Hire a Design Professional
To begin the construction process, your proposed project will need to be accurately defined in detail by preparing design plans. These plans need to be prepared by a design professional. For complex soil conditions, foundation/site work, or structural/mechanical/electrical designs, detailed engineering may also be necessary to support the proposed design. It is your choice in determining who you hire to prepare your plans. If the homewoner elects to build anything other than the original permitted structure, they need to hire a qualified professional to conduct soil testing and design the new Onsite Waste Treatment System (OWTS).
Below are some helpful tips:
Once you have selected your design professional, the design and preparation of plans begins. Los Angeles County Building and Safety can assist you and your design professional and answer questions as your plans are prepared.
Are you in a Floodplain?
If so, you will need to meet new floodplain management building requirements.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Technical Bulletins provide guidance for complying with NFIP regulations.
Planning & Zoning Approvals
Depending on your project, you may need approval from county agencies prior to rebuilding.
Planning and Zoning Approval
If you plan on rebuilding your original permitted structure, you will FIRST need to submit a Site Plan to Regional Planning for approval so that they can confirm that it meets development standards and that it was originally permitted. However, if you plan on rebuilding anything other than the original permitted structure, you will need to go through the full planning approval process which may add significant time to the rebuilding process.
Regional Planning applications for fire disaster rebuild and temporary housing can be filed Online, at the Calabasas Field Office, or at the Downtown Los Angeles Office. To avoid delays in processing, please consult with Regional Planning staff prior to filing in order to ensure that all necessary information is provided. Please be advised that temporary housing applications WILL NOT be accepted until Property Clean-Up Completion Certification Form (Phase I & II) has been issued by the Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division.
If you plan on reusing an existing onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), aka, septic system, you must submit a certification from a qualified contractor attesting to the functionality of the OWTS. If you plan on modifying or enlarging the design of your building, you will be required to meet current regulations for the OWTS, including obtaining approval of a designated and tested future expansion area and may include upgrading to an advanced treatment system. Upgrading the OWTS may also require approval by Regional Planning. For more information, please see the Public Health, Onsite Wastewater Treatment System website.
Potable Water Approval
You must provide proof of a potable water source to Public Health, Drinking Water Program, to obtain a Water Availability Letter. This proof may be a letter from the water utility indicating they provide service, a prior water bill, or a letter from an approved water hauler indicating they will provide service. If your potable water source is a well, you must submit an “Application for Well Reuse” to Public Health, Drinking Water Program, to obtain an approval in order to obtain a permit from the local Building and Safety Office to reconnect the pump to a power source. A prior well yield test result must be submitted to determine whether water storage tanks are necessary. For more information, please see the Public Health, Drinking Water Program website.
Los Angeles County Fire Department plan review and approval is required for the rebuilding of all destroyed structures. Contact either Chris Kennelly, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jackie Switzler, email@example.com, at the Calabasas/Malibu Field Office, (818) 880-0341, for information regarding the Fire Department plan review process for rebuilding.