FAQ’s for “Ventura County Building Code (VCBC)”

Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Ventura County Building Code (VCBC)

A: The VCBC is the Ventura County Building Code. It is the Building Code used for new private construction projects in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

A: Ventura County currently uses the 2019 Ventura County Building Code (VCBC). The VCBC includes various state-mandated codes and standards, as well as locally adopted construction provisions and standards. These codes include standards for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as provisions for energy conservation, water conservation, structural and fire/life safety, accessibility for persons with disabilities, and sustainability.

A: The 2019 Ventura County Building Code is currently in effect for projects in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, through December 31, 2022. The 2022 VCBC goes into effect January 01, 2023, for new permit applications submitted on or after that date.

A: The current 2019 VCBC was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on November 5, 2019 and became effective January 01, 2020. The 2019 VCBC sunsets on December 31, 2022.

A: The State of California provides minimum standards for construction for all California jurisdictions. These are listed in the California Building Code (CBC) and apply to all California jurisdictions. However, State law allows for the adoption of local provisions that are different, but more restrictive than the State provisions, when certain local climatic, geologic, and/or topographic conditions exist. These local provisions and standards adopted by Ventura County apply only to projects in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and are outlined in the VCBC.

A: Most of the code requirements of the VCBC are the same as those required by the California Building Standards Codes. However, Ventura County has adopted more restrictive provisions for some projects, like construction in Hazardous Fire Areas of the County, which are intended to mitigate hazards associated with the hot dry climate and periodic Santa Ana wind conditions, and extreme topography, which can produce strong, fast-moving wildfires that pose significant fire risk for buildings in those areas. For a complete listing of the local provisions that are different from the State of California provisions, and which pertain to projects in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, click here

A: The following State codes are adopted by reference in Article 1 of the VCBC and enforced for projects located in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County:

  1. California Building Code (Title 24, Part 2)
  2. California Residential Code (Title 24, Part 2.5)
  3. California Electrical Code (Title 24, Part 3)
  4. California Mechanical Code (Title 24, Part 4)
  5. California Plumbing Code (Title 24, Part 5)
  6. California Energy Code (Title 24, Part 6)
  7. California Historical Building Code (Title 24, Part 8)
  8. California Existing Building Code (Title 24, Part 10)
  9. California Green Building Standards Code (Title 24, Part 11)
  10. California Referenced Standards Code (Title 24, Part 12)

A: There are two model codes published by the International Code Council that were adopted for use in Ventura County. These are:

  1. The International Property Maintenance Code, and
  2. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code

To see which edition of these codes is currently in effect in Ventura County, go toArticle 1 in the VCBC.

A: The best rule of thumb to use for getting started with finding applicable provisions for the design and construction of your project, is to use the Code that is most representative of the use and nature of your project. For example, for a new residence, use the California Residential Code. For the electrical and plumbing systems in that building, use the California Electrical Code and California Plumbing Code, respectively. If the building is a certified historical building, use the California Historical Building Code. If your building is a non-residential building, use the California Building Code. For projects in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, also review the VCBC for local provisions that may apply to your project.

The 2019 VCBC was adopted on November 05, 2019 and became effective January 01, 2020. The 2022 VCBC was adopted on November 01, 2022 and becomes effective January 01, 2023. The date the permit application is received by Building and Safety determines which effective date to use, and therefore which code edition applies to your project. For example, if your permit application is submitted on December 30, 2022, then your project must comply with the 2019 VCBC. If the permit application is submitted on January 2, 2023, then the 2022 VCBC applies.

A:The 2019 VCBC was adopted as Ordinance No. 4548. The 2022 VCBC was adopted as Ordinance No. 4608

A: You can view an older edition of the Ventura County Building Code here

A: You may purchase a hard copy of the VCBC at either of the two B&S public counters, at Ventura or Simi Valley. You may also view an electronic version of the VCBC here. You may also contact us by telephone at 805-654-2771 to purchase the VCBC by phone.

A: The County of Ventura is no longer accepting proposals for Code Changes in the 2022 VCBC. However, proposals for code changes in the 2025 VCBC can be sent to Building and Safety by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your proposal will be given consideration for adoption during the next code cycle. The next Code Adoption Cycle is for the 2025 VCBC. The deadline for submitting proposed changes for the 2025 VCBC is March 31, 2025.

A: You can view the California Codes used in Ventura County at https://www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC/Codes. You may purchase a hard or electronic copy of the California Codes and/or the International Codes at https://shop.iccsafe.org/custom-codes/state-codes/california.html or at https://www.bnibooks.com

You can find the amendments to the State Codes adopted by the County of Ventura here. here