Permit Issuance Policy

Exempted Work - 2016 California Building Code, Section 105

  1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. Consult with Planning for separate zoning requirements. (Note: If you are adding electrical to the proposed structure a permit will be required)
  2. Wood fences not over 6 feet in height. Consult with Planning for zoning requirements.
  3. Oil Derricks.
  4. Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids.
  5. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1. Consult with Planning for zoning requirements.
  6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route. (Note: Consult with Planning for zoning requirements and Public Works for off-site improvements requirements.)
  7. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work. (Kitchen and Bathroom cabinet replacement requires a permit. Exterior painting of anything other than a single family residence or duplex will require Planning approval.)
  8. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  9. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a single-family residence that are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground. Consult with Planning for zoning requirements.
  10. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems. 
  11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two- family dwellings.
  12. Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies.  
  13. Non-fixed movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
  14. Window replacements in the same opening, when window opening is not modified and there is no framing construction required. (Excluding windows required by code as mandatory for emergency egress and escape)
  15. Replacement of light fixtures and outlets, provided existing wiring is used.  Note: This exemption applies only to residential buildings.
  16. Roofing repairs under 100 square feet (one roofing square).
Contact the Building Division at (650)903-6313 to discuss possible exemptions for plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits.