The process begins with a Zoning Permit Application. Once logged into the system and checked for completeness your project will move forward to the appropriate department for review.
Three sets of plans must be submitted for plan checking that precedes permit issuance. One will be ultimately retained in Building and Safety, one will go to the County Assessor after completion; the other will be returned to you at the time of permit issuance as your approved copy.
Fire Department Approval
One set of plans must be submitted for Fire Department approval, this can be submitted at the same time as you submit plans to the City. The City has an Application in our office with the address and fees for that review & approval.
You will need the following information: On a Construction Permit Application you will need the legal description of your property APN – Assessor Parcel Number. This can be obtained from your property tax bill or deed.
Two Sets of Full Size Plans, including a Site, Floor, Plumbing, Electrical, Framing Plan & Details and a Reduced scale Site Plan (8-1/2 x 11) should be submitted.
The Site plan shows dimensions & setbacks and where you propose to put your dwelling or addition. The reduced copy of the site plan will remain in the address file to go with the history of the property. (see drawing examples: Plot Plan, Elevation Section Plan & Floor Plans
You will need to specify what is to be done, the floor area of the addition or new dwelling, and the name and telephone number of the person who will make any required plan corrections.
For your protection, you should be aware that as “owner-builder” you are the responsible party on such a permit. Building permits are not required to be signed by property owners unless they are personally performing their own work. If someone is performing your work other than yourself, you may protect yourself from possible liability if that person applies for the proper permit in his or her name. Contractors are required by law to be licensed and bonded by the State of California and to have a business license from the City. They are also required by law to put their License number on all permits for which they apply. If you plan to continue as an owner-builder then you will be asked to sign a verification form so that we can confirm that you are aware of these matters.
Approximately three weeks (15 working days) should be allowed for completion of plan review / checking, this would be reviewed by Planning, Engineering & the Building Departments. This review time could take longer if we are waiting for outside information such as, a Percolation Report or if it falls into the Conditional Use process.
Of course if it is a minor upgrade then it may take no time at all. Plans left for checking expire in 180 days unless an extension is requested and granted. Therefore, filing for plan check should allow ample time for processing but should not be so premature that the plan check expires. A single extension may be granted in extenuating circumstances but is not automatic.
Planning Department Review & Approval
Lot Compliance, Zoning & Setbacks:This department will be checking to make sure the lot was created legally, the proposed use and structure are allowed in the zone and the building setbacks are in compliance. If the type of use, or structure requires special or conditional use permits, this department will advise and provide the necessary application forms.
Engineering Department Review and Approval
This department will be checking for any of the following areas: Grading, Percolation Test, Septic Systems, Addressing, Flood & Drainage Issues, Legal Access, and Retaining Walls. If your project requires merging or lot line adjustments, then Engineering will be handling that as well. Separate Application & Fees are available in our office. See Engineering
At the time of permit issuance, any above-mentioned fees along with building fees are required. A preliminary estimate of fees is advisable before the expense or effort of final plan preparation is undertaken. We urge you to contact the Engineering, Building & Safety office at (760) 326-5740 x128 or option 5 for information in this regard.
In order to estimate fees, the size of the proposed construction, its use, the size of your lot, and valuation is necessary. When your building permit is issued, a copy of approved plans will be returned to you with your fee receipt. The inspector will bring out an inspection record card to the site. The card and plans are to be kept available for the inspector’s use when he visits your property for inspection. With your permit in hand, you are now ready to proceed with construction…
When the inspector visits your project, the approved plans must be available to him for comparison with the work, and the job card accessible for his signature if work is satisfactory. If there are corrections to be made before approval, the inspector will leave a “Correction Notice” outlining briefly the things necessary to be completed before approval. When corrections have been accomplished, re-inspection should be scheduled. Time delays and re-inspections can be avoided if you make sure that work is complete before calling for an inspection. Any necessary test should have been done ahead of time to ensure acceptance and compliance.
Call for Inspections
During construction of your project, the majority of contacts with the Building & Safety Department will be through the Building Official when he visits your property.
City Building Regulations require that certain inspections be made before concealment. On typical residential construction this means that you must request inspections at certain stages of the construction. INSPECTION REQUEST FORM
Foundation Inspection: Is made when trenches have been excavated, forms are erected, and any required reinforcing steel, is in place BEFORE THE CONCRETE IS POURED.
Concrete Slab or Under-Floor Inspection: Is made after all in-slab or under-floor equipment, piping, conduit, etc. are in place, BEFORE THE CONCRETE IS POURED OR FLOOR SHEATING IS INSTALLED.
Frame inspection: Is made after all framing, fire blocking, and bracing are in place; all pipes, chimneys, and vents are complete, rough electrical wiring, plumbing piping, and heating ducts have been installed and inspected.
Roof Sheating Inspection:
Lath and/or Gypsum Board Inspection: Is made after all lathing and gypsum board, interior and exterior, is in place, but before all plastering has been applied, or before gypsum board joints and fasteners have been taped and finished.
Final Inspection: Is made after the finish grading when the building is completed and ready for occupancy, and all plumbing, electrical fixtures, appliances are installed and working.
Other inspections may be required as well as those outlined above. For instance, pressure tests are necessary for water and gas piping, and water tests of drainage and sewer piping are likewise required. The inspector may also advise you of the need for additional inspection if he believes special attention is required for some area of your project. Inspections may be obtained by request in person or telephone by calling (760) 326-5740 x 328. We require a 24-hour notice prior to the day you will be ready for inspection. If it is necessary that you make a specific appointment with the Building Official, you can call the department to schedule this.
The Building Official arranges his own schedule to make best use of his field time especially in the hot months.
So unless the premises will not be accessible during normal working hours of 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Then call this office for a specific appointed time.
Our inspector can provide you with a lot of useful information about the codes and inspections but cannot act as a supervisor because of time constraints. If you are not reasonably familiar with construction procedures, it may be to your advantage to hire a contractor or trades person to do the work or assist you. (If you do this, you should also protect yourself by contracting with licensed persons, or if you hire employees on an hourly basis, make sure you carry workers compensation and liability insurance; do not violate tax withholding or Social Security laws.)
THE INSPECTION PROCESSWhen you request an inspection. Please Fill out the REQUEST FORM and submit it by E-mail or Call (760) 326-5740 x 128 or Option 5 - Fax (760) 326-5008
If you decide during the construction process that a change is desirable, it is necessary that a plan change be cleared through the Building & Safety Department. This can normally be done over the counter, but if building area or structural features are to be modified, it may be necessary to perform additional plan checking and/or that an additional permit is obtained. The Building Official can answer any questions regarding plan change approval.
Avoiding Permit Expiration
Building code provisions require that work be continued if a permit is to remain valid. During any 180-day period, if some reasonable amount of work is not accomplished, your permit will automatically expire. Once expired, additional fees are necessary to renew a permit, so it is in your best interest to continue work until completion.
If circumstances beyond your control prevent you from working, the Building Official may grant an extension (not exceeding six months). To request an extension, you must apply in writing, setting forth the reasons for delay, before expiration takes place. Once extended, permits may not be extended a second time.
After the Building Inspector makes his inspections and all requirements have been satisfied, your project will be approved. YOU WILL BE ISSUED A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY from the Building Department. If a new electric, water or gas service has been installed as a part of your project and approved by the inspector; you will have to see that the utility company is notified and must also contact them and arrange for installation of meters.
If you have a questions contact the:
BUILDING & SAFETY DEPARTMENT
817 Third Street
Needles, CA 92363
(760) 326-5740 x128
(760) 326-5008 FAX
E-mail the Building Department - email@example.com
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