Permit Center Frequently Asked Questions

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Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions for the Building and Planning divisions. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please click the 'Ask a question' button on the right hand side of the page. 

Adopted building codes enforced in Hayward

Please see the Hayward Municipal Code on the City’s website for all local amendments and other ordinances that may have an impact on your project.

 

The primary building codes and local amendments to the codes are noted here below:

  • 2019 California Building Code
  • 2019 California Residential Code
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code
  • 2019 California Energy Code
  • 2019 California Green Building Standards Code “CalGreen”
  • The City of Hayward Reach Code*

The California codes are now published for free online. The current version of the building code can be found on the California Building Standards Commission website. The current Energy Code and instructional material can be found on the California Energy Commission Website.

 

*The City of Hayward Reach code is a local Green Building Ordinance adopted in early 2020 that prohibits natural gas use in newly constructed homes. This gas ban also applies to detached ADUs that are over 400 square feet. For high-rise residential (as defined by the Energy Code), and commercial projects, there is a mixed-fuel option that allows gas if other efficiency measures are met. The Reach Code also expands the requirements in CalGreen for EV charging infrastructure.

 

To learn more about the Reach Code and to find a checklist specific to your project type, please see the City of Hayward website here: https://www.haywardca.gov/reach-code

 

Permit process and current codes

 

Over the counter permits

 

Most permits issued by the City of Hayward are “over the counter” (same day or processed within 24 hours). Common over the counter permits include standard building maintenance items such as window replacements, water heater installations and reroofs. Most projects that require plans are not issued over the counter.

 

However, there are some exceptions noted below:

  1. Permits will almost always be issued over the counter for the following standard projects that do not require plans: Re-roofing, water heaters, basic window replacements (like for like), stucco /siding replacement, minor non-structural repairs, emergency repairs, minor electrical work, basic non-structural bathroom and kitchen remodels that do not change the layout of the dwelling, and similar work.
  2. Like-for-Like Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels: As long as existing bathroom or kitchen remodels remain within the same room and do not involve any wall removal, these drawings can be prepared by a homeowner along with our Residential Kitchen Remodel and Residential Bathroom Remodel handouts. These permits will usually be issued the same day as the application is processed.
  3. Permits may be issued over the counter (same day or processed within 24 hours) for some projects that require plans if the scope is minor and the code requirements are clearly shown on an accurate set of drawings. This is at the discretion of the Plan Checker and depends on the drawings being prepared by a qualified designer. Some examples include: Non-structural kitchen and bathroom remodels that change the floor plan, minor alterations to rooms such as adding closets or relocating non-bearing walls (or similar work), minor gas piping work and most sign installations. 

Permit Process and Current Codes

Plan review fees and inspection fees

 

Fees for tenant improvements, remodels, additions and new buildings are based on valuation. Other permits are flat fees.

 

To estimate your fees for your project, please see our online fee estimator here: https://www.hayward-ca.gov/content/permit-fees

 

To see fees that are not covered by the fee estimator, please view the Master Fee Schedule here: https://www.hayward-ca.gov/your-government/documents/masterfee-schedule

 

Permit Process and Current Codes

Inspection process

 

Requests for building inspections must be made before midnight to be scheduled for following day. For example, to have an inspection on Tuesday, the inspection must be scheduled before 11:59 p.m. on Monday. 

 

Please call (510) 583-4148 or go online to https://haywardselfservice.us/hss/default.aspx to request an inspection. 

 

Click on the below link for a step by step guide on scheduling building inspections.

 

Permit Process and Current Codes

Digital submittals are acceptable. Plans shall be formatted as PDFs when submitted digitally. PDF files shall be combined in the same way the set would be bound if it were paper. All drawings in the set shall be formatted on the same size sheets. Structural calculations, geotechnical reports and similar documents can be submitted separately formatted on 8.5" x 11". Please complete the following steps:

  1. Please check the property address on the GIS website http://webmap.hayward-ca.gov/ to confirm it falls within our jurisdicition.
  2. Visit www.hayward-ca.gov/services/permit-center and select the 'ask us a squestion or start an application' box. It will prompt you with the next steps and where to upload require documents.
  3. Once your plans are screened for completeness, a Permit Technician will get back to you with the fees due for review and a target date for completion. Please note that all incomplete or inaccurate submittals will be rejected. If this is the case, you will need to submit in person. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: SOLAR, ADU’S & CELL SITES ARE NOT ACCEPTED DIGITALLY. 

You can go to http://webmap.hayward-ca.gov/ to search for a property in the City of Hayward. If it is in the City’s jurisdiction, the map tool will show you that parcel’s information, including the property’s Zoning District and General Plan Land Use Designation. These are hyperlinked to the corresponding sections of the City’s Municipal Code and General Plan that cover things like permitted uses, development standards (height limit, lot requirements, setbacks, lot coverage, etc.) and other minimum design and performance standards. If you still have further questions about interpreting these standards, you can reach out to planning.division@hayward-ca.gov.  

