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When is a building permit NOT required?

A permit is not required for the following:

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed one hundred twenty (120) square feet.
  • Fences not over seven (7) feet high.
  • Movable cases, counters and partitions not over five foot nine inches (5′ 9″) feet high.
  • Retaining walls not over four (4) feet high measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall and not supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids. Contact your local Building Official for walls retaining soils in close proximity of the property line.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed five thousand (5000) gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed two to one (2:1).
  • Platforms, walks or driveways not more than thirty (30) inches above grade and not over any basement or story below. Contact your local Building Official if the walks or platforms are accessible to the public.
  • Painting, papering and similar finish work.
  • Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R-3 or U-1 Occupancy when projecting not more than fifty four (54) inches.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep.

Kern County Public Works Department

Mission Statement: To provide public infrastructure, facilitate development, and deliver services that protect and enhance the lives of the people of Kern County.

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