Photography or Filming Temporary Use Permit
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Photography or Filming Temporary Use Permit

Review Process for Photography/Filming Temporary Use Permit


The review of filming proposals is required in order to ensure that such activities are performed in a safe manner and do not interfere with traffic or the citizens' normal enjoyment of neighborhoods and City facilities.


All requests for filming in Foster City must be received a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the date that filming is proposed and will be reviewed by the Interdepartmental Review Committee (IDEC) or Community Development Director. Filming shall include, but not be limited to, both still and motion photography, and include an production requiring exterior use of public or private property of any kind. Exceptions: 


Review will begin upon submittal of the application and attachments listed under Submittal Requirements. The package submitted to the Community Development Department will include copies of any other applications submitted to other reviewing departments for special purposes, such as use of park facilities, pyrotechnics, etc. 


The Photography/Filming temporary Use Permit itself requires payment of a processing fee per the most recent Master Fees & Services Charges Schedule adopted by the City Council. In addition, most of the related permits required to be submitted to other departments also require payment of a fee, specifically:                     

In addition, the use of police or fire personnel requires pre-payment for their time, at a rate to be determined by the City. 


Upon receipt of the required information, a Planning/Code Enforcement Division staff member will be assigned to review the application. The information submitted will be checked for completeness, and if complete, will be scheduled for review.  


When an application has been determined to be complete, it is then scheduled for review by the IDEC at its next available meeting. IDEC meets each Tuesday morning. Agendas are prepared on Wednesday mornings following Tuesday morning IDEC meeting. The applicants will be invited to attend the IDEC meeting in order to provide information and answer questions. 


As indicated above, the basic intent of the review is to ensure that the photography/filming is performed in a safe manner and that the citizens' normal enjoyment of the City neighborhoods and facilities is not diminished. 


The Community Development Director will act to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application taking into account the comments received from IDEC. 


The applicant or any person may appeal a decision of the Community Development Director by submitting a letter of appeal or completed appeal form and pay the appropriate fee within ten (10) calendar days of the date of the decision. If the tenth day falls on a weekend or holiday, the appeal period ends at 5:00 pm on the next working day. No photography/filming activity shall take place while an appeal is pending. 

A letter of appeal or completed appeal form must specify: 

a. The person making the appeal.

b. The specific item of appeal, and all supporting documentation.

c. The basis for such appeal and information substantiating the basis for appeal (e.g., failure to comply with the City's General Plan, state or local laws, or stating reasons why the action of the Community Development Director would adversely affect  surrounding property, neighborhood and/or the City.

d. Relief for action sought.

Decisions of the Community Development Director may be appealed to the Planning Commission and decisions of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council.

Click here for Submittal Requirements

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200