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Whether we are in our homes, offices, schools, or places of entertainment, we
take for granted the fact that the structures that surround us are safe. What
we usually don't think about is that most aspects of building construction -
framing, wiring, heating, and plumbing facilities - represent a potential
hazard to building occupants and users.
Building codes strive to reduce risks to an acceptable level. Building
inspections provide the means to verify that the codes have been followed.
The building permit is the link between the two. The permit and inspections
ensure that your personal safety is protected and that your investment in your
home also is protected.
The County of Los Angeles Building Code requires that building plans be retained for a minimum of 90 days from the date of completion of the work covered on the plans. After 90 days, residential plans are typically discarded. The space required to store plans for every house built in the unincorporated county areas makes it prohibitive to keep them. One possible option for finding the as-built plans for any structure is to contact the original builder, designer, and/or engineer. This information can typically be found on the original building permit.
A: The California Building Standards Code (CBSC) is maintained by the California Building Standards Commission (www.bsc.ca.gov) and contains the codes and laws that regulate the construction of all buildings and structures in the State of California. The CBSC is Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and consists of twelve parts: Five (5) parts are authored by the State of California and seven (7) parts are based on model codes that are authored by various model code writing bodies.
The new 2022 California Building Standards Code includes:
The new 2022 California Building Standards Code will become effective January 1, 2023. All Over-the-Counter permits issued after January 1, 2023, must comply with the new 2022 California Building Standards Codes. All projects submitted for plan check to the Building Division after January 1, 2023, must comply with the new 2022 California Building Standards Code.
It depends on the type of revisions being made. A simple minor clarification will not necessitate the need to revise the plans to comply with the new 2022 California Building Standards Code. A major change and/or addition to a project will need to comply with the new 2022 California Building Standards Code. Each specific case will need to be reviewed by the Building Department to determine which edition of the California Building Standards Code the revisions must comply with.
Building or installing:
Any structure, or part of a structure, or any other changes that affect the structure of any building, even an accessory building, on your property.
For commercial and industrial and exterior property owners, permits are also required for tenant improvements such as interior and exterior partitions, kitchen and dining room changes, installation of disabled access features, changes of use, signs and after-hours permits for doing work outside of specified times and dates.
Yes! All permits can be applied for online. Smaller permits can be applied
for through our eTrakit - Over the Counter Permitting Portal .These smaller permits
include: Electrical permits, HVAC, Solar, Electrical Panel Upgrades,
Re-Roofs, Plumbing permits, Water Heater* permits (*May need planning
approval prior to B&S Issuance*), etc.
-Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels, Exterior Door, Window & Skylight
Changeouts, ESS, etc can also be submitted for online “over-the-counter”
review when submitted to Buildingsafety@rpvca.gov .
-Any other reviews must be uploaded onto our online portal.
The Building Department only does non-structural plan check over the
counter. This includes Kitchen Remodels, Bathroom Remodels, and Solar
Plans. Solar Plans can be expedited through our
ETrakit-Online-Permitting-Portal . Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels can
also be submitted for online as an “over-the-counter” review when submitted to
BuildingSafety@rpvca.gov . Any other major type of reviews must be uploaded onto
our online portal. Online-Plan-Check-Portal
• Foundation Inspection: When the excavation for footings is complete and footing forms and required reinforcing steel and structural embedment are in place, but before any concrete is placed. (Also needed are separate underground electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections).
• Exterior Shear inspection: When all exterior sheer elements are in place & correctly nailed, all required hardware (straps, clips, holdowns, ties & caps) are installed.
• Roof Sheathing Inspection: When all roof framing members are installed and the plywood or other sheathing is complete along with any required strapping.
• Wood Framing Inspection: When all roof, walls and floor framing, fire blocking, draft stopping and all pipes, chimney, vents and duct work are in place, but before any work is covered. Wood framing inspection will not be approved until rough mechanical, electrical, and plumbing inspections are completed.
• Insulation Inspection: When all thermal insulation is in place but before it is concealed. Inspect state energy requirements stated on the approved plans.
• Lath and/or Gypsum Board Inspection: After all lath and gypsum board is in place but before any stucco is applied, or before gypsum board joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
• Reinforced Masonry Inspection: In grouted masonry before any units are laid up, all steel must be tied and in place ready for concrete foundation pour. Grout inspection is required after units are laid. Final inspection is required after cells are grouted and cap is installed.
• Structural Steel Inspection: When structural steel members are in place and required connections are complete but before concealing any members or connections. Certificates of Compliance are to be given to the City Inspector.
• Re-roof Inspection: Sheathing inspection and building final inspection.
