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Building Department

Electronic Permitting Process

Effective 3/16/2020, as a result of the City Hall closure in response to the COVID-19 Virus, all new plan checks & permits will be required to be submitted and issued electronically.

Please refer to our Electronic Permitting page for information on how to submit electronically.

For projects submitted into plan check prior to 3/16/2020, the review of hard copy plans will continue. For projects that have plan check corrections or approved plans that are ready to issue, you will be contacted by staff to schedule an appointment for pick-up. For resubmittals and revisions, you will need to contact staff by phone (949) 443-6347 or email to schedule an appointment to drop off plans. The pick-up and drop-off of plans will occur at the City Hall entrance.  

All hard copy resubmittals must be returned with the correct number of plan sets, including all redlines/old plan sets in order to be accepted for review.  Please email if you have any additional questions.


Plan Submission & Processing

Building Permits are required, with some exceptions, anytime a building or structure, electrical, plumbing or mechanical system, is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished.  Additionally, there are outside organizations, listed below, that may require an associated permit or review in conjunction with the City’s Building Permit.


Applying for a Permit

The Building Department issues a variety of permits, including Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Demolition, Grading, and combinations of each.  Each submission for a permit requires a complete and accurate Permit Application be filled out and accompany all plans and documents.

Building Permit Applications can be obtained at the Building Counter or found online under Forms & Guidelines.  Plan size requirements are 24"x36".  All plan sheets must be the same size and stapled into complete sets. Plans that do not meet the size requirements will not be accepted into plan check. No hand-written notes will be accepted.

New construction/grading projects require advance fee calculations and an appointment. Please email for additional information regarding new construction submittals.

Applications that are accepted will be assigned a plan check number, this number will become the permit number once the plans are approved and issued. 

Any modifications or revisions to an approved set of plans that have been issued a permit will require re-review and approval.  Please complete a Revision Application and submit (2) stapled copies of the affected sheets for re-review. If the changes affect the exterior, then (3) stapled copies of the affected sheets are required.  Please do not submit an entire set of plans for a revision. Plan size requirements are 24"x36".  All plan sheets must be the same size and stapled into complete sets.  No hand written notes will be accepted.


Please see Plan Check Submittal Requirements for submittal requirements and additional information.


Review Timeframes - (Approximate)

The target timeframe for an initial plan check review from Planning, Building, Public Works, and Utilities is four (4) working weeks.

The target timeframe for plan check Resubmittals, Corrections, and Revisions for Planning, Building, Public Works and Utilities is two (2) working weeks.

Plan check review times for submissions to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) are typically four (4) working weeks but may vary, if you have questions regarding an OCFA submittal please confirm your status directly with OCFA.

PLANNING DEPARTMENT - (949) 443-6331

BUILDING DEPARTMENT - (949) 443-6347

PUBLIC WORKS - (949) 443-6337




Demolition Permits

A separate permit for demolition is only required on demolition of whole buildings/structures or on projects where you would like to begin the demolition prior to the approval of a residential remodel or commercial tenant improvement.

For small demolition projects such as residential remodels or commercial tenant improvements, please fill out the Building Permit Application and submit it in person along with your demolition plans to the building counter.

For large demolition projects such as the demolition of an existing structure or a whole building demo, please fill out the Demolition Permit Application and email to

Please see Plan Check Submittal Requirements for additional submittal requirements and general information.


Grading/Site Improvement Permits

All projects involving grading and visible site improvements must first be approved by the Planning Department.  Title 9 of the San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code outlines land use.

After planning approval has been obtained, a completed Building Permit Application and engineer's cost estimate must be sent via email to for advanced plan check fee calculation.  Once plan check fees have been calculated for your project, an email will be sent to the applicant containing instructions/requirements for first submittal along with the invoice.

First submittals for grading projects require an appointment with the Building Counter. 

Please click HERE for more details on grading & site improvements.


Permit Fees

All permit fees can be found in the City Fee Schedule


Outside Agency Permitting Requirements

California Department of Housing & Community Development - Manufactured & Mobile homes
(800) 952-8356 
3737 Main Street
Suite 400
Riverside CA 92501
California Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) – Department of Industrial Relations
(714) 562-5525
1 Centerpointe Drive
Suite 150
La Palma CA 90623
California State Contractors License Board
(800) 321-2752
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento CA 95826
California State Water Resources Control Board - Construction Stormwater Program
(866) 563-3107
P.O. Box 100
Sacramento CA 95812-0100
Dig Alert – Underground Service Alert of Southern California
(800) 422-4133
P.O. Box 77070
Corona CA 92877-0102
Orange County Fire Authority – Planning & Development Services
(714) 573-6100
1 Fire Authority Road
Irvine CA 92602
Orange County Health Department – Environmental Health
(714) 443-6000
1241 East Dyer Road
Suite 120
Santa Ana CA 92705
Orange County Public Works - Watershed Division
(714) 955-0600
2301 North Glassell Street
Orange CA 92706-4048
24 Hour Water Pollution Hotline (877) 897-7455
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) - Builder Services
(800) 644-6133 - Builder Services Line
(800) 411-7343 - Electrical Emergency Hotline
662 Camino De Los Mares
San Clemente CA 92673
(949) 361-8066
San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency - Development Fee Program
(949) 789-3575
125 Pacifica
Irvine CA 92618
SoCalGas - Planning and Construction Services
(877) 238-0092 - Residential Construction
(800) 427-2000 - Non-Residential Construction
Centralized Correspondence
PO Box 1626
Monterey Park CA 91754-8626
South Coast Air Quality Management District - Permits
(909) 396-3385
21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar CA 91765


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