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Building Counter & Plan ReviewCommunity Development

Q: Does my project fall under the City of Santa Barbara, CA Jurisdiction and how do I know what current building codes are applicable?

A: Provided below is a link to the City Ordinance for your use and reference, Title 22 covers building code related items.


Q: How many sets of drawings will be required for submittal? 

A: All plans must be submitted electronically. Provided below is a link with further instruction.


Q: Do all sheets need original/wet stamp signatures, or can the set of drawings be electronically signed?

A: Digital signatures are accepted.


Q: Will the sets of plans need to be walked into the Building Department in person, mailed in or submitted online? Please provide the appropriate address for mailed in submission or link for online submission.

A: All plans must be submitted electronically. Provided below is a link with further instruction.


Q: What applications and how many copies are required at the time of submittal? Are they available online?

A:  Provided below is a link to fillable applications. 


Q: Who is required to sign the building permit application? 

A: The property owner and their representative.


Q: Are there any other departments (such as planning and zoning, health, water/sewer, etc)  we need to submit our project prior to or in conjunction with our building permit application?

A: The plans are routed to other divisions for review after to submittal, however, you will need have planning approval prior to submitting for a building permit. The link below provides contact information for other division.


Q: What is the current plan review lead time?

A: Depending on size and scope of work it can take 10 – 28 working days for the first review.


Q: Is there an express plan review option available?

A: At this time, this option is not available.


Q:  Is a separate, non-structural demo permit available? If so, please specify requirements and fees, etc

A: A full submittal is required.


Q:  Is a G.C. and/or sub-contractors required to be listed on the permit application at the time of submittal?

A: No, but having them listed will help speed up the issuance process.


Q:  Are G.C. and subcontractor licenses, insurance certificates, or bonds required at the time of permit submittal?

A: No, but having them listed will help speed up the issuance process.


Q: Are there any separate applications which will need to be filed separately by the G.C. or subcontractors?

A: Please contact the correct division for specific requirements. The link below provides contact information for other divisions.


Q: Will you begin the plan review process if we do not have the awarded G.C.'s name at time of submittal/on the applications?A: Yes


Q: Is a Landlord approval letter or signature anywhere of the tenant drawings required for submittal?

A: No


Q: Are there any fees due at the time of submittal or are they due prior to permit pick-up? 

A: Yes, application submittal fees and plan check fee due prior to second submittal.


Q: If fees are due at the time of submittal, could you tell us the amount or how the fees are calculated?  

A: Due to staffing we are not able to provide an estimate at this time, the link below will direct you to our current fee schedule 

Current Fee Schedule 


 Q: Is the G.C. cost estimate required to determine building permit/ review fee?

A: No, but it will help during plan review. 


Q: What are your acceptable methods of payment and to whom do we make the payment?

A: Check drop off, E-check and CC online payments.


Q: How long is the building permit valid once issued? 

A: You must have at least one successful inspection every 180 days in order to keep the permit valid. In some cases, extensions may be granted.


Q: How far in advance do inspections need to be scheduled? 

A: Depending on staffing, we accommodate inspection requests within 1-2 business days.


Q: Any “Special Inspections” required? If so, what kind of Special Inspections? (Air Balance, Structural Steel, Concrete, etc.)

A: Special inspections vary from project to project; these are determined during plan review.


Q: Will someone from the city be doing “Special Inspections” or do we need to hire a 3rd party?

A: You will need to hire a 3rd party.


Q: What is the process of obtaining permanent Certificate of Occupancy?

A: For commercial projects, a Certificate of Occupancy is issued once after the final building inspection.


Q: I have permit submittal questions for the Fire department as well?

A: For fire related questions please call (805) 564-5702 or email


Online Building Permit Services Guide

Apply for a Permit through Accela Citizen Access Portal

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2021
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