Building and Public Works Permits

Contact Us

Permits & Inspections Office
580 Pacific Street, Room 4
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 646-3890
Fax: (831) 646-5643

Monday - Friday
Open: 8 to noon and
12:30 to 4 p.m.*
Closed: noon - 12:30 p.m.
*Available by phone until 5 p.m.

John Kuehl
Building Official/Chief of Inspection Services, ADA Coordinator

Lisa Feliciano
Administrative Assistant II

Read the FAQs for the main questions we get asked about building permits. If you still have more questions, please contact us. Even if you don't need a building permit, you need to contact the Planning & Engineering Division at (831) 646-3885 for ANY EXTERIOR CHANGES made, including any accessory structure.

Permits FAQs

1.   How long will the plan check take?

Plans are typically returned within approximately 15 working days.

2.   When is a building permit required?

No building or structure regulated by the Building Codes shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, converted or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has first been obtained.

Permits are also required for:
  • Re-roofs and skylights
  • Electrical (new service/wiring)
  • Plumbing (water heaters/new piping, gas or water)
  • Mechanical (heating & cooling systems)
  • Tent structures/awnings (over 120 square feet)
  • Patio covers
Permits MAY be required for:
  • Windows
  • Siding
  • Platforms
  • Retaining walls
  • Fences
  • Awnings/tent structures, any size
  • Accessory structures under 120 square feet
Building Permits are NOT required for:
  • One story detached structures less than 120 square feet
  • Fences constructed 6 feet in height or less
  • Movable cases and partitions not to exceed 5'9" in height
  • Retaining walls less than 3 feet high measured from grade unless supporting a surcharge
  • Platforms and walks not over 30 inches
  • Pre-fab pools (5,000 gallons or less)
Please note: Check with the Planning, Engineering & Environmental Compliance (PEEC) Division before starting any project as prior approval or permits may be necessary.

3.   What types of permits may be issued over the counter?

  1. Re-roofs
  2. Miscellaneous plumbing, electrical or mechanical
Contractors may contact our office regarding establishing faxed permits. This is only a sample list of the types of permits that may be issued over the counter. If you have any questions about a specific project, please contact our office.

4.   Who else do I need to contact?

For new plumbing fixtures, contact Water Management at (831) 658-5600.
For new electrical service contact PG & E at (831) 648-3231.

5.   What types of building permits are there?

  • Building/Structural
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • Grading 

6.   Who can take out a permit?

Only a building owner or a licensed contractor.