The Community Development Department is responsible for reviewing construction planning process. The Planning Division, Permits & Licenses Division & Building Division of the Community Development Department is located in City Hall, Room 101, 1700 W. 162nd Street in Gardena. Planners are available to answer simple questions and otherwise assist you on a first-come-first-serve basis from Monday through Thursday between 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We recommend that you call ahead to schedule an appointment with a planner at (310) 217-9530 for any complex matters.

Plans are used to cost out a job, get estimates from subcontractors, show how proposed construction will comply with building codes and to obtain necessary permits. Plans must show sufficient site and construction details for a worker to build directly from them. The city requires plans for all construction.

By law certain types, scope and complexity of construction will demand services of licensed technical professionals. Generally, a California licensed engineer or architect should be hired to design new buildings and remodels which require more extensive plans, calculations, and technical reports, such as:

Lot survey map – signed by licensed land surveyor or civil engineer
Reports by an appropriately state licensed person may be required at the time of plan check for the following:

  • Soils report for new buildings or major remodels
  • Design calculations and details for the building structural system,
  • Shoring of vertical cuts over 5′ high
  • Electrical systems for services 600 amps or more
  • Title 24 energy calcs (new buildings, additions).
  • Acoustical engineering reports

Plan checks are an independent review of plans, calculations and reports performed by a plan check engineer. The submittal is reviewed for mandatory requirements such as: structural safety, fire protection, energy conservation, exit requirements, light and ventilation, grading and disabled access, and development standards.

Plans are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Every project is unique and presents a different combination of requirements and clearances. However, this is the process that the city goes through to make sure your investment is consistent with city regulations and policies. Part of the permit issuance process involves circulating the plans through other city departments for review of the regulations they enforce. Staff will inform you of clearances required from County, Special District, State or Federal agencies. The applicant is responsible for obtaining those clearances. Permits are issued upon approval of plans. Permits are issued Monday through Thursday between 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Listed below is a number of common project examples and the various steps that are taken to complete the “plan check” process:

  • Patios: Most unenclosed patios, with standard construction techniques consistent with city standard handout need only to undergo a review by building and planning.
  • Single Family Residential: For most single family residential projects, plans are reviewed by Building plan checker for compliance with building codes, planner for compliance with zoning regulations, fire prevention for compliance with fire codes and public works for compliance with master plan of streets and highways, and condition of abutting public right-of-way.
  • Business tenant improvements: Projects vary widely in terms of requirements and clearances. Businesses involving food, medical services, auto related services, personal care (hair & nails) and car washes may require County health and or County industrial waste clearances. Handicap accessibility regulations apply to changes in tenant spaces that involve construction.

All plans are reviewed by our Plan Check staff who make every attempt to review your plans in a timely manner. However, depending on the project, reviews by other departments and agencies may be required as well. Over-the-counter plan reviews are available for properly documented fences, refuse enclosures, wall signs, and some other small projects, which have been prepared with enough information to show conformance with the code(s) and other ordinances of this City and do not require review by other departments or agencies.

Minimum information on building plans are as follows:

  • Standard format for plans is: ¼” per foot scale for floor, foundation, sections and elevations; 1/8″ per foot for site/plot plans, all on 24″ x 36″ paper.
  • Site plan must include the lot lines and dimensions, legal description, all existing buildings and structures, proposed construction, distance from building to property lines, location of fences/walls, fixed utility equipment.
  • Floor plan showing room locations, sized and uses; doors, location and size of windows, stairs, location and size of windows, stair, sizes and spacing of all structural members.
  • Elevations illustrating the building’s exterior appearance, architectural features, height, chimneys.
  • Two structural sections, showing the building foundation, floor systems walls, and roof as it would appear if it was cut in two at a particular plan.
  • Electrical, mechanical and plumbing plans showing the size of equipment, wiring switches and fixtures.
  • Disabled access plans are required for additions, alterations and repairs to existing commercial buildings, such as tenant improvements and new buildings.
  • General information and specification sheet for material and workmanship.
  • Foundation plan showing foundation layout and dimension sizes, reinforcement and detail of anchor bolts, etc.

Standard correction sheets are available at our customer service counter which summarize many important requirements and may assist in completing your plan.

The City has most multi-family residential, commercial and industrial building plans on microfiche. We have begun to microfiche single family and two unit residential buildings. The microfiche can be viewed during normal business hours. Authorization to duplicate plans is required from the architect of record and the current property owner.


“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship for over 20 years with the City of Gardena’s Economic Development Department. Their team of professionals have provided us with attentiveness, resources and are always available to help facilitate developments on our end.”


Hustler Casino
“The City of Gardena views themselves as “partners” in creating what’s best for the City. They work hand in hand with the developer to insure the City gets the best possible project for their citizens.”


G3 Urban
“The City Government has always been receptive to our business’s needs. The City offers incentives, an excellent quality-of-life for all its citizens and an attractive talent pool of people from diverse backgrounds.”


Gardena Nissan
"Gardena is a clear leader in the South Bay. Since moving our business here, the City has maintained safe and clean neighborhoods for us to business in.”


Southwest Offset Printing
“Gardena is a vibrant place to do business and is a great place to live and call home. It is a great city with a solid pro-business government and a great well tenured City council.”


MOP Consulting
“The City of Gardena is an outstanding place for a business to grow. The business-friendly environment, experience amongst the Economic Development team and key location are excellent reasons why businesses continue to thrive here.”


Keller Williams


Contact the Gardena Economic Development Department at (310) 217-9533