Frequently Asked Questions - "B" Permits

Revised on 05-31-2022

 

How do I obtain additional information or contact the City?

BOE has an on-line Customer Service Request (CSR) Portal that allows members of the public to request additional information about processes and procedures as well as discuss permit related issues with BOE staff.  Instructions on how to use the CSR Portal can be found in this manual under Customer Service Request (CSR) Portal.

How long does it take to complete the "B" Permit process?

The length of time depends on the complexity of the construction improvements, the size of the construction improvements, the quality of the Applicant’s plans, the ability of the Applicant to satisfy the City’s design standards, and the work-load of City staff. The time required from application submittal to indexed plans ready for construction typically takes over 6 months. Applicants are advised to start the process early and monitor the review process closely. In order to facilitate this, the "B" Permit status is available on-line for the applicant.

The length of the construction phase is as long as it takes the Applicant’s contractor to complete the construction and to complete the As-Builts of the drawings.

When does a "B" Permit expire?

According to the LAMC, a Class “B” permit expires six months after date of issuance. Since the B Permit process can take longer than 6 months, the LAMC 62.114 also allows for a longer construction period so long as this is specified in the permit, in which case such permit shall expire at the end of the longer construction period specified therein. The Board may also extend the time for the starting or the completion of the work, upon good and sufficient cause being shown therefor by the permittee, and such extension shall not be deemed to release any surety or any bond posted.  Permits expiring during the COVID-19 pandemic are subject to different requirements.

What is the Permit Case Management Division?

The Permit Case Management (PCM) Division with the Bureau of Engineering’s Development Services Program serves as an escalation point for projects that require additional problem solving.  PCM’s overarching goal is to improve customer service. PCM will typically triage the problem and identify course of action including shepherding a project through different agencies when needing. PCM’s services include providing pre-design services for "B" Permits with the goal of compressing the time from plan check to construction.

PCM facilitates meetings with other agencies such as Bureau of Street Lighting, Bureau of Street Services, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Los Angeles Department of Transportation. PCM also participates in the overall City’s Development Services Case Management Program managed by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

To contact the Permit Case Management Division regarding any other issues, email eng.pcm@lacity.org. 

What will it cost to get a bond estimate and start the pre-design phase of a project?

In general, you are required to make a $2,000 per pre-design deposit to cover the costs associated with the bond estimate, the preliminary meeting, and the investigations. After payment, a "B" Permit for pre-design will be issued and you will be given more detailed information on the engineering requirements.  If the Applicant wishes to engage Permit Case Management in the pre-design process, the deposit will be $2,500.  If the "B" Permit is exclusively for structural design review, the required deposit will be $5,000.

What will the District Office tell me about my project under Pre-Design?

The District office will review the extent of the improvements and will prepare permit application forms, bond forms; etc., which will be required before the "B" Permit
is issued. 

How long will it take the BOE to determine the bond estimate and fees?

Except for very simple improvements, 30 calendar days are needed to complete the estimate and determine the necessary fees. In cases of extensive development an estimate cannot be provided until preliminary plans prepared by a licensed civil engineer, architect, landscape architect, electrical engineer, or traffic engineer have been submitted. Backlogs may extend the time needed to determine fees.

How do I get my bond released?

In order for a bond to be released, the District Office that issued the B-permit must provide written authorization to Bond Control staff directing release of the bond.  This authorization is typically provided upon either completion and acceptance of the work or cancellation of the permit. Once the authorization is obtained, an Exoneration letter releasing liability will be prepared and distributed to the applicant, Surety company or City Accounting Office in the case of a Cash Bond.

For more information regarding this process refer to section 04a – Bond Processing of the Bond Control section.
 

How much will "B" Permit fees cost?

"B" Permit fees are actually a deposit against the cost of actual time charges for engineering plan-check, inspection, and field-testing. The deposit amount is based on an estimate of the construction costs of the street improvements. You will receive a refund for any excess money deposited or will be requested to pay additional money to cover any deficit.

What is subject to the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The Street Damage Restoration Fee is applicable to any excavation work on asphalt concrete streets subject to a permit such as an A-Permit, "B" Permit, Excavation E-Permit, Excavation U-Permit and Sewer S-Permit. The SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb, gutter, parkway, sidewalk and/or driveway. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

What is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

The SDRF is set at $8.24 per square foot for Local Streets and $19.44 per square foot (sq.ft.) for Select Streets, and applies to an area that equals the length and width of the excavation cut plus 5 feet on all sides of the excavation. The 5-foot extension area for a cut in asphalt is applicable even if it extends into gutter, curb, sidewalk and/or parkway, due to the fee assessment option adopted by City Council. Excavation cuts in the parkway that are within 5 feet of the street section will not pay an SDRF fee for the extended area.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be applicable to "B" Permits? 

Whenever an excavation is made in the street, SDRF will apply. In "B" Permits, this will be in situations where a sewer and/or storm drain line is being installed without street work being done in the immediate vicinity. The SDRF fee will not apply to the removal and replacement of curb and gutter, and it will also not apply to street widening/narrowing projects that are part of a "B" Permit. The District Office can be consulted for further clarification. If an entity is performing an excavation and proposing to pave entire block curb face to curb face and/or intersection containing such cuts and/or excavations, the excavation will be exempt from the SDRF.

