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Saratoga Building and Remodeling Information

With a population of over 30,000 inhabitants (as of 2009), the City of Saratoga has both a Planning Division and a Building Division. Previously, the City had been called McCarthysville and Toll Gate. In 1865 the mineral springs of Saratoga Springs New York, inspired the current name, Saratoga. Like many Bay Area cities adjacent to San Jose, Saratoga incorporated in the mid-nineteen-fifties in order to retain its rural character.

Saratoga City Hall

13777 Fruitvale Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070
City of Saratoga Planning Department
telephone: 408.868.1222
City of Saratoga Building Division
telephone: 408.868.1201

Green Building in Saratoga

With an arborist on staff, the City of Saratoga is serious about trees. Saratoga offers a sustainability and green building webpage with information on conserving water and energy, shopping locally, and planting trees. As with other Bay Area cities, Saratoga refers residents to Build It Green when it comes to home remodeling and new home construction.

Getting a Building Permit in the City of Saratoga

While some types of building permits are available “over the counter,” most home improvement projects we build involve the typical permit process where plans are first reviewed and approved by the Planning Department before moving on to the Building Department for permitting. All projects with exterior changes to a home go through a more stringent process. Homeowners of homes that are over 50 years old need to hire a Certified Historic Architect to review the history of the structure. If a home is historically significant, the plans require review from the City of Saratoga's Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC).

Plans submitted to the building department might include: Plot Plan/Site Plan, Foundation Plan, Floor Plan, Elevations, Sections, Structural Calculations, Title 24/Energy Compliance Forms, Title 24 Energy Documentation, and Geotechnical/Soil Reports (applicable to new structures, second stories, basement design or unconventional foundation design). Some projects also require a grading plan, particularly those located in a Geologic Hazards Zone, a Flood Hazard Zone, or a wetland area. The City of Saratoga advises that plan review takes 4 to 6 weeks.

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