Expedited permit processing is available for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that are roof-mounted and up to 10kW. PV installations that meet these criteria may be eligible for "over the counter" permitting.
A complete set of plans which include the following items:
- Locations of main service or utility disconnect
- Total number of modules, number of modules per string and the total number of strings
- Make and model of inverter(s), micro-inverters and/or combiner box if used
- One-line diagram of system
- Specify grounding/bonding, conductor type and size, conduit type and size and number of conductors in each section of conduit
- If batteries are to be installed, include them in the diagram and show their locations and venting (Fire Department approval is required.)
- Equipment cut sheets including inverters, modules, AC and DC disconnects, combiners and wind generators
- Labeling of equipment as required by CEC, Sections 690 and 705
- Site diagram showing the arrangement of panels on the roof or ground, north arrow, lot dimensions and the distance from property lines to adjacent buildings/structures (existing and proposed)
- A roof plan showing roof layout, PV panels and the following fire safety items: approximate location of roof access point, location of code-compliant access pathways, PV system fire classification and the locations of all required labels and markings
- Engineered design and structural calculations.
- Product specifications
- Any additional documentation deemed relevant to the project
Electric Vehicle Charger
There are 2 basic types of EV Chargers for home use (Level 1 and Level 2). Level 1 Chargers are smaller units that plug directly into a standard 120 volt receptacle outlet. These types of Chargers typically require a longer period of time to recharge the vehicle. As long as the receptacle outlet being used to plug-in the Level 1 Charger is existing, there is no requirement to secure a permit from the Building and Safety Division. On the other hand, if you will be installing a new 120 volt receptacle outlet for the Charger, you will need to obtain an electrical permit – but plans or electrical load calculations are not required.
A Level 2 EV Charging system requires 240 volts and charges the vehicle much faster than a Level 1 Charger. Level 2 Charger installations require a permit from the City. In order to obtain the permit you will need to provide the City with electrical load calculations to show that your existing electrical service can handle the added load.
A level 3 EV Charging system, also known as DC fast chargers, oﬀer a signiﬁcantly faster charging option, operating at a higher voltage and current than Level 2. Level 3 charging can take less than 30 minutes to reach a full charge, making it ideal for public, on-the-go charging. Level 3 charging stations will be installed in public locations.
When installing your EV Charger, be sure to use a licensed Electrical Contractor whose license is current with the State Contractor’s License Board and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Business Division. The Contractor shall follow the guidelines of the manufacturer installation instructions and all necessary Code requirements. When mechanical ventilation is required for the EV Charger, an additional mechanical permit will be required.
Planning and Zoning Requirements
On-line applications can only be processed for EV chargers that are not visible to the public, including adjacent neighbors. For example, mounted on the wall in the garage EV chargers that are located in public view will require Planning’s approval of appropriate screening. Upon approval you may complete the permitting process at the Building Division counter.
Requirements for screening
EV chargers that are located either on the front of the house or the side of the house will need to be designed so that it is not visible from adjacent neighbors and is not visible from the street, whether public or private. One of the following methods may be used:
- All equipment painted to match the wall that the charger is mounted on.
- Equipment is screened by a fence or perimeter block wall.
- Equipment is screened by substantial landscaping such as shrubbery that is evergreen.
If you have questions about the screening requirements, please contact the Planning Counter at 310-544-5287.
The following permit is required to install an electrical vehicle charger:
- EV Charger Checklist
- Site Plan
Energy (Battery) Storage Systems Review
Los Angeles County Fire Code Section 1206.1 provides: “The provisions in this section are applicable to energy storage systems designed to provide electrical power to a building or facility. These systems are used to provide standby or emergency power, an uninterruptable power supply, load shedding, load sharing or similar capabilities.
Energy storage systems in Group R-3 and R-4 occupancies shall be in accordance with Sections 1206.2.1 and 1206.4. Approved signage is required for all installations.”
To see the full text of this fire code policy, visit the Los Angeles County website at:
The County Fire Department will review all Energy Storage Systems (ESS/BESS) as some installation shave been found to be noncompliant with Los Angeles County Fire Code Section 1206. It should be noted that the County Code is more restrictive than the State Code in this section.
Any project with Solar and Battery Storage will require County Fire Department approval. Email all plan submittals to Fire-FpCarson@fire.lacounty.gov with the following information in the subject line: Address, City, Description including company name, roof mounted solar back-up battery or ground mounted solar back-up battery. The County is specifically looking at the ESS but will comment on the solar projects if any discrepancies are noted.
The City of Rancho Palos Verdes will continue to review traditional solar arrays/panels for compliance with the most recent County adoption of California Building Code Residential Code R324, including section R324.6 Access and Pathways. Permits will be reviewed upon demonstration of approval from the County Fire Department. Final issuance of permits will not be given until compliance is verified by Building & Safety Division.
Questions or Concerns?
Tel: (310) 544-5280
Submit For Review
Tel: (310) 544-5279
30940 Hawthorne Boulevard
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Monday - Thursday
7:30am - 5:30pm
(closed noon to 1pm)
7:30am - 4:30pm
(closed noon to 1pm)
Saturday - Sunday
Allowable Construction Hours
Monday - Friday
7am - 6pm
9am - 5pm
Sunday or Legal Holidays:
No work allowed, unless a Special Construction Permit is obtained from the director. Said permit must be requested at least 48 hours before work.
- Inspection Checklist Guide for PV Systems (PDF)
- Eligibility Checklist for Expedited Solar PV Permitting (PDF)
- EV Charger Eligibility Checklist
- Submittal Requirements for Solar Water Heating Installations 30kWth or Less (PDF)
- Solar Domestic Water Heating Standard Plan (PDF)
- Eligibility Checklist for Expedited Solar Domestic Water Heating Permitting (PDF)
- Submittal Requirements Bulletin - Solar PV Installations 10kW or Less (PDF)
- Solar PV Standard Plan - Simplified Microinverter and ACM Systems (PDF)
- Solar PV Standard Plan - Simplified Central/String Inverter Systems (PDF)