City of Cerritos permits can be frustrating to get. It’s not their fault. They weren’t born to be frustrating but, unfortunately, they are in League with the County of Los Angeles as a “contract” city.
What’s a contract city? A contract city hires out some of the work of plan check to the County of Los Angeles to do. That means that they are not a one-stop shop. It means you have to go to two (2) places (sometimes three) to get your permits. Let me explain.
Here’s a Google Map of our most recent trip to Cerritos for a retail permit at the Cerritos Mall. The entire first submittal was three stops over three hours. It says 1 hour 50 minutes without traffic. There is always traffic in Southern California. So we went to the Mall, the City of Cerritos and then the County Building Department in Alhambra.
Our first stop was to the Cerritos Mall where you need to get your plans stamped by the mall management. They give you a piece of paper stating that your Roof Top Unit (RTU) will not be viewable as it will be screened from the ground by the parapet sight lines.
Next, you head over to the City Cerritos permits, but you don’t submit. First, you check to see if there is a business license on file with the City. If not, you can’t submit. (Sometimes you can as long as you get the document in right away.)
Then, if you have your City business license, then you can submit to planning where they will check to see if you have RTU screening for your HVAC system on your plans and check for the Mall stamp. They also check your ADA requirements as well. They will leave you notes and also put a not about HVAC screening on the plans. (We get it, we get it. No viewable HVAC units from the ground.)
Then you go over and submit to the Building Department counter, where they take in the project. They don’t always tell you that you have to submit to the County of LA but, you do. After that’s all done, you take your Building Permit number and you drive all the way to Alhambra to the Department of Public Works Building Division to submit your Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing. This is where the difficulties start. Some of the MEP’s can be done over the counter but some (usually electrical) must be submitted.
If it is submitted, you might have the option for expedited but that depends on the Title 24 energy calculation method. If it’s the tailored method for Title 34 then it must be plan checked. This is important for retailers because typical electrical plan checks for the County of Los Angeles can be as long as six (6) weeks for the first plan check comments to come back.
The City of Cerritos building department doesn’t take that long to do their plan check so you may have planning, building, fire, green, ada, mechanical and plumbing corrections completed before you even see the electrical comments.
Once the MEP’s are completed, however, the County of LA will roll and tape the plans and stamp them and the scotch tape seal must not be broken. You then have to take the plans back down to the City of Cerritos and get stamps from the other departments and, THEN, the contractor can go pull the permit. Phew!
So, if you factor in all the driving, the first submittal alone could take you the better part of one day before you get it all done.
If you are interested in having us complete your City of Cerritos Permit process for you. Please request a quote today.