Vacant land needs building site approval

4 Replies


I recently bought a vacant land in bay area (Santa Clara county) and it is unincorporated area, I wanted to get building site approval and many of the folks told me it take huge time 2 yrs etc, some told me there are people who can help accelerate it. I wanted to learn experience from folks here and what does this process mean and what are timelines, property is on hillside and definitely not straightforward

Thanks in advance


@Bablu Gupta , I have never developed land in California, but in Indiana the site approval would entail getting the property re-zoned for the type of building you'd like to build on it. In order to get it re-zoned, you need to approach the city council and ask what it takes to submit a development for approval. They will have their own time lines for when the presentations will be, how the voting works, and when you have to hold the public hearings. In my experience I have seen projects that take 2+ years for approval, but it only took me about 6 months to get approval on a residential neighborhood I did here in Indiana. Also, you should try and find a real estate attorney that specializes in land development - they are usually the ones that prepare all the materials for approaching the city council for rezoning. Good luck! Hopefully someone on BP can elaborate more for a Santa Clara county project.

@Bablu Gupta sometimes even longer! Dealing with city officials is no smooth transaction. It's a multiple step process. Our first project took almost 3 years to break ground (from initial land/lot purchase). 

Hi @Bablu Gupta I think I might help. Need a little more info though as in regards to where the property is. Feel free to msg me if you don't want to share public here in the forum.

Yes, it takes a while, depending on the agency and parcel, to get thru the entitlement process. I've dealt w/ new builts quite a bit and have some architects we can consult with.

@Bablu Gupta

Depends on what you want to do, if you've got a conforming lot and want to build a house on it, that's a different animal than having 40 acres and wanting to put 200 houses on it.  I do civil engineering entitlement work for a living and have done some work in Santa Clara County.

Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss your project and I can share my thoughts on specifics.

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