Permit Process

When contacting the Building Department, please be aware that these unprecedented times have caused our Building Department to shift from an in-person submittal to a newly established electronic submittal process.

  • Please check the Building Department Forms and applications for other forms that may be needed but are not linked here.
  • Submitted credit card information will be destroyed directly after any transaction and will not be kept on file.
  • Fire permits for the Central Marin Fire Department for addresses in the City of Larkspur and Greenbrae are administered by the Building Department and generally are handled like the small project permit requirements below.


Simple Permit Requirements 

Reroof, water heater, furnace replacement, AC new and replacement with site plan, electrical service change, window replacement like-for-like, siding replacement like-for-like,  residential roof-mounted solar PV (with plans), battery back-up for existing solar arrays, simple mechanical/electric/plumbing.

The application can be emailed to LarkspurBuilding@cityoflarkspur.org or mailed to City Hall with a check.

Simple permits can generally be issued within 3-7 working days once the City determines the submission to be complete.(please make sure the application is completed in full including property owner phone number and email). 

1. Application (2 pages) – All permit submittals require a building permit application - completed and signed by the contractor. Property                                               owner information, including phone number and email, are required on the application.

  • If the property owner is going to pull the permit then complete the property owner-builder form in addition to the building permit application. The City and California State License Board encourage property owners to check with their insurer to understand their coverage as it relates to "owner-builder" permits. Some Homeowner Associations require that a licensed contractor pull the permit, especially for condominiums, please check your Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CCR's).

2. Payment is due at submission: we can take payment by Visa or MasterCard by email.  There is a 3% credit card processing fee. Credit Card Authorization Form. We can no longer take credit card information over the phone.

a. The application  can be mailed or dropped off in the box on the wall to the right of the front door at City Hall. After the permit is processed you will be contacted about the cost of the permit fees and a check can be mailed or dropped off.


Small Project Permit Requirements 

A small project is a project that requires plans and the plans can easily read when printed on 11 inch x 17 inch paper such as: kitchen and bath remodels like-for-like without structural changes, interior residential remodels without structural changes or addition of square footage, permanent generator installation, residential and commercial fire sprinklers, fire alarm, replacement decks that are conforming to zoning regulations, etc.

Please keep in mind that any project with civil engineering or extensive site plan will likely require a submission of full-sized as noted in Large Project Requirements. Architectural plans are also required to be submitted digitally.

Small project permits review takes approximately 10-15 working days. Some small project permits may be categorized as large project after initial review. (The determination of small vs large project is solely the City of Larkspur's). 

The requirements below can be emailed to LarkspurBuilding@cityoflarkspur.org or the printed package (applications, 4 sets of plans, 2 sets of supporting documentation) and a check for the plan check fee can be mailed.

1. Application (2 pages) – All permit submittals require a building permit application - completed and signed by the contractor. Property                                               owner information, including phone number and email, are required on the application.

  • If the property owner is going to pull the permit then complete the property owner-builder form in addition to the building permit application. The City and California State License Board encourage property owners to check with their insurer to understand their coverage as it relates to "owner-builder" permits. Some Homeowner Associations require that a licensed contractor pull the permit, especially for condominiums, please check your Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CCR's).

2. Payment is due at submission. Credit Card Authorization Form. There is a 3% credit card processing fee.  We can no longer take credit card information over the phone.


Large Project Permit Requirements

Larger or more complicated projects (accepted by mail or delivery only) such as: all commercial tenant improvements, residential additions and extensive remodels, any project that has been approved by the Planning Commission, etc. Architectural plans are also required to be submitted digitally.

Please check the building submittal checklist and email specific questions to LarkspurBuilding@cityoflarkspur.org 

1. Application (2 pages) – All permit submittals require a building permit application - completed and signed by the contractor. Property                                               owner information, including phone number and email, are required on the application.

  • If the property owner is going to pull the permit then complete the property owner-builder form in addition to the building permit application. (This applies to residential only). Commercial projects require the owner's approval (see agent authorization-owners).

2. Four (4) sets of plans signed by the person who drew them (electronic signature accepted) and 2 sets of supporting documentation. All submissions should include a digital copy of the architectural plan sets.

