Tenant Improvements

Tenant Improvements

When a new business moves into an existing commercial or industrial space or an existing business changes or modifies its use and/or expands within the existing building, interior alterations (both structural or nonstructural) to the space are generally made.  These alterations are considered Tenant Improvements and will require a Building Permit.  
Note:  The alterations may also require electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits, a change in the permitted use ("Change in Use") or an increase in the permitted number of occupants ("Occupant Load").

How to Apply
To apply for a Tenant Improvement Permit, you will need to fill out a Building Permit Application.  Applicants are responsible for submitting complete applications. Incomplete applications will not be accepted or will cause significant delays during the review process. 

A complete submittal package consists of the following:

  1. A completed Building Permit Application.
  2. A minimum of two (2) copies of a Plot/Site Plan showing the general layout of the existing building site, location of the tenant improvement, address, and an accessible path of travel from accessible parking and public transportation to accessible entrance(s).
  3. A minimum of two (2) copies of construction plans and details, including but not limited to; floor plan, exiting plan, California accessibility requirements and details, CAL Green requirements, reflected ceiling plan, framing details, lighting plan, electrical/plumbing/mechanical plans, and other applicable.
  4. Each wet stamped/signed by the  architect  and/or  engineer  as  required.   Paper size must be a minimum 24” X 30”, minimum text size 3/32” when printed, clear and readable. Basis of design must meet the currently applicable California Code
  5. Two(2) sets of Title 24 energy compliance documents when changes are proposed to the mechanical system, lighting or building envelope.
  6. Tenant Improvements over 1,000 square feet require a Waste Management Report; projects also require a Plan Review Fee deposit (calculated on square footage).
  1. Storm Water Requirements Applicability Checklist
  2. All projects that include demolition work must are required to show / provide a clearance from the Lake County Air Quality Management District.  


During the permitting process you will be asked to pay basic permit fees: Issuance Fees, Plan Review Fees and Administrative Fees.

You are required to pay the Plan Review Fees as a deposit at project submittal. Issuance and Administrative Fees are paid at time of permit issuance. Fees are determined by the type of construction, type of occupancy, square footage and the extent of the tenant improvement.

Review Process

Once the Permit Technician verifies that the application package is complete, and you pay the Plan Review Fees, the Plans Examiner will review the Application Packet. He may send the packet out for review depending on the complexity of the project.  

The plan review process time will vary. The primary applicant/contact will be notified when the review is complete and the permit is ready to issue.

After all the required Permit Fees are paid, the Permit Technician will issue the building permit, and construction may begin.


At certain stages of the construction, you must schedule inspections. The following list represents the sequence of required inspections for a typical tenant improvement:

  1. Underground plumbing and electrical
  2. Foundation
  3. Interior wall framing and rough electric
  4. T-Bar ceiling and rough trades (electrical, plumbing & mechanical)
  5. Drywall nailing
  6. Electrical service
  7. Final Inspection

After all required inspections are approved and required approvals from any other divisions/departments are obtained, the Building Inspector will notify PG&E to release the electric meter, and a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued. The issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy authorizes you to occupy and use the facility based on the permitted use shown on the Certificate of Occupancy.



One of the main issues that Building deals with is Disabled Access as it applies to existing buildings and tenant improvements in existing buildings. Per State law (California Building Standards Code - Title 24), existing buildings and facilities must comply when alterations, additions or repairs are to be made. Compliance includes:

  1. The area of remodel, alteration, addition or repair
  2. A primary entrance to the building or facility; the path of travel to the area of remodel, alteration, addition or repair
  3. Sanitary facilities serving the area of remodel, alteration, addition or repair
  4. Drinking fountains serving the area of remodel, alteration, addition or repair
  5. Public telephones serving the area of remodel, alteration, addition or repair
  6. Accessible parking and path of travel to accessible entrances.