Residential Accessory Structures


Obtaining a Building Permit

Accessory structures are small utility buildings and structures associated with a residential parcel. They include but are not limited to:

  • Pool house
  • Shed
  • Pump/well house
  • Carport
  • Guest house/cottage
  • Fence taller than six feet high
  • Decks
  • Gazebo
  • Retaining walls over four feet measured from the bottom of footing to top of wall
  • Water tanks greater than 5,000 gallons  

Accessory structures exempt from building permits:

If the accessory structure, with the exception of the guest house, is single story, detached, less than 120 square feet of floor area as measured from outside face of framing, has no electrical or plumbing installed, and used as a tool or storage shed, playhouse, and similar uses, it is exempt from a required permit. California Building Code §R105.2

If a deck does not exceed 30 inches above grade at any point, is not attached to a dwelling, less than 200 square feet in area, and does not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4 of the residential code, it is exempt from requiring a permit.

Accessory structures located in the Tahoe Basin:

If the accessory structure is located within the Tahoe Basin, a permit will be required to facilitate the review of  Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) requirements for the proposed structure.

Other structures exempt from permits include:

  • Water tanks on grade less than 5,000 gallons
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work
  • Pre-fab pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
  • Concrete sidewalks and driveways
  • Window awnings projecting less than 54" and do not require additional support.
  • Swings and other playground equipment.
  • Retaining walls that are not over four feet measured from the bottom of footing to top of wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
  • Fences not over 6 feet high.

Obtaining a Building Permit

  1. 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.
    • If the property is within the architecturally controlled area of El Dorado Hills CSD or Cameron Park CSD, 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.
    • Check with your individual association for any restrictions that may affect your construction even though Building Services does not enforce these restrictions.
    • 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.
    • If your project involves greater than 4000 square feet of living area or disturbs 20,000 square feet or more of land area, or is located within an Important Biological Corridor (IBC), you must complete a General Plan consistency checklist.  

  2. When served by a public water/sewer district other than El Dorado Irrigation District, you must submit proof of service from the district prior to permit issuance. When serviced by EID, they will review your project and approve electronically. 

  3. When not served by public water/sewer, you must submit the perc test, septic design and well production report to the Environmental Management Department. This may only be submitted with or after building permit application. 

  4. If your parcel is located at or above the 4000 foot elevation, a  bear resistant garbage enclosure will be required. Contact Environmental Management for additional information. 

  5. An Encroachment permit is needed if you are connecting your new driveway to a County-maintained road. See the county  Fire Safe Regulations for driveway information.

Plan Review Guidelines

Building Services will not accept an Application for a Residential Building 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) and any other buildings.
    • 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.
    • Similar contour lines must also be shown for the full length of a new driveway, if applicable.
    • A profile for any new driveway on site. Also, public road to driveway improvements shown and dimensioned. Indicate the finished floor elevations for garage floor and first floor .
    • 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.
    • 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.
     
  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. FOUNDATION PLAN with details.
  4. FLOOR PLAN (fully dimensioned) illustrating proposed sizes and uses of rooms. Show braced wall panel locations or engineered shear walls (if applicable).
  5. FLOOR FRAMING PLAN with details (include deck framing if applicable).
  6. ROOF FRAMING PLAN. (Include the truss manufacturers specifications if a roof truss system is used. Must be reviewed and also signed by project engineer if applicable)
  7. ELEVATIONS including front, rear, and both sides.
  8. ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL PLAN. This may be illustrated on the Floor Plan. Include a gas piping plan (if applicable.)
  9. CALIFORNIA CEC TITLE 24 Energy Loss Report. Includes Form CF-1R and “Mandatory Measure Checklist”.
  10. 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.)

Please note: one additional floor plan is needed for the county Assessor's Office before permit issuance.

An application missing any items will be deemed incomplete and the plan check will not be scheduled until all the items indicated are received by Building Services. This may affect application fees and codes since the operative date of application will be the date on which a complete application is received.

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".





Exemption from the permit requirement of the codes does not grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of the codes or county ordinances.