Any citizen or group who wishes to serve alcohol on public or commercial property within the City of Irvine needs to contact the Alcohol, Beverage and Control (ABC) department at (714) 558-4101. Additionally, the citizen or group also needs to contact the Community Development department regarding having alcohol at a city location. The Community Development phone number is (949) 724-6471. If the reason for an alcohol permit is because of a special event, you need to contact the Public Safety's Special Event Coordinator at (949) 724-7022. The Coordinator will advise you if a additional permits are needed for your event. If additional permits are needed, you may also be required to pay for police officers to be on hand for the event.
Building Inspections as required by code, may only be scheduled after a building permit authorizing the construction project has been issued.
Instructions are also printed on the back of the project building card. A building card is issued for all projects involving the construction or modification of a structure. Inspections may also be scheduled via the Internet by clicking Online Building and Planning Services. To verify that your inspection has been scheduled, please contact the Building and Safety Department at: (949) 724-6452.
Guide To Scheduling An Inspection
A building permit is generally required to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish a building or structure. Exceptions include movable cases, counters, and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches, fences under 6 feet high, retaining walls under 4 feet high, painting, papering and other finish work. Please remember that work not subject to a permit still must conform to applicable Building and Zoning Code provisions. For additional information on permit requirements call (949) 724-6471, Click here to view a building permit application.
Permit Processing Center
Certificate of Occupancy
A newly built or remodeled building or portion thereof, may only be occupied after authorization by the Chief Building Official. Authorization is typically granted after passing final inspection, and formalized by the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. A project Certificate of Occupancy is mailed to the property owner as listed on the project building permit within approximately one week of passing final inspection. For additional information relating to Certificates of Occupancy please call the Building and Safety Permit Division at (949) 724-6321.
Conditional Use Permits
The City of Irvine is divided into Planning Areas; these planning areas are then divided into land use districts. Each district includes a list of Permitted and Conditionally Permitted uses. A Conditional Use Permit is required to determine land use compatibility and to thoroughly identify all project related impacts, and, where applicable, appropriate mitigation. A public notice of the project and a public hearing is required for all Conditional Use Permit applications.
If you would like assistance in determining whether or not a Conditional Use Permit is required for your proposed project, please contact the City of Irvine Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308.
Open the Irvine Zoning Ordinance, you can move throughout the document by simply using your cursor in the gray box to the left of the screen. Conditional Use Permit information can be found in Division 2, Chapter 2-9. By clinking on the file you can identify the chapters, then sections. By clicking on the page icon, you can open the section you would like to see. It will appear on the right side of your screen.
Information pertaining to the discretionary review process in the City of Irvine can be obtained by clicking on the following link:
Conditional Use Permit Packet
If you are planning a construction project in The City of Irvine that involves the demolition of a structure, please contact The Building & Safety Department, Permit Processing Counter at: (949) 724-6311, to learn about the required and recommended steps to obtain a demolition permit. You also need to submit the written releases from all utility companies certifying that services have been disconnected and an asbestos exemption certificate, when applicable. The cost of a demolition permit is a base fee plus additional costs dependent on the nature of the work.
Digging and Filling Permits-Encroachment Permits
If you are planning a construction project in the City of Irvine that involves any digging, dredging or filling, contact the City of Irvine Community Development Department to learn the required and recommended steps for performing such work in the City of Irvine. This includes foundation work, drain laying or utilities installation. In addition to issuing permits for digging and filling work, the department can also provide you with utility contacts and practical assistance for the project. Before excavating on your property where utilities such as electric, water, telephone and gas lines are buried, state law requires that you call dig alert at 1-800-422-4133 two working days before you begin digging. Dig alert will locate all utilities within the 2 days period prior to digging. This law is designed to protect you from serious injury and the liability that digging could cause. You are required to apply for a digging, dredging or filling permit before excavation can begin unless such work is specifically covered in your building or grading permit. The cost of such permits varies dependent on the nature of the work. Other costs are also associated if the project will be establishing new water or sewer service or adding to existing service. If you would like more permit information or utility contacts before you dig, contact the Community Development Department by phone at (949) 724-6471.
Door to Door Solicitation - Permit Required
Persons or businesses selling goods or requesting donations door to door must obtain a business permit from the Irvine Police Department. Any time somebody comes to your door selling something or requesting donations, ask for identification and their permit. A business permit is necessary to solicit anywhere in the City of Irvine, including streets and public buildings as well as private residences. Should a person be soliciting without a valid permit, they are subject to fines and/or arrest. Per Irvine Municipal Code section 2-10-902, Solicitators are also prohibited from soliciting before 9 a.m., on Sundays, any national holiday, and after sunset.
