General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Building Services

Non-Residential and Multi-Family (Commercial)
How to Obtain a Building Permit

    Obtaining a Building Permit

    Prior to the development of building plans for any multi-family or non-residential project, please check with Planning Services. Submittal requirements and processing times will vary based on location and/or type of project. A contact early in the process will help you make informed business decisions, keep your design costs down, and assist you in developing a reasonable projection of processing time.

    1. Obtain an application packet from Building Services.
      • Complete the three part application and sign where applicable (signature must be verified by office personnel). If you are applying as owner-builder, you must be the owner of record and complete part four of the multi part application. If property ownership was recently changed a copy of the grant deed may be required at time of application. The only person authorized to sign an application is the owner of the property or a licensed contractor representing the owner. A lessee may sign for the owner if they present, to the Building Services, a copy of the signed lease allowing the lessee to obtain permits on the property.
      • Contractors must have both their California Contractor License, Workers Compensation coverage, and current County of El Dorado business license up to date. Verification will be by the Contractors State License Board website.
      • When other than the owner or licensed contractor is applying for the permit, the second half of part four of the form must be completed, giving authority to sign as the owner's agent.
      • Complete and sign a "Deed Restriction Certificate".
      • Complete the submittal checklist verifying that all the items are included to make a complete application. The actual submittal date starts when the application has been deemed complete
    2. When served by a public water/sewer district, you must submit proof of service from the district prior to permit issuance.
    3. All other agency approvals must be received by Building Services prior to permit issuance.
    4. Submit your plans to Building Services and to the other agencies involved with your project. You will be responsible for keeping all other agencies updated with the most current building plans.
    5. New buildings or structural changes to existing buildings shall be designed by a California licensed architect or registered engineer. A change in use of an existing building which places the building in a more hazardous occupancy classification shall be designed by an architect or engineer. The plans and design calculations shall be stamped and signed by the person or persons responsible for the design.
    6. Electrical, mechanical or plumbing systems shall be designed by the installing electrical, mechanical or plumbing contractor (must be licensed by the state for that specialty), or by an architect or engineer.
    7. Field modifications to plans or any design changes shall be done only with the approval of the designing architect or engineer. All such changes shall be submitted to Building Services for review and approval prior to construction.

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    Plan Requirements and Guidelines



    Minimum plan requirements for submittal to Building Services. The plans will not be checked unless all elements are present.

