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City of Palo Alto, CA

05/29/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/29/2020 21:04

Building Inspection

The Building Inspection Team provides excellent customer service by verifying minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

Development Center Closed Due to City Response to Covid 19

Development Center Services are available by phone and video conference. Please call 650-329-2496.

Online Permit Services

Through the Online Permitting Services (OPS) system, customers can submit applications for planning and building permits, as well as other City-issued permits. The City can continue to serve customers while the Shelter in Place Order continues. To begin a pre-application and learn more head to Online Permitting Services.

The following building permit categories are currently available to licensed contractors online through the Citizen Access Portal.

  • Water Back Flow Device
  • Boiler replacement (same location less than 399k BTU)
  • Furnace Replacement (same location)
  • Repair Gas Leak
  • Repipe-Water Piping System
  • Re-Roof
  • Water Heater (No Tankless)
  • Window Retrofit (Residential Only)

Schedule Inspections with Accela Citizen Access or PA iRequest App

Scheduling inspections with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or the PA Inspection Request Mobile App (PA iRequest) Now Available!

In accordance with the City of Palo Alto's protocols to ensure compliance with Santa Clara County's Public Health Order, applicants who wish to schedule inspections online with Accela Citizen Access (ACA) or the Palo Ato Inspection App (PA iRequest) must complete the 'Inspection Screening Form ' and email the completed form to [email protected].

City staff will review the form and reply back with further instructions on utilizing ACA or the PA iRequest App for scheduling of inspections. Only one completed screening form is required for each permit and is valid for all inspections required for the scope of the permit.

Schedule Inspections via phone & Protocol During COVID-19 Pandemic

To schedule a building inspection via phone, please call 650-329-2496 and press 2. Before scheduling an inspection, you must implementAppendix A and either Appendix B-1 or B-2, as appropriate, of the County Health Order.

When you call to schedule, staff will ask if you are familiar with the appendices and verify the protocols have been implemented. In addition, we will ask for 1 point of contact for the inspection; that point of contact will communicate with the inspector.

During an inspection, that point of contact must maintain the 6 foot social distance from the inspector, must wear a cloth face covering over his/her nose and mouth, and ensure the site is ventilated. If an inspector observes the protocols are not being followed, the inspector will leave the site without finishing the inspection. If a second inspection is required, a re-inspection fee will be assessed. Please, take the protocols seriously to protect the health of everyone supporting your project.

For your safety and that of our staff, inspectors will be following recommended hygiene practices, such as hand washing, between each inspection. Due to this and resource constraints, inspection capacity has been reduced and wait times may increase.

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Accessibility

The City endeavors to ensure all construction complies with all state accessibility requirements. We currently offer a courtesy pre-walk that identifies potential plan check deficiencies prior to plan submittal. For more information please contact Robert Dunbar at [email protected]or view our Resources for Accessibility Information.


Emergency Call-Out Protocol

A building inspector will respond to electrical and gas emergencies once repairs have been completed by a licensed contractor. To reach a Building Inspector Specialist, dial (650) 329-2496 and press option 5 (during normal business hours). A Whole House Gas Testis required prior to gas meter release.


After Hours Inspection Requests

The normal work hours for inspectors are Monday through Friday 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Overtime inspection requests between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm will be charged at 1.5 times the hourly rate. Overtime inspection requests between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM on weekdays, or any requests for Saturday or Sunday inspections, will be charged at 2.0 times the hourly rate. There is a two-hour minimum for overtime inspection requests after 6:00 PM. If more than two hours are needed, an estimated time must be noted on the request and approved by the Chief Building Official.

To make a request, complete the Request for After Hours or Weekend Inspection Form and email it to [email protected].

A 5-day advanced notice is required for all after hours inspection requests. You will be contacted by the Building Department once your request has been approved or denied.

Safety Bulletins and Advisories

Safety advisory's are public information notifications for the community that the Building Division has become aware of, from actual occurrences in Palo Alto. Visit the Safety Bulletins and Advisories Page for more information.


Training Schedule

The Building Division periodically offers training for inspectors and contractors dealing with all aspects of the building code. If you have any questions regarding the topic or have suggestions for future training topics please email [email protected].


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Inspection

In an effort to streamline and simplify inspection requests the City offers a variety of tools to help our customers. Guidelines have been prepared for both residential and commercial projects to help customers understand inspection sequencing and requirements.

Click on the following links to view the Guidelines.


Earthquake Safety

In an effort to provide helpful earthquake preparedness tips, click on the following links.

Helpful Resources and Websites

The following links provide helpful resources for the construction trades. Please be advised by clicking the links you will exit the city's website.