Permitting in Ojai and Ventura County – always new rules, especially in the mountains


Building a new home these days requires lots of permits.  More all the time.

Ventura County which includes a lot of the area around Ojai, has a difficult permitting process and many different agencies which require permits.  Particularly if you build in the mountains, the process can be challenging.

  • Building and Safety Department
  • Grading Department
  • Planning and Zoning Department
  • Environmental Health Department
  • Fire Department
  • Water Resources Department
  • Trash and Recyelcing
  • to name a few !

The process requires multiple trips to each department,  consisting of submitting plans for “plan check” – revising plans and making corrections – resubmission of plans (sometimes repeat again and again)

If you pass “GO” you move on to the next department.  Sometimes you go to “JAIL” or have to start over!

A day at the county can feel like living a “Twilight Zone” episode.


Below is an example of a recent Ventura County Ordinance – amending the rules for an “overlay” of the “Scenic Resource Protection Zone.”  This revises regulations for homes built on “ridgelines.”  The thinking that overbuilding on the tops of mountains spoils views for others.  Just an example of the incredible complexity of the rules and regulations in some areas today.

See if you can read and clearly understand this …

Continue reading “Permitting in Ojai and Ventura County – always new rules, especially in the mountains”

California Title 24

Title 24 is an energy law that was first established on June 1, 2001.  This energy law was created to conserve the high consumption and demand of energy in California.  The new compliance standards are applicable to both commercial and residential lighting.  Lighting for commercial buildings and residential homes require high efficacy luminaires or dimming controls in each room.  Here are the 2005 CA Residential Lighting Requirements*:

Changes in Brief:

Title 24 will require high efficacy luminaires, occupancy sensors, and/or dimmers in most spaces:

  • Kitchens: At least 50% of the total wattage of kitchen lighting must be from high efficacy luminaires. Non-high efficacy luminaires must be switched separately from high efficacy            luminaires.
  • Bathrooms, utility rooms, garages and laundry rooms: High efficacy lighting or manual-on occupancy sensors required.
  • Exterior, attached to building: High efficacy luminaires or combined photo sensors/occupancy sensors required.
  • All other interior spaces: High efficacy luminaires, occupancy sensors, OR dimmers required.
  • Recessed lighting: When installed in insulated ceilings, must be both Type IC (insulated covered) and airtight (AT) rated.
  • Electronic ballasts: Electronic ballasts are required for all fluorescent luminaires 13 watts or greater. Continue reading “California Title 24”