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Updates and What's New Info

Published on: 4/7/2014 10:29 AM


Status CallWe are please to hear from our customers that our efforts to provide you with easier access to the information needed to move smoothly through the permit process have been well received. Listed below are many of the improvements we have made in an effort to streamline our process. 

January 2013

Code Amendment Effective January 17, 2013 is a minor revision to Sec. 503.2.1/Exception.
The Exception now reads:
Exception: When there are not more than two Group R, Division 3, or Group U Occupancies, the access road width may be modified by the fire code official

This single change was adopted by the Board of Supervisors, December 2012, Effective January 17, 2013. A result of a change in the County Ordinance recently brought to the Board by the Planning and Development Departments, Land Development Engineering Division.

March 2012


Our newly revised non-residential water standard, CFMO-W2 is now available. We have been working on this with the Applicant’s Roundtable, Farm Bureau and the Winery Working Group for the past 6 months and thank them for their participation. Please note that the revised standards apply only to water supply for hydrants, and does not include water for fire sprinklers. We will be contacting all applicants who have had projects approved in the last two years to let them know that they may have their conditions updated to meet the new standard if they wish.  Please feel free to contact Mac Bala at (408) 299-5763 or to discuss water standards for your projects.  


Call our office prior to submitting for your Special Event Permit at 408-299-5760 and our deputy will fill out a fee worksheet, which will add up the time needed for all the varies duties that are part of processing your permit. This process includes, but are not limited to: Meetings, Review of your plans/event, Firewatch (if required), Fireworks shoots, and Inspections. Any tents will be included in your Special Event fee, use our, "Special Event/Tent Permit Application" This application covers both your Event and Tent information, if any.

If Fireworks are part of your event, that fee will also be included on the fee worksheet. You will need to fill out this additional application, "Fireworks Application".

 We will determine your total fee and you will receive a quote over the phone. We would be happy to email you a copy of the worksheet to bring with you when submitting or to include in your packet, if you are mailing your submittal. Events not approved at least one week prior to the start date will not be allowed.  


The Board Of Supervisor's has approved a 3% technology enhancement surcharge on all Fire Marshal Permits. Fees become effective on and after July 11, 2011.    Several Fire Marshal fees will not be changing. These include: Alternate Means Requests, Construction Site Safety Plan submittals, Permit Re-activation and Re-inspection fees, State Licensing Pre-Inspection and Fire Clearance Inspection fees, Organized Camp Fire Clearances, and Expungement fees will all remain the same. See Fees for new fee charts.

June 2011 - Check out our new page under the "Construction" title for details on what to submit for your Commercial Kitchen Hood & Duct Extinguishing System Permit. Includes inspection list.

APRIL 2011 - (1) New and Revised Standards now available: CFMO-W5 Tanks and CFMO-C6 Access-controlled Doors (Non-Residential) under Construction on our Standards page.

(2) After a major restructuring and update of CFMO-W1 Fire Protection Water Supplies for One-and Two-Family Dwellings and Associated Structures, we updated CFMO-W4 Installation of Wharf Hydrants and CFMO-W5 Installation of Fire Protection Water Supply Tanks for One-and Two-Family Dwellings and Associated Structures in order to maintain consistency.  
Significant Changes: General Format: we no longer use the terms “urban” and “rural” to define where requirements apply.  We will now determine your requirements by the availability of the water supply.  All properties will fall into one of the following categories: a.   Muni-type water purveyor (San Jose, Great Oaks, California Water Companies or Purissima Hills Water District only) b.  Private Water Mutuals (>5 connections; regulated by either State Public Utilities Commission or County Dept. of Environmental Health) c.   No available purveyor (individual or shared wells)
Clarified details on shared water systems (no new requirements). Moved all installation details for tanks and hydrants to CFMO-W5 and CFMO-W4 respectively.  Moved some miscellaneous details from the back of the document to those sections where they applied. Added details on permit submittals and inspections (see our What’s New page and new section on our Construction & Hazardous Materials Permits page Residential Water Systems)

(3) Permit process for residential wharf hydrants and tank systems designed to create the least amount of impact on our customers.  A Fire Marshal Permit is issued along with your Building Permit without a separate submittal or plan review. The changes you will notice: 1. A new fee will apply to cover the cost of inspection, 2. A pressure-test, flush and flow-test by a representative of the Fire Marshal's Office is required prior to your foundation inspection. See our new section, "Residential Fire Protection Water Systems Permits," on our Construction & Hazardous Materials Permit Page for the submittal process for these permits.


