Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there tax breaks for historic buildings?
You can find information about incentives for historic structures by visiting the National Trust for Historic Preservation (click below). Another possibility is the Mills Act-a State initiated a program that allows owners of historic property tax savings in return for a guarantee that the structure will be maintained in a historically accurate manner. To get more information, you may also contact the Planning Department at 909.394.6250.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
View information about the Mills Act 
Can I park my RV in the front yard?
RVs (which include horse trailers, utility trailers, boats, and camper shells) must be parked in the rear or side yard behind house building line and must be parked on a 3 ½” thick concrete surface, and must not block access to vehicle parking in a garage. RVs may be temporarily parked in the paved front driveway with a FREE permit for up to 48 hours for loading and unloading. Click below to be re-directed to our online permit system to obtain a 48 hour RV Parking Permit for Front yard Driveway.

Click HERE to go to the online permit system.
View Ordinance
Do I need a permit for a yard sale?
Yes. For monitoring purposes, San Dimas requires permits for all yard sales. You are permitted up to three-yard sales per year, not to exceed three consecutive days. The City will post your yard sale on the City’s webpage as well.

Click here to submit an application.
Does the City have copies of my Building, Plumbing, and Electrical plans?
The City may have a copy of your plans for review at City Hall. Be aware that plans rarely provide specific detail as to the location of individual electrical circuits or plumbing/sewer lines. Also, please note that plans are copyrighted and therefore may not be reproduced without approval in accordance with the California Health and Safety Code. Contact the building division for availability and specific restrictions 909.394.6260.
How are building permit fees calculated?
Permit fees are designed to try and offset the actual cost of review and inspection of the specific work proposed and therefore calculated by one of the following:
– Valuation of work as determined by a standardized per square foot cost table.
– Valuation based on the fair market value of labor and materials.
– Per item as is the case with plumbing and electrical permits. 

Fee schedules are available at the Building and Safety counter.
How can I obtain information on a contractor?
The Contractors State License Board operates a toll-free telephone number and an Internet website for you to check a contractor’s license before you hire one. Their phone number is 800.321.CSLB.
Click here for Contractors State License Board
How do I determine where my property line is?
Your property lines can be determined by a licensed surveyor completing a survey of your property. The City has maps that show your lot dimensions; however, you can not determine that exact location on the ground without a survey of your property. The City can not recommend any specific surveying company.
How long does a plan check take from the date of application?
Depending on the size of the project, plans are normally returned within 15 working days for small additions and minor tenant improvements. New houses and large commercial work may take 30 to 45 days as the plan review time is proportional to the scope of work and complexity of the project.
How many sets of plans and/or calculations are needed to submit for a plan check?
A minimum of two sets are required for minor projects; three sets of plans and two sets of calculations for more complex work; and four sets of plans required if the project requires Fire Department review. For more information, contact the Building Department at 909.394.6260.
I have a business and would like to have a temporary banner. Do I need a permit?
Yes, the City requires businesses to have a permit for a temporary banner. The maximum time period for any single banner display can not exceed thirty (30) days. A maximum of six (6) temporary banner permits may be approved for any single business location within a calendar year not to exceed a grand total of 60 days. Detailed regulations can be found in the City Municipal Code Chapter 18.152.160. You may also contact the Planning Department at 909.394.6250 for more information.

View the brochure
I want to make a code compliance complaint. How can I do this?
The City of San Dimas provides unbiased enforcement of the City’s Municipal Code and other City regulations to ensure property maintenance and to promote a quality aesthetic appearance throughout the City. You can file a complaint via MySanDimas  or call  the Code Compliance Hotline at 909.542.2502.
Is a permit required to remove a tree?
Yes, if the tree is an oak genus that measures eight inches or more in trunk diameter and/or any other species of trees that measure ten inches or more in trunk diameter and/or a multi-trunk tree(s) having a total circumference of thirty-eight inches or more; the multi-trunk tree shall include at least one trunk with a diameter of a minimum of four inches. (The trunk diameter is measured at a point thirty-six inches above the ground at the base of the tree.) You may get an application from the Planning Department at City Hall. If you have any questions call the Planning Department at 909.394.6250.

