Downtown Developer Toolkit

Downtown Developer Toolkit

The Downtown Developer Toolkit delineates and consolidates policies, processes, incentives and resources to attract and facilitate new housing development in downtown Sacramento, California.


Sacramento’s Downtown Developer Toolkit is a product of the Downtown Housing Initiative that was launched in 2015 by Mayor Kevin Johnson to encourage development through creation of a better regulatory environment and streamlined processes. The initiative was launched to support the City’s unprecedented growth through the development of 10,000 places to live in Downtown Sacramento over the next 10 years.

The Downtown Developer Toolkit incorporates policies, processes, incentives and resources to assist in the development of residential projects downtown. The toolkit is intended to inform the development process from conceptual plans through construction.


New programs and resources will be added to the toolkit as they’re developed. View the complete toolkit here.


A range of incentives are available for downtown residential projects. Financial incentives include support from a variety of sources for effective infill projects; a host of policies and resources are available to support affordable housing developments; conservation and reuse of historic properties includes specific benefits; and sustainable urban development projects can benefit from streamlined processes. Select an incentive below for more information.

Financial Incentives
Affordable Housing Incentives
Historic Preservation Incentives

Streamlining for Sustainable Urban Development

Permits and Processes

The City has simplified processes by which developers receive project approvals and permits, including several Planning Department and Building Department processes that cover pre-development through permitting to encourage and facilitate Downtown development.


Including all work that takes place to ready a site for vertical development.


Planning Permits/Process

The Planning Department has reorganized city code and streamlined entitlement processes to stimulate infill development.


Building Permits

The Building Department has streamlined numerous permitting processes and efficiencies to facilitate development.



Review a list of common residential projects in Downtown and associated fees to minimize unexpected costs prior to beginning construction.


Building Downtown

Central City Urban Design Guidelines

Design Guidelines provide a range of accepted solutions for enhancing building design and the public realm.


Parking and Access

Parking requirements have been minimized to reduce the amount of project budgets spent on parking and improved parking management strategies are making more efficient use of urban land.


Utilities Infrastructure

Resources to assist in infrastructure planning and coordination including sewer, water, drainage, electrical and natural gas services.