• Underground: After conduit or cable has been installed in trench but not covered.
• Rough wiring: Before any part of the work is concealed and prior to framing inspection. Telephone, television, intercom, security, doorbell and thermostat cable need to be in place for rough inspection. Compliance with Title 24 Requirements for Residential Lighting is checked.
• Final: When all fixtures, appliances, and systems are in place and connected.
• Underground or sub-floor plumbing: After material has been installed and tested, including sewer. Sewer Cap, is inspected for demolition projects.
• Rough plumbing: Before any part of the work is concealed (including shower pan hot mop), prior to framing inspection and after roofing is installed.
• Gas piping test: After lath or gypsum board has been installed.
• Shower pan.
• Final: After all fixtures are in place and connected.
Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Inspections:
• Underground/Sub-floor duct inspection.
• Rough: Before any part of the work is concealed, metal fireplace rough, prior to framing inspection and after roofing is installed.
• Final: All appliances and equipment are in place and connected (Performance test may be required).
• Call for final inspection when the construction has been completed.
• All external surfaces must be painted, or otherwise sealed, weather-stripping must be installed on all new windows and doors, and all electrical or plumbing fixtures have been installed. Interior painting, wallpapering, or carpeting need not be complete.
• Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms must be installed as required by the latest edition of the California Residential Code.
Your job card will have information on whether the permit is finaled, as
well as the inspections you have passed. If the job card was not present at
the time of the inspection, however the inspector passed the final
inspection, you can check online by creating an account and searching using Permit Inspection Search feature. or by emailing staff with your request at
When 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 Building & Safety Department.
Some types of repairs are exempt, and some aren't.
A common statement heard at the counter after one has received a Stop Work notice is: “I was only doing repairs, and my contractor told me repairs don’t require a permit.” While we are sure that your contractor means well, he may not know RPV's code's. It is always better to check with us before you begin work. MOST COMMON TYPE'S OF WORK EXEMPT FROM PERMIT'S can be viewed by clicking here.
Building Inspectors are in the field performing inspections for the majority of the day and are only present in the office for a short window of time each day. They can be reached at the Building Counter and by phone or email between the hours of 7:30 am - 9 am. or 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Call 310-544-5280 and request to speak to an inspector. You can also reach them by email using the following information listed below:
Desirea Molina: DesireaM@rpvca.gov
Erick Monsivaiz: EMonsivaiz@rpvca.gov
Once your permit is issued, you will need to schedule periodic inspections.
Please be aware that inspections are a First-Come-First-Serve Basis. There is a
limited number of stops allowed per day. If you want a better chance of
getting the date you prefer, we recommend you schedule in advance.
Inspection requests should be made online at Rpvca.gov/inspections or by phone at 310-544-5279. Please provide the following information:
All inspections are performed between 9 am-12 pm (AM) and 1 pm-4:30 pm (PM).
Most likely no. We only are required to retain plans per the Rancho Palos
Verdes Municipal Code for up to two years after the permit has been
finalled. We do however maintain building permit records for residential,
commercial and industrial construction. please contact the Los Angeles County Assessor for original plans.
California State Contractors License
In California, anyone who contracts to perform work that is valued at $500 or
more for materials and labor must hold a current, valid license from the
Contractors State License Board. Non Licensed individuals can be hired on an
hourly basis by homeowners, but not for fixed fee. You can check on
contractor's licenses and obtain valuable information for your project at the
Rancho Palos Verdes Business License
Anyone who does business in Rancho Palos Verdes is required to have a
current City of Rancho Palos Verdes Business License, including contractors
and subcontractors. To obtain a business license, please contact the Business
License Cashier at 310-544-5301 or BusinessLicense@RpvCa.Gov or check the website at https://www.rpvca.gov/288/Business-License-Information
Yes. After your permit is issued, a series of inspection will be required.
Depending on the scope of your project, inspections may be required for
foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical and similar work. The City requires
a final inspection on all building permits.
Yes, some files can be seen through our permitting program. Please visit
the following website: RPV- Permit Records Search .
Additionally, to request multiple records from different departments
regarding a certain address, you can do a Public Records Request with
the City Clerk’s Office. They can be reached with the following email:
For More Information Please visit the City Clerk Website:
If you begin work without the required permit, a "Stop Work Order" will
immediately be issued by the Building Official, Building Inspector or Code
Enforcement Officer. You will be required to apply for the permit and pay
triple the original permit fee. After the permit has been properly issued, you
will be required to uncover any work which has been covered so that it may
be properly inspected. In some cases, regulations may not permit the type of
construction that has been done. If this happens, you may be required to
replace or restore the area to its original condition prior to your construction.
