Community Development

Entitlement Process

In each zoning district, some land uses are permitted by right, meaning only a business license or building permit is needed with Planning Bureau approval.  Other uses require a public hearing and approval of a planning entitlement, such as a zone change, conditional use permit, standards variance, or site plan review, for example. 

The planning entitlement process helps the Planning Bureau ensure that the proposed land use and/or project is consistent with the development standards and is designed and operated in a manner that is compatible with neighboring uses and the community. This guide was developed to assist residents, business owners, and developers through the City’s planning entitlement process. 

Where to begin? Start by calling the Zoning Information line at 562.570.6194 or visiting the Development Permit Center at City Hall.  Planning staff will help you determine if your project generally conforms to the City’s Zoning Code and what planning entitlements and/or permits may be required.

Once you’ve gathered all the information needed to begin the review process, it’s time to complete the planning permit application and prepare plans for your project according to the requirements of the Planning Permit Application. See plan requirements on page 7 of the application.

Now that you’ve finished your plans, it’s time to submit the project application and complete set of plans.  Projects requiring planning entitlements and/or permits are submitted by appointment only.  All Planning application submittals are virtual only, and no in-person submittals are accepted. To schedule a virtual submittal, please email  Your project will be assigned to a staff Planner who will review your plans.  Your responses to staff’s corrections will greatly affect how soon your project can be scheduled for a hearing.

Depending on the planning entitlements and/or permits requested, one or more of the following hearings may be required: Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission and/or Cultural Heritage Commission.  Certain permits may be approved administratively without a public hearing by the staff Site Plan Review committee.  A public hearing is typically held within 60 days of the submittal of a complete application.  The decision-making body will typically take action at that hearing.  Decisions rendered by the hearing body are based the required application findings established for each application type in the Long Beach Municipal Code. The decision-making body may approve, partially approve, or deny a project.

The decision-making body’s action is subject to an appeal period (usually 10 days) which must expire with no appeals before you will be issued a Notice of Final Action (NFA) and allowed to proceed in applying for building permits.

Once entitlements are granted and a NFA is issued, you can prepare final plans and begin the plan check process.