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Frequently Asked Questions & Helpful Tips

- Plan Review Questions -


Q:  What building codes are currently in effect in the City of Calabasas?

A: State law requires that all cities and counties in California enforce the building codes as mandated by the California Building Standards Commission. The City of Calabasas has adopted by ordinance the following model codes:

  • 2016 California Administrative Code

  • 2016 California Building Code

  • 2016 California Residential Code

  • 2016 California Electrical Code

  • 2016 California Mechanical Code

  • 2016 California Plumbing Code

  • 2016 California Energy Code

  • 2016 California Historical Building Code

  • 2016 California Existing Building Code

  • 2016 California Green Building Standards Code

  • 2016 California Referenced Standards Code

  • 2016 California Fire Code

Q: What are the wind, rain, seismic and other design factors used in the City of Calabasas?

A:  The following design factors are utilized in the City of Calabasas


85 MPH (usually exposure C)


2 inches per hour


Site Class D Min.


Assume seismic design category D if soil report is not provided & specify otherwise.

Snow load: None
Climate Zone: Zone 9

Soil Types:

Expansive soil with high sulfates.  Check with your geotechnical engineer or soils report.

Q: Who can draw up a set of building plans?
A: Plans for simple projects such as small single story houses, room additions and garages can usually by drawn up by qualified individuals such as draftsmen. Assuming that these simple projects are constructed within the parameters of the Residential Conventional Construction Requirements, engineering calculations to support the design will not be required. Other projects may require plans prepared and signed by a licensed architect or engineer.

Plans for new commercial buildings, apartments or hotel/motel buildings and changes in the use of existing buildings which cause a change of Occupancy Group generally must be prepared, stamped and signed by an Architect or Engineer licensed to practice in the State of California.

For projects such as routine Retaining Walls, Patio Covers and Second Story Decks, the Building and Safety Division has handouts that include drawings and specifications that can be followed. Those handouts, together with a plot plan showing your project, are accepted as your plans for the project.

Q: What is required for Plan Review submittal?
A: Use the links below to view separate checklists for residential and commercial plan review submittal.

Plan Review Submittal Checklist

Q: How many sets of plans will I need to submit to the City for plan review?
A: Depending on the type of project, you will need to submit 2 or 3 sets of plans. By submitting multiple sets, we are able to route a copy of your plans to various Departments so that their plan review is done concurrently. This helps to keep the plan review time as short as possible. To determine how many sets of plans your project requires, see our handout titled: Number of Sets of Plans Required for Plan Check.

City of Calabasas 2017