Schedule a pre-application meeting

Meet early with BCDC staff to discuss your project and learn about applying for a BCDC permit. There is no fee charged for the pre-application meeting. Most meetings take place virtually.

Why to have this meeting

Learn about BCDC’s policies and process

The purpose of the meeting is to help you understand the policies of BCDC and how they apply to your project. We will also explain our permitting process and timelines, so you can plan appropriately and help avoid delays down the road.

Plan ahead so you stay on schedule

Projects in the Bay and on the shoreline often require permits from multiple agencies. While the BCDC permit is usually one of the last permits you need before you start work on your project, it is important to consider how your project will address BCDC policies early in planning for your project.

This meeting is not required

This meeting is not a required step for you to obtain a BCDC permit. However, it is highly recommended for larger and more complex projects. Small and very routine projects generally don’t require a pre-application meeting.

Before the meeting

  1. Decide if you need a pre-application meeting
    If your project qualifies for a regionwide or abbreviated regionwide permit, or if it is very routine, you may not need this meeting. However, for all other projects, we highly recommend scheduling one.
  2. Contact us to set up a meeting
    Set up this meeting around the same time you are starting to discuss the project with the planner at your local planning department. Send an email to with the subject line “Pre-Application Meeting Request.” Include:

    • The location of the project
    • A brief description of the project
    • Your contact information
    A BCDC staff member will reply to set up the meeting. Depending on our availability, it may be several weeks before we can meet.
  3. Prepare materials for the meeting
    A week before the meeting, send the following materials to your BCDC contact, if they are available:

    • A project description, including existing site conditions and the proposed development or activity
    • Site photographs
    • Site plans and elevations (conceptual plans are fine)
    • Information about any existing public access to the shoreline at and near the site
    • Contact information for project team members, such as the architect, landscape architect, engineer, land use attorney, etc.
    • A list of the other permits required for the project, including permits from local government and other agencies, as well as the planners assigned to work with you at these agencies
    • Projected project cost
    • Project timeline
    • Any questions you have for us

At the meeting

Present your vision for the project

At the meeting, you will discuss your goals and vision for the project. We also want to learn about the project site and its current condition.

Discuss potential issues

We will let you know about the BCDC policy issues the project raises and give advice on potential modifications to the project, if necessary.

Create a schedule

We will work with you to outline a rough schedule and identify major milestones.

After the meeting

Meeting follow-up

Your BCDC staff contact will send a summary email recapping the meeting. This email will highlight the initial BCDC policies that we believe the project team should consider as it further develops the project.

Site visit

To gain a better understanding of the site conditions and the project, we might ask to visit the site with you.

Advisory board meetings

In certain situations, we may suggest that you present the project to our advisory Design Review Board or Engineering Criteria Review Board before finalizing your BCDC application.

Keep your BCDC contact up-to-date

Keep your BCDC staff contact updated on project milestones and your progress in securing any required environmental reviews and permits from other agencies.