Chapter 18.06


18.06.010    Standard doorway and passageway width.

18.06.015    Roll-in shower requirement for apartments and condominiums.

18.06.020    Building permit final inspection.

18.06.050    Seismic restraints for existing residential buildings.

18.06.060    Commercial decks and/or platforms.

18.06.070    Expedited permit process for small residential rooftop solar systems.

18.06.080    Best management practices.    Best management practices for construction activity.    Post-construction best management practices.


(a)    The standard width of each doorway, through which a person may pass, shall accommodate a minimum two-foot-eight-inch standard swing or sliding door. A doorway shall include any doorway intended to, or designed to, give access to persons between adjoining rooms or between the inside or outside of the building. Closets, pantries and similar uses of less than two feet in depth are excepted. Any passageway or portal not containing a door shall have a net clearance of thirty-two inches; provided, that the minimum requirements shall not apply to floors or levels accessible only by stairway above or below the first floor, if such areas are not required by applicable law or regulation to be accessible to the disabled.

(b)    The provisions of this section shall not apply to residential buildings and dwellings when the average slope of the access to the primary entrance doorway from a public sidewalk, easement or other similar path of travel fronting the primary entrance of the building is greater than fifteen percent gradient.

(Ord. 2007-22 § 2 (part), 2007: Ord. 2002-42 § 2 (part), 2002).


Every apartment building containing three or more units and every condominium complex containing four or more units constructed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section shall have provisions in addition to those of the California Building Code for a roll-in shower in at least one accessible bathroom at a ratio of one for every twenty-five units (1:25) constructed, with a minimum of one. The installation shall be limited to the provision of a space that is readily adaptable for the conversion of a roll-in shower design as specified in Chapter 11-B of the California Building Code. In complexes of twenty-five units or less, at the request of a disabled renter or purchaser, and after the acceptance of a rental/sales agreement, a roll-in shower will be installed at no expense to the renter/buyer within thirty days from the acceptance of said agreement; provided, that such request does not increase the ratio of 1:25 as described above. In apartment buildings and condominium complexes containing more than twenty-five units, the roll-in showers shall be completed in at least one in twenty-five units. In multi-story elevator buildings or multi-building projects, such units shall be dispersed to create accessible opportunities among a variety of styles and/or price ranges offered in the complex. To encourage higher ratios in existing complexes, permits to create additional roll-in shower units may be issued by the chief building official not to exceed one hundred dollars in building, plan check, plumbing, electrical and mechanical fees per unit.

Covered multi-family dwelling units as defined by the California Building Code constructed after March 13, 1991, undergoing extensive remodeling and/or additions in excess of thirty percent of the market value of the existing improvements in a five-year cumulative period, shall have at least one in twenty-five (1:25) units modified to create roll-in shower opportunities on the ground floor(s).

(Ord. 2007-22 § 2 (part), 2007: Ord. 2005-13 § 1, 2005).


(a)    It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to occupy any space for which a building permit has been issued by the building official until a final inspection has been performed and the building or work is found to comply with all applicable codes and ordinances.

(b)    This section shall not apply to permits for interior remodel or renovation of existing accessory spaces such as utility rooms and any unheated spaces, or existing habitable rooms when not involving structural, electrical or plumbing work.

Failure to comply with this section by any permittee is a violation of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code and subject to the penalties of Title 4.

(Ord. 2013-22 § 3, 2013: Ord. 2007-22 § 2 (part), 2007: Ord. 2002-42 § 2 (part), 2002).


Persons applying for a building permit for any addition to or remodel of an existing building shall be required to allocate an amount equal to a percentage of the valuation of the proposed work for the purpose of installing seismic restraints in the existing building and its contents.

The percentage is one percent of the building permit valuation, but in no case shall the mandatory amount exceed five hundred dollars.

The following measures may be used singly or in combination to reach the required amount:




Add new perimeter foundation and stem wall system



Secure sills to foundation



Provide shear panels to cripple walls



Provide lateral bracing at piers to exterior walls



Stabilize masonry chimney



Provide interior shear walls



Provide shear panels at garage door



Provide adequate lateral bracing of porches, decks, patio roofs and other attachments



Provide water heater restraints



Provide furnace restraints



Provide wall ties on tall freestanding furniture



Provide emergency tools for shutoff valves of gas and water services, including directions for location and operation of valves and switches for electrical main shutoff


Other methods may be proposed by the permit applicant for approval by the chief building official, who will evaluate the proposal and compute credits according to the merits of the work to be performed.

If the applicant can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the chief building official, that the applicant’s existing residential building complies with applicable sections of Chapters 16 and/or 23 of the adopted CBC or Chapter 6 of the CRC, then the applicant may, at the discretion of the chief building official, receive partial or complete exemption from the requirements of this section. No additional building permit fees will be charged for the above seismic retrofit work.

