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What is a Preliminary Housing Development Application?

California Senate Bill 330, “The Housing Crisis Act of 2019,” was signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 9, 2019 and became effective January 1, 2020. The bill establishes a statewide housing emergency to be in effect until January 1, 2025.


The Preliminary Housing Development Application process only applies to projects that are considered to be housing projects as defined by SB 330. The Statute defines a housing project as any of the following:

  1.  Residential units only.
  2. Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
  3. Transitional housing or supportive housing.

If a proposed project meets any of the above criteria, the applicant may submit a Preliminary Housing Development Application.

Process for Preliminary Housing Development Applications

Once a complete Preliminary Housing Development Application is submitted – along with the required Development Review Application– the zoning, design, subdivision, and fee requirements in effect as of that date will remain applicable to the project for the duration of the review and entitlement process, provided that all the following provisions are satisfied:

  • The submitted Preliminary Housing Development Application contains accurate information. The Community Development Department may require a revised Preliminary Housing Development Application if the original includes inaccurate information.
  • A complete Development Review Application must be submitted and accepted by the Department within 180 days of submitting this Preliminary Housing Development Application.
  • The project may not increase by more than 20 percent in the number of units or floor area indicated in the Preliminary Housing Development Application, except as the project may be revised using the State Density Bonus. 
  • The project must commence construction within 30 months of site permit issuance.

Note that the following modifications may be required even when a Preliminary Housing Development Application is on file: 

  • Development impact fees, application fees, capacity and connection fees, or other charges may be annually adjusted based on a published cost index. 
  • Requirements necessary to avoid an adverse impact to public health or safety, or to avoid or lessen an impact under CEQA may be applied. 

Projects may submit a new or amended Preliminary Housing Development Application at any time, in which case the requirements in effect at that time shall apply.

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 Preliminary Housing Development Application. The application form and submittal requirements are provided below: