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Development Services

Building Department

City Hall has opened to the public by appointment only. All new permit requests must be submitted with hard copy plans. All existing electronic permits that have not been approved and issued will need to be converted into hard copies for review and approval. A completed building permit application is required to schedule an appointment.


To schedule an appointment at City Hall , please click the button below:

Schedule Appointment



California Building Standards Code 2019

The State of California adopts a set of new construction codes every three years referred to as the California Building Standards Code.  The 2019 California Building Standards Code (2019 CBC) was adopted by the City of San Juan Capistrano City Council and went into effect on January 1, 2020.  The adopted code includes:

  • 2019 California Building Code Volumes 1 & 2
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code
  • 2019 California Existing Buildings Code
  • 2019 California Fire Code
  • 2019 California Energy Code
  • 2019 California Residential Building Code
  • 2019 California Green Building Standards Code
  • 2019 California Historical Building Code
  • Modifications as identified in the San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code


Permit Requirement

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

  • City Hall is currenly open by appointment only.
  • All permit applications and plans must be submitted as hard copy in person.
  • The City does not accept permit submittals or plans via mail or courier.
  • Plan check fees are calculated and due at time of submittal. Please contact Finance at (949) 487-4300 for acceptable forms of payment.
  • The City does not offer expedited plan review.
  • Projects that require OCFA review will need to be submitted directly to OCFA for concurrent review with the City. The City does not route plans to OCFA. 

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

For accessory dwelling units (ADU's), please see Title Sheet Template requirement located under Forms & Guidelines.

Building Permit Applications can be obtained at the Building Counter or found online under Forms & Guidelines.  A completed building permit application along with OCFA residential or commercial checklist is required for all permit submittals. The plan size requirement is 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.

Construction projects taking place within a Homeowners Association (HOA) or other governing body that impact any portion of the exterior must be approved in writing prior to permit issuance Homeowners Association (HOA), Architectural Review Boards (ARB), and Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) Requirements SJC City Council Administrative Policy 408.


Revisions to Permit

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 only the affected sheets for re-review. If the changes affect the exterior or footprint, then (3) stapled copies of the affected sheets are required.  Please do not submit an entire set of plans for a revision. All changes must be clouded and a narrative of changes must be included with your revision submittal. Plan size requirements are 24" x 36".  All plan sheets must be the same size and stapled into complete sets.  No hand written notes will be accepted.


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 Building 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 Grading 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
Santa Margarita Water District
(949) 459-6400
26111 Antonio Parkway 
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
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
Transportation Corridor Agency - Development Fee Program
(949) 789-3575
125 Pacifica
Irvine CA 92618


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