At The Crossroads of California|Friday, November 22, 2019
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Building

Building Department

Mission Statement
The Los Banos Building Department provides services to assure that the buildings constructed in the City of Los Banos are built to the standards of the current Building Standards as defined in the building codes and construction standards adopted by the City of Los Banos, thus giving the citizens of Los Banos the best possible buildings.

The Building Department runs under the direction of Fire Chief Mason Hurley, and all building inspection services are contracted out under his direction. The Department is available by phone at (209) 827-7000 ext. 2436 Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 
Background
The regulation of building construction is not a new phenomenon. It is, in fact, traced back in history to over 4,000 years ago. Today, the United States is covered by a network of modern building regulations ranging from fire and structural safety to health, security, and conservation of energy.

The State of California, along with local governments, have enacted and adopted numerous building and fire related codes in order to protect your life, health, and property. Likewise, state law requires the City, as the local jurisdiction, to provide comprehensive building code enforcement services, including plan reviews and site inspections.

The Building Department uses building permits to manage building inspections and related applicable fees. These are required to ensure that the project is in compliance with applicable building and fire regulations. These codes and regulations are based upon past construction and are to ensure that safe and proper building practices are adhered to.

Many projects besides new construction projects and major remodeling require building permits. These include the new installations that are listed in the table in this section. In general, building permits are required whenever a building or structure is constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, or demolished. There are some minor projects that are exempt and no permits are required. Call the Building Department at City Hall at (209) 827-7000 ext. 2436 before you start any work to see if your project requires a permit. Checking with staff first can save you time, money, and penalty fees.

In addition, your Los Banos Building Official provides many services and all of which benefit the public:

  • Education
  • Technical Support
  • Plan review
  • On-site construction inspections
  • Energy code compliance
  • Earthquake, hurricanes, tornado, flooding, and other natural disaster awareness/preparedness
  • Floor plan management
  • Technical support concerning barrier-free access
  • Approval of alternative methods and materials
  • Public information including records and data
  • Budget management
  • Coordination of the permit process with other departments and government agencies

 

Streamline Solar Submittal

This information is published to guide applicants through a streamlined permitting process for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects 10 kW in size or smaller for one- and two-family dwellings. This bulletin provides information about submittal requirements for plan review, required fees, and inspections.

Related Documents

Approval Requirements

The following permits are required to install a solar PV system with a maximum power output of 10 kW or less:

Planning review is required for solar PV installations of this size.
Fire Department approval is not required for solar PV installations of this size.

Submittal Requirements

  1. Completed Residential Building Permit Application.
  2. Demonstrate compliance with the eligibility checklist for expedited permitting.
  3. A completed Standard Electrical Plan (Microinverter and ACM Systems or Central/String Inverter Systems). The standard plan may be used for proposed solar installations 10 kW in size or smaller.
  4. If standard electrical plans are not provided for use, an electrical plan should be submitted that includes the following:

    • Locations of main service or utility disconnect.
    • Total number of modules, number of modules per string and the total number of strings.
    • Make and model of inverter(s) and/or combiner box if used.
    • One-line diagram of system.
    • Specify grounding/bonding, conductor type and size, conduit type and size and number of conductors in each section of conduit.
    • Equipment cut sheets including inverters, modules, AC and DC disconnects, combiners and wind generators.
    • Labeling of equipment as required by CEC, Sections 690 and 705.
    • Site diagram showing the arrangement of panels on the roof or ground, north arrow, lot dimensions and the distance from property lines to adjacent buildings/structures (existing and proposed).

  5. A roof plan showing roof layout, PV panels and the following fire safety items: approximate location of roof access point, location of code-compliant access pathways, PV system fire classification, and the locations of all required labels and markings. Examples of clear path access pathways are available in the State Fire Marshal Solar PV Installation Guide. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/reports/solarphotovoltaicguideline.pdf.
  6. Completed expedited Structural Criteria along with required documentation. Structural Criteria can be downloaded here.

    For non-qualifying systems, provide structural drawings and calculations stamped and signed by a California-licensed Civil or Structural Engineer, along with the following information:

    • The type of roof covering and the number of roof coverings installed.
    • Type of roof framing, size of members and spacing.
    • Weight of panels, support locations and method of attachment.
    • Framing plan and details for any work necessary to strengthen the existing roof structure.
    • Site-specific structural calculations.
    • Where an approved racking system is used, provide documentation showing manufacturer of the rack system, maximum allowable weight the system can support, attachment method to the roof or ground, and product evaluation information or structural design for the rack system.

Plan Review

Permit applications can be submitted to the City of Los Banos Building Department in person at 520 J Street, Los Banos, California or by email (including documents as attachments) to solarplansubmittal@losbanos.org.

Fees

Fees are calculated based on the kW-size of the system installed, plus other state and local administrative costs.

Inspections

Once all permits to construct the solar installation have been issued and the system has been installed, it must be inspected before final approval is granted for the solar system. On-site inspections can be scheduled by contacting City of Los Banos Building Department or by telephone at (209) 827-7000 ext. 2436. Inspection requests received within business hours are typically scheduled for the next business day. If next business day is not available, inspection should happen within the following business day.

Permit holders must be prepared to show conformance with all technical requirements in the field at the time of inspection. The Inspector will verify that the installation is in conformance with applicable code requirements and with the approved plans.

The inspection checklist provides an overview of common points of inspection that the applicant should be prepared to show compliance. If not available, common checks include the following:

  • Number of PV modules and model number match plans and specification sheets number match plans and specification sheets.
  • Array conductors and components are installed in a neat and workman-like manner.
  • PV array is properly grounded.
  • Electrical boxes are accessible and connections are suitable for environment.
  • Array is fastened and sealed according to attachment detail.
  • Conductors ratings and sizes match plans.
  • Appropriate signs are property constructed, installed and displayed, including the following.
    • Sign identifying PV power source system attributes at DC disconnect
    • Sign identifying AC point of connection
    • Sign identifying switch for alternative power system
  • Equipment ratings are consistent with application and installed signs on the installation, including the following.
    • Inverter has a rating as high as max voltage on PV power source sign.
    • DC-side overcurrent circuit protection devices (OCPDs) are DC rated at least as high as max voltage on sign.
    • Switches and OCPDs are installed according to them anufacturer’s specifications (i.e., many 600VDC switches require passing through the switch poles twice in a specific way).
    • Inverter is rated for the site AC voltage supplied and shown on the AC point of connection sign.
    • OCPD connected to the AC output of the inverter is rated at least 125% of maximum current on sign and is no larger than the maximum OCPD on the inverter listing label.
    • Sum of the main OCPD and the inverter OCPD is rated for not more than 120% of the bus bar rating.

Departmental Contact Information

For additional information regarding this permit process, please view our departmental website at http://www.losbanos.org/city-government/departments/building or contact the Building Department by phone at (209) 827-7000 ext. 2436.

Permits

 
Important Information
Each city, county, or city and county that issues business licenses, building permits for additions, alterations, and structural repairs to commercial property, or building permits for new construction of commercial property, shall make readily available, and, upon submission to the city, county, or city and county of an application for a business license or building permit, shall provide to the applicant, an informational notice to the applicant to increase compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.) and the state Unruh Civil Rights Act (Section 51 of the Civil Code) by owners and tenants of commercial property used for public accommodation or business purposes and to facilitate that compliance by increasing awareness of these laws and the resources available to aid with compliance, resulting in more public accommodations and businesses being accessible to all persons, regardless of physical disability.

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Storm Water Pollution Prevention

 

FAQs Coming Soon

Inspection Frequently Asked Questions