Community Development Department

Community Development Department

Community Development Department



Welcome to the City of Riverside Community Development Department. The Community Development Department exists to serve the public, facilitate investment consistent with community expectations, and advance our City’s outstanding quality of life through efforts aligned with Seizing Our Destiny, Office of Economic Development, At Home in Riverside, Green Riverside, Riverside Neighborhood Partnership, Fit, Fresh, Fun, General Plan 2025, and other important programs and initiatives within the City of Riverside.

On behalf of our dedicated and talented colleagues that comprise the Community Development Department, We invite you – whether a resident, business owner, property owner, developer, community advocate, organization representative, elected or appointed official, neighborhood leader, member of a public agency, or other – to enjoy the information on our website, visit our offices, or contact any member of our team. We look forward to working with you in the near future.

Yours truly,

Al Zelinka

Al Zelinka, FAICP, CMSM
Community Development Director

Emilio Ramirez

Emilio Ramirez
Community Development Deputy Director

 

Use the Plan Review Submittal Checklist to view separate checklists for residential and commercial plan review submittal.
Depending on the type of project, you will need to submit between 2 to 11 sets of plans. By submitting multiple sets, we are able to route a copy of your plans to various Departments so that their plan review is done concurrently. This helps to keep the plan review time as short as possible. To determine how many sets of plans your project requires, see our handout titled: Number of Sets of Plans Required for Plan Check.
On small residential projects, such as patio, decks, pools and re-roofs, where the work can be inspected without entering the occupied portion of the house or garage, the inspections can be performed without the owner or contractor present. Be sure to allow access to the area to be inspected and make sure that dogs or other animals are secured. If a ladder is required to access the area where the work was performed, have one available for the Inspector to use. Also be sure to leave the Permit Inspection Card and the Approved Plans on the site for the Inspector.
On larger projects or projects where the Building Inspector will need to inspect inside the occupied home, an adult will need to be present during the inspection. If a contractor is in charge of the work, we recommend that they be present during the inspection in order to consult with the Inspector if any problems are identified.
A building permit is valid for 180 days after it is issued. In addition, a 180 day extension may be granted by the Building Official. In most cases, a permit will not be expired unless the applicant has failed to call for an inspection and show progress on the project for a 360 day period. Once a permit is expired, you may be required to begin the permit process from the beginning and pay all of the applicable fees again, so it is wise to avoid permit expiration.
6 ft. in height. Fences over 6 ft. check with Planning Division for limitations on all fences.
Retaining walls over 3 ft. in height will require a building permit.
State law requires that all cities and counties in California enforce the building codes as mandated by the California Building Standards Commission. The City of Riverside has adopted by ordinance the following model codes as modified by the State of California:
• California Building Code, 2010 edition • California Mechanical Code, 2010 edition
• Uniform Housing Code, 1997 edition • California Plumbing Code, 2010 edition
• Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, 1997 edition • California Electrical Code, 2010 edition
• California Residential Code, 2010 edition • California Green Code, 2010 edition
  1. The Permit Number (this number is printed on your permit in the upper left corner).
  2. The 3-digit inspection code for the type of inspection you are scheduling. These codes are printed on your inspection job card
  3. The date you would like the inspection performed (example: 02/20… there is no need for the year)
Other government agencies may need to review and approve your project. For example, septic systems require County Health Department approval as well as City approval. After your plans have been submitted, the City will route a set to each of the various City agencies that are required to review them. This is why we require that you submit multiple sets of plans.
Your first plan check review will typically take no more than four weeks to process. After corrections are made, a recheck should take no longer than two weeks.

Yes, but only if the converted garage has been approved and permitted by the City. Otherwise the garage cannot be occupied for living purposes. Living in a garage may be dangerous due to fire hazards and carbon monoxide poisoning from gas fired appliances (like a water heater or furnace).
No; living or sleeping in any vehicle, trailer or vessel is prohibited when parked or stored on public or private property.
Yes, you have to have running hot and cold water and required electrical lighting.
Four garage sales are permitted in a calendar year. They are to be conducted for no more than two consecutive days, and garage sale operations are limited to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Before draining your pool, please call the City's Environmental Compliance Division at 951-351-6140 or 951 351-6145 (dial 311 after normal business hours) for approval. Normally, pools are required to be drained into the sanitary sewer system and no the street.
A house is boarded up to prevent unauthorized entry into the structure. When any vacant structure, house or garage is left open it becomes an attractive nuisance. These structures must be secured so they may not be entered by children, vagrants, or animals.
First, get a survey done to make certain that the fence was installed on your property. If you discover that the fence is on your property, do not tear down the fence yourself. you could be damaging your neighbor’s property. The issue becomes a civil matter and to which you may want to contact an attorney for assistance.
All vehicles on your property must be parked on paved surfaces and legally approved driveways. Additionally, all vehicles must be operable and currently registered, unless they are parked in an enclosed building (garage).
Tenants can report any substandard housing conditions that are not being remedied to the Code Enforcement Division at (951) 826-5633 or by dialing 311.
Containers may be placed in the street at 6:00 pm the day prior to collection and must be removed from the street by 8:00 pm the day of collection.
Chickens and roosters are not permitted in most residential zones. To determine if chickens and/or roosters are permitted at your property, call the Code Enforcement Division at (951) 826-5633.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring trash and debris is not allowed to remain on their property. The Riverside Police Department may be contacted to assist with any trespassers on private property.
All complaints to the Code Enforcement Division are kept confidential. To find out your rights as a tenant, you can call the Fair Housing Council at (951) 682-6581.
You can request a demand via fax at (951) 826-2570 or via e-mail at demands@riversideca.gov Please include a copy of the lien(s) if available.

