Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q: When are building permits required?
A: A building permit will be required when a commercial or residential building proposes to remodel, enlarge, alter, or modify the interior or exterior of a structure. Building plans are required in detail to explain the proposed work.
2. Q: When are electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permits required?
A: Permits are required for any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical improvements. New installations, alterations, modifications, replacements, or change outs also require permits.
3. Q: Does a garden shed require a building permit?
A: Yes, any structure with 100 square feet of projected roof area or larger requires a building permit. A site plan and building plans are required; provide details to explain the proposed work.
4. Q: Does a lattice or solid cover patio require a building permit?
A: Yes, solid cover patios, lattice type patios and decks require a building permit. A Building plans are required, in detail to explain the proposed work, provide site plan, construction details, type of material, size of material, and connections.
5. Q: Does a concrete or asphalt driveway require a building permit?
A: No, new and replacement of flat work using concrete, or asphalt paving material does not require a building permit. However, the work will need to comply with requirements in the Municipal Code and if there are changes to the street approach an Encroachment Permit is required. 
6. Q: When is a grading permit required?
A: A grading permit is required when importing or exporting more than 50 cubic yards of earth. Plans are required to be prepared by a Civil Engineer.
7. Q: Are fence permits required?
A: Yes, when installing a new fence, removing or replacing an existing fence. A chain link, wood, wrought iron, retaining walls 2' and higher, garden walls 3' and higher require a building permit. A site plan will be required prior to the issuance of a permit, provide dimensions indicating fence or wall location.
8. Q: Does a permit expire?
A: Yes, a building, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit issued by the Building and Safety Department under the provisions of the technical codes shall expire by limitation, or if the building or work is not commenced within 180 days from the date of such permit, the permit will become null and void. Renewals and extensions on permits may be granted, depending on permit status and completed inspections.
9. Q: How many plans are required to be submitted into plan check?
A: The Building Division requires three sets of building plans: three architectural plans with two sets of title 24 (Energy Calculations) and two sets of structural calculations. The plans must be drawn on substantial paper (Minimum 11x17).
10. Q: When can I request an inspection?
A: Requests for inspections can be received in the office of the Building Division between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. the previous day of the requested inspection. Building Inspectors are available weekdays for questions between the hours of 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Remember, City offices are closed on Fridays.