Projects Without Building Permits
For many reasons, there are projects in this City which have not had the required permits or inspections. If you have received a stop work order or correction list for an ongoing or completed project, you are required to obtain a permit. Projects that are not required to have structural plan review such as window replacements, bathroom or kitchen remodels and re-roofing would require a small application filled out by homeowner or contractor, pay permit fees and setup for an inspection.
Garage conversion or room addition, there are several steps which are required to legalize this construction. All of the following steps are required. You cannot skip a step.
Before you start the process, you should consider other alternatives. For example, if you have a garage conversion is it simpler to return it to a garage? If you have a fully enclosed patio, you may be able to conform to the requirements of an enclosed patio or just a patio cover.
Step 1. Plans are required for the construction. As a minimum, a plot plan, floor plan and related details are required. These drawings must be to scale. You may prepare them yourself or hire a draftsman. Normally, you will not need an engineer or architect. We have sample drawings you can follow if you need some guidance. We cannot draw or design for you.
Step 2. At least three sets of plans are required to be submitted for plan check. The Planning Division will review the plans and determine if you need a variance or they will approve the plans. Covered parking is required for all residences. Contact the Planning Division directly at 671-3152 for requirements and/or an exemption.
Step 3. If the plans are approved, building permits and related electrical, plumbing and mechanical are required. If you have purchased your property with the illegal construction existing, normal fees are required. If your citation is for ongoing construction, your fees will be doubled per California Building Code Section 107.5.2 & Council Resolution No: 02-6042.2
Step 4. After you have secured your permits you need to schedule inspections for your project. For existing construction only you shall expose the following:
- Depth and width of spread footings, and both required rows of rebar in one location.
- Slab floors: Open one location to determine slabs reinforcing.
- Wood floors: Open one 4' x 4' section in the middle of the project for access and inspection.
- Plumbing: All under-floor or under-slab piping or connection shall be exposed for inspection.
- Framing: One side of each wall shall be opened up from floor to ceiling for inspection.
- Ceiling: Open one 4' x 4' section in the ceiling center for inspection access.
- Tests: All normal water, waste and gas tests are required.
If you proceed as above, you may be able to secure a list of corrections in one or two inspections. Once you have completed those corrections and signoffs, you can complete the project and request your final inspections.
Once these inspections are completed and signed off, you will receive a Certificate of Occupancy for your project. At that point, you have a legal structure which no longer must be listed in your disclosure statement.