Engineering Permits FAQs

When your construction is going to impact a natural habitat (e.g. a creek) or man-made infrastructure (e.g. a sidewalk) you will need an engineering permit.


Are you repairing or replacing a portion of the sewer outside the foundation of the building? Are you demolishing a building with plumbing in it? Are you connecting roof leaders to the storm system? You need a sewer permit.

Are you digging off your property - sidewalk area or street? You will need to call USA North at (800) 642-2444 two days before you dig. It is best to call Wednesday, Thursday or Friday as it will be easier for you to get through to someone. Then you will need to call the City at (510) 238-4447 {BAD #} to obtain an excavation permit.

Do you need to extend the public sanitary sewer, public storm sewer, construct a street, curb, gutter or sidewalk where none currently exist? You may be required to get a P-Job permit for the private construction of a public improvement.

Do you need to park construction vehicles, moving vans, or dumpsters at the curb? Do you need to close a portion of the sidewalk for scaffolding? Do you need to close a traveled lane of traffic? You need an obstruction permit.

Do you need to place a private improvement in the Public right-of-way: driveway bridge, stairs & retaining walls on streets without curb & gutter? You need a waiver of damages.

Are you planning to construct a monitoring well, tree wells, fences, retaining walls, gutter bridges, stairs on streets with curb & gutter or private conduit in street area from one building to another? You need a minor encroachment permit.

Do you have or are proposing a basement under the sidewalk, or special sidewalk paving detail? You need a major encroachment permit.

Are you changing the number of parcels you have? If the final number of lots is 4 or less - then a parcel map is used to create the lots; if the final number of lots is 5 or more - then a tract map is used to create the lots.

Are you extending a public sanitary sewer? Could the extension benefit other lots between the existing sewer location and the new end of the main? Then you may want to apply for a Private Sewer Assessment District (PSAD) to allow for the potential for partial recovery of the cost of constructing the extension. This process is time sensitive & should be started before the P-Job is issued.

Are you constructing, working on or changing the occupancy to a non-single family building, or a 3-story building? Are you proposing a Tract or Parcel Map? You may need a seismic hazard determination - if the property is in a seismic hazard zone then you may be required to get a soils report that address the seismic concerns.

Are you doing work as described in Seismic Hazard Zone? You need to identify if your parcel is within the special studies zone - if it is, then you need a Geologic Report (Fault Trace Investigation).