Building Permits - Community Development
Building permits are required for new construction, additions, remodels, and alterations. This includes repair and maintenance for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work. Customers can submit building permit applications via email for review and processing. Below are directions on how to submit electronically.
Permits can be divided into two tiers:
- Tier 1 are permits for repair and maintenance type of work that can generally be obtained over the counter. Examples are re-roofs, electrical service, interior water distribution and HVAC changeouts (CF1R-Alt-02-E form required for HVACs).
- Tier 2 are permits that require Plan Check and/or Zoning approvals. Examples are additions, alterations, commercial tenant improvements, new dwellings, new structures and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).
The following types of Building Permit Applications are considered Tier 1 projects and have a streamlined submittal process. Customers with a project that only includes the items identified below, shall complete a Building Permit Application and submit to Building & Safety Division via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels with no interior wall demolition. A basic "Before and After" floor plan will generally be required.
- Existing Window Replacements that do not increase the size of the existing windows and do not create any new window openings. A window schedule will be required.
- Drywall replacement
- Replacement of exterior finishes, when the same materials are being used
- Electrical Service upgrade – a Burbank Water and Power meter spot is required
- Rewire or re-piping of an existing electrical or plumbing system (Residential Only)
- HVAC unit replacement when the unit is on the roof or at the rear of the property - energy report required
- HVAC replacement with new duct or New HVAC system - energy report required
- Water heater replacement.
- Seismic Brace and Bolt per Standard Plan
- Fireplace earthquake retrofit
Customers can access electronic copies of the applicable Building Permit Applications at the Building and Safety Applications Webpage. Within three to seven business days, the Building Division will contact customers with feedback and next steps.
Projects requiring plan check (including ADUs and sign permits) shall be submitted electronically for city review and processing.
Step 1: Contact the Building & Safety Division via email at email@example.com for access to our online review portal named ProjectDox. Please provide the following information in your email:
- Completed Building Permit Application listed below.
- If this project has gone through an entitlement process, attach approval letter
- Name of the person who will be uploading the plans
- Email address of the person who will be uploading the plans
- Phone number of the person who will be uploading the plans
- Project address
- Project description
- Area of work (square feet) of addition/remodel or Commercial Tenant Improvement work
- Type of construction
- Occupancy group
- Project valuation
- List all trades plans that will be submitted (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Civil, Landscape, etc.)
Within three to seven business days, the Building Division will contact customers with more information. All Building Permit Applications shall be submitted as noted above – unless otherwise provided by the Building & Safety Division.
Step 2: Once granted access, please read online directions (PDF) on how to download and submit plans through ProjectDox.
- Preferred File type is PDF (no URLs or hyperlinks)
- Upload each page of the drawings as an individual file
- Upload files in landscape orientation.
- The files shall be named in the following format:
- “Sheet number-Sheet description” (maximum 32 characters)
- (ex. AS1-Site Plan)
- Exclude extraneous information in the file names such as dates, version numbers, etc.
Supporting Document Files
- Preferred File type is PDF
- Support files that are required for the project shall be uploaded in the supporting documents as multipage documents.
In the first 48 hours of the review process, plans will be screened by the Planning Division for project viability in relation to Burbank’s municipal code per zoning standards (Zoning Pre-clearance). If the Planning Division determines that the project Zoning Pre-Clearance cannot be granted (examples might include submittal of incomplete plans, unclear project description, a scope of work that triggers a Planning entitlement, or unpaid Planning Division processing fees), a Planner will contact the customer to provide an explanation and direction on what is needed in order to grant Zoning Pre-Clearance.
New Project Sign Requirement for Projects going through Plan Check
All applicants proposing additions and remodels that alter the exterior facades of a single-family dwelling as well as construction of new single-family dwellings in R-1 and R-1-H single family residential zones are required to post a sign on the project site providing public notice of the pending development application. The requirements are included as pages two and three of the Building Permit application.
Two Unit Housing Development Projects will follow the submittal steps listed in the Tier 2 Building Permit applications for Projects that require Plan Check.
Information on Urban Lot Split requirements may be found on the Planning Applications page.
Please refer to our Work Exempt from Permits (PDF) handout for a visual reference of common projects that do not require a permit.
Warning: Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
Permits shall not be required for the following according to the California Building Code:
- One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet AND the location of the structure complies with zoning setback distances. The building shall not contain any heating, plumbing, or electrical installations or be used for the storage of any hazardous materials.
- Masonry or concrete walls not over 6 feet high or 6 feet high with a vinyl, wood, or metal addition of no more than 12 inches, and other fences (vinyl, wood, metal) not over 7 feet tall. See Burbank Municipal Code Title 10 for maximum fence heights permitted by the zoning code.
- Oil derricks.
- Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
- Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity is not greater than 5,000 gallons and the height to diameter ratio is not greater than 2:1.
- Sidewalks or driveways not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, counter tops, and similar finish work.
- Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a single-family residence or duplex that are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, and are installed entirely above ground. Safety features still apply.
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
- Window awnings attached to single-family dwelling and accessory buildings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
- Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
- Radio and television transmittng stations, but not the equipment and wiring for the power supply or the installation of towers and antennas.
- Temporary testing systems.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Portable ventilation equipment.
- Portable cooling unit.
- Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment.
- Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
- Portable evaporative cooler.
- Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds of less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less.
- The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with the new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained an d inspection made as provided in this code.
- The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
South Coast AQMD Rule 1403
South Coast AQMD Rule 1403 (PDF), adopted by the South Coast AQMD on October 6, 1989, establishes Survey Requirements (PDF, 30kb), notification (PDF, 809kb) and work practice requirements to prevent asbestos emissions from emanating during building renovation and demolition activities.