Building & Safety

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Building & Safety

The Building & Safety Division of the City of Covina
provides plan review, inspection, and investigative
services and works to ensure safe, accessible, and
sustainable structures within the City of Covina.

Address

125 E. College Street 
Covina, CA 91723

Community Development & Public Works Lobby is
accessible through the east entrance or through the
east side of the north courtyard at City Hall.

Hours

 Business Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, and closed from 1-2 PM for lunch. 

Inspection Hours: Monday to Thursday, approximately
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Office, inspections, and Plan check services are not
conducted Friday to Sundays and on City observed
Holidays.

The Building and Safety Division works to ensure safe, accessible, and sustainable structures in the City of Covina. We provide plan review, inspection, and investigative services to advance public safety in the built environment through collaborative and community partnerships.

The Building and Safety Section provides information pertaining to any facet of construction, assisting architects, engineers, contractors, and property owners with interpretations and comprehension of the various construction-related codes. Informational handouts that detail requirements for block walls, patio covers, and other miscellaneous construction-related information are available.

Blueprints (plans) are submitted for review to the Building and Safety Section by architects, engineers, contractors, and property owners, ensuring compliance with state and local codes including life safety issues, structural integrity, disabled accessibility, and energy efficiency. The Division serves by verifying safeguards and protecting public welfare through review and inspection of building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical construction practices.

In compliance with state and local construction laws, the division provides residents, contractors, and developers professional guidance relating to seismic, wind, and fire safety. Our staff members are professionally certified, educated, and experienced in the various aspects of construction including design, review, and inspection.

Permits will expire if work is not commenced 180 days from the permit issuance date or if the project goes 180 days without passing inspection. To re-active expired permits, renewal fees will be required. When submitting plans to our plan review consultant, the average response time for room additions and other types of minor construction projects is 10 working days.

Extensions must be applied in writing before permit expiration and can result in a maximum of one 180-day extension. Extensions are subject to approval from the Building Official based on hardship.


The Building and Safety Section will inform you of any Los Angeles County Fire Department requirements that may pertain to your project. The number for Fire Department inquiries is: (626) 974-8335.


Plan checks are good for 180 days, If permits are not pulled prior to that time, additional fees will be required to re-activate the plan check. Permits are good for 365 days after they are issued.

Construction Hours

Per CMC 9.40.110 Construction or repair work or use of Construction type equipment or device is unlawful between the hours of 8:00 p.m of any one day and 7:00 a.m of the next day, at any time on any Sunday or at any time on any public holiday in such a manner that is reasonable a person of normal sensitivity residing in the area is caused discomfort or annoyance.

For projects requiring a planning approval clearance before obtaining a building permit: Refer to your “Conditions of Approval” as noted on your planning approval clearance for location-specific construction hours.

Handouts, Checklists, and Forms

Refer to the below links for project specific handouts, our application form, and other informational handouts and checklists. If your inquiry is not addressed in our handouts section, kindly reach out to Building staff at (626) 384-5460.

An appointment with the appropriate professional staff is the best way to assure your project gets off to a good start.

Express Permits

Code Change Deadlines that may impact your permit: Important Deadlines for Home Builders!

As we approach the end of the calendar year 2022, the NEW 2022 Building Code change, please take note and be advised of the end of the year deadlines. to ensure your permits are processed smoothly, please help us and submit your applications early! Large batches of productions permits(s) submitted close to or on the December 22nd deadline are not guaranteed to be processed before the deadline.

November 17 2022: First Day to submit master plans for 2022 Building Code Updates

December 22, 2022: Las day to submit plans and pay for review under the 2019 Building Code

January 1, 2023: 2022 California Building Codes apply to new permit applications!

Click here for the full notice 

What is an express permit?

Express permits include re-roof, minor mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work, and like for like window and door change outs.

  • If a mechanical or electrical unit is located outside, you must show a 5-foot set back from the unit to the property line on your site plan.
  • all projects require a site plan, regardless of scope of work.  
Do you issue Alarm Permits?

Alarm Permits are not processed by the Building and Safety Division. Alarm permits are processed through the Police Department Website

What happens after I submit?

