Commercial/Industrial Tenant Improvements


  • We recommend confirming the zoning information for the property before proceeding with your design plans. Refer to the Zoning Guidance below
  • 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 Permit Submittal portal

Building Guidance

The California Building Code has different requirements based on the type of use/occupancy. Some types of applications will require more details and documentation, where others may be less complex. Some applications also require a concurrent review and approval from an outside agency such as the Irvine Ranch Water District or Orange County Health Care Agency. If you have questions about the requirements for your specific use, call or email the Building Department at 949-724-6313 or

Details for some specific permit requests include any new or modification to:

Massage Establishments:

Public Pools:

  • Contact Environmental Health of the County of Orange Health Care Agency for submittal requirements at either 714-433-6000 or

Food Establishments:

  • Contact Environmental Health of the County of Orange Health Care Agency for submittal requirements at either 714-433-6000 or

  • Contact Irvine Ranch Water District (Fats, Oils, and Grease program) for any grease interceptor requirements at 949-453-5865 or

  • See Informational Bulletin No. 313 for clearance requirements for commercial appliances for projects with a commercial kitchen.

Body Art Establishments (defined as body piercing—not including ear piercing except for the tragus, tattooing, branding, or application of permanent cosmetics):

  • Contact Environmental Health of the County of Orange Health Care Agency for submittal requirements at either 714-433-6000 or

Retail uses resulting in 11 or more shopping cards available for customers:

High Pile Storage Racks. Documents to include:

  • City of Irvine Tenant Improvement Plan Check Title Sheet
  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan showing:
    • Rack layout
    • Aisle width dimensions
    • Room names
    • Egress route
    • Note content and quantity(s) of commodity(s)
  • Rack Plans stamped and signed by CA licensed Civil/Structural Engineer or Architect
  • Rack Elevations stamped and signed by CA licensed Civil/Structural Engineer or Architect
  • Anchorage Details stamped and signed by CA licensed Civil/Structural Engineer or Architect
  • Rack Calculations stamped and signed by CA licensed Civil/Structural Engineer or Architect

Structural Work requiring Special Inspections (including Seismic and Wind):

First tenant improvements going into a shell building, or tenant improvements with a valuation of $200,000 or more:

Enclosed or covered parking facilities:

Zoning Guidance


  • Applications involving a change in land use will need to demonstrate compliance with parking and other zoning requirements
  • Refer to the Zoning Map or the Online Parcel Search to locate your zoning district
  • Some shopping centers and industrial/office parks have their own unique parking requirements
  • Many properties in the Irvine Business Complex and around the Spectrum area also have special requirements
  • If you are proposing a change in land use, you are highly encouraged to contact the Planning Counter at or 949-724-6308

Impacts To Landscaping

  • If trees or other landscaping areas are being removed/impacted, the application will need to show how the property will comply with landscaping, boundary tree, and parking lot tree requirements codified in the Zoning Ordinance

Impacts to Parking Spaces

  • You will need to show existing and proposed dimensions of parking spaces and drive aisles to ensure they are consistent with zoning and engineering requirements
  • Refer to the Parking Lot Modification webpage

Screening Requirements For Mechanical Equipment

  • Screening shall be provided so that materials stored in the area and/or equipment at grade or on the roof are screened from view from all adjacent streets and properties at the same grade

Screening Methods

  • Rooftop equipment and appurtenances shall be equal to or less than the height of the parapet of a flat roofed structure or shall not be visible from any point at or below the eave line of a non-flat roofed structure. If this is not possible then a solid and permanent roof-mounted screen shall be installed to hide the rooftop equipment and appurtenances. The roof screen materials and details shall be compatible with the architectural style, materials and color of the building upon which the equipment is located.
  • When used as a screen, landscaping shall be of compact evergreens which will obtain a minimum height of two feet within 18 months of installation and an eventual minimum height of 3½ feet.

What Documents Will Be Required?

