Building Permit Exemptions


The following types of construction do not require building permits or inspections:

Exterior Project Types*

Exemption Requirements

Storage sheds, playhouses and similar structures

Single story detached accessory structures that are 200 sf or less in area provided they meet zoning setbacks, maximum building height, and don't have electrical

Water harvesting cisterns

Under 1,000 gallons in size and meet zoning regulations with respect to setbacks, etc.


Up to 6 feet in height

Above ground pools

Prefabricated pools that are 18 inches or less in depth and hold 5,000 gallons or less


30" or less above grade and does not serve as the primary exit

Tents and shade sails

Up to 400 sf that meet zoning setback and height regulations

Swing sets and play equipment

For single family residences

Replacement of evaporative coolers

Like for like replacement

Window awnings supported on an exterior wall

Not projecting more than 54 inches and the applicant must verify the minimum side or rear yard setbacks for the distance an awning can project into the required setbacks

Window replacement

For single family residences

Roofing repair or replacement

 Like for like replacement. Replacing roof sheathing or deck requires a building permit.

*If you are located in a Historic Preservation Zone (HPZ), any development requires  Historical Preservation Design Review.

Interior Project Types

Exemption Requirements

Portable motors or other portable appliances with factory installed cords

 Must utilize factory cord and plug assembly

Painting, floor covering, cabinetry, or interior trim work


Temporary decorative lighting

Must utilize factory cord and plug assembly to existing electrical receptacle suitable for exterior exposure

The reinstallation of a switch or receptacle

Must be in the same location

The replacement of a circuit breaker or fuse

Must be the same rating and in the same location (including main breakers under certain conditions) Policy 2016-01

Low voltage electrical

Must operate at less than 25 volts and is not capable of supplying more than 50 watts

Stopping leaks in a drain, soil, waste, or vent piping

Does not include pipe replacement

Replacement of toilets

In the same location

Portable heating appliance, portable ventilating equipment, or portable cooling unit

Must utilize factory cord and plug assembly

Appliance repair

Does not alter its original approval

The granting of a City permit does not exempt the applicant from complying with any HOA's CC&Rs or any other private deed restrictions associated with the property; and the issuance of this permit is not in any way an indication that the work/project complies with any HOA's CC&Rs or any other private deed restrictions associated with the property.

View frequently asked questions (FAQ).