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Building Permits

As of January 1st, 2023 the State of California has implemented the Triennial Edition of Title 24 Statewide.  Click here to view the new California Building Codes.


Three sets of plans must be submitted along with the plan check fees (if applicable). If revisions are required all plans will be returned to applicant for re-submittal. (No fee required for re-submittal). If plans are approved, one set will be retained by the Building and Safety department; one set will go to the County Assessor and the other set will be returned to you at the time of permit issuance as your approved copy.


Click here to apply for a Building Permit

Digital Plans

Fire Department Approval

Number one

Fire Department Contact
Karl Von Oesen   (760) 995-8190

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.

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.

Of course, if it is a minor upgrade then it may take no time at all. Plans left for checking to 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.

City Submittal

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.  Separate Application & Fees are available in our office. See Engineering

permit Issuance

Number five

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 inspection

During the 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


24 hour notice

These are:

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:

Insulation 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 the 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 tradesperson 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 process:

When 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

Inspection Request Form

Plan Changes

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 the delay, before expiration takes place.  Once extended, permits may not be extended a second time.

Final Approval

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 the installation of meters.

If you have 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 –

Don’t Know What To Put On Your Drawing?

“Click Here for Samples of PLOT (SITE)PLANS, GRADING, PARCEL MAPS (City Minimum Requirements)





Building sketch

Building Permits Are Not Required For The Following:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the projected roof area does not exceed 120 feet.
  2. Fences not over 6 feet high with proper setbacks.
  3. Moveable cases, counter and partitions not over 5 feet high.
  4. Retaining walls, which are not over 4 feet high, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding flammable liquids.
  5. The platform walks, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over basement or story below.
  6. Painting, papering, and similar finish work.
  7. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of single-family residence or garage when projecting not more than 54 inches.

Plumbing Permits Are Not Required For The Following:

  1. The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste or vent pipe.
  2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets.

Electrical Permits Are Not Required For The Following:

  1. Repair or replacement of fixed motors, transformers or fixed approved appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
  2. Temporary decorative lighting.
  3. Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts of any switch, contact or control device.
  4. Reinstallations of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefor.
  5. Repair or replacement of any over-current device of the required capacity in the same location.
  6. Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
  7. Taping joints.
  8. Removal of electrical wiring.
  9. The wiring for temporary theater, motion picture or television stage sets.
  10. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  11. Low-energy power, control and signal circuits of Classes II and III as defined in the Electrical Code.

Mechanical Permits Are Not Required For The Following:

  1. Any portable heating, ventilation, or cooling appliances.
  2. Replacement of any component part of assembly of an appliance.


DIG Alert Logo

DON’T FORGET ABOUT “DIG ALERT” if you are digging in your yard to put up a new wall or just looking for your services to repair a leak. Call First. It’s a free service. The Utility services will come out and mark your utilities.

The couple of “Did You Know Items:”

The City of Needles has adopted the 2019 California Codes, Part 1 thru part 12

When designing a building for the NEEDLES area we follow:

Wind Speed: Use the web site address to determine the current wind speed: ATC Hazards by Location (, Select ASCE 7-16, Use the Risk Category Based on the Occupancy of the Building, Add the address of the   property to be designed.

Seismic Zone: Use the web site address to determine: or ATC Hazards by Location (, Select ASCE 7-16, Use the Risk Category Based on the Occupancy of the Building, Site Class D- Default. Add the address of the property to be designed.

Exposure: C

Snow Load: None

Mobile home within the City Limits: Must be the year 1976 with a HUD sticker or Newer.

If you are looking for an Architect:

Seabury Fritz Architects, Inc
Greg     (928) 577-0077

If you are looking for an Engineer:

Engineering Alliance, Inc
Shawn Kumar   (480) 365-9930

Fairway Constructors, Inc
Mehdi Azarmi  (928) 768-1857

MSA Consulting, Inc.
Mike Rowe 
Click here for website

Sladden Engineering
Brett Anderson 
Click here for website 

Larry Morse 
(958) 758-3333


                                       The Holt Group
                                       Rob or Lindsay Holt   Click here for website

If you are looking for a Soil Tester:

Strytek Engineering  (928) 757-0150

News From California Contractors State License Board:

Contractors to Avoid

In their ongoing effort to protect California consumers, the CSLB has identified the worst unlicensed violators who are known to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners that are involved in new home or home improvement projects. Complaints against the following unlicensed individuals have been lodged with the CSLB, law enforcement agencies and District Attorneys around the state.

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