3. Payment of plan check fees are due at submission. Check payment for the plan check deposit should be submitted with the permit package (permit processing and plan review will not begin until payment is made). Or the fee can be paid by credit card (3% processing fee). Credit Card Authorization Form. We can no longer take credit card information over the phone. 

  • Plan check fees are calculated based on the valuation-generated of base permit fee, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy analysis, CalGreen, and accessibility (commercial only).  Plan check fee is 65% of the summation of these fees. Contact the Building Department electronically with digital architectural plans, a very detailed scope of work, and the contract valuation of the work (includes design, material, and labor) and we will calculate the fees due at submission.

NOTE: Plans will not be reviewed or processed until the plan check fees are paid.

Large Project Plan Review

Once a complete submittal package and plan check fees are paid:

  • The initial plan review is approximately 3-4 weeks once the City determines that the submission is complete.  If reviews are completed before that time the applicant will be notified.
  • The plan review on resubmittal (response to comments) is approximately 2-3 weeks.  Please keep in mind that with COVID some processes are taking longer. If reviews are completed before that time the applicant will be notified. Response to comments require the re-submission of revised architectural plans digitally.
  • The Planning Department reviews all projects for zoning compliance and/or conformance to any discretionary Planning review.
  • Plan reviews are done by the Planning, Building, Public Work, and Central Marin Fire Department. Some projects may require to make separate submissions to outside agencies such as: school district, Marin County Health Department, Ross Valley Sanitary District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Marin Municipal, PG&E or others. 
  • Any project that involves work in, on, or near anyway waterway have special multi-jurisdictional review process, including multiple State, Federal, County, and District Authority jurisdictions.  You can check with the Building or Planning Department early in the process for information about that type of submission.
  • Once all Departments have reviewed the plans a comment letter will be emailed to the applicant/contractor/property owner. 

Permit/Plan Pickup including "no-contact" option

When your permit is ready you will be contacted with instructions for pickup of permit.  Plans submitted via email will be issued by email. 

Permit pickup is available Monday thru Thursday 9 am to 4 pm from the box marked plan pick up/drop off in the second floor lobby next to the elevator.  Please request the pickup one working day prior to pick up.  For a Monday pickup please request no later than noon on Thursday to ensure your request will be received and confirmed. Please include a timeframe (1-2  hours) for permit pickup so that those wanting no-contact permit pickup can be accommodated.  You will receive an email confirmation with the day, date and time-window for the pick up. 

All documentation, including signatures on applications, construction, and demolition forms, etc., must be completed and emailed,  mailed, or put in the box on the wall to the right of the front door of City Hall before scheduling a pickup. 

All payments must be made before requesting a pickup. You can mail a check, or drop the check into the box on the wall to the right of the front door at City Hall.  Credit Card Authorization Form. We can no longer take credit card information over the phone. 

Permit/Plan Drop off

Compete building permit submissions (see requirements above) can be submitted Monday thru Thursday 9 am to 4 pm in the box marked plan pick up/drop off in the second floor lobby next to the elevator, or in person Mondays and Wednesdays between 9 am and noon. Incomplete in person submissions will be turned away. Incomplete submission in the box marked "plan pickup/drop off" will not be processed.  When submitting large projects be prepared to pay the fees due at submission. Due to limited space we cannot "hold onto" incomplete submissions while applicants complete them. Feel free to email the Building Department LarkspurBuilding@cityoflarkspur.org with questions. When submitting in person digital copy of the architectural plans are still  required. The best method is to send the architectural plans digitally (pdf or document sharing service is best - CD submissions are not accepted, thumb drives will not be returned) along with the detailed scope of work and contract valuation (or completed permit application) in advance of submission and the fees due at submission will be calculated for you, so that if you desire to pay by check you can have it ready.

Over-the-counter permits are encouraged to continue to email their submissions as complete submissions will be issued in the order they are received.

There is no over-the-counter plan review/permit issuance at this time due to staffing levels. No commercial project, including demolition is over-the-counter. All commercial projects are subject to large and/or small project submission requirements above.