You can start by going to the City’s webpage to apply and renew a business license. If you have additional questions about the application process, you can reach out to the Revenue Division at businesslicense@hayward-ca.gov.

 

If you want to know if a certain business is allowable at a specific address, you can go to http://webmap.hayward-ca.gov/ to search for a property in the City of Hayward. If it is in the City’s jurisdiction, it will show you that parcel’s zoning district, with a hyperlink to a list of uses (types of businesses) that are allowed by right or conditionally allowed. If you still have questions about allowable uses at your address, you can reach out to planning.division@hayward-ca.gov.  

Planning will review the ADU/JADU plans and checklist for consistency with the regulations. Typically Planning review can occur via email (with submittal of digital plans and checklist) or at the Permit Center. After you complete an informal Planning review, you must submit a building permit application with plans, checklist and other required submittal materials for the ADU/JADU.

 

a.     You can start by going to the City’s webpage on the ADU information and permit process, where you will be able to find a FAQ sheet as well as checklists for ADUs in Single Family and Multi Family Districts and for JADU applications. If you have questions about the Building Permit requirements or fees, you can reach out to Building.Permits@hayward-ca.gov. If your question is about planning requirements, you can also reach out to a planner by sending an email to planning.division@hayward-ca.gov.   For any questions, you can also come in person to the Permit Center at City Hall.

b.     ADUs/JADUs are generally allowed on properties zoned for residential or mixed-use development. To check the zoning district of a particular parcel you can use the City’s web map application, which is open to the public.

Accessory structures which are not used for habitation are permitted on residentially zoned property. Please see ADU/JADUs above if you are interested in building a habitable accessory structure.

 

Accessory structures that are less than 120 square feet:

 

-       Do not require building permit approval

-       Shall be set back a minimum of three feet from rear and side property line; and a minimum of 10 feet from a street side yard

-       Shall be set back a minimum of six feet from other structures on the property

-       Shall not exceed 14 feet in height

-       The square footage of all accessory structures shall not exceed 50% of the primary structure (house and attached garage) on the site

-       All structures (including home, garage, patio covers and accessory structures) shall not exceed 40% of the lot.

 

Accessory structures that are greater than 120 square feet:

 

-       Require building permit approval

-       Shall be set back a minimum of five feet from rear and side property line; and a minimum of 10 feet from a street side yard

-       Shall be set back a minimum of six feet from other structures on the property

-       Shall not exceed 14 feet in height

-       The square footage of all accessory structures shall not exceed 50% of the primary structure (house and attached garage) on the site

-       All structures (including home, garage, patio covers and accessory structures) shall not exceed 40% of the lot.

Visit our webpage on how to report an illegal residential fence. If your concern is not about the height or the permit status of your neighbor’s fence,  but you think that your neighbor’s fence is on your property, then it is a civil matter, and the City cannot get involved. You would need to hire a private land surveyor to come out and stake your property to determine precisely where your property line lies.

Fences located in a typical single-family residence are limited to a height of:

 

-       4 feet if located in any portion of the front street yard (20 feet from the property line) or any portion of the side street yard (10 feet from the property line).

-       6 feet if located in any portion of the side (5 feet or 10% of the lot width, whichever is greater) or rear yard (20 feet)

 

Fences up to 6 feet in height do not require a building permit.

 

If you have additional questions on standards for fences, please reach out to  a planner by sending an email to planning.division@hayward-ca.gov. For questions on how to obtain a building permit, visit the Permit Center website at www.hayward-ca.gov/services/permit-center.

Check our permit webpage to see a list of projects that require a planning permit and/or building permit.

Sometimes the City receives calls about properties with a Hayward address that are actually outside of the City’s limits, and under Alameda County’s jurisdiction.  If you are not sure, you can go to http://webmap.hayward-ca.gov/ to search for a property in the City of Hayward. If it is in the City’s jurisdiction, you can reach out to our planning team by  emailing us at planning.division@hayward-ca.gov so we can help you with next steps. Otherwise, please contact the Alameda County Planning Department at 510.670.5400 or visit their website at  https://www.acgov.org/cda/planning/ for any planning questions.

We understand that parking can be difficult in some single-family neighborhoods and that landscape maintenance can be an inconvenient chore; however, you cannot pave your entire front yard. Specifically, Hayward Municipal Code Section 10-1.245(k)(3)(d) limits front yard paving (including driveway and pathways) to no more than 50% of your lot width, and HMC Section 10-1.245(i)(4), requires that the front yard be landscaped or covered in recycled woodchip mulch.

 

So, if you have a 60-foot wide lot, no more than 30 feet of the required front yard can be paved, and the unpaved portion must be landscaped or covered in woodchip mulch.

You can report issues occurring on private property to the City’s Code Enforcement Division at the Access Hayward link on the City’s website. 

 

Click on Community Appearance – Neighborhoods – City Codes and choose the appropriate issue. If you do not see your specific issues, click on “Community Appearance Problems – Private Property.”