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Building and Safety Services

Our mission is to provide a safe built environment by offering personalized efficient and effective code compliance services. We are able to accomplish this through the review and approval of building plans, issuance of building permits, and inspection of buildings during and after construction. Our goal is to provide exceptional customer service with technical knowledge, efficiency, professionalism, and integrity.

Contact Building & Safety

Office Phone: (949) 443-6347
Fax: (949) 493-1053
Online Resources

Our staff is available at the One Stop Shop located in City Hall during the following times:

  • General Public Counter
    7:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Mon-Thu)
    7:30 AM - 4:30 PM (Fri)
  • Plan Review Inquiries
    8:00 - 10:00 AM (Tues/Thu) or by Appointment.
    **Plan check is not performed over the counter
  • Permit Processing
    7:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Mon-Thu)
    7:30 AM - 4:00 PM (Fri)
  • Inspectors – by telephone or at the counter
    7:30 AM - 8:00 AM & 3:30 - 4:30 PM (Mon-Thu)
    7:30 AM - 8:00 AM & 3:00 - 3:30 PM (Fri)
  • 24 – Hour Inspection Request Hotline
    (949) 493-3172

To schedule an inspection of work being done under an active City Permit, call the inspection request hotline prior to 4:00 p.m. one working day prior to the day of the inspection, or you can complete your request online.

Permit Processing

Our permit processing is located at the One Stop Shop at City hall. The division can process City permit applications for residential and commercial remodels and new construction projects. The One Stop Shop includes Planning, Public Works, and Business License. Please contact Building & Safety to inquire about outside organizations that we use to process permits including Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Health Department if applicable.

A building permit is required anytime a building or structure, or an electrical, plumbing or mechanical system, is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished. There are some exceptions to this requirement. If you are planning a project, it is a good idea to contact the Building Division staff to see if a permit will be required.

Current Customers

Check Plan Review and Permit Status Online.

Permit Application

You may obtain a permit application at the Building Counter or Online. Permits may be submitted at the Building Counter during regular service hours. Permit Application

Please see Plan Submission and Processing for additional information.

Demolition Permit

A permit is required for Demolition of an existing structure. Please fill out the Demolition Permit Application and submit at the Building Counter.

Construction and Demolition Recycling Requirements

Building Related Fees

Plan Check

Plan check is the City of San Juan Capistrano’s process of reviewing and approving all drawings and specifications for improvements to verify compliance with building, zoning, and fire codes.

Building Codes

The City of San Juan Capistrano Building Division uses the following codes:

  • 2016 California Building Code (CBC)
  • 2016 California Plumbing Code (CPC)
  • 2016 California Mechanical Code (CMC)
  • 2016 California Electrical Code (CEC)
  • 2016 California Energy Code (CuEC)
  • 2016 California Green Building Standards (CGBC)
  • 1997 Uniform Housing Code
  • 1997 Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings
  • Mobilehome Parks and Installations Regulations (T25)

It should be noted that these model codes are amended by the State of California and the City of San Juan Capistrano to include various additional requirements. Standard code questions can be answered by the Building Division staff; however, more complex design issues should be referred to a design professional such as an architect or engineer.

Plan Submission

The following information is provided to help speed your project through the building permit system in a timely manner.

Over the Counter Plan Review

Smaller projects which require no more than 30 minutes for plan review can typically be reviewed over-the-counter at the City's One Stop Shop. Depending on the complexity and scope of your project, or the existing conditions which may be present, Building & Safety may require that you submit your plans for a more detailed review. The following types of projects are normally reviewed over-the-counter:

  • Residential patio covers
  • Small sheds and accessory structures
  • Small residential bathroom and kitchen remodels
  • Commercial signs
  • Fence walls
  • Small retaining walls
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