Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if I need a Home Occupation Permit for my business?
A: If you run a business from your home then you must obtain a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Division of the Community Development Department, regardless of the work involved. Please check with the Planning Staff to see if your business qualifies as a Home Occupation. (Link to HOP)
Q: I live in a home that is a Heritage Home and want to know if that requires a review from the City regarding my remodel?
A: The Heritage Award is strictly an Honorary Designation from the Redlands Historical Society. Although obtaining a Heritage Award from the Redlands Historic Society is a prestigious honor it is not a designation adopted by the City of Redlands. A structure only needs review from the City's Historic and Scenic Preservation Commission when it is a recognized Resource or Landmark from the City of Redlands.
Q: I want to modify the sign for my business and want to know if that requires a permit from the City.
A: Any modification to your sign, including change of copy needs to be approved by the Community Development Department
Q: Are Banners legal in the City of Redlands?
A: Yes Banners are legal in the City of Redlands. Effective July 2, 1998 a commercial enterprise can apply for a Banner for a period of up to one month up to four times a year. In order to display a banner it does require a permit and is subject to certain regulations.
Q: I want to build a room addition on my house what do I need to do.
A: The first thing you should do is to discuss your project with Planning staff to see if you can meet the zoning requirements such as lot coverage, setbacks, and height limits. Then you need to have plans drawn by a an architect or draftsperson and submit them to Building and Safety. (Link to Room Addition)
Q: How do I obtain copies of the staff reports or minutes from a Planning Commission or City Council Meeting?
A: If you need copies of minutes or staff reports from a Planning Commission you can download the staff reports here and download the minutes here. If it is for a City Council Meeting you may request copies of the minutes or Staff Reports directly from the City Clerk.
Q: I am opposed to a project that is on a future Agenda for the Planning Commission and/or City Council, is there anything I can do?
A: There are a number of ways to keep yourself informed and present your ideas to the decision makers. Projects are submitted to the Planning Division and area available for public review prior to the public hearing. A staff report is prepared for each agenda item and is available prior to the hearing. If you are unsure as to the hearing dates you may notify the City Clerk and/or Planning Secretary that you want to be notified of all future hearings on the manner. To present your ideas you may want to submit written comments to the Environmental Review Committee, Planning Commission, and/or City Council. You may also want to present oral testimony at the Public Meeting.
Q: Can I purchase the City's Zoning Map, General Plan Map, or other ordinances?
A: All of these items can be purchased at the Planning Division, Suite 20 in the Civic Center. Please call the Planning Secretary at (909) 798-7555 for the correct fees. The documents can be mailed or picked up in person. If you want the documents mailed then you must send in the correct amount prior to any mailing.
Q: My neighbor has a tree that is blocking my view of the mountains, what can I do?
A: The City does not have any view ordinances nor does it have any ordinance that would limit the growth of trees.
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.
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.
Q: Does a garden shed require a building permit?
A: Yes, any structure with 120 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.
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.
Q: Does a concrete or asphalt driveway require a building permit?
A:  Yes, new and replacement of flat work using concrete, or asphalt paving material requires a building permit. A site plan required to show the location of proposed work.
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.
Q: Are fence permits required?
A:  If a chain link, wood, or wrought iron fence is below 6’ high, no building permit is required.  Otherwise, if higher than 6’ a permit is required.  Retaining walls 2’ and higher above grade, and garden walls 3’ and higher above grade require a building permit.  A site plan will be required prior to the issuance of a permit, provide dimension indicating fence or wall location.
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.
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).
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 day prior to 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 every other Friday.