All City facilities are currently closed for walk-in service following the Shelter in Place Order for the County of Marin. Please call for details about the services you are interested in. 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources







Extended Shelter In Place Order – Most Residential and Commercial Construction is Prohibited

Please review details of Building Division protocols here.    

On March 31, 2020, the Marin County Health Officer issued a revised and extended Order to Shelter In Place. Under the Order, all non-essential construction activities and permitting must stop until such time as the Order is lifted.  Only construction work, inspections and permitting for essential activities may continue.  Our public counter will remain closed to walk-in traffic until further notice. Applications for new permits will continue to be accepted online, via email to buildingpermits@novato.or and by appointment only. Call 415-899-8989 to make an appointment.

A detailed explanation of our protocols can be found at the link above. It can be used to determine whether a project is exempt from the Order.   Please note that we are continuing these services with limited staffing so please be patient as you may experience delays in your application and inspection appointments. 

If you visit our lobby or when an inspector arrives at your property, you may be asked questions about symptoms of illness that you or other involved persons may be exhibiting.  We are asking ALL customers to provide this information in an effort to identify how to best minimize exposure to our customers and our employees. We want to maintain highest possible staffing levels so that we can continue to provide building services to our community.

Contact if you have additional questions.

Information on How to Apply For a Building Permit Via Email.

Code Enforcement complaints involving life safety issues will also continue as normal; all others will be deferred.

Resale Inspections will be temporarily suspended during the local emergency. Permit histories may be obtained by contacting Alison Fletcher at

Planning Division will continue responding to questions and processing project applications. Contact if you have questions.

The City of Novato's Building Division is part of the Community Development Department and is responsible for reviewing plans, issuing building permits and conducting field inspections.

Got Building Code or Inspection Questions?

We're here to help you! Contact a City of Novato Building Inspector
for answers.

In person: at the Development Permit Counter, 922 Machin Avenue,
between 2pm and 4pm, Monday - Thursday (subject to inspection loads).

By email:

By phone: 

Ezra Morrison, Building Inspector II, 415-899-8937

Renee Mohr, Building Inspector II, 415-899-8930

Lauro Vasquez, Building Inspector I, 415-899-8935

Building Division Mission:
The Building Division is dedicated to providing the highest level of inspection and plan review services to every architect, engineer, developer, contractor, business and property owner that resides or works within our community. Fairness, equality and the highest standard of professional ethics are our goals in providing our services while enforcing state construction laws and local ordinances that protect our residents. The Building Division works closely with the Planning Division, Code Enforcement Division, Public Works Department, and the Novato Fire Protection District to help maintain a safe and livable community.

NEW! Business Counter
An online tool, powered by Open Counter, to help businesses navigate the City's various permit processes. Businesses will be able to look up zoning requirements, permits and fees. Just answer a few questions about your business to receive a customized report on the permits, licenses, and estimated fees required for your project.


Quick Links

Schedule an Inspection >>
How to Get a Building Permit >>
Search Permit Records >>
Building Codes >>
Fee Schedule >>

Building Documents & Additional Resources

Fee Schedule Guides, Forms, & Consumer Alerts >>

Green Building Requirements >>
Wildland Urban Interface >>

AB3002 -  Assembly Bill 3002 went into effect on January 1, 2019, which provides information regarding disability access requirements and resources to business owners. Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean translations available at this link



  • What work requires a permit?
  • Do I need a building permit to build a fence?
  • How long is my permit good for?
  • I just received a letter from the Building Division saying my permit is going to expire. What should I do?
  • Where do I go to get a Zoning Clearance or Home Occupation Permit?
  • Where do I get information and apply for a business license?
  • I’m almost at my 180 day limit from my last inspection, but I am not quite ready for my next inspection. Can I get an extension so my permit does not expire?
More »

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