Frequently Asked Questions
Can I change my house number?
No, address changes are not allowed with the exception of new construction, new multifamily units, or remodeling projects where a corner house is reoriented to face a different street.
Is my house in a high fire zone?
Click here to find out if your property is in a high fire zone.
I recently purchased a property in Arcadia. Where can I find the old floor plans?
Unfortunately, we do not hold on to single family floor plans. The only plans we keep are for commercial and multi-family properties.
I recently purchased a property in Arcadia. Where can I find the old permits?
You can look up past building permits here.
Why do I need a building permit?
Requiring permits allows the City to make sure that building codes and zoning regulations are properly followed in all neighborhoods. These regulations have been adopted to protect your property's value, as well as the community's health and welfare. Not having a permit may jeopardize your chances of obtaining financing, invalidate your fire and liability insurance, and create problems when you sell your property.
Do I have to apply for my own building permit?
State law requires that either a licensed contractor or the owner of the property obtain the building permit. A friend or relative can apply for your permit if they provide a letter of authorization from you. Please provide the following when applying for a building permit.
A. Proof of ownership (Deed, etc.)
B. Letter of authorization if a friend or relative is obtaining your building permit.
A. City of Arcadia Business License.
B. Original certificate of workman's compensation insurance made out to the City of Arcadia.
C. Proof of current State Contractor's license.
How do I go about getting the necessary approvals and permits for my project?
The first step is to stop by the Planning Division counter at City Hall to discuss what you would like to do. You should bring along a preliminary site plan/plot plan that shows the shape and dimensions of your property, any adjacent streets, and the locations of all existing and proposed buildings and structures on the property.
How many sets of plans do I need to submit?
Two (2) sets of plans and two (2) sets of all supporting documents.
What documents are required at plan submittal?
Two (2) complete sets of plans (maximum size 30”x42”, standard size 24”x36”)
- Plans must include: title page, Architectural, Structural, Civil, Landscape pages, Energy (Title 24) and Cal Green information.
One (1) site plan (letter size 8.5”x11”)
One (1) full size floor plan folded (for the Los Angeles County Assessor)
Depending on the project type, you may also need to provide:
Two sets of the following:
- Structural calculations
- Soils report
- Hydrology report
- Title 24
- Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance (WELO) packets
- Approval Letter from the Planning Division, when applicable
- HOA-stamped Approved Plans, when applicable
- Arborist Report/Tree Protection Plan, when required
One set of the following:
- Water Meter Clearance Application
- Owner’s Certification (OC-1) Form
- HOA Approval Package with Findings and Action Form, when applicable
Do I need separate permits if my plans involve electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work?
Yes, separate permits are required for this type of work. The Building Division will tell you if you need to get these permits.
Do I need a permit for replacing windows?
Yes, you do. Please provide two sets of floor plans (letter size 8.5”x11”), two copies of a window schedule showing the dimensions of the windows, and two copies of the manufacture specifications on the windows.
How long does it take before a permit is issued?
Simple projects, such as patio covers and fences, usually can be checked immediately when you bring your plans into City Hall, and you can get your permit before you leave. At the very most, simple projects can be checked within one to two days. More complex projects will take 15 to 30 working days.
How long is a permit valid for?
Per the California Building Code, a permit is valid for one (1) year from the issued date. Once work has begun, the permit will expire if work is stopped for more than 180 days.
Is there a fee for a building license?
Yes, there are several fees that may be required, depending on the scope of the project. A plan check fee, building permit fee and a developer's fee such as school, parkland, fire, etc., may be required on permits. The amount of these fees varies depending on the amount of work being done.
Will building inspections be required for my construction project?
An inspection is required when the next phase of construction will conceal the phase just completed. An inspection card, issued with your permit, will help you in determining when inspections are necessary. It is your responsibility to call the different departments or divisions for inspections when each phase is completed. It is also your responsibility to call the Building Division to schedule the final inspection.
How do I schedule an inspection?
You can submit a Building Inspection Request online here or by calling (626) 574-5450. Please note that you will not receive a confirmation number or email. However, you will be notified if there is a scheduling conflict.
