Opening or Expanding your Business Fees and Permits
Business license fees
Please visit the City of Berkeley's web site at http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/psc/fees.html for a current fee schedule or tel (510) 981-7500.
Zoning and Use Permits
The Zoning Ordinance governs where and under what conditions a business may operate. There are 24 zoning designations ("districts"); 14 commercial, eight residential and two which overlay other designations (Hillside and Planned Shopping). There are designations for specific geographical areas and for type of business. In several commercial districts, certain types of businesses are limited by quotas.
The type of permit needed depends on the circumstances: a Zoning Permit is issued over the counter. A Use Permit (new or transfer of an existing permit) require a public hearing before the Board of Zoning Adjustments (as does a Variance from the Zoning Ordinance). Allow several weeks or months a project may be subject to the Environmental Review Process, a procedure to assess and mitigate potential adverse impacts of the project. Allow 10 weeks to 12 months.
Information is available on other relevant ordinances including the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance, and Commercial Development Mitigation Actions/Fees (to subsidize affordable housing and child care).
Visit Current Planning Division, Zoning Counter (Planning Department)
Basement of City Hall, 2118 Milvia Street
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00
Bring the street address, square footage, existing/previous use, use permit number if any, and floor plan.