Building and Safety FAQs

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Q: What building codes are currently used in the City?
A: We are currently using the 2019 version of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. This is the 11 volume set of what is commonly called the "building codes". Title 16 of the Rancho Cordova Municipal code covers the construction codes for swimming pools, moving buildings and mobile homes, along with the City's Administrative Code.

Q: What is the Disabled Access Construction Cost Index?
A: The current threshold valuation is $170,466 (as of January 2020).

Q: What is the Climate Zone for the City of Rancho Cordova?
A: The City is in Climate Zone 12.

Q: What is the Exposure and Wind Load for the City of Rancho Cordova?
A: The Wind Load for design in Rancho Cordova is 85 MPH to 100 MPH based on the building Risk Category (2019 CBC Table 1604.5), and the exposure is C, unless you can justify exposure B (2019 CBC 1609.4.3).

Q: What is the Seismic Design Category for the City of Rancho Cordova?

A: The City is in Seismic Category D (2019 CBC 1613.2.5).

Q: What are the times I can submit my plans for review? Do I need to make an appointment?
A: The City accepts plans, and also issues permits, Monday through Friday 9excluding holidays), 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 PM to 5:00 p.m. The last new permits for the morning is accepted at 11:30 a.m., and the last new permit for the afternoon is accepted at 4:00 p.m. We are closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch.No appointment is necessary.

Q: Can I submit my plans for Fire District approval at City Hall?
A: Metro Fire only accepts plans for review electronically, Visit http://metrofire.ca.gov/indes.php/inspectors for more information. Metro fire has personnel available Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to answer questions, and assist the public with Fire District business. The Fire District submittal is a separate process from the submittal to the City, and you will need to pay for your review separately and directly to the Fire District. 

Q: What is the minimum submittal size for plans?
A: For residential plans, the minimum size sheets we will accept are 11”x17” paper, and for commercial plans, the minimum size we will accept is 24”x36” paper.

Q: Can I track my permit process via the internet?
A: You can now apply for certain Building Permits for Residential Projects online, schedule an inspection related to an existing permit, and pay fees online! Learn more

Q: Do I need a permit for a patio cover if it’s not attached to my house?
A: Possibly. Any stand-alone solid-covered residential accessory structure that exceeds 120 square feet in floor area, or open-covered structure that exceeds 120 square feet in roof area, requires a permit. Also any residential accessory structure that is attached to a house, regardless of size, requires a permit.

Q: What kind of work requires a permit?
A: Most work that involves plumbing, electrical, mechanical or structural elements requires a permit. For a list of what work you can perform without a permit, see our handout Projects Requiring a Building Permit (RCB1204) for more information. 

Q: How much does it cost for a permit?
A: The cost vary by permit type, scope of work, and contract value for the project. For more information on fees, contact Permit Services at (916) 851-8760, or at PermitServcies@cityofranchocordova.org.

Q: How long does it take to get my plans approved?
A: Depending on the complexity of the project, the average turn-around time for building permit plans is fifteen (15) days for the first set of comments. We do have programs that may help with shortening these times. See our handout Alternative Permit Review and Inspection Services (RCB0712) for more information.

Q: Can I draw my own plans?
A: Under certain circumstances, it is possible to draw your own plans. However, there are certain types of projects that may need the assistance of a licensed design professional. See our handout Preparation of Plans and Specifications (RCB1014) for more information.