Building Permits

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Building Permit Applications/Issuance During Marin County Health Officer Order to Shelter In Place

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and out of concern for the safety of staff as well as the public, as of Monday, March 16, 2020 City Hall is closed to the public and the Community Development Department has shifted planning and building services to virtual appointments/submittals only. Building Permits will be accepted, processed and issued under the condition that the safety/health requirements set forth in Appendix B to the Order are met for construction activities. All Building Permits will be processed electronically.

About Building Permits

  • Building permits are the way the City of Sausalito regulates construction to ensure that it is safe for occupancy or use. This is done through the review of plans and periodic inspections to verify compliance with the current California Building Code and local regulations. Every permit requires a building inspection
  • A separate Building Permit must be obtained for each building or structure before it can be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished.
  • A Building Permit is not required for the exempted work listed on this page.
  • This page includes information on submittal requirements, building permit fees, the concurrent plan check procedure, items that must be satisfied prior to issuance of a building permit, expiration of permits, inspection requests, holds, review by outside agencies, and applicable construction codes. There is also a list of useful phone numbers.
  • An Encroachment Permit is required by the Department of Public Works for site and frontage public improvements.
  • A Grading Permit is required by the Department of Public Works for projects disturbing 50 or more cubic yards of earth or more.
  • See also information on retroactive permits.

Submittal Requirements

  • Digital Submittal Requirements. The City Digital Submittal Requirements may be viewed here.
  • Application. The Building Permit Application must be filled out and submitted electronically in order to receive a building permit. Please submit permit applications via email to All information must be legible and complete. Most building permits also require a zoning permit.
  • Numbers of Plan Sets. Contact Building Division staff at (415) 289-4144 for more information. See also the Plan Submittal Checklist.
  • Scale and Size of Plans.  All plans must be drawn on with a minimum scale of ¼” per foot, except for the site plan which may be drawn with a minimum scale of 1/8” per foot. All plan sheets must be the same size, with a maximum sheet size of 24” X 36” and minimum sheet size of 11” X 17”.  
  • Information Required On Each Page of the Plans
  • Information Required On Permit Documents
    • The scope of the work must be shown in a clear and concise manner. Provide only information that is pertinent to the scope of the project.
    • Floor plan of each level, label all rooms.
    • Site plan including:
    • Survey.
    • Erosion control plan (erosion control must be in place October 15 through April 15 or whenever it is raining).
    • Building elevations.
    • Complete structural drawings including foundations, floor, roof, deck, and wall framing plans.
    • Roof/floor truss layout plan with calculations.
    • Cross sections and details to sufficiently clarify all construction.
    • Fireplace details or manufacturer’s installation instructions.
    • Stairway, handrail and guardrail details.
    • Size, opening and type of glass windows and skylights.
    • Location of electrical panels, switches, outlets and types of lights.
    • Plumbing fixtures.
    • Details of heating equipment (size, location and type of fuel).
    • Compliance with the California Energy Commission requirements (Energy Calculations) CF-1R and MF-1R (from Energy Calculations) on plans and in booklet form.
    • Fire sprinkler plans and calculations.
    • Any information necessary to describe the work and show that it will conform to the provisions of the codes, ordinances, and regulations adopted by the City of Sausalito.
    • Complete existing condition plan.
  • Specifications, Calculations, Reports, etc. (Minimum of 2 copies required)
    • Specifications, engineering calculations, Certified Accessibility Specialist (CASp) reports, soil investigation reports, special inspection and structural observation programs and other related data (as applicable)

Building Permit Fees

  • The City of Sausalito schedule of building permit fees is updated regularly.
  • The Southern Marin Fire Prevention District also maintains a fee schedule for fire prevention and fire protection services.
  • The fees for obtaining building permits are collected in two stages.
  • If work is started prior to the issuance of a Building Permit, an investigation fee is collected which is equal to the estimated Building Permit Fee. A penalty equal to twice the building permit may also be charged. An Administrative Citation may also be issued.

