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Most major projects will require permits of some kind (building permits and/or planning permits). This is necessary to ensure that all buildings meet minimum standards which protect its occupants and neighbors in everyday living and in the case of emergencies or natural disasters. Some minor projects are allowed without obtaining building permits. However, depending upon the project, other permits (planning permits, encroachment permits, special activities permits, etc.) may be required. In either case, the construction of such projects should be in conformance with all applicable codes. Some of the projects which do not require a building permit are:
Minor improvements typically not needing a permit:
These examples are only some of the exempted projects which are listed in various code books. Not all exempted projects have been included. Contact the Building & Safety Division for additional information.
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Permits are issued by the Building & Safety Division at the Community Development Department which is located at 250 Main Street. On some simple jobs, a permit can be obtained during the first visit. However, in most circumstances, more time will be needed to review the plans in detail prior to issuing any permits.
If you begin construction without the required permit(s), a "Stop Work" will immediately be issued by an Inspector. You will be required to apply for the permit(s) and pay fees (up to double the amount of the original fee). After the permit has been properly issued, you will then be required to uncover any work which has been covered so that it may be inspected prior to the release of the Stop Work. In some cases, regulations or codes may not permit the type of construction that has been done. In this case, you may be required to replace or restore the area to its original condition prior to your construction.
When applying for a permit, the following information is required to complete the permit submittal:
Permits may be issued to:
When a permit is issued, the signature and identity of the applicant must be verified. A California Driver's License, State of California Identification Card, or other positive identification will meet this requirement. Contractors are required to have a current City of Watsonville Business License and current State of California Contractor's License. If employees are to be used, Workers' Compensation Insurance Company and policy number must be supplied.
Permits are issued between 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Building construction hours are as follows:•Monday through Friday – 7 AM to 7 PM•Saturday – 10 AM to 4 PMWork is not allowed on Sundays and/or any other time without prior approval from the Community Development Director.
Please call our main office at (831) 768-3050 during business hours to report illegal construction activity. You may also file a complaint online 24 hours a day, seven days a week by visiting our website and filled out the
The public service counter hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The counter is closed during lunchtime from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Over the Counter permit processing is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because construction and demolition materials are a significant and growing part of landfill waste in California, the City of Watsonville and the California Green Business Standards Code require recycling of at least 65% of materials generated at construction and demolition projects. The City has developed the Construction Waste Management Plan in order to help contractors meet the requirement.
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