Agricultural Barn Inspection Exempt
How to Obtain a Building Permit

It is a policy of the county to conserve and protect agricultural land and to encourage agricultural operations within the county. Certain zoning within the county makes provisions for the purpose of agricultural uses that include the construction of accessory structures such as barns.

Please check with Planning Services for any specific zone requirements.

The county has provisions that exempts the inspections during construction of an agricultural barn. An inspection exempt structure:

  • has no electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work or equipment installed within the structure.
  • Is limited to not more than 3,000 square feet of floor space and located on more than 5 acres.
  • Is to be used for agricultural purposes.
  • Is in areas zoned for agriculture. (See Planning Services for info.)
  • Setbacks must meet requirements in Title 17 of the El Dorado County Code.
  • A "zoning inspection" prior to commencing construction may be required for setback verification.
  • Is to be used for the housing and storage of livestock, feed, equipment, tractors, etc. for the purpose of farming or ranching.
  • is not used as a place of employment, sales, display of products, packaging or processing.
  • Must be built to the current codes enforced by the County on the date of application.

A record permit, that includes plans listed below, shall be required. There will not be any inspections done on the structure.

A permit is always required to change the structure to any other use, which will require a structural engineer's report at that time.

The Permit Process

Building Services permit application requires the following: 

  • Complete the three part application and sign where applicable (signature must be verified by office personnel). If you are applying as owner-builder, you must be the owner of record and complete part four of the multi part application. If property ownership was recently changed a copy of the grant deed may be required at time of application.
  • When other than the owner or licensed contractor is applying for the permit, the second half of part four of the form must be completed, giving authority to sign as the owner's agent.
  • An owner or their agent must sign a Deed Restriction Certificate declaring conformance with any applicable deed restrictions and/or CC&R's for subject property.
  • Contractors acting as agent for the owner must have a current active California state contractors license, worker's compensation coverage, and a current El Dorado County Business License.
  • Grading permit is required if the scope of the site work exceeds the minimums set by the county grading ordinance. If a permit is required it must be finaled prior to to application for the inspection exempt barn.
  • If the property is within the architecturally controlled area of   El Dorado Hills Community Services District or Cameron Park Community Services District, architectural approval of the plans from the district prior to permit issuance is a requirement. Failure to obtain approval may delay issuance of your permit.
  • If your driveway connects to a County-maintained road, your encroachment must be verified by the Department of Transportation prior to the application of an inspection exempt barn
  • This structure is exempt from inspection, however, construction must meet applicable code requirements.
    • The  California Building Code    states:  "Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
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      The SRA Fire Safe Regulations    state:  "The emergency access to, and perimeter wildland fire protection of, the inspection exempt structure must adhere to the California Board of Forestry safety measures, Title 14 Natural Resources." These are provisions allowing the California Division of Forestry to access areas more readily with equipment to fight wildland fires around residential properties. Other provisions are to help protect structures from wildland fires.


Building Services will not accept an Application for a Inspection Exempt Barn Permit unless the Minimum Criteria listed below are met. Use the following as a guideline for your submittal.  

Submit two complete sets of plans that include the following, PLUS one additional floor plan:

  1. PLOT PLAN (minimum scale I "=20')
    • This plan must show the entire parcel and indicate and identify actual distances from all property lines and/or easements to structures, existing and proposed. Indicate all easements on the plan
    • The plot plan shall also indicate distances between structures.
    • Locate septic system(s), propane tank(s), HVAC equipment, pool equipment and well house (if applicable.) 
    • Indicate slope of lot. Contour lines (@ 1 ',2' or 5' vertical increments) must be shown for the building site and/or disturbed area and extend 20 feet beyond or to the property line, whichever is less.
    • Site Design Measures for Post Construction Storm Water Requirements.
    • Any proposed grading is to be delineated in conformance with the County Design and Improvement Standards Manual.
    • If the plot plan, drawn as required above, is too large to fit on a 24" x 36" sheet of paper, a SITE PLAN, drawn to a small scale, shall be provided which locates the area covered by the PLOT PLAN on the parcel.
    • The proposed method of compliance with State Fire Safe regulations regarding driveway slope, width, surface, turnouts and fuel modification shall be shown on these plans.
    • Similar contour lines must also be shown for the full length of a new driveway, if applicable.
    • Any new driveway is to be shown on the plot/site plans and accompanied by a profile indicating the existing elevation at edge of pavement (top of curb), elevations at all grade-breaks and the distance between each given elevation.  
  2. TITLE BLOCK giving: owner's name and mailing address, job site address, and assessor's parcel number. Include a summary of square footage identifying each proposed occupancy.
  3. FLOOR PLAN (fully dimensioned) illustrating proposed sizes and uses of rooms. 
  4. ELEVATIONS including front, rear, and both sides.
  5. Name and wet-signature (original) of the person responsible for preparing plans. (Plans requiring design by a California-Registered Architect or Engineer must have seal and signature and the license number with current expiration date.)

CHECK OUR PLAN REVIEW GUIDELINES FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE PLAN CHECK PROCESS. The guideline, while not all-inclusive, is intended to help you prepare residential plans that are essentially "complete".

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PLEASE NOTE: The Development Services Department DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY CREDIT CARD PURCHASES at this time. Personal or bank draft checks accepted as well as US currency.

    • Please see RESOLUTION 079-2016 for fees related to building and planning.
    • Building projects may be subject to a review fee to determine possible impact upon any existing septic systems. Your parcel may be in an asbestos area and a review and associated fee will be required by Air Quality. Please contact  Environmental Management for information concerning requirements and any fees involved.