Most major development projects will require a permit of some kind. This is necessary to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards that protect its occupants and neighbors, not only in everyday living, but also in case of emergencies and natural disasters.
However, some minor alterations are allowed without obtaining permits.
Most common exceptions
- Construction of retaining walls or planter boxes less than two feet high.
- Erection of fences less than four feet high.
- Construction of unroofed slabs and platforms less than thirty inches high, open walkways, and driveways on grade.
- Replacement of up to 500 square feet of roofing on an existing building in any twelve-month period.
- Installation of ceramic tile on floors and countertops, and on walls not more than forty-eight inches high.
- Replacement of any existing broken or damaged ceramic tiles.
- Plaster patching not in excess of ten square yards of interior and exterior plaster.
- Construction of pools not over 24 inches in depth, without electrical or plumbing fixtures.
- Construction of cases, counters and partitions less than five feet high.
- Repairs of plumbing leaks and replacement of faucets.
- Repair or replacement of electrical wall plug receptacles.
- A detached equipment shed, utility building, childrenâ€™s playhouse or tree house provided that the building is accessory to a dwelling unit and it does not exceed sixty-four (64) square feet in area, nor eight feet in height from floor to roof.
Permits shall be issued to fully licensed contractors.
However, a homeowner can obtain a permit to do the construction, alteration or repair of a one or two-family dwelling and accessory buildings or facilities thereto if:
- The owner resides or intends to reside in the dwelling, showing proof of residence
- The construction is performed by the owner, and the owner signs a statement that no person will be employed in a manner as to become subject to the workers' compensation laws of the State of California.
- When a permit is taken out, the signature and identity of the applicant must be verified. A California Driver's License, State of California Identification Card, or other positive identification will meet this requirement.
Contractors working in the City of Long Beach are required to have a Long Beach business license. If a contractor has employees, proof of Workers' Compensation Insurance must be shown at the time of permit issuance. Contractors working alone may waive this requirement, but must show a pocket copy of their State Contractor's License.
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