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Building & Safety

Our Mission

The primary mission in the Building and Safety section is to protect the health, life and safety of all people in the County of Santa Cruz through our duties in applying and verifying that minimum code requirements are met in the built environment. Our duties also mandate protecting the environment, accessibility, energy, drainage, and guarding against geological, wind, tidal and seismic hazards.

News and Announcements​

  • Free Pre-Designed ADU Plans
  • We are happy to announce that pre-designed ADU plans are now available at no charge to you. Plans are available for single-story, detached ADUs in three sizes and three architectural styles. For more information, including a How-to Guide, please visit our Pre-Designed ADU webpage.

  • Santa Cruz County Notes Sheet
  • Starting May 15, 2023, the Santa Cruz County Notes sheet began being appended to issued plan sets as part of the ongoing streamlining efforts. To learn more about the SCC Notes sheet please see the IB-200 handout highlighting the intentions and benefits of this initiative.

  • Stormwater Management Requirement: Appendix A
  • Starting January 1, 2023, all permit applications proposing increased and/or replaced impervious (e.g., structures, driveways, patios, etc.) and/or semi-impervious (e.g., gravel, baserock, porous pavement, etc.) surfaces shall submit Appendix A, Project Information and Threshold Determination Form.

  • All Electric Residential Requirement
  • The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the “All Electric” State law is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). As a result, as of February 9, 2024,  the County will no longer enforce the All Electric requirement.  

  • Notice About Construction Change Documents
  • Starting January 2023, construction changes will be strictly limited to changes that are within the original scope of work. Work that exceeds the original scope of work shall be applied for as a new permit.

    EXAMPLES: Changing from conventional roof framing to trusses would be within the original scope of work for a project to construct a new house. Expanding the project footprint, such as adding a deck to the project, would NOT be eligible for a construction change because it would require re-writing the project description.

    WHY THE CHANGE? In the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of construction changes, many of which significantly exceed the original scope of work.  Construction changes are prioritized over other permit types as they are intended to quickly address issues encountered during construction with minimal disruption to construction schedules. Because construction changes are prioritized, the increase in them has resulted in delays for other permit types. By limiting construction changes to the original scope of work, we will retain this important tool and its expediency while minimizing its impact on other permit types.

  • New Building Code Cycle
  • STARTING JANUARY 1, 2023 All new building permit applications must reference the newly adopted 2022 Building Code. Applications referencing previous code cycles cannot be accepted. Information on the new code cycle is available here: 2022 Title 24 California Code Changes.