Important Updates: Click here for CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 information



In order to comply with the "Stay-At-Home" order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom, Palm Desert City Hall is closed for in-person business until further notice. However, Planning Department staff is available remotely to help you. If you have any questions related to the Planning Division during this time, please email


Temporary Outdoor Dining Permits

Palm Desert has always been known for its exceptional outdoor dining. The City is now offering restaurateurs an opportunity to temporarily expand their outdoor dining options into private parking areas and public sidewalks. The goal is to help support local businesses while following State orders requiring social distancing. Interested restaurants are encouraged to apply to the City’s Planning Division for a Temporary Use Permit Application through the City’s online application portal. Submission requirements include:

  • A dimensioned site plan showing a minimum walkway clearance of four (4) feet to maintain ADA access
  • Details showing how the outdoor dining patio will be enclosed
  • Seating layout, and
  • General liability insurance.

Once approved, applicants will receive conditions for operation for the expanded outdoor dining area. Restaurants can then work with the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to modify their license to include the expanded area.


Apply for a Planning Permits

The Planning Division provides plan review and issuance of Planning permits to ensure that all projects meet the requirements of all City ordinances and the California Environmental Quality Act.


The Planning Division of the Community Development Department is now accepting pdf files for digital application, permit, and plan submittals for review. First, submit an application and a full set of plans for review through the link below. Staff will process your request and will provide an invoice for the application fees.  Once fees are submitted, plan review will commence.  You will receive a subsequent e-mail with either plan review comments, application approval, or a scheduled public hearing date.

Please Click Here to Begin Digital Plan Submittal

Design professionals, such as Architects and Engineers, whose “wet” signature is required for submittal of hard copy plans will be required to obtain a “digital signature” key for signature of electronically submitted plans. Non-design professionals shall sign plans via electronic signature. Click here for details about digital and electronic signature requirements.


All plans submitted for review must adhere to the City of Palm Desert naming convention.  The plan name for review should be in this order:

  • Planning Permit Number (If this is an initial submittal a permit number will be assigned)
  • Application / Permit Address
  • Plan Type
  • Name of Engineering Company
  • Date of Submittal
  • Example File Name: 42500 Fred Waring Drive, Parcel Map Waiver, ABC Consulting, April 1, 2020 .pdf.

The Planning Division implements the policies and objectives of the community that are set forth in the City of Palm Desert's General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Specific Plans. The Planning Division also reviews  new development proposals to ensure that the City's design and development standards, and goals and policies, are executed in the development of the City. Specific goals identified in the General Plan include:

  • Transformation of the Highway 111 corridor into a mixed-use urban center.
  • Development of new and mixed-housing neighborhoods near the Universities.
  • Ensuring a broad housing mix is provided in the City that can accommodate a range of incomes and lifestyles.
  • Complete/living streets that are highly connected and can safely and equitably accommodate vehicles, transit, non-motorized transportation options, and pedestrians
  • Health and wellness that promotes active lifestyles through the use of healthy community design.
  • Preservation of the environment and the City's mountainous backdrop.
  • Increased community safety by identifying natural and human-caused hazards.

In addition, the Planning Division manages the City’s Residential Projects and Non-Residential Projects. For more information regarding planning, the General Plan, land use and zoning, you may contact us online or call us at 760-346-0611 ext. 483. Staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to answer questions and assist with applications.

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