This Guide is designed to help you through the permitting and construction
processes associated with retaining walls. A retaining wall is defined
as a wall resisting the lateral displacement of soil or other materials.
Retaining walls that are not over 3 feet in height measured from
the top of the footing to the top of the wall, and not supporting
a surcharge (building or vehicular surcharge.. etc)
or impounding flammable liquids are exempt from building permit.
Walls exempt from a building permit must still comply with applicable
local and State building regulations and 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.
For masonry retaining walls, please see our handout/design specifications
RETAINING WALLS", Form 4614. Form 4614 may be used in lieu
of construction plans when attached to a properly prepared plot
To apply for a retaining wall 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:
- A completed "Residential
Addition-Remodel-Patio-Wall/Fence-Pool Worksheet", Form 4562
for walls on residential properties. For walls on commercial property,
a completed "New
Construction Worksheet", Form 4561.
- Four copies of a Plot/Site Plan showing the general layout
of the site, slopes, location of buildings and driveways, and
location of all new and existing retaining walls
- Four copies of construction plans and details, including any
electrical plans for any lighting to be added.
- Two copies of soils report and structural calculations (not
required when using "MASONARY
RETAINING WALLS", Form 4614)
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. Both fees are determined by the
square footage of the wall. For additional information on fees,
please see "Fee Information"web
After our Development Services Technicians (DST's) verify that
the application package is complete, and you pay the Plan Check
Fees, they will forward a set of plans/documents to each of the
four departments/divisions; Building, Planning, Engineering and
Fire. Approval from all four 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.
For city standard walls "MASONARY RETAINING WALLS", Form 4614), plan check is performed over-the-counter and the permit may
be issued the same day. For non-city standard walls, the standard
turn-around-time for an initial review and follow-up reviews (rechecks)
is 7 calendar days.
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 masonry retaining wall (call us regarding
required inspections for retaining walls other that masonry walls):
2. Grout Lift, installation of drain and gravel.
3. Additional grout lifts if necessary.
4. Final Inspection.
|City Dept. / Division