All City offices and buildings will continue to be closed to the public from March 17, 2020 through May 31, 2020 due to the Shelter In Place Order issued by the Contra Costa County Health Department. For more information, visit


Updated 4/30/2020

On April 29, 2020, the Contra Costa County Health Officer issued an order effective as of midnight May 4, 2020 that details permitted activities within the County while Shelter-in-Place orders continue. All construction projects are now allowed to continue but must adhere to Construction Safety Protocols for either large or small projects as defined in the order. Projects that do not strictly follow the prescribed safety protocols may be subject to having their permit suspended and will not receive requested inspections.

Permit applications and document submittals:

In order to maintain proper social distancing, all applications for permits, submittal of documents for review, payment of fees, etc. must be done by appointment, by email, or phone. No admittance to City Hall will be allowed without an appointment. Face masks or face coverings that cover both nose and mouth are required to be worn while in City Hall.


As of June 1, 2020, and due to increased inspection demand, there will be some procedural changes for building inspections in the City of El Cerrito. Please make requests at least two (2) business days prior to being needed. Due to current increased volume and limited staff time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it may not be possible to meet the 48-hour timeline. A Permit Technician will inform the requestor by email of the scheduled inspection day after processing the request. Inspectors will not schedule inspections. The cut-off time for scheduling inspections is 4 PM each day. Requests made after 4 PM will be processed after the end of the next business day. When scheduling inspections, it is required to request either an AM or PM time. Exact times will not be offered. Inspectors will no longer contact those who have requested an inspection on the morning of the inspection to allow them to leave the office sooner to accommodate greater numbers of inspections. Instead, their order of inspections will be posted on the Building Division website by 9 AM each inspection day. Inspections will only be offered on Mondays from 9 AM to Noon and 1 PM to 3 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM to Noon and 1PM to 4:30 PM, and Wednesdays from 9 AM to Noon. City Hall will be closed and no inspections offered every Friday until 1/2/2021. If you need to contact your inspector for matters other than the inspection schedule for your project, they will be available by phone from 8AM to 9AM only on the days City Hall is open.

Social distancing practices are required and Construction Safety Protocols must be adhered to while our inspectors are on site. All persons present for an inspection must be wearing face masks or coverings. Failure to maintain safety requirements will result in a terminated or cancelled inspection without approval of the work for which the inspection was scheduled and a reinspection fee will be assessed. The reinspection will need to be scheduled for the next available day and time after the reinspection fee has been paid.

A copy of the Construction Safety Protocols for both Large and Small projects can be found on the Contra Costa County Health Department website at The City of El Cerrito Building Division will also post these protocols on our website and we will make printed copies available at our permit counter.

During this closure, the Building Division will continue to respond to questions and inquiries via phone and email. Please contact us at (510) 215-4360 or

We are also accepting permits via mail, email, and drop-off at City Hall by appointment.

Procedures for permit submittals:

Via US mail:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and permit fees.
Please mail your materials to:

City of El Cerrito Building Division
10890 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Please make checks for application fees payable to “City of El Cerrito”. We are unable to process credit card transactions during this closure. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

Via email:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
Please email digital materials to

Please mail a check for permit fees according to the procedures for submittals via US mail. Please ensure that the property address and applicant’s name are identified on the check. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

*Hard copies of materials, including plans may be required. If necessary, we will ask you to mail or drop off hard copies.

Via drop off:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
Please email or call us to schedule an appointment for your drop off. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.
The Building Division ensures new construction is built in a manner that satisfies the health and safety regulations set forth by the California Building Code and the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

The Building Division staff assists residents, business owners, residential contractors, and commercial developers with construction related issues through face to face meetings at the counter and field, Building Code interpretations, plan review, issuance of building permits upon approval of plans, inspection of construction, as well as code enforcement actions. In addition, the staff works with landlords and tenants to implement the Rental Inspection Program to ensure that the city's rental housing stock is safe and sanitary as defined in the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

To request an inspection or permit information:

Fill out our online Inspection Request Form, email or call 510-215-4360

**Please note that the Inspection Request Form is a request. You will not be considered scheduled until you receive confirmation from a permit technician or building inspector.

Use the buttons on the left or the links below to learn more about the Building Division:

Building Permits

El Cerrito's Homeowner Workshop Series

Residential Rental Inspection Program

Green Building

Current Building Codes

Code Enforcement

2019-20 Master Fee Schedule, including Building Fees