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Planning Division

Planning Director: Jacquelyn R. Kitchen

The Planning Division provides professional expertise and administrative support on all planning and zoning related issues for the City of Bakersfield.  The Division is responsible for a variety of services ranging from updating the City's General Plan and reviewing commercial/industrial development, to approving new subdivisions and issuing home occupation permits. The Division provides technical advice to the City Council, Planning Commission, and Board of Zoning Adjustment on matters concerning the physical development of the city to maintain a high quality of life and a sustainable community.  Additional functions of the Division include environmental analysis, site development review, general demographics, GIS coordination, and administration of codes pertaining to zoning, health and safety.  The Division's staff takes pride in providing exceptional customer service and a positive approach to problem-solving.



The City is currently working on an update to its Housing Element. The Housing Element is a state-mandated element of the City’s General Plan that must identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs of our community. Please go to our Housing Element Update webpage for information on planned events, public hearings and related documents

Document Library

GIS Mapping Services
Professional staff provides the Division with expertise and experience in geographic information system (GIS) applications providing various land use mapping and graphics products, and maintains the city’s street naming/addressing program.

The Permit Center

The Permit Center is located on the 1st floor of the Community Development Building and serves as the main public activity area for the Planning Division. It is part of the centralized one-stop services center for zoning, building permits and business licenses.  Professional planners assist in guiding the public through the zoning and permitting process for all development projects.  This section is responsible for responding to public inquires regarding zoning,  development standards, and other land use issues. 

They process site plan reviews, including planned commercial developments (PCDs), conditional use permits, modifications, home occupation permits, sign plans, day care permits, parcel map waivers/mergers, and lot line adjustments.  This section also oversees development projects through the site planning process and coordinates issuing final permits with the Building Division.  In addition, they are responsible for processing projects through the public hearing process before the Board of Zoning Adjustment and Community Development Director.

Current Planning
The Current Planning section is located on the 2nd floor of the Community Development Building and is responsible for the review and processing of applications to subdivide land.  Professional staff review and process parcel maps and subdivision (tract) maps, and also process zone change requests, including planned commercial (PCD) and planned unit developments (PUDs) through the Planning Commission.  In addition, this section administers the city’s habitat conservation program in cooperation with Kern County for the Bakersfield Metropolitan area. 

Advance Planning
The Advance Planning section is located on the 2nd floor of the Community Development Building and is responsible for preparation and maintenance of the city’s General Plan and specific plans.  Professional planners are responsible for processing development projects that involve amendments to the land use plan designations, circulation element, and process annexations through the Planning Commission and City Council.  In addition, they conduct or coordinate the environmental review and analysis process for large private development projects and public city projects, and prepare general plan consistency findings for the acquisition or sale of lands by public agencies.

The California Environmental Quality Act
Commonly referred to as CEQA establishes the required process for the evaluation. The Planning Division performs environmental reviews or coordinates the environmental review process for public and private projects for which the city has the primary responsibility for carrying out or approving.


Office Location & Mailing Address:
Planning Division
Community Development Building
1715 Chester Avenue
Bakersfield, California 93301

Office Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday - Friday
Phone: 661 326-3733