The City of Lancaster retains an official copy of the construction plans for most commercial and industrial buildings for the life of the building. Plans for single family residences and other structures are retained for three years from the date of completion. These plans are considered public records and can be made available for inspection only on the premises of the City Hall. To review archived plans, submit a Request for Public Records form with the City Clerk.
Contrary to common thought, building plans are not the property of the building owner; they are legally considered an instrument of service of the licensed design professional who created them. The process for obtaining a copy of archived building plans is described in California Health and Safety Code Sections 19850-19853, which you may read here.
To obtain a copy of the plans for your building:
- Submit a Request for Public Records with the City Clerk to determine if plans are available.
- Review retrieved drawings to verify appropriateness.
- Complete the Request for Duplication of Plans Affidavit stating that the copy of the plans shall only be used for the maintenance, operation, and use of the building.
- Upon receipt of written approval of the design professional, you will be notified.
- Contact a local bonded reproduction house to pick up the plans for scanning. The original plans and a CD of the scanned plans in PDF format are to be returned to the City at your expense, in addition to any copies you request for yourself.
You may contact us at (661) 723-6144, if you have any questions.