Permit Process

Current Process
  1. Plan Submittal and Review
  2. Inspections
  3. Final Approval
Purpose of Permits
Permits are the way the City of Rancho Santa Margarita regulates construction and protects the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction. They are designed to ensure that all construction in the City is safe and meets construction codes. These construction codes, whose purpose is to promote safety and quality construction, are published by several internationally respected model code agencies and have been adopted as part of the Rancho Santa Margarita Municipal Code. Additionally, there are federal, state and local laws that govern construction such as those covering energy conservation.

Your permit protects the value of your investment. If your construction project does not comply with the City's building codes, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has been modified without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied, or perform costly repairs.

A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met, as demonstrated by a code official's carefully maintained records, has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. By obtaining permits and following code guidelines, your completed project will meet set standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends and future owners.

Types of Permits

There are different types of permits based on the type of construction:
  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Fire
  • Grading
  • Heating
  • Plumbing
A building permit is needed for all new construction. In many cases, a permit is also needed for repair or replacement of existing fixtures, such as replacing a furnace. A plumbing, electrical, or mechanical permit may be needed for any addition or changes to a building's existing system.
In addition, the complete demolition and relocation of buildings also requires permits. 

View current permit applications on the Permit Applications and Handouts page.

Projects Not Requiring Permits

Permits are not needed for every type of construction. To learn more, view the Permit Exceptions page.