Work Exempt from Permits

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building; or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, shall first file an application with the Community Development Department and obtain the required permit. As indicated in the 2010 California Building Code, Section 105.2, permits shall not be required for the following:



  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided that the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet
  • Fences not over 6 feet high (masonry, brick, or concrete walls not over 4 feet high)
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1
  • Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade and are not part of an accessible route
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, and similar finish work 
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, and are installed entirely above ground
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies
  • Non-fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters, and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height
  • Decks that are located less than 30 inches above grade measured vertically to any point within 3 feet horizontally of the edge of the deck


  • Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles
  • A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.


  • Portable heating appliance
  • Portable ventilation equipment
  • Portable cooling unit
  • Portable evaporative cooler
  • Steam, hot, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment 
  • Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe


  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with the new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures.


Application or notice to the Community Development Department is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, replacement of lamps, or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition, or portion thereof; the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs including addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent, or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.


Emergency Repairs

Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the Community Development Department.