When is the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) effective? 

The new SDRF became effective December 6, 2018, and amended on February 8, 2022.

What are the limits of the street to which Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) applies?

The SDRF applies to the limits of excavation cuts on an asphalt concrete street extending to the edges (typically at gutter edges).

What is a Select Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Select Street is a street designated by the Bureau of Street Services as a street requiring a thicker pavement design to accommodate greater traffic loads. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as SE.

What is a Local Street?

In terms of the new Street Damage Restoration Fee, a Local Street shall be a street not designated as a Select Street. The Bureau of Street Services shall maintain a public record of its street designations. This street designation is visible via NavigateLA’s Street Centerlines Report, listed under Class as LO.

Does the age of the street affect the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

No, the new SDRF is not relative to the age of the street.

Does the new Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to excavation work on a concrete street?

Full slab replacement is required in lieu of paying the SDRF for any excavation on a concrete street. A slab may be defined as the area of concrete surrounded by a joint (i.e. construction/expansion joint, etc.). In the event a concrete street does not consist of slabs but a large(r) concrete panel, the District Office can be consulted for further clarification.

Are there any exemptions from payment of the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF)?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the SDRF:

  1. Any excavation in a street scheduled for resurfacing under the City’s Annual Street Renewal Plan within the one year prior to the scheduled resurfacing is exempt from the SDRF.
  2. Exemption for excavation made up to 23 months prior to scheduled resurfacing may be granted after further consideration. The following must be provided at the time of request for consideration:
    1. Complete review of the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan prepared by the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) prior to applying for an excavation permit
    2. Prepare and submit to the BSS a five-year street excavation plan and a one-year street excavation plan, in a form acceptable to the Bureau, prior to applying for an excavation permit. Such plans must include the following:
      1. The location of the applicant’s existing facilities in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place; and,
      2. A description of all of the applicant’s planned excavation work in any City street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.
    3. To continue to qualify for the SDRF exemption:
      1. Submit annually, by April 15 of each year following the submission of the initial five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan, a revised and updated five-year street excavation plan and one-year street excavation plan; and,
      2. All excavations in any Local Street or any Select Street must be shown on the applicant’s one-year street excavation plan, and must take place within 23 months prior to City’s planned resurfacing or rehabilitation projects as shown in the City’s Five-Year Street Renewal Plan and one-year Annual Street Renewal Plan.

Can I excavate anytime within one year following the resurfacing of the street? 

Yes. However, in lieu of paying the SDRF, permittee must repave the entire street block from curb face to curb face (typically referred to as the One-Year Street Moratorium).

Are there any exceptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium?

Yes, there are two exemptions to the One-Year Street Moratorium:

  1. Exceptions may be made when it can be sufficiently demonstrated to the Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) that the City’s 30-day notice of a scheduled street resurfacing project was not mailed to the correct property owner of record at the time of notification, and the property owner made significant efforts to promptly notify BSS of any planned street excavations. 
  2. Exceptions may be made on Emergency Work. Emergency Work is defined under LAMC 62.61 as immediate and unplanned action that must be taken to alleviate a hazardous condition, which represents an immediate threat to life, health, safety, or property. This includes continuous efforts to effect the restoration of interrupted utility services (electrical, water, gas, wastewater and telecommunications). Bureau of Engineering’s Special Order SO06-0807, Step 4, prescribes the requirements on Street Damage Restoration Fee and right-of-way restoration for Emergency Work during the One-Year Street Moratorium.

Will the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) be increased or decreased in the future?

The Board of Public Works (Board) will calculate an adjusted SDRF annually on July 1, in accordance with the California Department of Transportation Price Index for Selected Highway Construction Items. The proposed revised SDRF is effective upon its adoption by resolution approved by the Board following a public hearing.

Do I have to pay a Slurry Seal Damage Restoration Fee (SSDRF)?

The SSDRF was discontinued on December 6, 2018.

When is the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) collected?

In the interim, the SDRF collection will take place via monthly billing, except for those user accounts that have billing restrictions. BOE won’t require collection of SDRF amounts above $5,000 but can collect payment over-the-counter prior to permit issuance until a revised payment collection policy is determined.

Does the Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) apply to alleys?

If the Alley does not have a centerline shown on the geocoding module, it means that it does not have a section ID and in this case we should not charge an SDRF. The Utility Agency may select “Alley (No Centerline)” under the Surface Type selection within the geocoding module in the Online U-Permit Applications System and that should waive the associated fees automatically. 

If my property is subject to the Hillside Ordinance, are there requirements on how my roadway should be aligned when built?

If the roadway adjacent to a property that is subject to the Hillside Ordinance is less than 20' wide, the developer would either need to develop this roadway to 20' wide or obtain a Zoning Administrator's Determination through Planning that waives this requirement. If the developer develops the roadway, it will be required to build a 10' wide roadway on either side of the centerline of the right-of-way, if possible.

If my property is subject to the Hillside Ordinance, are there additional requirements if the roadway is already 20' wide or more?

If the roadway adjacent to a property that is subject to the Hillside Ordinance is at least 20' wide, the developer may be only required to address drainage issues. No roadway requirements should be required outside of drainage concerns.