Permit 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 applicable code requirements. The Rancho Santa Margarita Municipal Code incorporates the California Building Standards Code with certain modifications related to specific climatic, geographic, or topographic conditions. 


Permits are required for the following


  • New buildings
  • Additions (bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, etc.)
  • Residential work (decks, garages, fences, fireplaces, pools, water heaters, etc.)
  • Renovations (garage conversions, kitchen expansions, etc.)
  • Reroofing or roof repairs
  • Electrical and solar systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (“HVAC") systems

Types of Permits


The Building Department issues the following categories of permits based on the type of construction:
  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Demolition
In addition, the Public Works Department issues Grading and Encroachment Permits.

 Permit application forms are available 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.