During the construction phase of a project, inspectors from the Building Department will perform an inspection of a project at various critical stages. Before a new building or addition can be occupied, the owner needs to be issued a Certificate of Occupancy. However, before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued, two things must first occur: A building inspection has performed a final inspection to ensure a project's conformance with approved plans and all applicable code requirements, and other departments such as Engineering, City Planning, and Fire Department have certified that they have approved work under their jurisdiction.
Pursuant to Sec. 109.4 of the California Building Code, the Department may consider issuing a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) which allows a portion or the entire building to be occupied prior to the completion of all construction and/or all required improvement.
The following describes the provisions required to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.
Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
- The applicant shall submit a letter to the Building Official requesting a TCO which contains the following:
- Project identification including, but not limited to, name, building description, address, Design Advisory Board number, and permit number.
- Desired date of early occupancy
- The necessity for early occupancy
- The date the project will be ready for final occupancy
- A non-refundable payment of $1,000 to cover the cost of additional inspection by city staff.
A $20,000 deposit to guarantee the date of the final occupancy. The letter shall acknowledge that this deposit will be forfeited to the city should the applicant fail to obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy on the date specified in d) above, unless an extension of time is granted by the Building Official in writing.
Note: To allow sufficient time for the city staff to inspect the project, the letter requesting a TCO shall be submitted at least one week prior to the date early occupancy is requested.
- Upon receipt of the letter and the funds outlined in 1 e) and 1 f) above, the Building Department will circulate a written request to all approving departments for their input and approval of the request. All departments must approve the project for a TCO before it can be issued. If the building/project is not approved for TCO, the $20,000 deposit will be immediately returned to the applicant. However, if a second letter requesting a TCO is submitted, and additional non-refundable $500 along with the $20,000 forfeitable deposit shall be paid to the City.
Final Certificate of Occupancy
Once all construction is completed and all improvements are made, the applicant shall submit another written request to the Building Official for a Final Certificate of Occupancy. This request shall be made at least one week prior to the date a final inspection is requested.
If during the course of completing all construction and improvements, the applicant is able to ask and have each approving department certify to the Building Department in writing that they have approved their portion of the work for final occupancy, a letter requesting a final Certificate of Occupancy will not be required and the Final Certificate of Occupancy will be initiated and issued by the Building Department.