Permit Process

Important Steps In Describing Your Project

Before contacting any division within the Department of Resource Management, it would be helpful for the applicant to be able to explain exactly the nature of his/her development request. Whether it is a request to add a bedroom onto an existing dwelling or a proposal to subdivide a parcel of land into two or more lots, it is important to come to the Department's Central Permit Counter with a clear understanding of the nature of the proposed project.

Some helpful hints as to how this can be accomplished are described below:

  • Furnish the correct and current Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) for the property on which the project will take place. Usually this number can be obtained from your most recent tax statement prepared by the Assessor's Office or at the Permit Counter.
  • Provide the correct and current address of the project site. Also, be sure to include your telephone number and current mailing address including the zip code.
  • Provide an accurate drawing or a free-hand drawing of the type of project you are contemplating. This will give the County staff some idea of what your request is and how the most effective service can be provided to assist you. Please check to make sure that you have the appropriate copies of your application and related materials as requested on the application form. This is also true of information from other agencies that will be needed to properly review your request.
  • Provide accurate dimensions of the project site. Usually this information can be obtained if you can get a copy of the latest Assessor's Parcel Map page from the Assessor 's Office located in the County Administrative Center. This same information can also be obtained from the property deed describing your property.

Where to Apply

To get started in contacting the right County department to ask general questions and setting appointments regarding your project, the Permit Counter personnel should be contacted. Additionally, the following suggestions are offered:

The Building Division should be contacted if you are planning new construction, remodeling, or similar work to an existing building or actions that will be part of a new project. The nature of electrical, plumbing, foundations, framing, and utilities installation are some of the topics that can be discussed with representatives of the Building Division. Additionally, if your project will involve a significant amount of land clearing or movement of soil, your questions regarding a Grading Permit can be answered by this Division.

The Planning Division should be contacted if you have questions regarding the current zoning classification and/or General Plan designation on your property, if you are adding a new use to your property, or if you plan to subdivide or split your property into two or more parcels.

The Air Quality Management District should be contacted if you are planning to:

  • Conduct any type of burning of material on your property;
  • Develop a project which will emit smoke or other pollutants into the air;
  • Install or change an existing use that will involve the handling of toxic materials that have the potential to be released into the air.

The Environmental Health Division should be contacted if you will need:

  • A permit to drill a new well or to have water from an existing well tested or to create and/or modify an existing private or public water system;
  • A permit to install or repair a septic tank and/or drainfield system;
  • Testing to be done for a proposed location for a new or replacement septic system;
  • To submit a Hazardous Materials Business Plan, apply for a permit to operate an Underground Storage Tank(UST), provide notification as a Hazardous Waste Generator or of your intent to treat Hazardous Waste, to submit a Risk Management Plan, or to inquire about any of these programs. The Environmental Health Division is the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) for all of Shasta County, including the cities of Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake;
  • A permit for the establishment and/or the enlargement of a business preparing or serving food and drinks;
  • A permit for the use of public or semi-public swimming pools.

How to Apply

Before attempting to submit a project application, it is strongly recommended that the applicant call the Permit Counter. Usually a phone call or visit to the Permit Counter or one of the above offices will result in obtaining answers to general questions on procedures for filing an application.

How Much Will It Cost

This is always an important question to consider when deciding to submit an application or when deciding on a particular project. County staff is always available to answer questions on the various costs of permits for a variety of project applications. Applicants are encouraged to call or visit with representatives of the County staff before starting a project. Often one or more steps in the development of a project can be altered which might result in a considerable cost saving to the applicant. County staff has a complete list of application fees and costs and these can be obtained, free of charge, by mail or in person by contacting the appropriate department or agency. Applicants are encouraged to ask as many questions as they feel are necessary to ensure that once an application is submitted, their request will be processed as quickly as possible without major complications or significant delays.

How Long Will It Take

For routine development applications associated with each division which do not require a public hearing or an environmental review, the actual review and approval process can range from several days to several weeks depending on the complexity of the request. For example, a normal building permit request for an electrical permit to install a new heating device should, under most circumstances, only require several days to issue. On the other hand if the request is for a building permit for a large commercial or industrial project, issuance of a final permit may take several weeks from time of permit submittal to final approval. In a number of cases, the response by the applicant in providing agencies with additional information and/or revisions to original plan documents can also influence how quickly an application is processed.

Most permits issued by the Air Quality Management District and the Environmental Health Division follow a similar permit processing review pattern and time frame.

For development requests that require a public hearing such as those handled by the Planning Division, the time from date of submittal to time of approval and permit clearance or tentative map approval will vary depending on the complexity of the project. Some routine public hearing items for use permits or minor subdivisions may require only six to ten weeks. On the other hand, more complex proposals can sometimes require up to and/or exceed several months. When extensive environmental review involving other public agencies is required or when an Environmental Impact Report is necessary, the time period can extend to one year.

Division staff can generally provide a realistic estimate regarding the length of time normally associated with review and approval of most applications.

Who Will Review My Application

For routine building, zoning, administrative, and environmental health permits, agency staff responsible for processing such applications generally are the only personnel that review such proposals. The Permit Counter is the permit application center. As a result, the convenience and efficiency with which most routine permits are processed by staff at this counter is a genuine benefit to individuals where the need to have applications processed quickly is important.

For more complicated building projects and/or land development proposals, one or more of the County staffs associated with such projects often pool their collective efforts in a mid-week review of such items. They discuss pertinent issues at length to ensure all development will meet County development standards without adversely impacting the applicant with unnecessary delays or added costs.

There are instances when review of an application by one or more state agencies may be required. For example, in the case of all building permit requests, a representative of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention/Shasta County Fire Department (C.D.F.) reviews these items for compliance with the County's Fire Safety Standards. In other instances, the Department of Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, or other state agencies may provide input into the review process. In these cases, staff sends a project description and accompanying data to these agencies to expedite the review process. The applicant is notified of all major responses received by these agencies.

For items scheduled for a public hearing, the Shasta County Planning Commission will hear and act on the project. Where appeals of the decisions made by the Planning Commission occur, the Board of Supervisors makes the final decision.

Final Approval of Your Application

As previously explained, many applications are reviewed and approved by the Permit Counter staff associated with one or more of the four Divisions in the Department of Resource Management. Staff is often able to approve applications and issue the necessary permits for minor projects within a matter of days. This time frame varies within each Division depending on the nature of the specific application.

In the case of more complex building permit applications and/or uses requiring a public hearing, final approval is not granted until (1) after the hearing results in a favorable decision, and/or (2) the applicant has fulfilled all development requirements or conditions where applicable. Upon final approval or completion of stated requirements, staff mails the approved application with any accompanying permits which will allow the applicant to proceed with his/her project.

It is important to remember that in the event there are questions regarding the status of an application, persons are encouraged to contact the respective Divisions for a current update. Fax response for each Division is now possible and persons are encouraged to take advantage of this timesaving communication medium.