To assist you through the permitting process, provided below are examples of the most frequently asked questions:
Where do I go to obtain a Building Permit?
The Planning Division, Permits & Licenses Division & Building Division of the Community Development Department is located in City Hall, Room 101, 1700 W. 162nd Street in Gardena. Planners are available to answer simple questions and otherwise assist you on a first-come-first-serve basis from Monday through Thursday between 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We recommend that you call ahead to schedule an appointment with a planner, at (310) 217-9530 for any complex matters.
What is the cost of a building permit?
Permit and plan review fees are based on the valuation of the project, which includes construction, finish work, painting, roofing, plumbing, and any other permanent equipment. For more information, call the Permit Technician at (310) 217-9530 or refer to City Fee Schedule listed above.
Who can take out a permit?
Permits can be taken out only by properly licensed individuals (Section 7031.5 California Business ad Professional Code) or individuals specifically exempt (Section 7044) from the provision of the Contractors State License Law.
- Property state license contractor, with a valid state contractors license and current City Business License.
- Owner / builder of a residential or commercial property on which the project is proposed, provided that he / she signs and marks the declaration on permit stating they are:
a. Owner of property doing the work themselves or using employees with wages as sole compensation to do the work and that the structure is not intended to be offered for sale. (If owner decides to sell the property he or she must reside in the premises for 1 year after completion of the project. He or she can improve only two properties in any three year period; or
b. As owner of the property, he/she will contract with only licensed contractors to preform the work and the contractor(s) shall possess a current business license.
Worker’s Compensation Certificate Requirements
Prior to permit issuance, a valid certificate of Worker’s Compensation Insurance or a Certificate of Consent to Self Insure, issued by the Director of Industrial Relations must be filed with the Building Office.
Exempt from this requirement are:
- Jobs in which materials and labor are less than $500
- The contractor’s license has an exempt certification
- Owner builder signs a statement specifying “I certify that in the performance of the work for which this permit is issued, I shall not employ any person in any manner so as to become subject to the workmen’s compensation laws of California.“
Construction is a substantial financial investment, which can be seriously jeopardized by non-complying construction. Work done without required permits is not only illegal, but will create problems when you try to sell your property. Fire and homeowner’s insurance coverage for work done without a permit may be invalidated.
Why do I need a permit?
There are many reasons for obtaining building permits for construction.
Taking out a permit provides you the services of a plan check engineer who will make sure that the plans are complete, that the plans comply with accepted engineering principles, and that the plans meet state minimum construction standards and a building inspector to perform inspections to make sure that construction is consistent with the plans and minimum standards for construction technique.
When are permits required and are there any exceptions?
Most residential, commercial and industrial construction and demolition work whether, new, addition, remodel or alteration need permits. Signs, banners, fences, re-roofs, electrical upgrades, plumbing upgrades, window change outs all require permits.
The most common exceptions to the building permit requirement are:
- Construction of decks and platforms less than thirty inches high, open walkways and driveways
- Installation of ceramic tile on floor and counterops and on walls not more than 69 inches high
- Prefabricated swimming pools that do not exceed 24 inches in depth/5,000 gallon capacity, without electrical or plumbing fixtures
- Construction of cases, counters and partitions less than five feet nine inches (5’9″) high
- Painting, papering and similar finish work
- One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the roof area does not exceed 120 sq. feet.
- Platforms, walks, and driveways not more than thirty (30″) above grade and not over any basement or story below.
Can I get permits by mail or online?
Not at this time. However, all permit application forms are available on this web page. (See Above)
How long does it take to obtain a building permit?
Permits can be issued over the counter (same day) without plan check on some of the simpler projects if they are properly documented. For more complex projects, permits are issued upon approval of plans by all applicable agencies. It takes approximately 3-6 weeks for approval or plan corrections, depending upon the plan check workload of the applicable agencies. Most plans must be reviewed and approved by Planning, Public Works, L.A. County Fire Department, Los Angeless Unified School Dirstrict (LAUSD). In some cases Los Angeles County Industrial Waste, Los Angeles County Health Department and other agencies must endorse the plans. The applicant is notified by phone when plans have been approved by all applicable agencies or when the review has been completed and corrections are required.
How long are permits valid?
Permits are valid for 6 months. At the end of 6 months from the date of issuance or after 6 months have elapsed without substantial progress as substantiated by a city inspection, the permit shall become null and void. Permits must be obtained to continue construction.