Zoning ordinances define land uses in a community, whether they be commercial, residential, industrial, or parks, and they benefit the community by establishing development standards for the land use. Click here to learn more about zoning.
Newly created lots throughout the City must comply with various development standards including minimum lot width, lot depth and lot area. These development standards vary depending on the zone in which the property is located. For instance, the R-1-7000 – Single-Family Zone requires a minimum lot width of 60 feet, lot depth of 100 feet and lot area of 7,000 square feet, whereas the RA-5 – Residential Agricultural Zone requires a minimum lot width of 300 feet, a depth of 500 feet and a lot area of 5 acres (approximately 217,800 square feet). To determine whether or a not a parcel is subdividable, first determine the zone in which it is located. Then determine if the resulting lots comply with the minimum development standards for that zone. Click here for a list of the minimum lot standards for residentially zoned properties. Please note that flag lots (or panhandle lots) are generally discouraged except in unique situations, such as topographical limitations.
Permitted uses are based on the zone in which the property is located. A list of permitted uses can be found in Table 19.150.020 (A). Uses can be permitted by right (P), Minor Conditionally Permitted (MC), Conditionally Permitted (C), or Prohibited (X). For instance, in the CR – Commercial Retail Zone, Retail Sales is shown as P – Permitted. This means that the use can go into a lease space with limited permits (Tenant Improvements) and review provided that all applicable development standards, such as parking, are met. Alternatively, within the CR – Commercial Retail Zone, a Vehicle Fueling Station (gas station) is shown as C – Conditionally Permitted. This means that a Conditional Use Permit is required to be granted by the City Council before the project can be approved.
A Temporary Use Permit is a special short term permit to allow a temporary uses, such as Parking Lot Sales, or Christmas Tree sales on a limited basis. A TUP falls under two classifications, Minor and Major. A Minor TUP is required for temporary uses that are customarily incidental of existing uses, such as Parking Lot Sales and utilizing an RV as a Dwelling Unit in a Single-Family Residential Zone. A Major TUP is required for more intensive uses, such as Swap Meets or Carnivals which require additional review. A Minor TUP is free while a Major TUP requires payment of a nominal fee. All uses are subject to the applicable Development Standards located in Chapter 19.740 of the Municipal Code. A TUP is required to be reviewed by various departments depending on the proposed use. To download the TUP application, click here.
A Conditional Use Permit is a discretionary approval process required for various uses that, due to the nature of use, intensity, or size, require special review to determine if the use proposed, or the location of that use, is compatible with surrounding uses, or through the imposition of development and use conditions, can be made compatible with surrounding uses. A Conditional Use Permit requires a public hearing before the Planning Commission and ratification by the City Council before it is approved. A Minor Conditional Use Permit is generally an administrative process which may, depending on the potential of negative impacts, may be referred to the Planning Commission for action.
In most residential zones, Home Occupations are permitted by right provided that the home occupation complies with all applicable development standards. Please refer to Chapter 19.485 to learn more about home occupations.
Second Dwellings are permitted in all of the R-1 zones provided that the minimum development standards are met. This included a minimum lot area that may exceed the minimum standards of the underlying zone. Please refer to Chapter 19.525 to learn more.
Building setbacks vary based on the zone. In most cases, the R-1-7000 – Single-Family Residential Zone, 7 ½ feet is required on one side while 10 feet is required on the other. The RR zone, on the other hand, requires a minimum 20 foot side yard setback. Click here for more information on setback requirements for additions. Patio covers; on the other hand, generally have a 5 foot setback from all property lines. Patios are required to be unenclosed on three sides except for the support columns. Patio enclosures are considered room additions, not patio covers, and therefore must meet the setbacks established by the zone.
In general, building mounted signs are permitted for each façade facing a parking lot, alley, street or freeway. The maximum size is determined by the length of the façade in which the sign is placed. For each linear foot of façade length, 1 square foot of sign area is permitted up to a maximum of 200 square feet. Therefore, a business located within a commercial center which has 50 feet of frontage (width of the lease space), is permitted a 50 square foot sign.

In addition to building mounted signs, monument signs are permitted for various commercial or industrial centers. The standards vary depending on the zone, size of the complex and the number of tenants within the complex. Click here to view the General Sign Provisions (Chapter 19.620)
For plans submitted for electronic plan review, please visit the ePlan Review website to check the status and download any comments or corrections for the project. For paper plans, please call the Building and Safety Division at (951) 826-5697 or the Planning Division at (951) 826-5371 for plan check status. Be sure to have your plan check number available.
Yes! Starting July 2013, the City of Riverside Planning Division and Building and Safety Division are accepting online plan review submittals for Planning Entitlement Cases (Design Review, Conditional Use Permit, etc.) and Plan Check (building permits) via the ePlan Review. ePlan Review is a free plan submittal that allows an applicant to submit plans online and receive department comments via e-mail. The process will provide a streamline process by reducing the amount of printing and trips requires to City Hall to obtain approvals and permits. For more information, please contact the Building and Safety Division at (951) 826-5697, the Planning Division at (951) 826-5371, or e-mail cmyers@riversideca.gov.
Mission Statement
The mission of the Community Development Department, through its diverse services, is to continuously improve Riverside's quality of life by facilitating investment and economic development beneficial to the City, its neighborhoods and business districts, and that meet or exceed community expectations.
CDD Values For Public Service
General Information
Address:
3900 Main Street 3rd Floor
Riverside, CA 92522

Phone: (951) 826-5371

Email: CDDInfo@riversideca.gov

Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed Major Holidays
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