When is a permit NOT required?


When is a permit not required?

A permit is not required for the types of work in each of the separate classes of permits listed below. Exemption from the permit requirements shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in violation of the provisions of the technical codes or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Construction including grading located in a FEMA Designated High Hazard Flood zone may require a flood development permit or be restricted even if it is listed as exempt in this handout.

Building permits - A building permit shall not be required for the following:
1 One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet, and is located within property line setbacks. The structure cannot contain electrical, plumbing or mechanical systems. (check with Planning Department and Building for setback requirements)
2 Wood or chain link fences 6 feet or less in height. Call on fences made of other materials or located in the front yard.
3 Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
4 Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge load or impounding flammable liquids or hazardous materials.
5 Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed two to one. (may require planning and environmental health review)
6 Platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below. (cannot be located over septic systems)
7 Painting, papering and similar finish work.
8 Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery. (requires Planning Department review and approval)
9 Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Single Family Dwelling, and garages when projecting not more than 54 inches.
10 Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Single Family Dwelling in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons. (A permit is required for the electrical and barrier fences)
11 Certain Agricultural Buildings. ( To obtain a Ag. Bldg. Permit Exemption Application, click here.)

Unless other wise exempted by this code, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above exempted items.

Plumbing permits - A plumbing permit shall not be required for the following:
1 The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste or vent pipe (replacement of concealed pipes or traps require a permit).
2 The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets (replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures such as shower pans or tubs require a permit).


Electrical permits - An electrical permit shall not be required for the following:
1 Repair or replacement of fixed motors, transformers or fixed approved appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
2 Temporary decorative lighting.
3 Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts of any switch, contactor or control device.
4 Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefor. (Note: When connecting general use plugs and switches to aluminum wiring a permit is required.)
5 Repair or replacement of any overcurrent device of the required capacity in the same location.
6 Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
7 Taping joints, removal of electrical wiring.
8 The wiring for temporary theater, motion picture or television stage sets.
9 Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.

Mechanical permits - A mechanical permit shall not be required for the following:
1 Replacement of any component part of assembly of an appliance which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of the technical codes.


Grading permits - A grading permit shall not be required for the following but may require a Flood Development permit for any work being done in a FEMA designated High Hazard Flood Zone.
1 When approved by the Building Official, grading in an isolated, self-contained area if there is no danger to private or public property.
2 An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall or other structure authorized by a valid building permit. This shall not exempt any fill made with the material from such excavation or exempt any excavation having an unsupported height greater than 5 feet after the completion of such structure. (Planning Department permits required).
3 Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing, stockpiling of rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay where established and provided for by law, provided such operations do not affect the lateral support or increase the stresses in or pressure upon any adjacent or contiguous property. (Planning approval required).
4 Exploratory excavations under the direction of soil engineers or engineering geologists.