General Information
Phone Numbers
(707) 464-9506
Emergencies: Dial 911
377 J Street
Crescent City,

Monday - Thursday
7:30am - 5:30pm
Inspections: Monday - Thursday
9:00am - 4:00pm

Building FAQ

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Building Department FAQ
Q: Do I need a permit?

A: As required by the State of California Health and Safety Code, the California Building Standards adopted by the California Building Standards Commission apply across the state. Those standards determine when a permit is required. In addition, local cities and counties are allowed to make local amendments to the California Building Standards. For most permits, if you live within the City limits, you would contact the Building department to see if you need a permit. Depending on the scope of your project, both the Planning and Building Departments may need to be involved. Call 707-464-9506 ext.226.

Q: Why get a building permit?

A: It's the law. State law and County Building Codes dictate how buildings must be built to ensure the safety of construction and the use of property. Proof of a building permit may also be needed for project financing.

Q: What are the hours for inspections?

A: Monday through Thursday 9:00-4:00 excluding holidays.

Q: Does a shed require a building permit?

A: Maybe- a plot plan showing where the structure is located is required to determine if the shed is allowed in the specific location. Planning will review it for setback requirements. Per the California Residential Code, detached accessory structures that do not exceed 120 sq. ft., do not contain plumbing, electrical, and or mechanical equipment, do not require a building permit. Please contact us to discuss your particular project. Have a plot plan ready to go so that you can get a quick answer.

Q: What happens after I submit a building permit with plans?

A: The staff review your plans and routes them to several other departments for their review, including: Building Department, Fire Department, Public Works and Public Utilities. Once the plans have been approved, we will inform you with the remaining fees and next steps.

Q: When may I start building?

A: The building codes, as empowered by the State of California Health and Safety Codes, are clear that no construction is allowed until the permit is issued. Once the permit application and accompanying plans have been submitted the Building Department will review and process the plans. Following approval of the plan and payment of fees, a permit will be issued. Once the permit is issued you may begin construction

Q: How much does a building permit cost?

A: Fees vary based on the type of permit and valuations. There may also be water and sewer connection fees as well as street/sidewalk improvements that may be required for certain projects. The office technician can provide you with an explanation of the fee schedule and in many cases an estimate of the fees for your project at 707-464-9506 ext.226

Q: How long is my building permit valid for once its issued?

A: The permit is valid for six months. You can file for an extension after the six months with the office technician at 707-464-9506 ext.226 Automatic extensions are giving with each inspection.

Q: Who can get a building permit?

A: Only licensed contractors, property owners (Owner/Builder) and authorized agents may be issued building permits.

Q: Does a fence require a building permit?

A: Fences require a permit. Submit your permit with a plot plan so that the planners can determine if the fence meets setback requirements. If planning for a fence within the City’s right-of-way an encroachment permit will also be required. City ROW is typically 10-feet from face of curb, but may vary depending on location.

Q: I am tearing down an old house before starting my new one. Do I need a permit?

A: Yes, you will need a demolition permit for your old building.

Q: Are there penalties for doing work without a permit?

A: If a violation notice is served on a property for work being done without the benefit of a building permit, the permit is subject to violation penalties.  The penalties are two times the permit fees that shall be in addition to the required permit fees.

Q: For commercial properties are there any extra steps to obtain a building permit?

A: Yes, depending on the scope of work, you may need to contact North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District to see if you need to obtain an Asbestos report prior to construction at 707-443-3093.

Q: I am putting up a sign for my business. Do I need a permit?

A: Yes, you will need a sign permit for your sign and an electrical building permit if it is an electric sign requiring new electrical to be installed or existing electrical to be modified.

Q: Do I need a building permit for driveways?

A: No, but you need an Encroachment Permit and plans for the approach/skirt of the driveway. Call our Engineering Technician at 707-464-9506 ext.227 for more information.

Q: Do I need a permit for a concrete patio?

A: No permit is required for a patio unless it has footings for a future patio cover or if the patio is in the City right of way. Provide a plot plan so that we can provide you with quick answers.

Q: Do I need a permit for a deck?

A: It depends on the scope of work and the setbacks. Both the Building Department and Planning Department may need to be involved. Please call 707-464-9506 ext.226 for more information. Provide a plot plan for quickest answers.

Q: Do I need to pay school fees for my project?

A: School District Development Fees are required for all new home constructions, dwelling additions, etc. School District Development Fees are to be paid prior to issuance of permit. For more information call 707-464-9506 ext.226.