Code Requirements & Fees

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The City is involved in a comprehensive effort to work with business owners, property owners, and residents to ensure compliance with all existing city regulations. Toward that end, the following guidelines are designed to help you in obtaining the proper approvals and permits. Not all provisions listed will be required for every project and each submittal will be reviewed based on the scope of the project or development and the area where the project is located. For more info on the building code, please click this link: 

2016 California Building Code

On January 1, 2017, the new series of the California Building Code became effective. This new series of code include a complete re-format of the accessibility code to mirror the Federal ADA. 

When do I need to get a permit?

Generally, permits are required for all electrical, plumbing, mechanical or structural projects you may want to perform. Installing water heaters, re-roofing, remodeling, repairing stairs, replacing windows, adding any improvement to your home requires a permit. Retaining walls, masonry fences, patio covers, decks, BBQ’s, pools/spas and water fountains all require permits. Building permit fees are collected to pay for the services of plan checks and inspections to make sure the project complies with building codes and local ordinances.

For reference purposes, here is the applicable building code:

17.04.032 CBC Chapter 1, Section 105.2 Work Exempt From Permit—Amended

Exemptions from permit requirements of this Code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this Code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:

Building:

  1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, pagodas, gazebos and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet.
  2. Fences not over 42 inches high or architectural features not exceeding six feet in height and not within required zoning setbacks.
  3. Oil derricks and tanks.
  4. Retaining walls which do not support over two feet of earth measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
  6. Sidewalks, platforms, decks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and not part of an accessible route.
  7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  9. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
  10. Swings, other playground equipment and similar type recreational structures.
  11. 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 in Group R-3 and U occupancies.
  12. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over five feet nine inches in height.
  13. Flag poles, light poles and TV dishes in connection with a Group R, Division 3 occupancy and not exceeding 15 feet in height.
  14. Re-roofing an area smaller than 100 square feet while satisfying all applicable application requirements.
  15. Replacement doors and windows when the waterproofing membrane is not altered and emergency egress dimensions are equal to or better than the original permitted layout.
  16. New roof penetrations less than 14″ by 14″ when no framing modifications or additions are required.

Unless otherwise provided by this Code, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above-exempted items.

Electrical:

  1. Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
  2. Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of this Code shall not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
  3. Temporary testing systems: A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
  4. Temporary decorative lighting.
  5. Replacement of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefor.
  6. Replacement of general use snap switches.
  7. Repair or replacement of any overcurrent device of the required capacity in the same location.
  8. Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
  9. The wiring for temporary theater, motion picture or television stage sets.
  10. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  11. Low-energy power, control and signal circuits of Classes II and III as defined in the electrical code.
  12. Non-vehicle-mounted portable generators.
  13. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.

Gas:

  1. Portable heating appliance.
  2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
  3. Portable cooking or clothes drying appliance.
  4. Portable fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.

Mechanical:

  1. Portable heating appliances.
  2. Portable ventilation equipment or appliances.
  3. Portable cooling unit.
  4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this Code.
  5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
  6. Portable evaporative cooler.
  7. Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of one horsepower (746 W) or less.
  8. Portable fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.

Plumbing:

  1. The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with the new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this Code.
  2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures.
  3. Repair or replacement of any plumbing fixture or appliance of the same type and size and in the same location. Exception: electric and fuel gas water heaters.
  4. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe. (3789-1/08, 3892-12/10)

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