Permitting Process   

The Development and Inspection Services Division provides a wide variety of services that support the public and its needs. While the division provides internal support to County Planning, Building and Safety and Emergency Operation Services (EOS), plan review services are provided directly to the public. The Development and Inspection Division works and operates the public permits counter, where the public is met face to face, to accept plan reviews and discuss grading, flood development and geological/geotechnical questions and concerns.


General Plan Review Process

The Development and Inspection Services division is legally required to approve the grading in the design stage before the issuance of any permit for construction. In order to approve the design, it becomes necessary, therefore, to conduct a formal detailed plan review to verify compliance with applicable codes.

Once the plans are accepted for review, they are placed in line for initial plan review based on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are, however, some exceptions for fast track, and non-development grading plan reviews. For details, refer to Plan Review Services below.

When the plans are reviewed, a correction letter is prepared and plans are marked in red ink where corrections are needed. Plans and related documents are picked up by the contact person for corrections. After the corrections are made by the owner/agent, plans are accepted for a second plan review and they are placed in the resubmittal line on a first-come-first-serve basis.

At the second review, if the plans are in compliance with the corrections requested, they are approved. If there are still undone corrections, a second review correction letter is prepared by the plan-checker. The process continues until the plans are acceptable and approvable.

Plan Review Services

 Grading Permits

“Grading” means excavation (cut), fill, or any combination of excavation and fill. Depending upon the type of construction project or the type of grading being proposed, a grading permit may be necessary. The Grading Ordinance governs the standards and requirements pertaining to grading within the County of Ventura. The Grading Ordinance is Appendix J of the 2013 Ventura County Building Code.

The purpose of the Grading Ordinance is to ensure maximum preservation of the County’s natural scenic character by complying with minimum standards and requirements related to land grading, excavations, and fill while protecting the general public and community environment.

Basic Grading Plan Review

Basic Grading Plan review is done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Turnaround time varies from 15 to 20 working days. Cost for this type plancheck is based on the hours worked on the project. Cost for the plancheck is paid as a deposit and a balance is left in the account. This is a pay as you go plancheck, the balance is used depending on the hours provided by County personnel to work on the review. Fees on minimum balances for deposits can be found on our Fee & Deposit page.

Fast Track Grading

(Subject to Building Official Approval)

If a project meets criteria, it may be eligible for a Fast Track Review. Fast track grading places a plan review at the top of the queue over all reviews. In addition, reviews come with review meetings with the design engineer and applicant to discuss comments and address questions. Turnaround time is typically from 5 to 7 working days per review. Cost for this type of review is fee based and not deposit based. A set amount is paid as a fee at the onset of the first review to cover costs for meetings and the expedited review.

Non-Development Grading Permit (Agricultural, Oil Field, etc.)

An agricultural* or Oil Field grading permit may be issued if the proposed grading meets the criteria under the Exempted Work requirements Of VCBC Appendix J103.2.

*Agricultural grading is applicable only if the grading is used to enhance or conduct farming, including animal husbandry and the production and management of crops (including aquatic crops) for food, fiber, fuel and ornament. Agricultural grading does not include grading for buildings, barns, equestrian facilities, permanent structures with a foundation, and parking lots.

Removal & Recompaction Grading Permit

Applicable to projects where the over-excavation and re-compaction of soil is necessary only for the preparation for a foundation.

This type of permit is limited to the following condition:

        • The total depth of re-compaction, including in-place scarification, is 12 inches or less from existing

• The removal of soil must be limited to a maximum of 5 feet beyond the exterior foot print of the


Floodplain Development Permit

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) establishes certain building design and construction requirements for habitable buildings (dwellings, building additions) and non-habitable buildings (garages, studios, barns, etc.) within floodplains. Requirements also apply to site grading, dredging, fill placement, mining, drilling, and temporary and permanent storage of equipment and other materials within the floodplain. Within the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, development proposed within a floodplain requires a Floodplain Development Permit from the Public works Agency prior to the issuance of a Building Permit or Grading Permit. These requirements are set out in Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 59 and 60, as well as in County of Ventura Floodplain Management Ordinance 3841, as amended.  Please be aware that all building and site elevations must be based on the NAVD 1988 datum.

Compliance with these requirements helps minimize the risk of flood damage to new and substantially improved / repaired / remodelled buildings. Compliance also helps to ensure that the County’s flood protection program remains in good standing with the NFIP thereby benefitting all floodplain property owners by being able to obtain as low a flood insurance coverage premium as possible.

For more information, please visit our Ventura County Flood Information Website at http://www.vcfloodinfo.com/floodplain-development-permit-requirements.


Other Services

  • Conditioning and Land Development
  • Inspection Services
  • Grading Complaint Investigation
  • Flood Acreage Assessment
  • Water Availability Letter & Will Serve Letter Review



Coming Soon. For more information on the benefits and the future of plancheck please visit our e-Plancheck Page.


Applicable Codes / Standards / Manuals


  • Bond Book The Bond Book defines the type of County-approved of securities that may be required as guarantees for future improvements and establishes staff procedures for handling these securities.
  • Land Development Manual The Ventura County Land Development Manual contains the Public Works Agency's policies, procedures, and guidelines for processing land development projects in Ventura County.
  • Road Standards The Ventura County Road Standards establishes County-approved standards for the construction of County roads and associated structures and signage.
  • Standard Land Development Specifications The Ventura County Standard Land Development Specifications incorporates the Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction (The Greenbook) to apply to private development in Ventura County.
  • Wetland Project Permitting Guide The Wetland Project Permitting Guide provides an overview of the permits required for construction activities in and around watercourses and wetlands.
  • 2013 Ventura County Building Code The 2013 Ventura County Building Code establishes minimum standards for the design and construction of structures. The Public Works Agency over sees the regulations controlling grading, site runoff and erosion control as shown in Appendix J Grading.


Fees List

Development and Inspection Services income is derived from permit plancheck and other service fees.  The fees are based on an intent to completely offset the operating costs of the public service without making any profit.  All regular grading permits are paid as deposits, which means that applicants pays ony for the time it cost for personnel to complete and process the review. For details, See Schedule of "Fees & Deposit" page under the Information & Handouts page.


e-Plancheck is coming soon!

The e-Plancheck process is a web-based electronic plan and document workflow solution that allows citizens and government to initiate and complete the plan submission, review and approval process online, rather than using a manual, paper based process.

Benefits of e-Plan Review (Online Plancheck)

1. Increased Customer Service Through:

  • Accuracy of plan review corrections. Records are maintained and accessible to all involved parties.
  • Immediate electronic delivery of corrections
  • 24-hours submittal and correction retrieval services
  • Web based services that allow access from anywhere internet is provided. NoSpecial software is needed.
  • Re-submittals turnaround time will be reduced by allowing the changes to be electronically identified.
  • Benefit the environment by reducing the carbon footprint associated with travel and printing material for plans (paper, ink, etc.).

2. Reduction of Customer Costs

  • Printing cost
  • Cost of time and travel to County of Ventura Hall of Administration Campus
  • Cost of delivering & shipping plans
  • Time of appointments to submit
  • Permit expeditor service costs

3. Simplified Electronic Review Process