The City of Novato's Building Division is part of the Community Development Department and is responsible for reviewing plans, issuing building permits and doing field inspections.
Building Division Mission:
The Building Division is dedicated to providing the highest level of inspection services and plan review to every architect, engineer, developer, contractor, business and property owner that resides or works within our community. Fairness, equality and the highest standard of professional ethics are our goals in providing our services while enforcing state construction laws and local ordinances that protect our residents. The Building Division works closely with the Planning Division, Code Enforcement Division, Public Works Department, and the Novato Fire Protection District to help maintain a safe and livable community.
Building Documents & Additional Resources
What work requires a permit?
Please review this document. Page One lists work that requires a permit. Page Two lists work that does not require a permit.
If this document doesn't make the answer clear, please contact the Building Division at 415-899-8989 for assistance, before proceeding with any construction. You may also come in to One Stop Shop to discuss your project in person.
One Stop Shop Hours:
Monday - Thursday
9am - 11am
Building, Planning and Code Enforcement
Where do I go to get a Zoning Clearance or Home Occupation Permit?
The City’s zoning ordinance regulates land uses. Some businesses are not allowed in certain zones or may require a use permit. If you plan to operate a business in your home, a Home Occupation Permit is required before obtaining a business license.
Contact the Planning Division for more information:
City of Novato
922 Machin Avenue
Novato, CA 94945
Phone (415) 899-8989
Counter Planner Schedule:
Monday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Where do I get information and apply for a business license?
To obtain a business license, you will be asked to complete an application form. If the business is located in Novato, you will also need a Zoning Clearance or Home Occupation Permit from the Department of Community Development. In addition, some businesses may need a permit from the Police Department.
Please review our brochure for all the details on how and when you can obtain a license.
What is the Wildland Urban Interface ( WUI ) fire area?
The Wildland Urban Interface fire areas (also referred to as WUI zones) are specific areas within the City of Novato being identified as Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones by the Novato Fire Protection District, based on the requirements of the Wildland Urban Interface code adopted by the State of California.
How does my home by being in a WUI zone affect a remodel or addition?The ignition resistant construction standards required in Chapter 7A of the California Building Code (CBC) have been determined to provide the reasonable level of protection for buildings in a WUI zone. The application of these standards are covered in the POLICY FOR REMODELS AND ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS
What is the purpose of WUI?The objective is to establish minimum standards for materials and material assemblies and provide a reasonable level of exterior wildfire exposure protection for buildings in Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Areas. These standards also offer some protection from a fire in an adjacent structure and prevention of the spreading of fire to wildland vegetation.