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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 buildingpermits@novato.org if you have additional questions.

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 afletcher@novato.org.  We are not accepting online payment for Resale's until the shelter in place order has been lifted.

If you have a property in escrow or closing escrow prior to us returning to normal business as usual, there will be no ‘penalty’ for not completing a resale prior to sale. However, keep in mind that any violations of municipal or building code remain with the property and therefore might require corrective action that would be the responsibility of the buyer/new owner.

Once inspections restart, those whose inspections have been postponed will have first choice.

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

The City of Novato Code Enforcement Division Operates under the Community Development Department. Code Enforcement consists of three investigation sections:     

*Code Enforcement

  • Investigates and enforces violations of the City of Novato

*Apartment and Hotels; Periodic Housing Inspection

  • Inspects multi-family housing/communities consisting of three units or more, including hotels and motels

*Resale Inspection

  • Inspects all residential properties, prior to ownership transfer        


See Housing, Zoning and Building Codes Appeals Board Vacancy information here.

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Reporting a Code Violation

There are many conditions on a property that may be in violation of the City of Novato Municipal Code or California Building Code, some conditions are more common than others. 
Please Note: Code Enforcement only investigates violations on private property.

Violations can be reported by completing the Code Enforcement Complaint Form. In order for a complaint to be investigated, the following information is required

  • location of potential violation
  • property owner name and phone number (if known)
  • description of potential violation
  • Your name, phone number, address and email address (this information is confidential)

Please submit your completed form either as an attachment via email, by dropping it off at City Administrative Offices, OR mailing it to:

City of Novato
Attn: Code Enforcement
922 Machin Ave
Novato, CA 94945

Complaints are investigated in the order they are submitted. Any possible violations which are or may be safety issues do take priority over all other complaints. A Code Enforcement Officer may contact you if further information is required. Note: Anonymous and/or incomplete complaints are not investigated.