How to Apply for a Building Permit

Permit Requirements

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

In addition to the requirement to obtain permits for the types of construction listed in Section 105.2 of the California Building Code, permits are required for parking lot construction and any resurfacing or re-striping of a parking lot.

When Building Permits Are Not Required

Permits are not required for the following:

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, Provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11 m2). 
  • Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
  • Oil derricks.
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height 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.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
  • Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  • Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and are installed entirely above ground. (Swimming Pool Enclosure and Safety Devices are required as per Municipal Code Section 7-11.03).
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
  • 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 (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies.
  • Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.

For a complete list, please see Who Needs A Permit.  To find out if your project requires a permit or to ask any other building question, please contact the Building Division at (530) 822-4629.

Plan Check Timelines

It takes about three weeks (15 business days) to process a building permit that requires plan review submittal. A majority of minor permits are issued over the counter.

For additional questions on the timeline for a specific scope of work, contact the Building Division at (530) 822-4629.

Online Permit Submittals

Online applications are submitted through the Citizen Portal

For status and plan check comments in the Citizen Portal, login to your account at  and view the ‘My Records’ tab. You can pay fees, view comments, check status, and upload revisions all from the Citizen Portal. If you have additional questions regarding your online application, contact the Building Division at (530) 822-4629.

Please note that online submittals for Commercial Tenant Improvements and New Construction (Residential and Commercial) also require hard copy submittals of the plan set. You will need to provide three hard copies to the Building Division.

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