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Building permits can be obtained by the homeowner or a licensed contractor. The person or persons performing the work must obtain the permit. It is a violation of state law if a contractor commences work without first obtaining a permit under their state contractor's license. The owner/contractor or an authorized agent is the only legal person who can sign the building permit application. In addition to the above, the City of El Cerrito must verify that the responsible party being issued the permit conforms to the Worker's Compensation Laws of California. Questions regarding this provision can be answered by calling the Building Division at (510) 215-4360.
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No. Fire sprinkler and alarm permits need to be applied for and submitted at the same time as the building permit application is submitted.
The Rental housing Inspection Program is intended to assure that rental housing units in the City are maintained in a safe and habitable condition and comply with all codes and standards applicable to rental housing. For more details, visit the Residential Rental Inspection page, or contact the Neighborhood Preservation Officer via email or call 510-215-4363.
The City contracts with Contra Costa County Animal Services Department for animal control services. Call the County Animal Services Department at 925-335-8300 to report stray, loose, or injured animals, make a nuisance complaint or report animal cruelty.
Report concerns regarding possible construction work being completed without the required permits, off-hours construction work, or creating an unsafe condition (i.e. attractive nuisances, improperly stored equipment, accumulation of junk and debris) to the Code Enforcement Officer via the online form, email, or call 510-215-4363.
Graffiti on public and private property should be removed in a timely manner. Reporting the physical location and description of graffiti to Code Enforcement via the online form, email, or call 510-215-4363, who facilitates removal and gathers information that can help identify trends. If the graffiti is on private property, the Code Enforcement Officer will contact the affected property owner regarding removal. If the graffiti is on your property, you are responsible to remove the graffiti in a timely manner. Property owners who have been tagged are encouraged to report the graffiti to the Police Department’s non-emergency dispatch line, 510-233-1214. If you can take pictures of graffiti before it is removed, this will assist the Police Department. Please be sure to note the location of the tagging and the date the pictures were taken. Graffiti is a crime. If you witness a crime in progress (including tagging), or want to report suspicious activity, call the Police Department right away.
Property Maintenance –The poor maintenance of a house or building can lead to unsafe conditions for inhabitants as well as the neighborhood. Poorly maintained properties can also affect property values in the area. Some examples of complaints include: Buildings not in a sanitary and safe condition (i.e. substandard housing conditions); Un-maintained building including unpainted buildings or buildings with deteriorating paint Broken window or fence; Accumulation of junk and debris attractive nuisances, hazardous pools; Detrimental maintenance of property overgrown vegetation/landscaping; Abandoned vehicle on private property, including vehicles parked on front lawn walkways, stairs, driveways in disrepair or graffiti.
Flyers, posters and other signs are prohibited on utility poles, street sign poles (including stop signs), and on public property (including street medians.) There are also specific regulations regarding signs in commercial & residential areas. Contact the Planning Division at 510-215-4330 for more details.
Unpermitted living Spaces such as garage conversions and unpermitted accessory units often do not meet minimum standards for health and safety. For example, the conversion of a garage to a bedroom without the benefit of building permits often results in unsafe living conditions. Frequently, illegal garage conversions do not meet building or fire codes (such as lack of egress windows, lack of proper electrical service plugs, lack of minimum natural light requirement and other health and safety concerns). They can also adversely affect on-street parking for the neighborhood. The addition of an accessory living unit (such as an in-law unit, etc) without the benefit of building permits often result in unsafe living conditions. Frequently, illegal accessory units do not meet building or fire codes (such as improper plumbing for kitchens and baths, lack of minimum ceiling height, and other health and safety concerns.) Report concerns regarding unpermitted construction to the Code Enforcement Officer via the online form, email, or call 510-215-4363.