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Building and Safety
The Development Permit Center is open to the public for in-person services by appointment for all building and permitting needs. Please click below to learn about the different types of services and project permits and to schedule an appointment.
The Development Services Department has certified building inspectors working throughout the City to ensure that both residential and commercial buildings meet compliance for electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and building safety issues: SCHEDULE A BUILDING INSPECTION
Limited Walk-in Service at the Permit Center
The Permit Center now offers limited walk-in service from 8 – 10 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, and from 9 – 11 a.m. on Wednesday. It is closed daily for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. This walk-in service is only for minor project submittals, resubmittals, fee payments and activities that take less than 30 minutes. Those with large- and medium-size projects that take longer to service require an appointment. To learn more, please call 562.570.PMIT (7648).
- For general information on building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior ADUs, please visit the ADU webpage.
- For building code questions on second principal dwelling units under SB 9, the new State law on single-family lot zoning, contact the Building and Safety Bureau at 562.570.PMIT (7648). For zoning questions on the new law, visit the SB 9 webpage or contact the Planning Bureau at 562.570.6194.
- There is a new permitting process for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) at homes and businesses. For information and to download an application, visit the EVCS webpage.
- If a property is a Historic Landmark or within a Historic District, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) approval is needed prior to applying for a building permit. For more information and to check the status of your property, please visit the Zoning and Land Use Map or our Historic Preservation webpage, or call the Planning line at 562.570.6194.
Services and Resources
HOW DO I?
More information on constructing or installing fences and walls.
A grading permit shall be obtained from the City’s Building Official for any grading work, except as specified in the following cases:
- Grading in an isolated, self-contained area, provided there is no danger to the public, and that such grading will not adversely affect adjoining properties.
- An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall, or other structure authorized by a valid building permit.
- Cemetery graves.
- Refuse disposal sites controlled by other regulations.
- Excavation for wells or tunnels or utilities which do not provide vertical or lateral support for buildings, or adversely impact the safety or stability of private or public properties.
- Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing or stockpiling rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay controlled by other regulations, provided such operations do not affect the lateral support of, or significantly increase stresses in, soil on adjoining properties.
- Exploratory excavations performed under the direction of a registered design professional.
- An excavation which is less than two feet in depth, or does not create a cut slope greater than five feet in height and steeper than a 50% slope. This exception shall not apply to cut which exceeds 50 cubic yards or which changes the existing drainage pattern.
- A fill less than one foot in depth and placed on natural terrain with a slope flatter than 10%. This exception shall not apply when the fill exceeds 50 cubic yards or when the fill changes the existing drainage pattern.
- Excavation for caissons or piles under buildings or structures, swimming pools, or underground structures that are authorized by valid building permits.
A permit is valid for two years from the date issued, provided that any permit shall expire after 180 days from the the date of issuance if the work has not commenced, or when the City’s Building Official determines the work authorized by any permit has been suspended, discontinued or abandoned for a continuous period of 180 days.
PROCESSING TIMES FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
Processing times for plan submittal intake up through inspection request for construction projects will vary depending on the project type, size, and complexity. On average, the overall processing times may take 2 to 4 months for most construction projects that are submitted by email. For faster processing time, certain minor construction projects that meet the requirement of Information Bulletin IB-002 Over-the-Counter Plan Check Service can be processed and reviewed in person at our public counter on the same day of the appointment. The flowchart below will help you estimate the timeline for construction projects by adding up the processing times for each step of the process.
How Are We Doing?
Building and Safety Bureau
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The Permit Center is closed daily for lunch from Noon to 1 p.m.