Frequently Asked Questions

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The purpose of this code is to provide minimum standards for the construction and use of structures to safeguard life and the public welfare. This code may be amended to provide minor changes to meet local conditions.



Who Can Get a Permit?

Permits may be issued to the owner of a dwelling or residential property, or any contractor licensed by the state and in possession of a valid city business license.

Why Get a Permit?

If plans are required, they are reviewed to verify that the project meets building codes and is in compliance with the zoning ordinance. Once a permit has been issued, it covers the services provided by the building inspector. The inspector approves each phase of the construction process, checking to see that work is done safely and properly.

Also, there are legal and financial liabilities that you face when you don’t get a permit. Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you try to sell your house. Any fire and homeowner’s insurance you have may be invalidated if you do work without a permit.

When Do I Get a Permit?

A permit is required when you erect, construct, enlarge, alter, move, improve, connect, or demolish any building or structure or perform any grading. Permits are also required for plumbing, electrical, sewage, and mechanical installations or alterations. For example:

Building or Installing:

  • Patio covers and decks
  • Garages and carports
  • Retaining walls, garden walls, wood & wrought iron fences
  • Swimming pools and spas
  • Tool or storage sheds over 120 square feet
  • Solar panels, HVAC and evaporative coolers
  • Mobile homes, awnings, carports, decks, cabanas

Addition & Alteration:

  • Rooms
  • Carport to garage
  • Gas lines and electrical upgrades

Replacing or Repairing:

  • Drywall, lath and stucco
  • Seepage pits and sewer connections
  • Re-roofs
  • Fire damage


  • Any structure, or part of a structure, or any other changes that affect the structure of any building.
  • Swimming pools and spas


  • Constructing a sidewalk and driveway approach
  • Any work in the city-right-of-way

No Permit Required:

  • Painting, papering and similar finish work
  • Slab without footings
  • Portable appliances
  • Temporary decorative lighting

How Do I Apply For a Permit?

You can apply for a permit at the Building Department located at 68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

To obtain a permit, the applicant shall first file an application (also on website) identifying the work to be performed. If plans are required, please submit four (4) sets of plot plans and construction drawings drawn to scale, and two (2) sets of calcs or other data.

How Much are Permits?

Fees shall be assessed in accordance with the adopted fee schedule. You may contact the Building Department at (760) 770-0340 or through our website for an “estimated cost” of your building permit. Please note that this is only an estimate.

Work Without a Permit

Whenever any work for which a permit is required by this code has commenced without first obtaining a permit, a special investigation shall be made before a permit may be issued for such work.

An investigation fee, in addition to the permit fee, shall be collected whether or not a permit is then or subsequently issued. The investigation fee shall be equal to the amount of the permit fee. The payment of such investigation fee shall not exempt any person from compliance with all other provisions of this code nor from any penalty prescribed by law.

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