COVID-19 Planning Department Services Update

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the majority of Kern County Planning & Natural Resources Department Staff are working remotely. At this time, the Public Services Building is closed to the public. Staff is available for in person meetings by appointment only. If possible, all meetings with departmental Staff will be conducted virtually or by conference call. All Planning Commission Hearings and Director’s Hearings will be conducted virtually at regularly scheduled day and times.

  • Outdoor Dining or Retail Operations Permit

    To facilitate COVID-19 social distancing, commercial and retail establishments within the unincorporated Kern County may apply for a temporary operations permit. Approved permits will be valid for 3 months. The following items should be submitted to the Planning Department to initiate the processing of this permit. For questions, please contact Dennis McNamara at (661) 862-8624. Permit requests with the following information are to be sent to McNamaraD@kerncounty.com.

    • Site address of restaurant or retail operation, including a phone number.
    • Description/operations plan and photographs showing proposed outdoor dining area.
      • Pending location and complexity of proposed request, additional materials may be required, including a site inspection from Staff.  
    • Identified square footage for dining area.
    • A summary of any tents or coverings to be utilized.
      • If a proposed tent is equal to or over 400 square feet, a tent permit will also be required from the Fire Department. Tent permit requirements can be found here and the application can be found here. Please contact the Fire Department directly with questions regarding tent permitting (661) 391-3310. Staff recommends using a vendor familiar with this process.

    Upon receipt of the request, Staff will contact you to confirm and request clarification if needed. Please do not begin any outdoor operations without written confirmation from Staff that your request has been reviewed and authorized.

  • Public Assistance

    While the Public Services Building is closed to the public, our Public Assistance Counter is available to answer any department and zoning related questions via phone or email. Please feel free to contact Staff by phone at (661) 862-5263 or by email at zoning@kerncounty.com. All messages are being checked daily and any inquiries will be returned within 24 hours.

  • Submitting Applications

    Should you wish to submit an application to the Planning & Natural Resources Department and have questions, please contact Mr. Dennis McNamara, Permit Division Chief by phone at (661) 862-8624 or by email at McNamaraD@kerncounty.com. Applications can be submitted in the following format:

    By mail:  The Planning & Natural Resources Department is receiving regular mail. Applications, along with appropriate application fees can be submitted and accepted by mail. Applications packets should be mailed to the attention of Mr. Dennis McNamara at the Planning & Natural Resources Department 2700 “M” Street, Suite 100 Bakersfield, CA 93301. Any applications submitted via mail should be accompanied by a check with the appropriate application fees made payable to the Planning & Natural Resources Department. Staff further requests an electronic version of any submitted materials be included.

    By email:  Applications are being accepted via email at this time. If submitting applications by email, payment of application fees will be done through credit card or wire transfers. PDFs of application materials should be emailed to zoning@kerncounty.com. Once received and reviewed, Staff will contact the applicant of record to discuss payment of application fees. Once payment is received, Staff will be able to begin processing the requested applications.

    By appt:  If you would like to submit applications and fees in person at the Kern County Public Services Department, please contact Department Staff via email at zoning@kerncounty.com or by phone at (661) 862-5263 to schedule an appointment. During the scheduled appointment time, Staff will be able to collect applications, cash any payments and provide written receipts. Staff is requesting all visitors wear masks and may be subject to a contactless temperature reading. Social distancing provisions will be implemented during this visit.

  • Requesting a Meeting with Staff to Discuss a Future Project

    If you are interested in discussing a future project with the Planning & Natural Resources Department, please contact Staff via email at zoning@kerncounty.com. Meetings can be facilitated via teleconference or electronic conferencing platforms such as Teams or Go To Meeting.

  • Public Hearings

    (Kern County Planning Commission & Director’s)

    Planning Commission:  Planning Commission Hearings will continue as previously scheduled. Hearings will be conducted virtually and will not be open to the public. Real-time comments and participation will be facilitated via a dial-in system. Instructions for how to participate in scheduled Planning Commission hearings will be posted on the department website in conjunction with the posted agenda on Friday afternoon before the hearing.

    Upcoming Planning Commission Hearings are scheduled for:

    May 28th @ 7pm

    June 11th @ 7pm

    June 25th @7pm

    Directors Hearings:  Directors Hearings will continue as previously scheduled. Hearings will be conducted virtually utilizing the Go to Meeting teleconference platform.  Real-time comments and public participation will be facilitated during the hearing. Instructions for how to participate in scheduled hearings will be posted on the department website in conjunction with the posted agenda on Friday afternoon before the hearing.

    Upcoming Director’s Hearings are scheduled for:

    June 4th @10am

    June 18th @10am