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Permitting Process 

State and city ordinances require that construction design be approved before a permit can be issued. This approval process is referred to as "plan check" and is a review of all aspects of the construction in order to verify that it complies with current state and municipal codes.

Submittal requirements can vary depending on the type of construction proposed. For a detailed description of submittal requirements refer to city bulletins: Tenant Improvements or Residential Construction. An application must accompany all submittals.

Plans and any related documents will be routed to various city divisions for review. The applicant will be notified of any corrections needed. Revised plans can then be re-submitted for a second review. This process is repeated until all corrections have been addressed. (CMC 18.04.020) 

The plan check process extends for one year from the date of submittal. All reviews not completed within one year will expire. In order to renew an application after expiration a new set of plans must be submitted with payment for the subsequent plan review. (CMC 18.04.035)

What Needs a Permit?

Although most construction work requires a permit, some types are exempt. A list of the work for which you do not need a permit is stated in the municipal code (CMC 18.04.015). For additional clarification on your specific project please contact the building division staff.

Some minor construction, plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits can be issued directly over the counter without a formal plan review. An application must always be submitted along with any site or construction information required for the specified work.

Once the plan check process has been completed a building permit may be issued to either the owner of the property or a State licensed contractor (with proof of a current City of Carlsbad business license and workers compensation insurance) or an authorized representative of either. After work has begun inspections by City inspectors will be performed throughout the construction phase as required.

For a list of inspections performed by the Building Inspectors and the specific requirements, click here.