Message from the Building Official
Hello and welcome to La Habra’s Building and Safety Division home page. Our mission is to improve quality of life in our community by protecting the people who live and work in the City through the building permit process. We follow our mission in a manner that fosters positive partnerships while building and maintaining our caring community’s vitality.
This web page is intended to provide you with the information and resources you need for your construction project. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact us, our dedicated staff are available to guide you for any project you propose to do on your property. We strive to provide quality customer service in a manner that is comprehensive, efficient, knowledgeable, and helpful.
We are always looking for ways to improve our services and your customer experience. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please feel free to reach me directly.
Thanks for stopping by!
About the Division
The Building and Safety Division is responsible for the review of construction plans and when approved, the inspection of permitted work. The Division further provides essential information to its customers through records research and providing of informational handouts. We retain a history of permit records for properties within the City. The information is available in accordance with the State's Public Records Act.
Although the functions of the Building and Safety Division are essentially a regulatory effort, they are an important tool for the orderly development and maintenance of properties within the City. Under State Law, structures must be built pursuant to locally adopted building codes. This is accomplished through the implementation of the California Building and Fire Codes as well as construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures within the City of La Habra.
Building and Safety also is responsible for the abatement of illegal structures and that structures are maintained in a safe condition. This program helps to ensure that the structures within the City are safe and therefore preserve the City's quality of life, and contributing to the City's economic development.
The Division also manages the City's permit system which coordinates and streamlines the construction permit process. Applications for construction projects are submitted to the Building and Safety Division where the review process is coordinated among several departments. This provides the customer with a comprehensive single point of contact throughout the entire review and permit process.
Development Fees to Increase in August 2020
On June 1, 2020, the City Council approved an update to the Master Fee Schedule that will take effect on August 1, 2020. The fee increase will affect building permit fees for new construction, tenant improvements and additions. The Master Fee Schedule has been made available to view here: Master Fee Schedule (PDF)
Solar Energy Permits
On August 17, 2015 the City Council approved an Ordnance to add Chapter 15.69 titled Solar Energy Permits to the La Habra Municipal Code.
The "Solar Energy Permits" ordinance provides standards as accepting and approving applications electronically, directing the Chief Building Official to develop a checklist of all requirements for small rooftop solar energy systems to allow for expedited review, and authorizes the Chief Building Official to administratively approve such applications. The Ordinance implements procedures developed by the State of California task force on Solar Energy.
Currently, the Plan Check review time for small solar energy system is between 3 to 10 days. The ordinance reduces that period to 1 to 3 days by the utilization of what is known as a "Solar Permitting Tool Kit". The Tool Kit approach limits the design of the solar system to a cookbook method. Review of plans will be in accordance with the Tool Kit. The Tool Kit is located on the City's web site within the Building and Safety Division dedicated pages (see Solar Permitting Tool Kit). In addition, an optional over-the-counter plan review procedure may be utilized. For this over-the-counter procedure an appointment must be made with the City's Plan Check staff. Effective immediately, residential PV systems submittals must include a copy of the contract with the property owner.