Chapter 12.01
BUILDING PERMIT REGULATIONS Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428


12.01.010    Purpose.

12.01.020    Scope. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

12.01.030    Amendment. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

12.01.040    Definitions. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

12.01.050    Building permit applications. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

12.01.060    Development requirements.

12.01.070    Building permit issuance.

12.01.080    Job site documents.

12.01.090    Final inspection.

12.01.100    Appeals.

12.01.010 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are to provide a clear and explicit process for the issuance and administration of building permits in the unincorporated portion of Santa Cruz County; to coordinate the application of development regulations imposed by County ordinances and by other public agencies; to implement the policies of the County’s General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan; to coordinate implementation of the County’s Growth Management System; and to protect the public health, safety and welfare. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.020 Scope. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

The regulations of this chapter, in conjunction with Chapter 18.10 SCCC, Permit and Approval Procedures, define the process for the application, review, issuance and inspection of building permits as required for construction projects governed by the building regulations of Chapter 12.10 SCCC. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.030 Amendment. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

Any revision to this chapter which applies to the Coastal Zone shall be reviewed by the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission to determine whether it constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program. When an ordinance revision constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program such revision shall be processed pursuant to the hearing and notification provisions of Chapter 13.03 SCCC and shall be subject to approval by the California Coastal Commission. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.040 Definitions. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

All terms as used in this chapter shall be as defined in the County General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan except as defined below:

“Building Official” is the person appointed by the Planning Director to head the Permit and Inspection Services Section of the Planning Department.

“Building permit” means a permit authorizing construction activities in conformance with the building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other model codes as adopted in Chapter 12.10 SCCC.

“Coastal approval” means an approval required pursuant to Chapter 13.20 SCCC for the use or development of land located within the Coastal Zone of the County.

“Critical fire hazard area” means high wildfire hazard areas comprised of chaparral vegetative cover in all slope categories as designated on the County General Plan resource and constraint maps or as otherwise determined by field investigation.

“Development permit” means a permit authorizing land use and development pursuant to Chapter 18.10 SCCC, Permit and Approval Procedures.

“Environmental health permits” means permits issued by the Environmental Health Service Division of the County Health Services Agency including those for individual and community sewage disposal systems, wells, and small water systems.

“Fire Official” means the Chief of the fire protection district in which the building site is located, or for locations not within a district, the County Fire Marshal.

“Flammable vegetation” means vegetation which forms a means of rapidly transmitting fire from native growth to any building or structure.

“Planning Director” means the Director of the Planning Department or his or her authorized designee charged with the administration of this chapter.

“Public works permits” means permits issued by the County Public Works Department including driveway, encroachment, and sewer connection permits.

“Residential permit allocation” means an approval pursuant to Chapter 12.02 SCCC required prior to the issuance and exercise of a building permit to construct a new residential unit.

“Resource protection approval” means an approval for land disturbance, use or development issued pursuant to the County’s resource protection ordinances including a riparian exception (pursuant to Chapter 16.30 SCCC) and a biotic approval (pursuant to Chapter 16.32 SCCC).

“Statement of acknowledgement” means a statement required pursuant to SCCC 16.50.090 to be recorded by the owners of property adjacent to Type 1, 2, or 3 commercial agricultural land (designated pursuant to Chapter 16.50 SCCC) prior to issuance of a building permit for such property. The statement acknowledges that the property is adjacent to land utilized for agricultural purposes and that residents may be subject to potential inconvenience and discomfort arising from such use.

“Zoning approval” means an approval to use or develop land issued pursuant to the zoning ordinance (Chapter 13.10 SCCC). [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.050 Building permit applications. Amended pending Coastal Commission approvalOrd. 5428

Applications for building permits shall be made in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 18.10 SCCC and the following regulations:

(A)    Applications for building permits shall be submitted to the Planning Department on forms and in accordance with procedures established for that purpose. All applications which involve the creation of a new housing unit shall follow special procedures established to implement the County’s residential permit allocation system established pursuant to Chapter 12.02 SCCC; these special procedures pertain to applications for new single-family dwellings, apartment units, residential condominiums, installation of manufactured housing, conversion of a nonresidential structure to a new dwelling unit, and commercial or other structures which include a new residential unit.

