Skip to Content

BPC-013 Third Party Plan Check

Permit and Resource Management Department Banner 750

Version 03/15/2022


An applicant may choose to use a third party building plan check (TPPC) consultant to reduce building plan review processing time.

Partial building permits may be authorized for this process provided all subsequent building permits that are physically attached to the structure authorized by the partial building permit, also go through this process. One example is a foundation only permit followed by the structure.


  1. The applicant shall submit a building permit application to Permit Sonoma including a file of the complete building plans and separate files of related documents, such as soils report, structural calculations, energy calculations, green building documentation, etc… Only complete submittals will be accepted.
  2. All building, property line, well, water system, septic system locations and setbacks must be clearly dimensioned on submitted plans in conformance with CSS-019. Where property lines are in question, a survey may be required to ensure submitted site plans are accurate.
  3. The applicant shall complete and submit the attached Third Party Plan Check Notification (BPC-018) (PDF) to Permit Sonoma before or with the building permit application.
  4. The applicant shall select a consultant from Permit Sonoma’s list of approved consultants (BPC-019). The applicant is responsible for payment of costs to the consultant which are in addition to Permit Sonoma’s building plan check fees.
  5. The applicant shall submit a soils report in all cases where required by Technical Bulletin B-28. The soils report may include determinations that may require the interpretation of a Geotechnical Engineer. In an effort to expedite the plan review process, Permit Sonoma will not conduct a site review to assist in determining if a soils report is required with submittals.
  6. Section clearances and/or notations are required to qualify for TPPC. The applicant will be directed to the appropriate Permit Sonoma section(s) to obtain either an office clearance and/or direction on additional permitting. Permit Sonoma staff shall review the application and enter “approved for issuance” or “OK for plan check” within the respective status of each section. If the section reflects “OK for plan check”, staff shall list all items required by that section in order to approve the project for issuance.
  7. Projects requiring additional permits (grading, septic, well, use, etc.) need to have complete permit applications submitted and initialized for each additional required permit to qualify for TPPC.
  8. Projects subject to the flood plain ordinance (Chapter 7B, Sonoma County Code), located within the Alquist Priolo Zone, or projects with active code violations will have the appropriate requirements noted by each applicable review discipline and communicated with the applicant.  The applicant will be responsible for communicating these additional review requirements with the consultant.
  9. Once all office clearances and/or additional applications are obtained/submitted and plan review fees are paid, the TPPC will be authorized by the Building Plan Check Division. The Permit Sonoma fees for a TPPC are 75% of the standard building plan review fee.
  10. Permit Sonoma will assign the TPPC project to the Building Check customer service cubicle, and the Building Plans Examiner (BPE) assigned to this cubicle on any given day will answer any questions relating to status or additional approvals required by other divisions.
  11. The applicant shall submit additional copies of the building plans and related documents directly to the Consultant.
  12. Any unresolved code issues between the applicant and consultant shall be directed to the BPE as soon as possible. The expectation is for the applicant and consultant to resolve issues, however, there may be instances where Permit Sonoma can assist.
  13. Upon completion of the plan review process, the consultant shall upload the following to the Building Permit application’s documents:
    1. A letter of approval from the consultant with a brief analysis of how the plans comply with the current codes. The letter should highlight if an accessibility hardship application was required and approved. The letter should also address any required deferred submittals and any partial permits that will be required to complete the current permit;
    2. All resubmittal correspondence, plan check comments and responses;
    3. The final plan set file and separate files of related documents;
    4. All sheets of plans and the cover sheet of other documents shall be stamped and signed as approved by the consultant; and
    5. An itemized listing of the Permit Sonoma section office clearances/requirements and responses to issues, from the project applicant, detailing how the section requirements were addressed or resolved.
  14. Permit Sonoma will process the project for Building Plan Check Division approval within approximately three (3) business days from the date that the third party approved documents (As outlined per Item M) have been uploaded and all previously outstanding review disciplines’ approvals have been obtained. Prior to building permit issuance the BPE shall ensure the plans are consistent with the California Building Code and Sonoma County Code and ensure that the project has the appropriate Permit Sonoma section clearances and/or associated permits are issued. Absent any inconsistency with building code requirements or any outstanding section clearances and/or issued permits, Permit Sonoma will issue the building permit, after final fee invoicing by a Permit Technician and subsequent payment by the applicant.
  15. All subsequent field plan changes, structural revisions (resubmittals) and deferred submittal items related to the approved plans that have gone through the TPPC shall be reviewed and approved by the consultant with approved copies forwarded to Permit Sonoma. Final approval shall be that of Permit Sonoma.
  16. Any subsequent field plan changes which alter the valuation, location, use, or square footage of any proposed building areas or elements shall first be reviewed, routed, and accepted by a Permit Technician and all affected divisions, prior to additional review and approval by the third party consultant.