Homeowners' Guide

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This page is to help homeowners plan projects and obtain useful information to improve their property.  It is not inclusive, but rather an overview of common permits issued by the Building Division. For zoning information pertaining to setbacks, height limitation, and other standards, please contact the Planning Division.

Room Additions

Plans maybe required to obtain a permit.  Plans should include a plot plan that shows the distance of the house and proposed addition to the property lines.  The remaining sheets should show the foundation, floor plan, frame section, and electrical plans, as well as details.  Existing rooms affected by the addition need to be shown on the plans including any changes to windows.  Engineering is not required for standard designs, but truss calculation, energy reports and HOA (Homeowners Associations) approvals are needed for submittal. 

Loft Conversions

Plans are required to add a loft, convert a loft to a bedroom or den, or any similar reconfiguration of interior rooms.  A plot plan is required to identify the location of the work.  Details of beams, ledgers, hangers, and their attachments need to be illustrated.  New or altered bedrooms require smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, rescue and escape windows and the proper amount of natural light and ventilation.  An electrical plan also needs to be included.

BBQ, Fire Pit, Backyard Fireplace

Plans may not be necessary to obtain permits, but a plot plan showing location is required.  A plumbing permit is required for inspection of the gas line and usually can be obtained over the counter.  An HOA approval letter is required at the time of issuance of the permit.  Setback for fire pits is 10 feet from any combustible material including fences.  BBQs and fireplaces are usually 5 feet from property lines. 

Fences

Wood fences and freestanding masonry walls measuring up to 7 feet in height do not require a building permit, but shall conform to city standards. Any wood fences and freestanding masonry walls measuring above 6 feet in height need approval from the planning department. Fences shall be constructed completely on the property of the homeowner bearing the cost and ownership of the fence. Shared fences can be directly on the property line of both owners but the design and cost needs to be mutually agreed upon. Zoning restricts the height of walls and fences to 42 inches in the front yard. 

Yard Lighting

An electrical permit is required to alter or add a circuit to an existing electrical service. Low voltage lighting does not require a permit. If an outlet is run to a new location, this is defined as an alteration to a circuit.  All lighting, including low voltage lighting, needs to be a minimum of 10 feet from or 15 feet above a swimming pool. All receptacle outlets are required to be GFI protected and at least 10 feet from a swimming pool.

 

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