To ensure your safety, never pay or donate cash or valuables to a door to door solicitor, whether they appear legitimate or not. If a solicitor does not have a permit or appears fraudulent, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200.
Electrical Permits and Inspections
If you are planning a construction project in the City Of Irvine that involves installing new electrical service equipment, relocating or modifying existing electrical service or connecting fixed appliances or other equipment, contact the City of Irvine Community Development Department to learn the required and recommended steps for performing electrical work in the City Of Irvine. In addition to issuing permits, providing regulations, and inspecting work, the department also will provide you with practical assistance in everything from wiring a new building to arranging temporary construction power. You are required to apply for an electrical permit before any electrical work can begin. Please call the Permit Counter at (949) 724-6313 to request a permit. Electrical permits are based upon the service amperage, number of circuits and type of installations. The cost of an electrical permit is based upon the take off sheet that you will prepare itemizing all proposed fixtures. Once electrical work has been completed, you can request an inspection from the Community Development Department by calling the Inspection Request line at (949) 724-6501. When requesting an inspection, please give the relevant permit numbers, the date, the place you would like the inspection and the name of the contractor. If the request for inspection is received prior to 2 p.m. you can expect the actual inspection to be performed the following working day. After the inspection has been completed, the inspector will sign and date the job card that will indicate the date of inspection and whether or not the work passed. If you would like a permit application, inspection or more information about ways the Community Development Department can assist you, visit our web page or contact us at (949) 724-6471.
Fence, Walls and Retaining Walls Permits
Building permits are required for fences and walls over 6 feet high above grade and retaining walls that are over 4 feet in height measured from bottom of footing to the top of wall. Retaining walls that are in any height supporting a surcharge, the backfill behind the wall having upward slope, require a building permit also. The applicant shall submit calculation, structural details together with a site plan showing the set back distances from property line, for those items requiring a building permit. Both Planning and Building and Safety Divisions will review the submitted documents. The licensed engineer shall stamp and sign the top sheet of calculations, and each sheet of structural detail. Refer to Planning Division for Fencing Regulations under ID1332.
Any questions related to the building permit submittal and processing, such as permit fees, and how many set of plans are required for submittal, please contact permit counter at (949) 724-6313. To schedule an inspection, after the permit has been issued, call (949) 724-6501 .
Fireplace and Stove Permits
A fireplace and stove permit is required to install or construct any kind of fireplace or stove within The City of Irvine . Once a complete set of plans or the construction is approved by the City of Irvine Building and Safety Division , a permit will be issued for the project. For masonry fireplaces and stoves, a copy of structural plans and calculations shall also be provided.
When submitting plans for pre-fab models, the following information shall be provided: manufacturer, name, model number, specifications, BTU rating, input BTU rating of all appliances served, approving testing agency, sketch of the existing gas line and length from meter (for gas units). Additional permits may be required depending on the nature of the work.
Please contact the Building and Safety Permit Counter for more information, and to apply for a fireplace and stove permit at (949) 724-6313.
Hood and Duct Permits
A residential hood and duct permit is required to install a kitchen exhaust hood and duct system in a residential building within the City of Irvine. Additional permits may be required depending on the nature of the work. For information regarding the cost of the permit, call our permit issuance counter at (949) 724-6313. Additional fees may be required dependent on the scope of the work. Hood and duct systems also require an inspection before the system can be used. Inspections may be requested through our automated inspection request line by calling (949) 724-6501, or by calling our inspection desk at (949) 724-6396. Inspection request information may be found at the City of Irvine website. When calling the Inspection Desk, please provide the relevant permit numbers, the time and date you would like the inspection, where the inspection will occur, and the name of the contractor. Allow a minimum of 1 working day from the time of your request for an inspector to inspect your site. For more information about hood and duct permits, fees and inspections, contact the Building and Safety Division of the Community Development Department at (949) 724-6396.
How do I contact a building inspector?
To contact a building inspector between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., contact the Building and Safety Department at (949) 724-6452.
How do I request an extension of my permit?
To request an extension of your building permit, write a letter to Joe Kirkpatrick, Chief Building Official. Please include your permit or plan check number, project address, and reason for your request. Submit your letter via U.S. Mail addressed to: City of Irvine, P. O. BOX 19575, Irvine CA, 92623-9575. You may also submit your letter via fax at (949) 724-6402.
The City of Irvine offers a mail-in permit program that applies to residential work of a limited nature: replacement or installation of dishwashers and water heaters; minor plumbing and mechanical projects; and re-roof projects.
Mail-in permits are available to contractors who have an active Contractors' License and Home Improvement Certificate (HIC) with the Contractor's State License Board, and contractors must have an active City of Irvine Business License. Homeowners performing their own improvements are also eligible.
Permits can be obtained by mail if mail-in permit submittal requirements are met.