  • Electronic/Digital Signature Disclosure
  • Building Permit Application
  • Building Data Sheet (If applicable)
  • Commercial Take-Off Sheet (If applicable)
  • Recycling and Diversion of Construction and Demolition Waste Assessment 2.0
  • OCFA Plan Submittal Criteria (NOTE: Upon review, City staff will email an OCFA SR Form if required)
  1. Plans And Drawings. Specifically:
  • Tenant Improvement Title Sheet. Click here to download a PDF or DWG version. Mark ‘N/A’ for any sections that do not apply to your project.
  • Include all applicable architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work to be reviewed. Plans should be signed by whomever prepared them: Licensed architect or structural engineer (structural projects), or licensed contractor or licensed interior designer (non-structural projects). Plumbing, electrical, and mechanical sheets should be signed by the licensed engineer or licensed contractor (if the contractor is doing the work).
  • Separate plan documents by topic. For example, architectural plans should be grouped and titled as "ARCH" and plumbing plans should be grouped and titled as "PLUMB." Other categories include structural plans (STRUCT), mechanical plans (MECH), and electric plans (ELEC).
  • Site Plan. Fully dimensioned and drawn to scale. Include north arrow, property lines, street centerline and/or edge of curb, all existing buildings, driveways, and drive approaches. All setbacks and distances between existing buildings shall be indicated. Show all utility locations for gas, electric, and water meter. Show the accessible path of travel from closest accessible parking spaces to front building entry. Include a data summary showing total number of gross square feet within each building, broken down by use, and a parking summary identifying the parking spaces required by code and those spaces provided on-site.
  • Floor Plan(s). Fully dimensioned and drawn to scale. Label the use of each room and space. All walls and partitions shall be clearly identified as either proposed, existing to remain, or existing to be demolished. On Architectural Plan(s): Show location of accessible restrooms serving this project (include overall distance of path if accessible restroom is outside of proposed tenant space).
  • Reflective Ceiling Plan(s). Show exit signs, emergency lighting, alarms, air registers, ceiling heights, and lighting fixtures.
  • Interior Elevations. Drawn to scale and referenced on plans as they relate to your specific project.
  • Title 24: Required Energy. Forms shall be incorporated into plans and shall be registered and signed.
  • Construction Details. Drawn and referenced on plans as they relate to your specific project.
  • Equipment and Specification Schedules. Referenced on plans as they relate to your specific project.
  • If project involves structural work: Structural Calculations: Stamped and signed by CA licensed Architect, Civil Engineer, or Structural Engineer.
  • If project involves the first tenant improvement going into a shell building, or if the project has a valuation of $200,000 or more: Incorporate 2022 Non-Residential Construction Green Building Standard Notes on the plans.
  • If project involves enclosed or covered parking facilities: Include Standard Parking Facility Security Provisions into the plans.

Please note, depending on the specifics of your project, additional plans, details, forms, exhibits, or support documents may be requested through the plan check process.

Tips for Your Plans and Drawings

  • In the “Use(s), Occupancy(ies), and Floor Area(s)” section on the Title Sheet, provide an existing land use breakdown for the building and a proposed land use breakdown for the building
  • In the “Parking Summary” section on the Title Sheet, provide an existing and proposed Land Use and Parking Summary for the site. If no change in land use or parking is proposed, indicate as such within the “Project Description” and “Parking Summary” sections
  • If changes to the site plan are proposed, provide both existing and proposed site plans to demonstrate those changes
  • If mechanical equipment such as A/C units are proposed on the roof/building parapet, provide a roof plan within the architectural drawings that identifies any changes to the existing roof plan. If there are changes, provide screening and the following note: “the proposed rooftop equipment will be screened from adjacent properties and streets at grade.”

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 one to three 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 five (5) business days for the initial plan check. Projects involving structural alterations or improvements of 15,000 square feet or larger, or that are located within the Irvine Business Complex, should anticipate 10 business days for the initial plan check. If corrections are required, you will be notified.