Skip To Content

What is a Use/Minor Use Permit?

A key goal of land use regulation is for nearby land uses to be compatible with one another. One way cities do this is to say that certain kinds of uses are allowed only under certain conditions.

If someone wants to establish the use of property, he or she must get a Use/Minor Use Permit. Sometimes planners call this a “Conditional Use Permit (CUP)” or “special use permit.” Zoning rules usually explain when someone needs a use permit or a minor use permit.

The permit process allows decision-makers to create requirements to avoid problems. These requirements must relate to the expected problems a use will create. The relationship must be backed up with facts presented to decision-makers

Decision-makers must explain their decision with findings. Such findings explain why the decision-maker decided that the permit is or is not justified under the circumstances.

Key Questions:

Is the permit consistent with the general plan, specific plan (if any) and zoning ordinance?

  • Does the proposed use make sense for the site?

  • Is the proposed use compatible with surrounding uses?

  • Will the project have any environmental impacts? What will those impacts be? What level of environmental review must occur?

  • Can the proposed use adequately be served by existing public facilities and services (for example, police and fire protection, parking and roads)?

  • How will the use, as restricted, affect the community as a whole?


An example is establishing a bar use. Such a use can have negative impacts on neighbors. Common restrictions include limited hours of operation, soundproofing and noise limits, security guards and/or parking requirements.

Application Information

Please contact the Planning Services Division at (925) 973-2560 to speak with a planner about specific submittal requirements, Application fees, and review timelines for a Use Permit Application or a Minor Use Permit Application. The application form and submittal requirements are provided below: