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Building and Safety

Building and Safety Division- General Information

The City of Irvine's Building and Safety Division provides assistance and advice for anyone wishing to construct, add to, or remodel either commercial or residential properties. The Building and Safety Division recommends that a state-licensed contractor be hired to coordinate all phases and types of construction for your project; in fact, most commercial construction requires a contractor.

Follow these required steps to ensure a safe and compliant building:

Submit the required sets of plans and application material that detail the scope of the construction to the One Stop Permit Processing Counter, located in the Community Development Department, for review and approval.  Once the project is approved, a building permit will be issued for the scope of the construction.  Set up inspections on all permits issued by the One Stop Permit Processing Counter.  After all inspections have been completed and finalized, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued so that the new building may be occupied. 

For more information about any aspect of building and construction in the City of Irvine, or to learn specific requirements about your project, visit the City's website or stop by the Community Development Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday,  alternate Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (City Hall closes on every other Friday), or call the Project Status Desk at (949) 724-6313


Form Catalog

Building Codes Adopted by the City

The City of Irvine enforces the following codes: key amendments are included. For code adoption and complete amendments, see Title 5, Division 9, Chapters 1, 2 and 3 at Municipal Code.

The City of Irvine publishes an Informational Bulletin that documents our Code interpretations and policies.

The City maintains a Grading Manual and a Grading Code covering the City's Grading procedures.

The City of Irvine Public Works Department maintains an Engineering and Landscape Standards and Design Manual.

Code Information

Building Plan Check Status
To check the status of your plan check you may contact the Permit Processing Section at (949) 724-6313.    You may also visit the City's website .

On Line Permitting

Building Plan Check Submittal Requirement

The City of Irvine has the following Building Plan Check Submittal Requirements:


All proposed grading, architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical plans are required to be drawn to scale on blue line prints. Grading plans are required to be drawn on 30" x  42" 30 inch by 42 inch sheets. All plans need to be of sufficient clarity to indicate the existing conditions, location, nature and extent of the work proposed to allow us to determine if the proposed work will conform to all City requirements.


Each individual sheet of construction plans must be signed by the person responsible for their preparation. Each sheet of such plans, calculations and reports for non-exempt works (works not exempted by the State from the licensing requirements) shall be signed and sealed by the California State Licensed engineer or architect responsible for their preparation.


A seismic evaluation must be reviewed and approved by the City when grading is proposed in a seismic hazard zone, as identified by the State Department of Mines and Geology. Upon approval, the City is required to submit one copy of the evaluation to the State geologist.


Please visit the City's Web site for additional information on plan check requirements.



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Building Plan Check Turnaround Timeframe
Plans submitted in connection with a permit application will be reviewed by the City Plan Check staff for compliance with the provisions of all City adopted codes and regulations, and for compliance with the State mandated energy conservation standards and handicapped accessibility regulations. The permit application may be approved after the first review, or the permit applicant will receive a plan check correction list indicating all issues that need to be clarified or corrected before the plan can be processed for permit issuance.

Plan Check turnaround time is 15 working days for projects up to 400,000 square feet, five working days for tenant improvements and residential remodeling. Additional time may be required for large or complicated projects.

For more information on this process or on a specific application, call (949) 724-6471.


Code Enforcement
The Code Enforcement staff responds to complaints of violations of the City of Irvine Municipal Code which includes building, zoning, sign, grading, noise and encroachment regulations.  When a violation is identified, the responsible parties are contacted and requested to abate the violation.  If the violator fails to comply with City codes, the City Attorney prosecutes the case. Citations are utilized for minor infractions, while a criminal complaint process is used for significant violations.

For more information on the process, or to register a complaint, please telephone the City of Irvine Code Enforcement Supervisor Jan Helf at (949) 724-6326, or contact her by email at jhelf@ci.irvine.ca.us

When emailing a complaint, be sure to include a brief description of the potential code violation and the location.  A daytime phone number is helpful should additional information be required.

Code Enforcement Web Page

Construction Noise
Throughout the year, building and construction projects both big and small are in progress in various locations within the City of Irvine. These projects range from office building construction to roadway alterations and are performed by both private contractors and government departments.  Irvine Municipal Code section 6-8-205A prohibits construction and agricultural activities from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays. This section prohibits any construction or agricultural activities at any time on Sundays or Federal Holidays. This section is also applicable to trucks delivering agricultural or construction materials. If you observe violations occurring call the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7200.

View City of Irvine Municipal Code

Contractor Certification
The California Contractor's State License Board licenses contractors. A licensed contractor is required to perform any construction work including repairs and replacements when the work is valued at $500 or more. Before hiring a contractor, or to assist you in resolving disputes with contractor currently under your employ, please access the consumer information at the Board's website.

Contractor's State License Board Website

Hillside Building Regulations
In addition to the standard building regulations that exist in the California Building Code, there are other regulations for grading and building in the hillside areas of the City of Irvine to help make those areas safe. Within the hillside areas exist numerous hazards associated with debris flow, slope instability, rock fall and erosion. The purpose of the hillside regulations is to identify which areas of the hillside are safe to build and which should be left as open space. The following are some of the requirements that affect hillside construction:  All hillside developments must be investigated from a geotechnical/geologic viewpoint to identify any potential instability or hazards.  In general, graded slopes can be no steeper than 2:1 (horizontal:vertical) or 26 degrees.  Structures must be located a specified distance (set back) from the top or toe of a slope, depending on the height and steepness of the slope.  In hillside areas, roads can locally be as steep as 12 percent and driveways should not be steeper than 15 percent.  Building in a hillside area also requires additional engineering for footings, foundations and retaining walls, which may be necessary to assure stability.  Meeting requirements of hillside ordinances often means spending money for engineering and construction that would not be necessary for a flatland lot.  For more information about hillside grading and construction, stop by the City of Irvine, Community Development Department located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on alternate Fridays. City Hall is closed every other Friday.  You can contact Tom Polson, Engineering Geologist at (949) 724-6367.  

How can I obtain information on Building Codes?
To obtain information or clarification on building codes, contact Kam Chitalia, Principal Plan Check Engineer at (949) 724-6371 or by email , or Joe Kirkpatrick, Chief Building Official, at (949) 724-6320 or by email

Code Information

How do get Utilities Released?
To obtain utility releases, contact Marsha Lalonde, Permit Specialist,  at (949) 724-6321.  Or you may email her.

How do I obtain information on construction truck routes
To obtain information on authorized construction truck routes, please contact Jim Northcutt, Plans Examiner, at (949) 724-6522.  Email.

How do I Request a Building Variance?
 To obtain a Building Variance, please use the attached Building Variance Form. 


Variance Application Form

Installing New Utility Meters

Replacing or relocating a water, gas, or electric meter requires a permit and must be coordinated with the serving utility. In addition to permit fees, a relocation or replacement meter fee will be charged by the serving utility. For more information contact the Irvine Ranch Water District at (949) 453-5596, the Gas Company at (800) 427-2200, or Southern California Edison at (949) 458-4416.

Locating Utilities Before You Dig
A permit to excavate will not be valid until a Dig Alert number has been obtained. In addition, 48 hours prior to commencing excavations, Dig Alert must be notified. To obtain a project number or to notify Dig Alert call (800) 422-4133.

Other information may be obtained by visiting Dig Alert's website

Residential Remodels/ Additions

Please see the attached form for detailed submittal requirements

For more information, contact our Permit Processing Center at (949) 724-6313, or visit the City's website .



Residential Plan Submittal Requirements

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