Please contact the Permit Processing Center for more information at (949) 724-6313, or visit the City's website
Mail In Permit Application
Manufactured Home Permits
Erection of manufactured homes requires a permit from the City of Irvine Building and Safety division. Approval by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development is required for manufactured homes. Structural calculations for the attachment of the manufactured home to the foundation will be required. Planning Department requirements shall also have to be satisfied. For more information, please contact the Building and Safety Permit Counter at (949) 724-6313.
Mechanical Permits and Inspections
A residential mechanical permit is required to add, replace, repair or alter air conditioning, heating or ventilation equipment, as well as related work such as minor modifications of gas piping, electrical work, etc. before any work can begin. Mechanical permits are based upon valuation of work for mechanical systems or equipment. For information regarding the cost of a mechanical permit call the permit issuance counter at (949) 724-6313. Additional costs may be required dependent on the nature of the work or if the project is establishing new electrical or gas service or adding to existing service. Once mechanical work has been completed, you can request an inspection. An inspection is included in the cost of the permit and is mandatory before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. Inspections may be requested through our automated inspection request line by calling: (949) 724-6501, or by calling our inspection desk at (949) 724-6396. Inspection request information may be found here. When requesting an inspection, please give relevant permit numbers, the time, date, the place you would like the inspection and the name of the contractor. Allow a minimum of one workday from the time of your request for a mechanical inspector to visit your site. After the inspection has been completed, a sticker will be left in a central location on the premises that indicate the date of inspection and whether or not the work passed. If you would like a permit application, inspection or more information about ways the Department can assist you, visit them here.
Patio Cover and Deck Permits
For the submittal of a Patio Cover, Gazebo, or 2nd Story Deck Permit, the following items are required to be completed, prior to project acceptance for processing:
- You must have your assessor's parcel number.
- Plan check fees must be paid in full upon submittal.
- One copy of the Building Permit Application; take-off sheet, if applicable; and the Subcontractor's List. Please use BLACK or BLUE INK only.
- Two copies of plans, for City of Irvine Guidelines for Patio Construction, shall be submitted (standard forms are available).
- Details and material's notes applicable to the structure shall be attached.
- Three copies of plans are required for solid-roof covers, gazebos, or 2nd story decks
For more information, please contact the Permit Processing Center at (949) 724-6313, once again, the number to call is: (949) 724-6313, or visit the City's website
Plan Check and Permit Fees
Plan check fees and deposits are payable at the time of submittal. Plan check fees can be calculated prior to submittal. For information regarding plan check and permit fees, please contact the Permit Processing Center at: (949) 724-6313, or visit the City's website
Plumbing Permits and Inspections
A residential plumbing permit is required to add, replace, repair or alter water service, drains, water lines, gas lines, sewer lines, water heaters, sewage disposal systems and other plumbing fixtures and appliances. You are required to apply for a plumbing permit before any work can begin. Plumbing permits are based upon the number and types of fixtures, sewers , drains, and water service piping that are included in the project. For information concerning the cost of a plumbing permit, call the Permit Counter at (949) 724-6313. Additional costs may apply if the project involves establishing new water or sewer service, or adding to existing service. Inspection costs are included in the permit fee. The inspections are mandatory before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. Inspections may be requested through our automated inspection request line by calling (949) 724-6501, or by calling our inspection desk at (949) 724-6396. Inspection request information may be found at the City of Irvine website . When requesting an inspection, please give relevant permit numbers, the time, date and place you would like the inspection, and the name of the contractor. Allow a minimum of 1 working day from the time of your request for a plumbing inspector to visit your site. After the inspection has been completed, a sticker will be left in a central location on the premises that indicate the date of inspection, and whether or not the work passed. If you would like a permit application, inspection, or more information about ways the Building and Safety Division can assist you, visit them at 1 Civic Center Plaza (corner of Alton Parkway and Harvard Boulevard) , from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on alternate Fridays, City Hall is closed on every other Friday, or call the department at (949) 724-6396.
Right-of-Way Permits - General Information
Any construction or demolition occurring in City Of Irvine that involves work within the public right-of-way requires an encroachment permit issued by the City Of Irvine Community Development Department, prior to beginning the work. Encroachment permits vary in type and cost based on the kind and amount of work that will take place in the public right-of-way. The most common encroachment permits involves: street closure - these are necessary when construction activities impede traffic flow or involve full or partial closure of any roadways in the City Of Irvine. An encroachment permit is also required for the construction of drive approach gutters that enter or are adjacent to the public right-of-way. If you have questions about the necessity of an encroachment permit, or for more information about obtaining one, please contact The Community Development Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Thursday, and from 8:00am to 5:00pm on alternate Fridays, City Hall is closed every other Friday, or by phone at (949) 724-6313.