(B)    Seven complete sets of plans and submittals shall be submitted with each building permit application showing all proposed work and details of compliance with local and state codes: one set to remain on file with the Planning Department following permit issuance and one set to be maintained at the job site at all times during which the work authorized thereby is in progress. Application submittals shall include the following materials where applicable:

(1)    Plot plan including proposed sewer connection or individual sewage disposal system, building setbacks, driveway location, parking, etc.;

(2)    Building plans pursuant to Chapter 12.10 SCCC;

(3)    Energy calculations pursuant to Chapter 12.20 SCCC;

(4)    Erosion control plan pursuant to Chapter 16.22 SCCC;

(5)    Driveway plan and profile;

(6)    Topographic map of building sites in excess of 10 percent slope, including the adjacent areas;

(7)    A copy of any development permit issued for the project;

(8)    Proof of legal access (where requested for parcels not fronting on a public street);

(9)    Letters from cities and special districts (other than those administered by the Department of Public Works) providing service to new projects certifying their ability to provide domestic water and sewer service, and meet fire protection requirements including SCCC 12.01.060(D), (E) and (F);

(10)    Off-site improvement plans including curbs and gutters, streets, sidewalks, drainage, and utility facilities where required;

(11)    An application to install a manufactured home on a permanent foundation shall include the following additional material:

(a)    A manufacturer’s brochure containing elevations and specifications of the manufactured home including exterior materials, finishes, colors and installation instructions.

(b)    A foundation plan, prepared by an engineer licensed by the State of California, demonstrating compliance with SCCC 13.10.682(C)(4).

(c)    Proof of certification under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. Section 5401, et seq.) and applicable State statutes, including the serial number for the unit and insignia of approval from the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (Health and Safety Code 19980).

(d)    Demonstration of compliance of the unit with applicable County ordinances.

(e)    Plans for any structures not certified as part of the manufactured unit.

(C)    Prior to submittal of an application for a building permit, all concurrent permits and approvals necessary for the project shall be obtained including land division, development, environmental health, and public works permits.

(D)    When there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this section, the Building Official may grant modifications which are consistent with the provisions of this subsection for individual cases. The details of any action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Planning Department and the Planning Director shall report to the Board on an annual basis prior to budget hearings regarding the number and nature of the modifications granted by the Building Official during the previous year. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 4008 § 1, 1989; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.060 Development requirements.

In addition to compliance with the construction codes adopted pursuant to Chapter 12.10 SCCC, all new development authorized by County building permits shall meet the following requirements:

(A)    All environmental mitigation requirements as established by the Planning Director shall be incorporated into projects on sites located in geologic hazard areas, and on archeological, or paleontological sites.

(B)    The agricultural resource protection requirements (pertaining to use conflict avoidance, hold harmless covenants and buffer setbacks) established pursuant to SCCC 13.10.313(B) and 16.50.095 shall be met.

(C)    Building sites within the urban services line shall have a water supply for fire protection meeting the standards of SCCC 17.02.070; outside the urban services line, the water supply shall provide a minimum of 200 gallons per minute for 20 minutes.

(D)    All portions of the first floor exterior of new buildings shall be located within 150 feet of a road meeting the standards of SCCC 16.20.180 or the access road shall be upgraded to such standards as a condition of permit approval. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the Fire Official pursuant to the adopted County Fire Code.

(E)    Building sites shall be located outside of designated critical fire hazard areas wherever possible.

(F)    House numbers a minimum of three and one-half inches in height and of a contrasting color to the surface on which they are mounted shall be posted at the building site and shall be visible from the street both during project construction and on a permanent basis.

