Building Department

Obtaining a Building Permit


To obtain a building permit, submit your complete building permit application along with 2 sets of plans on a minimum of 18" X 24" at City Hall (Please Note: You must have all required items to submit and we do not accept electronic submittals). Once you have submitted your complete building permit application, staff will determine the permit cost and contact you for payment. Once contacted, all fees must be paid prior to your building permit being processed/reviewed.  If there are corrections needed,  you will be contacted promptly of what items are required. Once the revised plans have been submitted, they will be re-reviewed. Please note, if multiple plan reviews occur, you may be subject to additional fees.  


An owner-builder must sign the form in person.  Contractors may authorize an employee to sign building permits.  This authorization must be given in writing. Contractors must also possess a current contractor’s license and have a current City of Clearlake business license at the time of permit issuance.


For Demolition Permits, we require a plot plan to be accompanied with the permit application. The plot plan should have the building/structure that is to be demolished with the exact square footage being demolished.

Please be aware that ALL Demolition Permits require Lake County Air Quality approval prior to issuance.

Examples of projects that require a building permit:

  • Water heaters (new or replacement)
  • Window replacement(s) (replacing same size does not require a permit)            
  • Re-roofing (greater than 100 square feet)
  • Exterior wall coverings and water-proofing, (siding, stucco, etc.)
  • Stairs/ balcony/ decks/ guardrail/ handrail replacement or repair
  • Patio covers (solid roof or lattice)
  • Retaining walls greater than 4 ft. high, or walls supporting a surcharge
  • Bathroom and kitchen remodels, new lighting
  • Additions / alterations
  • Demolition, including lead and asbestos remediation documentation
  • Heating/ ventilation/ air conditioning units (new or replacement)
  • Tenant improvements (commercial/ retail)

Examples of work exempt from permit:

  • Detached accessory structures; provided the floor area does not exceed 120 sq. ft.
  • Painting, some tiling, carpet, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work
  • Window awnings that do not project more than 54 inches from an exterior wall
  • Decks not exceeding 200 sq. ft. in area; decks that are no more than 30 inches above grade at any point
  • Temporary decorative lighting (cord and plug connected)
  • Portable heating, ventilation or cooling units
  • The stopping of leaks in drain, water, waste or vent pipes; provided the piping is not replaced

Please Note: Building Permit and Land Use Applications will not be accepted via email and must be submitted in person. Applications submitted via email will not be accepted or acknowledged. For assistance with submissions, please contact the Building/Planning Department directly.