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When is a Permit Required?

A permit is required for projects such as new construction, additions, remodeling, and repairs to electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. Examples include:

  • New homes and buildings
  • Room additions
  • Enclosures and carports
  • Decks and patio covers
  • Garage conversions
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Retaining walls
  • Window replacements
  • Water services
  • Sewer services
  • Signs
  • Water heaters
  • Fences
  • Fireplaces and fireplace inserts
  • Skylights
  • Sheds
  • Shower/tub enclosure replacements
  • Swimming pools and spas
  • Re-roofing
  • Siding
  • Ceiling fans

How to Obtain a permit?

  • Online Minor Permits: If you are a California licensed contractor, certain minor permits are available online.
  • Electronic Plan Check: Submit your project through our Electronic Plan Check program.
  • Public Counter: Visit the public counter for permit services.

When a Permit is Not Required

A permit is not required in some cases. The following is a list of work exempt* from a permit:

  • One-story detached accessory structures, provided the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet.
  • Fences not over 7 feet high.3
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
  • Sidewalks and driveways.1
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.2
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 18 inches deep. 
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings. 
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
  • Decks not exceeding 200 square feet in area, that are not more than 30 inches above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.2 of the California Residential Code.

* Unless within a design review or preservation district (or a historic landmark).

1 Permits and approval from other City departments may be required. 
2 Related work may require a building permit, such as relocating electrical fixtures to accommodate new cabinets or counters.
All proposed fencing is subject to Planning Division approval and applicable standards set forth in City Code Chapter 17.620 (Wall, Fence and Gate Regulations). Questions related to fencing requirements can be directed to the Planning Division at

Return to the main Permit Services page.