Jeff Miller – The founder of Advance Design & Construction, Inc. an Incline Village based Design/Build Firm, certified by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a Certified Green Professional.
"I want to remodel and expand my home. What’s involved in getting a building permit?"
For those who have never applied for a building permit in the Tahoe Basin it can be a laborious and challenging undertaking. A simple interior remodel with no structural changes that does not create impervious coverage on your property, should only require a permit from the building department. However, when you open a permit on your property the fire department and IVGID will both have additional requirements such smoke detectors, defensible space and a pressure test of sewer lines to name a few. If you are creating impervious coverage such as an addition, deck, driveway or a new build then the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) will be involved in the approval process.
The following are steps that must be taken before beginning the design phase of your project:
• Contour Survey (topography map) of your property must be conducted by a licensed Surveyor.
• Land Capability Evaluation conducted by TRPA . The amount of impervious coverage your lot is capable of supporting.
• Coverage Verification Evaluation conducted by TRPA. This is confirmation that what is represented on your contour survey is actually what exists on your property.
• Determine if your property is in a Stream Environment Zone or in the Scenic Corridor in which case your project will be subject to more rigorous criteria.
When these basic steps are completed you can move forward with the design phase. Once the client, designer and structural engineer come to an agreement the plans are submitted to the building department, fire department, improvement district and TRPA for approval.
During the approval process there are usually details and disagreements that require time and negotiation. The key to the plan application process is to begin early and hire a professional to lead you through this process. Once all appropriate agencies sign off on your plans excavation can begin. Remember TRPA does not allow movement of dirt between October 15 and May 1!