What is exempt from permits?

You may download the Work Exempt From Permit handout or read on for more information.

1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the height does not exceed 10 feet from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point and the projected floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11.15m2).*Note: Pursuant to Section 16.060.70 of the Municipal Code, such structures shall be located outside of front, side or rear setbacks. However, such structures not exceeding 10 feet in height may be located in the side or rear setback provided they are located a minimum of 5 feet from the property line. 

2. Fences not over 6 feet (1,829 mm) high 

3. Oil derricks 

4. Retaining walls, which are not over 4 feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge of impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids. 

5. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1. 

6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route. 

7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work. 

8. Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery. 

9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground. 

10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems. 

11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings. 

12. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1,372mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies.

13. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1,753 mm) in height. 

14. Flagpoles not erected upon a building and not exceeding 15 feet in height. 

15. A tree house provided that: a. It does not exceed 64 square feet of floor area and does not exceed 8 feet in height from floor to highest point of roof. b. It does not exceed 16 feet in height from adjacent grade to highest point. 

16. Playground equipment 

17. Decks and platforms that do not exceed 30 inches in height from adjacent grade. 

Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above-exempted items. 

Exemption from the permit requirements of this Code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of other laws or ordinances.

Show All Answers

1. What if I have a complaint about a contractor that I hired to do work at my home?
2. How can I verify if the contractor I hired is a state licensed contractor?
3. When is a permit required?
4. What is exempt from permits?
5. How long does a plan review take?
6. What are the hours of operation for the Community Development counter?
7. Can I obtain a copy of the construction plans to my house from the Building and Safety Department?
8. How do I schedule a building inspection?
9. How can I verify if I am on the inspection schedule for today?
10. Where can I find the currently adopted building codes?
11. What forms of payment are accepted in the Community Development Department?
12. Where can I find a permit dated prior to 1991?
13. What are the requirements for a Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Permit?