Concurrent Plan Check Procedure

  • Prior to submitting plans, Applicants are advised to:
  • Following submittal of the application forms, plans, permit documents, and fees to the Community Development Department, the actions listed below occur. These actions reflect the Concurrent Plan Check process instituted on September 1, 2012. Click here for a flow chart of concurrent plan check procedures.

Prior to Issuance

  • The following items must be satisfied prior to issuance of a Building Permit (some or all may apply to your project):
  • A sewer lateral video must be submitted for review by the Sewer Coordinator in any of the following situations (See Sewer Video Guidelines, Mandatory Requirements & Submittal Form & Sewer Systems Information for details) :
  • Job Number (aka, J#) from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for project involving:
    • Demolition of a structure load-bearing member;
    • Raising a structure to install a new foundation; or
    • Work involving a fire-damaged structure.
  • If construction activities may involve the release of asbestos, Applicants are advised to contact the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

Expiration of Permits

  • Permits expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized is not commenced within 180 days from the date of permit issuance, or if the work authorized is suspended or abandoned at any time for a period of 180 days after the work is commenced.

Building Permit Inspections

  • Inspection Requests can be made by calling the Inspection Line at (415)289-4100, ext. 811
  • The request needs to contain the following information in order to be scheduled:
    • Preference for site inspection or virtual inspection
    • The desired day and date of the requested inspection
    • The permit number
    • The site address
    • Preference for AM or PM inspection (AM is 9AM to 12 noon; PM is 1PM to 4PM)
    • The type of inspection
    • A contact name and cell phone number
  • Virtual inspections will occur Tuesday and Thursday for smaller improvements (i.e., water heaters, furnaces, roofs). Please contact Building Inspector Kenneth Henry at (415) 289-4136 or to see if your project qualifies for a virtual inspection.
    • Every attempt will be made to perform inspections on the next regular inspection day; however, inspection requests will be processed on a first come, first serve basis. If an inspection request needs to be altered due to compliance with safety protocols, inspector’s schedule, or time constraints a phone call will be returned to the contact person. Otherwise, there will be no confirmation call returned and the inspection will be scheduled as requested.
    • Requests must be made by 7:00 am the day of the inspection. Any inspections requested after 7:00am will automatically be considered for another inspection day.
  • Failed inspections or no-shows will be charged a re-inspection fee of $75.00.
  • For both in person and virtual inspections somebody must be onsite during the inspection with the job card and the approved set of plans.


  • Some permits may be issued with "Holds."
  • Holds are stipulated by different agencies and the holds must be met prior to various stages of construction.
  • Holds may be placed by the Planning Division, Building Division, Fire Prevention Officer, County Environmental Health Services, and the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District.
  • A "Close-In Hold" means that the Building Division will not inspect the rough framing, plumbing, electrical, or mechanical component on a project until the requesting entity has released the hold.
  • It is the responsibility of the permit holder to be aware of all holds and to be sure that the holds are released prior to requested inspections. 

Review by Outside Agencies

  • The Applicant is responsible for submitting plans to outside agencies (e.g., Southern Marin Fire Protection District, Marin Municipal Water District, County Environmental Health Services, Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission), which may require review and approval of the project. 

Applicable Construction Codes

  • The California Building Standards Commission has adopted the following construction codes, which are effective in the City of Sausalito. 
  • In addition, 2016 California Fire Code with local amendments adopted by Ordinance No. 1215 is effective in the City of Sausalito. 
  • See also the list of Local Building Ordinances

Useful Phone Numbers

  • Building Division: (415) 289-4128 
  • Planning Division: (415) 289-4128
  • Code Enforcement: (415) 289-4111
  • Engineering Division: (415) 289-4106
  • Maintenance Division: (415) 289-4113 
  • Southern Marin Fire Protection District: (415) 388-8182
  • Marin Municipal Water District: (415) 945-1455 
  • Marin County Environmental Health Services: (415) 473-6907 
  • Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District: (415) 332-0244
  • Bay Conservation and Development Commission: (415) 352-3600 
  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District: (415) 771-6000 
  • California State Contractor’s License Board: (800) 321-2752