Zoning Clearance

Does your project need a Zoning Clearance? You will require a Zoning Clearance if your project is any of the listed project types below:

  • New residential buildings (Up to two (2) detached or attached units per lot);
  • Accessory Dwelling Units;
  • Residential additions to existing buildings or structures;
  • New non-residential structure under 5,000 square feet;
  • Non-residential additions of greater than 25% of existing gross floor area;
  • Patio covers, breezeways, porch covers, and similar structures;
  • Patio enclosures;
  • Property line fences and walls  (Additional Fence and Wall Handout) that are more than two (2) feet above the adjacent grade;
  • Decks that are more than two (2) feet above the adjacent grade at any point, 
  • Gazebos, trellises, windscreens and similar improvements;
  • Exterior spas, hot tubs, or swimming pools;
  • Pay telephones, automatic teller machines and vending machines;
  • Storage structures and tool sheds in excess of one hundred twenty (120) square feet in area; or
  • Building murals.

*Other entitlements may be applicable to larger projects or other types

Steps for Applying for a Zoning Clearance:

  1. Prepare plans for submittal which should include the following:
    1. Site Plan;
    2. Floor Plans; and
    3. Elevations.
  2. Email your proposal to planning@elmonteca.gov for a pre-review and wait for confirmation email.
  3. Prepare the following items:
    1. Planning Application signed by property owner (original wet signature document required);
    2. Fee payment of $370.16 (subject to increase - refer to Fee Schedule) for first three (3) reviews;
    3. A completed Building Permit Application;
    4. Digital set of plans on digital format; and
    5. One (1) full-size 24" x 36" set of plans
  4. Submit the items above to Planning Staff over the counter.
  5. Building & Safety will contact you to for next steps.

Minimum Requirements for Plans:

Existing and proposed site plan;

Elevations;Font size shall be a minimum of 10 point;Scope of work;
Existing and proposed floor plan;Applicant name, address, and phone number;

Project site address, north arrow, and drawing scale, zone, and assessor’s parcel number;Lot coverage and floor area ratio calculations;

Property lines;

Dimensioned distance of setbacks and distance between structures;

Internal and external rights-of-way and vehicular access or other easements;Existing and proposed structures with their uses labeled (including but not limited to patio, driveway, retaining wall, fence, and swimming pool);

Trees, existing and proposed landscaping on site, adjacent to property lines, and in public right-of-way;Yard dimensions;

Vicinity map showing ½ mile radius street system with project site highlighted (integrated at lower right-hand corner of plan);

Photos of the project site showing elevations of existing structures and trees (electronic set is preferable).

PERSON PREPARING THE PLANS: Plan check submittals, other than those for cosmetic alterations or for
wood-framed dwellings designed strictly in accordance with conventional construction provisions described
in Chapter 23 of the California Building Code, as amended by the City of El Monte, shall be prepared by an
architect or engineer registered with the State of California. All plans must bear the signature of the person
who prepares the plans, whether the person is a licensed design professional or not.

PLOT PLAN: Plot Plan or Site Plan (Preferred Size 11 x 17 in ink, pencil will not be accepted) should
include the assessor’s parcel number and the building address. Show all buildings, patios, driveways,
retaining walls, fences and swimming pools on the lot, and indicate the north direction. Dimension the
distance between buildings and the setback of structures from the property lines. For residential additions or
alterations, indicate the direction of rainwater run-off. For new constructions, a Grading or Drainage Plan is
required. For new constructions, the plot plan should also show the path and size of building sewer, location
of cleanouts, and the invert elevation of lateral at the property line. An 11 x 17 size copy of the plot plan and
floor plan shall be filed with the Building Division for permit records before a Building Permit is issued.

ENERGY COMPLIANCE: Energy compliance documentation shall be submitted whenever there is a
change to the “conditioned” space. For non-residential buildings, either one of the following would trigger the
current energy requirements: (1) Increase in the lighting wattage; (2) 50% or more of the existing lighting
fixtures are replaced. Energy compliance documents shall be incorporated in the first two sheets of the
plans. No tape or stable attachment will be accepted.

STRUCTURAL OBSERVATION (S.O.) AND SPECIAL INSPECTION (S.I.): The architect or engineer shall
complete the S.O. and S.I. programs and designate the structural observer and applicable special inspectors
using the city’s prescribed forms, and incorporate the completed forms in the first two sheets of the plans.
No tape or stable attachment will be accepted.

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL: All conditions of approval imposed on the project in the discretionary
process shall be incorporated in the first two sheets of the plans. Taped or stapled attachment will
be accepted.

MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING PLANS: These plans shall be prepared by an architect or
engineer of appropriate discipline. Mechanical plans are required for type I or II hoods, mechanical
ventilation system, stair pressurization, product conveying system and air conditioning system where the
aggregate input capacity for heating or cooling is over 500,000 BTU. Electrical plans are required for
first-time tenant improvement and for any installation over 600 volts or 400 amperes. Plumbing plans are
required for non-residential buildings, including hotels and motels, and for residential buildings where the
size of waste line, water supply or gas piping exceeds those prescribed in Tables 6-5, 7-5, 7-8 and 12-3 of
the Plumbing Code.

SOILS AND GEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION REPORT: A soils investigation report is recommended for
any project in this city due to the expansive soils and liquefaction. It is mandatory if any proposed retaining
wall exceeds 6 feet in height or the footing setback from the slope deviates from the default requirements
in the Building Code. Footings supporting bearing walls and slabs-on-grade must take the effect of
expansive soils into design consideration. In addition, a geological report is may be required.

TEXT SIZE: Hand-written letters in the plans shall be no smaller than 1/8" in height. Typed letters should
be no smaller than 10-point in size.

NUMBER OF SETS TO SUBMIT: Three complete sets of plans are required for plan check submittal.
When part of the plans are submitted separately to other review agencies (e.g. Health Department, Industrial
Waste Division or Public Works Department), they should also be included in the submittals to Building
Division. Additional sets of plans will speed up the plan review process, when more than two departments
are involved. For projects requiring landscaping, please submit three sets of landscape & irrigation
plans (separately from the building/architectural plans).

*Additional documentation may be required at the discretion of the project planner and other divisions.