Geology Submittal Portal

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Guidelines for When a Geotechnical (Soils) Report is Required

2022 California Building Code (CBC)

2022 California Residential Code (CRC)*

The following types of projects are provided to help the applicant determine whether their project will require submittal of a Soils (or Geotechnical) Report. Soils Reports are typically not required for non-habitable structures. Please note that the Planning Division reserves the right to require soils reports for projects that are not listed below. The Building & Safety Division assigned Geologist Consultant will make the final determination.

1. New single-family, multi-family or habitable accessory buildings

2. Commercial buildings, industrial buildings or critical facilities

3. Non-habitable buildings which consist of two or more stories

4. Additions to any of the above which is located on slopes greater than 20%, located on fill, located in an area of potential liquefaction, or located in a flood plain, floodway or coastal high hazard zone

5. Additions to single-family, multi-family habitable accessory buildings greater than 500 square feet

6. Additions to a commercial buildings, industrial buildings or critical facilities greater than 250 square feet

7. Modification, reconstruction or replacement of 65 percent of the major structural components—consisting of the foundation, floor framing, exterior wall framing, and roof framing—of an existing habitable structure within any consecutive five-year period, or modification, reconstruction or replacement of 50 percent of the major structural components of an existing critical structure or facility, as defined by this chapter, within any consecutive five-year period, whether the work is done at one time or as the sum of multiple projects.

8. The addition of habitable space to any building, where the addition increases the habitable space by more than fifty (50) percent over the existing habitable space, measured in square feet, whether the additions are constructed at one time or as the sum of multiple additions during the life of the building.

9. Installation of a new foundation for a habitable building.

10. The repair, replacement, or upgrade of an existing foundation of a habitable building that affects more than fifty (50) percent of the foundation (measured in linear feet for perimeter foundations, square feet for slab foundations, or fifty (50) percent of the total number of piers), or an addition to an existing foundation that adds more than fifty (50) percent of the original foundation area, whether the work is performed at one time or as the sum of multiple projects during the life of the building.

11. Any change of use from non-habitable to habitable use.

12. Retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height, which require a building permit, retaining walls that function as a part of a landslide repair whether or not a building permit is required, block walls, and gravity walls

13. Bridges

14. Above ground commercial storage facilities for hazardous or flammable material

15. Grading with cuts or fills over three feet in height located within five feet (horizontally) of a property line, or grading that has the potential to cause instability or other grading related impacts to adjacent property

16. Access driveways or roadways that include fill greater than 2’

17. Grading on slopes greater than 20%

18. Creation of cut or fill slopes five feet or greater in height related to slope stabilization, landslide repairs, or streambank protection

19. Grading activities where there is evidence of high groundwater or spring activity

20. Any other project deemed by civil engineering staff or the City Geologist that a geotechnical report is required to ensure the integrity of the proposed work.

21. Any project or structure required by the California Building Code to have a geotechnical report.

* Waivers to the requirements for a soils report may be allowed for projects under the 2022 CRC in accordance with CRC Section 401.4