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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

If you are a California licensed contractor, certain minor permits are available online. Homeowners wishing to obtain a building permit must visit the public counter.

In some cases, a permit is not necessary. Unless within a design review or preservation district (or a historic landmark), a building permit is not required for:

  • One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, etc., providing the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
  • Fences, other than masonry walls, less than seven feet in height.
  • Retaining walls not over four feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
  • Platforms, walkways, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
  • Painting, papering, and similar finish work.