FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How large a building can I construct before a permit is required?
One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds playhouses and similar uses do not require a building permit provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. However, any accessory building (whether exempt from a permit or not) would need to comply with the setback and zoning requirements associated with the parcel upon which it is to be constructed. Please contact the City Planning Division to obtain this information at (805) 237-3970.
Do I need a permit for a swimming pool?
Yes, except a pre-fabricated swimming pool accessory to a Group R, Division 3 Occupancy in which the pool walls are entirely above ground, the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons, and is less than 24 inches deep. (California Building Code, Chapter 1, Section 105.2.9).
However, whether or not you are exempt from a permit, you would need to comply with the setback and zoning requirements associated with the parcel upon which it is to be constructed. Please contact the City Planning Division to obtain this information at (805) 237-3970.
Do I need a permit for a patio cover?
Yes, unless its 10 feet from the structure and less than 120 square feet in floor area.
However, whether exempt from a permit or not would need to comply with the setback and zoning requirements associated with the parcel upon which it is to be constructed. Please contact the City Planning Division to obtain this information at (805) 237-3970.
How do I obtain a hydrant meter for construction water?
Call Administrative Services Department, Water Services Division of the City of Paso Robles at (805) 237-3996 or come in to 821 Pine Street. Visit the Administrative Services Utilities & Billing page for more information.
What is the time frame for plan check review?
Quoted timeframes for completion of the plan review process for Single-Family Residence and Commercial/Industrial projects (excluding that time consumed by the contractor or developer for correction and/or amendment) shall be as follows:
Initial plan review (first plan check): Forty-five (45) working days (this excludes weekends and holidays) will be required to complete the initial plan review process.
Second plan review (plans recheck): Forty-five (45) working days (this excludes weekends and holidays) will be required to complete the second plan review (recheck).
Plan review for small permits: Thirty (30) working days for initial plan review for all small permits, which include; addition, remodel, tenant improvements, patio covers. Allow twenty (20) days to complete the second plan review (recheck).
Please note that the timeframes quoted above do not include that time period when plans are in the possession of the contractor, developer, drafts person, or architect for correction and/or amendment.
Requests from individuals for priority plan review on initial submissions or rechecks will not be acknowledged. Plans shall be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis.
The Building Division will neither quote nor be responsible for that timeframe required by the City Engineering Division to process site drainage plans, or grading plans. Those timeframes must be discussed with the City Engineer.
Do I need to have my building plans drawn by a licensed architect?
The Architect Practice Act defines exempt buildings or structure in B & P Code Section 5537 as follows:
(a) This does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawing, or specifications for any of the following:
- Single-family dwellings of wood frame construction not more that two stories and
basement in heights.
- Multiple dwellings containing no more than four dwelling units of wood frame
construction not more that two stories and basement in heights. However this
paragraph shall not be construed as allowing an unlicensed person to design multiple
clusters of up to four dwelling units each to form apartment or condominium
complexes where the total exceeds four units on any lawfully divided lot.
- Garages or other structure appurtenant to buildings, described under subdivision
(a), of wood frame construction not more that two stories and basement in height.
- Agricultural and ranch building of wood frame construction, unless the building official having jurisdiction deems that an undue risk to the public health, safety or welfare is involved.
(b) If any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from substantial compliance with conventional framing requirements for wood frame construction found in the more recent edition of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulation or table of limitation for wood frame construction, as defined by the applicable building code duly adopted by the local jurisdiction or the state, the building official having jurisdiction shall require the preparation of plans, drawings, specification, or calculations for that portion by or under the direct supervision of, a licensed architect or registered engineer. The documents of that portion shall bear the stamp and signature of the licensee who is responsible for their preparation. Substantial compliance for purposes of this section is not intended to restrict the ability of the building officials to approve plans pursuant to existing law and is only intended to clarify the intent of Chapter 405 of the Statutes of 1985.
Am I required to hire a general contractor?
No. However whenever an application for a building permit is submitted in the owner’s name as builder of such improvements, the completion and return of an owner-builder verification form pursuant to Sections 19825 and 19826 of the California Contractors License Law is required.
How can I verify if my contractor has a current State Contractors License?
Contractors State License Board website address is www.cslb.ca.gov.
Where can I get a building permit application packet?
Application packets are available online on the Forms and Applications page or you can pick them up in person at the Building Division of the Community Development Department, Paso Robles City Hall, located at 1000 Spring Street.