Contra Costa county residential permit

About the Contra Costa County Residential Permit Process

Proper permits are necessary during renovation to ensure that the project meets all the legal requirements for construction. Obtain the necessary Contra Costa County residential permit in order to avoid legal issues with your construction project.

What is a Contra Costa County Residential Permit?

Residential permits are required before construction on most residential projects. Permits are necessary to regulate the construction and usage of the property. This process is designed to protect the environment and the occupants. According to Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations Building Standard Code, no structures can be constructed, erected, repaired, removed, improved, demolished, converted, or otherwise altered without an individual permit to do so for each structure. There may be some exemptions, depending on the jurisdiction.

Why Do I Need a Contra Costa County Residential Permit?

Obtaining a permit may seem tedious, or even unnecessary, but it is an important legal step in the construction process. If your contractor suggests bypassing the permit process, find a new contractor. 

If Contra Costa County discovers that you have been constructing without a permit, they will compel you to obtain a permit immediately. They may also enforce higher permit fees, and you may need to pause or postpone your project until the permits are in place. The county may even require you to take down any construction that has already occurred. Unpermitted improvements can decrease your home value and affect resale

Contra Costa county residential permit

What Do I Need for a Contra Costa County Residential Permit?

In order to apply for a  Contra Costa Residential Permit, three sets of architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings must be submitted to the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development. Compliance to CalGreen standards must also be documented and submitted for approval. Check to see if your project requires a special inspections form. A full list of requirements is available on the Contra Costa County Conservation & Development website. 

- Apply for an Environmental Review

Some building projects in Contra Costa County require an environmental health or sanitary review. A property with a septic system that is outside a sanitary district will need to be reviewed by Sanitary District Staff. This Sanitary Districts page includes contact information for each district.

Other project that may require an environmental review are:

  • New residences, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), and commercial buildings. 
  • Projects that require excavation, such as pools, new residences, outdoor living areas, garages, carports, decks or patios, and landscape structures.
  • Residential additions or remodels that will cause an increased rate of flow into an existing sewer system.
  • All commercial tenant improvement projects.
  • Modifications to public pools or spas. 
  • Septic systems that are not connected to a public sewer system.
  • Additions to a property with a septic system. 

The environmental review process will follow the guidelines set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The review will serve to examine the proposed building plans and their potential for environmental impact. The governing committee may even propose mitigation for any potential environmental concerns. This process ensures that the project will have minimal impact on the environment and the health of the homeowners. 

Contra Costa county residential permit

- Check to See if you Need a 311 Neighborhood Notification

Planning Code Section 311 requires a Neighborhood Notification for projects within certain zoning districts.  A Neighborhood notification is required in residential districts for new construction, demolition, or alterations. 

Once a residential building permit application is submitted to the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), the Planning Department will send a Neighborhood Notification to residents and owners of properties located within 150 feet of the proposed construction site. This is followed by a 30-day public review period. 

During the notification period, the neighbors may contact the Planning Department with any potential concerns regarding the construction project. A neighbor may file an application for a discretionary review, which will be reviewed by the Planning staff. 

How Can I Get Help Obtaining a Contra Costa County Residential Permit?

Contact Drafting Cafe Architects today to get help with your Contra Costa County project. We can help you obtain the necessary residential permits to make sure your project meets all the county requirements. From start to finish, our team will make sure that your project is high-quality, up-to-date, and on time. 


Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get your project off the ground