Permits

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Apply Online At: https://aca.accela.com/lancaster/

Permit Technician Staff
(661) 723-6144

Who can pull a permit?
Only a property owner or agent of property owner who is authorized to act on property owner’s behalf and a properly licensed contractor or agent of contractor who is authorized to act on contractor’s behalf will be issued a permit. Authorized agents must present or have on file with the City a “Letter of Authorization” from the property owner or contractor. Contractors must have a valid City business license and a valid Workers’ Compensation certificate, if applicable, on file before a permit can be issued.

To apply for a permit, you must complete a permit application form.

When does a permit expire?
Building permits will expire if the building or work authorized by the permit is not commenced within 180 days from the date of permit issuance or if the building or work authorized by the permit is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work is commenced for a period of 180 days. Each time you have an inspection done, your permit will be extended an additional 180 days. If your permit is due to expire, you may apply for an extension if you are unable to commence work within the time required for satisfactory reasons. To apply for an extension, please submit a letter addressed to the Building Official requesting the extension and show that circumstances beyond your control have prevented action from being taken. Permits will not be extended more than once.

How much will my permit cost?
Our building services technicians will be happy to provide you with an estimate of your permit fees over the telephone. You may obtain a copy of our fee schedule by clicking into the Fee Schedule category in the main menu. Following are the fees that may apply to your project: 

Building Permit Fees 
Miscellaneous Permit Fees

Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing Permits

Development Fees 
Engineering Services Fees 

All new commercial and residential developments and additions exceeding 500 square feet must remit school fees. These fees are paid directly to Antelope Valley High School District Office located at 44811 Sierra Highway in Lancaster. Phone (661) 948-7655. If required for your permit, please bring your receipt to Building and Safety for proof of compliance and payment of fees.

Los Angeles County Residential Sewer Connection Fee
These fees are paid directly to Los Angeles County Sanitation District located at 1955 Workman Mill Road, Whitter. Phone (562) 699-7411. If required for your permit, please bring your receipt to Building and Safety for proof of compliance and payment of fees.

What work does not require a permit?

Building Permits
A permit is not required for the following:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses if the floor area does not exceed 120 sq. ft.
  2. Fences not over 7 feet high.
  3. Oil derricks.
  4. Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches high.
  5. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding flammable liquids.
  6. 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 2:1.
  7. Platforms, walks, and driveways not more that 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.
  8. Painting, papering and similar finish work.
  9. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  10. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R, Division 3 Occupancy when projecting not more than 54 inches.
  11. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R, Division 3 Occupancy in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons.
  12. Any minor repairs to roof that does not cover more than 10% or 100 square feet (whichever is less) within a 12-month period.

Please note: A separate plumbing, electrical, or mechanical permit is required for the above exempted items unless otherwise exempted by the building code.

Plumbing Permits
A permit is not required for the following:

  1. The stopping of leaks in drains, soil, waste or vent pipe. However, should any concealed trap, drain pipe, soil, waste or vent pipe become defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, it will be considered new work, and a permit will be required.
  2. The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, nor for the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided the repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes, or fixtures.

Electrical Permits
A permit is not required for the following:

  1. Portable motors or other portable appliances energized by means of a cord or cable having an attachment plug end to be connected to an approved receptacle when that cord or cable is permitted by the Electrical Code.
  2. Repair or replacement of fixed motors, transformers or fixed approved appliances for the same type and rating in the same location.
  3. Temporary decorative lighting.
  4. Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts of any switch contactor or control device.
  5. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets.
  6. Repair or replacement of any over-current device of the required capacity in the same location.
  7. Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers of the same size and capacity for signs or gas tube systems.
  8. Taping joints.
  9. Removal of electrical wiring.
  10. Temporary wiring for experimental purposes in suitable experimental laboratories.
  11. The wiring for temporary theater, motion picture or television stage sets.
  12. Electrical wiring devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  13. Low-energy power, control and signal circuits of Class II and Class III as defined in the Electrical Code.
  14. A permit shall not be required for the installation, alteration or repair of electrical wiring, apparatus or equipment or the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electrical energy or in the operation of signals or the transmission of intelligence by a public or private utility in the exercise of its function as a serving utility.

Mechanical Permits
A permit is not required for the following:

  1. A portable heating appliance.
  2. Portable ventilating equipment.
  3. A portable cooling unit.
  4. A portable evaporative cooler.
  5. A closed system of steam, hot or chilled water piping within heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Mechanical Code.
  6. 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.
  7. Refrigerating equipment which is part of the equipment for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of the technical codes.

When do I need a building permit?
Permits are required for any work that physically changes or adds value to your property. Permits must be obtained prior to commencing any work and may also require building plans. Following are the most common types of construction work that require a permit:

  • Commercial projects include new structures and tenant improvements. Tenant improvements refer to any improvements made to the interior portions of a commercial or industrial building. These may include some exterior work when done in conjunction with interior improvements such as a new storefront or new doorway.
  • Residential projects include all residential development or improvement projects including apartments and condominiums.

