FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
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Building and Safety
The following work does not
need a permit:
- One-story detached accessory buildings, provided the projected floor area does not exceed 120 sq. ft., and no electrical or plumbing is attached
- Wood fences not over 6 ft. high
- Movable partitions not over 5'9" (commercial)
- Retaining walls which are not over 4 ft. in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, and do not have building surcharges
- Platforms, walks, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below
- Painting, papering, and similar finish work
A block garden and retaining walls may not exceed 6 feet in height. Wall over 4 ft. (measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall) require a permit and structural plans. The city provides a detailed drawing handout for applicants' use. This handout is used in lieu of engineered drawings.
The following is required
for a permit for a patio cover or deck:
- If you are living within the East Highlands Ranch, you must have HOA approval before obtaining a permit from the City. A plot plan with the dimensions from the proposed patio cover/deck to property lines on each side
- The measurement from the house to the patio cover post and the post spacing measurement to determine if the proposed patio cover/deck will fit within the guide lines on our City handout
- Engineering calculations are required if you are proposing a tile roof patio cover.
- Permit fee estimate is $320.00 for a city standard patio cover/deck. $530 for patio cover/deck with plan review if a homeowner design. If electrical work is performed, please include an additional $55.
Inspection for a patio cover are:
Residential Plan Requirements
- footing inspection on all types of patio covers before concrete is poured
- framing and roof deck inspection on solid patio covers
- final inspection on all types of patio covers after the patio cover is painted
Plans Needed for Plan Review
- Submit three (3) complete sets of plans. The plans should be drawn on substantial paper (blue print or ink drawings). No faded plans will be accepted. All signatures must be original -- no reproductions.
- Three (3) plot plans to scale with a complete legal description are required: Lot size, setbacks of existing and proposed structures to property lines, and distance between buildings (indicating the use of each structure). Show exact building orientation (north arrow, south, east, or west) and indicate cut/fill areas. Owner's name and address, contractor's name and address, and location of building must be shown on the plan. Contact the Planning Division for approval of site plans prior to submitting plans to Building and Safety.
- Foundation Plan:
Provide a plan view showing the locations of the foundation footings and piers (walls). Identify underpinning and girders (or location of interior continuous footings for slab floor construction). Show distances below natural grade and height above finish grade. Show all dimensions. Soil reports and compaction reports may be needed on some projects.
- Floor Plan:
Show size of room and use. Show exactly what type of floor covering to be used in each room. Show size in and location of all headers doors and windows. Show size, spacing, and direction of ceiling joists. Show plumbing fixtures, gas appliances, electrical appliances, and all outlets, lights, plugs, switches.
- For structures 3,000 sq. ft. or more, provide a plumbing schematic with an isometric drawing. Provide electrical load calculations. Show panel schedules and location of all panels.
- Door and Window Schedules:
Show size, type of glazing or type of shading to be used, and the percent of glazing north, south, east, and west.
- Roof Plan:
Show complete layout of roof. Show fireplace saddles, clips, hips, etc. If truss roof provide truss manufacturers layout, details and calculations. Show type of roofing materials. If tile, provide ICC Evaluation number and engineering calculations. Truss plans shall be wet-signed by the design engineer.
Provide four (4) elevations, identified as front, rear, right side, and left side. Show locations of doors, windows, chimneys, etc. Show wall bracing, exterior finishes, veneer, and planters.
- Construction Details:
Provide cross sectional elevations showing the foundation, underpinning, floor joists, studs, ceiling joists, rafters, pitch or roof, and location of roof supports.. Provide true cross section of fireplace. Show size, spacing, and material of all members of the structure. If ceiling is vaulted, show cross section and connections. Also show cross section of stairs and railings.
- Energy Conservation:
Submit two (2) sets of calculations per model showing compliance to state energy conservation regulations for new residential buildings. Indicate on plans the type of heating system and the maximum output bonnet capacity in units of BTU/HR. Indicate air conditioning, furnace, and water heater make, size, and model number. The person responsible for the energy calculations shall sign the top sheet of the calculations.
Most common permit fees:
- Water Heater - $147.50
- Electrical Upgrade - 1-200 Amps - $147.50 / 201+ amps - $177.50
- A/C & Heater Replacement - $147.50
- Repipe - $205
- Gas Test - $137.50
- Patio Cover - $320
- Garden Wall - $285
- Retaining Wall - $295
- Reroof - $177.50
- Utility Meter Reset - $156.50
- Certificate of Occupancy - $130
- Electrical for Spa - $137.50
- Gas Line for Spa - $147.50
- Temporary Power Pole - $157.50 and $75 for each sub pole.
... as of January 2010
Building and Safety Hours are 7:30 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, closed every Friday. Special appointments can be arranged upon contacting the Building and Safety Department.
A permit is valid for 180 days from the date of issue, and is extended for 180 days with each inspection. Upon request, a one-time 180-day extension may be granted.
