This information provided is general building sequence information. Not all of the steps will be applicable to specific projects. See Plan Requirements for Non-Residential & Multi-Family Buildings for details about plan requirements.
Determine the correct land use zoning for the property and the uses which are permitted within that zone. (Planning Division)
Have qualified architect or designer prepare the required sets of preliminary site plans. Drawings must include property lines, building and setback lines, landscaping, signs, fencing, design of ingress and egress, off-street parking, loading facilities, trash disposal and exterior elevations. Submit same to Planning Division for architectural review. Some projects may require Architectural Committee review prior to final staff approval.
Apply for any necessary Planning Commission or special staff committee approvals.
- Project Clearance Committee review is required on certain projects subject to Planning Division determination.
- Planning Commission approvals required on Zone changes, Use Permits, Planned Developments, Variances, etc.
- City Council approval required in areas of special zoning exceptions and other special uses.
Attend the designated Planning Commission meeting. These meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00PM in the City Council chambers. (Planning Division)
After architectural approval, provide four sets of detailed construction plans and two additional plot plans (showing required utility connections), to the Permit Center and apply for a Building Permit. Complete the building permit application form.
Plan checking is performed by Building Inspection and by other departments as necessary, such as Planning, Fire, Engineering and Utilities. The first plan check comments require approximately four to six weeks and the back check, one to two weeks, depending on the complexity of the project and the adequacy of the construction plans submitted, and this may fluctuate with the work load. Applicants have the option of using an approved third party plan check agency to expedite Building Inspection plan check turn-around time.
Apply for water and sewer services at the Water and Sewer Department. Apply for electric service at the Electric Department. Also execute street dedication, easements and improvements agreements. Certain improvement costs and utility service fees must be paid before issuance of the building permit.
Pay school district fees, obtain agency approvals such as Santa Clara County Health Department, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, State Water Resource Board, Cal-OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), Water Pollution Control Plant, Airport Land Use Commission, etc., if applicable. Agency approval(s) must be obtained prior to issuance of a building permit.
Upon payment of building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical permit fees, the applicant will be granted the required permits, an approved set of construction plans, and an inspection card. (Permit Services Division)
Post the inspection card at the construction site and keep the approved construction plans on the job.
Call the Building Division: 408-615-2400 to schedule inspections. Please refer to the Automated Inspection Request information on this website for detailed procedures on requesting an inspection.