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  Development Services


Patio Covers

This Guide is designed to help you through the permitting and construction processes associated with a patio cover project. A patio cover is defined in the California Building Code, as being a one story, roofed structure, not more than 12'0" in height above grade and used only for recreational and/or outdoor living purposes. Patio covers are not permitted to be used as carports, garages, storage structures or as habitable space. Patio covers may be attached or detached, and are permitted as an accessory structure to either a single family dwelling or duplex (R-3 Occupancies); a private garage, carport, shed and agricultural building (U Occupancies); or hotels and apartment houses (R-1 Occupancies). For further information on Patio Covers, please review our handout, "Patio Covers-Lightweight", Form 4593.

To find out if a permit is required, please review our handout, "Work Exempt From Building Permits", Form 4551, or call us at (619) 691-5272.

If a building permit is not required, the patio cover must still be constructed in accordance with applicable building codes. Furthermore, The Chula Vista Zoning Ordinance applies to the use and location of all structures, including those not requiring a building permit. All new structures must therefore be reviewed by the Planning Division to ensure the structure meets the requirements of the zone. Please check with Planning staff (619-691-5101) to ensure your proposed structure meets all standards, such as setbacks from property lines and adjacent structures, allowable height, and lot coverage.

To apply for a patio cover permit, you need to stop at our Building Counter in the Public Service Building at 276 Fourth Avenue across the street from the library (north-west corner of 4th and F, downtown Chula Vista.) For us to accept your permit application, you must provide us with a complete submittal package. A complete submittal package consists of the following:

  1. A completed "Residential Addition-Remodel-Patio-Wall/Fence-Pool Worksheet", Form 4562
  2. Three copies of a Plot/Site Plan showing the general layout of the existing building site, location of the patio cover, and address. Please review our handout, "How To Prepare A Residential Plot Plan", Form 4595, or call us at (619) 691-5272.
  3. Two copies of construction plans and details including but not limited to; post size and spacing, rafter span and spacing, beam size and footing size.

Note: The Planning & Building Department has handouts that show construction techniques for miscellaneous structures such as Patio Covers. These handouts may be used in lieu of construction plans when attached to a properly prepared plot plan. Please review our handout, "Patio Covers-Lightweight", Form 4593.

During the permitting process you will be asked to pay two separate fees; Plan Check Fee and Permit Fee. You are required to pay the Plan Check Fee before we can take in your application for plan check. As for the Permit Fee, you must pay it at time of permit issuance. If you use a city standard construction plan, the Plan Check Fee is included in the Permit Fee and is paid at time of permit issuance. Both fees are determined by the type of construction and square footage.

After our Development Services Technicians (DST's) verify that the application package is complete, and you pay the Plan Check Fee, they will forward a set of plans/documents to each of the three departments/divisions; Building, Planning, and Engineering. Approval from all three departments/divisions is required prior to permit issuance. To contact any of the departments/divisions, please see the contact list shown at the end of this document.

The plan check process is then tracked in our Automated Tracking System and the project is assigned a standard turn-around-time. The standard turn-around-time is 7 calendar days. If you use a city standard construction plan, the plan check can be done "Over-The- Counter" and the permit may get issued the same day.

After you obtain all the required approvals and pay the Permit Fee, a DST will issue you a building permit. Now you can start construction. At certain stages of the construction, you must schedule for an inspection. The following list represents the sequence of required inspections for a typical patio cover:

  1. Footings - when footings have been excavated but before concrete is placed.
  2. Ledger - when ledger beams are attached to an existing structure.
  3. Final when work is complete.
City Dept. / Division
Phone Number
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(Permits Section)




City Of Chula Vista



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