(Ord. 2010-23 § 3, 2010: Ord. 2007-22 § 2 (part), 2007: Ord. 2002-42 § 2 (part), 2002).


(a)    All commercial decks and/or platforms when constructed above the finished grade, regardless of height or construction material, and used for commercial purposes, where the general public may access such deck or platform, shall be required to submit appropriate plans and obtain a permit and inspections prior to construction and occupancy.

(b)    All such decks and/or platforms, when serving that floor area nearest grade level, shall be required to be accessible to disabled persons to the same degree as required by code for such floor area served.

(Ord. 2007-22 § 2 (part), 2007: Ord. 2002-42 § 2 (part), 2002).


A.    The following words and phrases as used in this section are defined as follows:

1.    “Electronic submittal” means the utilization of one or more of the following:

a.    E-mail;

b.    The Internet;

c.    Facsimile.

2.    “Small residential rooftop solar energy system” means all of the following:

a.    A solar energy system that is no larger than ten kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating or thirty kilowatts thermal.

b.    A solar energy system that conforms to all applicable state fire, structural, electrical, and other building codes as adopted or amended by the city and paragraph (iii) of subdivision (c) of Section 714 of the Civil Code, as such section or subdivision may be amended, renumbered, or redesignated from time to time.

c.    A solar energy system that is installed on a one- or two-family dwelling.

d.    A solar panel or module array that does not exceed the maximum legal building height as defined by the authority having jurisdiction.

“Solar energy system” has the same meaning set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5 of the Civil Code, as such section or subdivision may be amended, renumbered, or redesignated from time to time.

B.    Section 65850.5 of the California Government Code provides that, on or before September 30, 2015, every city, county, or city and county shall adopt an ordinance that creates an expedited permitting process for small residential rooftop solar energy systems.

C.    Section 65850.5 of the California Government Code provides that in developing an expedited permitting process, the city, county, or city and county shall adopt a checklist of all requirements with which small rooftop solar energy systems shall comply to be eligible for expedited review. The building official is hereby authorized and directed to develop and adopt such checklist.

D.    The checklist shall be published on the city’s Internet website. The applicant may submit the permit application and associated documentation to the city’s building division by personal, mailed, or electronic submittal together with any required permit processing and inspection fees.

E.    Prior to submitting an application, the applicant shall:

1.    Verify to the applicant’s reasonable satisfaction through the use of standard engineering evaluation techniques that the support structure for the small residential rooftop solar energy system is stable and adequate to transfer all wind, seismic, and dead and live loads associated with the system to the building foundation; and

2.    At the applicant’s cost, verify to the applicant’s reasonable satisfaction using standard electrical inspection techniques that the existing electrical system including existing line, load, ground and bonding wiring as well as main panel and subpanel sizes are adequately sized, based on the existing electrical system’s current use, to carry all new photovoltaic electrical loads.

F.    For a small residential rooftop solar energy system eligible for expedited review, only one inspection shall be required, which shall be done in a timely manner and may include a consolidated inspection by the building official and fire official. If a small residential rooftop solar energy system fails inspection, a subsequent inspection is authorized; however, the subsequent inspection need not conform to the requirements of this subsection.

G.    An application that satisfies the information requirements in the checklist, as determined by the building official, shall be deemed complete. Upon receipt of an incomplete application, the building official shall issue a written correction notice detailing all deficiencies in the application and any additional information required to be eligible for expedited permit issuance.

H.    Upon confirmation by the building official of the application and supporting documentation being complete and meeting the requirements of the checklist, the building official shall administratively approve the application and issue all required permits or authorizations. Such approval does not authorize an applicant to connect the small residential rooftop energy system to the local utility provider’s electricity grid. The applicant is responsible for obtaining such approval or permission from the local utility provider.

(Ord. 2015-12 § 1, 2015).

18.06.080 BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES. Best Management Practices for Construction Activity.

Any construction project, including those undertaken under any permit or approval granted pursuant to Titles 15, 18 and 24, shall implement the city’s Best Management Practices for Construction Work as detailed in the latest Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual published by the city’s public works and/or planning departments. BMPs shall be maintained in full force and effect for the duration of the project.

Erosion and sediment control BMPs shall be in place and implemented, as appropriate, prior to commencing construction activity including grading or vegetation removal. Post-Construction Best Management Practices.

Upon completion of a construction project, including those undertaken under any permit or approval granted pursuant to Titles 15, 18 and 24, post-construction Best Management Practices for Development and Remodeling Projects shall be in place.

BMPs shall be inspected and maintained in full force and effect. If a structural or treatment control BMP is required, the BMP shall be inspected and maintained on a schedule at a minimum of once per year, by October 1st, or more as necessary in order to retain the required capacity. The property owner shall be responsible for providing proof of any ongoing BMP inspection and maintenance to the city in accordance with the mandatory Best Management Practices for Development and Remodeling Projects.

(Ord. 2004-13 § 1, 2004).