Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times

Posted: December 20th, 2021 4:58 PM

Last Updated: May 1st, 2024 9:52 AM

The Permit Processing Timelines listed below are not exact, but provide general guidance when planning your projects. The goal of Planning & Building staff is to provide swift, efficient, application processing for all projects. Visit our Planning and Building Permits webpage for more details on the permitting process, or view our process flow charts below.

Permit application processing and issuance timelines are based on complete applications and on business days Monday through Friday.  Use our Online Permit Center to file applications and learn more on our How-To Video Tutorials page.

Need more help? Come to our One-Stop Permit Center on Walk-In Days: Mondays from 9 am – 3 pm or Wednesdays from 9:30 am – 3 pm; or schedule an appointment with our friendly staff on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9 am – 4 pm. 

LEGEND: BW = Building Worksheet | ZW = Zoning Worksheet

Planning Operations

Project Type Processing Time Application

Zoning Clearance (ZC)

Same Day or up to 10 days Online application

Letter of Determination (DET)

6 weeks or up to 12 weeks Online application

In-Kind Windows, Doors, Sheetrock –

Design Review Exemption (DRX) 

Up to 15 days ZW + Check project requirements

Fencing, Decks, Signs, ADU, Additions under 1,000 sq ft.

DRX or Small Project Design Review (DS)

Up to 18 weeks ZW + Check project requirements

Creek Protection -Watershed Approval Required

Up to 18 weeks ZW + Check project requirements

Development Related – Tree Removal – Tree Services Approval Required

Up to 18 weeks ZW + Check project requirements

Revisions

Up to 15 days Plans from Building

Planning/Zoning Division Development

Project Type Processing Time Application

Admin Case Reviews and Minor Subdivisions 

10-13 months ZW + Check project requirements

Planning Commission Cases, including major CUP’s, Major Variances, and Major Subdivisions (TTMs) 

10-13 months ZW + Check project requirements

Development Planning Projects, including PUDs, rezonings, and complex CEQA documents e.g., Additions/Conversions more than 1000 sq.ft. or 100% of existing floor area, Multi-unit/Residential Mixed Use, Large Commercial Projects, Affordable Housing-Density Bonus 

12-36 months ZW + Check project requirements

Building Minor- No Plans

Project Type Processing Time Application

Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing Permits (MEP’s)

Water heater replacement, main service upgrade, furnace replacements etc. 

Same Day – Rapid Permits Online application

SolarAPP+ Energy Systems 

Same Day Online application

Windows, Kitchen/bath remodels with no wall change and no plan check required – can be obtained directly/faster by applying online by owner or contractor. 

Up to 2 weeks BW + Check project requirements

Demolition (Removing 50% or more of a structure) 

Up to 3 weeks + 30 day posting post Field Check Inspection BW + Building Application Worksheet

Revisions – no plan review required 

Up to 3 weeks BW + Building Application Worksheet

Permit Transfer 

Up to 3 weeks BW + Transfer Letter + Declaration

Building Intake with Engineer Review (Plans Required)

Project Type Processing Time Application

MINOR (Engineer of the Day) Review Permits 

Residential 1-2 units (e.g., kitchen and bath remodels, minor structural repair, alteration/additions, foundation repair, voluntary seismic retrofit etc.) 

Up to 5 weeks BW + Check project requirements

REGULAR PROJECT Permits  

Residential or Commercial projects, Grading, Private Infrastructure, Accessory Dwelling Units, Telecoms, tenant improvement (TI), New Construction, Commercial Renovation, Cannabis Cultivation/Manufacturing 

Up to 11 weeks + Final Check BW + Check project requirements

REGULAR PROJECT Permits with Expedited Request (OT)   

Residential or Commercial projects, Grading, Private Infrastructure, Accessory Dwelling Units, Telecoms tenant improvement (TI), New Construction, Commercial Renovation, Cannabis Cultivation/Manufacturing 

Up to 5 weeks + Expedited Final Check BW + Check project requirements + Request for Overtime Plan Review

Non-Solar APP + Energy Systems 

Up to 2 weeks SE + Check project requirements

Revisions – with plans 

Up to 5 weeks BW + Revision request form + revised plans

Building Final Check

Project Type Processing Tune Application

Intake projects with Engineer Review (Plans Required)  

Up to 7 weeks BW + Check project requirements

Intake projects with Engineer Review (Plans Required) 

 with Expedited Request (OT) 

Up to 3 weeks BW + Check project requirements + Request for Overtime Plan Review

Records

Project Type Processing Time Application

Re-Roofing & Insulation Certificates 

Up to 5 Days Online application

Record Requests 

Up to 10 Days Complete online request

Plan Retrieval 

Up to 30 Days Complete online request

3R Report 

Up to 60 Days Complete online request

Status Definitions

Status Definition

Application Intake 

Determines if the application submitted is complete i.e., digitals plans, signed plans, valuation is correct, required documents/forms are included, if Field Check Inspection is required, if Plan Check Review is required.

Application Inactive 

Applications are valid for 180 days from the file date. Applicant must file for an Application Extension for the permit application process to move forward.

Building Worksheet (BW)  (Not a permit) 

Application/File/Drop Box to upload documents and provide a description and valuation for a project before the Permit is created by Permit Technicians

Engineer Review Required (EOD) 

Only for Engineer of the Day projects. Assigned to the engineer of the day for review, comments will be issued (if only) that same day. If no comments, it’ll be in queue for Final Check (status does not change).

Final Check 

Final Check is typically involved when there are construction plans. Final Check verifies county information, fees, plans, forms, interdepartmental approvals, and other required documents to proceed with permit issuance.

Intake Complete 

Application review determine all documents complete for plan check review or to issue the permit.

Pending Incomplete 

Document(s) (i.e., plans, Title 24, structural calculations, etc.) are missing to move the project forward through the permit process

Permit Inactive 

Document(s) (i.e., plans, Title 24, structural calculations, etc.) are missing to move the project forward through the permit process; applications are valid for 180 days from issuance unless a major inspection is approved or partially approved after issuance and then every 6 months thereafter, or the permit will become invalid.

Plan Check Review  

Assigned to an engineer, in queue or in progress

Revisions 

Changes to approved plans that may require engineer plan review, planning review or Inspector plan review in the field.

Solar Electric (SE) 

Permit to allow installation of solar PV system and associated electrical equipment.

Zoning Worksheet (ZW) (Not a permit) 

Application/File/Drop box to upload documents, provide a description of the project before a Planning Permit e.g. DRX, DS is created by planners.

Note:  New Construction, alterations, demolitions, decks, ADU’s etc. require Planning approval prior to Building application intake approval.  

Permit Approval Process Flow Charts

Flow chart showing the Planning permit process flow
Flow chart showing the Planning permit process flow
Flow chart showing the Building permit process flow
Flow chart showing the Building permit process flow