Construction Permits

A construction permit (sometimes called a building permit) is needed for almost any project that involves building or altering a structure or its plumbing, mechanical, or electrical systems.

Building Inspections

How to schedule a Building Inspection.

Construction Permit Application

This service outlines the electronic construction permit submittal process.  A construction permit is required if you plan to construct, enlarge, alter, move, replace, repair, improve, convert, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure. A permit is also needed if you plan to move more than 50 cubic yards of dirt or build a retaining wall taller than 4 feet from the bottom of the footing.  If submitting for a construction permit with paper plans, call (805) 781-5600 to set up an appointment for intake.  Please following the steps below to submit a construction permit application electronically.

If you need to repair your septic, or apply for solar, please follow the steps found in Septic Repair Permit and Renewable Energy Permits.


Contractor License Verification

This form can be used to add California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) information to an existing Customer Self-Service (CSS) account.

Express Permits for Small Repairs or Installs

PLEASE NOTE: This online Express Permitting system is only available to California Licensed Contractors.

Express Permits are available to be submitted online by a California Licensed Contractor. Express Permits include projects that are normally quicker to repair or install. For example: water heater replacement, air conditioning or heating unit replacement, drain repair, lighting, electrical panel replacement, etc.  

Frequently Asked Questions for Construction Permits

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the construction permit process.

Geologic Report Review

Geologic reports are required for projects requiring a permit within a designated Geologic Study Area (GSA). GSAs include areas of seismic, landslide, liquefaction, erosion, and stability hazards.

Grading Alternative Review Program

An applicant may elect to use the Alternative Review Program for certain agricultural grading. This process allows an applicant to obtain technical assistance, inspection, and sign-off by either the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or the Resource Conservation District (RCD).  Please read on to learn more.

Grading Defined

A guide that defines grading.

Grading User Guide

Grading (Major) Permit

A grading permit is typically needed when a project will change the topography of a property through removing and/or depositing more than 50 cubic yards of soil. Grading is regulated because it can cause serious problems when not done properly. Staff in the Department of Planning & Building review applications to ensure that they comply with applicable codes and ordinances before issuing a grading permit.

Local Agency Management Program (LAMP)

The Local Agency Management Program (LAMP) develops minimum standards for the treatment and disposal of sewage through onsite wastewater treatment systems. The LAMP is the culmination of the actions required by Assembly Bill 885 and the State Water Resources Control Board to develop regulations and standards for onsite wastewater treatment systems. The County of San Luis Obispo LAMP is designed to protect surface water and groundwater from contamination while providing flexibility in design criteria in consideration of local conditions.

Post-Construction Stormwater Management

The Department of Planning & Building is required to track the long-term operation and maintenance of post-construction stormwater control measures installed within the County’s Stormwater Management Area. The Central Coast Post-Construction Requirements order the County to establish operation and maintenance plans with private stormwater system owners. The Department records plans that comply with the Requirements, which document the existence of all structures and require maintenance and operation in perpetuity by any future owners.

Recycling Receipts

This service provides a step by step process to submit your waste and recycling receipts for approval.

Beginning January 1, 2017, new “Cal Green” Building Codes requires all structures to recycle 65% of the waste generated by construction and demo. In addition, San Luis Obispo Green Building Ordinance requires you to recycle 75% of the waste from all projects. 

Before you receive a County permit you must tell the County how you will handle the project’s waste.

Once the project has reached completion, submit your waste and recycling receipts for approval 7 days before you need the Final Building Inspector sign-off. Submittals are taken in the order received, so try to be sure everything is provided, or delays could result.

Renewable Energy Permits

A construction permit is required for the installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations for all residential and commercial buildings. According to County of San Luis Obispo Building and Construction Ordinance Title 19 (Section 19.09.016), these permits will go through an expedited process.

Solar Photovoltaic System Permit 

Review the Solar Photovoltaic checklist and submittal requirements  

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Permit 

Review the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Permit checklist and submittal requirements

Permit applications that meet checklist requirements will be administratively approved through the Building Division. The EVCS project review is limited to health and safety requirements found under local, state and federal law.  

For expedited plan review and inspection process please verify your project complies with all applicable code provisions with the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Inspection Checklist


Request a Permit Appointment

Use this form to request an appointment to discuss a permit application in person before applying.  

Re-Submittals for Construction Permit Applications Under Review

The Permit Center Lobby is open to facilitate scheduling appointments and for permit correction returns/pick-up. All permit applications submitted with hardcopy plans will be processed and issued in that format. We are not able to switch to electronic submittal after processing begins. If you have questions, please contact your designated plans examiner, land use technician, or their supervisor.  

In-person appointments may be scheduled for Building Permit Intake, correction return/pick-up and issuance by calling 805-781-5600. Appointments are available Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM (Closed 12:00-1:30 PM). 

Septic Repair Permit

If your septic system needs to be repaired, you will need to submit for a permit to correct the onsite wastewater system.


Septic System Operation and Maintenance

The Department of Planning & Building encourages property owners to regularly maintain their onsite wastewater treatment systems for optimal functioning. The Department provides forms for reporting the condition of systems and verifying system capacity for building expansions. This page also includes educational information and quick tips on the proper use of onsite wastewater treatment systems.

Special Inspection Program

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Planning and Building provides the local building industry with the Special Inspection Program. Use of the program is mandatory when any special inspection is required on a project. The program provides a complete overview of the requirements for owners, design professionals, special inspectors, contractors, the building official, and all staff involved.

Stormwater Management During Construction

The Department of Planning & Building administers state and federal pollution prevention policies for stormwater runoff, verifying that appropriate stormwater permits and plans are in place prior to the commencement of construction. Department staff is available to support applicants with determining which permits and plans are required and will oversee implementation of appropriate pollution control practices during construction.

Structural Observation Program

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Planning and Building provides the local building industry with the Structural Observation Program. Use of the program is mandatory when any structural observation is required on a project. The program provides a complete overview of the requirements for owners, design professionals, special inspectors, contractors, the building official, and all staff involved.