Once a completed application is received and reviewed, a permit technician will follow up with you with your application number & invoice or let you know if any other information is needed. While most of the permitting steps can be done remotely, a visit will still be required for applicant verification and to pick up your job card.  In most instances, the ID check and job card pick up takes less than 5 minutes. While most of the permitting process can be done remotely, applicants are welcome to come in to complete  the permitting process over the counter at any point, including submitting in person or by mail.  

Do I need an appointment?
Appointments are not mandatory but are highly recommended so we can prioritize your visit. Please call us at 626-384-5460 to set up an appointment or notify the permit technician assisting you by email.
What if my project is not an express permit?

If your project requires Planning or Engineering approval, it is likely not an express permit. Please review the “Plan Check Process”page for information regarding larger-scale projects which typically require a Planning Approval Clearance before the Buiding Division can take plans in for review. in these cases, submittals without a  “planning approval clearance” or “planning approval stamp” will be rejected.

Some examples of projects that need Planning approval include, but are not limited to:
  • Any work that results in a roof pitch change
  • landscaping and exterior changes 
  • A roofing job that changes the color or material of the roof.
  • An addition of a patio or porch
  • Changing window and/or door locations or sizes (even if like-for-like)
  • All sheds, regardless of size
  • Commercial solar submittals
  • New Pools and Spas
  • A Tenant Improvement associated with a change of use (e.g. retail to restaurant, office to restaurant, etc.)
  • Parking lot re-striping or modifications
  • Adding square footage to a building or home.
  • All walls and fences 

How to Apply:

Step 1: Confirm your project address’s jurisdiction.Any address over 2999, or property located south of the 10 freeway with a Covina Address is actually located in LA County. If this describes your address,  please contact a local county office for your Building Permits. You can also use this toolto determine your jurisdiction.

Step 2: Review the above Frequently Asked Questions

Step 3: For express permits: submit the below information at the building & safety counter

  1. A completed application form (missing information will delay the permit)
  2. A site plan (required)click here for a sample
  3. and one of these applicant options:

Homeowner:

  • Complete theowner builder form and
  • If home ownership is under 2 years, ID + Grant Deed
  • If home ownership is over 2 years,ID

Contractor:

  • Copy of the contractor’s license and ID<

Agent of Contractor: 

  • Copy of Contractor’s licenseand letter of authorization to pull on contractors’ behalf

Step 4: A Permit technician will follow up with your permit application number, invoice, and next steps.

Supporting Documents

Building Plan Check

Code Change Deadlines that may impact your permit: Important Deadlines for Home Builders!

As we approach the end of the calendar year 2022, the NEW 2022 Building Code change, please take note and be advised of the end of the year deadlines. to ensure your permits are processed smoothly, please help us and submit your applications early! Large batches of productions permits(s) submitted close to or on the December 22nd deadline are not guaranteed to be processed before the deadline.

November 17 2022: First Day to submit master plans for 2022 Building Code Updates 
December 22, 2022: Last day to submit plans and pay for review under the 2019 Building Code
January 1, 2023: 2022 California Building Codes apply to new permit applications!
Click here for the full notice

Use this page for projects that are not express permits. Projects that require plan check services typically require a Planning Approval Clearance before submitting to the Building and Safety Division. 

I received my Planning Approval Clearance, what is next?

A complete submittal package must be dropped off at the Building & Safety counter. A drop-off will be rejected if it is incomplete. Building staff may accept your submission, review it for completeness and notify you at a later time if it is incomplete. You can find the typical submittal requirements on our handouts page.

Do you offer expedited Services?

We do not offer expedited plan check services. 

Where can I verify that my Contractor has a valid license?

Click here for the Contractor State License Board home page, where you can verify if a contractor has an active license and what type of licenses they possess. Our Permit technicians also verify licenses before issuing any permits. 

How many sets of plans do I need to submit for plan check?

The number of sets required depends on the scope of work applied. Below are some examples of the required sets to submit. This list is not exhaustive. Please consult with your assigned planner and building staff to work out a plan check submittal timeline and for information regarding what items are required to submit if the project is more complex (such as a new development), and always refer to our handouts page for project-specific submittal requirements. 

