Adding or Replacing a Firepit, Outdoor Fireplace, and/or Fountain


  • There are height restrictions for fountains and fireplaces, depending on where they are placed/constructed. General zoning guidelines are provided below, but you should contact the Planning Counter at or 949-724-6308 with any questions
  • Gas appliances (such as firepits) may not be placed/constructed under combustible construction (for example in a California room or under a wooden trellis/patio cover)
  • If the project will require installation of more than one new electrical 20-amp circuit in an existing panel, a building inspector will need to verify and evaluate panel load calculations as part of the inspection process
  • Your Homeowners Association may have its own approval process. Review your HOA policies and procedures before proceeding with your design plans
  • If your property is a condominium, you will need to submit a copy of the approved design plans from your HOA
  • If you have a zero-lot line (more common in Turtle Rock and University Park), the firepit or fountain may not be built within an easement area
  • After you have completed and gathered all of the required documents, you will need to submit your permit application and plans electronically through the IrvineReady! Online Plan Submission Portal

Zoning Guidance

Requirements for Outdoor Fireplaces/Firepits

  • Heating elements may be no more than four (4) feet above finish floor
  • Residential detached fireplace/chimneys are permitted within the rear yard area and within side yard areas greater than five feet in width
  • Residential detached fireplace/chimneys shall maintain a minimum setback of three feet from any property line. However, an exception applies to "zero lot line" properties. Where a "zero lot line" condition exists, the residential detached fireplace/chimney may be built up to the property line provided the easement is three feet or greater in width. However, in no instance may the residential detached fireplace/chimney be located within the "zero lot line" easement area
  • Residential detached fireplace/chimneys shall have a maximum height of 12 feet
  • Residential detached fireplace/chimneys shall comply with all building codes and the Zoning Code

Requirements for Fountains

  • In most circumstances, the maximum height for a fountain in the side or back yard is six (6) feet
  • Contact the Planning Counter at or 949-724-6308 to confirm height requirements for a fountain in your front yard or on a corner lot

Building Guidance

  • As a reminder, gas appliances (such as firepits) may not be placed/constructed under combustible construction (for example in a California room or under a wooden trellis/patio cover)

What Documents Will Be Required?

  1. Application Package. Download and fill out the PDF form to submit online. The Application Package includes:

  • Building Permit Application
  • Residential Take-Off Sheet
  • Electronic/Digital Signature Disclosure
  1. Site PlanBe sure to:

  • Dimension and label:
    • Property lines
    • Existing dwelling, walls, structures (e.g. patio covers, pools)
    • Proposed amenities (fire pits, fountains), including their height
  • Show location of underground piping and conduit. Call out material and size.
  1. Construction Plans

Construction Plan Tips

  • Provide dimensioned plans, elevations, and details for construction of amenities. Include foundation plans.
  • Drawings for structures over 6 feet tall as measured from adjacent grade shall be stamped and signed by a California licensed Civil or Structural Engineer.
  • For fountains: Indicate on the plans whether fountain mechanical equipment is internal or external to the unit. If external, the mechanical equipment must be at least two feet from the property line, and must be screened if visible from the public right-of-way or from adjacent properties at the same grade. Screening may include a fence or landscaping.


Submittal Instructions

READY TO BEGIN? Your application must be submitted online using the IrvineReady! Online Permit Submittal Portal. We recommend keeping this webpage open in a different tab so you can refer to the information below.

IrvineReady! works best on Google Chrome, rather than Safari or Microsoft Edge.

When you click the button below to go to IrvineReady, you will first be prompted to create an account, or to log into an existing account.

Video Link: How to Create an Account in IrvineReady!

After creating an account and logging in, click the green plus button to the lower right-hand side of the window to start a new submittal.

In the “Project Type” drop-down menu, select “For Permitting--Other” as the permit type.

Video Link: Preparing Documents for Upload into IrvineReady!


Next Steps

  • After submitting your plans, City staff will review the information for completeness within approximately two business days. If additional information is needed, you will be notified.

  • You will be emailed a link to pay required fees. Visit the Fee Schedule page for additional information and current fee rates

  • After payment is received, your project will be assigned for review.

In general you should anticipate two (2) to four (4) business days for the initial plan check; if corrections are required, you will be notified. Projects that involve structural calculations and plans may require additional time to review.