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A Process Guide

This Guide is designed to help you through the permitting and carportconstruction processes associated with a carport project. A carport is defined as a covered motor vehicle parking structure accessory to a single-family dwelling or duplex. It may be free standing or attached to another structure. A carport cannot exceed 1,000 square feet in area or one story in height. It must be entirely open on two or more sides except for structural supports. There can be no enclosed use above a carport. Any structure that does not meet the above definition must comply with all regulations relating to a garage. For further information on Carports, please review our handout, "Carport Specifications & Details", Form 4590.

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.

Carports 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.

To apply for a carport permit, you need to stop at our Building Counter in the Public Service Building at 276 Fourth Avenue across the street from the library (northwest 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 Accessory Patio Cover, Pool, Wall Application" Form 4562B
  2. Three copies of a Plot/Site Plan showing the general layout of the existing building site, location of the carport, 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, footing size and roof covering.

Note: The Development Services Department has handouts that show construction techniques for miscellaneous structures such as Carports. These handouts may be used in lieu of construction plans when attached to a properly prepared plot plan. Please review our handout, "Carport Specifications & Details", Form 4590.

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 carport:

  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
Fax Number


(Permits Section)

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