State law requires all cities (and counties in areas where there is no city) to administer and enforce the California Building Standards Code. The California Building Standards Code contains statewide standards for the design, construction/improvement, and demolition of buildings and structures. New editions of the California Building Standards Code are adopted by the California Building Standards Commission every three years with additional, supplemental updates adopted in intervening years. As a result, projects constructed today are likely to be required to comply with standards different than projects constructed in previous years and under previous versions of the California Building Standards Code.
While homeowners associations may choose to require their own permit-type approvals, conduct plan reviews, and perform inspections, those requirements are in addition to, and are not a substitute for, the City’s obligations under state law. Though requirements may appear to be similar, homeowners associations generally focus on ensuring compliance with their own rules, rather than compliance with the California Building Standards Code. As is the case everywhere in California, buildings and structures subject to a homeowners association are still required to comply with the California Building Standards Code.
Before starting any construction or demolition, please contact the City to inquire about building permit requirements. The City’s permit counter is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (closed 12 to 1 p.m.), Monday through Friday (closed holidays), and by appointment. Please call City Hall at (949) 639-0500 to confirm hours of operation or schedule an appointment. Telephones are answered beginning at 8 a.m.
Beware of unlicensed contractors! State law requires anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for combined labor and materials costs to hold a current, valid license from the California Contractors State License Board.
Building inspections are generally available Monday through Friday (closed holidays). Inspections may be scheduled up to four calendar days in advance using the online calendar below or by calling City Hall at (949) 639-0500. All currently available dates and times are shown in the online calendar. Please note that inspections are offered in two “windows” – 8 a.m. to Noon (mornings) and Noon to 5 p.m. (afternoons).
To protect public health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and consistent with orders from the State of California and Orange County Health Care Agency, all persons present during building inspections are required to practice social distancing and comply with requirements related to the use of face coverings. Persons who are ill, feeling ill, or have been in close contact (closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes) with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 are not permitted to be present during building inspections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Building Permit Resources
Expedited Processing Information
Building Division Performance Measures
The City publishes monthly information regarding its building permitting, inspection, and plan review activities. Performance measures include the numbers of building permits issued and building inspections conducted, as well as the percentage of building plan reviews completed “over-the-counter.”