Work Exempt from Permits


Please confer with the Planning Division before you proceed as these items still need to comply with the City’s Zoning requirements. A building permit is not required for the following:

  • One-story detached accessory building used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and conforming to the zoning regulations of the MPMC.
  • Fences not over 7 feet high.
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.  Walls supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III A liquids are not exempt from permit
  • Oil derricks.
  • Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width is not greater than 2:1.
  • Sidewalks and driveways that are not more than 30 inches above adjacent grade, not over any basement or story below, not part of an accessible route and not part of a commercial site.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counters tops and similar finish work.
  • Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 18 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely above ground.
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one-and two-family dwellings.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 and U occupancies.
  • Non-fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
  • Wood decks not over 30 inches above surrounding grade or finishes, not attached to a structure, or serving any part of the means of egress.

Unless otherwise exempted by this code, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits will be required for the above exempted items.


An electrical permit is not required for the following:

  • Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
  • Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of the codes will not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
  • Temporary testing systems: A permit will not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.


A gas permit is not required for the following:

  • Portable heating appliance.
  • Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.


A mechanical permit is not required for the following:

  • Portable heating appliance.
  • Portable ventilating equipment.
  • Portable cooling unit.
  • Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the codes.
  • Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
  • Portable evaporative cooler.
  • Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of (1) horsepower (746 W) or less.


A plumbing permit is not required for the following:

  • The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with the new material, such work will be considered as new work and a permit will be obtained and inspection made as provided in this codes.
  • The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.