The Building Permit process in California can be complicated, especially for larger, more complex buildings and structures having jurisdictional oversight by multiple agencies.  This section contains general information about the permitting process in Ventura County for most buildings, structures, and other projects for which a B&S permit is required.  To see the permitting process, at a glance, for Building Permits, Annual Maintenance Permits, and ADU permits, click on one of the Process Flowcharts below.

Permit Processing Checklist

There are several important steps that must be completed to receive a Building Permit for the construction of a new building in Ventura County:

At the time of the Building Permit application:

  • Submit a Building Permit application
  • Submit plans/construction drawings for B&S review
  • Pay B&S Plan Review fees
  • Receive the required agency clearance list from B&S
  • Submit plans for review by other agencies, where required

Prior to Building Permit issuance:

  • Receive approval of construction drawings from B&S
  • Receive clearances from other agencies
  • Submit proof of agency clearances to B&S

At permit issuance:

  • Sign permit documents (by contractor)
  • Pay B&S permit and inspection fees
  • Receive Approved Plans from B&S
  • Receive Building Permit from B&S
  • Receive Inspection Record Card from B&S
  • Receive other permit instructions from B&S

You can also view a permit process flowchart to see these steps in more details.

The Building Permit process for a new home, new commercial building, or large structure can take several months, depending on the nature and complexity of the project and the experience of the building owner’s design team.  Experienced professional designers will coordinate, prepare, and respond to B&S requests for project information and documents in a timely manner and generally will ensure that the Building Permit is issued more expeditiously. 

Building permits for additions, alterations, and small projects like decks, patio covers, and structural repairs can take considerably less time to approve but still require B&S review and approval of the plans.  Permits for these small projects may also require some agency clearances, which can take several days or weeks to approve, depending on the nature and complexity of the project and project location.

Small maintenance projects and minor improvement projects like re-roofing, window change-outs, and new plumbing, mechanical, or electrical equipment installations usually do not require plans/construction drawings or plan review by B&S.  Typically, these small projects do not need clearances from other agencies.  When submitted in person at the B&S public counter, permit applications for many of these small projects can be approved and issued within 20 to 30 minutes on the same day.  Permit applications submitted electronically can take slightly longer.

The B&S Division also collects applicable permit fees and verifies that applicable Agency/Department clearances have been obtained before the Building Permit is issued.

See the B&S Permit Processing Checklist for a more detailed listing and checklist of required items required for a Building Permit.

Agency Clearances required for permit issuance

Plans/construction drawings and supporting documents are typically reviewed and approved by B&S and other agencies and Departments prior to permit issuance.  These reviews are necessary to ensure the design meets or exceeds the required design standards. 

Upon receipt of a Building Permit application Building and Safety will prepare a list of agency clearances required for the project. The listed clearances will depend on various factors associated with the project, like project location, size and use of the building, nature of work, and other project characteristics that may be regulated by other agencies.

Most projects are typically required to have one or more clearances from pertinent agencies prior to the Building Permit being issued. These clearances may be required at the time the permit application is submitted to B&S or at the time the permit is issued.  Some agency clearances are also necessary during construction, nearing project completion, but prior to B&S certification of the building for occupancy.

Permits for minor improvements, repairs, and other small projects typically do not require agency clearances outside of B&S.

B&S Fees That Must be Paid to Receive a Permit

Building and Safety collects B&S permit fees and selected fees for other agencies.

Some larger projects may also be assessed for certain development and other permit fees. For example, School fees (School District), Grading Permit fees (Public Works Agency), and Conditional Use Permit fees (Planning Division) for projects that require these permits and related services, are collected by those Departments or agencies.

Use our Fee Estimator Tool for a complete estimate of fees required for your project.

You can also go the current adopted B&S Fee Schedule to get a complete listing of fee amounts for B&S services.