The City does allow CPVC and PEX domestic water piping.
Swimming pool guidelines
- The site plans must be stamped and signed by the engineer of record for site review approval.
- There must be a surrounding fence at least 5 feet in height.
- The fence must surround the entire backyard, and include a main gate that is self-closing and self-latching, and it must swing outward.
- It must include a main door that is self-closing, self latching, and swings outward.
- If the fence is a wrought-iron-type, the slats may not be more than 4 inches apart.
- All household residents, 14 years or older, should have current CPR certification.
- A responsible adult must be designated to supervise the pool and spa area when children are present. This supervision must not lapse for any reason. Total concentration on the water is of the utmost importance. It is suggested that this responsibility be changed every 15 minutes to avoid losing concentration.
- Keep all toys away from the pool where a child might go to get them -- especially wheeled toys, i.e.: tricycles, bicycles, etc.
California Building Code chapter 7A for structures located in an area that is of high-risk to a fire (designated as Fire Zone 1 or 2):
- Roof coverings must be either noncombustible or fire retardant with a minimum Class A rating.
- Every chimney used in conjunction with any fireplace or any heating appliance in which solid or liquid fuel is used, must be maintained with a spark arrester.
- An approved spark arrester will mean a device, constructed of stainless steel, copper, brass, or woven galvanized wire mesh of a 12-gauge minimum with openings of three-eighths (3/8) inch minimum to one-half inch maximum, that is mounted in or over all outside flue openings in a vertical or near-vertical position, being adequately supported to prevent movement and is visible from the ground.
- Louvers, ventilators, or openings in walls; roofs; attics; and other floor areas having headroom less than four feet in height, which are not fitted with sash or doors, shall be covered with wire screen. The screen covering such openings must be of galvanized metal or copper and have a maximum mesh of 1/4 inch.
- Eave-type attic ventilators are prohibited.
- The space between rafters at the exterior walls shall be solidly filled with tight-fitting wood blocks at least 1.5 inches thick. Eaves shall be enclosed "boxed in" with approved materials.
- Fuel tanks (e.g., liquefied petroleum tanks) must be located at least ten feet away from any structure and in accordance with the California Fire Code, the Table of Projections and the Storage Standards specified by Fire Hazard Performance Standards in Chapters 5 and 9 in Division 7 of the Title.
- All non-accessory buildings must have reflective and noncombustible building address numbers with at least four-inch-high lettering visible from the road on which the structure fronts.
- All buildings on lots created after the effective date of this section must be set back at least 30 feet from the boundary of the San Bernardino National Forest.
- Structures in areas with slopes exceeding 30% and 30 feet in height must comply with the following:
All areas used for the storage of firewood or other flammable materials must be either at least 30 feet away from all structures or wholly enclosed within a structure.
Fire hydrants must be identified by a method specified by the Fire Authority.
- Where structures are proposed or are already within 200 feet of slopes that are greater than 30% prior to grading and where such slopes are at least 30 feet in height, the vegetation on such slopes must be treated in such a manner that it becomes a fuel-modified area. Such a fuel-modified area must be maintained for either the entire slope, or 100 feet, or to the property line -- whichever distance is less.
- Where grading, which does not conform to the natural slope, is utilized, and the grading area is adjacent to natural upgraded slopes, which are greater than 30% and 30 feet in height, structures must be set back at least 30 feet from the edge(s) of the graded area adjacent to such natural ungraded slopes.
Building Separation Standard:
- All buildings on parcels created after the effective date of this section and all other parcels with lot widths 60 feet or greater shall have exterior wall separations of at least 30 feet.
The northeast portion of the city is near an active fault, the San Andreas fault. Special construction requirements are required through geological review for each site.
The City requires a Fire Sprinkler in all new structures and some additions.
Highland also allows the use of a multipurpose fire sprinkler system (MPFSS). Highland is very concerned about fire sprinkler protection for residential structures. We are one of the very few cities in California to allow CPVC or PEX domestic water piping. This alternative piping is extremely inexpensive for installation costs.
MPFSS has new NFPA approval and has been used in Highland for several years. The system has no inspection check valve, pressure valves, exterior alarms, or wiring. The MPFSS is required to have a smoke detector alarm system installed which is a code requirement in most cities and counties in the country.
The MPFSS operates off the main water supply and is typically installed using CPVC fire sprinkler pipe, or its equivalent, which incorporates domestic drinking water approval by NSF. The pipe is installed in a loop throughout the building. Plumbing tees are located in areas where cold water piping is needed The plumbing contractor simply attaches the cold water pipe to the sprinkler pipe. Adaptors for this pipe transition are already available at most pipe supply companies. Fire sprinkler heads are centrally located in the room to be protected.
Fire sprinkler plans are required to be submitted to the fire department for review prior to installations.
This system reduces the cost of the fire protection for the contractors, developers, and homeowners, and still provides life safety protection.
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