Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the permit process for an addition to an existing home? Where can I find information regarding setbacks, height, building size, etc.

The process of obtaining building permits is basically the same for additions/alterations as it is for new structures. This process begins with determining what type of structure meets the zoning requirements of the site.
Type of occupancy, setbacks, height, and size limitations are all land-use issues covered by the County of Los Angeles Zoning Code (Title 22). The Department of Regional Planning (DRP) is the agency responsible for administering this Code. The DRP may be contacted online at In addition, many of the local Building and Safety District offices house a Regional Planning representative on certain scheduled days. It is very helpful for an applicant to have a dimensioned plot plan illustrating an overhead view of the property with all structures outlined and distances to property lines and between structures identified. The existing and proposed construction should be clearly indicated as well.

Once the land-use questions have been resolved, an applicant will need complete construction plans for the project. These plans are then submitted to the local Building and Safety District office. Any corrections needed to bring the plans into compliance with the County Building Code will be identified. Once the plans are approved, a building permit can be issued and the construction and inspection phase of the project begins.
A listing of the Building and Safety District offices can be found on Los Angeles County Public Works website ( under Services/Construction/Permits/Permit Offices/Building and Safety.

  Department of Regional Planning