(G)    Chimneys shall be fitted with spark arresters where required by the Fire Official.

(H)    Outside the urban services line, all flammable vegetation shall be cleared for a minimum distance of 30 feet around all residential structures, or for a greater distance as determined by the Fire Official.

(I)    Development projects within an airport clear zone shall be subject to review and approval by the airport operator and shall convey an air navigation easement to the operating entity pursuant to Federal aviation regulations.

(J)    All minor land division and subdivision tentative map conditions that apply to subsequent building permit issuance shall be met.

(K)    Development activities affecting historic structures, objects, properties, sites and districts as designated pursuant to Chapter 16.42 SCCC shall be in conformance with the provisions of plan approvals and/or recommendations by the Historic Resources Commission as required by SCCC 16.42.040. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3926 § 1, 1988; Ord. 3630 § 1, 1985; Ord. 3590 § 1, 1984; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.070 Building permit issuance.

(A)    Prior to issuance of a building permit, the following actions shall be completed:

(1)    A street address shall be established for the project site pursuant to Chapter 12.16 SCCC.

(2)    A statement of acknowledgement of adjacent agricultural use shall be recorded by the owner for any parcel adjacent to Type 1, 2, or 3 agricultural land pursuant to Chapter 16.50 SCCC.

(3)    All applicable fees shall be paid including those for building and zoning and energy plan-checks, building permit, environmental health and public works permits, park dedication, roadside improvement, transportation improvement zones, and drainage fees.

(4)    Proof of payment of applicable school impact fees shall be submitted.

(5)    Proof of payment of fire district fees where required.

(6)    One set of plans 11 inches by 14 inches in size shall be provided to the Planning Department for use by the County Assessor.

(B)    No building permit shall be issued for a project which is not consistent with the adopted County General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, or which is not in compliance with all applicable County Codes.

(C)    No building permit shall be issued for a project on a property which contains a code violation until such violation is corrected, or unless the building permit is for a project which includes correction of such violation. The Planning Director may waive this requirement if this waiver will:

(1)    Serve to correct an existing violation; or

(2)    Address an imminent health and/or safety violation; or

(3)    Facilitate an accessibility improvement to a structure or site; or

(4)    Facilitate a community enhancement project, such as utility undergrounding or a redevelopment or public works project; or

(5)    Allow an improvement on a property located in the rural area where the existing code violation is minor.

(D)    No building permit shall be issued for a new residential unit unless a valid residential permit allocation has been obtained pursuant to Chapter 12.02 SCCC. [Ord. 4719 § 1, 2003; Ord. 4496-C § 1, 1998; Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.080 Job site documents.

(A)    It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to do, cause, permit, aid, abet, or maintain any construction work at a job site without an approved building permit on the job site and available at the request of the Building Official.

(B)    It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to do, cause, permit, aid, abet, or maintain any construction work at a job site without an approved job copy on the job site of the building plans together with a copy of any development permit for the project. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3451-A § 1, 1983; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.090 Final inspection.

No new building shall be occupied and no permanent electrical service connection, natural gas service connection, or liquified petroleum gas (LPG) connection to a new structure shall be provided until the building plans are completed as approved; all applicable conditions of development permits, including zoning and Coastal Zone approvals, Planning Director’s conditions, and erosion control plans are completed; all applicable zoning, Planning, environmental health, public works and Fire Official requirements are met; and the final building inspection on the building permit is approved, and all departmental holds are released. The Building Official may authorize such connection prior to this time when unreasonable hardship to the permit holder may result from lack of utilities, with the approval of the other agencies involved. [Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].

12.01.100 Appeals.

All appeals of actions taken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be made in conformance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 18.10 SCCC; provided, however, that code enforcement actions and decisions are not subject to administrative appeal except for appeals of revocation of permits pursuant to SCCC 18.10.136(C). [Ord. 4389A § 1, 1996; Ord. 4389 § 1, 1995; Ord. 4221 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3424 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3320 § 1, 1982].