Project Type Number Of Required Sets
Solar (Commercial and Residential)
3 sets of plans, 2 sets of calcs (or two letters). All Commercial PV Projects must have Planning approval and Fire department review and approval. size: 11x17. If in conjunction with new development, consult with staff.
New Detached ADU
4 sets of plans (24x36), 2 sets of calcs (8.5x11), 2 sets of energy (8.5x11), 1 address request form and 1 (8.5x11) site plan.
JADU (Conversion of the existing footprint of dwelling unit)
3 sets of plans (24x36) which must include T-24. T-24 on 8.5 x 11 (2 copies) also required
Interior T.I (with no exterior modifications and no change of use)
3 sets of plans, two sets of calcs, two sets of energy (T24) (Fire submittal separately & reviewed concurrently) on 24x36
Restaurant Interior Remodel
3 sets of plans, two sets of calcs, two sets of energy (T24) (Health and Fire submitted separately and reviewed concurrently) on 24x36
New Pool or Pool Remodel
3 sets of plans on 24x36.
Sign Permit
3 sets of plans on 11X17. Must have specs , T-24 must be included if an illuminated sign.
Patio (New)
3 sets of plans, must include specs/calcs. 11x17
Residential Addition (new room(s), expansion of living space, etc)
4 sets of plans on 24x36. T-24 and Calcs must be included in the sets. T24 and calls must also be printed on 8.5x11 (2 copies).
What is the timeframe of plan check?

The first submittal for plan check can take 4-6 weeks to complete. To speed up the process, it is important to review the handouts on the handout page to ensure your submittal is as complete as possible to avoid minor corrections on a plan review cycle. Solar submittals typically take the least time, from one business day to 6 business days. Commercial Solar projects may take longer, since they require fire department approval before we can issue permits. City Hall is CLOSED Friday Through Sunday and Holidays and plan checks are not conducted during these times. 

How long are plan checks good for? Can I submit an extension?

Plan checks are good for 180 days, If permits are not pulled prior to that time, additional fees will be required to re-activate the plan check. Permits are good for 365 days after they are issued.Extensions must be applied in writing before permit expiration and can result in a maximum of one 180-day extension. Extensions are subject to approval from the Building Official based on hardship 

I received my Permit, when will it expire?

Permits will expire if work is not commenced 180 days from the permit issuance date or if the project goes 180 days without passing inspection. To re-active expired permits renewal fees will be required. When submitting plans to our plan review consultant, the average response time for room additions and other types of minor construction projects is 10 working days. 

Can you approve my project electronically?

At the moment, we do not offer electronic plan checks and permit issuance. However, we recommend that the entire submittal package is submitted by email firstso our permit technicians can notify you if any issues are seen. Staff will reject counter submittals if they are incomplete, which can delay the process by at least one business day. 

My permit technician asked me to obtain a Sanitation Clearance for my project. What does this mean?

Some projects may trigger an approval or clearance from the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts before permits can be issued. An example would be if a new dwelling unit is proposed, such as an Accessory Dwelling Unit. Minor projects in Covina such as a bathroom remodel or or adding a bathroom to an existing home will not trigger this requirement. If you received a notice to obtain a clearance, please complete this form and send it to connectionfee@lacsd.org. Once you receive an “approved” clearance form from LACSD, you will need to provide the form to your permit technician. 

Some projects need Fire Approval before permits can be issued?

EPIC-LA will take all new development – subdivision and/or new development (commercial, industrial, office, residential, etc.) and can include ADUs. See the attachment below. Tenant Improvement & Commercial Solar – Plan checks for T.I’s, renovations, modifications, and change of use, are submitted to a local fire inspector’s office. Allow a permit technician to assist you with contact information after your items are submitted for review. See the attachment “Energy Systems Requiring Fire Department Review” below.  

How do I know if my permit needs Engineering approval first?

Some submittals will be accepted for the building department permitting process, but cannot be issued unless an encroachment permit is also issued at or before the building permit is issued. If your project involves work outside of the property and on to the public right of way, or, if the project site has no sidewalk but the scope of work is close to the front property line, you will need to check in with engineering staff. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

– breaking the sidewalk or working in the front of the property, where there is no sidewalk

– sewer lateral connection​

Should I pay school fee's?

