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Commercial Development : Tenant Improvements

Dept/Div. Contact:  Building Safety - (209) 577-5232

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Description:  Interior remodeling of a commercial, industrial or non-residential building is referred to as a tenant improvement.  Tenant improvement projects require permits for building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. Other work including signs, fire safety systems, storage areas, assembly areas, and work involving hazardous materials may require additional permits.

Examples: If you are planning on adding or removing an interior wall in your office building you will need a building permit.  The Permit Process ensures that you comply with the codes, which have been adopted by the City Council and incorporated in the City of Modesto Ordinances.


Determine Zoning

Before developing a parcel of land, you will need to determine if the parcel is zoned for your desired use or if there are any special development considerations for your project.

The Planning Division will be able to tell you the zoning of the property or if there are any special considerations for your project.  If your project requires special handling, our staff will inform you of the requirements and next steps.

Who to contact:

  • Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.

Please provide:

  • Assessor's Parcel Number (APN)
  • Description of your proposed project

If your proposed project meets the zoning requirements, you will typically follow the process given below.  If not, staff will inform you of your options.

Determine Special Requirements

Certain projects will have special requirements and need specific actions before submitting building plans.

Who to Contact:

  • Public Works:  (209) 571-5569
  • Parks, Recreation & Neighborhoods: (209) 571-5573

Submit Building Plans

After the Planning review process has been completed, building plans can be submitted for review. A licensed contractor can apply for and pull permits for commercial additions/alterations. If you do not have a licensed contractor, the Disclosures & Forms for Owner-Builders Applying for Construction Permits (below) must be filled out and signed by the owner of the building and a copy provided at the time of application. Often, depending upon the type of project and the complexity of construction, plans are required to be stamped by a licensed professional. Our staff will examine your plans for conformance to code requirements.

Where to go:

Building Safety
1010 Tenth Street, 3rd Floor   [Directions]
(209) 577-5232

What to include:

  • 1 building permit application
  • 7 sets of complete building plans for most TI's
    (some TI's may require fewer sets)
  • 1 completed Plan Check Submittal for Interior Remodels form
  • 1 set of State Energy forms
  • 1 set of scaled floor plans for the County Assessor
  • 2 sets of structural calculations
  • 3 sets of landscape and irrigation plans including building elevations
  • 1 completed Unreasonable Handicap Hardship form
  • 1 completed Hazardous Materials Form

Information/Forms: (#CP4A)

Get Permits

When your plans are approved and at the time you pay your fees, the Building Safety Division will issue the required permits for your project.

Schedule Inspections

Before covering up or building over any permitted work, you will need to call and request an inspection. Inspections are required to ensure that all work was completed correctly, based on building and safety codes currently in effect.

If an encroachment permit was required for your project, schedule off-site inspections with the Public Works Department at (209) 342-2284.

How to schedule an inspection 


After your final inspection, your project will be considered complete.

Related Forms & Handouts

These documents are provided in PDF Format. You must have a PDF viewer in order to open these documents. Click here for the free Adobe Acrobat viewer.


Have Questions?

Contact the Building Safety Division at (209) 577-5232.

This page was updated on: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 2:52:42 PM

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Information provided through the Development Center is for general reference and may not apply to your project,
please call (209) 577-5232 for more information.