Demolition of an Existing Structure

Guidelines to demolish an existing structure.

The following procedures are required for the issuance of a demolition permit:

  1. Complete and sign a Development Services Intake Form. Be sure to identify in the project description what type of structure is to be demolished such as residence, barn, carport, etc. If the application is to abate a violation, clearly note in the project description and include the violation case number. 
  2. Submit a site plan that shows the construction to be demolished and the location and size of existing structures and construction that are to remain on the site or plot.
  3. Utilities:
    • Submit a PG&E disconnect letter regarding the disconnection of electrical and gas utilities to the structure that is to be demolished.
      If no utilities are installed on or at the structure, submit an affidavit stating that there is no gas or electrical meter located on the structure that is to be demolished.
    • If the City of Los Altos is the sewer provider, approval from the City is required for sewer cap inspection, (650) 947-2780.
    • If the property is on septic and the septic system is being abandoned, obtain plumbing permit from the Permit Center for the septic tank abandonment.
  4. Submit a Job number (J #) letter from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Asbestos ( This is required for every demolition regardless of asbestos content.
  5. Submit a copy of the confirmation letter from the County of Santa Clara Watershed Protection Division with PCB ID#. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Building Demolition Program - Watershed Protection Division - County of Santa Clara (
  6. If property is a historic resource, complete and sign the Identification of Structures for Potential Historic Significance form and submit a copy of the Santa Clara County Property Record for the property.

Additional reviews and requirements may be applicable for the demolition of nonresidential structures.

If this demolition project will disturb one acre (43,560 square feet) or greater of land area, the Applicant shall file with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Comply with the Statewide General NPDES Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity. This condition of approval is required by the State of California. A filing form, a filing fee, a location map, and a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) are all required for this filing. A certification of filing shall be submitted to the County prior to building permit issuance, and by state law the NOI and the associated documents must be filed with the SWRCB prior to commencing construction or demolition.

Information is available in the Development Services Office and from the SWRCB web site.

All demolition sites must be properly finished, by providing proper erosion prevention and sediment control measures, such as: removing debris to an approved dump site, smoothing and compacting the soil to 90%, mulching and seeding, and installing straw wattles, straw bales, silt fences, and storm drain inlet protection where appropriate.

The Final Inspection of the demolition work will be conducted only after the above referenced work is complete.

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