Please note that while the Community Development Department continues to operate with modified procedures, the Department intends to pause all time-limits and deadlines associated with ongoing notices, application reviews, enforcement activities and other matters for the duration of the shelter at home order.

We will continue to process Building and Planning permits during the shelter at home order. If you have specific questions about how the order affects your project, please contact us at Please visit for the latest updates.


Updated 4/30/2020

On April 29, 2020, the Contra Costa County Health Officer issued an order effective as of midnight May 4, 2020 that details permitted activities within the County while Shelter-in-Place orders continue. All construction projects are now allowed to continue but must adhere to Construction Safety Protocols for either large or small projects as defined in the order. Projects that do not strictly follow the prescribed safety protocols may be subject to having their permit suspended and will not receive requested inspections.

Permit applications and document submittals:

In order to maintain proper social distancing, all applications for permits, submittal of documents for review, payment of fees, etc. must be done by appointment, by email, or phone. No admittance to City Hall will be allowed without an appointment. Face masks or face coverings that cover both nose and mouth are required to be worn while in City Hall.

All permits and documents must be emailed to our general email at: Please refrain from sending requests directly to Permit Technicians. Thank you.


To schedule an inspection, please fill out our Inspection Request Form online , or call us at 510-215-4360.

Please keep in mind that we are experiencing unusually high volumes of inspection requests and it may not possible to get an inspector out until two to four days after request. On the day of your inspection, make sure that the permit and approved plans are available at your project site and that the work for which you called an inspection has been completed. There is no penalty for cancelling and rescheduling an inspection.

Please note:
Inspections are only offered Monday through Thursday. No inspections offered on Wednesday afternoons.

As of June 1, 2020, and due to increased inspection demand, there will be some procedural changes for building inspections in the City of El Cerrito. Please make requests at least two (2) business days prior to being needed. Due to current increased volume and limited staff time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it may not be possible to meet the 48-hour timeline. A Permit Technician will inform the requestor by email of the scheduled inspection day after processing the request. Inspectors will not schedule inspections.

The cut-off time for scheduling inspections is 4 PM each day. Requests made after 4 PM will be processed after the end of the next business day. When scheduling inspections, it is required to request either an AM or PM time. Exact times will not be offered. Inspectors will no longer contact those who have requested an inspection on the morning of the inspection to allow them to leave the office sooner to accommodate greater numbers of inspections. Instead, their order of inspections will be posted on the Building Division website by 9 AM each inspection day.

Inspections are offered  during the following days and times:
 Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday Friday 
 9a - 12p 9a - 12p 9a - 12p 9a - 12p
Closed from 12p - 1p
1p - 3p  1p - 4:30p CLOSED 1p - 4:30p

You may request an AM or a PM inspection. We will try to honor these requests, if possible. If you need to contact your inspector for matters other than the inspection schedule for your project, they will be available by phone from 7:30 to 8:30 AM only on the days inspections are offered.

Social distancing practices are required and Construction Safety Protocols must be adhered to while our inspectors are on site. All persons present for an inspection must be wearing face masks or coverings. Failure to maintain safety requirements will result in a terminated or cancelled inspection without approval of the work for which the inspection was scheduled and a re-inspection fee will be assessed. The re-inspection will need to be scheduled for the next available day and time after the re-inspection fee has been paid.

A copy of the Construction Safety Protocols for both Large and Small projects can be found on the Contra Costa County Health Department website at The City of El Cerrito Building Division will also post these protocols on our website and we will make printed copies available at our permit counter.

During this closure, the Building Division will continue to respond to questions and inquiries via phone and email. Please contact us at (510) 215-4360 or

We are also accepting permits via mail, email, and drop-off at City Hall by appointment.

Procedures for permit submittals:

Via US mail: Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and permit fees. Please mail your materials to:

City of El Cerrito Building Division
10890 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Please make checks for application fees payable to “City of El Cerrito”. We are unable to process credit card transactions during this closure. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

Via email: Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.  Please email digital materials to

Please mail a check for permit fees according to the procedures for submittals via US mail. Please ensure that the property address and applicant’s name are identified on the check. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

*Hard copies of materials, including plans may be required. If necessary, we will ask you to mail or drop off hard copies.

In-person:  Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees. Please email or call us to schedule an appointment for your drop off. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.
The Building Division ensures new construction is built in a manner that satisfies the health and safety regulations set forth by the California Building Code and the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

The Building Division staff assists residents, business owners, residential contractors, and commercial developers with construction related issues through face to face meetings at the counter and field, Building Code interpretations, plan review, issuance of building permits upon approval of plans, inspection of construction, as well as code enforcement actions. In addition, the staff works with landlords and tenants to implement the Rental Inspection Program to ensure that the city's rental housing stock is safe and sanitary as defined in the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

To request an inspection or permit information:

Fill out our online Inspection Request Form, email or call 510-215-4360

**Please note that the Inspection Request Form is a request. You will not be considered scheduled until you receive confirmation from a permit technician or building inspector.

Use the buttons on the left or the links below to learn more about the Building Division:

Building Permits

El Cerrito's Homeowner Workshop Series

Residential Rental Inspection Program

Green Building

Current Building Codes

Code Enforcement

2019-20 Master Fee Schedule, including Building Fees