Fill out and print form.
Is my house on a City historic list? If so, what does that mean?
The the early 1990’s the City conducted a historical survey of the City and established a list of locally significant structures. To determine if your house is on that list, you can view the survey by selecting the link below. For more information about how this impacts your property, contact the Planning Department at 909.394.6250.
What additional agency approvals or fees may be required before a building permit can be issued?
There are outside agencies that may need to review plans for development.  Some of the outside agencies include: Los Angeles County Health Department, Los Angeles County Industrial Waste, LA County Fire Department, LA County Sanitation, School District and San Dimas Parks and Recreation.  For information as to which outside agency may apply to your project please call Building and Safety at 909.394.6260.
What are the currently adopted codes?
The City of San Dimas adopted the 2019 California Code Cycle in January of 2020.  Below are the current codes:
  • 2019 California Building Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code
  • 2020 California Disabled Access(CALDAG). Please see Chapter 11 included within the California Building Code 2019, as the recognized accessibility document.
  • 2019 California Energy Code
  • City of San Dimas Municipal Code
The Municipal Code is available on the City website (click here), and the codes above are available at the Building and Safety counter.
What are Community Development's office hours?
Community Development is open during regular City Hall business hours:
Monday–Thursday from 7:30am to 5:30 pm
Fridays from 7:30am to 4:30pm
What are the minimum setbacks on my property in the single-family zone?
Setbacks vary throughout the city. Please call the Planning Department at 909.394.6250 with your address and we will gladly provide this information.
What are the regulations for fencing my residential property?
Fencing may not exceed 42 inches in height within the front yard and it may not exceed six feet in height at the side and rear property lines. Decorative fencing material is encouraged. For example, if you are using masonry block, then slump stone, split face block or a stucco-covered wall are all acceptable. Wood or wrought iron fencing is also permitted. Please contact the Planning Department at 909.394.6250 for details.
What information should be included on building plans?
Generally, the following information is needed:
- What work is being proposed? (Scope of Work)
- Where it is occurring, address and location
- Construction details
- Current property owner name and address
- Assessor Parcel Number

More specifically, the following information is needed:
- A site/plot plan
- A foundation plan
-Roof & floor framing plans
- Construction sections
- Appropriate floor plans of new and adjacent areas

Standard plan size is 8 1/2″ x 11″ for small projects and 24″ x 36″ for typical projects. If adding floor area, energy calculations are required (listed mandatory requirements or computer-generated calculations).

Note that the approval process is proportional to the completeness of the submitted plans.

Click here for more information and handouts.
What is my property zoned and where can I go to find zoning information?
Please call the Planning Department at 909.394.6250 with your address and we will gladly inform you of your property’s zoning. If no address exists it may be necessary to briefly stop in at our public counter at 245 E Bonita Ave in City Hall to obtain zoning information of a property.
What types of building permits may be issued over the counter?
Some Building permits may be issued over the counter.  Such permits can include:

  • Re-roofs under 6 pounds per square foot (Note that under some circumstances a pre-inspection may be required prior to permit issuance)
  • Window change out (retrofit, like for like, no changes to sizes and type of windows)
  • Tank water heater change out located inside the house or garage 
  • Repipes
  • Electric panel upgrades (in same location as old panel)
  • HVAC change outs (when equipment is staying in the same approved location
This is only a sample list of the types of permits that may be issued over the counter. If you have any questions about a specific project, please contact our office at 909.394.6260.
When are Planning Commission meetings?
Planning Commission meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 245 East Bonita Avenue.
Planning Commission Agendas
When is a building permit required?

In addition to any alteration to a residential or commercial structure or occupancy:
 - To build a STORAGE SHED IN EXCESS OF 120 SF of floor area.
 - To build a RETAINING WALL. 
 - New WINDOWS including replacement windows. See specific window handout.
 - For any electrical work EXCEPT changing plugs or lights.
 - To replace or install a WATER HEATER.
 - To replace or install a FURNACE.
 - To replace or install GAS, WATER OR WASTE PIPE.
 - To install a POOL, SPA OR HOT TUB.

Special Note: Exemption from the permit requirements of the code does not grant authority for any of the work to be done in any manner in violation of the code.