Select a topic to see frequently asked questions and their answers.
When do I need a building permit?A building permit is required whenever any addition or structural modification is to be made to an existing commercial or living space. A building permit is also required if building a structure, such as a tool shed that is larger than 120 square feet.
Do I need a permit to...
Build a patio cover
A permit is required for all attached and freestanding patio covers. No permit is required for a patio slab.
Build a retaining or block wall
Yes — if the wall is over 3 feet tall.
You need a permit if the planned wall is higher than three feet from top of footing.
Build a tool shed
No — if the shed’s total floor area is less than 120 sq ft.
Sheds taller than the fence line must maintain a minimum 5’ setback from both side and rear property lines. See M.V.M.C. 9.08.030.
Display exterior signs or banners
Hold a garage/yard sale
Permits are not required for garage or yard sales. Please note, residents are limited to just three garage/yard sales per year. Sales cannot be held on public property, which includes sidewalks, streets, alleys, and parkways.
Host an event or a parking lot sale
Operate a business from my home
For a home based business a Home Occupation Permit is required. If opening a new business in a commercial location make sure your desired location is compatible with zoning.
Rent out my home(s)
Residential property owners need a business license for each rental property.
Replace a wood fence
- replaced with wood, vinyl or wrought iron,
- in the same location
- not over 6 feet in height.
A permit is required if you are repairing or replacing roofing components over 100 square feet of the roof of your home or garage.
Which application do I need to start the permitting process? How long will it take to review?
Once all required documents are submitted, the normal review time is within 12 business days.
Is landlord approval required prior to permit submittal?
Building and Safety does not require landlord approval for architectural submittals (e.g., drawings and plans).
What type of inspections are required?
Your building inspector will let you know which inspections are required.
How much will my permit and plan check cost?
What happens if something is built without a permit?
You can apply for legalization through the permitting process. If that isn't an option, you will be required to remove the unpermitted structure by obtaining a demo permit.
Does my contractor need to be licensed to obtain a building permit? How do I verify that my contractor is licensed?
Contractors are required to be licensed in California. The Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board website lets you look up license status and information by the contractor’s name or license number.
I'm planning to open a business. What permits do I need?
The type of permit depends on the business use.
Before starting any business, verify your use is allowed within the zone your business plans to occupy.