New Commercial/Industrial Building
Requirements for Permit Issuance:

 

  • Permit application
  • Grading permit issuance
  • Original, wet-stamped and signed rough grading certification and soil certification by engineer of record on City approval forms
  • Building Release form from Fire Department
  • Receipt from Antelope Valley High School District and/or Lancaster School District office for payment or exemption of school fees
  • Receipt from LA County Sanitation District for payment of sewer connection fees (for connection to a public sewer) or Plot plans approved by LA County Health Department for installation of a private disposal system (septic system)
  • Two complete sets of approved plans approved by Community Development, Fire Department, and Building and Safety. Approvals, if applicable, from Health Department (restaurants, cafeterias, stores selling food, Hazardous Waste (gas stations, jiffy lubes, car dealership maintenance)
  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) approval
  • Pay applicable fees

 

Commercial/Industrial Building Addition
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Grading permit issuance (if applicable)
  • Building Release form from Fire Department
  • Receipt from Antelope Valley High School District and/or Lancaster School District office for payment or exemption of school fees
  • Receipt from LA County Sanitation District for payment of sewer connection fees (for connection to a public sewer) or Plot plans approved by LA County Health Department for installation of a private disposal system (septic system)
  • Two complete sets of plans approved by Community Development, Fire Department, and Building and Safety. Approvals, if applicable from Health Department (restaurants, cafeterias, stores selling food, Hazardous Waste (gas stations, jiffy lubes, car dealership maintenance)
  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) approval
  • Pay applicable fees

Tenant Improvement/Alteration
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two complete sets of plans approved by Community Development and Building and Safety. Approvals, if applicable, from Fire Department, Health Department (restaurants, cafeterias, stores selling food – including can food products), and Hazardous Waste (gas stations, jiffy lubes, car dealership maintenance)
  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) form if asbestos involved or fuel tanks
  • Pay applicable fees

Tank Installation
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Permit from Hazardous Materials Underground Storage (not required for above ground) from:
      County of Los Angeles
      Department of Public Works Waste Management Division
      900 S. Fremont Avenue
      Alhambra, CA 91803-1331
      (626) 458-5100
      (Monday-Thursday only)
  • Permit from Fire Department (not for propane or non-fuel tanks)
  • Plot Plan showing location of tank, how tank will be anchored, description of intent for use and size approved by Community Development, Building and Safety, and Fire Department (Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District for propane tanks 19,815 gal & up/gas tanks 200 gal & up)
  • Pay applicable fees

Signs
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two copies of sign plans approved by Community Development and Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

Temporary Power Pole
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Application on file for building permit or approval from Community Development Department
  • Plot plan approved by Fire Department and Community Development (only required for Pumpkin Patches and Christmas Tree Lots)
  • Pay applicable fees

Re-roof
Wood Shake and Wood Shingle roofs are not allowed in the City of Lancaster. You may re-roof over only one (1) existing layer of roofing. If more than one layer of roofing exists, all existing layers must be removed before re-roofing.
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • If applicable, Structural calculations approved by Building and Safety (only required if making structural changes to roof)
  • Pay applicable fees

Block Wall/Retaining
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application  
  • Two copies of plot/site plans approved by Community Development
  • Two copies of wet stamped and signed engineered calculations approved by Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

New Multi-Family Dwelling/Apartments
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application  
  • Grading permit issued
  • Rough grading certification and soil certification
  • Building Release form from Fire Department
  • Receipt from Antelope Valley High School District and/or Lancaster School District office for payment or exemption of school fees
  • Receipt from LA County Sanitation District for payment of sewer connection fees (for connection to a public sewer) or plot plans approved by LA County Health Department for installation of a private disposal system (septic system)
  • Three copies of plans approved by the Fire Department, Community Development, and Building and Safety

New Single Family Residence/Mobile Home on Private Property
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application 
  • Grading permit issued
  • Rough grading certification
  • Building Release form from Fire Department
  • Receipt from Antelope Valley High School District and/or Lancaster School District office for payment or exemption of school fees
  • Receipt from LA County Sanitation District for payment of sewer connection fees (for connection to a public sewer) or plot plans approved by LA County Health Department for installation of a private disposal system (septic system)
  • Two copies of plans approved by Community Development and Building and Safety

Residential Addition
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two copies of plot plan approved by Community Development Department
  • Two copies structural plans approved by Building and Safety Division
  • If applicable, receipt from Antelope Valley High School District and/or Lancaster School District office for payment or exemption of school fees (only required if converting an area of 500 square feet or more of un-habitable space into habitable living space)
  • Pay applicable fee

Residential Alteration/Remodel
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application 
  • Two copies of plans approved by Community Development and Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fee

Patio
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two copies of plot plan approved by Community Development
  • Two copies of structural plans approved by Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

Balcony
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two copies of plot plan approved by Community Development
  • Two copies of structural plans approved by Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

Deck
Decks above 30 inches in height, whether attached or detached require a permit.
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Two copies of plot plan approved by Community Development
  • Two copies of structural plans approved by Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

Swimming Pool/Spa
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application  
  • Two copies of plot plan approved by Community Development
  • Two copies of structural plans stamped by an engineer and approved by Building and Safety
  • Pay applicable fees

When do I need a Demolition Permit?
A demolition permit is required to demolish any structure, or portion thereof, for which a permit is required. 

        Building Demolition 
        Requirements for Demolition Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) Notification of Demo form (click on form)
  • Desert Region Asbestos Demolition/Renovations Permit Questionnaire (click on form)
  • Pay applicable fees

Tank Removal
Requirements for Permit Issuance

  • Permit application
  • Permit for closure for Hazardous Materials Underground Storage (not required for above ground) from:
      County of Los Angeles
      Department of Public Works Waste Management Division
      900 S. Fremont Avenue
      Alhambra, CA 91803-1331
      (626) 458-5100
      (Monday-Thursday only)
  • Permit from Fire Department
  • Notification of Demolition/Renovation form
  • Pay applicable fees

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