Project Permitting & Fees

The Plan provides the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San José, the County of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Habitat Agency with permits for project-specific impacts to Habitat Plan species. The County and cities can extend their permits to activities on private property through a standardized and streamlined permitting process. The Plan removes the need to obtain Wildlife Agency approvals and reduces the number and scope of required biological studies. Fees are used to purchase lands for habitat conservation and carry out other Plan implementation tasks.

Additional permitting information and resources are available for private applicants, public agencies, and participating special entities by clicking on the navigation bar menus on the left.

Described below is the general process for obtaining endangered species permits for private projects under the Habitat Plan. View materials here.

  1. Confirm the project is in the Habitat Plan Permit Area.
  2. Complete the Habitat Plan Coverage Screening Form.
  3. Submit the Habitat Plan Coverage Screening Form to the planning or building office for review and confirmation.
  4. Complete and submit the Habitat Plan Fees and Conditions Worksheet, including verification of land cover on the project site, to the planning or building office for review and confirmation.
  5. Receive determination of applicable fee rates and conditions from the planning or building office.
  6. Prepare and submit the Habitat Plan Application Package with all supporting materials. Habitat Plan Applications are submitted online by clicking "submit" at the bottom of the form. Upon submission, they will be routed to the appropriate planning or building office.
  7. Pay Habitat Plan fees, agree to conditions of approval, and obtain permits.

The Co-Permittees have been issued permits for take of covered species under the Habitat Plan. For projects conducted by a Co-Permittee, the Co-Permittee is responsible for assuring that the project conforms to the requirements of the Habitat Plan, following the process for utilizing take authorization described in Chapter 6, Section 6.7.1 Evaluation Process for Permittee Projects. View materials here.

The Participating Special Entity will submit a complete application for the proposed activity directly to the Habitat Agency with copies to the local jurisdiction in which the project occurs, and the Wildlife Agencies.  This application will contain the following components.

  • A detailed description of and rationale for the activity proposed for coverage under the Habitat Plan.
  • Proposed avoidance and minimization measures to be applied to the covered activity.
  • A map of the proposed activity area.
  • An analysis of the potential impacts of the proposed activity on covered species and their habitats.
  • All components of the Habitat Plan application package.
  • In order to grant take authorization to these local agencies, the Habitat Agency will need a legally enforceable contractual relationship with the Participating Special Entity. The Habitat Agency will issue, at its discretion, a Certificate of Inclusion to the Participating Special Entity that will allow the proposed activity to be covered under the Habitat Plan if it finds that the conditions listed below are met. 
  • The Habitat Agency signs a contract with the Participation Special Entity binding it to the relevant terms of the permits, Implementing Agreement, and Habitat Plan.
  • The proposed activity complies with all terms and requirements of the Plan, the permits, and the Implementing Agreement, and the Wildlife Agencies concur.
  • The impacts of the proposed activity fall within those analyzed in the Habitat Plan, the ESA Section 7 biological opinion for the Habitat Plan, and the EIR/EIS in general type, location, magnitude, and effects.
  • The impacts of the proposed activity do not deplete the amount of take coverage to such an extent that not enough is available for future covered activities.
  • The proposed activity does not conflict with the conservation strategy or the ability of the Habitat Agency to meet the Plan goals and objectives.
To determine if you quality as a Participating Special Entity under the Habitat Plan, please contact the Habitat Agency at (408) 779-7261.