Do I need a building permit and how do I get it?

A. Almost all new structures and additions to existing structures require some type of approval before moving forward with building permits. Most projects require design review, a process that is described below. Other projects, due to their location in a special overlay zone or their inconsistency with zoning regulations, may also require a conditional use permit or variance reviewed by the City’s Planning Commission at a noticed hearing. In some instances, the required design review can be performed at a staff level, with notice to nearby property owners. In most cases, however, the design review occurs at a public hearing before the City’s Design Review Board (DRB). After going through the design review approval process, construction drawings can be submitted to the Building Department and the project will undergo a plan check prior to the issuance of building permits. EsGil Corporation, which is under contract with the City to provide traditional building department services, requires an authorization form from the Planning Department requesting that the Building Department perform a plan check. The form is then taken to the Building Counter at the City of Solana Beach, EsGil accepts and processes permits from this location for the City of Del Mar. 

City of Solana Beach Building Services
Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
Closed between noon and 1 p.m Monday - Friday
Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed alternate Fridays
ph:  858-720-4450
635 S. Highway 101 Solana Beach, CA 92075 

B. Tenant improvements/Over the counter plan check: It is common for property owners or their representatives to propose improvements that require building permits, but that do not require DRB review. Such improvements would not modify the existing size of the structure and would typically not modify the exterior of the building. These projects usually involve only interior changes. Even though no design review is required, interior modifications may require a building permit. The first step to determine whether your project fits into this category is to determine what zoning regulations apply to your property. This is important because some zones, such as the Central Commercial Zone and Bluff, Slope, and Canyon Overlay Zone require design review for even minor exterior changes such as a change in color or materials. The City will review the plans to determine whether the existing structure is non-conforming and/or whether the proposed improvements require design review. If structural nonconformities exist, you must submit a Building Valuation Form to ensure that the extent of work being done will be below the 50 percent threshold at which time abatement (removal) of the non-conformities would be required. If design review is not required, four sets of plans should be provided. Staff then prepares an Authorization Form that authorizes EsGil to issue building permits. Staff will stamp and sign all sets. The City will return one set to you with the Authorization Form, and file the 2nd set in the Planning Dept. “street file” along with a copy of the Authorization Form and the Building Valuation (if necessary). 

C.  Roof Permits: A roof repair or roof replacement requires a Building Permit. If the work complies with DMMC Section 23.12.060, the Planning Department will provided you with a Letter of Authorization. You can then take the plans and authorization letter directly to the Building Department counter located at Solana Beach City Hall, 635 S. Highway 101, and pull the required permits. All roof coverings must be Class A compliant, fire retardant, non-wood material. If new roof elements, such as a modified roofline, are proposed, they most likely require design review.

D. Minor Building Permits: EsGil issues authorizations such as permits for miscellaneous electric, relocation/change of service, water heater/softener, sprinklers, plumbing, re-roofing, or interior remodeling. These permits are issued at the Building Dept. by the EsGil Corporation (see #3 above) with a Letter of Authorization, provided that there is no change in use, expansion of structure, or change in appearance. A Building Permit is also required to repave/restripe a non-residential parking area. How long does the permit process take? The processing of a development permit in the City of Del Mar can be broken down into two distinct phases: 1) City discretionary approval(s), which include Design Review, Planning Commission and/or City Council review; and, 2) post approval reviews and plan check/permitting. City Discretionary Approvals: The processing time from application submittal to final approval for a discretionary permit is a minimum of about two months, but it can be longer, depending on the type of application submitted. A project that requires multiple discretionary actions will take longer. Once the Planning Commission or DRB approves the project there is a 10 working-day right to appeal the action to the City Council. Once the appeal period is over, the remainder of the processing time depends on the applicant. Post Approval Reviews and Plan Check/Permitting: The processing time of this phase depends on the complexity of the project and the types of conditions that were placed on the approval of the project. These conditions may take some time to complete. The Plan Check approval can be time consuming, but careful planning and organization of these tasks by the applicant can significantly minimize the processing time.

Show All Answers

1. Do I need a building permit and how do I get it?
2. How long does the permit process take?
3. How many sets of plans do I need for Planning Commission/ Design Review Board/ City Council?
4. How can I get an exception to development standards?
5. How do I determine the exact location of my property line?
6. Do I need a permit to move a gas line or power line?
7. How do I schedule a building inspection?