    1. PLOT / SITE PLAN (minimum scale 1"=20'). This plan must show the entire parcel and indicate and identify actual distances from all property lines and/or easements to structures, existing and proposed.
      • The plot plan shall also indicate the distances between structures.
      • Locate septic system(s), propane tank(s), HVAC equipment, pool equipment and well house (if applicable).
      • Contour lines (@ 2' vertical increments) must be shown which extend 20 feet beyond the building site and/or disturbed area, or to the property line, whichever is less.
      • If the plot plan, drawn as required above, is too large to fit on a 24" x 36" sheet of paper, a SITE PLAN, drawn to a smaller scale, shall be provided which locates the area covered by the PLOT PLAN on the parcel.
      • Site Design Measures for Post Construction Storm Water Requirements
      • The proposed method of compliance with State Fire Safe regulations regarding driveway slope, width, surface, turnouts and fuel modification shall be shown on these plans.
      • Driveways, are to be shown on the plot/site plans and accompanied by a profile indicating the existing elevation at edge of pavement (top of curb), elevations at all grade-breaks, and the distance between each given elevation.
      • Parking lot layout should show number of spaces, landscape features, and accessibility ramps and parking requirements.
      • Where there is more than one building on site, each building shall be labeled on site plan by a numeric or alphabetic system compatible with previous permit documents.
      • Check with Department of Transportation and Planning Services for additional information needed on plot/site plans submitted to their departments.
    2. COVER SHEET of the construction drawings providing a summary of project. This may be combined with any other drawings as long as it is the first sheet of plan set.
      • Provide title block listing the owner, the designer(s), address of project, and the Assessor's Parcel Number. Provide a summary of the work to be done on the permit. As a minimum indicate: Use of building.
      • Number of stories.
      • Occupancy group(s) classified per California Building Code.
      • Floor area of: entire building, each occupancy, each story, additions, etc.
      • Occupant load for exiting purposes.
      • Type of construction (VN, III-1 hour, etc.).
      • Whether the building is with or without fire sprinklers.
      • Current code years used in the design.
    3. A sheet index shall be provided. Alternately, the sheets may be labeled "1 of x sheets", etc., where x is the total amount of sheets in plan set.
      1. If there is more than one building on the parcel, each building shall be designated by number or letter.
      2. Special inspections requirements of the building code shall be listed on cover sheet.
      3. Other information may be requested depending on the scope of the project.
    4. FOUNDATION PLANS with details and north arrow.
      • A soils report will be required for areas involved with the foundation.
      • Foundation plans shall be drawn to same scale as floor plans and framing plans.
      • Show location of all foundation bolts, hold downs or other hardware specified in engineering.
      • All footings shall be dimensioned.
      • Footing locations shall be delineated with dimension lines.
    5. FLOOR PLAN(S) drawn to scale. Choose appropriate scale for clarity. 1/8"= 1 foot minimum; 1/4" = 1 foot for small projects or complicated floor plans.
      • Standard drafting methods shall be used.
      • Obscure or insufficient drawings will not be checked.
      • Dimension lines shall be used to locate all walls, openings, etc.
    6. FLOOR FRAMING PLAN with details where necessary to clarify construction.
      • Where pre-manufactured or pre-engineered trusses, joists, etc., are used, the specifications shall be submitted for review.
    7. ROOF FRAMING PLAN If trusses are to be used, supply two wet-signed copies of engineered design.
      • Trusses must be keyed to roof framing plan.
      • The original building design professional (project engineer) must review and stamp truss specs as being compatible with their building design.
    8. EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS that show exterior finishes, architectural features, sloping site condition if applicable, building height.
      • Specify each elevation by cardinal orientation or front, rear, sides.
    12. FIRE SPRINKLER PLAN showing standpipe sizing, head placement, and details of structural support.
    13. CALIFORNIA ENERGY LOSS REPORT (TITLE 24) includes all forms necessary to show conformance with the regulations.
    14. PROFESSIONAL STAMPS of the project architect and engineer.
      • The plans and the calculations shall be stamped and all stamps must have a "wet" signature in addition to the number and expiration date of the professional’s California state license.
    15. ENGINEERS DESIGN REPORT containing design calculations and analysis, assumptions used in the calculations, and background data supporting any design waiver requests.
      • The analysis must accompany any structural design that justifies the proposed construction.
      • Building Services will not review a set of plans requiring structural analysis by an architect or engineer until the appropriate engineering analysis has been submitted.
      • Note: Conventional light-frame construction as defined in the building code does not require analysis.
    16. A FOUNDATION INVESTIGATION "SOILS" REPORT as prescribed by the California Building Code.
      • Where any new foundation work is proposed, a soils report is required.
      • If there is an existing soils report for the site, it shall be updated for the new project.
      • Soils classification shall be based on tests by borings or excavations (exception: where no fill conditions exist and foundation design is based on 1500 psf or less, the soils report may be based on site observation(s) by foundation engineer). The following code provisions shall be addressed in the report:
        • Plot showing the location of all test borings or excavations, as applicable.
        • Description and classification of the soil.
        • Elevation of the water table, if encountered.
        • Recommendations for foundation type and design criteria, including bearing capacity, provisions to minimize the effects of expansive soils and the effects of adjacent loads.
        • Expected total and differential settlement.
    17. COMPLETE PLANS printed from original tracings with no written modifications.

