All City offices and buildings will be closed to the public from March 17, 2020 through May 3,, 2020 due to the Shelter In Place Order issued by the Contra Costa County Health Department. For more information, visit

Construction Under Shelter in Place

Under the current COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place orders most construction must cease. There are some exemptions for projects which contain affordable housing and to allow projects which are underway to get to a safe and stable condition. Projects which address life/safety issues may be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Building Official, as well. In El Cerrito, the multifamily structures that are currently under construction may continue for a couple of weeks until they can be brought to a safe and secure state as determined by City Officials. These projects will be required to provide and implement Social Distancing protocols per the SIP order. For more information, please contact the Building Official. 

Updated 4/3/2020

During this closure, the Building Division will continue to respond to questions and inquiries via phone and email. Please contact us at (510) 215-4360 or

As Housing construction projects that will provide new units are exempt from the Shelter in Place order, inspections will continue on a very limited basis. Permits involving emergency or life/safety issues will be given first priority. Inspections will be performed on multi-family (2 units or more) new unit construction projects and on new detached and attached Accessory Dwelling Unit projects as long as attached units are completely separated and closed off from the main dwelling unit. Inspectors will not enter an occupied building or dwelling unit for inspection. Other projects involving areas on the exterior only may be considered for inspection on a case-by-case basis. Verification of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for final inspection of exterior projects will be accomplished through an affidavit signed by both property owner and contractor. All other inspections requiring entry into a building will be postponed until the crisis is over. Inspections of tenant improvements are also similarly postponed. For questions regarding inspection of your particular project, please email

We are also accepting permits via mail, email, and drop-off at City Hall by appointment.

Procedures for permit submittals:

Via US mail:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and permit fees.
Please mail your materials to:

City of El Cerrito Building Division
10890 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Please make checks for application fees payable to “City of El Cerrito”. We are unable to process credit card transactions during this closure. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

Via email:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
Please email digital materials to

Please mail a check for permit fees according to the procedures for submittals via US mail. Please ensure that the property address and applicant’s name are identified on the check. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.

*Hard copies of materials, including plans may be required. If necessary, we will ask you to mail or drop off hard copies.

Via drop off:

Please contact us first to ensure you submit the correct materials and application fees.
Please email or call us to schedule an appointment for your drop off. We will mail or email you a payment receipt.
The Building Division ensures new construction is built in a manner that satisfies the health and safety regulations set forth by the California Building Code and the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

The Building Division staff assists residents, business owners, residential contractors, and commercial developers with construction related issues through face to face meetings at the counter and field, Building Code interpretations, plan review, issuance of building permits upon approval of plans, inspection of construction, as well as code enforcement actions. In addition, the staff works with landlords and tenants to implement the Rental Inspection Program to ensure that the city's rental housing stock is safe and sanitary as defined in the El Cerrito Municipal Code.

To request an inspection or permit information:

Fill out our online Inspection Request Form, email or call 510-215-4360

**Please note that the Inspection Request Form is a request. You will not be considered scheduled until you receive confirmation from a permit technician or building inspector.

Use the buttons on the left or the links below to learn more about the Building Division:

Building Permits

El Cerrito's Homeowner Workshop Series

Residential Rental Inspection Program

Green Building

Current Building Codes

Code Enforcement

2019-20 Master Fee Schedule, including Building Fees