The following procedures are required for the issuance of a demolition permit:
- Complete and sign a building permit application.
- Complete and sign the Identification of Structures for Potential Historic Significance form, and submit a copy of the Santa Clara County Property Record for the property. (If the property is 50 years or older, the applicant will also be required to complete Part II of the Identification of Structures for Potential Historic Significance form and to submit photographs of each elevation of the structure.)
- Contact PG&E regarding disconnection of utilities. Obtain their signed form to verify that utilities have been disconnected. If the CITY OF LOS ALTOS is the sewer provider, approval from the City is required for sewer cap inspection, (650) 947-2780.
- Complete the Bay Area Air Quality Management District form and send one copy to them. Provide one copy to the Building Inspection Office. (BAAQMD Regulation 11-2-401.3 requires that notification shall be provided to the Air Pollution Control Office at least 10 (ten) working days prior to commencement of demolition/renovation, or as early as possible prior to commencement of emergency demolition/renovation.) Two separate forms are attached, one for a demolition and one for a renovation project.
- Clearance signature required on ALL demolition permit applications:
- Planning Office to determine whether the structure is an historic resource.
- Environmental Health Services regarding septic tank abandonment. Contact a representative of Environmental Health Services at the Planning Office counter and obtain plumbing permit for septic tank abatement at the Building Inspection Office.
If this demolition project will disturb one acre (43,560 square feet) or greater of land area, the Applicant shall file with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Comply with the Statewide General NPDES Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity. This condition of approval is required by the State of California. A filing form, a filing fee, a location map, and a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) are all required for this filing. A certification of filing shall be submitted to the County prior to building permit issuance, and by state law the NOI and the associated documents must be filed with the SWRCB prior to commencing construction or demolition.
Information is available in the Building Inspection Office and from the SWRCB web site.
All demolition sites must be properly finished, by providing proper erosion prevention and sediment control measures, such as: removing debris to an approved dump site, smoothing and compacting the soil to 90%, mulching and seeding, and installing straw wattles, straw bales, silt fences, and storm drain inlet protection where appropriate.
The Final Inspection of the demolition work will be conducted only after the above referenced work is complete.
For environmental review purposes under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the screening of all demolition permit applications is required to identify designated historic properties, and properties with potential historic significance. This will be done through the submittal of the Identification of Properties for Potential Historic Significance forms and the possible assessment of historic significance by a qualified consultant.
- Submit a completed building permit application for demolition, 1-page Identification of Properties for Potential Historic Significance form, and a copy of the Santa Clara County [Residential Unit] Property Record for the subject property to the Building Inspection counter:
- If the property is not listed in the Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory (Inventory) and is less than 50 years old (please note that the 50-year age reference is a discretionary guideline; there are circumstances where a property less than 50 years old may be potentially significant), the demolition permit will require no further historical review.
- If the property is 50 years or older (please note that the 50-year age reference is a discretionary guideline), the applicant must also submit Part II of the Identification of Properties for Potential Historic Significance form, and photographs of each elevation of the structure and associated features.
- If the property is not a designated historic property and is not listed in the Inventory:
- It may be determined that the subject structure and/or associated feature does not meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA. The demolition permit will require no further historical review; or
- It may be determined that the subject structure and/or associated feature does potentially meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA. The applicant will be required to retain a qualified consultant to prepare state historic resource inventory forms or an historic report.
If the property is a designated historic property and/or is listed in the Inventory, the applicant will be required to apply for environmental clearance and pay the environmental assessment initial fee. The HHC will review and comment on the assessment at a regular public meeting and forward a written recommendation to the Board of Supervisors within 45 days of the date which the application was referred to the HHC. The Board will consider the CEQA documentation and the HHC’s comments at a public hearing. If the Board determines there is no feasible alternative to demolition, then the issuance of the demolition permit may be deferred up to 180 days from the initial date of application.
- If the consultant determines the property does not meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA and staff concurs, the applicant will be required to apply for a Petition from Exemption for Environmental Review (Categorical Exemption) and to pay the associated fee. The demolition permit will require no further historical review.
- If the consultant determines the property does meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA and staff concurs, the applicant will be required to apply for environmental clearance and pay the environmental assessment initial fee. The HHC will review and comment on the assessment at a regular public meeting. The Board of Supervisors will consider the CEQA documentation and the HHC’s comments at a public hearing and take action on the request.
The majority of demolition applications received do not involve properties that meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA. Such applications may be reviewed in approximately 5 working days. Those applications involving structures and/or associated features that potentially meet the threshold of significance according to CEQA will require additional review that may take 90 days. If an Environmental Impact Report is required, the review time will vary and may take up to 1 year.