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    Although these items are not listed as needed for submittal, you should include them with your plans to help expedite your plan check

    • FLOOR PLANS include the following for plan check:
      • All permanent walls, partitions.
      • All openings including doors, windows, skylights, etc.
      • Use of rooms or areas.
      • Walls required to of fire resistive construction.
      • Seating arrangements for assembly or dining areas if applicable.
      • Counters, fixtures, appliances, etc.
      • Location of columns, shafts or other features which impact floor layout.
    • Other items may be required in order to show the nature of the project or delineate fire and life safety features. More than one floor plan may be necessary to clearly depict the above items without becoming too "busy". Additions and tenant spaces shall include floor plan of entire building, existing and proposed, showing location of proposed construction, adjacent occupancies, exiting, sanitary facilities, etc.
    • BUILDING SECTIONS: Provide at least one complete building section showing materials and methods of construction. Provide additional sections as necessary to portray other portions of building where the construction differs from complete building section. Show foundation, framing, connections, insulation, exterior and interior wall finish, etc. where not shown on other sections or details.
    • DETAILS: All structural and nonstructural building components shall be detailed. Notes on plans describing codes or general methods of construction will not be deemed as substitutes for details. All connections, assemblies, structural and nonstructural framing, finish materials, foundations, etc. shall be shown. Details do not have to be drawn to scale; however, they must be drawn large enough to clearly portray the intended construction. With the prior approval of the building official, shop drawings and other deferred submittal items may be specified on plans, with the understanding that they must be reviewed by the project designer and Building services for approval prior to installation. All details shall be referenced on applicable plan sheets. If "shotgun sheets" are used, the unused details are to be deleted prior to submitting plans for review. Where the plan set has poor details or lacks sufficient details, the plans may not be checked any further until a complete set of details has been submitted.
    • MISCELLANEOUS FRAMING: Provide plans for ceiling, nonbearing walls and partitions, architectural features, windows, doors, storefronts, etc. to show materials and methods of construction. Provide details as necessary. Reference to detail blocks as applicable.
    • DISABLED ACCESSIBILITY: Generally speaking, any space or building feature that is useable by non-disabled persons shall be made accessible to persons with disabilities. All features showing accessibility shall be included in plans. Site accessibility, building access features, and facility accessibility shall be shown on plans in accordance with the California Building Code. If a code provision allows an exception, cite code section and reason why a particular building feature does not need to be made accessible.
    • ENERGY COMPLIANCE: If space is directly or indirectly conditioned, Title 24 requires documentation showing that it meets an energy budget for the proposed use. All compliance measures shall be shown on the plans in accordance with the energy code and the attached compliance documents.
    • Electrical, plumbing and mechanical plans shall be prepared by either an architect or engineer, or the installing electrical, plumbing or mechanical contractor licensed by the state for that specialty.
    • ELECTRICAL PLAN: Specify all wiring methods and equipment. Provide symbol legend. Provide load calculations and panel schedule(s). Provide one line diagram for service, subpanels, control panels, etc.. Electrical plan shall show as a minimum: 1) Lighting, receptacle, switch outlets 2) Branch circuits labeled to match panel schedules 3) Smoke detectors, automatic controls, fire alarms, other electrical installations for fire/smoke control 4) Exit signs, emergency exit illumination 5) Outlets/branch circuits for all specific equipment served 6) Location of service and subpanels.
    • PLUMBING PLAN: Provide plan view of drains and water distribution. Where necessary, provide isometric drawings for drains and vents, showing traps, trap arms and their vents, lateral drains and tie-ins to main drains. Provide gas piping schematic. Show all plumbing fixtures on floor plan. The number of plumbing fixtures shall be provided in accordance with 2001 California Plumbing Code Appendix C, or California Building Code Appendix Chapter 29. Specify materials for all major components of system, including DWV, water piping, gas piping, etc. Specify fittings, valves, etc. Specify fixtures. Water demand shall be calculated for sizing water piping when total of fixture units exceeds 30.
    • MECHANICAL PLAN: Show location, manufacturer and model of all space conditioning equipment. Show location, size and construction of all ducts, plenums and registers. Show all exhaust equipment and ducting, including environmental ducts, product-conveying ducts, kitchen hood exhaust, makeup air, outside air, etc. Indicate all fan sizes (cfm). Show electrical ratings for each piece of equipment. Provide details for the installation of all equipment in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications and applicable codes. Provide legend for mechanical symbols.