Building & Safety Requirements
An inspection will be performed of the new business location, which will primarily focus on the maintenance and condition of the existing building and property. Any construction that has previously been performed in the business location without required permits and inspections will also be inspected. A list of corrections that are necessary to be performed to eliminate violations of local or State of California regulations will be provided by the inspector.
Days and Hours for Inspections
Once the inspector has received the application, he will conduct an inspection. If no one is on the site, a notice will be left to call for an inspection. Inspections are conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Please call 24 hours in advance to request an inspection from the Department of Building and Safety (Phone (310) 349-2990).
The Building and Your New Business
If the building you are proposing to move into was not used for the same business you wish to open, ask the Department of Building and Safety about this location before committing to a lease. For example, a former retail store, office, or warehouse may not be constructed to meet the requirements for an automobile repair garage. A fire sprinkler system may be required to be installed if the new business is determined to be a greater risk or hazardous business than the previous business.
For example, a building which is:
a) over 5,000 square feet in floor area; and
b) was previously used as an office; and
c) is proposed to be used for a meeting hall or other assembly room
may require the installation of the fire sprinkler system, even if there is no enlargement of the building. Again, if you have a question, please ask the Department of Building and Safety personnel.
Preparing for the Inspection
Many of the regulations that this office must enforce affect how the business is operated. Therefore, all shelving, storage racks, displays, and other equipment that is used in the operation of the business must be in place at the time of inspection. Construction plans and permits are required for larger rack storage systems, and must be processed before the storage racks are installed.
The following is a list of the areas typically inspected:
exit aisles, hallways ( minimum 44 inches in width; may be greater if a larger building)
lights ( in good repair, operating properly, located in exit paths, etc)
doors (in good repair; minimum 36 inches in width, greater if a larger building; direction of door swing; type of locks on the doors; DEAD BOLTS PROHIBITED
store fronts ( in good repair; glass not cracked; safety glass where required)
exposed electrical systems (in good repair; no unsafe alterations, to include the use of prohibited extension cords)
recently added partitions, storage rooms, sheds, shed roofs, or other apparent modifications to the building or property (local and State of California building code regulations require minimum safety construction standards, as specified in the Uniform Building Code.)
signage (Signage is very important. The City Council has adopted sign regulations which are required to be strictly enforced. All types of signs require a permit to be issued by the City before being installed. Some typical sign violations are excessive size or number of signs, painted or other temporary signs that are installed without permits, or A-frame signs on the public right-of-way.)
After the Inspection
After the business has been inspected, the inspector will immediately provide a list of any and all violations of the City's Building, Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing codes that are required to be corrected before the application may be approved. A re-inspection must be requested by the applicant when ready for the inspector to come back to the property.
The application fees paid when applying for the Business License and Code Compliance Inspection cover only the cost of performing the Code Compliance Inspection. If work is required to be performed on your building due to corrections listed by the Building Inspector, then permit and plan check fees must also be paid. The amount of the fee will be based upon the cost of performing the work.
(NOTE: All work that was performed on the building without permits must either be brought up to current code requirements, or the non-permitted work must be removed.)
If an inspector is required to re-inspect the business site more than two times because the corrections have not been completed, the license application will be denied. The inspector will cooperate with you and advise you on how to achieve code compliance. However, a new business must be a safe business. If necessary corrections are not made, the building is not in compliance with State regulations for a safe building.
Approval/Denial of Code Compliance Inspection Application
The inspector will approve this department's portion of the Code Compliance application once all corrections are completed. At that time, the application will be returned to the Business License Division office.
The inspector must deny an application under the following conditions:
1. The building cannot be used for the proposed business based upon construction requirements in the Uniform Building Code.
2. The inspector has been required to perform three (3) inspections, and required corrections remain incomplete.
3. The applicant has not processed required plans and/or secured permits.
4. The inspector is not able to obtain access to the premises on 2 consecutive attempts.
5. The applicant does not request a re-inspection within the time specified on a correction notice issued previously by the inspector.
A denied application means the business is not permitted to be operated. However, the City will cooperate with the applicant to assist in achieving compliance. Please contact the building inspector whenever you have a question.