Building Permit Submittal Guide

This guide has been developed to serve as a simplified explanation of the building requirements within the City of Burlingame. Please visit the City website (www.burlingame.org) for additional information, or email us at buildingpermits@burlingame.org for further assistance.

Note: All architects, engineers, designers, developers, owners and contractors must be familiar with the codes in effect at the time of plan submittal. As required by State law, the Building Department cannot approve projects that do not comply with the codes in effect at the time of plan submittal.

Application and Plan Submittal

Include a complete digital copy of all materials for every submittal, and re-submittal. Please submit the following to begin the review process:

  •  Permit application
  •  Construction drawings
    • 24” x 36” minimum page size with a ¼” = 1’ 0” minimum scale
    • Exceptions may be made for minor residential projects
  •  Supporting documents when applicable
  • An electronic copy of all  documents and plans


Please ensure your application provides the information requested in each section and is signed at the bottom. Include a brief description of the proposed work and the valuation of the construction (including labor amount even if done without actual cost to owner). Please note that the value of the work may be higher than the actual cost. Plan Check Fees will be assessed upon submittal and must be paid within 24 hours.

Zoning, Setbacks, & Height

Consult the Planning Division for guidelines.

Grading & Drainage

Consult the Public Works – Engineering Department for guidelines.

Building Permit Costs

Refer to the Master 2023-24 Master Fee Schedule for plan check and permit fees.

The Contractors’ and Owner/Builders’ estimate must include both labor and material costs. The Building Official makes the final determination of "valuation," per state law. This determination is based on current average costs for construction in this area.

Building Plan Requirements

Complete plan sets shall include the following:

  • On the first sheet of the plans (cover sheet), provide the following:
    • Job Address and Assessor Parcel Number (APN)
    • Name of Architect or Designer, and Engineer – Include the printed names, address, and telephone number of the person who prepared the plans.
    • Address and Owner – List the street address of the property and the name of the legal owner.
    • Index of the Drawings – List each sheet number and a description.
    • Scope of Work – state the complete scope of work to be performed under this permit.
    • Provide Building Area, Stories, Occupancy Group, Construction Type, Sprinklers, and Occupant Load.
    • Building Area – Area in square feet of the new construction per each story, garage, basement, and total area.
    • Deferred Submittals – List all proposed deferred submittals.
  • Site plan with proposed grades, and property lines with landmarks and a survey confirming property lines. Plot plan should show location of the proposed building with respect to property lines; any existing building(s) that will remain on the property; existing and proposed driveway; utilities (water meter, gas meter, electrical meter, sewer cleanout), fire hydrants, trees, power poles or any other fixed object between property lines and curb.
  • Elevation view of the structure, both existing and proposed when applicable.
  • Floor plans, both existing and proposed when applicable.
  • Framing and structural plans.
  • For new construction, additions, or alterations to existing commercial or multi-family buildings, plans shall include a vertical section of the primary entrance and any other entrances required by code. Where appropriate, include a complete grade profile of the path of travel from accessible parking and public way to and through the new building or area affected by the alteration.
  • For any construction involving installation of more than three (3) plumbing fixture units, include a list of all existing and proposed fixtures and required meter size. Note on the plans whether or not any new irrigation system or expansion of the existing irrigation system is included in the current project.
  • Any other plans, diagrams or details necessary to provide a clear and concise picture of what is proposed.
  • If Energy or Structural Calculations are required, submit  each in 8 1/2" x 11" format, stamped and signed.
  • Plan sets must be signed/stamped prior to submitting.

Plan Check Process

Plans will be routed to appropriate departments (Planning, Engineering, etc.) for review.  If plans are not approved by all departments, the applicant will be provided plan check comments that will need to be addressed and resubmitted.  When revised, plans shall be resubmitted to the Building Department by the applicant.

Review time frames for Building: 1st submittal estimated at 15 business days; resubmittals estimated at 10 business days.

Note: to ensure fairness, all plans are checked in order by date of submittal (or re-submittal).

Upon approval of the plans, the applicant will be notified by our department.  The permit will be issued to the party doing the work (contractor or owner) upon full payment of fees due.  Contractors must have an active State of California Contractors License and an active City Business License.  Permits will not be issued without these items.

Applications for which no permit is issued within 180 days (less than six months) following the original submittal date shall expire by limitation. After an application has expired the applicant must resubmit plans, complete a new application and pay new plan check fees and any outstanding fees from the previous application.

Roof Truss Packages

Provide two digital or wet stamped truss calculations along with a letter of approval from the engineer of record for the project and a roof truss layout plan. Please be advised there will be added Plan Check fees for all deferred submittals.