Pinole's Building Permit Process

Building Permit Process

City hall is open and services are provided on an appointment basis due to the numbers of applications currently being made.  Phone (510) 724-8912 if you need an appointment.  All city business will be handled by phone, e-mail, and online. 

rmits may be obtained at Pinole City Hall during the following hours:

  • Submitting applications to the Virtual Plan Counter via email.  The Virtual Counter will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 2 pm by phone (510) 724-8912 OR by emailing  [email protected]. If staff is unable to take your call, it is important to leave a message indicating you need information, would like a fee estimate or have additional questions.  Please remember to provide the address specific to the inquiry.  A staff member will respond to your message within 2 business days.  
  • City Hall is closed on Fridays.

Forms & Handouts:

Below are links to forms and handouts.



Examples of projects requiring a Building Permit include:

  • Patio Cover Installation
  • Electrical Work
  • Heating/Air Conditioning
  • Plumbing Work
  • Reroof of Structures
  • Retaining Walls
  • Room Additions
  • Sewer Replacement
  • Solar Panels
  • Swimming Pools & Spa Installation
  • Water Heater Replacement
  • Water Softeners
  • Window Replacement


Examples of projects not requiring a Building Permit include:

  • One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and/or storage sheds or playhouses and provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet, located a minimum distance of 8 ft. from the main house, and less than 7 ft. in height

  • Detached platforms, walks and decks without a cover, less than 30 inches high and 120 square feet in area

  • Fences not taller than 7 feet in height

  • Retaining walls under 4 feet in height (including foundation) without a surcharge

  • Swimming pools less than 5,000 gallons set above adjacent grade

  • Painting, papering & similar finish work


New construction drawings are required to be 24" x 36" and are submitted in a PDF form.  Minor construction items such as bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels are permitted to be on 11" x 17" pdf documents.

  • Plot Plan showing the size, position and setbacks of the proposed project in relation to existing buildings, property lines, and public utility easements. This plan is to be drawn to a scale of 1:20, which means 1 inch is equal to 20 feet.

  • Foundation Plan indicating the type and size of footing used and the pad/finish floor grades.

  • Framing Section showing sizes of framing members and methods of assembly and, if required, the R-value of insulation being used.

  • Floor Plan detailing the location of walls, supports, size and location of doors, windows, electrical outlets, heater, plumbing fixtures, smoke detectors and the square footage of the project.

  • Roof Framing Plan showing details of framing, type of sheathing, nailing pattern, roof pitch and type of roof covering.

  • Exterior Elevations showing two or more sides of the proposed structure.

  • Three (3) sets of drawings must be submitted to the Building Division. Additional copies may be required of large or complex projects.

  • New commercial, new single or multi family dwellings or room additions over five hundred square feet (500) must submit one set of drawings to West Contra Costa Unified School District for payment of school fees.  A letter from the West Contra Costa Unified School District showing that school fees have been paid must be submitted before a building permit can be issued.

  • New commercial, new single or multi family dwellings served by the West County Wastewater District (WCWD), must submit plans to WCWD for review and permit to connect to WCWD sewer facilities.  A permit is also required from the Pinole Public Works Department for cutting the street to access the WCWD sewer.  Click here to determine if the property is in the WCWD service area.


  • Depending on the scope of work, other documents such as, engineering, soils reports or Title 24 may also be required:

    • One (1) pdf of structural engineering
    • One (1) pdf of Title 24 (may also be incorporated into the drawings.
    • One (1) pdf of geological report

  • A residential addition greater than five hundred (500) square feet or a second story addition shall require a geological report.

  • A residential addition shall include wall, ceiling, foundation, slab, or raised floor U-values as per Title 24 special package A or D, as applicable, or submit a complete Title 24 energy compliance package. Title 24 requirements must be an integral part of the plans.

  • New commercial construction requires Fire Department review.

  • If the new structure is a restaurant, one additional set of drawings must be submitted to the Contra Costa County Health Department.

  • Commercial tenant improvements one (1) pdf of Title 24 Energy calculations and may require engineering for any structural changes.

  • Residential room additions under 100 square feet are not required to submit Title 24 Energy calculations but must show R values of insulation and U values of windows on drawings. Additions of 100 square feet to 500 square feet must submit Title 24 Energy calculations and may be required to submit a soils report if the addition is on a slope.

Depending on project complexity, plan check should be complete within 7 to 21 working days.


When applying for a permit, certain information is required to complete the permit Permit Application.

  • Description of work
  • Project Location (street number & name)
  • Legal owners name, address and telephone number
  • Proposed work Valuation
  • Proof of Workman Compensation
  • State Contractors License Information
  • Current City Business License

The owner, an authorized agent, or a licensed contractor is the only person who can legally apply for a building permit.  Upon approval of the application and issuance of the permit, the applicant/contractor has 180 days (6 months) to commence work on the project.  Please see the following requirements for kitchen or bathroom remodel projects...


Fees are charged for each type of permit issued such as building, plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical. The permit fee is based on the valuation of the project and calculated from fee tables established in the code. The fees provide for the checking of plans and adequate field inspection of the materials and methods of construction.  The master fee schedule is available for review.

Fees may be paid by cash, check, money order, Visa or Mastercard.
Fees may also be paid via fax when using Visa or Mastercard.


All permits issued require an inspection during and/or at completion of the work. Scheduling inspections is the responsibility of the applicant / contractor. Depending on the type of project, the following inspections are required:

  • Foundation - after trenches are excavated, forms erected and steel is in place.
  • Underfloor - after the installation of underfloor framing, heating ducts and plumbing.
  • Underfloor Insulation - after the floor insulation is installed, but prior to installation of the subfloor.
  • Roof Nail - after installation and nailing of the roof sheathing.
  • Rough Frame - after the roof, all framing, fire blocking, siding, lath and bracing are in place and all pipes, chimneys, vents, rough electrical and plumbing are installed.
  • Insulation - after the wall and ceiling insulation is installed.
  • Drywall Nail - after the drywall is installed and prior to tape or texture.
  • Final - after finish grading and the building is completed and ready for occupancy.

Not all of the inspections listed above will apply to every job. If uncertain which inspections pertain, please check with the Building Inspection Division.


An Inspection request recorder is available on a 24-hour basis by calling 510-724-8914. Inspection Requests require 24-hour notice.

  • Morning inspections are performed between 8:30 am - 12:00 pm Monday through Thursday only.
  • Afternoon inspections are performed between 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Monday through Thursday only.

To inquire about a more specific time of arrival for inspection, phone 510-724-8912 between 8:00 am and 8:30 am. The approved plans and the inspection card must be on the job site and available to the inspector at the time of inspection.


Electrical Repairs Minor Residential Repairs
Plumbing Repairs Commercial Irrigation Systems
Residential Demolitions Residential Irrigation Systems
Stucco Work
Nonstructural Fire Damage Repairs
Furnace Replacement  Water Heater Replacement
Reroofing Water Heater Replacement

Permits may be obtained by emailing the application, credit card authorization and other required documentation to [email protected]  

Our staff is available to answer questions as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday: 8:00 am - 12:00 noon and 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • City Hall is closed on Fridays