Projects that involve a newly built structure, or the addition of square feet to a structure, will likely need to check in with their school district before the Building Division can issue any permits. Whether or not fees are applied, your project may be required to check in with the school district before obtaining permits.  See the document “School Districts in Covina ” to determine the school district servicing your area. 

How to Apply:

Step 1: Confirm your project address’s jurisdiction. Any address over 2999, or property located south of the 10 freeway with a Covina Address is actually located in LA County. If this describes your address,  please contacta local county office for your Building Permits. You can also use this tool to determine your jurisdiction.

Step 2: Review the above Frequently Asked Questions and review the Handouts Page for submittal requirements specific to your project. If you cannot find this information, kindly contact Building & Safety Staff. If Planning Approval is required, include your clearance into your plans (incorporate into the 24×36 plans)

Step 3:Assemble submittal items as noted in Step 2, along with a Building Application form, and one of these applicant options below:

option 1: Homeowner (residential only):

Complete the owner builder form and

If home ownership is under 2 years, ID + Grant Deed

If home ownership is over 2 years, ID.

option 2: Contractor:

Copy of the contractor’s license and ID

option 3: Agent of Contractor:

Copy of Contractor’s license and letter of authorization to pull on contractors’ behalf

Step 4: Submit your items.

Hard copy submittal (any missing items or incomplete submittals will delay the review process)

Building Inspections Home Page

The Building Division conducts field inspections on projects by verifying building construction is within the parameters requested by the architect or engineer and to ensure public safety &  compliance with state and local codes.

Request an Inspection
Send the below information to bldinspections@covinaca.gov:

  • Project Address
  • Permit Number (BLD##-###)
  • Inspection Code
  • Inspection Type
  • Contact information name and phone number.

Inspections requested before 3:00 pm will be scheduled for thenextbusiness day.

No inspections are scheduled Friday to Sunday and on Holidays. 

Confirm an Inspection
Click onDaily Inspection Route to view the list or dial (626) 384-5460, choose option#2 and wait for the recorded message. 

The PDF and recorded message are updated daily by 5PM.

Inspection times are approximately from9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Thursday. The inspections are listed in the order of inspection route and separated by AM and PM shift.

Contact an Inspector

Inspectors are available by phone on normal business days from 7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Messages left afterward may not be returned until the following business day.  626-384-5460

Cancel an Inspection

Send a cancellation email to BLDinspections@covinaca.gov. If a cancellation needs to be requested on a confirmed inspection day, call staff at 626-384-5460. 

Other Inspection Information

Certificate of Occupancy is issued for commercial structures after the inspections are completed.

Public Grading and Right-of-Way Inspections are conducted by the Engineering and Public Works Projects Department. Contact 626-384-5440 for further information and to schedule inspections.

Landscape Inspections take place after all landscape and irrigation work is complete. To schedule or cancel landscape inspections, contact the Planning Department 626-384-5450 and be ready to provide a project number. Customers must provide two business days advance notice to process their request.

Mitigation Monitoring Coordination (MMC) – This section is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program (MMRP) during all phases of the construction process.

Special Inspections are inspections conducted by third parties. They are in addition to City inspections and are not a substitute. Registration with the City of Covina Building Department required.

Tank Application Inspections (TA) must be completed and finalized by the LOS ANGELES Fire Prevention Bureau prior to obtaining a final inspection from Development Services for applicants that required a Tank Application (TA) permit from Technical Services. Call  626-974-8335 for more information. Or contact EPICLA.com

Preparing for Onsite Inspections The following isrequired at the time of inspection:
  • Approved plans and documents
  • Inspection record card (orange permit card)
  • An adult 18 years of age or older must be present to allow access to the inspection site
  • All household pets shall be secured away from the construction site
  • All construction that requires a permit shall be inspected before it is covered or concealed
  • Ladders and scaffolds shall comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
  • Areas to be inspected shall have adequate lighting
  • A safe path of travel shall be provided throughout the inspection site. Crawl spaces must be dry, free of obstruction (i.e., insects, rodents, etc.) and deemed safe by the inspector.
  • All electrical panels and junction boxes to be inspected shall be open and accessible for inspection. Inspectors will not open boxes or take apart electrical equipment. 
Supporting Documents

Monthly Permit Report