10 Time-Saving Tips When Visiting the Building & Safety Counter

The Building & Safety Division of the Community Development Department is currently experiencing low staffing levels due to budget constraints; however, "Getting our Customers to Success" remains a priority. While we recommend that you allow yourself additional time when you visit our permit counter, we recognize the value of your time and would like to do everything possible to reduce your wait. Below you will find some tips for reducing the amount of time it will take at the counter and minimizing repeat trips. 1. Download your application and have it completed before you come to see us. The application and other helpful documents can be viewed and downloaded from the Building & Safety web pages. 2. Know who you need to see. Most construction projects require the approval of the Planning Department as well as the Building & Safety Division. Exceptions include minor permits (residential plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work) and interior remodels for residential structures. 3. Know what it is you want to build. (Is it a patio cover, gazebo, block wall, room addition, or? Is the structure new or is it replacing an existing structure? What size is it? How tall is it? Where on the property do you want to build it? What other structures exist on the property, and where are they located on the property?) 4. Ask for help. Sometimes a project is just too big for you to handle on your own. Don't be afraid to seek help from a professional who has done this before. It can save you time, money, and a lot of headache in the long run. 5. Make sure that you do your research. A check list entitled “Before You Start…” will help you identify common concerns. (Checklist attached or web???) 6. If available, bring pictures of your property in with you when you come to the counter. Pictures can help you explain your project and make sure that you receive accurate answers. (Guidelines for photographing your project are attached or web?) 7. Bring the correct number of copies with you: 7 copies of the drawings and 2 copies of all supporting documents. Handouts that explain what documentation is needed to submit for plan check can be viewed and downloaded from the Building & Safety web pages. 8. In addition to the plans and other supporting documentation that you submit to Building & Safety, many projects will require additional separate submittals to Fire, Landscape, and/or Engineering. (A few examples of these separate submittals are landscape plans, automatic-fire sprinkler systems, public improvement plans, etc.) 9. Visit the counter in the morning. Afternoon wait times tend to be longer. 10. If you are going to obtain the permit as an owner/builder you will need to bring in proof of property ownership. A copy of the Deed of Trust is recommended. If you are not a State licensed contractor and you are not the property owner, you will need to bring in an Owner Builder Verification form that has been completed and fully executed. The Owner Builder Verification form can be downloaded from the Building & Safety web pages

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1. How do I find out the status of my Plan Check and/or Building Permit application?
2. What is the fee to file for a building permit or to submit plans?
3. What is the turnaround time for the approval of a plan check and/or building permit?
4. Where do I submit plans for my project?
5. Where do I submit revisions to my building application?
6. What are the hours the Building & Safety counter is open?
7. What time is building construction allowed? Can work be done on weekends?
8. 10 Time-Saving Tips When Visiting the Building & Safety Counter