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Plan Review 

Whether the project is a homeowner converting a garage or a developer constructing a high rise, we review projects for safety. Many residential and commercial projects require a building plan review for compliance with applicable Federal, State, and City codes, laws, and ordinances before permits can be issued. As part of the plan review, staff checks zoning for restrictions on use, property line setbacks, and height requirements.

Plans must be clear and drawn to scale in order to show code compliance. They may be prepared by the owner, architect, engineer, draftsperson or designer. A licensed California architect or engineer may be required to prepare plans.

  • What should I look for when preparing plans?  Click here for more information.
  • How long does the plan review process take? The process depends on the size of the project, whether it is a new project, a remodel, an addition, etc. Projected turnaround can be found here.
  • When are plans required? There are very few exceptions when plans are not required for commercial building projects; however, not all residential permit applications require plans. The table gives a basic outline of what is required for most residential permits.
  • What is evaluated when a plan is submitted? In addition to looking at the safety of a building, we also do a design and historic preservation review, depending on where the project is located. To find out if you're in a special district or area requiring additional review, please see the Building Permit Application Archive and Search tool.
  • Who can prepare plans?
  • What other reviews should I know about? Depending on your project, it may be reviewed by other departments.  To learn more about development review, click here