Building Department

The Building Department is responsible for applying and enforcing the City Building Codes as adopted by the City Council. The City of Tehachapi commonly adopts the State of California Building Codes along with the specific code modifications adopted by the County of Kern.

Most construction related activities at your home or business require a Building Permit. If you are not sure whether a permit is needed, please contact us to discuss the appropriate course.

Following the building permit process is in your best interest. The Building Codes exist to layout the minimum safe construction standards. Following the codes will help ensure safety for yourself, your family, your customers, and the public at large. Furthermore, unpermitted work will likely be discovered when your property is sold and may have to be removed in order for the property to clear escrow.


Building documents and forms are available on this website (see links to the left). Bring a completed application and a layout plan to this office for a preliminary review. Depending on the complexity of the work, either City Staff or the City’s consultant plan review company will review your plans. Certain minor projects can be reviewed for compliance over-the-counter. Fees do apply.

Once the plan review is complete and a permit is issued, inspections of the work will occur as requested by the applicant. The City requires inspection requests at least 24 hours prior to the desired time.

Fire Department Approval

Many Building Permits require specific approval from the fire department. The contract fire service provider for the City of Tehachapi is the Kern County Fire Department. If Fire Department approval is needed for the issuance of a building permit, it is the obligation of the applicant to seek and obtain that approval. A link to the Kern County Fire Department is available on the left side of this page. The City of Tehachapi will not issue a permit requiring fire approval until we receive the appropriate compliance document from Kern County.