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City Services Planning Frequently Asked Questions

City Services Planning Frequently Asked Questions iconCity Services Planning Frequently Asked Questionstitle


What do I need to do to start my own home-based business?
In order to run a business out of your home, the City of Biggs requires that you obtain a Business License and a Home Occupation Permit.
The first step is to come into the Planning Department and pick up an application for the Permit.  Once submitted and approved you will get a letter and that is your approval and then you would go to City Hall to get your Business License.
Do I need a permit for a yard sale?
No, however you are only allowed 9 yard sales per year.
How long does a Site Plan Review take after the date of application?
Plan reviews are typically completed within 21 business days, and the City has up to 30 days to comment.
Do I need a permit for a fence?
Yes, a fence permit is required to install a new fence or replace an existing fence. The applications are available in the Planning Department. And are available on line under Documents. 
When do I need a Building Permit?
The California Building Code requires that with a few exceptions, building permits are required whenever a structure is erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished.  The following is a list of some projects you will need a permit for: New home construction, room additions, alterations/remodeling, covered patios, wood stove or fireplace installation, furnace, air conditioner or water heater installations, swimming pools and spas.  All plumbing work, all electrical work, re-roof, sewer, detached structures of more than 120 sq. ft., decks over 30 inches high, retaining walls over 4 feet high.
When don’t I need a permit?
The following are some of the projects that may be built without a permit: retaining walls or planters 4 feet or less (from bottom of footing), decks less than 30 inches high, window coverings, detached/portable accessory structures 200 sq. ft. or less (must comply with zoning sets backs and height restrictions); painting/wallpapering; cabinet replacement; low voltage lighting; fixture or outlet replacement.
Why do I need a permit?
The purpose of the various permits is to protect health and general welfare, as well as to protect your investment in your property and to help obtain financing from lending agencies.  Permits are required by State law to control codes, laws and ordinances adopted by the State and the City of Biggs.  These regulations have been enacted by the State of California and your City Council after careful consideration.  Fire and liability insurance damages may not be paid in some cases where permits were not obtained and improvements do not meet regulations.
What happens if I build without a permit?
If you begin construction without the required permits, a “Stop Work Order” will immediately be issued by an inspector.  You will then be required to apply for permits and pay additional fees.  If approved, a permit will be issued and you may be required to uncover any work that has not been inspected.
When do I need the Planning Department’s approval to build?
Approval is needed for any addition to the existing building, new construction, and detached buildings.  Before you build you should come to our office and speak to us (or email) and we can lead you in the correct direction.
I have a project but am not sure if I can do it, what do I do?
Come into the Planning Department and speak to staff.  If you still have questions staff will give you the necessary information to present the project and set up an appointment for a “Pre-Application Appointment.” During that appointment you can ask the Planner and Engineer if your project is possible.  They can get all the necessary information they need from you, too.  By the end of the meeting you should know what your next step should be.
How do I contact the County Building Department?
Visit this page for more details: Butte County Department of Development Services


When do I need an Encroachment Permit?
If you are doing work that requires the cutting, breaking or removal of any City curb, gutter, sidewalk, driveway or street facility you will need to obtain an Encroachment Permit. If you are performing any work within the City right-of-way you will need to obtain an Encroachment Permit. 
Where can I obtain an Encroachment Permit?
You can download this form and return it to us by mail, email, night drop or in person; or you can come to the Planning Department located 465 C Street.
Is the city's water system currently in compliance with State Department of Health Services Drinking Water Regulations?
Yes the city is in compliance and has no outstanding violations for drinking water. The city has on file an annual water quality report which details the current quality of water being served to residences.
Does the City serve water or sewer to properties outside the city limits?
This is considered on a case by case basis, but typically the serving of public utilities outside of the city limits is followed by a commitment to annex to the City.
Does the City have excess water capacity?
What are the fees associated with connecting to water, sewer and storm drainage in the City for new development?
There are connection and capacity fees along with impact fees for new development. Consult with the planning department for a full listing of fees. See fee schedule under forms.
Does the City have excess sewer capacity?
Yes, the city has about 30 -40 % excess capacity to serve additional development.

Code Enforcement

Where can I report a Code Enforcement Violation?
At city hall 465 C Street, or via phone, via email, or drop a description of the problem into the drop box at 465 C Street.
How do I file a complaint?
Print and complete this form and bring, mail or email it to city hall at 465 C Street.  You may also use the night drop box at 465 C Street. 
Once I file a complaint what happens?
Once a complaint is filed the Code Enforcement Officer does an inspection usually within 24 hours of the complaint.  From there it depends on if the complaint is verified to be out of compliance with the Municipal Code.  There might be a situation where the Code Enforcement Officer has to call you back to get additional details. 
If there is a violation then the Officer will send a Letter of Violation to the occupant and/or property owner, which provides some amount of time to correct the issues. 
I got a letter from Code Enforcement, what do I do?
Do not ignore it.  Contact the Code Enforcement Officer to discuss the issue.  If you are not sure how to take care of the violation they can work with you to plan how to get the violation corrected.
I have furniture and other objects I need to get rid of but have no idea what to do with them, can the City help?
While the City cannot pay to have your things removed, we can provide resources listing locations on where you can take these items.  The City does sponsor a once a year City-wide disposal day, usually in October.
I have a car that doesn't run anymore, what do I do with it?
Code Enforcement has a free listing of establishments that have advertised in the local papers that they will tow your vehicle or take it.
I got a letter about an abandoned vehicle on my property, what do I do?
Contact the Code Enforcement Officer and discuss the matter.  They will be able to help you with it.