A building permit belongs to the property owner. The contractor acts as
an agent of the owner and shall give the original permit card to the
Yes. All work completed under a building permit issued by the City of Rancho
Palos Verdes must pass a "final inspection" by the Building Official or Building
Inspector. Even though a contractor may have taken out a building permit for
a property owner, it is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner to
see that a final inspection is attained for each building permit. Failure to have
a final inspection could result in withholding issuance of any future permits.
According to City Code, the building official shall not issue a permit until all
expired building permits have been finally approved and all work originally
done without permits has been covered by a building permit, inspected and
All inquiries/questions about a review should be directed by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Plan Checkers office at 909-595-8599 EXT # 159
Residential, commercial and industrial plan reviews typically takes a few
weeks. We will contact the applicant as soon as the plans have been
processed. 1st Submittals generally take up to 3 weeks, whilst
resubmittals/revisions take up to 2 weeks. If your plan check has taken
longer, please inquire to Buildingsafety@rpvca.gov
When a septic tank is no longer used because of an alternate connection to city sewer, the tank must be properly abandoned or removed. This applies to old cesspools, leaching pits, dry wells, seepage pits, vault privies, and pit privies. Access for future uses must be permanently denied. Click here for steps for removal.
A Building Permit and engineering calculations are REQUIRED when:
We do maintain a copy of Geology & Track files along with Soils Reports.
These copies are only physical copies, therefore they cannot be sent
electronically. Tract Files can be requested with Building & Safety at the
permit counter within Business Hours. Photos can be taken, and “letter”
size paper can have copies made.
Due to the nature of how permit costs are calculated, we are unable to
provide an estimate unless further information is given (i.e.: job valuation,
scope or work, etc.). All our fees are based off of our City-Council-Approved
Fee schedule. Building-Safety-Master-Fee-Schedule-2022
Yes. Any changes to the approved set of plans must be submitted and approved by the appropriate Department(s) and/or other Agencies before construction changes are implemented. You must adhere to the approved plan.
Most residential plans can be drawn by anyone, however commercial and
industrial plans must be prepared by a licensed professional. It is
recommended you obtain design professionals to create the construction
documents. Additional Plan Check fees are required after the 3rd
Submittal, therefore Self-Drawn plans are more likely lead to additional
You cannot live in, sleep in, or rent your garage as a dwelling unit. Agarage is non-habitable and does not meet the minimum coderequirements to be considered a sleeping room. If you are interested inconverting your garage into a dwelling unit, please see our ADUrequirements. To begin the process, please inquire withPlanning@rpvca.Gov
You cannot live in, sleep in, or rent your garage as a dwelling unit. A
garage is non-habitable and does not meet the minimum code
requirements to be considered a sleeping room. If you are interested in
converting your garage into a dwelling unit, please see our ADU
requirements. To begin the process, please inquire with
Construction for commercial and multifamily projects shall be performed
by an appropriately California licensed contractor as required by the
California Business and Professions Code.
Plan Review status can be viewed through our Online Plan Check Portal
plan check portal. Ensure your email is associated with the project so that
you can see whenever there is any change in status. If you do not have
access to the project, please inquire at Buildingsafety@rpvca.gov
In most cases we recommend that you hire a licensed contractor and that they be required to obtain the permit as part of the project agreement. This is simply because the permit holder is the party responsible for the work and complying with the codes and regulations. A reputable contractor should have no problem obtaining a permit. You can verify a contractor's state license and registration by visiting the Contractors State License Board.
Yes. The legal property Owner can apply as an ‘Owner Builder’ and must sign a declaration.
Licensed contractors have provided proof of competency and proof of
insurance to the city. This protects the homeowner from incurring costs
due to damage by uninsured contractors, and it protects the homeowner
from contractors who do not have adequate knowledge of the City
adopted building codes. A permit will not be issued until all contractors
being used to complete the project are licensed. Homeowners doing their
own work do not need to be licensed.
For residential windows, the maximum prescriptive U-factor is 0.32, and
the maximum prescriptive SHGC is 0.23. NOTE: Rancho Palos Verdes is
located in a Sever-High-Fire-Zone. At least One pane of the window needs
to be tempered glass per Chapter 7A of the CBC.