How far in advance can I schedule an inspection?
Inspection requests can be made no more than 7 days in advance.
Do you do next-day inspections?
Yes, but the request must be submitted by 4:30pm the day before.
How do I find out what time the Building Inspector will be out for my inspection?
Call your Inspector directly on the morning of the inspection between 7:45a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
- John Zurick (626) 574-5417
- Jeff Wang (626) 574-5418
- Steve Roberts (626) 574-5419
- Henry Kemick (626) 574-5413
If you don’t know who your inspector is, call the main Building line at (626) 574-5416.
What kind of projects require a building permit?
Building permits are required for the construction/renovation of most buildings and structures. Almost anything constructed on or attached to the ground or attached to something located on the ground is considered a structure, including fences, walls greater than 18 inches tall, antennas and pools more than 18 inches deep. Accessory buildings (i.e., storage sheds, playhouses, etc.) smaller than 120 square feet in size generally do not require a building permit.
What improvements do not require building permits?
Some types of improvements do not require a permit. These projects include:
- One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, providing the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and the highest point of the roof does not exceed 8 feet, 6 inches above adjacent grade. Please note that accessory buildings must comply with the City’s Zoning Code regardless of whether a permit is required. Please call Planning at (626) 574-5423 for specific requirements prior to construction.
- Wood and wrought iron fencing not over 6 feet in height. All fencing must comply with the City’s Zoning code regardless of whether a permit is required. Please call Planning at (626) 574-5423 for specific requirements prior to installation of any fencing.
- Walks and driveways on private property. The City’s zoning code places restrictions on the amount of area that can be paved within the front yard area. Please contact Planning at (626) 574-5423 for specific requirements.
- Prefabricated swimming pools and ponds less than 18 inches deep.
- Painting, papering and similar decorating work.
- Replacement of existing light fixtures, switches and receptacles.
- Electrical wiring operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
- The repairing of leaks in plumbing pipes, valves or fixtures and the stopping of leaks in drains, sewers and vents.
- Replacement of any component part or repair of a built-in or permanently installed appliances, compressors and motors.
- Portable heating, ventilation and cooling equipment.
Please call Building Services at (626) 574-5416 for specific requirements or if you have questions.
What is a ''Rebuild'?
The City of Arcadia has adopted a “Rebuild” Ordinance that applies to extensive remodels/additions. It is triggered where more than fifty percent (50%) of the exterior walls of a building are removed, repaired or altered, excluding the interior wall coverings. Remodeling projects that are classified as a Rebuild must comply with all current City zoning, building and fire regulations and pay building permit and school district fees for a new structure.
Will I need to contact other agencies?
Some projects may require the review and/or approval from other agencies. These agencies are listed below:
Arcadia Unified School District
234 West Campus Drive
Arcadia, California 91007
(626) 821-8300, extension 6732
Information on School Developer Fee
Contractor's State License Board
Information on Contractors
Los Angeles County Health Department
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, California 91706
Information on requirements for restaurants, retail markets, bakeries, bars or any establishment selling food products, including prepackaged foods.
County of Los Angeles Sanitation District
1955 Workman Mill Road
Whittier, California 90607
Information on Sanitation District Fees
South Coast Air Quality Management District
21865 East Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, California 91765
Information on asbestos abatement and air quality information
Southern California Edison Company
1440 South California
Monrovia, California 91016
Information on electrical service requirements
Southern California Gas Company
Information on gas service requirements
How do I obtain a construction roll-off bin/dumpster?
Residential and commercial customers requiring roll-off containers for construction and demolition projects can contact any of the following three permitted commercial haulers:
- Republic Services (562) 360-3932
- Waste Management, Inc. (800) 266-7551
- Valley Vista Services (800) 442-6454
What are the hours of construction in residential areas?
Construction hours are 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday. No construction is allowed on Sundays or the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Any holiday that falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall constitute the holiday.
My project is taking longer than expected. Can I request an extension?
Yes, you can request an extension by formally submitting a letter with the project address, permit number, permit issuance date, and reason for the extension to the Building Official at KFields@ArcadiaCA.gov.