivide a single-family parcel into two separate lots, enabling the creation of either a single-family home or two residential units on each resulting parcel.

How does SB-9 apply to my property?

If you own a single-family home on a lot located within single-family residential zones, the Hillside Residential Zone (RH) or Detached Unit Residential Zone (RD-1), but NOT located within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ), might be eligible for:

  • Two-Unit Residential Development: Two homes may be created on an eligible single-family residential parcel, whether the proposal adds up to two new residential units or adds one new unit to one existing unit.
  • Single-Family Parcel Subdivision: An eligible single-family residential parcel may be split one time into two parcels of no less than 1,200 square feet. This could result in up to four units (up to two residential units on each resulting parcel) so long as certain objective standards are met and there is no unmitigable environmental impact.

Is my parcel eligible?

  • Your FREE Development estimate will show you if your lot is eligible and what you can built on it.
  • An application form below includes a zoning criteria checklist to establish eligibility of a single-family residential zoned parcel.
  • Only parcels that are zoned single-family residential in the RH or RD-1 zones and not within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) may be considered.
  • Other factors including a parcel's location in environmentally sensitive or hazardous areas or location within a historic district may affect eligibility. Please review the application zoning criteria checklist for full details.

Answer these few questions about your project to find out if you may qualify to get advantage of the benefits California offers to the home owners who want to add more units on their property.

Want to get your permits fast?

Important conditions for your lot and project to become eligible for SB-9

  1. The lot is located within RD-1 or RH single-family residential zones; and the lot is located outside of the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) as designated by CalFire. Order your FREE Development estimate to see if your lot is eligible.
  2. Proposed development will result in no more than two (2) residential units per lot, including any ADUs or JADUs, but no less than one (1) residential unit per lot.
  3. Proposed development would not require demolition or alteration of affordable housing including deed restricted affordable housing, rent-controlled housing, and housing that was withdrawn from the rental market in the last 15 years
  4. Development is not proposed for a property where the Ellis Act was used to evict tenants in the last fifteen (15)years.
  5. Proposed development is located outside of Historic Districts including S-7 and S-20 Designated Historic Districts, Areas of Primary Importance (API) and Areas of Secondary Importance (ASI), and not designated as National, State or Local Historic Resource or Landmark.
  6. Proposed development is located outside of environmentally sensitive areas and satisfies the requirements specified in paragraphs (B) through (K), inclusive, sub-paragraph (6) of subd. (a) of Gov. Code section 65913.4.Examples of environmentally sensitive areas include, but are not limited to, wetlands, designated habitats for protected or endangered species such as Alameda Whipsnake, protected floodplains, areas under a conservation easement, or protected prime farmland.
  7. Any resulting residential units will not be used as a short-term rental facility (less than 30 consecutive days);rentals must be for 30 consecutive days or longer.

Find out if your project qualifies for streamline permitting under Senate Bill 9 (SB9) to get the permits fast

Who can apply for a permit?

  • Owners of an eligible single-family parcel or their legal representative.

How to apply for permits under SB-9?

The great news is that you can apply online. Ready to get started?

STEP ONE: Design
First, order to decide what you want to build on the lot. Order Value Added report if you already have an existing building on the lot or New House report if it's an empty lot. See what you may be allowed to build and what you could afford. Here are few ways to get financial support from State of California to build the new units.

STEP TWO: Apply online
Register and activate your account at Online Permit Center. For instructions, visit Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.

Download the Planning Application For Ministerial Approval of Two-Unit Residential Development or Parcel Subdivision Resulting in Two Lots With Residential Units On Each Lot (SB-9)

STEP THREE: Planning/Zoning Review

  • Complete all required information, zoning criteria checklist, documents, affidavits, and plans as outlined in the Zoning Requirements section of the application
  • Submit a Zoning Worksheet through the Online Permit Center
  • In the Worksheet, upload your completed application and all associated plans and documents
  • A planner will review your submission and contact you if any additional materials are required
  • If proposing a residential lot split a Tentative Parcel Map review is required by the City Surveyor
  • A decision will be made on your application

STEP FOUR: Building Permit (after receiving Planning approvals)

  • Submit a Building Worksheet through our Online Permit Center
  • In the Worksheet, upload your completed Building Permit Application, including a description of all Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work to be performed, and all required documents as outlined in the Submittal Checklist for New Construction

Refer to the following Building permit resources as applicable:


Order your FREE Development estimate to see if your lot is eligible and what you can built on it.

Are you a prospective buyer or a real estate agent interested to see the development opportunities of any property? Here is how you can find out FREE ...

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