Frequently Asked Questions
Code Enforcement FAQsQ: Is there a County Ordinance that regulates construction start times? A: There is no County wide Ordinance regarding construction start times, though the Sheriff's Office can respond to a construction noise complaint just as they would for a barking dog or loud stereo.
Q: Can I camp out on my own private property? A: County Zoning Ordinances prohibit camping outside of a registered campground. These ordinances are not enforceable inside the National Forest boundaries.
Q: Can I run a commercial auto repair business or cabinet shop in my garage? A: Generally no. Most zoning allows for a business office to be run from a home, but does not allow anything that will "change the residential nature of the neighborhood."
Q: Can my neighbors stay in a travel trailer? A: Only with a permit. Planning Services can provide information regarding temporary permits that are available for uses such as construction, hardship and a caretaker.
Q: Can my neighbor store junk vehicles or abandoned appliances on his property? A: County Ordinance states if your neighbor's collection meets the definition of visual blight or a public nuisance, your neighbor must remove it or store it inside a building.
Q: Can I use my garage for a bedroom, family room, or office? A: County Ordinance states a structure can not be used "in a manner other than that for which it was originally approved". The CA Building Codes require a building permit for the change of use even if no construction is done.
Q: Do I need a building permit for a shed that is “portable” or “temporary”? A: The CA Building Code requires a building permit for any structure greater than 120 square feet in floor area. Zoning setbacks are still required for all structures, even if no building permit is required.
Q: What if the building was built a long time ago? A: El Dorado County created it's Building Services Department in 1959. If a structure predates that time and was built to the code at that time, has been "maintained in good repair" and is not hazardous, no retroactive permit will be required.
Q: What if the previous owner built the structure without a required permit? A: As the current owner you are responsible. As part of the permit process, a California licensed architect or engineer will be required to evaluate the structure and submit a stamped and "wet" signed report that compares construction requirements at the approximate time the structure was originally built with current requirements.
Q: Do I need a building permit if I am just replacing my deck the same way it was built? A: Yes. Only limited maintenance replacement of non-structural and non-safety components are allowed without a permit.
Q: What type of construction requires a building permit? A: The CA Building Code requires a permit any time a structure is “erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished”. There are a few exceptions such as small sheds, small retaining walls, and fencing 7 feet high or less. Contact Building Services staff to see if your project requires a permit before you begin. It could save you time, money, and stress.
*El Dorado County Code Enforcement responds to citizen's complaints to protect the health and safety of residents. Though much of the information regarding a complaint is public information, the Complainant's information is kept confidential from the public. Anonymous complaints are not investigated.