Getting your Building Permit

by Otis Bradley

Permit Checklist

Permits vary widely in different locations.  It is important to develop a list for your project – start by checking in with your local building department.  Remember the Building Department may only tell you part of the story.  Research the following items and try to start putting a schedule together.  My Builder 20 group often discusses permit issues.  Jim in Wisconsin tells me he can get a permit in 5 days, while others of us suffer with months even years in the permitting process.  In my local area building departments in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, Ojai, Ventura County, City of Ventura, Santa Barbara and County of Santa Barbara all treat building codes and zoning regulations in different ways.


Air Rights



CC&R’s (Private Restrictions)

Cell Phone Access

City Planning

City Zoning

Civil Engineers

Coastal Commissions


Easements – Utility or Private

Earthquake Zones


Environmental Health Department

Fire Department

Flood Zones

Flowers (Protected by State)


Geology and Soils

Grading Department

Historical Commissions

Internet Access

Landscape Architects

Native American burial sites

Neighborhood Architectural Committees

New Regulations in the works!



Planning Department

Public Hearings

Public Works Dept.

Scenic Corridors


Storm water


Tax Liens


Tornado Areas

Tree Protection

View Corridors


Water Perc (percolation) Tests


Wells – quality, quantity

Zoning Clearance

Other Items?

Otis Bradley Company, Inc. Feel free to copy, share or re post this article Kindly make sure to include this information Written by Otis Bradley, a Custom Home Builder, in Southern California Please see for more information on Custom Home Building