Current Building Codes 

The codes below are adopted by the City of Santa Monica, and may have been amended as part of the local adoption process. These codes may be viewed online from the California Building Standards CommissionPlease refer to Santa Monica Municipal (SMMC) Code Chapter 8.12 to view the local amendments. 

  • 2019 California Building Code (Volume 1 & 2)
  • 2019 California Residential Code
  • 2019 California Mechanical Code 
  • 2019 California Electrical Code
  • 2019 California Plumbing Code 
  • 2019 California Energy Code 
  • 2019 California Green Building Standards Code

The new 2019 California Building Codes (CBC) became effective January 1, 2020; replacing the prior 2016 CBC. All new applications for building permits submitted after that date must comply with the new codes. This policy is intended to clarify the effect of the new codes on the ongoing plan reviews and permits.   

Plan Review

Existing plan reviews submitted prior to January 1, 2020 are valid for a period of one year from the date of submittal. Plan checks expiring before January 1, 2020 can be renewed without complying with new codes if the application for renewal is submitted prior to January 1, 2020. Plan checks expiring after January 1, 2020 cannot be renewed without showing compliance with the 2019 CBC.

The existing applications submitted prior to January 1, 2017, will continue to be processed according to the 2013 CBC provisions. However, the applicant has the option of continuing with the previous code or to switch to new codes and redesign the building accordingly. If the option to switch is selected, additional plan review fees would be incurred and the project may be delayed due to additional review time. An estimate for additional fees and review time can be obtained from the plan check engineer.

Please note that the entire building shall either be designed to the 2016 or to the 2019 CBC. Features cannot be mixed from the two codes.


Permits issued for projects designed per 2019 CBC will continue to be valid until the expiration date indicated on the permit. Extensions allowed, per SMMC Section 8.08.070, will be granted as long as the application for extension is submitted prior to the expiration date. Please note that all permits expire when there is no inspection activity on the project for 180 days. 

If the project exceeds the allowable time designated on the permit and an extension is not granted, or is not allowable due to the number of extensions granted previously, the permit shall expire and a new permit has to be issued. The new permit shall be based on the 2019 CBC and plans will have to be resubmitted for review to ensure compliance with new codes. Fees for the new plan check will be charged on an hourly basis and an estimate for additional fees and review time can be obtained from the plan check engineer.