Building & Safety

The Building and Safety Division is responsible for structural and life-safety concerns in the construction, demolition or alteration of buildings including, but not limited to, matters such as electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems, energy conservation and access for the disabled.

The Building Inspector and Building Official are available to check plans and specifications, make field inspections of buildings during construction, alteration or repair and interpret and explain safety regulations and compliance with the Uniform Building Code and other codes.

Building inspection appointments are made by calling the Planning & Community Preservation Department during City Hall business hours.

The Building Official is available without an appointment on a first-come-first-serve basis at the Planning & Community Preservation Department Counter, Tuesday & Wednesday mornings from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Telephone (626) 355-7138

Service Counter Hours:

  • Monday through Thursday 7:30am - 5:30pm
  • Closed Friday

Permit Worksheet
When applying for permits, you can use our Permit Worksheet tool to help ensure that you bring with you all of the pertinent information you will need to complete your permit application. 

Construction Hours:
Construction and related noise may take place between the hours of 
7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday -Saturday
10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Sundays & Holidays 

Plan Check
One set of plans is required for the first round of Plan Check.  Submittal requirements for Plan Check can be found here.
When construction plans are submitted for plan check, they are routed to each of the following divisions:

  • Planning
  • Public Works
  • Structural
  • Fire
  • Building

Timing
The 1st Plan Check may take from 6 to 8 weeks to complete. Plans may be approved at the end of the 1st Plan Check. However, plans often require additional plan checks before approval can be granted and a building permit is issued.

Corrections
If corrections are required by a plan checker, we will notify the applicant that the redlined plans are ready to be picked up. Once the corrections are made by the applicant, the revised plans should be submitted to the Planning and Community Preservation Department to start the next plan check.

Submittal of Revised Plans
For plan checks following the 1st Plan Check, please include the original redlined plans along with three (3) new sets of revised (corrected) plans. Please note that each plan check submittal requires that plans be routed through each of the divisions listed above. Depending on the extent of the corrections and whether they have been sufficiently addressed by the applicant, each following plan check may take a shorter time frame than 6 to 8 weeks. However, it is difficult to predict how long each plan check might take given the complexity of each project, staff workload, etc.

Plan Check Expiration
Plan Check is valid 180 days from the date plans were initially submitted. After 180 days the plans are considered abandoned and payment of new plan check fees will be required if an applicant chooses to proceed with Plan Check. If a new building code cycle is adopted after the 180-day period, the plans must be updated to comply with the new code.
A request for an extension may be requested in writing prior to Plan Check expiration. The Building Official may grant the extension of up to an additional 90 days, if a justifiable cause is demonstrated.

Plan Check Approval
Once all divisions have approved and signed the plans, applicants will be notified by phone so that building permits may be obtained.

Types of Permits
Separate permits are required for any of the following that may apply to your project:
Building Permit
Plumbing Permit
Electrical Permit
Mechanical Permit (Heating and Air Conditioning)
Sewer Permit
Demolition Permit
Encroachment Permits (Public Works Dept. handles these for work to be done within streets or the public right-of-way)

Deadline for Issuance of Permits
Applicants must obtain permits for their project within 180 days from the date of plan check submittal or the project will be considered abandoned. If the applicant wishes to obtain a permit after the 180-day period, payment of new plan check fees will be required and the project will be considered new. The plans are required to go through the plan check process again. In addition, if a new building Code cycle is adopted after the 180-day period, the plans will need to be updated to comply with the new Code.

Who Can Pull a Permit?

  • A STATE OF CALIFORNIA LICENSED CONTRACTOR
  • A PROPERTY OWNER

What you need to bring EACH time you pull a permit in the City of Sierra Madre:

CONTRACTOR

  • Proof of identification (picture I.D.)
  • Proof of State of California contractor’s License & Classification (pocket card)
  • City of Sierra Madre Business License
  • Proof of valid & current Worker’s Compensation Insurance Certificate (if required)
  • If agent for contractor, you will also need a notarized letter of authorization from the contractor.

PROPERTY OWNER

  • Proof of Identification (picture I.D.)
  • Proof of ownership (Grant Deed, Property Tax Statement.)
  • If Trust: Trust information showing permit holder as Trustee
  • If Corporation, LLC or Partnership: Information verifying permit holder as President or Authorized Representative.
  • If agent for the owner, you will also need a notarized letter of authorization from the owner, including the owner’s driver’s license number.

A DOUBLE FEE WILL BE CHARGED IF WORK IS STARTED BEFORE PERMIT IS ISSUED

Does a permit expire?
Yes. A building permit is valid for 180 days from the date it is issued. If a meaningful* inspection is not conducted for work authorized by the building permit within the 180-day period, the permit will be considered invalid. Every meaningful inspection renews the 180-day time frame from the date of the inspection.

Please note that an extension may be granted by the Building Official upon a written request submitted to the Development Services Department prior to the permit expiration date. The request must be based on a justifiable reason why the extension is needed, and it is subject to review and approval by the Building Official at his/her discretion.

Keep in mind that, once a permit expires, the applicant may be required to start the permit process over again, including payment of all of the applicable fees, so it is wise to avoid permit expiration.

*Meaningful inspection: A significant, required inspection for the purpose of moving the project forward, not merely to keep the permit from expiring.