What Projects Qualify for Los Angeles Expedited Plan Check Reviews?

If you’re working on a construction project in Los Angeles, you may be eligible for the city’s expedited plan check services – Counter Plan Check (CPC) and Expanded Counter Plan Check (ECPC). 

These options can significantly speed up the plan review and permit issuance process compared to the Regular Plan Check (RPC) route. 

But, not every project qualifies for these options. Generally speaking, we’ve listed out below what type of projects qualify for each.

Counter Plan Check (CPC)

The CPC service allows for same-day, over-the-counter plan review and permit issuance for minor projects that can be checked in 45 minutes or less. Some residential projects that may qualify for CPC include:

  • Small additions to single-family homes/duplexes (not subject to Mehtanzone or Baseline Hillside ordinances)
  • Alterations to single-family homes/duplexes
  • New, one-story accessory buildings that are less than 1,000 sq. ft. following prescriptive standards
  • Demolitions of residential/accessory buildings
  • Retaining walls less than 6 ft. tall with no soils report and not adjacent to existing structure or property line
  • Decks less than 6 ft. in height with no soils report
  • Pools using city-approved plans with no soils report

Qualifying commercial projects for CPC are:

  • Tenant improvements with no change of use (except A, E, I, H occupancies)
  • TIs with change of use but no parking changes (except A, E, I, H occupancy)  
  • Storefront alterations
  • Non-bearing partitions
  • Suspended ceilings
  • ADA access improvements
  • One-story commercial demolitions
  • Awnings with less than 5 ft. projection
  • Rooftop AC platforms
  • Use of land for auto sales, wrecking yards, and open storage
  • Storage racks less than 8 ft. tall
  • Sprinkler pipe supports

Expanded Counter Plan Check (ECPC)  

The ECPC option provides over-the-counter or an appointment within 2 weeks for more extensive plan checks that can be completed in 2 hours or less. 

Residential projects that may qualify include:

  • Conversions/additions for new Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • New, one-story accessory building less than 1,500 sq.ft. following prescriptive standards
  • Medium additions to homes/duplexes with no new dwelling units
  • Relocation of single-family dwellings

On the commercial side, ECPC may apply to:

  • Multi-floor tenant improvements with no change of use (except A, E, I, H)
  • TIs with change of use but no parking redesign/restriping
  • Parapet additions/alterations
  • Multiple signs on a lot/building 
  • New uncovered outdoor dining areas for existing restaurants
  • Change of use to restaurant with uncovered outdoor dining (no structural alterations)

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Common pitfalls in the CPC and ECPC application process often stem from incomplete applications, misunderstanding of the qualification criteria, or misinterpretation of the required documentation. 

Permit Place advises applicants to consult with experts and utilize pre-submission consultations offered by the city to clarify any ambiguities. This proactive approach can significantly reduce the likelihood of delays or rejections.

Best Practices for a Successful CPC or ECPC Application

  • Preparation is Key: Ensure all documentation is complete, accurate, and in compliance with the city’s requirements.
  • Understand the Criteria: Review the ECPC qualification criteria thoroughly to ensure your project is eligible.
  • Seek Expertise: Consider engaging with permit expediting services like Permit Place to navigate the complexities of the ECPC process efficiently.

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