Right-of-Way Permits - Oversized Loads
Any construction or demolition in City Of Irvine that necessitates oversized vehicles traveling through the City Of Irvine, requires an oversized load permit issued by the City Of Irvine Community Development Department prior to beginning work. These permits apply whenever any vehicle travels on a highway, street, or alley within the City Of Irvine with a loaded height, weight, or length larger than what state traffic regulations normally allow. Oversized load permits can be obtained from the Community Development Department website.
Oversized Load Permit
To obtain information regarding size, type and placement of signs, contact Jan Helf at (949) 724-6326.
Special Event Permits
Any citizen or group who wishes to hold a parade or race through City of Irvine right-of-way must apply for a permit prior to the event. Permit applicants should come to the Irvine Police Department to apply. You must include a map of the exact route of the parade or race with your application. Plan your permit needs early; it can take up to 4 weeks to process your application. The office has the right to modify the time or nature of your application or to deny the application outright if it does not fit with the needs of the City of Irvine. You may also be required to pay for police officers or other City of Irvine personnel to be on hand for the event. For more information or to apply for a parade or race permit, stop by the Irvine Police Department, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, Tuesday through Friday, or call them at (949) 724-7022.
Storage Shed Permits
One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, exceeding 120 square feet require a building permit. The applicant shall submit plans, structural details, calculations, and a site plan showing accessory building set back distances for both Planning and Building and Safety Divisions to review and approve. The building code minimum set back distances for the sheds are 3 feet. Contact the Planning Counter at (949) 724-6308 to verify zoning regulation code minimum set back distances. once again, that number is (949) 724-6308, The most critical set back distances shall apply. The licensed engineer shall stamp and sign the top sheet of the calculations and each sheet of the plans. For questions related to the building permit submittal and processing, such as permit fees, and how many sets of plans are required for submittal, contact the permit counter at (949) 724-6313. once again, that number is (949) 724-6313, To schedule for inspection after your permit has been issued, please call (949) 724-6396, once again, to schedule an inpsection, that number is (949) 724-6396, or for more information visit the City's website .
Swimming Pool, Spas and Hot Tub Permits
A building permit is required prior to construction of all above ground and in-ground swimming pools, hot tubs and similar structures that contain more than 1.5 feet of water that are built in The City of Irvine. Portable spas that simply plug in may not require a pool and tub permit, though they may require an electrical permit.
Once a complete set of plans and Engineer calculations are reviewed and approved by our Building & Safety Plan Checker, the applicant has to present a receipt of payment to the Irvine Ranch Water District Sewer for a Tap fee, a pool and tub permit will be issued.
The cost of the permit is fees based on the square footage of the construction. Additional permits, such as electrical and plumbing permits, may be required before issuance of a Building permit. If this is the case, The Building & Safety department will contact you to inform you of what you will need to do. For more information about swimming pool and hot tub permits and fees, please contact Building & Safety Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on alternate Fridays, City Hall is closed on every other Friday, or call the department at (949) 724-6311.
The Variance process allows a property owner to request relief from development standards in the Zoning Code (i.e. building height, setbacks from the property line, or lot coverage) due to a unique hardship, such as topographical conditions, not shared by property owners in the same zone.
The City of Irvine provides a separate process for requests for a variance from Building Code regulations. To obtain a Building Variance click here.
The Variance process differs from requests for Administrative Relief which require a separate process to address deviations for:
Parking requirements, signage rules, landscaping standards, wall and fence standards, wireless communication facility separations, or child care center standards.
Requests for Administrative Relief do not require the same findings of a hardship, but do require a separate set of findings. Additional information on the Administrative Relief process can be found on the Administrative Relief Information Sheet (and in the Chapter 2-2 of the City of Irvine's Zoning Code
The designated approval body is the City's Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator is appointed by the City Council to hear certain applications. In some instances an item may be called up for review by a member of the Planning Commission. All Zoning Administrator and Planning Commission hearings are public in nature and a notice is sent of a proposed project in advance of a public hearing to property owners and residents within 500 feet of the project site.
If you have further questions, you may contact the Development Assistance Center at (949) 724-6308.
Water Heaters, Furnaces, Air Conditioning Permits
A permit is required for replacement of water heaters, furnaces and air conditioning. Permits for these items are typically issued over-the-counter without plan review; however, they can be obtained by mail.
Mail-in permits may be obtained for: residential re-roofing projects; water heaters and furnaces; and minor plumbing and mechanical projects. Mail-in permits apply to those projects without plans. Click here for information about the mail-in permit process.
What is the cost of obtaining a building permit?
To obtain information on building permits fees, click here. For additional information please contact the Building and Safety Permit Counter at (949) 724-6325.