JANUARY 2011 The 2010 California Fire and Building Codes are now effective as of January 1, 2011. Please note that plans submitted after January 1, 2011 will be reviewed under the new code. This does not apply to projects submitted before the end of 2010. The changes to the Fire Code amendments are fairly minor in nature. In some cases our amendments to the 2007 codes are no longer applicable because they have been addressed by the new code, and some requirements are less restrictive than in the past.


NOVEMBER 2010   2010 Fire Code Adoption The 2010 California Fire and Building Codes are now effective as of January 1, 2011. Plans submitted after January 1, 2011 will be reviewed under the new code. This does not apply to projects submitted before the end of 2010.  The changes to the Fire Code amendments are fairly minor. In some cases our amendments to the 2007 codes are no longer applicable because they have been addressed by the new code, and some requirements are less restrictive than in the past.  One major change is the adoption by the State of the 2010 Residential Code that requires residential fire sprinklers in all new dwellings. We have amended this requirement to require sprinklers in some additions as well.  See our Amendments on our Document and Forms page to download the amendments (which include amendments to the Fire, Building, Residential, Green Building Standards, Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Codes)

JULY 2010 Adjusted Fees Effective JULY 1, 2010 .Using the data from our department fee study, all of our fees have been adjusted to bring them more in alignment with actual costs. (Fee charts updated on FEES page.)

APRIL 27, 2010 the Board of Supervisors considered and adopted Planning and Development Dept. fee adjustments.  The new fee schedule(s) effective on July 1, 2010.    Fee Study Transmittal        Fee Resolution      

MAY 2010 Our Home page was modified for easier navigation of our site. Our Construction, Land Development, & Special Use page was split into three pages. (1) Construction, which includes the sub-channels: Construction & Hazardous Materials, Minor System Modifications, Fire Code Permit Expiration Guidelines, and What Happens After We Receive Your Submittal. (2) Land Development, which includes the sub-channel: Local Fire Authority Review for Public School Construction. (3) Special Use, which includes the sub-channels: Special Events, Tents and Fireworks & Fire Clearance For State Licensed Facilities.

Our Burn Permit site was updated for the 2009 Burn Season with new required PRESCREENING process and PERMIT FEES. Also: Bay Area Air Quality Management District new Home Page and Open Burning forms web address links, link to our Wildland Urban Interface page with the Adopted WUI Fire Area Map, link to download our revised Burn Permit Standard CFMO-SE8, mailing address to our Main Office for your prescreened application packet, and a direct contact number for your questions, prescreening over the phone and other related inquiries.  NOTE: Faxing is no longer an option for your initial submittal as fees are due at time of submittal.

JANUARY 2010 Our Report A Fire Hazard page was revised as we now have a Department Wide (Department of Planning and Development) Complaint Form available on our Code Enforcement site. Our site still has contact information for the division in our department should you wish to talk to someone about a situation before reporting a complaint; as well as, contact information for the Dept. of Agriculture's Weed Abatement Program and Environmental Health.


FEBRUARY THRU SEPTEMBER 2009 We updated our Wildland Urban Interface page, which includes a link to the adopted, "Wildland Urban Interface Map for Santa Clara County" with link to map on Google Earth.

UPDATED PAGES: Report A Fire Hazard, Construction and Hazardous Materials Permits (see the new residential sprinkler submittal APPROVED Building Dept. site plan requirement).

2009 Burn Season updated Burn Permit page includes current BAAQMD links, a link to an alternative to burning site, and step-by-step instruction on how to file for a Burn Permit if you live in the WUI area of Santa Clara County.  

For your convenience we now have direct links to our About Us:  Fire Marshal's Office Organization Chart and Current Staff page
These links give you an alterative way to easily access our Chain of Command Organizational Chart and current employee contact information, including job titles and a brief description of duties assigned to each employee to help you direct your inquiry to the correct person. 

NEW STANDARD: New Large Family Day Care Standard CFMO SI



Minor Systems Modifications (MSM) - See if you qualify for our small system expedited plan review. 
Fire Code Construction Permit Expiration Guidelines for detailed guidelines on how to keep your permit active and avoid costly reactivation fees.AVAILABLE ONLINE All CFMO: Forms & Applications, Brochures, Standards and Fire Code Amendments

2008/9 NEW PAGES:

  • Burn Permits: Construction and Hazardous Materials Permits
    County Facilities Fire Marshal's Office
    Fire Code Amendments
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Local Fire Authority Review for Public School Construction
    Special Events
    Tents & Fireworks
    What Happens After We Receive Your Submittal
    Wildland Urban Interface Construction and Defensible Space Regulations 

General Information, Land Development, Fees, Fire Clearance for State Licensed Facilities, & Standards.