Concrete flatwork on private property does not require a permit. You can
create a patio, replace a driveway, or form a path without a permit. Please
verify with Planning@rpvca.gov regarding the max % of hardscaping
If you are replacing the driveway approach or the sidewalk in front of your
property, an Encroachment Permit is required. This may be obtained with
the Public Works Department
Public Works Permit Technicians
Cheri Bailiff: CheriB@rpvca.gov
Karissa Russell: KRussell@rpvca.gov
Property setbacks are rules that define how close to a property line a
structure may be built. These distances are based on the zoning of your
Property setbacks often exist to improve the visual appeal of a
community. Side yard setbacks are there to keep some light and space
between homes and are generally greater as the lot size increases. Rear
yard setbacks are intended to keep larger green spaces for people to
enjoy their backyards. Learn more about setback requirements by
inquiring with Planning@rpvca.gov or contact 310-544-5287 for more information.
The City Of Rancho Palos Verdes Code Enforcement Division is response
driven. We only open investigations when we receive a formal complaint
from the public. If you are contacted about a code violation, it is response
to a complaint that the City has received about your specific property.
If I want to file a complaint about a neighbor’s property, Can i be
The answer is usually yes. Our procedures strive to maintain the
confidentiality of complainants. You do not have to provide your name
when filing a complaint. However, for the few percent of complaints that
ever evolve to a court action, all information from the case is then
provided to the court.
Please submit a formal complaint to the Code Enforcement Division
through their website: Filling a Compliant- RPV Code Enforcement
Worried the unpermitted work may be releasing Asbestos into the
air? South Coast AQMD has partnered with Cal/OSHA for investigating
Asbestos and Lead complaints. You can contact a Cal/OSHA inspector by
Long Beach Office: 1500 Hughes Way, Suite C-201 Long Beach, CA 90810
For more information please visit their website: Cal/Osha Complaint
Would you like to report the contractor being in violation of the Contractor
Please visit Contractor State License Board website:
If you are not sure where your property line is, or if you and your neighbor
are in disagreement about the location of a common property line, you
may need to hire a land surveyor. It is unlawful for anyone to do land
surveying or offer to do land surveying unless he or she is currently
licensed as a land surveyor in the State of California. The City of Rancho
Palos Verdes does not offer land surveying services to the public. If you’d
like to see an approximate property line location you can speak with
Planning to view the property with the GIS Maps. Property line disputes
can NOT be determined per the GIS maps, only by the determination of a
licensed Land Surveyor. The State of California Board for Professional
Engineers and Land Surveyors also maintains a helpful website should
you find you need a surveyor.
A permit must be obtained to legalize any work completed without
permits. Plans must be made for all work and submitted for review and
approval. Once the permit is issued, the work will be fully inspected to
verify code compliance. Inspectors may require demolition of finishes and
wall coverings to ensure the work matches the approved plans and
complies with current code requirements.
If you are placing a temporary dumpster in front of your property, an
Encroachment Permit is required. This may be obtained with the Public
Works Department : https://www.rpvca.gov/292/Public-Works
Karissa Russell: KRussell@rpvca.gov
Plan Check are good for 6 months or 180 days. If you will be going passed
the 6 month period, you will still be eligible for 2 - 90 day extensions ($82
each extension) If you are unable to receive approval and issuance of the
permit by then, you will need to “reinstate the plan check”. The fees
associated is 1/2 the original plan check fees for both Planning and
Building & Safety. (Municipal Code Section 15.18.050. Subsection 105.3.2)
Permits are good for 18 months. If you will be going passed the 18 month
period, you will still be eligible for 1 - 6 month extension ($82 for the
extension) If you are unable to pass the final inspection within that period,
you will need to “reinstate the permit” The fees associated is 1/2 the
original permitting fees for Building & Safety along with 1/2 the Planning
fees. (Municipal Code Section 15.18.050. Subsection 105.5)
We currently don't offer any expedited plan check options.
Certificates of Occupancy cannot be issued until all permits have received final inspection approval and all City Departments have signed off on their areas of responsibility.
The building codes, as empowered by the State of California Health and Safety codes, are clear that no construction is allowed until the permit is issued. Once the permit application and accompanying plans have been submitted, the Building & Safety division will review and process the plans. Following approval of the plan and payment of fees, a permit will be issued.
A permit is required for residential accessory structures, including non-habitable storage sheds, workshops, gazebos, cabanas, and similar non-habitable structures, greater than 120 square feet in area. Structures 120 square feet or smaller in area may be exempt from building permit requirements. All accessory structures regardless of size must comply with Municipal Code zoning requirements for use, placement on the parcel, and design. If electrical, mechanical, or plumbing work is included as part of the accessory structure, a permit is required regardless of size. For information about the location limitations of residential accessory structures, contact Planning staff at email@example.com or by phone 310-544-5287