Community Development Department

Community Development Department

The Community Development Departments consists of the Planning Division and the Building Division.

Planning Division

The Planning Division assists the City Council with the development and implementation of long-term goals and policies of the General Plan that guide the physical, economic, and social development of the City. The Department implements ordinances consistent with those development policies in an effort to facilitate planned orderly and balanced growth, preserve the quality of life, promote a strong economic base, and protect the City’s resources and natural environment.

The Department also assists the public, providing information on land use, zoning and site development standards and processing applications for land use permits and subdivisions. The Department reviews a variety of land use applications for new development, including:

  • Subdivisions

  • Use Permits

  • Design Review

  • Variances

  • Lot Line Adjustments

  • Address of Conveniences, Home Occupations and Cottage Industry Permits


The Department serves as staff to the City Council and a variety of committees and commissions, including the Planning Commission, the Nuisance Committee, Traffic Committee and the Wildwood Avenue Sculpture Committee.

Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance (CLUO)

The City of Rio Dell allows commercial cannabis activities, including cultivation, manufacturing, processing, distribution and retail sales. All activities are allowed with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) at the Humboldt Rio Dell Business Park (HRDBP) which is located at the north end of the City, across the Eel River. This site is the former home of Eel River Sawmills.

Cultivation and associated activities (drying and processing) are also allowed with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) up on the Dinsmore Plateau.

Up to three retail sales businesses are allowed in the Town Center zone with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The City utilized a “Request For Proposal” (RFP) process to select the three operators. Two of the three operators have been granted the required CUP and are in operation. The third operator hopes to get the required CUP sometime in the spring/summer of 2021.


Sawmill Annexation Area – Humboldt Rio Dell Business Park

Dinsmore Plateau

Cannabis Activities Forms and Handouts



Planning Documents and Maps

General Plan



Planning Forms


Planning Handouts

Building Division

The City of Rio Dell Building Division is responsible to administer and enforce a number of Codes, including:

  • California Building Code

  • California Residential Code

  • California Electrical Code

  • California Mechanical Code

  • California Plumbing Code

  • California Fire Code

  • Callifornia Energy Code

  • California Green Standards Code

  • California Administrative Code

Building Permit applications are available on this web page as well as from the City Clerk. If you have building permit related questions, please contact the City Clerk at 764-3532. Completed building permit applications, accompanied by the appropriate fee, should be submitted to the City Clerk.



Planning Forms


Site/Plot Plan Checklist


Planning Handouts


Accessory Buildings

Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations

Animals and Animal Shelters

Cargo Containers in Residential Zones

Cargo Containers in Commercial Zones

Plan of Operation


Building Forms


Building Permit Application – Commercial

Building Permit Application – Residential

Building Plan Check Submittal Requirements.

Owner Authorization for Building Permit

Owner-Builder Acknowledgement

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Affidavit


Building Handouts


Roof Building Code Requirements