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Building Division Performance Measures

Building Permits and Inspections Performance

State law requires the City to administer and enforce the California Building Standards Code, which contains statewide standards for the design, construction/improvement, and demolition of buildings and structures. As part of that enforcement, the City’s Planning & Environmental Services Department issues building permits and conducts building inspections. The numbers of each are reported in the table below.

Month Building Permits (All Types) Building Inspections (All Types)
Number Issued Number Conducted
July 2020 112 394
August 2020 191 313
September 2020 155 224
October 2020    
November 2020    
December 2020    
January 2021    
February 2021    
March 2021    
April 2021    
May 2021    
June 2021    
Year-to-Date 458 931

Note: Governmental building permits and building inspections are excluded from this table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the number of building inspections conducted exceed the number of building permits issued?

The number of building inspections conducted exceeds the number of building permits issued because building inspections are conducted on an as-needed basis for all active building permits, not only the building permits that were issued that same month. While construction associated with simple building permits may be completed and inspected shortly after building permit issuance, more complex building permits may involve extended periods of construction and/or multiple building inspections.

State law also allows building permits to remain active for at least one year from the date of issuance, meaning that some permittees may choose not to begin construction immediately upon building permit issuance or may choose to pause construction that has already begun (e.g., due to the discovery of unanticipated conditions). In those cases, the need for building inspections may also be delayed.

Building Plan Reviews Performance

As part of its enforcement of the California Building Standards Code, the City’s Planning & Environmental Services Department conducts building plan reviews of certain types of projects (not every project requires review). Depending on a project’s complexity, building plan reviews may be completed “over-the-counter” (i.e., just prior to building permit issuance) or plans may be taken in for separate review. The numbers of each, as well as the average turnaround times for plans that are taken in, are reported in the table below.

Month Building Plan Reviews (Residential)
Number Completed Over-the-Counter Number Taken In Median Turnaround Time for Plans Taken In1
July 2020 54 (87.1%) 8 (12.9%) 4.5 days
August 2020 90 (85.7%) 15 (14.3%) 2.0 days
September 2020 51 (68.0%) 24 (32.0%) 3.0 days
October 2020      
November 2020      
December 2020      
January 2021      
February 2021      
March 2021      
April 2021      
May 2021      
June 2021      
Year-to-Date 195 (80.6%) 47(19.4%)  

1 The City has established maximum turnaround times by type of project and submittal number. For more information, please refer to the first two frequently asked questions below. The figures in this column include all building plan reviews of residential plans that were taken in for separate review.

Month Building Plan Reviews (Non-Residential)
Number Completed Over-the-Counter Number Taken In Median Turnaround Time for Plans Taken In2
July 2020 1 (50.0%) 1 (50.0%) 5.0 days
August 2020 2 (50.0%) 2 (50.0%) 9.0 days
September 2020 8 (100.0%) 0 (0.0%) N/A
October 2020      
November 2020      
December 2020      
January 2021      
February 2021      
March 2021      
April 2021      
May 2021      
June 2021      
Year-to-Date 11 (78.6%) 3 (21.4%)  

2 The City has established maximum turnaround times by type of project and submittal number. For more information, please refer to the first two frequently asked questions below. The figures in this column include all building plan reviews of commercial/non-residential plans that were taken in for separate review.

Note: Governmental building plan review is excluded from this table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the median turnaround time for plans taken in for review vary from month-to-month?

The median turnaround time for plans taken in for review includes all types of projects and all submittals, including plans reviewed for the first time. The City’s turnaround time standards vary based on those factors and, as a result, fluctuations in median turnaround times occur based on the nature of the plans submitted to the City. Months in which more plans are taken in for complex projects, and months in which more plans are taken in for review for the first time, are expected to have increased median turnaround times as compared to months in which the opposite is true. For more information on the City’s turnaround time standards, please refer to the next frequently asked question.

What are the City's turnaround time standards for plans that are taken in for review?

The City’s turnaround time standards for plans that are taken in for review vary based on the type of project and whether the plans are being reviewed for the first time.

Maximum turnaround times are as follows:

  • Residential New Construction
    • Initial Review: 7 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 5 days
  • Residential Additions and/or Accessory Building
    • Initial Review: 5 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 3 days
  • Residential Remodels
    • Initial Review: 5 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 3 days
  • Commercial/Non-Residential New Construction
    • Initial Review: 10 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 5 days
  • Commercial/Non-Residential Additions
    • Initial Review: 7 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 5 days
  • Small Commercial/Non-Residential Remodels and/or Tenant Improvements
    • Initial Review: 7 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 5 days
  • Large/Complex Commercial and/or Non-Residential Projects
    • Initial Review: 10 days
    • Subsequent Reviews: 5 days

For the purpose of calculating turnaround times, a “day” is defined as Monday through Friday excluding only federal holidays and holidays observed by the City, generally beginning on the first weekday following the date that the City takes in plans.

Why does the amount of over-the-counter building plan review vary from month-to-month?

The amount of over-the-counter building plan review that the City can complete is most directly affected by the complexity of projects. While the City’s goal is to complete as much over-the-counter building plan review as possible, plans that require extensive review for compliance with the California Building Standards Code (e.g., projects involving structural alterations) are taken in. In addition to being technically necessary, taking in complex, time-intensive plans also helps to minimize wait times and maximize the number of customers who can be served at the permit counter each day.

Why is the number of building plan reviews less than the number of building permits issued?

The number of building plan reviews is typically less than the number of building permits issued due to many types of projects not requiring building plan review (e.g., electric panel change-outs, shower and tub replacements, pre-engineered sunrooms and patio covers installations, first-time washer and dryer installations, and water heater replacements). Additionally, some building plan reviews are completed in advance of building permit issuance, which may result in different reporting months.